Democrats like to depict Republicans as heartless animals for wanting to crack down on welfare fraud and abuse. When in reality, it is about making sure American taxpayer dollars go into the hands of the neediest and empowering people to rely upon themselves. The larger their progressive agenda gets, the larger the number of cases of welfare fraud gets. Here is another example.
Numerous people in Pennsylvania were arrested and charged with stealing approximately $287,000 in welfare benefits this past April. Some of that money was allegedly used to purchase heroin according to the Pennsylvania’s Office of the Inspector General. The Office expects to get back a total of $287,659 from the food stamp fraud violations.
The money was stolen from a variety of different sources. $187,241 was stolen from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known colloquially as SNAP. $46,494 was stolen from subsidized day care for young children in need of care. Government funded benefits such as Medicaid services cover about $37,052 of the fraud. $11,348 was in monetary assistance and $5,523 was stolen from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer said the following in a statement on the issue,
“April’s cases range from SNAP benefits trafficking in exchange for cash to buy heroin in Williamsport to $52,909 in combined SNAP, medical assistance and LIHEAP fraud in Warren County (Pennsylvania). Our investigators are zealous in pursuing all cases, regardless of the amount, because it’s taxpayer money and stopping fraud means making those benefits available to Pennsylvanians who truly need them.”
The fraud has led to seven people being arrested on felony charges. The maximum penalty they are facing is close to seven years behind the bars of a federal prison as well as restitution and a $15,000 fine. Another six people are facing first-degree misdemeanor charges that are looking at five years in prison, restitution, and a $5,000 fine.
As a result of this fraud, several states are looking at introducing different measures to aid in combatting welfare fraud by doing things such as establishing work requirements in order to receive benefits.
One example is Georgia, where they required food stamp recipients to work, receive job training, and even volunteer for a state approved charity for a minimum of 20 hours a week. After this program was implemented sixty-two percent of people dropped out of the food stamp rolls. When Alabama started a somewhat identical program the state had an eighty-six percent reduction in the percentage of people who were enrolled in the food stamp program. Clearly, the program worked. Perhaps Pennsylvania would do well to implement a similar program.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said just last month to the press corps,
“Folks who are out there who are on food stamps and want to work, we’ll be able to work with them to solve the problem.They are not what’s causing the difficulties in SNAP. It’s the folks who are on there who don’t want to work. Here we are, eight years removed from the end of the recession. We’ve had economic growth, albeit slow. We’re at what we consider to be full employment … why is the number still high?
Shouldn’t it be up to the government to make sure we can look folks who are paying the taxes in the eye and say, you know what, we did everything we could to make sure that everybody on (Social Security Disability Insurance) is really disabled. We don’t think that’s unreasonable. In fact, we think that is the definition of compassionate — a compassion that is balanced between the people who get the benefits and the people who pay them.”
This is an issue that should anger everybody. The issue is taxpayer dollars being misused. Nobody is being served well when they are being misappropriated. Taxpayer-funded programs should be minimal but efficient and clearly, they are not being either. President Trump understood this which is why he promised to crack down on these types of abuses and this is exactly what he has done.
While a system of bigger government may have worked for Democrats in the past, we are finally feeling the negative consequences. President Trump is doing everything in his power to ensure these types of abuses don’t continue.