Las Vegas Sun

January 31, 2015

Currently: 63° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Letter to the editor:

Welfare system abuse is rampant

Another view?

View more of the Las Vegas Sun's opinion section:

Editorials - the Sun's viewpoint.

Columnists - local and syndicated writers.

Letters to the editor - readers' views.

Have your own opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

I often find myself questioning Paul Krugman’s intellectual honesty, but his column “Monetary views rooted in fiction” simply ignores reality.

In my former neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., welfare fraud was so common that it seemed that everyone was partaking in some sort of program or another. Wealthy businessmen who operated “off the books” could afford luxury sports cars but lived in Section 8 apartments. My able-bodied roommates regularly turned down jobs for fear of losing their coveted food stamps. Drug dealers and junkies supported their habits thanks to the welfare checks they received.

I cannot describe the feeling of utter disgust seeing nearly half of my paycheck going to abusers of the system. Here I was working all day to pay my way through night school, only to see my hard-earned money distributed to people in Escalades. The morally and financially bankrupt state of our current entitlement system make Ayn Rand less of a novelist and more of a prophetess.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 26 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. How someone survives in New York City on less than a thousand dollars a month- I don't know. Are you Republicans psycopaths or fabulists as Krugman suggests ?

    P.S. Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan are both Bimbos although Rand was more of a fabulist and Ryan a psycopath.

  2. Krugman's intellectual honesty is rigorous,perhaps your out of touch with reality ?

  3. Leibel Rodman---Your letter seems to have been written with a paranoia induced by right-wing exaggerations comfortably ensconced in your mind.

  4. and Ryan ran a sub 3hour marathon !

  5. Leibel Rodman,

    I hope you'll take the comments by Dave and Michael for what they are, which are attacks.

    Let's talk about the real issue here. We need social safety net programs. Where we always go wrong is in Congress. Congress passes legislation, but rarely, if ever spends any time or effort reviewing the results of what it passed. Since it is just taxpayer money, the inefficiency, the effectiveness and the abuse is never looked at or addressed. Congress is always so busy passing new legislation, it cannot be bothered to police what it has already passed.

    We could have good social safety net programs, which would make Dave and Michael happy and we could also have programs where abuse is minimal, which would make you happy. But to do it, Americans have to insist that Congress spends alot more time and effort looking at what they passed and making sure it actually works as intended.

    Human nature tells us when free money or benefits are available, abuse will be with us. If we ignore it (and we do) it will only get worse. It's Congress responsibility and we cannot let them ignore it any longer.


  6. Letter writer is right on. Fraud waste and abuse are prevalent in the welfare programs administered by the governments: Federal, state and local. America has turned a hand up to a hand out. Work is important to our individual and collective well being. Freeloading, now a vocation for several generations of Americans, thanks to 50 years of liberal Democratic giveaways, is the ruination and death of society.


  7. The letter covers an well deserved subject. Leftists offer no concerns for welfarm abuses.
    These need to be addressed. The waste and abuse is of little concern to the Left--they simply want the government to pay for more.

    These programs are pooly managed in many respects, and the twisted "taker" mentality is
    eveywhere. These programs need to be tightened up in their administration. Obama is all for these handouts. Only people who pay taxes are investigated in the main. The ones who collect government handouts are frequently not well administered. It's a disgusting mess.

  8. Fraud, waste, and abuse exist in every system. They are not a reason to tear the system down. The correct solution is to rid the system of as much fraud, waste, and abuse as possible.

  9. Welrare fraud has always been big in N.Y.,having lived their most of my life. It was always common knowledge who were the welfare cheats around the neighborhood,we left N.Y.34 years ago.

    This is where we should put our efforts into catching welfare cheats,not trying to do away with social security.Welfare is a entitlement and a direct drain on our hard earned and paid tax dollars.Social security is a trust fund paid for by both employees and employers and earns interest through out the years.

  10. I have lived in Europe in a society that had an excellent social safety net. The difference is that it also had an excellent oversight system. In addition, any monies collected from the government was coupled with some sort of work project. Even the physically handicapped. And finally, the negative stigma associated with "being on the dole" was similar to that which prevailed on our country years ago. People wanted to be self sufficient.

