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Milton Friedman famously explained that this is why they largely don’t care about how much money is spent or how effectively it is spent.
No wonder government programs, agencies, and departments waste so much money, year after year, decade after decade.
This observation about careless profligacy also applies to so-called emergency spending.
But that’s just one problem with that program. Axios has a depressing report on how the turbo-charged benefits that were part of the coronavirus legislation triggered staggering levels of fraud.
Criminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits the U.S. has been pumping out over the past year, some experts say. …fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion, according to some estimates, and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates… Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me, a service that tries to prevent this kind of fraud, tells Axios that…50% of all unemployment monies might have been stolen… Haywood Talcove, the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, estimates that at least 70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country, much of it ending up in the hands of criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere.
USA Today reported on one Nigerian scammer who feasted on American tax dollars.
Mayowa is an engineering student in Nigeria who estimates he’s made about $50,000 since the pandemic began. After compiling a list of real people, he turns to databases of hacked information that charge $2 in cryptocurrency to link that name to a date of birth and Social Security number. In most states that information is all it takes to file for unemployment. …“Once we have that information, it’s over,” Mayowa said. “It’s easy money.” …prepaid debit cards issued by some state unemployment offices paved the way for fraud this year, security experts said. …Asked whether he feels bad about stealing from unemployed Americans, Mayowa pointed out that 70% of his peers in school are working the scams as side hustles, too.
But it’s not just the unemployment benefits.
The government also has been sending out “stimulus” checks to people, even if they were employed all during the pandemic.
And they didn’t even need to be alive, according to a report from CNS.
The federal government sent nearly 1.2 million “economic impact payments” authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to people who were dead and, therefore, not qualified to receive them, according to a report published today by the Government Accountability Office. …On its website, the IRS describes individuals who are not eligible for an “Economic Impact Payment”… “Taxpayers likely won’t qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply: … You can be claimed a dependent on someone else’s return. … You are a nonresident alien. … An incarcerated individual. A deceased individual.”
Hundreds of foreigners also got handouts, as reported by the Washington Post.
Hundreds of people have cashed U.S. stimulus checks at Austrian banks in recent months. Some of them appeared puzzled by the unexpected payments or were ineligible for the payouts, according to bank officials and Austrian media reports. …He and his wife received $1,200 each, although neither is a U.S. resident or holds U.S. citizenship — key eligibility requirements. …Similar instances have been reported in other countries.
PETITION UPDATE (5/12/2021) -
It seems that Dr. Anthony Fauci's role in the NIH's funding of so-called "gain-of-function" research may be catching up with him.
In the last couple of days, both U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Fox's Tucker Carlson have laid into Fauci for his alleged promotion of this dangerous research which develops bat-based coronaviruses into more potent variants, capable of infecting humans.
Dr. Fauci denied funding this research.
But, Senator Paul noted that a resident virologist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Dr. Shi Zheng-li and Dr. Ralph Baric, an American virologist funded by Fauci's department in the NIH, "collaborated on gain-of-function research where they enhanced the SARS virus to infect human airway cells and they did it by merging a new spy protein on it. That is gain-of-function. That was joint research between the Wuhan Institute and Dr. Baric. You [Dr. Fauci] can’t deny it."
And, later, Fox News host Tucker Carlson picked up on the discrepancy, noting Fauci’s involvement in the creation and promotion of public health directives on account of COVID-19 while also being allegedly tied to the origin of the virus and its spread throughout the world.
So, the evidence - both in testimony and in the court of public opinion - continues to mount.
Could we ask you to consider SIGNING and SHARING this important petition, which calls for Dr. Fauci to be fired and investigated for any role he played in promoting and funding the dangerous research which may have cost the world dearly in lives and jobs lost.
When concerned scientists warned the US government of the great danger of creating superviruses in the lab, one man publicly defended the risky experiments: that man was the influential head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), none other than "Mr. Science" himself: Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In 2014, the same year the US government called for a moratorium on this insanely dangerous research, Dr. Fauci's NIAID began funding a program to study the transmission of bat coronaviruses to humans.
