OVER $10 MILLION? REALLY?
There’s a big story in the South Carolina legacy press this week from veteran reporter Tim Smith about an estimated $10 million worth of fraudulent food stamp payouts doled out in the aftermath of last year’s historic flooding (a.k.a. #Floodmaggedon).
Smith’s report – based on data collected by the office of S.C. inspector general Patrick Maley – is yet another example of costly problems at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS).
Seriously … everything this agency touches turns to shit. Everything.
SCDSS administers food stamp benefits in South Carolina – even though state lawmakers removed this annual $1.5 billion line item from the state budget back in 2014.
Why’d they do that? Easy: They wanted to make it look like government was getting smaller when it really … well, wasn’t.
Of course you didn’t hear a peep about this $1.5 billion “adjustment” in the mainstream media but now that $10 million of that money has gone missing (out of a nearly $28 billion budget) it’s apparently a huge deal.
Don’t get us wrong: South Carolina taxpayers should be livid over this latest incompetence. And their anger should mount upon learning several SCDSS workers fraudulently filed for these benefits themselves.
Where are the arrests in those cases? Oh right … the inspector general doesn’t have that sort of power. And the current attorney general isn’t interested in prosecuting corruption (he’s too busy covering it up).
But again, that’s not the point … the point is headline-grabbing stories like this one represent microscopic molecules in much bigger buckets of waste and inefficiency.
Hell, the taxpayer tab for the agency’s ongoing child support enforcement debacle is currently sitting at $280 million.
Several lawmakers – most notably S.C. Senator Katrina Shealy – have been trying for years to fix this broken bureaucracy. Unfortunately their efforts have been rebuffed. Rudely.
Will things at SCDSS improve now that Haley appears to be headed out of town? Let’s hope … although it’s hard to imagine them getting any worse.
(Banner via SCDSS)