$100 million in provable fraud

I had an interesting chat with a member of Congress and long time friend, Representative Greg Walden. He was bringing a new audit to my attention. It showed that a federal program that was designed to help poor people pay their heating and cooling bills had been taken for more than $100 million in fraud.

That’s some expensive program.

The fact is the program paid out some of those grants to dead people and some who were in prison. It paid out some of those grants to people who weren’t poor and some who worked for the federal government.

Imagine that? More than $100 million in fraud and these guys are going to run our medical care system? You’ve got to be kidding me.

“For more Lars click here”

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  • Anonymous

    When I saw your headline I thought you would be talking about TriMet, Metro and the PDC.
    But then I realized the amount was too small.

  • valley p

    Imagine AIG going under and costing taxpayers hundreds of billions. Who would want a private insurance company in charge of our medical care system?

    • Davis

      That’s one dead straw man you keep trying to resurrect. Medical people are in charge of medical care delivery, as they should be. Insurance companies are there simply to assist consumers in paying those medical people for the services they provide. No one has ever proposed putting insurance companies in charge of any medical care system.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Could someone please tell me why the outrage at fraud?

    Let me break it down for you Lars:

    The people who run these programs want to command as much money as possible. Who wants to run a department with a budget of $10M when you could run a department with a budget of $100B?

    They don’t care about fraud. In fact they want fraud, and preferably as much as possible. That way their budgets increase and everyone working in administering whatever idiotic welfare program one may be talking about commands a bigger budget.

    I mean this is basic government 101 stuff.

    The welfare programs are not designed to help people. They are designed to grow government, increase its sphere of power and decrease the private individuals power through the impoverishment of higher taxes to pay for this nonsense.

    Don’t believe me?

    Go down to any welfare agency, pick one, SS, AFDC, WIC, whatever.

    Do those people there look like they are at all concerned with how much money is going out the door? Do they look concerned at all with fraud?

    Do you think if I went down to the local welfare office I couldn’t shake out at a bare minimum 10% of recipients who were either dead people or illegal aliens?

    These programs waste more taxpayer money than anything under the sun.

    AIG is tiddlywinks compared to even just the EITC welfare program.

    $100M and I am supposed to be outraged?

    Get real.

    • valley p

      “No one has ever proposed putting insurance companies in charge of any medical care system. ”

      Well other than the VA the same is true for government and medical care. All the government does is regulate insurance or pay for privately provided care. The only doctors working for government are military and VA.

      “Go down to any welfare agency, pick one, SS, AFDC, WIC, whatever.”

      AFDC has not existed since 1996. It was replaced by the so called welfare to work act, PROWFA. It and WIC are not “agencies”. They are federal programs administered by state and county agencies. What your suggestion reveals is that you yourself have never gone to any of these agencies, which raises the question of how you think you know what goes on there.

      But assuming one did go down to an agency that administered one of these programs. How would we tell whether they look like they are concerned with fraud? Furrowed brows? Spreadsheets pinned to cubicles? Give us a hint.

      If helping to keep roofs over the heads of poor kids and food on their tables is the largest waste of taxpayer money you can think of, then you need to think harder.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Oh gee Dean.

        I am so sorry I didn’t spell it out.

        Thats the only defense you have? TO whine that I didnt go into a wordy description of “the state agency that administers….” ?

        I mean that’s weak.

        When you are reduced to playing this sort of thing as your first defense, that tells me you have zero argument.

        Its especially inane considering that you urge others to think more and you couldn’t even figure out the first half of your post was replying to me about something someone else wrote.

        >If helping to keep roofs over the heads of poor kids and food on their tables is the largest waste of taxpayer money you can think of, then you need to think harder.

        And if you think using this “do it for the” kids garbage works on anyone then you probably don’t get out much.

        • valley p

          “Thats the only defense you have?”

          I didn’t know I had any defense. I was merely pointing out that you apparently have not done what you are advising others to do. Or have you? Have you gone down to the agencies that administer programs for needy people and watched them to determine whether they care about fraud? Be honest now.

