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View Diary: Young, Disabled, & both parents dead, he came to ask for help. (253 comments)

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  •  Great diary (26+ / 0-)

    The purpose is to discourage applicants. To cause despair and apathy and attrition.

    I think this is true on one hand, but there is a complex puzzle behind this.

    The problem is that there are people who try to scam the system every day, and use services and assistance meant for those truly in need of it; those in charge of approving assistance in given cases become hardened in such a distaste for the swindlers that they end up shaking down the honest, desperate, and destitute.  This is horrible, seeing as these programs exist to help the most needy in their lowest and most critical moments, requiring them to come in with an outstretched hand like a flood victim who has to risk their life letting go of the debris in order to grab the hand of the officer from the rescue chopper; a government service that would smack away that hand before offering to help it is not a service at all, it is a travesty.

    However, while I agree with you that this is unconscionable, a solution to this conundrum is difficult to envision; how can we systematically ensure that government assistance pertaining to individual cases is approved in a way that on one hand avoids scammers using up the money that people in need require, but avoids treating people in need with what amounts to a reflexive presumption of criminality?  While in cases like the one you describe, where assessing genuine need should be a no-brainer, most cases are not so easily diagnosed by the layman's eye.

    Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

    by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:41:39 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

      •  I would put it even more bluntly (45+ / 0-)

        Insurance companies only stand to profit if you die due to their denial of care, and only they stand to lose if your care is approved and you live.  

        An industry structured on this premise should have by all rights been ruled by the courts as illegal, for the same reason that I cannot buy a life insurance for you; I have no insurable interest in your life, thus it would be unlawful for me to buy a life insurance policy on you, because I would stand to profit from your death even though I don't know you, and such a circumstance only provides groundwork and incentive for criminality, death, and the common sacrifice of innocent human life for the bottom dollar.  Sound familiar?  It's a shame no smart lawyer ever tried to make this argument in the courts; now the damn insurance companies are such a big chunk of the economy (several percentage points) that we either do a public option instead of single payer, or economic recovery over the next two years becomes impossible, and economic recovery over the next five years becomes heavily stunted.  Argh.

        Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

        by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:58:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well said, ShadowSD (14+ / 0-)

          this chilling explains clearly why the for-profit insurance industry developed murder by spreadsheet.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          President Obama. Still a thrill to see that in print.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 07:31:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But the corporations are allowed to do this: (16+ / 0-)

          for the same reason that I cannot buy a life insurance for you; I have no insurable interest in your life, thus it would be unlawful for me to buy a life insurance policy on you, because I would stand to profit from your death even though I don't know you, and such a circumstance only provides groundwork and incentive for criminality, death, and the common sacrifice of innocent human life for the bottom dollar.

          One of the ways corporations fund the big executives' bonuses is through buying life insurance on ALL their employees with the corporation as beneficiary.  Even if the employee leaves, the corporation continues the insurance.  When the person dies, none of the money goes to the family generally, or they may get a pittance of it.

          •  I wonder on what basis they are able to get (8+ / 0-)

            around that basic principle of the law.

            I wonder - was there a specific court ruling that established corporations don't need an insurable interest in someone's life?

            (If so, then at least there would be a legal basis for private health insurance; otherwise, there really isn't)

            Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

            by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 07:39:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  good question (14+ / 0-)

              But "dead peasants" insurance has been around a long time, it's nothing new.

              •  Feudalism lives, I suppose (15+ / 0-)

                Serf's up.

                Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

                by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:07:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Seriously though, how arcane a precedent is that? (4+ / 0-)

                Has the principle ever been applied in US law?  As my joke infers, "peasant" sounds quite Old Europe (even if the concept may live on).

                I'm assuming there are more recent applications of the type of insurance you're referrring?  Certainly, if corporations could get away with citing an ancient pre-revolutionary precedent in order to avoid the requirement of insurable interest to cash in on someone's death, next they'd be citing the Magna Carta as precedent for why everything should belong to the nobility and the king :)

                Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

                by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:26:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK (9+ / 0-)

                  Speaking seriously, it was originally conceived of for corporations (which exist as legal persons), so that the corporations could take out insurance against the loss of key employees. For example, life insurance on the man Walt Disney, paid to the Disney corporation upon his death, since losing him personally would be a devastating blow to the Disney corporation.

                  It was not meant to be used for the teenage bagger at the local big-box store. But alas, a lot of companies use it exactly that way. For a large company, it's a "good deal" because they have so many employees, they know some will die.

