Archive for Government

Welfare Fraud: A Tautology

You can defraud some of the people all of time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t defraud all of the people all of the time.

Or can you?

Food stamp recipients were selling their benefits online in exchange for money, housing or even art, according to a report federal investigators released Thursday that showed states manage to catch just a fraction of potential fraud in the sprawling program.

Use of the food stamps, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has skyrocketed under President Obama, reaching 47 million recipients at a cost of $76 billion last year. But states recovered just $74 million in fraudulent payments the previous year, according to the Government Accountability Office.

GAO investigators reviewed records from 11 states and found they lacked sufficient staff and tools to catch fraud in the ballooning program.

“Such rapid program growth can increase the potential for fraud unless appropriate agency controls are in place to help minimize these risks,” the investigators said in their report.

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse from TWT … more >
In one online posting from Jacksonville, Florida, someone was asking for $100 cash in exchange for $228 in food stamps. One ad from Raleigh, North Carolina, offered 10 days of cooking and cleaning services in exchange for food stamps. A Charlotte, North Carolina, poster said he would trade food stamps for beer, and a Houston ad proposed exchanging food stamps for a catalytic converter.

Then there was the Worcester, Massachusetts, advertisement proposing up to $3,000 in electronic benefit food stamp transfers in exchange for art.

Investigators said most states surveyed reported that their employees were overloaded with recipients. In Massachusetts, just 37 investigators were responsible for monitoring almost 500,000 SNAP recipients. State investigators were also responsible for pursuing fraud in other federal programs such as Medicaid.

One analyst said a lack of employees in the program is no excuse.

“The issue of fraud in food stamps is more than just understaffing for Food and Nutrition Services,” Nicole Kaeding, a budget analyst with the Cato Institute, told The Times. “According to the Department of Agriculture, improper claims amount to 3.4 percent. That’s almost $3 billion of taxpayer money that is wasted annually on fraud and abuse.”

Three billion dollars of fraud may sound like a lot of stolen money, but it’s only four cents out of every dollar. You’d forget it like lint in your pocket.

But the feds recover only $74 million out of that $3 billion, barely two cents out of every thieved dollar. Put another way, the fraudsters get away with almost 98% of their deceit. That’s not a bad investment.

That’s the way it is with Big Government. For every deserving mouth you may feed, there are scores of slobbering lips sucking at the teat of the bedraggled taxpayer.

Remember the story of fraud with ObamaCare?

According to the findings of an investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office which were presented to Congress on Wednesday, some of those taxpayer-funded subsidies are not merely legally problematic but are also subject to extensive fraud.

The GAO found that 11 of 12 applications for federal assistance while applying for insurance provided through the ACA using “fictitious identities” were accepted.

As pathetic as that record is, it’s four times better than the welfare cheats.

PS: It’s not that hard to catch the cheats when they advertise. How many more rely on word of mouth?

Last night’s snowstorm postponed the snow job that is Deval Patrick’s State of the State address. But don’t worry, I can sum up the State of the State in three words: Kelly Jean Gagnon.

Age 37, she was arrested in Taunton last week and charged with possession of 19 grams of heroin.

And 13 EBT cards. That’s right, 13 EBT cards.

So governor, how’s that crackdown on welfare fraud coming along?

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Antisocial Insecurity

Are we still talking about a government agency that blew hundreds of millions of dollars on a botched computer system? Isn’t that kind of 2013?

Ohhhh… a different government agency and a different computer system.


My eyes are up here, perv.

Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency.

In 2008, Social Security said the project was about two to three years from completion. Five years later, it was still two to three years from being done, according to the report by McKinsey and Co., a management consulting firm.

Today, with the project still in the testing phase, the agency can’t say when it will be completed or how much it will cost.

In the meantime, people filing for disability claims face long delays at nearly every step of the process — delays that were supposed to be reduced by the new processing system.

[A]gency leaders have decided to “reset” the program in an effort to save it, the report said. As part of that effort, Social Security brought in the outside consultants from McKinsey to figure out what went wrong.

They found a massive technology initiative with no one in charge — no single person responsible for completing the project. They issued their report in June, though it was not publicly released.

