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At a time when the national debt has reached $15 trillion, $5 trillion of which has been added in the last three years alone, it is common sense to reform programs that are riddled with waste, fraud and abuse. The House Republican reconciliation package does just that.


It’s Common Sense: Ending Waste, Fraud & Abuse Of Taxpayer Money

Fraud, Waste & Abuse in SNAP: Food Stamps For Millionaires & The State Government Strategies For Getting More Federal Money

“Make Me Rich” Lottery Winner Continued To Receive Food Stamps After Becoming A Millionaire. “The attorney for an Auburn man who continues to receive state food assistance despite winning $2 million nearly one year ago says his client has done nothing illegal… ‘He did call the state (Department of Human Services),’ said John M. Wilson, the Midland attorney representing Leroy Fick. ‘Not to mention, the state knows he won. They issued the check.’” (LaNia Coleman, “Auburn Lottery Winner Continues To Receive State Aid, Authorities Say Eligibility Is Based On Federal Guidelines,” The Bay City Times, 5/17/11)

SNAP Program Overpaid Recipients A Total Of $1.8 Billion In 2009 Alone. “Of the total $2.19 billion in payment errors in fiscal year 2009, $1.8 billion, or about 82 percent, were overpayments. Overpayments occur when eligible persons are provided more than they are entitled to receive or when ineligible persons are provided benefits.” (Kay E. Brown, Congressional Testimony (p.6), 7/28/11)

Receiving A Brochure Qualifies You For Food Stamps? Apparently 35 States It Does, And They Have No Limit On Amount Of Assets A Food-Stamp Recipient Can Possess. “According to a mid-2010 report from the Government Accountability Office, 35 states have no limit on the amount of assets a food-stamp recipient can possess. More and more states — the count was 36 at the time of the report — are providing “categorical eligibility” for food stamps to anyone who receives welfare services. Merely getting an informational brochure from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program counts as receiving a service. (Ramesh Ponnuru, “Why Gingrich Is Right About Food-Stamp Program,” Bloomberg News, 1/30/12)

A “Strategy For Getting More Federal Money”. “Another way that states and localities can get federal money flowing to them is by providing token amounts of assistance with home heating bills. Even a dollar of energy subsidies can make someone eligible for food stamps, or increase the benefit level for someone already on SNAP. (Ramesh Ponnuru, “Why Gingrich Is Right About Food-Stamp Program,” Bloomberg News, 1/30/12)

Washington State Hands Out $250,000 In Order To Secure $43 Million In Federal Money. “The state of Washington sent out $1 checks to the 250,000 food stamp recipients in the state.The director of the Community Services Division for the Department of Social and Health Services, Leo Ribas, says the checks mailed Feb. 17 trigger an additional $43 million in federal food benefitsState Ribas says the $1 check is a one-time move to leverage the federal money. He says next year the state will be able to trigger the federal assistance through a routine deposit in food stamp accounts.”  (“Washington Sends $1 Food Stamp Checks To 250,000,” The Associated Press, 2/23/09)

In The Same Year The State Of Washington Was Rewarded With $6 Million In Bonuses For Program Efficiency. In the same year that the State of Washington sent $1 checks to recipients to ensure they received SNAP benefits, the state secured approximately $6 Million in federal bonuses as a “performance bonus” for their SNAP efficiency implementation. (United States Department Of Agriculture – FY 2009 SNAP High Performance Bonuses, Accessed 5/9/10)

ObamaCare Slush Fund: Your Tax $$$ At Work – Ending Soda As We Know It & Spaying Your Neighborhood Stray Dogs

Full Funding For Slush Fund To Reach $2 Billion Annually After FY 2015 For “Each Fiscal Year Thereafter.” “The legislation authorizes $500 million for fiscal year (FY) 2010, then $1 billion by FY 2012, $1.5 billion in 2013, and finally, $2 billion from 2015 and ‘each fiscal year thereafter’.” (Amanda Carey, “Congress Moves To Repeal Slush Fund Used For Anti-Obesity Campaigns,” The Daily Caller, 4/5/12)

City Of Boston And US Health & Human Services Department Pay Boston Residents $1 Million In Federal Funds To Start Vegetable Gardens. “Mayor Thomas M. Menino showcased Boston’s efforts to bolster urban gardening in underserved communities during a visit today with US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to The Food Project’s Urban Farm in Roxbury. He said the $1 million in federal funding that Boston will spend on gardening” initiatives over the next two years will dramatically increase affordability and access to fresh, healthy food in neighborhoods with the least access to it.” (Mayor Thomas M. Menino & Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Press Release, 7/20/12)

