Category Archives: Welfare

Rachel Dolezal faces felony charges for welfare fraud

Rachel Dolezal

A woman who lies about her race caught in more lies. Shocker, not.

From Yahoo (via HuffPo): Rachel Dolezal, the former president of NAACP’s Spokane, Washington, chapter who was outed as a white woman pretending to be black , is facing felony charges of welfare fraud, perjury and false verification for public assistance.

NBC News affiliate KHQ-TV was the first to report on the charges made this week against Dolezal. KREM 2, a CBS news affiliate, later confirmed the charges with the Spokane County prosecutor’s office. If convicted, Dolezal could face up to 15 years in prison.

Dolezal came to national attention in 2015 after her family revealed she’d been presenting herself as a black woman for years, even though they said she was born white. At the time, Dolezal was president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP and worked as a part-time instructor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University.

The revelation forced Dolezal to resign from the NAACP. She also stopped teaching at EWU. In 2016, Dolezal, a mother of three, officially changed her name to Nkechi Diallo, though she still uses her former name on her art website and social media pages.

Washington state’s Department of Social and Health Services began investigating Dolezal in March 2017 after learning that Dolezal, who was receiving public assistance from the department, had published a book.

The investigator found that Dolezal’s book publisher typically offers contracts that include payments of $10,000 to $20,000 ― but a review of her records revealed that she’d only reported an income of $300 per month in the form of gifts from friends, according to court documents published by KHQ-TV.

The Spokane County prosecutor’s office accused Dolezal of being overpaid a total of $8,847 for food assistance and child care assistance from the state’s Department of Social and Health Services between Aug. 1, 2015, and Nov. 30, 2017.

During that period, according to the investigation, an estimated $83,924.96 had been deposited into Dolezal’s bank account in monthly installments.

Despite the controversy surrounding her racial fabrication, Dolezal still identifies as a black woman. She wrote about her experience in an autobiography, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World, and was featured in a Netflix documentary this year.

Critics have taken particular exception to Dolezal’s widespread media exposure in light of the ongoing racial injustices that black Americans experience day-today.

“We’ve probably all been guilty of sharing Dolezal’s story, or at least parts of it, at some point ― but we must recognize that it is distracting, counterproductive and unnecessary,” Lilly Workneh, then the senior editor of HuffPost Black Voices, wrote in March 2017. “Let’s return our focus to more pressing matters affecting marginalized, overlooked and misrepresented communities of color.”

See also:

DCG

Minnesota Somalis defraud taxpayers $100M/yr; sent to terrorists

KMSP Fox9 in Minneapolis, Minnesota has undertaken something the national MSM no longer seem to do — bold, investigative journalism.

For five months, Fox9 investigated rampant welfare fraud by the Somali “refugee” and immigrant community in Minnesota, which cost the state’s taxpayers a whopping $100 million a year. Even worse, the $millions defrauded were then transferred to Muslim terrorists in Somali and other countries in the Middle East.

Through the Refugee Act of 1980, sponsored by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) and former Sen. Joe Biden (D), the federal government has been aggressively “resettling” refugees from the east African country of Somalia into the United States, especially Minnesota. As of 2017, the state has an estimated 57,000 Somalis, the largest population of Somalis outside of East Africa.

Jeff Baillon reports on May 13, 2018 that Fox9 investigators used (1) public records; and (2) nearly a dozen government sources with direct knowledge of what is happening. These sources have a deep fear, and there is evidence to support their concerns, that some of the defrauded welfare money is ending up in the hands of terrorists.

The story began on the morning of March 15, 2018 when Fox9 chased a tip about a man who was leaving the country from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) with a carry-on bag packed with $1 million in cash. Fox9 discovered that mysterious suitcases filled with cash have become a common, almost weekly carry-on at the airport. The money is usually headed to the Middle East, Dubai and points beyond. Last year alone, more than $100 million in cash left MSP in carry-on luggage. Travelers can do that, as long as they fill out the proper government forms.

Glen Kerns, a former Seattle police detective who’d spent 15 years on the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, said: “What we were interested in is where it [the suitcases of money] was going. It’s an outright crime, it’s unbelievable.”

Kerns tracked millions of dollars in cash leaving on flights from Seattle. The money came from Hawalas — businesses used by some immigrant communities in the United States to courier money to their relatives in countries with no official banking system. Kerns discovered some of the money was being funneled to a Hawala in the region of Somalia that is controlled by the al Shabaab terrorist group:

“I talked to a couple of sources who had lived in that region and I said, ‘If money is going to this Hawala do you think it is going to al Shabaab?’ And he said, ‘Oh definitely, that area is controlled by al Shabaab, and they control the Hawala there.’”

