When the Florida Department of Children and Families claimed earlier this month to have saved taxpayers $1.7 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or food stamps, what they really meant was they stopped subsidizing people who didn't qualify for the program.400 people who were in full-time, state-owned mental health facilities were receiving food stamp assistance. People who were in care facilities that provided them with food 24/7 were getting food stamps. After a simple cross-referencing of names, the names were removed from the food stamp list and the state - with a straight face, mind you - claimed to have "saved" the $1.7 million. Yes, that's how governments think, folks. "We stopped wasting your money, so that 's a savings".
A simple cross-referencing of patients living full-time in seven state mental health facilities found 400 residents who were improperly receiving SNAP or cash assistance.
Yes, in the most technical of senses it *is* a savings, in that there's $1.7 million that's not going out any more. But it misses the very basic point that it should never have gone out in the first place. Folks, this is 2013. We have national agencies that spy on us 24/7, recording our every e-mail, text message, and Facebook dripping, yet the Florida Dept. of Children and Families can't pay an intern to run a database query on folks receiving assistance?
I wonder how much more money could be "saved" by better cross-referencing of names?
That is all.
Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)