          “you couldn’t even figure out the first half of your post was replying to me about something someone else wrote.”

          Correction. I knew perfectly well who I was replying to, which is why that quote was above your quote. Its not all about you believe it or not. Because I replied to 2 different posters, I placed my post below yours, the 2nd of 2.

          You can refuse to believe me, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a darn.

          “And if you think using this “do it for the” kids garbage works on anyone then you probably don’t get out much. ”

          I get out among people who understand the need for the programs you disparage. There are a lot more “anyones” out there than you think, which is why we have these programs to begin with, and why you are in the minority.

  • Anonymous

    https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703561604575282190930932412.html

    Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
    Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics.

    This is a report on dean and essentially every elected Democrat in oregon.

    • jim karlock

      Bottom line is that liberal Democrats and especially progressives are economically illiterate. That is why they keep screwing up things.

      Thanks
      JK

    • dartagnan

      That’s a bogus, ideologically skewed poll — if you give the answers that correspond to right-wing dogma you’re “correct” and if you don’t you’re “wrong.” Can’t you do better than this?

      • jim karlock

        Which of these answers are “right wing dogma” instead of being widely accepted as correct by economists:

        1) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services (unenlightened answer: disagree).

        2) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago
        (unenlightened answer: disagree).

        3) Rent control leads to housing shortages
        (unenlightened answer: disagree).

        4) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly
        (unenlightened answer: agree).

        5) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited.
        (unenlightened answer: agree).

        6) Free trade leads to unemployment
        (unenlightened answer: agree).

        7) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment
        (unenlightened answer: disagree).

        Note the they only counted blatantly wrong answers (“unenlightened’).
        Let me guess – you think the unenlightened answers are the right ones. Especially the claim that today’s standard of living is higher than 30 years ago!

        Thanks
        JK

        • dartagnan

          #5 and #9 definitely are ideologically loaded. #6 possibly is, depending on interpretation.

          Instead of testing whether people are “enlightened” (i.e., whether they believe in that old-time right-wing economic religion) why not test their knowledge of actual economic facts with ideologically neutral questions such as:

          What is the difference between the national deficit and the national debt?

          What approximate percentage of the Gross Domestic Product does the present national deficit represent?

          What is the function of the Federal Reserve?

          Explain the difference between demand-pull inflation and cost-push inflation.

          What is a “deflationary spiral”?

          Define a “Ponzi scheme.”

          What is the standard definition of a recession?

          Explain what a debt-to-equity ratio is.

          Explain what a price-to-earnings ratio is.

          Explain what a collateralized debt obligation is.

          And so on. These are the type of questions that might be asked on a real Econ 101 exam instead of a Neo-Con 101 exam.

          The Wall Street Journal “test” is designed so that people with liberal views will give “unenlightened” answers. (It’s fascinating in itself that they use the word “unenlightened” instead of “incorrect” or “wrong.”)

          Knowing the ideological bias of the “test” and its authors, I could easily score 100% by giving all the “enlightened” answers — that is, the answers I know they want to hear.

          • dartagnan

            Oops, I meant #5 and #7 are ideologically loaded. Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    if you want to see fraud in action, look at ERDC (employment related day care) from DHS combined with the unionization (SEIU) of day care providers.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I can’t believe it – I so did not plan this story to come out today. But here it is, just like clockwork.

    *Labor Dept. Estimates $7.1 Billion in Overpayments to Unemployed*

    *Overpayment Figure Increases From $4.2 Billion the Previous Year*

    “Fraud accounted for $1.55 billion in estimated overpayments last year, while errors by state agencies were blamed for $2.27 billion, according to the Labor Department. The department’s final report will be released next month. ”

    source:

    https://abcnews.go.com/Business/underemployed-overpaid-states-shell-unemployment/story?id=11118137

    That’s right – The fraud accounted for substantially less than the agency screwing up.

    Anyone still think these agencies (or for Dean, those agencies, segments of agencies, offices or administrators who may administer a program but do not in fact constitute an agency or arm of government itself) actually care about how much money goes out the door?

