Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September, 2015, Political Class Insanity, Part 5: Food Assistance and Housing Fraud and a Vice Presidential Gaffe Parade

It is the start of another month which means it is time for our monthly review of the latest political class insanity that continually spews forth from America’s politicians. Their actions, words, quotes, incompetency, and general ineptness continue to reinforce our theory that we are currently being served by the worst set of politicians in the history of the nation.

As you read about the latest shenanigans and ineptness of the political class, keep in mind what should be their priorities in these difficult times and compare this list to what they are actually working on:

  • NBC recently reported that ISIS forces are getting larger and stronger despite the Obama administration spending billions of dollars on a failed air campaign and military strategy.
  • The stock market is in free fall.
  • Job creation is barely keeping up with population growth.
  • Wage growth is anemic, growing just .2% in the second quarter, the lowest quarterly growth since 1982.
  • The labor participation rate is at the lowest level in decades because the Obama economy cannot generate enough jobs.
  • Thousands of veterans are still not getting the medical care they were promised by the Federal government.
  • 46 million Americans are still receiving monthly Federal food assistance.
  • Our borders still leak and thousands of illegal immigrant criminals continue to walk our streets.
  • A record number of police officers have been assassinated in the past week.
  • Major programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are hurtling towards insolvency and lose hundreds of billions of dollars every year to fraud and mismanagement.
  • Our kids are still getting lousy public educations at most public schools.
  • The IRS and other government functions seem to be getting their computer systems hacked on a regular basis, exposing tens of millions of Americans to identity theft potential.
  • Obama Care is a failure along so many dimensions as health care costs continue to soar despite the Obama promise that they would decrease.
  • Annual Federal deficits, while down, are still about half a TRILLION a year meaning that even though the Federal government is collecting more in taxes than ever before, it still cannot run a balanced budget.
Again, keep these real crises in mind as you read what our politicians are actually doing.

1) Dozens of times we have pointed out that one of the reasons why the Federal government runs massive budget deficits every year is that the programs it operates such as welfare, food stamps, Medicare, etc., are subject to massive criminal fraud every day. Estimates put the annual loss of taxpayer wealth just to fraud in Federal government programs at well over $200 billion a year.

A recent example of such fraud was uncovered in the state of Michigan:

  • Three Muslim brothers who operated the Middle Eastern Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan have pled guilty to a food stamp scam.
  • They pled out in order to have two other brothers not being prosecuted.
  • Their scam ripped off taxpayers to the tune of almost $1.3 million in food assistance dollars.
  • The scam had been going on for nine years, indicating what a lousy job that the Washington political class and government bureaucrats do in protecting American taxpayer wealth.
Given that the number of people receiving food stamps has ballooned to over 46 million under the Obama regime, you can be sure that this Grand Rapids criminal operation is not the only food assistance scam going on today.

2) If you thought the previous insanity was bad, consider the housing subsidy insanity that came to light in a recent Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report. Theoretically, HUD provides taxpayer funded subsidies and housing welfare to low income families to help them keep a roof over their families’ heads. But as always with the Federal government, theoretical usually gets massively screwed up in reality:

  • The HUD report found that a family of four in New York City with an annual income of $497,911 a year pays $1,574 a month to live in public housing in a three-bedroom apartment that is subsidized by taxpayers.
  • In Los Angeles, a family of five that’s lived in public housing since 1974 made $204,784 last year but paid only $1,091 for a four-bedroom apartment, with the remaining costs picked up by taxpayer money via HUD.
  • And a renter with personal assets worth $1.6 million, which include stocks, real estate and retirement accounts, in 2014 paid only $300 out of their pocket for a one-bedroom apartment in public housing in Oxford, Nebraska.
  • The report tabulated over 25,000 families that earned more income than allowed under HUD’s low income levels for being subsidized. 
  • The HUD auditors found that while that New York City family who earned almost $500,000 a year were getting Federal housing subsidies and an apartment to live in, there more than 300,000 NYC families that were truly low income who could not find subsidized housing in the city.
  • Given this atrocious abuse of government income level requirements, HUD has no intention of booting them out of their current subsidized housing or terminating their Federal subsidies, according to a HUD inspector general finding: “Since regulations and policies did not require housing authorities to evict over income families or require them to find housing in the unassisted market, [they] continued to reside in public housing units,” investigators for Inspector General David Montoya wrote.
  • Of the 25,000 or so families that exceeding HUD’s low income thresholds, 45% of them earned $10,000 to $70,000 above the thresholds. 
  • Over a thousand of these over income families unfairly getting Federal housing subsidies have been doing so for over nine years and 18,000 of these over income families have been getting subsidies for over a year.
  • Similar to New York City, there are 1184 over income families in Boston who are getting subsidized housing from HUD but there are almost 118,000 families on the Boston HUD waiting list.
  • The HUD inspector general did not hold out much hope that HUD executives would right this egregious wrong: “Although 25,226 over income families is a small percentage of the approximate 1.1 million families receiving public housing assistance, we did not find that HUD and public housing authorities had taken or planned to take sufficient steps to reduce at least the egregious examples of over income families in public housing. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect the number of over income families participating in the program to increase over time.”
  • The inspector general expects over $100 million to be paid via housing subsidies to high income families.
Just another busted Federal government program where the intentions are never consistent with the real results. How can anyone justify, as HUD does, allowing that NYC HUD subsidy recipient get Federal taxpayer support when that family is earning almost three times what a member of Congress earns and almost ten times what the average American household earns each year? Insanity.

