Liberals always believe that more government is the answer to all our problems. We can just have another well-designed program, or another way to give people a hand-up (hand-out) and everything will be better. They never get it that the government is made up of people, and people can be dirty scumbags.
So The Washington Post was shocked when a cabal of government scumbags in Arkansas conspired to accept bribes and set up phony child feeding centers and keep the USDA money paid to those phony centers. Together, a couple of Arkansas Department of Human Services employees funneled about $10 million to line the pockets of scammers in return for bribes.
They even helped set up fake feeding centers through their own relatives.
“It’s extremely disappointing to learn that people were reportedly cheating a program that feeds hungry children, especially in a state that has one of the highest rates of childhood hunger in the country,” then-DHS Director John Selig said in a statement released the morning of the first arrests, in 2014. “We appreciate all the work to help us root out the bad actors so other providers can continue to ensure kids have adequate food when they aren’t in school.”
This is where big-government liberals and reality always part ways. Nobody is shocked that Wells Fargo fired over 5,000 employees over the last few years for opening fake accounts to make their quotas, because banking is inherently an invitation to fraud. Banks know this, and are always working with auditors to turn up crooks.
Government has inspector general offices that are supposed to watch out for corruption. But IG budgets are way down the list and tend to get hollowed out. It’s only when we have these kinds of headline-grabbers that anyone questions what exactly the IG does. If it wasn’t for Jacqueline Mills, who bilked $2.5 million operating fake feeding sites, overreaching and catching a state DHS director’s eye, this scam would still be going on under everyone’s noses.
Every government dollar given in wealth redistribution schemes costs way more than just the dollar. There are people to process the claims, people to validate those other people’s work, supervisors, directors, and inspectors general. There are federal, state, and local people working to get that dollar into the hands of the people who (need) receive it. And there’s ultimately those scumbags who steal, accept bribes and bilk our tax money.
Adding insult to injury, when those scumbags go to prison, we have to pay to feed and house them for years.
This problem isn’t just confined to Arkansas, or child feeding programs. It’s endemic to big government. Just look at the Department of Defense. Government contractors typically have to inflate their hourly contract labor rates by 300 percent to account for supervisory, administrative, and management overhead. Then the government itself has contract oversight, program management, and its own administrative overhead.
The electrical engineer working on a weapons system, who is paid $95,000 a year, should cost the government no more than $125/hour, fully burdened with profit built-in. But it typically costs between $200-$400/hour all-in. This is how programs like the F-35 cost the Air Force $148 million per jet, with the Marine Corps paying $251 million and the Navy an insane $337 million. The whole program is expected to cost over $1.5 trillion (with a “T”) over its life.
How much fraud, waste, and abuse is there in the DoD? Nobody knows anymore. But we do know that $10 million was stolen in Arkansas. It wasn’t really all stolen from hungry kids, because the feeding sites were fake to begin with–but it was stolen from American taxpayers.
Over decades, liberals have never learned that the government is just as susceptible to crooks in its ranks as private businesses. Yet somehow they maintain the illusion that government employees are a better, more enlightened class of human being than the proles over which they lord in the beneficent all-powerful state envisioned by the left.
When stories like these are published, I’m not shocked. It’s par for the course. The more government you add, the more corruption you get. One day maybe people will understand the reason why small government works better.