    They don’t. They are in the business of shoveling money out, the more the better. They care about power, increasing the importance of their agency (or for Dean see above) and that comes through a larger budget necessitated by increased spending.

    • valley p

      Did you even bother reading the article you referenced? Much of the so called “fraud” was apparently people making honest errors on forms and not being able to get help to answer questions due to the caseloads being way beyond the capacity of the staff. Which in turn was due to a doubling of filed claims which was due to huge numbers of layoffs, which was due to Bush breaking the national economy but lets not even go there.

      The claims went up 35 billion and the “fraud” went up 3 billion so do the math. Its a 10% rate of overpayments. And I imagine that is offset by more than 10% underpayments to people who have legitimate claims but can’t get them accepted or processed due to the under staffing.

      Plus, the very people you claim don’t care, i.e. the Labor Department, are the ones who uncovered the “fraud,” which by the way, was only an estimated amount. In other words they reviewed a statistical sample of claims and found errors and then extrapolated.

      But you don’t need all that detail Rupert. You have a position, that government can’t do anything right except fight wars, and you cherry pick this sort of thing to validate yourself. Its great sport. Not very enlightening but entertaining.

      By the way, have you or Jim K noticed that the so called Climategate was found to be nonsense? No manipulation of data. No suppression of counter views. No nothing. I imagine you will leave that story alone or simply ignore it.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >Did you even bother reading the article you referenced? Much of the so called “fraud” was apparently people making honest errors on forms

        Did you even read what I wrote? That was the whole point of it nitiwt.

        When mistakes outnumber outright fraud, that tells you the nitwits in charge don’t give a rip about how much money flies out the door. Unemployment claims are notorious for fraud, and when the people purposefully trying to defraud the system are responsible for less of a loss than the boobs that run the system itself, that tells you something.

        Again, read what you are replying to before popping off with this sort of boobishness.

        >By the way, have you or Jim K noticed that the so called Climategate was found to be nonsense?

        And by the way did you realize that this was the third such report and that, like the other two, it was concerned the procedures and how they were followed at CRU, not examination of the science, or lack of it, done there. CRU compliance with FOI requests and other such procedures was what they looked at.

        Next time read the article, you wont look like such a boob.

  • dartagnan

    “Imagine that? More than $100 million in fraud and these guys are going to run our medical care system? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

    Earth to Lars: HHS is not going to be “running our medical care system” under the bill passed by Congress — not even close. Why must you lie? (Rhetorical question, no answer needed or expected.)

    But if we want to turn our medical care system over to a federal agency I think is should be the Defense Department because as everybody knows, there’s NEVER any waste or fraud there.

  • jim karlock

    Of course my point is to question putting any more money into bikes/peds since we already spend buckets of road money on Ped-Bike-Transit. Here is list compiled by one blogger.

