<title> 2012 October</title>

April 19, 2014

Fraud at the Checkout Line

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

The expanding food stamp program that now “feeds” nearly 47 million Americans is rife with fraud, abuse and cronyism, according to a new study as reported by Breitbart:

Understaffed food stamp fraud prevention units and lax anti-fraud security on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards have created a thriving underground market where food stamp recipients illegally sell and trade their taxpayer-funded benefits, often using online websites like Backpage.com, Craigslist, or social media. That is one of the findings of a new report by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) examining how the poverty industry has become a massive profit center for politically-connected corporations like JP Morgan, who have made at least $560,492,596 since 2004 to process the EBT cards of food stamp recipients in 24 states and two U.S. territories.

The fraud and abuse in this system must surely be worse than imagined, as there are clearly people that don’t really need this assistance who, under Obama’s relaxed policies, are now able to enter this expanding program. And they don’t even need to sell or trade their EBT cards to benefit.

A few months back, while grocery shopping, I witnessed a prime example of such abuse. A young (able-bodied looking) couple was in the checkout line in front of me with a cart full of groceries. I noticed something interesting when they placed their items on the conveyer belt to be scanned. They first placed all of the food or household items down in one group and then put down a divider. On the other side of the divider they placed a couple of cases of beer and several large bottles of hard liquor. The couple then proceeded to pay for the food and household items with an EBT card and then told the checker that they “had to” pay cash for the alcohol.

If what I witnessed was as it appeared, this couple obviously didn’t need to be on taxpayer-funded assistance, being that alcohol isn’t exactly necessary to sustain life (at least before Obama became President).

Unfortunately, I think the only thing rare or unusual about the above transactions was the possibility of seeing them take place side-by-side in real time. When someone is receiving food assistance that they really don’t need, it frees up money that they should be using for food and other necessities. This “spare” cash can then be used for any number of luxury items that can’t be found in a grocery store such as: furniture, flat-screen TV’s, iPhones (if they don’t already have a free Obamaphone), athletic shoes, or even payments on automobiles.

When all of these other items are purchased, you just don’t get the luxury of seeing this normally silent fraud take place side-by-side in such an obvious fashion.

No wonder politicians are spending taxpayer money to get more people on food stamps. They aren’t just buying food — they’re buying votes.


Obama Inherited an Opportunity

President Obama keeps complaining about the mess he inherited.  But:

The truth, however, is otherwise: Obama inherited a fantastic set of political circumstances.

The economy was near the trough of the recession, and would likely have rebounded quickly, had Obama not intervened with radical new policies such as Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. Even allowing for the (disputed) argument that financial collapses lead to slower, longer recoveries, it is likely that the economy would have rebounded far more quickly had Obama not created new uncertainty, new business costs, and new debt.

The controversial bailouts–the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the auto bailout–were already under way, with the former passing Congress with bipartisan majorities and the latter initiated by Bush when Congress rejected it. Both of these massive expenditures, which also gave the government unprecedented economic control, could have been fodder for intense opposition under Obama–but he was spared the task.

Read the rest at Breitbart

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Happy Anniversary, Mr. President

My article as originally published in American Thinker:      

 While Wednesday was President Obama’s wedding anniversary, it’s the American people who received a wonderful pre-gift, one month before the four-year anniversary of Obama’s election: an outstanding performance by Mitt Romney in his debate with the president. The stunned mainstream media can’t even deny the fact that Romney totally obliterated President Obama in this debate.

I’m sure that the president and first lady are feeling a little blue today, so I figure the least I can do is to send them an e-picture-card as a gift for their anniversary. As Clint Eastwood would say, I’m sure it will “make their day.”

On my way to work (I’m an electrical contractor and did “build” my business) this morning, I had to stop and fuel up my truck. Putting in exactly $90 netted me exactly 20.004 gallons of gas, which did not “make my day” and caused me to think about Obama’s failed energy policy.

My next stop was the fire restoration project that I was almost finished with rough-wiring. It’s located in a neighborhood that has clearly not benefited from Obama’s economic policies. The two chairs (his and hers) survived the fire, and I moved them out to the backyard for the photo op. I don’t think the homeless woman who currently sleeps in the dilapidated tent, as seen in the background, has benefited from any of President Obama’s policies either.

Care to guess what gift I’m hoping for on November 6?