Fraud Pays

Featured image It is no secret that our federal, state and local governments waste enormous amounts of money. Neither is it a secret that outright fraud accounts for a significant part of that waste. My organization, which conducts quarterly polling in Minnesota, has twice asked the question, “What is your best estimate of the percentage of state spending that is wasted?” The results were identical: the first time, the median answer was »

The End of Multiculturalism in Scandinavia?

Featured image Let’s take in a few headlines from the last few days, starting with the New York Times: COPENHAGEN — More than 60 years of hassle-free travel from Sweden to Denmark has ended after the Danish authorities, struggling to quell a wave of bombings blamed on Swedish gangs, introduced passport checks for the first time since the 1950s. The measures put in place on Tuesday are temporary and will be applied »

The Welfare Industrial Complex [With Comment by John]

Featured image Every so often someone will do the back-of-the-envelope calculation of the total amount of government spending on behalf of the poor, divided by the number of poor people, and yielding a figure that usually comes out to something like $50,000 per poor person. But very few if any poor people get anywhere close to that amount of aid through the various programs (welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, etc). In »

Trump administration tightens “public charge” rule

Featured image Today, the Trump administration released the final version of a rule that increases the government’s ability to deny green cards for people deemed likely to depend on government aid such as food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid. As Robert Verbruggen explains, federal law gives the executive branch lots of discretion to reject immigrants who are “likely at any time to become a public charge.” This approach is rooted in the »

“Diversity” and the Welfare State

Featured image John’s post yesterday about how Denmark’s left-leaning social democrats are turning against immigration—not just any immigration but specifically from you-know-where—has prompted me to writing about a broader dilemma that, sooner or later, America’s liberals will need to confront. Milton Friedman and other libertarians long argued that you can have high rates of unskilled immigration, or a generous welfare state, but not both. The basic thought is that high rates of »

Meanwhile, Back in Illinois

Featured image While the attention of the world is on the collapsing European welfare states, let us not lose sight of the collapsing welfare states here at home. Such as Illinois. The Chicago Tribune ran a bracing editorial about the fiscal situation yesterday: Goodbye to Illinois’ $130 billion pension hole. Now it’s $133 billion. And getting deeper. For several years we’ve cited the figure of $130 billion to represent Illinois’ estimated unfunded »

Census Bureau Data: 63% of non-citizens are on welfare

Featured image A majority of “non-citizens,” including those with legal green card rights, are tapping into welfare programs set up to help poor and ailing Americans, Census Bureau data shows. In fact, 63 percent of non-citizens are using a welfare program. Moreover, instead of decreasing over time, the number grows to 70 percent for those here 10 years or more. Paul Bedard has the details in this report for the Washington Examiner. »

Assimilation, Minnesota style

Featured image Our local Fox affiliate has exposed or publicized what appears to be rampant fraud in the state daycare program for low income families. The story prominently features Somali daycare providers; they seem to have discovered how easy it is to rip off this particular welfare program among the panoply of such Minnesota welfare programs. Jeff Baillon’s original story (video and text) is posted here. It’s a hot story. Over the »

A Scandal Trifecta: Immigration, Welfare Fraud and Terrorism

Featured image In the Twin Cities, a local television station uncovers a far-reaching scandal: last year, more than $100 million in cash left the Twin Cities airport in carry-on luggage, bound for the Middle East and Africa: This story begins at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where mysterious suitcases filled with cash have become a common carry-on. On the morning of March 15, Fox 9 chased a tip about a man who was »

British Government Funded Manchester Bomber

Featured image Can a Western welfare state defend itself against Islamic terrorism? Perhaps, but it will require fundamental changes. The Telegraph reports that last week’s terrorist attack in Manchester was funded by the British government: The Manchester suicide bomber used taxpayer-funded student loans and benefits to bankroll the terror plot, police believe. Salman Abedi is understood to have received thousands of pounds in state funding in the run up to Monday’s atrocity »

A comedy of the welfare state

Featured image I’m not sure that Fozia Dualeh of the Twin Cities suburb Fridley is an immigrant or refugee, but I think it’s a pretty good bet. She has been charged with bilking taxpayers out of fraudulently procured welfare benefits in the amount of $118,000 over a one-and-one-half year period. That is an impressive accomplishment, but Ms. Dualeh seems to have had the invaluable assistance of her husband, Abdikhadar Y. Ismail. For »

Costs of the Somali community

Featured image Minnesota’s large and ever increasing Somali population is the ultimate protected minority in our left-wing utopia. The Somalis are black. The Somalis are Muslim. The Somalis vote Democratic. As I never tire of noting, in October 2015 Governor Mark Dayton instructed “white, B-plus, Minnesota-born citizens” to suppress their qualms about immigrant resettlement in Minnesota. If they can’t, they should “find another state,” he advised. We are directed to adjust and »

What the NFL Can Teach Washington About Social Policy

Featured image I’m a certified New England Patriots hater. Don’t even get me started. But you do have to tip your hat to them when they deserve it. Their 3 – 0 start without pretty boy quarterback Tom Brady is a remarkable feat of coaching by the worst-dressed coach in all of pro sports, Bill Belichick. But something else Belichick is doing is a terrific example of the law of unintended consequences »

Community Action @50

Featured image As Roger Simon has observed, the events playing out in Ferguson, Missouri right now are a distinct echo of the failures of the Great Society of the 1960s, and today happens to be the 50th anniversary of LBJ’s signing of the Economic Opportunity Act, which set in motion the infamous Community Action Program and was the cornerstone of much subsequent Great Society legislation.  The idea of “maximum feasible participation” was »

The Not-So-Great Society: Back to the Future?

Featured image Nothing so surely signals that liberalism has lost its mind than the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Great Society under way this week.  Has there been a greater self-evident social policy failure in American history?  More importantly, are today’s young liberal journalists completely ignorant of the fact that even liberals despaired of the Great Society by the end of the 1960s—that it completely shattered liberal optimism?  (Don’t bother »

The year of lying dangerously

Featured image Two thousand and thirteen proved to be the year that the foundational lies of Obamacare blew up in the president’s face. With the pending implementation of the Obamacare regime, it is a historic moment. Even when it comes to the smallest details of implementation — the status of the Web site, the open security issues, the relevant numbers — the Obama administration jealously guards the truth from disclosure. Applying Occam’s »

The Welfare Queen: Reagan Vindicated Again

Featured image Few things got—and still get—under the skin of liberals more than Ronald Reagan’s famous use of the term “welfare queen” in his 1976 campaign (he didn’t much use this theme in 1980, curiously enough).  Paul Krugman thinks it was a “minor” case of welfare fraud, while between the foam flecks of Chris Matthews you can make out that Reagan was a raaaccist for mentioning the subject. So kudos to Josh Levin »