Far too many coffee-shop liberals who never have been directly and chronically involved in the welfare system (unlike yours truly), who never have sniffed American “poverty” (unlike yours truly), and who therefore don’t understand jack-sqaut about the “other” side of it (unlike yours truly), haven’t got the slightest clue about the rampancy of abuse out there in the real world. I promise you, it’s nothing new, and nothing small. This story points out but one relatively tiny example in one locality with one program, among countless possibilities nationwide.
“Despite Reforms, Federal Cell Phone Program Still Plagued By Fraud” [Link may be perishable…if it fails, use Google.]
That is but a tiny, flyspeck-small glimpse of the real world of welfare, folks…the real world–not some ivory-tower, academic version thereof where everybody is honest and pure in intentions, government aid runs with fine-tuned efficiency, and distant suits and ties in DC or insular professors at Harvard with zero street cred actually know what’s best for the poor. And don’t you know it, there are unicorns crapping Skittles.
Lying, cheating, scams, theft, hustles…they’re everywhere. I mean all over–rampant, dripping from every pore of the obese bag of bloat that is the welfare system. News flash: human beings are not fundamentally good. [If we were, we wouldn’t kill each other by the hundreds of millions over the course of the last 500 years, sin in even the most minor of ways on the individual level, or ransack the planet.] No, it is basic human nature to take fullest advantage of every possible out, to take shortcuts, to cheat, to game the system in any way possible–especially the more seemingly dire the circumstances. Greed is a vice common to rich and poor alike. I saw it first-hand in the inner city 30 years ago, and you’re dreaming Utopian delusions if you think it’s any better now, in a worse economy, with higher unemployment and public-aid rates.
As with massive infestations of cockroaches in decrepit rental homes (something else with which I have first-hand experience), this problem with the welfare phones is simply one little roach running along a baseboard in the labyrinthine haunted house of governmental welfare. For every one you see, countless bazillions more are crawling behind the walls.
The intentions, as with all such programs, were good: get low-cost phones into the hands of the poor so they could communicate for the sake of emergency security and jobs. It helps hugely to have a phone number to put on a job application if one’s priority is to get a job (that priority a dubious assumption in many but not all cases). Yet it’s laughably easy to procure numerous phones and fence them on the black market for
drugs cigarettes stolen goods booze sex basic living expenses. Those who, through no fault of their own, truly are in dire need should be the most up in arms about all this, as it is they (and once was “we”) who lose out thanks to to the undeserving, in more ways than one.
In the case of the phones, and similar heavily subsidized, top-down programs, it’s not the heartfelt idea with which I have a problem–but the real-world execution. The waste and abuse isn’t just the end level, but all the way up the chain to the top. For example, one facet of the current version of the phone program involves a government contract for smartphones (Welfare smartphones??? Why not just basic talk phones?) awarded to one of Barack Obama’s campaign-money suppliers. Oh, now I see…
I don’t believe in complaints without solutions, and I have offered some to the welfare and poverty problem. Solutions at the governmental level are not helped by political payback, cronyism, and administrative overhead and inefficiency. How can any thinking person trust this or other welfare programs, administered by distant and unfamiliar bureaucrats, contracted with Chicago-style cronyism at the top, rife with layered overhead throughout, and riddled with rampant abuse on the field side? I guess if you’re a latte-sipping Utopian dreamer, you’ve never seen or even imagined the toxins of the system from well within. Being so ignorant of what’s happening on the streets, enough cognitive dissonance sets in so that the real world is but an inconvenient truth. You think throwing money at the problem solves it. [Of course, that usually and selfishly means someone else’s money too.] As if…
Wake up. As I’ve said before:
- Government hasn’t solved American “poverty” in twenty decades of trying. What makes higher-tax advocates think that will change? It won’t, no matter how much money we feed to the red-tape-covered entitlement monster and mass-promoter of public-dependency addiction that is big government. We cannot tax our way out of “poverty”.
Therefore, I have a modest proposal:
Before mindlessly across-the-board cutting of essential programs for safety (such as national defense, border security, meat inspections, air traffic control, storm forecasting, etc.)., and before raising taxes in any way, for anyone, there must come this firm and non-negotiable precondition: Eliminate every last dollar of waste, fraud and abuse everywhere in government, period. I mean every single dollar of waste–not half, or 75% or 99.9%–all of it–before a penny of tax or fee increases can occur! Now there’s a goal worth striving for.