More Fraud and Waste: Pity the Taxpayers

13 Jan

In a recent piece titled “EBT Abuse:  The Cash for Drunkards Program”, Michelle Malkin features yet another example of waste and fraud in our so-called compassionate use of taxpayer resources.  Where does it all end?

Below are excerpts from this essay.  The entire essay may be found at

Excerpts [Bolding is mine]

From New York to New Mexico and across the dependent plains, welfare recipients are getting sauced on the public dime. Drunk, besotted, bombed. But while politicians pay lip service to cutting government waste, fraud and abuse, they’re doing very little in practice to stop the EBT party excesses. Where’s the compassion for taxpayers?

You see the signs everywhere: “We accept EBT.” Fast-food restaurants do. Clothing retailers do. Auto repair shops, liquor stores and even sushi joints are joining the club. “EBT” stands for the federal government’s electronic benefits transfer card, which is intended to provide poor people with food stamps and cash assistance for basic necessities. The two separate programs were combined into one ATM-like card designed to reduce the “stigma” attached to Nanny State dependency, and — voila! — an entirely new method of mooching was born.

If the idea was to eliminate the embarrassment of life on the dole, the social justice crowd succeeded phenomenally. Last weekend, the New York Post blew the lid off scammers who brazenly swiped their EBT cards “inside Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn; the Blue Door Video porn shop in the East Village; The Anchor, a sleek SoHo lounge; the Patriot Saloon in TriBeCa; and Drinks Galore, a liquor distributor in The Bronx.” Out: Cash for clunkers. In: Cash for drunkards!

[Several Examples included here]

Several state legislatures have barred EBT spending on these vices, along with tattoo parlors, lottery tickets and cigarettes. Last February, President Obama signed GOP-backed welfare reform measures into law aimed at closing the so-called “strip club loophole” and preventing welfare recipients from blowing their cash benefits on booze, porn and gambling. But that law doesn’t go into effect until next year. And many politicians are just shrugging their shoulders, muttering “Whaddya gonna do?”

Here’s a radical idea: How about making taxpayer protection a priority for once and, yes, getting serious about strengthening the stigma on bottomless entitlement dependency and entitlement abuse?

According to the Department of Agriculture, illegal food stamp use costs the public upward of $750 million a year. A report by the Government Accountability Institute last fall revealed that “few security measures are in place to monitor EBT card fraud. .  .  .

[End of excerpts]


2 Responses to “More Fraud and Waste: Pity the Taxpayers”

  1. fraudanalytics January 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    I appreciate the article. The frustrating part is this issue could be managed. In private industry, we use data analytics all the time to uncover fraud, waste and abuse in our organizations. There’s no reason our government could not use these methods in public programs to reduce abuse.

    • illero January 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      You are absolutely right. Of course, in addition to the identifying analytics, we need to make public examples of those found to be cheating the taxpayers. Thank you for visiting.

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