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Welfare Abuse: From Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania Avenue

Welfare spending has increased by 32% under President Obama.  More people are receiving welfare benefits now then when Obama first took office.  Let’s also not forget that food stamp participation is at a record high under President Obama.  The Obama administration has made the social welfare safety net into a hammock.  With the lack of economic growth due to Obama’s failed economic policies, the national debt at $16 trillion and the unemployment rate stubbornly hovering near 8% it might be time to investigate the Obama administration’s mismanagement and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

What do you think of someone who is on welfare?  One thought is that the individual is scamming the system and that welfare abuse is rampant!  Who is responsible for the abuse, the government, the recipient or both?


The Case of Pennsylvania

A prime example of welfare abuse happened in Pennsylvania during Democrat Governor Ed Rendell’s time in office. Spending for public welfare ballooned under Rendell.  In the year 2010-2011, Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare was set to receive a payment of $482 million for spending. This was an increase of 68.2% in public welfare spending from 2003 when Rendell took office. This dramatic increase was a worrisome factor for the Department of Public Welfare. This encouraged Pennsylvania’s House Republican Policy Committee to investigate on the cause of welfare fraud.

Pennsylvania’s Auditor General Jack Wagner, found out that more than $1 billion was misspent. Programs that were found out to be in this fraud were the Special Allowance Program, LIHEAP, and Medicaid programs.  Let’s focus on these programs in depth to get an insight of what actually happened, and why these programs were part of the welfare fraud during Rendell’s time in office.

The LIHEAP provided grants to households, who had an income of just 150% of the Federal Income Poverty Guideline, and stood below the federal poverty line.  This meant a family with four earnings of up to $33,075, are eligible to receive this benefit.  When an audit was conducted, 18 of them were arrested for stealing $500,000 and more of the LIHEAP funds.

The DPW’s Special Allowance Program was also found to be poorly monitored, and due to the mismanagement, it created an environment of potential abuse and fraud. This cost the taxpayers of Pennsylvania millions of dollars.

In the case of medical assistance program, the Auditor General found that many people were granted money even though they were not eligible to receive the benefits. He found this out by randomly selecting applications that were applied from the year 2005 to 2008. It was found that about $3.3 million was used for ineligible applicants.  Most of the fraud was due to the failure of the DPW, which didn’t take the proper steps to verify the age, family relationship requirements, and disability. It failed to review the eligibility criteria and the recipient’s financial background before giving them the benefits.

Pennsylvania’s experience with welfare abuse and the findings by the Auditor General  could make a good road map for investigating tax dollar abuse by the Obama administration.  President Obama and the Democrats in congress have added over $6 billion to the national debt with little to show for it.  It’s bordering on corruption and it’s time to hold this administration accountable.

Eddie Miller, is a blogger, technologist, trader and the Man Behind BinaryPedia.com.

Eddie Miller, is a blogger, technologist, trader and the Man Behind BinaryPedia.com.

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