    $2,148,000 11421 Morrison Bridge Ped-Bike Access
    $2,223,000 12468 SE 190th Bike, Ped & Transit Improvements
    $1,155,000 13261 Union Station Facility Improvements
    $3,529,000 13489 Garvee Bond Debt Service Highway, LRT, Commuter Rail & Bus Purchase
    $1,533,000 13490 Bus Stop Development (Frequent Bus Program) Increase Access to Transit
    $4,458,000 13500 Bus Purchase
    $862,000 13506 NE Prescott Add Bike Lanes & Sidewalks
    $4,803,000 13510 Garvee Bond Debt Highways Funds for LRT,Commuter Rail & Bus Purchase
    $8,359,000 13718 I-205 Mall LRT Unit 1 LightRailTransit (LRT)
    $11,702,000 I-205 Mall LRT Unit 2
    $5,573,000 I-205 Mall LRT Unit 3
    $11,310,000 14060 Columbia Corridor Rail Intermodal Connector
    $12,259,000 14065 SW Gibbs St Ped Bridge over I-5, Part of SoWa
    $5,573,000 14066 Regional Trails Program
    $3,472,000 14272 92nd Ave SE Powell Sidewalk & Bike Lane, Curb/Drainage, Landscaping,
    Lighting
    $1,310,000 14273 Waud Bluff Trail: N Basin Ave Willamette Blvd.
    $1,378,000 14407 Springwater Trail
    $1,075,000 14409 Marine Dr Bike/Trail
    $346,000 144111 Springwater Trailhead
    $992,000 14413 Cleveland Station-Ruby Jct Max Trail-Path
    $2,006,000 14441 2008 Metro Regional Travel Options Program
    $2,006,000 14442 2009 Metro Regional Travel Options Program
    $557,000 14443 2008 Travel Smart Program Educate Citizens About Alt. Modes of Trans
    $8,169,000 14482 Regional Rail Debt for LRT Commuter Rail & Bus Purchases
    $8,515,000 14483 Regional Rail Debt for LRT Commuter Rail & Bus Purchases
    $1,039,000 14567 Metro RTO Program-Encourage Modes to Drive Alone
    $984,000 14568 Metro RTO
    $1,875,000 14569 Portland Streetcar Analysis for Extension of System
    $1,875,000 14570 Portland Streetcar Analysis for Extension of System
    $827,000 14572 Trolley Trail SE Arista-Multi-Use Path
    $930,000 14573 Debt Service Costs Interstate Max Beaverton Commuter
    $4,532,000 14574 Debt Service Costs Interstate Mx-I-205 LRT, Wilsonville Beaverton Commuter Rail/Bus Purch
    $2,196,000 14575 Regional Rail Debt Service Interstate Max, I-205 LRT Wilsonville Beaverton Commuter Rail/Bus
    $1,850,000 14576 See Above
    $276,000 15494 Metro Van Pool
    Total: $121.7 MILLION DOLLARS of GAS TAX ODOT DOLLARS GOING FOR
    PORTLAND (ONLY) MASS TRANSIT/BIKE LANES/PEDESTRIANS/MASS TRANSIT
    EDUCATION
    Thanks to Jerry’s posing at: https://bojack.org/2007/06/sam_the_tram_jerks_your_chain_1.html
    Information is originally from: https://highway.odot.state.or.us/cf/STIPSrch/index.cfm

    Here is another $130 Million for rail/bus on the ODOT list for Portland Region:
    14475 Bus & Rail Preventive Maintenance 2008 — $53,726,000
    14476 Bus & Rail Preventive Maintenance 2009 — $57,645,000
    14479 Rail Preventive Maintenance — $10,844,000
    14480 Rail Preventive Maintenance — $11,511,000
    New Grand Total: Over $250 million NOT FOR roads!

    PDF version of the above: https://www.portlandfacts.com/printables/ExamplesOfTransportSpending02.PDF)

    Thanks
    JK

  • jim karlock

    Sorry that post was to the wrong Blog!!
    (but it is another sort of fraud)

    Thanks
    JK

  • Anonymous

    vdeanp,
    You obvioulsy only go to RealClimate or ClimateProgress for climategate BS.
    Those left wing, unethical loon blogs that censor, block posts, alter posts and shape discussions.

    That’s why you don’t know that so called clearing of climategate involved investigations that didn’t even interview the skeptic critics involved in the FOIA requests and other issues.

    That’s the kind of investigation you dishonest warmers prefer.

    Having avoided the truth you don’t even know the story of climategate.
    That’s perfect for the misinformed radical you enjoy being.

    • dartagnan

      The beauty of a conspiracy theory is that it can never be proved wrong, at least not to the satisfaction of those who believe in it. No matter how many commissions and investigative panels debunk it, the believers will dismiss them as part of the conspiracy. The global warming deniers, those who are convinced George Bush and Dick Cheney blew up the World Trade Center and those who believe the CIA killed JFK are all in the same boat this way.

