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U.S. News and Commentary



Monday
May072012

Record $452 million federal bust—small part of fraud and excess 

CBO graph shows federal budget breakdown on mandatory and discretionary spending for 2011. Discretionary bar also includes some defense spending. There is no known figure for overall fraud and excess.(Chart: U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

The Left balks at the concept of cutting federal spending and downsizing the central government. However, it’s obvious there’s an outrageous amount of fraud and excess burning U.S. taxpayer dollars on a record scale.

The outrages occur in both mandatory and discretionary spending.

One eye-popping incident got attention on Wednesday with news of a record bust by the FBI and other agencies. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force, created in 2007 during the administration of President George W. Bush, charged 107 individuals suspected of fraud. The total: $452 million in false billing. Among the 7 cities where doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers allegedly bilked the U.S. taxpayer: Miami, Tampa, Houston, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge and Detroit.

“Health care fraud is not a victimless crime,” said FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce. “Every person who pays for health care benefits, every business that pays higher insurance costs to cover their employees, every taxpayer who funds Medicare—all are victims.”

Medicare isn’t the only federal program bleeding money.

In his well-sourced book Throw Them All Out, Peter Schweizer details how many of President Barack Obama’s fundraising cronies got billions in energy loans with little or no transparency available to the taxpayer. As of September, 2011, Schweizer found that $20.5 billion had been doled out. “GAO examined the first eighteen loans that were approved and found that none were properly documented,” Schweizer wrote. “It also noted that officials ‘did not always record the results of analysis’ of these loan applications.” Even more astounding –“No notes were kept during the review process…” That makes it impossible to tell how the Dept. of Energy decided to give the loans in the first place.

Taxpayers even fund agencies that don’t do anything. In 2011 Dr. Tom Coburn, senator from Oklahoma, compiled a report titled Back in Black. The 614 page study disclosed potential savings of $9.32 trillion. Most big media barely gave Coburn’s report a nod.

For instance, Congress eliminated the Parole Commission in 1984. We still spend at least $12.9 million on an agency that’s technically been deleted.

There are the special tax breaks for the very people who want a tax hike. Actor George Clooney hearts Obama for good reason. Coburn's report disclosed Hollywood movie producers get $1,000,000,000 in special tax perks. No wonder Hollywood shills for Dems—that shilling pays off big time.

Coburn’s report came out ahead of the General Services Administration scandal, but no one paid much attention to travel perks employees at the Environmental Protection Agency got. Back in Black found multi-million dollar conference travel that has resulted in trips to vacation hotspots, including a dinner cruise on the River Seine in Paris. Potential savings for globe-trotting EPA bureaucrats: $25 million over the next five years. It’s doubtful those EPA bureaucrats will fly to Paris on a solar-powered plane.

Meanwhile, illegal aliens are still getting tax refunds—some for children living in Mexico. The US Report first noted this in 2010 when the projected fraud totaled more than $1.5 billion. The U.S. Treasury Dept. reported that. It took big media almost two years to mention it. Note: these people are not immigrants; they're looters who see an opportunity.

Every time someone mentions cutting federal spending, the Left screeches about austerity and media assist in giving people the idea we’ll all die if $1 dollar in tax revenue is reduced.

Nothing can be further from the truth. There’s so much fraud, waste and corruption in our federal government you could shrink the budget by half and still get the job done if Congress adhered to the U.S. Constitution. Yet Obama wants tax hikes.

No business can be run on principles of bleeding money. In addressing this problem, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney is eminently more qualified than our current president who appears unconcerned as agencies like the FBI hold looters accountable for ripping off U.S. taxpayers.

Look at the figures in bold. That's your money burning right before your eyes and it's just a small piece of a very big flaming pile.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 7, 2012)

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