                  •  It's amazing that no one has challenged this (3+ / 0-)

                    usage in court.  Disney corporation clearly had an insurable interest in Walt Disney, but that key justification is missing in these subsequent applications.  

                    Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

                    by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:46:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Odysseus, luvmovies2000, ShadowSD

                      I'm not sure that Disney was the first to use it, so don't quote me on that. I suppose the same could be said for some other companies (speaking hypothetically but I can see Bill Packard of Hewlett-Packard being covered, or Debbie Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies) but it definitely made sense to me when I first learned of it, in that narrow, specific context.

                      What doesn't make sense to me is how/why companies can get away with it when it comes to regular employees vs. those "key employees". Apparently, Congress lets them.

                      •  Why make new law when the concept of insurable (0+ / 0-)

                        interest is central to the law as it has existed for centuries; it's a shame no lawyer ever sued on behalf of families who lost a member and saw their former employer from years before cash in, and took the matter to the Supreme Court.  

                        (On a broader note, I worry sometimes that our inclination lately, based to some degree on our recent political victories, is to demand the executive branch do what we don't want to wait for the legislative branch to do, and to expect the legislative branch to do what we don't want to wait for the judicial branch to do; it is an understandable inclination, since at the moment the current President is more progressive than Congress which is more progressive than the current Supreme Court, but restoring the balance of powers as outlined in the Constitution was one of the goals and benefits of our victory in 2008)

                        Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

                        by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:40:36 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  IANAL (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ShadowSD, Lujane

                          However, it does appear to have been litigated.

                          http://moneycentral.msn.com/...

                          •  Thanks for the link, IANAL either (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lujane

                            But here is the key quote I got from your article:

                            The controversy helped convince Walt Disney and Wal-Mart, among others, to drop the policies. Winn-Dixie battled the IRS in court, but the supermarket chain recently lost its final round when the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court decision that backed the IRS.

                            So far, one company has prevailed against the IRS -- Dow Chemical, which took out the policies on more than 21,000 workers. A U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan ordered the IRS to return $22.2 million plus interest to the company. The IRS has appealed the ruling.

                            Sounds like the judicial route is the way, and that the Supreme Court has already made its position clear, leaving little doubt to how the Dow case will ultimately be resolved; as I suspected, no US Supreme Court is going to undermine the entire concept of insurable interest with a binding precedent because the implications are too chaotic.  Note that they refused to even review the Winn Dixie case.

                            I'll be thrilled if Congress does something, sure, but I'm not holding my breath; this entire corporate shell game over the last few decades appears to have rested on not having the issue adjudicated by the Supreme Court, and now that the high court has refused to even review such a case on behalf of the corporations, the future of policies like this going forward is nil (provided people exercise their right in court when wronged).

                            Which, ironically, means that now would be a better time than any for someone to try and bring a case challenging whether private insurance inherently violates the principle of requiring an insurable interest in the life of someone whose death a party stands to gain from; it's too bad that such a case is about twenty or thirty years too late in the sense that the insurance companies now constitute 1/14 of our economy, and cannot simply be obliterated overnight without serious economic repercussions to the average American.  

                            Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

                            by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:13:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Excellent points. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ShadowSD, Lujane

                            Completely agree with you. Especially this paragraph.

                            Which, ironically, means that now would be a better time than any for someone to try and bring a case challenging whether private insurance inherently violates the principle of requiring an insurable interest in the life of someone whose death a party stands to gain from; it's too bad that such a case is about twenty or thirty years too late in the sense that the insurance companies now constitute 1/14 of our economy, and cannot simply be obliterated overnight without serious economic repercussions to the average American.

                            Yes. Yes. Yes.

                          •  Also, Thassa's got a poignant point. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lujane
                  •  Of course, (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ShadowSD, Lujane, SlackwareGrrl

                    it also lends itself to corps that don't care one whit about job safety.  :(

                    "A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill "Noun Verb 911." - Rudy Guiliani

                    by Thassa on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:08:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure, but one Congressman is at least (7+ / 0-)

              trying to pass a bill to force disclosure of the policy.  From "Crooks and Liars"

              Such poetic irony, don't you think? The deaths of the little people working for corporate behemoths goes to pay bonuses to their company's top earners. Hey, it may be legal - but it sure lacks class.