And even worse than giving high income Americans Federal subsidies is the reality that these high earners are blocking low income Americans from taking part in the program. Not only insane but also sad.

3) If you think that the current set of Washington politicians can fix this severely broken Federal government, consider the following quotes and gaffes by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has been in elected Federal office for 42 years so he is an old time Federal politician that is responsible for a dysfunctional Federal bureaucracy that pays rich people housing subsidies and allows two bit criminals to rip off the American taxpayer of hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

Mr. Biden is seriously considering running for President. After reading the following quotes and screw ups from a recent Washington Examiner article, ask yourself: do I really think that this buffoon can fix what he helped break, along with other long time Washington politicians?

On September. 9, 2008: During a campaign stop in Missouri, Biden once told a handicapped, wheel chair bound state senator to stand up. "I'm told Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up Chuck, let 'em see you. Oh, God love you. What am I talking about. I'll tell you what, you're making everybody else stand up, though, pal.”

On March 23, 2010: During the signing ceremony for Obama Care, Biden followed his introduction of President Obama by embracing him and telling him "This is a big f------- deal." Then White House press secretary Robert Gibbs quickly affirmed the vice president's barely off-mic comments via Twitter saying, "And yes, Mr. Vice President, you're right…

On March 17, 2010: Just days before the Biden had his BFD moment, he asked God to bless the late mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen. The only problem: Cowen's mother was very much alive and it was his father that had passed. "His mom lived in Long Island for 10 years or so. God rest her soul. And, although, she's, wait, your mom's still, your mom's still alive. Your dad passed. God bless her soul."

On April 26, 2012: During a campaign event at New York University Biden channeled Teddy Roosevelt, promising "the President has a big stick."

On June 17, 2006: Biden uttered a statement that liberals would have called racist if a republican had stated them: "In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian-Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking.”

On Aug. 23, 1987: Allegations that Biden lifted passages and even gestures from a speech by Neil Kinnock without giving credit to the leader of the British Labour Party helped ruin his presidential bid. Two weeks later, C-SPAN footage surfaced revealing Biden inflating his law school academic record. Biden claimed he had finished in the top half of his class at Syracuse Law School, but he graduated 76th of 85. He later called the plagiarism allegations "much ado about nothing," but eventually dropped out of the race on Sept. 23: "I started thinking as I was coming over here, Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university?

On September 10, 2008: After being named as President Obama's VP, Biden suggested he may not have been the best pick during a campaign stop in Nashua, N.H.: "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be Vice President of the United States of America. Let's get that straight. She's a truly close personal friend. She is qualified to be President of the United States of America. She's easily qualified to be Vice President of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me. But she's first rate."

On August 14, 2012: While addressing a predominately black audience in Danville, Va., Biden criticized Republicans for wanting to deregulate big banks using an unfortunate racial reference: "Romney wants to, he said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains."

Not included in the Examiner article was the biggest historical idiocy he stated in the run up to the 2008 Presidential election in an interview with Katie Couric. He stated that that when the Great Depression hit, President FDR went on TV on to calm and reassure the country that all would be okay. Two problems here: the Depression hit three full years before FDR became President and there was no such thing as TV when FDR came into office, all mass communications were done via radio and newsreels in movie houses. How can such an educated person, and American politician, be so ignorant of basic American history?

Seriously, Joe Biden for President? Do you really think that this guy has any chance of fixing what is so broken within the Federal government bureaucracy? 

The original video quotes of Biden’s screw ups can be accessed at:

That will do it for today's political class insanity. Two examples of a government bureaucracy that literally gives away taxpayer wealth with no controls in place and no ramifications for doing so and a politician who after 42 years of not fixing Washington thinks he should be President. Insane. More insanity tomorrow.

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