Kerns’ source said that when the money arrives, whether it was intended for legitimate purposes or not, al Shabaab or other groups demand a cut.

As Kerns dug deeper, he found that some of the individuals who were sending out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of remittance payments were on government assistance: “We had sources that told us, ‘It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare.’”

Five years ago, Fox9 was the first to report that daycare fraud was on the rise in Minnesota and that some businesses were gaming the system to steal millions in government subsidies meant to help low-income families with their childcare expenses. As Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman sarcastically put it, “It’s a great way to make some money.”

This is how the daycare-fraud scheme works:

  1. First, the daycare centers sign up low income families that qualify for child care assistance funding.
  2. As shown by surveillance videos from a case prosecuted by Hennepin County, parents receiving childcare assistance funding check their kids into a daycare center, only to leave with them a few minutes later. Sometimes, no children would show up.
  3. Either way, the center bills the state for a full day of childcare. Video from the Hennepin case shows a man handing out envelopes of kickback payments to parents who are in on the fraud.
  4. Some of the defrauded money goes overseas.

An example is Fozia Ali, the owner of a daycare center in south Minneapolis and a member of the city of Hopkins Park Board. As she was taking her oath of office to “support the constitution of the United States, so help me God,” Ali was under investigation for wire fraud and theft of public money. Her daycare center was raided by state and federal agents, suspected of billing the government for more than a million dollars’ worth of bogus childcare services.

Craig Lisher from the FBI said: “We found records that she was collecting a significant amount of money for a much larger number of children than were actually attending the center. We are aware that some of the funds went overseas, what she was cashing out, money from the business.”

Investigators analyzed Ali’s cell phone to track her activities, and found that she had taken a two-month trip from Minnesota to Dubai and then Kenya, staying at times in $800 a night hotel rooms. She used an app on her phone to bill the state of Minnesota for childcare services while she was out of the country.

Ali pled guilty to the daycare fraud and in March began serving time in a federal prison.

Acting Commissioner for the Department of Human Services Chuck Johnson said his agency has 10 daycares currently under active investigation for fraud. Search warrants obtained by the Fox 9 Investigators show each one of the suspect centers has received several million dollars in childcare assistance funds; most are owned by Somali immigrants. Fox 9 has learned dozens more daycare centers are considered suspicious.

Sources in the Somali community told Fox 9 it is an open secret that starting a daycare center is a license to make money. The fraud is so widespread they said, that people buy shares of daycare businesses to get a cut of the huge public subsidies that are pouring in. Government insiders believe this scam is costing the state at least a hundred million dollars a year, half of all child care subsidies.

In 2014, Minnesota began aggressively going after daycare fraud. The government discovered that within hours after the money showed up in a daycare center’s bank account, funds were wired to the United Arab Emirates. Those wire transfers stopped after a few centers were busted, which led to a change in the fraudsters’ tactics to using those mysterious suitcases filled with cash at Minneapolis-St. Paul International. Investigators documented the carry-on cash increasing from $14 million in 2015, to $84 million in 2016, to $100 million in 2017 — at least some of which is going towards terrorism.

The welfare-dollars-to-terrorists crime is spreading. Sources tell Fox 9 fraudsters in other states are now using the Minnesota playbook to rip off millions of taxpayer-paid welfare dollars.

H/t GiGi

See also:

~Eowyn

Democrats are losing ground with Millennials

Millennials are the generation of Americans who are 22 to 37 years old in 2018.

According to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. Next year, Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as America’s largest living adult generation, their numbers swelling to 73 million as Boomers decline to 72 million.

Reuters has good news for us: Enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning among Millennials as we approach the crucial midterm congressional elections. Democrats have come to count on Millennials as a core constituency – and will need them to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

An online Reuters/Ipsos national survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows Millennials’ support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by 9% over the past two years, to 46%. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy, despite their dislike for President Trump (2 out of 3 Millennials in the survey said they dislike him).

Millennials are almost evenly split this year over the question of which party has a better plan for the economy, with 34% picking the Democrats and 32% choosing Republicans. That’s a shift from two years ago, when they said Democrats had the better plan by a 12% margin.

Columbia University political science professor Donald Green explains young voters represent an opportunity and a risk for both parties because “They’re not as wedded to one party. They’re easier to convince than, say, your 50- or 60-year-olds who don’t really change their minds very often.”