                 Banks are using a little-known tactic to help pay bonuses, deferred pay and pensions they owe executives: They're holding life-insurance policies on hundreds of thousands of their workers, with themselves as the beneficiaries.

                 Banks took out much of this life insurance during the mortgage bubble, when executives' pay -- and the IOUs for their deferred compensation -- surged, and banking regulators affirmed the use of life insurance as a way to finance executive pay and benefits.

              This is based on a longer article in a recent Wall Street Journal (subscription required) -  very interesting reading, though.  Apparently the banks in particular are really raking it in, although other corporations do it too:

              Bank of America Corp. has the most life insurance on employees: $17.3 billion at the end of the first quarter, according to bank filings. Wachovia Corp. has $12 billion, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has $11.1 billion and Wells Fargo & Co. has $5.7 billion. (Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia at the end of last year.)

              The insurance policies essentially are informal pension funds for executives: Companies deposit money into the contracts, which are like big, nondeductible IRAs, and allocate the cash among investments that grow tax-free. Over time, employers receive tax-free death benefits when employees, former employees and retirees die.

          •  yes... been going on a long time (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kewalo

            It's truly hideous and evil.

            Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

            by Benito on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:33:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  of course it isn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luvmovies2000, Calamity Jean

        the longer medical care keeps you alive, the worse off they are. It is in their interest that, if you get sick, you die as quickly as possible.

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:32:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We should err on the side of the people (23+ / 0-)

      not on the side of the system.

      If four people who don't deserve it get aid so that ONE person who desperately needs it to survive can be covered, then I don't care.

      People need to stop being so goddamned selfish in this country or we are all going to fail.

      You aren't going to win the lottery or marry a millionaire, so just have some tiny little bit of compassion for your fellow men and women. (Not you, personally, but you, collectively.)

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:43:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  also, they need to learn to think (8+ / 0-)

        because it may 'look' like we are saving money when people give up on trying to get the help they need... until you look at the social costs, including crime, that are involved.

        I think compassion is great, and I guess I have my share for other people in trouble or hurting, but mainly when I think about things like:

        -not having single payer health care,
        -not stopping the death penalty,
        -not stopping these wars and occupations and hundreds of overseas bases,
        -or not providing basic needs for troubled or ill citizens

        ---- I think HOW CAN WE BE SO DAMN STUPID TO THROW AWAY MONEY LIKE THIS?  Because by doing the things above, we are throwing away money, way more than we would spent if we simply did it without a single concern for 'spammers'.

        And I am one of those people who has never, and likely will never (as long as I am healthy) need any assistance..... but clearly in my eyes, not providing it to others in need is just a waste of our collective resources.

        The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

        by dancewater on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:59:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Generally they fail (0+ / 0-)

          to even save money.  Ontario had a conservative government about a decade back, that campaigned and won on the idea that "cheaters" were costing the system huge amounts of money.  They turned the system upside down in some cases, spent huge amounts of money on some changes.. and at the end of it the public accountant found that they'd spent about $20 for every $1 of "cheating" they'd managed to eliminate.  And at least some of that had been perfectly legal things that had been set up that way to support stuff like students going to school.  They actually wound up creating cracks in the system that resulted in at least one death (that I'm aware of).

          But at no point did they admit that they were creating any problems.. they had more important things to do.. like cut taxes by half a percentage point each year they were in office (got to hold something back for the next election).  :P

          "A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill "Noun Verb 911." - Rudy Guiliani

          by Thassa on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:22:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're obviously not a Chief Justice Roberts fan (0+ / 0-)
    •  The amount of people (20+ / 0-)

      "scamming the system" is so small as to be negligable. I would rather put up with a few people scamming the system to get everyone universal healthcare than deny and delay people the right to a healthy life. We spend trillions on defense, yet we are ok with people dying by beaurocracy.

      •  I agree with your second and third sentence (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drewfromct, Pris from LA, Bule Betawi

        wholeheartedly, but I cannot agree with your first, even though I wish I could.  People are trying to scam federal and state programs every day all over the country, and it's not negligible; it's actually a direct threat to the people who need those services, in part because a scammer is usually way more willing to take the initiative and ask for help than many of those in need, who are sometimes too proud or embarrassed to ask for a helping hand despite they fact that they deserve one and that there should be no shame in doing so.

        Beyond that, as this diary well illustrates, the cynicism that scammers have engendered among many of the government workers who assess individual claims for assistance has created a hostile, skeptical, and combative environment for the downtrodden when they need harmony, understanding, and empathy the most.    

        Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

        by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 07:14:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  for government programs (5+ / 0-)

          I see it like this: one agency person who is responsible for sitting down for an interview; maybe an hour or more with the applicant, talking with him, maybe also with a relative, examining the merits of the request. Then proceed to the forms, helping and guiding him. That way there would be a better feel for who might be scamming as opposed to who is legit?

          A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

          by smallgal on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:06:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem remains (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drewfromct, jim0121, jakebob, Pris from LA

            as it still applies to the person sitting down for an hour with the applicant.  With what tone, posture, and style of discourse that person address the applicant in a way that will both smoke out a scammer yet not offend an honest person?  How does one prevent going too far in one direction or the other?  It's a hell of a balancing act.

            Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

            by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:14:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, too true. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ShadowSD, indres

              would have to be well-trained, experienced, almost a social worker; maybe should be - and therefore also well-paid! It would be costly, but as it would perhaps keep out those Cadillac driving mamas, the cost savings are built in.

              I'm in favour of face-to-face contact, in any case.

              A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

              by smallgal on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:55:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Samre reason that whenever I deal with a cop (4+ / 0-)

          anymore, I automatically get treated like like an adversary even though I'm nothing but polite to them. They deal with the worst of the worst all day and don't know how to "turn it off" when they do run across someone who's not being nasty to them. Only problem is, it's ultimately making their job (and those of every other cop out there) harder because it makes it more difficult for me to maintain the respect for the position that I want to offer them.

          But, I digress...

          Never has so much been taken from so many by so few for so long...

          by JWSwift on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:07:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  WHO'D WANT TO????? (8+ / 0-)

          Seriously, Shadow, the pittance you get from SSI or TANF or General Relief is so small that people with real larceny on their minds moved on decades ago. Really, anyone who would try to get onto disability or what used to be called Welfare on false pretenses is MENTALLY ILL and should be declared disabled for mental health reasons anyway.

          The real criminals are looking for bigger fish to fry.

          Here's a revolutionary idea: if someone qualifies prima facie for assistance, GIVE IT TO HIM OR HER. Then use the mechanisms currently in place to catch the scammers during the re-qualification process. Change the assumption: that anyone who would go through the whole humiliating process is in need. If someone is disqualified during review, PUT THEM ON THE HOOK FOR THE AID THEY HAVE RECEIVED.

          Sorry about the caps, but this is horrible. I am disabled but not disabled enough for SSI. I don't have kids. I don't have a bun in the oven. I'm hanging on by my fingernails. If it wasn't for the fact that I need to finish my education I might have to swallow my pride. But that would mean putting ALL of my dreams for myself on the shelf for the rest of my life.

          We are a near-infinitely cruel society. We all need to hang our heads in shame. We treat our "least brethren" like dirt and honor swindlers and the ruthless who have the drive to claw their way to the top. Particularly those who have the "booster" up the ladder that is inheritance of wealth to begin with. Like Bill Gates, for example.

          Single Payer Happy Hour, coming to the LA (SFV) area 6/26/09!
          No more SPECIAL RIGHTS for HETEROSEXUALS! Equality now!

          by Pris from LA on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:15:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who'd want to? I'll answer that. (0+ / 0-)

            People struggling to make ends meet, some of them stuck in a cycle of poverty and a bad neighborhood, but all suffering from rising medical costs, rising food costs, rising energy costs, and a lower earning power year after year.  This doesn't justify gaming the system for benefits one is not entitled to, but it makes things a lot easier to understand.

            To further complicate matters, a small percentage of people who may legitimately qualify for a service at one point in time may end up trying to get it even after that period has expired, because they are reliant on the income not to lose the place they are living with their children.  There are many shades of grey in this particularly from a moral perspective.

            But yes, things are indeed bad enough in many neighborhoods that a several hundred dollar check a month is the difference between a roof and no roof, between food and no food.  All the career criminals have bigger fish to fry, I agree with you; the system is not threatened by them as much as some cases of individual otherwise law-abiding citizens trying to grab what they can from the pie, even if it means misrepresenting their position, even though the amount they will get is relatively small - because it's not small to them.  Some honestly have convinced themselves that they are correct, while a small but consistent slice, as with all groups of people in life whatever their wealth or station, are immoral moochers, the kind of personality where their family has already learned not to lend them money.  All these people put together make up a minority of claims, but not a negligible minority by any stretch, and when you have a drag on the system of that size, it clogs it up for the people legally entitled to those services.