Federal Government Hails Limiting Availability Of Soda, Banning Construction Of Fast Food Restaurants and Tax Hikes On Tobacco As Successful Uses Of Federal Tax Payer Dollars. “One slide indicated the desire to establish policies that would limit the availability of sugary drinks. And in what would seem to be an endorsement for a soda tax, the slide included the suggestion of “changing relative prices” as a way to restrict intake of sugary drinks. Ads by GoogleOn another slide, a California town that banned the construction of new fast food restaurants is hailed as an “early success” of the program. (Amanda Carey, “Congress Moves To Repeal Slush Fund Used For Anti-Obesity Campaigns,” The Daily Caller, 4/5/12)

ObamaCare Slush Fund Money Being Use To Spay Stray Dogs And Cats – Counts As An Anti-Obesity Campaign. “A controversial anti-obesity “slush fund” under Obamacare was used in Nashville, Tennessee to spay dogs and cats. The reasoning: stray dogs scare people from exercising outdoors. The Nashville health department issued a press release last year that told residents in one neighborhood that they could get free pet spaying, neutering, rabies shots and other services as part of $7.5 million grant from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which is part of the Public Health and Prevention Fund that will soar to $2 billion in 2015 under Obamacare. The program was initially funded by the Obama stimulus initiative. (Paul Bedard, “Obama Anti-Obesity “Slush Fund” Paid For Pet Spaying,” The Washington Examiner, 5/1/12)

Fraud & Abuse In Child Refundable Child Tax Credit: Non-US Citizens Scheming Tax Code For Billions Every Year

Non-US Citizens Qualify For Child Refundable Tax Credit — $1,000 Per Child. “Each spring, at tax preparation offices all across the nation, many illegal immigrants are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of a tax loophole, using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds from the IRS. The loophole is called the Additional Child Tax Credit. It’s a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it’s meant to help working families who have children living at home.” (Bob Segall, “Tax Loophole Costs Billions,” NBC-13 Indianapolis, 4/30/12)

Whistle Blower Says He’s Seen 10-12 Dependents Listed At A Time. “‘We’ve seen sometimes 10 or 12 dependents, most times nieces and nephews, on these tax forms,’ the whistleblower told Eyewitness News. “The more you put on there, the more you get back.’ The whistleblower has thousands of examples, and he brought some of them to 13 Investigates.” (Bob Segall, “Tax Loophole Costs Billions,” NBC-13 Indianapolis, 4/30/12)

Internal Revenue Service Inspector General: “The Magnitude of The Problem Has Grown… IRS Has Known About Problem For Years. “The magnitude of the problem has grown exponentially,” said Russell George, the United States Department of Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). And he says the IRS has known about the problem for years. (Bob Segall, “Tax Loophole Costs Billions,” NBC-13 Indianapolis, 4/30/12)

IRS Inspector General Investigation Finds Non-US Citizens Receiving $4.2 Billion Annually. “In 2009, his office released an audit report that showed ITIN tax filers received about $1 billion in additional child tax credits. Last year, the inspector general released a new report showing the problem now costs American tax payers more than $4.2 billion.” (Bob Segall, “Tax Loophole Costs Billions,” NBC-13 Indianapolis, 4/30/12)

WASTE: A $75 Billion Housing Bailout Fund That Even Administration Officials Say Has Failed

Treasury Inspector General Blasts Administration In Audit Of The $75 Billion Program. “The Obama administration’s program to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure has posted “disappointing results” in part because its definition of success is “essentially meaningless,” a watchdog said today in a new report obtained by ABC News. In his audit on the administration’s $75 billion Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), bailout watchdog Neil Barofsky blasted the Treasury Department for he said were the shortcomings of the program.” (Matthew Jaffe, “Mortgage Modification Program’s Definition of Success Called ‘Essentially Meaningless,” ABC News, 3/23/10)

GAO Report: HAMP Not Working. “The program had a slow start and has not performed as anticipated. While Treasury has added TARP funded housing program enhancements in an effort to reach more borrowers and address persistently high default and foreclosure levels, the newly announced programs have had very limited activity to date and Treasury continues to face challenges in expeditiously implementing a prudent design for these programs, as GAO recommended in a June 2010 report. Treasury has not yet fully implemented.” (GAO Report, “Status of Programs and Implementation of GAO Recommendations”, 1/11)

Put Simply – HAMP Has Failed Completely. “If you measure success by the housing market, Hamp has failed miserably. According to RealtyTrac, 2.9 million homes received foreclosure filings in 2010, up from 2.8 million in 2009 and 2.3 million in 2008. The bellwether Case-Shiller home price index is falling again. Hamp is one more artificial prop to a housing market that will recover faster if foreclosures are allowed to proceed more rapidly and the homes are resold. By all means give Hamp the hook. (Editorial, “Giving Hamp The Hook,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/11)