Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There ought to be a law! Oh, wait there is...

These things are just so outrageous that if it doesn't make you mad then you are either dead or numb. [ or see the post immediately preceding this one ]

Fake Drivers Licenses and Welfare Benefits
We learn that getting MN drivers license is all that's needed to open up the vast resources of our welfare state (Minnesota). If one is good then 10 is even better, right? How could it not occur to the issuers of both DL licenses and welfare benefits that people would use fraudulent methods to obtain both. Worse, how could they not have set up investigative and law enforcement provisions?

We are to believe the Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services IS seriously concerned about people trying to defraud the system. Four years ago the MN DVS received a federal grant to use facial recognition software to electronically compare the facial features in photos from driver's licenses and state IDs.

This effort, 11 million photos in the vehicle services database, had the software finding nearly 1.3 million matches. These photos then had to be looked at one by one by human eyes. Many were dismissed with reasonable explanations - newly married, name changes, harmless pranks, twins etc...

What was left were about 23,000 records that have a good chance of being fraud. That's 23,705 cases of possible fraud to be exact.

As of now, about 10,000 of these driver's licenses have been canceled. However, not much else has been done. We learn that not a single name has been given yet to the Department of Human Services to check for welfare or food stamp fraud, and no names have been given or the Secretary of State to check against the voter rolls. And criminal prosecution? None.

All told 5,500 cases have been referred to an agency who can take any action necessary. But the state won't say which law enforcement agency. With 23,000 potential fraudulent IDs, shouldn't we know who's job it is to hold people accountable? Shouldn't someone know?

The problem of using fraudulent means to obtain "free" or "subsidized" benefits is rampant. 

It turns out that an administrative assistant in the Secretary of State's Office has been accused of using an alternate identity to receive more than $18,000 in low-income housing help from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. This person has spent seven years working in Minnesota government, though none of her alleged crimes involve her post directly. (As far as we know)

Yet, when it comes to state-issued identity cards -- real or fake -- the Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is already smack-dab in the middle of the controversy as an outspoken opponent of the voter ID referendum on the ballot in November, which would require voters to have a valid state ID.

I just bet that this person voted for Mr. Ritchie in the last election since she didn't even need to present her fake ID.

The irony of the indictment was not lost on Minnesota Majority, the group campaigning for the amendment. Ritchie, however, is out of state and has been unavailable for comment. Don't hold your breath on this one.

Social Security sets new record
The number of workers taking federal disability insurance payments hit yet another record in July, increasing to 8,753,935 during the month from the previous record of 8,733,461 set in June, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration. The 8,753,935 workers who took federal disability insurance payments in July exceeded the population of 39 of the 50 states. Only 11 states—California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey— have more population. In other words if all these recipients lived in one state it would be the 12th largest state in the union. 

Keep in mind this 8+ million is not the retirees receiving justly deserved benefits. It's just hard to imagine that there isn't a huge percentage of these people that are frauds. There is an entire legal industry set up to help people - deserving or not - get "their" Social Security Disability benefits. Everyone, I'm sure, believes in helping those truly disabled, but fraud is just rampant at all levels of this culture.

Food Stamps for Mexico!
Now we learn the Mexican government has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. This has been going on since 2004, signed into existence during the Bush II era, that being said spending on food stamps has doubled since 2008, it is reasonable to suspect that the Obama administration has ramped up whatever partnership may have preexisted it.

What it is in short: the USDA sees to it that the Mexican Embassy and Mexican consulates in America provide USDA nutrition assistance program information to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals working in America and migrant communities in America. The information is specifically focused on eligibility criteria and access.

There are rules for who is eligible, but it's safe to assume the standards are enforced with the enthusiasm the Obama administration shows toward other illegal alien activities on this side of the border. States are supposed to verify this so-called eligibility but verification standards vary widely. Applicants need only attest that they are citizens of the United States, and the state must accept that attestation as conclusive.

So, it's not bad enough that billions of dollars are obtained by fraudulent means by people from all walks of life and apparently from all countries, the government is soliciting for even more. We as a society, a culture have our hand out to help the less fortunate and all the while there are those who take our largess with one hand while the other is in our wallet taking even more.

All this fraud damn near gives corporate welfare a good name!