The shift away from Democrats was more pronounced among white Millennials – who accounted for two-thirds of all votes cast in that age group in 2016:

  • Two years ago, young white people favored Democrats over Republicans for Congress by a margin of 47% vs. 33%; that gap vanished by this year, with 39% supporting each party.
  • The shift was especially dramatic among young white men, who two years ago favored Democrats but now say they favor Republicans over Democrats by a margin of 46% vs. 37%.

Millennials disenchanted with Democrats

Reuters gave three examples of Millennials who have changed their minds because of evidence, giving us hope that there are Americans who still listen to reason:

  1. Terry Hood, 34, an African-American who works at a Dollar General store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and took this year’s poll, said he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, but he will consider a Republican for Congress because he believes the party is making it easier to find jobs and he applauds the recent Republican-led tax cut: “It sounds strange to me to say this about the Republicans, but they’re helping with even the small things. They’re taking less taxes out of my paycheck. I notice that.”
  2. Ashley Matthias, 31, a tattoo artist in Manchester, New Hampshire, said she has not decided how she will vote but will support anyone who will make her health insurance more affordable, and that it is cheaper to pay for her doctor’s visits out-of-pocket than to buy insurance through the government-run Obamacare exchange.
  3. Ashley Reed, a white single mother of three in Concord, New Hampshire, said a teenage fascination with Democrat Barack Obama led her to support his presidency in 2008. But her politics evolved with her personal life. Now 28, Reed opposes abortion; is more supportive of gun rights; and has lost faith in social welfare programs that she now believes were misused. Reed plans to vote for a Republican for Congress this year: “As I got older, I felt that I could be my own voice.”

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. It gathered about 65,000 responses in all during the first three months of 2018 and 2016, including 16,000 registered voters between the ages of 18 and 34 and nearly 11,000 registered white Millennial voters. The poll has a ± interval of only 1%, meaning that results may vary by about 1% in either direction.

~Eowyn

Finland will end its “basic income” experiment by year’s end

universal basic income

Pay attention and learn a lesson, Bernie.

From Fox News: The Finnish government reportedly announced Tuesday that it will end the country’s universal basic income program by year’s end — and appears to be taking on new measures to cut benefits to those who do not actively seek employment.

Finland was considered the first European country to pay a monthly check of $685 to its unemployed between ages 25 and 58. It was considered a pilot program — serving 2,000 randomly selected jobless people — that its founders hoped to expand.

“It’s a pity that it will end like this,” Olli Kangas, who oversees the Finnish government agency that focuses on social welfare and helped design the program, told the New York Times.

“The government has chosen to try a totally different path,” Kangas said. “Basic income is unconditional. Now, they are pursuing conditionality.”

David Whitley summed up Finland’s decision in the Orlando Sentinel.

“Proponents said the program wasn’t comprehensive enough to gauge its merits,” Whitley wrote. “Critics say it would have required a 30 percent tax increase on an already over-taxed population to be viable.”

But some cities, including San Francisco, continue to look into the basic income theory, the Times wrote. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017 said that basic income should be explored “to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

That was essentially Finland’s theory when announcing the pilot program.

The initial move was met with skepticism from citizens who questioned whether an unemployed young person would be motivated to find a job if they were making a steady income, albeit small.

“There is a fear that with basic income they would just stay at home and play computer games,” Heikki Hiilamo, a professor at the University of Helsinki, told the paper.

DCG

Utopia! Bernie Sanders pushes plan for feds to guarantee every American a job

government solve all problems

It’s called “communism,” Bernie. And it DOESN’T WORK, no matter how much you demorats believe you can get it right.

From Fox News: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is preparing to unveil a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job offering $15 per hour and health care benefits to any American worker “who wants or needs one,” The Washington Post reported Monday.

It is not clear when Sanders will announce the plan and a Sanders spokesperson told the Post that it was still being crafted.

It was not clear how Sanders’ plan would be paid for. Republicans have long opposed a federal jobs guarantee, saying such a plan would be too expensive and impractical.

The Post reported that an early draft of Sanders’ plan calls for the government to fund hundreds of projects in categories such as infrastructure, education and the environment. Americans would be entitled to receive a job with one of those projects or receive job training to do so.

Sanders, who ran a surprisingly strong campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and is rumored to be running again in 2020, joins two other rumored presidential contenders who have supported a jobs guarantee or offered guarantee plans of their own.

Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. tweeted support for a jobs guarantee, saying it would help “regular Americans who are unemployed and willing to work to better their local community.”

