Fraud in Government Programs, Theft of Taxpayer Money

An article out of Augusta, Georgia informs us that businesses there were colluding with welfare recipients, who would sell their coupons at a discount to the businesses, which then redeemed them for full value. Both buyer and seller were breaking the law. (See article here: http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2014-06-10/54-defendants-charged-18-million-food-stamp-fraud-scheme-georgia.)

In exchanges where I commented on this, as one example among many, of the kind of fraud and waste of taxpayer money that simply must be hunted down and eliminated, I was asked by one lover of government programs whether I thought it was the fault of the government somehow that individuals are so dishonest.

Obviously, the answer must be no. That dishonesty falls on those individuals.

What falls on the government, which is to say us, is blame for providing ever more opportunities for this kind of abuse by creating program after program, in which more and more money is handled by more and more people further and further from its source, so that no meaningful accounting or supervision is possible or practical.

The further you send the money away from the taxpayer, the more layers you inject, the less possible it becomes to know where the money goes, how it’s handled, or who gets it. Ever-expanding government is simply not the answer to any legitimate desire.

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