When contemplating the failure of the War on Poverty after 50 years and $22 trillion spent, I mentioned the outrageous government overhead, waste, and fraud that makes up a big part of that figure. It’s both absurd and immoral to talk about the benefits of any program without looking at its cost and efficiency. I say “immoral” because seizing money from law-abiding taxpayers to finance programs known to be corrupt, on a massive scale, is nothing less than theft. The morality of such actions can still be debatable even when the programs work fairly well, but when they clearly don’t, their immorality becomes obvious. The same can be said about ObamaCare, which is spending so much to accomplish so little that its remaining defenders should be laughed out of polite society.
You could fill volumes with the stories of welfare-state abuse, as Howie Carr at the Boston Globe clearly knows, because he relates the tale of Food Stamp Nation resident, drug dealer, and million-dollar lottery winner Gary Bond with an air of weary resignation:
Of course he took the one-time payment — $650,000. According to the Lottery, after 25 percent federal taxes and 5 percent state taxes, he netted $455,000. Not bad. Do you have $455,000 cash in a bank account, or even under your mattress?
I’ll bet you can see where this story is going. As has often been noted, not every person who has an EBT card is a drug dealer. But every drug dealer has an EBT card.
So the Haverhill cops go into Gary Bond’s “subsidized apartment” (another popular public-sector perk among the EBT community), and they report finding a little more than 1 ounce of marijuana, 21 grams of cocaine and (a rather disappointing) three Oxycontin pills.
Haverhill police also reported seizing $974 in cash, three Apple iPhones, brass knuckles, an airsoft gun and a machete — in other words, the usual EBT accessories.
Not to mention, two EBT cards, one belonging to Gary Bond and another to his wife, Fritzlaine Liautaud, 30.
If he’d taken the yearly payments from the Lottery, a court could have ordered that the money be stopped.
But of course Gary U.S. Bond knew that. He got the money, and how much do you figure is still around?
Just a hunch, but I’m going to bet that he and his wife both claim that they are “indigent” and will demand public defenders. Just like more high-profile criminals like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Whitey Bulger and Speaker Sal DiMasi.
Gary U.S. Bond had a prior conviction, but he was given probation. Of course he was. He had an EBT card. That makes him good people — just ask Deval Patrick.
That would be the same Deval Patrick currently discussed as a possible successor to Attorney General Eric Holder. Which would be appropriate, since being the Attorney General has very little to do with enforcing the law, especially when it’s time to enforce it against the almighty State and its special friends.
How many times this year have arrested drug dealers been found with multiple EBT cards — remember the woman in Taunton with 12, count ’em 12, EBT cards? Dealers take them as collateral for the next fix.
And you wonder why hundreds of thousands of the cards are “lost” every year, compared to how few traditional credit cards go missing.
Somehow the biggest, best-funded welfare system ever conceived, administered by the largest and most powerful government apparatus in human history, is unable to crack down on even the most outrageous cases of abuse. That’s because they don’t want to, any more than they want to crack down on illegal immigration. Our money-no-object super-government suddenly becomes helpless when asked to do anything that would reduce its power and funding, such as reducing the size of the welfare state it harvests so much power, money, and electoral support from.
Even moving food stamp benefits onto electronic cards – of the sort private industry secures and monitors, with a high level of confidence, by the hundreds of millions – barely made a dent in the most deranged forms of abuse. That’s partially due to the general incompetence of the same zillion-dollar government that brought you HealthCareDotGov, but it’s mostly because the people on the administrative end of those electronic systems have little interest in using them to their full potential.