California Welfare Money Wasted Outside the State

“We have to sacrifice property rights to a massive government that confiscates and redistributes wealth,” liberals bleat, as if completely unaware of churches, private charities, families, and friends, “because otherwise there will be no safety net.” Nearly bankrupt California shows us the government safety net in action:

Thousands of documents show tens of millions of welfare dollars have been spent out of state, some at vacation resorts. …

A Los Angeles Times analysis found $69 million was spent outside state lines during a three and a half year period beginning in January 2007 at tourist destinations like Las Vegas, Hawaiian beaches and cruise ships in Florida. …

Benefits are deposited electronically onto welfare cards that are used like a debit card in stores or to withdraw cash at certain ATMs.

The Times analysis found nearly $12 million was spent in Las Vegas, $1.5 million in Florida, $387,908 in Hawaii, and $16,010 withdrawn from ATMs on cruise ships.

Unburdened by work requirements, welfare recipients have been taking extended vacations.

The state says accounts aren’t normally flagged until out-of-state transactions continue for more than 30 days because recipients aren’t supposed to be gone that long.

Most aren’t that careful when spending other people’s money. Consequently,

Another problem is when welfare recipients don’t use certain ATMs, taxpayers pick up those extra fees. Last year, the state paid more than $11 million in ATM surcharges, and we’ll likely surpass that this year because bank fees have gone up.

At least this should help stimulate the economy, according to the Keynesian theories so popular on the Left — just not the economy of the California taxpayers picking up the bill.

California is said to have one of the lowest fraud rates in the country, possibly because so many of its residents haven’t bothered to master English, so the situation is probably worse in other states.

Here’s a radical notion: rather than pass out free money cards, why not get the government boot off the neck of employers, so people have a chance to earn money instead of having bureaucrats steal it on their behalf?

golden-state-advantage-card.jpg
California’s free money card: good at casinos everywhere.

On tips from Oiao and G. Fox. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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