Didn’t see that coming!

How many bloated government agencies, dispensing billions of dollars we don’t have, can waste hundreds of millions of dollars on computer systems that don’t work before we stop doing it? Rhetorical question. As many bloated government agencies as we’ve got.

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He’s Not Constitutional, Bitches

And far from being the law of the land, he is the law unto himself:

JONATHAN TURLEY: Frankly it’s difficult to discuss these quaint constitutional issues in what is often a poisonous political environment. As a people we’ve become — we’ve come to the point where we can’t just simply disagree, we have to despise each other. We subscribe to the worst motivations of our opponents and elevate our own proposals over process. To put it simply, we’ve embraced what the Queen Mother said in Richard III. We just think of our babies as sweeter than they were and he who slew them is fowler than he is.

I don’t believe the president has a desire for tyrannical authority. I don’t question his motivation. I question his means. Our system is changing and this body is the one branch that must act if we’re to reverse those changes. We’re seeing the emergence of a different model of government, a model long ago rejected by the framers. A dominant presidency has occurred with very little Congressional opposition. Indeed, when President Obama pledged to circumvent Congress, he received rapturous applause from the very body that he was proposing to make practically irrelevant. Now many members are contesting the right of this institution to even be heard in federal court. This body is moving from self-loathing to self-destruction in a system that is in crisis.

The president’s pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming, and what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger the framers sought to avoid. What we’re witnessing today is one of the greatest crises that I expect the members of this committee and this body will face. It has a patina of politics that is hard to penetrate. It did not start with President Obama. I was critical of his predecessor, and certainly this goes back long before George Bush, but it has reached a tipping point. (House Rules Commitee, July 16, 2014)

And this guy is a self-described fan of Obama. He even tries to share the blame for Obama’s unconstitutional behavior with a spineless Congress. To which there is some truth, even if that’s like blaming the victim of an abusive relationship. Obama says he wants to “do stuff”, but Congress won’t let him. A former Senior Lecturer at law school, he should recognize that as a “check”, intended to “balance” two equal branches of government. Instead, this petulant brat acts out by leaving his family behind and gorging on junk food. If only that were all.

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The New Normal

OUT: You can keep your doctor, period.

IN: “Network restructuring is the new normal.”

National insurance giant UnitedHealthcare plans to cut up to 700 Massachusetts doctors from its physician network for seniors enrolled in its private Medicare plan as a way to control costs, according to company officials.

For elderly patients enrolled in the plan, the cuts mean they will have to find a new doctor or eventually switch to a new health plan that covers their current doctor.

UnitedHealthcare is the country’s largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, and the ongoing cuts have prompted lawsuits by doctors, state investigations, and recent federal policy changes to better protect consumers. There is also pending legislation in Congress to prevent health plans from cutting physicians mid-year.

“This phenomenon is nationwide and needs to be addressed,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said in an interview. “I’m reviewing possible legislation that would prevent this kind of draconian discharge of providers from networks serving Medicare Advantage patients.”

The changes come amid a gradual reduction of reimbursements to private insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans as a way to offset costs associated with President Obama’s health reform law.

Right. If we had an independent press, instead of a gang of cheerleaders, we would have known this was coming. It’s the law of the land—what’s more, it’s Constitutional, bitches.

UnitedHealthcare officials say they hope that streamlining the pool of doctors will not just save money but ultimately improve the quality of patient care — and thus improve its chances of receiving bonus payments under a new federal rating system.

Cost savings could translate into more affordable care for patients, the insurer said, with the potential for lower out-of-pocket costs for prescription and office visit co-pays.

“Network restructuring is the new normal. It’s not just UnitedHealthcare, but that’s the way health plans will be operating in the future,” said Dr. Sam Ho, UnitedHealthcare’s chief medical officer, in an interview. “Healthcare is going through so many significant changes that it’s no longer a matter of doctors providing services and health plans paying claims, but a focus on the quality and cost effectiveness of those services.”

I think that’s nonsense, too, but what did people expect when Obama tipped over the health insurance apple cart?

