By Lance Winslow
Well, perhaps you are like me and you like to go to the local coffee shop, read the newspaper, and discuss the various current events of the day with other caffeinated patrons. Today, I was talking with an older gentleman about why we needed less government, not more government. He noted to me that just about every government program he had ever considered wasted 45% of all the money it gave out in services in the administration of those services. Interestingly enough, the Internal Revenue Service spends 45% of the money it collects just to collect the money itself.
Yes, those are some scary statistics, but they happen to be the reality. As we got deeper into the conversation, we had example after example of well-intended government programs meeting Murphy’s Law and the law of unintended consequences. As we were talking, I was scanning through the Wall Street Journal and came across an interesting article.
The article was titled; “Phone-Subsidy Concerns Grow,” by Spencer E Ante published on February 18, 2013. The article stated that; “Last year, the government spent an estimated $2.2 billion on the lifeline program, up from $819 million four years earlier, as dozens of small companies were authorized to start providing the service.”
It turns out that many people were getting those free ObamaPhones, which the Republicans said was a total waste during the election. These are wireless cell phones which are available to poor people at no cost with free minutes each month. Drug dealers were glad to have them, and many people that made quite a bit of money got the free phone because it was offered by local small business wireless distributorships. This is unfortunate because it is paid for by the taxpayer.
Did you know that each person ends up paying about two dollars in taxes on their phone bill each month whether it is a landline or a cellular phone bill for this nonsense, soon those taxes will go up again? You and I are paying for these people to get free cell phones even when they don’t really need it or don’t really qualify under the program. Perhaps one of the biggest problems is each individual that gets the free phone self certifies themselves by checking off a couple of boxes.
This is very similar to the liar loans that people filled out when they stated their income to get mortgages on new homes. Does anyone wonder that it has been abused? There is another individual at the coffee shop who is a Democrat and he says that all of these wonderful government social programs help poor people, and he claims there is no abuse in the food stamp program, the ObamaPhone program, or any of these other add-on extras in federal social services. I think we all know that isn’t true.
We know that there is about 35% fraud in the food stamp program, and the FCC is doing an investigation on these free cellular phones may find that this 35% fraud rate is about the same there as well. So the question is, and I asked this as a fellow taxpayer; if the government spends 45% in the administration of these programs, and there’s 35% fraud abuse, then wouldn’t that mean that only 20% of that money is going to help anyone?
Let me tell you if I ran a business like that, I’d be out of business. And that’s why the government has no business being in that business of giving away free stuff in social programs and taxing us for the benefit of growing their blob of bureaucracy for these silly and ridiculous programs. Please consider all this and think on it.
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