On Friday, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. announced the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, which would call for the Department of Labor to select up to 15 areas to institute a job guarantee. According to Vox, which first reported on Booker’s plan, those jobs would pay the higher of $15 per hour or the prevailing wage and offer paid family leave and health benefits.

“The federal jobs guarantee is an idea that demands to be taken seriously,” Booker said in a statement. “Creating an employment guarantee would give all Americans a shot at a day’s work and, by introducing competition into the labor market, raise wages and improve benefits for all workers.”

DCG

10% of Amazon workers in Ohio are on food stamps

On January 9, 2018, CNBC reports that Jeff Bezos (né Jorgensen) — founder/chairman/CEO of Amazon and the owner of Washington Post — surpassed Microsoft mogul Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man, with $105.1 billion in wealth.

Gates, once the world’s richest man, is now worth “only” $93.3 billion.

17 days later, propelled by the launch of Amazon Go, Bezos’ net worth increased another $2.8 billion to a total of $107.9 billion. (CNBC)

So it’s a downright disgrace that 10% of Amazon’s workers in Ohio are on food stamps (SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) — the working poor in America. Amazon is one of the largest employers in Ohio, with more than 6,000 workers and thousands more to be added soon at three new big warehouses.

But Amazon is also one of the largest employers in Ohio of workers who need food assistance to get by.

A study by the think tank Policy Matters Ohio found that according to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services, as of last August, as many as 10% or 1,430 Amazon employees or family members in Ohio were getting food stamps. That places Amazon 19th among all Ohio employers in the number of employees receiving SNAP. Just months before, Amazon didn’t even rank in the top 50.

The Amazon employees on food stamps include both full- and part-time workers, but it is likely mostly part-time workers require food assistance. Amazon operates data centers, wind farms, and Whole Foods outlets in Ohio, but the largest number of employees are at two big warehouses near Columbus.

While more than one in every ten Amazon employee in Ohio are on food stamps,  Amazon gets millions of dollars in state and local subsidies at its warehouses, including (Bloomberg Businessweek):

  • $17 million in tax incentives from the state of Ohio,and over $1.5 million in cash from JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development agency, as part of a two-warehouse deal — all funded with income from the state’s liquor monopoly.
  • At least $123 million in tax breaks and $2.9 million in cash grants in four deals with JobsOhio since 2014.
  • A 15-year exemption on state and local property and sales taxes, and $1.4 million in cash, in a 2014 deal with JobsOhio for Amazon spending $1.1 billion to build three data centers and a promise of 120 jobs.
  • No property taxes to Licking County for 15 years, a deal that Amazon negotiated in 2015 with local officials and JobsOhio.

At the same time, Amazon‘s new facilities in Ohio, totaling almost a million square feet, make use of public services like the fire department and emergency responders. At least once a day, a medical unit from West Licking Fire Station 3 makes a run to the Amazon warehouse 3.1 miles away, in the township of Etna, about 20 miles east of Columbus. Steve Little, the fire district administrator, said the calls for routine medical issues that occur in grueling warehouse jobs come at all hours, including shortness of breath, chest pains, and myriad minor injuries. During the busy holiday season, the warehouse sometimes issues multiple emergency calls a day. Little said, “We have to protect, but we get no extra money. We have no voice in these deals, and we get no cash. Our residents are being forced to pay instead.” In November 2017, voters in Little’s district were asked to approve a five-year, $6.5 million property tax levy to keep the fire department operating.

The deals Ohio made with Amazon create surprisingly few jobs. Ohio’s Republican state auditor David Yost says: “$123 million is a lot of money, and you ought to get a lot for that. It’s really hard to know how much the state of Ohio paid per [Amazon] job.”

Ohio’s job-growth rate has trailed the U.S. average for 57 consecutive months; in August it was an anemic 1.1%, compared with the 1.5% national rate. In 2013, Yost threatened to compel JobsOhio to be more transparent by showing him more numbers. So Governor John Kasich pushed a bill through the state legislature stripping public officials of the right to audit JobsOhio’s books. A private auditor now conducts an annual review, which is partly redacted before publication.

I thank God John Kasich didn’t win the GOP primaries and wasn’t elected POTUS.

See also:

~Eowyn

LA Times asks, “Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?

nancy pelosi tweet

Demorats own this.

Doesn’t take an econ major in junior high to solve this riddle.

Kerry Jackson at the LA Timeswrote this op-ed piece: Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.

The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.

Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.

Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.

Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on “remaking the world.” The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to “resist” Trump’s agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to “California values.” All this only reinforces the rest of America’s perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state’s poor residents.

With a permanent majority in the state Senate and the Assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state’s poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.

h/t PJ Media

DCG