A better metaphor:

“We’re really opposed to their actions because it’s going to limit access to care,” said Dr. Richard Pieters, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “We think the decisions on how they are eliminating physicians may well be arbitrary and not based on quality. It’s very unsettling. Potentially, this is just another domino starting to fall.”

Another domino. That’s it exactly. And Obama toppled the first one.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

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I Do Think at Some Point You’ve Spent Enough Money

Remember ObamaCare? That’s like asking if you remember your hemorrhoids: how exactly can you forget?

But with all the other governmental toothaches and gout attacks—Bowe Bergdahl the VA system most recently—it doesn’t hurt quite as much.

Ouch:

According to the Wall Street Journal, states need some $240 million to fix their sites or transition to using the federal exchange. That’s on top of the $700 million in federal money these states have already spent or committed to spending on the exchanges. And whatever amount of new money they spend from the feds will have to be added to the already $4.7 billion in grants the feds made to states overall.

Even when states actually managed to start successfully enrolling people in their exchanges, the number of enrollees has made the systems look remarkably expensive. The per-enrollee cost of the state exchanges is much higher than what it is on HealthCare.gov, which was an already steep $647 per person. Here is a summary from Kaiser:

As rocky as its rollout was, it cost the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, an average of $647 of federal tax dollars to sign up each enrollee, according to a new report. It cost an average of $1,503 – well over twice as much – to sign up each person in the 15 exchanges run by individual states and Washington, D.C.

The report, released Wednesday, was compiled using data from federal enrollment figures and federal exchange funding for both the federal and state exchanges. It was written by Jay Angoff, a former Missouri Insurance Commissioner and one-time director of the Health and Human Services office in charge of implementing the health exchange program.

Even California, the most efficient of the state-run exchanges, at $758 per enrollee, still spent more than the average in the federal exchange. And California was the only state-run exchange with a per-person average under $1,000.

Hawaii, with a combination of a poorly-functioning website, a small population overall, and a small population of uninsured, brought up the rear in the study. It cost the Aloha State an average of $23,899 per enrollee covered. Washington D.C. came in next to last at $12,467 per person.

To take your mind off this particular owie, just consider that most employer-provided insurance is about as endangered as the white rhino. We’ll all be in the exchanges—think wildlife safari parks—soon enough.

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The RICO Administration [UPDATED]

For President Obama’s criminal enterprise to be brought down by the VA scandal is a bit like Al Capone going away for tax evasion. After the Benghazi massacre and cover-up, the IRS hit-job on the Tea Party, Fast & Furious gun-running, government by whim and fiat, and myriad other scandals reaching all the way back to fundraising irregularities in his ’08 campaign, it’s a little anticlimactic to see this racketeering-influenced and corrupt organization brought low by an atrocity not of their own making.

Or is it?

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid at least $11.4 million to 174 nurses, mental-health specialists, therapists, and other health-care professionals who, instead of caring for veterans, worked full-time doing union business.

The list of these taxpayer-funded union representatives at VA offices around the nation and their salaries was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Georgia representative Phil Gingrey’s staff and provided to National Review Online.

“So many health-care providers were on that list — nurses or physical therapists or whatever they may be — when so many veterans are falling through the cracks,” a Gingrey aide tells me. “It’s kind of shocking that these paid employees wouldn’t be fully dedicated to patient care.”

In total, the VA spent at least $13.77 million on 251 salaried employees performing full-time union work. Others, who were not included on the list provided by the VA, work part-time for unions at the taxpayer expense. In fiscal year 2011, the latest on record, the VA used 998,483 hours of this “official time,” costing taxpayers more than $42 million.

The newly released records show that in Baltimore, which has the nation’s longest wait times for veterans’ claims, taxpayers covered $372,674 in salary costs in 2012 for a clinical dietetic technician, a patient-services assistant, a health technician, a medical-support assistant, and two nurses to spend all their time at work on union issues and none of it working with veterans.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Let’s ask someone who knows:

Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served in over 400 combat missions. He suffered from fibromyalgia and PTSD and killed himself last year after he received treatment from the Phoenix VA hospital. He wrote that his body had become “nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems.”

