Friday, May 31, 2013

If It Wasn't So Painful It Would Be Funny...

New Jersey Sent Welfare Checks to Prisoners
Reining in welfare, unemployment benefits and state pension costs have become standard rallying cries for Republican politicians — particularly those with an eye on the White House. But Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who has often talked about his own cost-cutting credentials, was told on Wednesday that the state had been a bit too generous under his watch.

Over a 22-month period, New Jersey paid nearly $24 million in unemployment, welfare, pension and other benefits to 20,000 people who did not qualify for them because they were in prison, according to a report from the state comptroller released on Wednesday.
Oh for f**k's sake...

This comes on the heels of the news earlier this week that the state of Massachusetts was sending welfare benefits to thousands of dead or otherwise ineligible people, to the tune of several million dollars a year. Why is there seemingly no oversight whatsoever on the distribution of tax dollars? Oh, wait, I answered my own question, didn't I? There's no oversight because it's not their money - and, not coincidentally, it buys votes quite handily. No one's going to vote for the person threatening to shut off the free s**t spigot.

But holy hell, folks. We're talking about millions upon millions of dollars pissed away, with benefits going to folks that have lost their eligibility. At least when the person receiving benefits passes away there's the possibility of the "Weekend At Bernie's" scenario among the survivors, where no one wants to tell the state that their beloved Aunt Gladys has shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the choir invisible for fear of stopping the gravy train. This is people getting sent to jail where a simple spreadsheet containing names should have been matched against the list of people receiving welfare.

This is the kind of program that could have been fact-checked by a summer intern in about a week. You could have had someone's niece come in for a couple of weeks in May and match one list against the other - any duplicates or even close to duplicates can be flagged for review so that only the close matches and direct hits need to be checked out by a state official. But, since it's not their cash, and the money that's not theirs being wasted will help re-elect them (thereby protecting their phoney baloney jobs), there's simply no incentive to stop the waste.

And again, we feel compelled to point out that these are the very same people screaming for a database of firearms owners - make of that what you will...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)

1 comment:

Daniel in Brookline said...

To this administration, that's not even a rounding error.

And if there's a better argument than that for smaller government, I can't think of it.