            Republicans criticizing Democrats on torture is like a bunch of foxes complaining that the henhouse wasn't well guarded enough.

            by ShadowSD on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:03:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not just scammers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          luvmovies2000, ShadowSD

          when we do finally get a true socialized medicine system, there will still be the very nasty question of triage and the allocation of finite resources. Some poor fucker at a desk somewhere will have to make awful and gut-wrenching decisions about who gets what care, and how much. For instance, should we spend $100k in taxpayer money to keep 90 y/o Grandma going for another year, when that same $100k could save the lives of two or three pregnant twenty year- olds?

          Let's not fool ourselves into the naive belief that single-payer will ever be all things to all people, or that it will somehow make us all immortal. It won't.

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:17:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  this is not true in Canada (22+ / 0-)

      people do not have to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop after hoop.  This is true for "Health Choice" plan for children in NC... just like the guy in the story, they have to re-apply and re-apply and re-apply.

      What is the difference?  Are there NO scammers in Canada?

      I don't think so.

      The difference is that the goal in Canada is to provide health care to everyone and assistance to all that need it.

      The goal in the USA is to make the corporations richer and taxes lower.

      OUR system of 'qualifying' and 'jumping through hoops' is actually COSTING US MORE.  For every $1 we save in scammers, we give $5 to track them down.  The difference is in where the money goes - to corporations like BC/BS.

      I would like to wake up in the USA one day where EVERYONE smartens up to the point that they realize that the scammers ARE NOT THE PROBLEM AT ALL.

      Or, in other words, I would like to see Americans start to think clearly.  But I just finished a conversation about our housing crisis and a supposedly educated person sees it ALL as being the little guy's fault, and not the fault of predatory lenders.  And the really ODD thing is - if she loses her job, she will quickly lose her home.

      I just do not have much hope that Americans will start to do any critical thinking anytime soon.

      The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

      by dancewater on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:51:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My experience and my friend Maralyn's experience (16+ / 0-)

        I'm in Tennessee, she's in British Columbia.

        On our doctors' recommendation, we both chose to take once a year Reclast (given in an IV) for our osteoporosis, almost to the same day.

        I'm waiting insurance approval. Two weeks so far. The PA says it probably will take another 4 or 5 days for the approval to come. My charge will probably be $60.00. (PA's time, drug, equipment)

        The day after Maralyn saw her rheumi and decided to take Reclast, she was given Reclast in her rheumi's office. Charge: $0.00.

        She keeps saying "Come to BC, Mr. Rogneid has family here right?"

        We are going to start looking. We are middle aged with health concerns and I want to know when I need healthcare I can get it without it having to go to a damned "patient care representative" who probably makes $10.00 an hour and has no medical training, and makes her/his decision by checking boxes in a proprietary computer program written by the insurance company to try to gin the system in their favor.

        They love to get premiums from you, they hate to pay claims.

        The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes. -5.75, -7.18

        by Rogneid on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 08:08:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Scammers ARE the problem. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luvmovies2000, wide eyed lib

        Except, by scammers I am referring to the unethical ones in government, health care, insurance, etc.

        "So, Pal, now tell me: What did YOU do to help the least among your people?" "Well, ummm, Mr. God, Sir..."

        by lurkersince03 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:40:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a comment (0+ / 0-)

        a bit further up, that went into what happened when the Ontario government went conservative a decade back.  The Auditor General afterwards concluded that far more had been spent on a futile search for fraud then had been saved in the very few cases they were able to find.  More had been spent on bureaucratizing the system, to make it as unfriendly as possible (and coincidentally making the jobs of the civil servants who had to work in that system a lot harder), and the system itself cost more to run.

        In essence they spent dollars to save pennies.

        "A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill "Noun Verb 911." - Rudy Guiliani

        by Thassa on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 03:34:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You could up Pub. Assistance by a factor of ten (0+ / 0-)

      And still hide it in the footnotes of the national "defense" budget. Better a few parasitic types should get fat on poor people's welfare, than deny it to the truly needful.

      Besides, how many "Welfare Queens" would it take to be as big a drag on the National Budget as one bailed-out CDS trader? How many Escalades would one cruise missile "buy"? (about 1000.)

      Is it that we channel our outrage at the greedy powerful, who we can't get at, and take it out on those less able to defend themselves?

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