Somers’ parents read an excerpt of his suicide note on CNN Friday afternoon: “Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the State of the Union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic but rather by our system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.”

It took three months for Somers to receive initial treatment because the VA was confused over his status as a member of the National Guard. He was shuffled around the system, going from the Phoenix VA hospital to a Department of Defense hospital before the Phoenix VA finally agreed to give him care.

If he’d only joined the union, he might a stood a chance. But it’s not another person’s words, however heartbreaking, that damn President Obama,

It’s his own words:

Before Obama was president, he promised to end wait times at the VA and streamline services. But six years later he simultaneously claims that he’s been working on the problems, and that he knew nothing about the problems.

“How can the president say that the VA’s problems had not reached the White House, when the president himself says he’s been working on this for six years?” he said.

Krauthammer said the president is “trying to have it every which way…”

A point we’ve been making for about a week now, Dr. Charles. But thanks for playing.

The Obama regime didn’t invent incompetence and malfeasance at the VA, as everyone attests. But no one else claimed to have all the answers, as Obama did while campaigning to be the commander-in-chief of the very vets he would later betray. No one else pointed to his running of the agency as the model of government-provided health care—all the while Iraq and Afghanistan (and Vietnam and Korea and WWII) vets were waiting and suffering like Daniel Somers, quoted above.

Perhaps it is fitting after all that this disgrace be the end of this RICO mob. Above all, Obama promised Hope and Change™. He delivered neither, at least as far as our wounded veterans were concerned. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” was another slogan. Too many are still waiting. And dying.

UPDATE
Let’s not forget how “mad” Obama is about this state of affairs. Hopping mad:

President Obama today is playing golf with Wall Street banker Robert Wolf, a megadonor to Obama and other Democrats who is also reportedly a personal friend of the president’s.

The two are playing at Fort Belvoir along with White House aides Joe Paulsen and Marvin Nicholson, two of Obama’s usual partners.

It’s a beautiful and breezy 74 degrees here in the Washington area.

It’s Obama 17th time playing this year and the 174th trip to the greens since his presidency began.

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OMG, Did You Hear What Sarah Palin Said?

I only wish I’d said it (and I probably will):

“Well, if I were in charge,” she continued, as the audience erupted in applause at the prospect, “they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

And then:

Elsewhere in her speech, she called the idea of gun-free zones as ‘stupid on steroids’ and dismissed the idea of gun stores being linked to crime.

‘Gun stores are an accomplice to crime – and that fork made me fat,’ she said.

Even:

‘Look, if you control oil, you control an economy,’ she said. ‘If you control money, you control commerce. But if you control arms, you control the people and that is what they’re trying.’

Oh boy, she’s going to catch it for that! What will she say next?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Crazy b-word, she just might!

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Global Warming Melts Resolve

Try not to let this story destroy your faith in the Global Warming Crack-Pot-ocracy:

A top US academic has dramatically revealed how government officials forced him to change a hugely influential scientific report on climate change to suit their own interests.

Harvard professor Robert Stavins electrified the worldwide debate on climate change on Friday by sensationally publishing a letter online in which he spelled out the astonishing interference.

He said the officials, representing ‘all the main countries and regions of the world’ insisted on the changes in a late-night meeting at a Berlin conference centre two weeks ago.

Three quarters of the original version of the document ended up being deleted.

Prof Stavins told The Mail on Sunday yesterday that he had been especially concerned by what happened at a special ‘contact group’. He was one of only two scientists present, surrounded by ‘45 or 50’ government officials.
He said almost all of them made clear that ‘any text that was considered inconsistent with their interests and positions in multilateral negotiations was treated as unacceptable.’

Many of the officials were themselves climate negotiators, facing the task of devising a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol in negotiations set to conclude next year.

Prof Stavins said: ‘This created an irreconcilable conflict of interest. It has got to the point where it would be reasonable to call the document a summary by policymakers, not a summary for them, and it certainly affects the credibility of the IPCC.’