  • jim karlock

    *Hey Dean Apostle AKA Valley p:*

    That review found that
    1. The CRU had a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness
    2. The CRU should have made available an unambiguous list of the stations used
    3. The figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading.
    4. The small sample size of the tree ring data from the Yamal peninsula data was difficult to find out until it was archived in 2009
    5. There was unhelpfulness in responding to requests
    6. There is evidence that e-mails might have been deleted in order to make them unavailable
    7. The CRU should make available sufficient information, concurrent with any publications, to enable others to replicate their results.
    8 . There is a need for alternative viewpoints to be recognized in policy presentations, with a robust assessment of their validity, and for the challenges to be rooted in science rather than rhetoric.
    9. The spirit of openness enshrined in the FoIA and the EIR was not embraced by UEA

    Hardly a ringing endorsement of the CRU, but not too bad for what was essentially a white wash.
    \
    Here are the selections that the above are based on, from:
    The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review, July 2010, Page 11
    https://www.cce-review.org/pdf/FINAL%20REPORT.pdf

    15. *But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness,* both on the part of the CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA, who failed to recognise not only the significance of statutory requirements but also the risk to the reputation of the University and, indeed, to the credibility of UK climate science.

    18. *On the allegation of withholding station identifiers we find that CRU should have made available an unambiguous list of the stations used in each of the versions of the Climatic Research Unit Land Temperature Record (CRUTEM) at the time of publication. We find that CRU?s responses to reasonable requests for information were unhelpful and defensive.*

    23. On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a „trick? and to „hide the decline? in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), *the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading.*

    24. On the allegations in relation to withholding data, in particular concerning the small sample size of the tree ring data from the Yamal peninsula, CRU did not withhold the underlying raw data (having correctly directed the single request to the owners). *But it is evidently true that access to the raw data was not simple until it was archived in 2009 and that this delay can rightly be criticized on general principles. In the interests of transparency, we believe that CRU should have ensured that the data they did not own, but on which their publications relied, was archived in a more timely way.*

    27. *On the allegation that CRU does not appear to have acted in a way consistent with the spirit and intent of the FoIA or EIR, we find that there was unhelpfulness in responding to requests and evidence that e-mails
    might have been deleted in order to make them unavailable should a subsequent request be made for them.* University senior management should have accepted more responsibility for implementing the required processes for
    FoIA and EIR compliance.

    28. Given the significance of the work of CRU, *UEA management failed to recognise in their risk management the potential for damage to the University?s reputation fuelled by the controversy over data access.*

    29. Our main recommendations for UEA are as follows:
    Risk management processes should be directed to ensuring top management engagement in areas which have the potential to impact the reputation of the university.

    Compliance with FoIA/EIR is the responsibility of UEA faculty leadership and ultimately the Vice-Chancellor. Where there is an organisation and documented system in place to handle information requests, this needs to be owned, supported and reinforced by University leadership. *CRU should make available sufficient information, concurrent with any publications, to enable others to replicate their results.*

    32. Handling Uncertainty – where policy meets science. Climate science is an area that exemplifies the importance of ensuring that policy makers – particularly Governments and their advisers, Non-Governmental Organisations and other lobbyists – understand the limits on what scientists can say and with what degree of confidence. Statistical and other techniques for explaining uncertainty have developed greatly in recent years, and it is essential that they are properly deployed. But *equally important is the need for alternative viewpoints to be recognized in policy presentations, with a robust assessment of their validity, and for the challenges to be rooted in science rather than rhetoric.*

    33. *Peer review – what it can/cannot deliver.* We believe that peer review is an essential part of the process of judging scientific work, but *it should not be overrated as a guarantee of the validity of individual pieces of research,* and the significance of challenge to individual publication decisions should be not exaggerated.

    34. Openness and FoIA. *We support the spirit of openness enshrined in the FoIA and the EIR. It is unfortunate that this was not embraced by UEA,* and we make recommendations about that. A well thought through publication scheme would remove much potential for disruption by the submission of multiple requests for information. But at the level of public policy there is need for further thinking about the competing arguments for the timing of full disclosure of research data and associated computer codes etc, as against considerations of confidentiality during the conduct of research. There is much scope for unintended consequences that could hamper research: US experience is instructive. We recommend that the ICO should initiate a debate on these wider issues.

  • Joe

    When I get cold I need heat. I have no money. Government must help me.
    I use my money, when I have it, for video poker and for booze and cigs.

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