Not only did his funding go to develop the technology for making bat coronaviruses spread more easily to humans, but much of it went to the lab located in the exact location where the Covid pandemic eventually emerged: Wuhan, China.
Like every person, Dr. Fauci deserves to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But the evidence is so overwhelming that Fauci gambled with a supervirus and lost (the whole world lost), that, at a minimum, he needs to be fired from his position of public trust and must be investigated for possible violations of US law which mandated a moratorium on this extremely dangerous practice of creating superviruses in the lab.
However Dr. Fauci, far from being held responsible for his dangerous gamble, has been promoted to the point where, currently, he is the highest paid employee in the US Government.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition if you agree that Dr. Anthony Fauci should instead be immediately fired and investigated for his role in causing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Just like the Wall Street moguls, whose financial negligence precipitated the financial crisis of 2008, received massive bailout bonuses, Dr. Anthony Fauci recklessly pushed for the research that probably caused the deadly pandemic. And now, he, too, has been rewarded with money and power.
As has been carefully and meticulously documented by Steve Hilton of Fox News, the probable origins of the coronavirus point to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Fauci was one of the greatest proponents of developing superviruses in labs.
Dr. Fauci was responsible for the funding of much of the research through the NIAID.
And, it appears that Dr. Fauci funneled taxpayer funds through an intermediary to allow the research to continue in the unsafe Wuhan Institute of Virology, even after the US government banned the funding of this dangerous research.
Until a thorough investigation into his role of the origins of the current pandemic has taken place, Dr. Fauci should not be in a position of public trust.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to demand that Dr. Fauci be fired immediately and investigated fully for his role in the creation of Covid-19 and the ensuing pandemic.
P.S. It should be noted that Dr. Fauci not only has proven to be catastrophic for public health with his advocacy of dangerous research, but he has also been a disastrous public health advisor, advocating measures that have negatively impacted every aspect of our lives, from the economy to our most fundamental liberties.
P.P.S. Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently stated that he is delighted to be pushing Joe Biden's return to US taxpayer funding of abortions abroad. So, evidently, not only does Dr. Fauci have problems with public health, public safety, and economics, but also with basic human rights and embryology.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
**Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour
By the way, it’s not just Austrians who received handouts. NPR has a story featuring people all over the world who got $1200 checks from Uncle Sam.
And let’s not forget the PPP program, which was another big chunk of the coronavirus handouts.
The Wall Street Journal has a report on the rampant fraud in that program.
The federal government is swamped with reports of potential fraud in the Paycheck Protection Program, according to government officials and public data…the government allowed companies to self-certify that they needed the funds, with little vetting.
The Small Business Administration’s inspector general, an arm of the agency that administers the PPP, said last month there were “strong indicators of widespread potential abuse and fraud in the PPP.” …The watchdog counted tens of thousands of companies that received PPP loans for which they appear to have been ineligible, such as corporations created after the pandemic began… Given the limited criteria Congress set for the program, he said, “The scandal is what’s legal, not what’s illegal.”
Reason also has a story about PPP waste.
…carmaker Lamborghini has benefitted from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)… Within days of receiving $1.6 million in PPP loans for his construction and logistics businesses, Lee Price III of Houston bought himself a 2019 Lamborghini Urus for $233,337, plus a $14,000 Rolex watch and close to $5,000 worth of entertainment at a strip club and various bars around town.…His scheme was audacious but hardly original. The DOJ had already brought similar fraud charges against Miami man David T. Hines, who had allegedly spent his ill-gotten PPP loans on a new $318,000 Lamborghini Huracán EVO. …Loan recipients include companies founded by members of Congress and prominent D.C. lobbying firms. Presidential adviser Jared Kushner’s family businesses, including their media and real estate concerns, received PPP loans, as did the clothing brand of rapper and aspiring president Kanye West.
We already knew that the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a bigger burden of government.
None of us should be surprised that we also wound up with record levels of waste.
P.S. Remember, “more government” is not the answer to any sensible question.
P.P.S. At some point, we will run out of “other people’s money.”
Published with permission from International Liberty.