Excuse me if I’m not surprised. The sentiment is not original to me, but I’ve often said that I’ll start to take the Global Warm Mongers seriously when they start acting seriously. I’m one of those loathsome skeptics year hear so much about, one so low on the evolutionary scale I’m on a first-name basis with pond scum (though I have to address serial child molesters as “Your Eminence”). But these guys claim to be convinced. They’ve bought in.

If I were a cynic, I might wonder if these unnamed government types were just after the power this alleged crisis might grant them, not any actual solution to the alleged crisis.

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The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

If you close your eyes and let your imagination wander, you can almost believe it’s 2013

The Obama administration will allow patients in a federal high-risk pool slated to end next week to select an Obamacare exchange plan at HealthCare.gov through June 30.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services insisted in a late Thursday announcement that they were not extending the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) for what would be the fourth time. The $5 billion temporary program for those suffering from pre-existing conditions was slated to end Dec. 31, 2013, but has been repeatedly extended.

PCIP coverage will end at its current expiration date, April 30, but patients who were a part of the high-risk pool will continue to be able to select a new health care plan on HealthCare.gov through the end of June. A CMS bulletin on the change notes that state-based exchanges will provide a similar special enrollment period.

They’ll still be guaranteed continuous health coverage, though, whether they’ve signed up for it on time or not. CMS is mandating that insurers retroactively cover the sick patients going back to May 1 — meaning insurers could be forced to pay for up to two months of care for patients who weren’t signed up for health insurance at the time.

It’s unclear whether any insurance carriers on state and federal exchanges have hit back against providing retroactive coverage, which allows patients to purchase insurance only after incurring high health care costs. PCIP patients will necessarily have a higher risk of incurring hefty medical bills.

Come on, insurance companies, are you effing blind? Your days are over, daddy-o! You lay down with this (self-described) mutt, and now you’re complaining about the fleas? (By fleas, I mean these biting, diseased regulations and delays, not the patients themselves.) Obama is Tony Soprano: once you partner with him, he owns you, he bleeds you, until he discards you.

Also like the mob, government is violent and messy:

HealthCare.gov is still missing massive, critical pieces — and the deadline for finishing them keeps slipping.

As a result, the system’s “back end” is a tangle of technical workarounds moving billions of taxpayer dollars and consumer-paid premiums between the government and insurers. The parts under construction are essential for key functions such as accurately paying insurers. The longer they lag, experts say, the likelier they’ll trigger accounting problems that could leave the public on the hook for higher premium subsidies or health care costs. …

Without a fully built and operational system, federal officials can’t determine how many of the 8 million Obamacare sign-ups announced last week will have actually paid their premiums. They won’t even know how many enrollment attempts were never completed. That, in turn, could affect the amount of money the government spends on premium subsidies. And once the system finally does all come on-line, the data delays could force a sharp revision in that celebrated 8 million figure. …

Officials at CMS — the federal agency overseeing HealthCare.gov and new insurance exchanges — refused to provide an update on just how much of the back end remains incomplete, the current issues they face and their latest timetable….

Are we still talking about this? I thought we had moved on to the plane, the ferry, the blood moon, David Gregory’s psyche. Complaining about ObamaCare is as topical as feigning shock (rather than boredom) over Miley Cyrus. Though both may give you a communicable disease, only one (Miley) can count her (Twitter) followers.

Obama isn’t engaging in mere crony capitalism; this is Soviet capitalism. If that seems oxymoronic, welcome to the new world of His making.

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Your Government at Work

I haven’t paid much attention to the Bundy ranch standoff beyond acknowledging Mark Steyn’s alarm that the Bureau of Land Management has a sniper team (when Fort Hood does not), and that “public” land has never seemed more privately guarded.

But is this Nevada or Crimea?

On a Friday night conference call, BLM officials told reporters that “illegal structures” on Bundy’s ranch — water tanks, water lines and corrals — had to be removed to “restore” the land to its natural state and prevent the rancher from restarting his illegal cattle operation.

However, the court order used to justify the operation appears only to give the agency the authority to “seize and impound” Bundy’s cattle.

“Nowhere in the court order that I saw does it say that they can destroy infrastructure, destroy corrals, tanks … desert environment, shoot cattle,” Houston said.

Bundy’s friends say the BLM wranglers told them the bulls were shot because they were dangerous and could gore their horses. One bull was shot five times.

But Houston said the pen holding the bull wasn’t even bent. “It’s not like the bull was smashing this pen and trying tackle people or anything,” he said. “The pen is sitting here. It hasn’t moved. No damage whatsoever. Where was the danger with that bull?”

Plus he said BLM vehicles appear to have crushed a tortoise burrow near the damaged water tank. “How’s that conservation?” he asked.

Fox News toured the damage — allegedly caused by the Bureau of Land Management — which included holes in water tanks and destroyed water lines and fences.

“They had total control of this land for one week, and look at the destruction they did in one week,” said Corey Houston, friend of rancher Cliven Bundy and his family. “So why would you trust somebody like that? And how does that show that they’re a better steward?”

Some have likened this heavy-handed action to Ruby Ridge or even Waco. I think it’s Obama’s Abu Ghraib.

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In for a Penny, in for a Pound

If you’re going to lie like a rug, you might as well lie like a bearskin rug:

The Republican chairman of a House panel that oversees the U.S. Census Bureau slammed the Obama administration on Tuesday over reports that extensive changes to the agency’s annual survey will make it virtually impossible to track how Obamacare has affected Americans.

“The census should not be political,” Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold told Newsmax in a statement. The two-term congressman is chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements.

“These reports do nothing but give more weight to Americans’ level of general distrust in the Obama administration, especially after the president’s failed promise that ‘if you like your health insurance, you can keep it,’ ” Farenthold said.

“We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the Census Bureau’s health statistics operation, told the Times.

[B]ureau officials told the newspaper that the questions are so different that it will be very difficult to compare the results with data from previous years.

As such, the new findings will make it hard for officials to determine what changes in recipients’ health-coverage status might have resulted from Obamacare.

Which. Is. The. Point.

Seven million? 7.1? 7.5? 9.3? ObamaCare will cost less yet premiums will go up? It’s only numbers. NUMBers.

Exactly, Apollonia. “Monday Tuesday Thursday Wednesday Friday Sunday Saturday.” What difference, at this point, does it make?

The Census Bureau operated as an independent entity within the U.S. Commerce Department, answering to the Commerce Secretary, though its director is appointed by the president. The current director is John Thompson.

But that changed in 2009, when President Barack Obama moved the bureau under the Office of Management in Budget, which falls under the purview of the White House. Thompson now answers to Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

I’ll bet he does.

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We Get Results

Aggie told you about the federal government confiscating tax returns of people whose parents—their parents!—may have owed money.

Not no more:

The Social Security Administration announced Monday it is suspending a controversial program that goes after adult children of deceased taxpayers who the government claims were recipients of overpayments more than a decade ago.

Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said she has directed an immediate halt to the three-year-old program while the agency does a review. The controversial program seized tax refunds in an effort to recoup the funds.

The move to halt the program came after many of the recipients and members of Congress complained to the federal agency.

It may sound bad, but consider some of the deadbeats they’ve gone after:

There are several scenarios in which people may have received overpayments as children. For example, when a parent of a minor child dies, the child may be eligible for survivor’s benefits, which are typically sent to the surviving parent or guardian.

If there was an overpayment made on behalf of the child, that child could be held liable years later, as an adult.

Also, if a child is disabled, he or she may receive overpayments.

Orphans and crippled kids: those bastards are always trying to get away with stuff. But, typically, our government crumples at the first sign of resistance:

“We want to assure the public that we do not seek restitution through tax refund offset in cases when the debt in question was established prior to the debtor turning 18 years of age,” Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle said in an email. “Also, we do not use tax refund offset to collect the debt of a person’s relative — we only use it to collect the overpaid benefits the person received for himself or herself.”

Hinkle said the debt collection could be waived if the person is without fault and repayment would “deprive the person of income needed for ordinary living expenses or would be unfair for another reason.”

I thought paying taxes was patriotic? What a climb-down. When did we become France?

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