    The major difference is that the Europeans where I lived did not institutionalize welfare the way we have. That and the bureaucratic behemoth that administers it. After all, more welfare means more jobs.

  11. As an interesting aside to my previous comment: If someone attains full disability they are allotted 75% of their previous salary. From that they must pay 1) income tax albeit at a lower rate than the 52% normally paid on income usually around 35%, and 2)health insurance premiums for their health care. That way everyone has "skin in the game" and few are getting their "free lunch."

  12. ByVictor-Eismine,While visiting family in N.Y.many years ago. I just happen to catch the news at that time.The news caster mentioned that the state's budget was fast appoaching 50% for welfare and social services.It was also widely thought at that time in a few years it could surpass the 50% mark. So Mr. Rodman is perhaps dead center on his comments.

  13. Krugman is about as honest & smart as he is tall and he's a midget. He's also an apologist for commies and their proven failures over the many years. Why he puts up with an America he obviously hates and doesn't relocate to North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela, is a mystery. He'd fit right in in all those horrible domains where freedom is as scarce as brains in a lefty. However, if he uttered a word the dictators didn't like, they'd line him up against a wall and show him what a "People's Paradise" under Communism & Socialism is really all about. Say bye, Krugman! Hm, maybe I'll offer to buy him a one way ticket as he wouldn't be coming back soon. Uh, better make that - ever!

  14. NO ONE in Nevada looks at Welfare FRAUD. Applicant fraud, illegals stealing I.D.'s to claim to be Americans and to claim to be someone other than the name/SSN they were using until benefits were cut off. Just look at the terrible results when the feds looked at one program--the MAABD and the Medicaid premiums the state pays--millions in question.

  15. I've lived elsewhere and seen how State's find fraudulent beneficiaries of welfare--prison terms, judgements for restitution.... But in Nevada there doesn't even seem to be a STATUTE to prosecute the con artists who are stealing food stamps, TANF, Child Care funding, LIHEA utility funding. Management at DHHS is blind to the issue.

  16. Shannon: It is NOT enforcing anti-fraud laws to obtain a small (<$5) monthly repayment plan of benefits obtained thru fraud--when the recipient is still on assistance and did a "little" fraud to get duplicate benefits last month. There is no arrest, no prosecution. There are NO INVESTIGATIONS of people using I.D. theft to obtain benefits. Beneficiaries are NOT scrutinized for eligibility--there "word" is taken as fact. OK, there is a computer cross check that the SSN is real and welfare hasn't been received in the current year. Big deal.

  17. Good God...

    Just listen to the TeaNut Haters.
    How sad & pathetic.

  18. Jerry Fink's comments are better than stand up. It takes me back to the "cold war" days where you just call some one a "commie" as an ad hominem argument rather than use facts and logic.

    Jerry, I challenge you to write a comment that contains only facts and analysis with zero name calling or labels!!!

  19. No one at Nevada DHHS is investigating I.D. theft to claim benefits. NO ONE. You don't have laws if you don't enforce them. You can't enforce a law unless you investigate it. NO ONE IS LOOKING.

  20. Roberta, you can't enforce laws when your number one priority is to defund the agency that is supposed to enforce it. DHHS has had its staffing dramatically cut since the Gibbon was the governor and Sandoval can't reinstate the budget dollars without looking like a RINO and risking a primary battle from the right.

  21. Abuse of military power by Conservatives is rampant and out of control. $4 trillion for a war in Iraq - for no reason itself. $26,000 for each tax payer these clowns are complaining about the welfare mothers? Just more hot air.

  22. Krugman is no more than a hack, regardless of his supposed intellectual ability. He has proven it almost daily for more than a decade.

    The author of the letter is correct. I have seen the exact same thing with my own eyes and heard folks brag about their ability to scheme and get what they don't deserve and didn't earn.

    I saw bus drivers come to work so hung over and even drunk they couldn't stay awake and would call the bus in as broken down to the office after they started their route knowing it would take hours to get a wrecker to them and they could sleep it off while they waited after another bus would transfer their pictures. These same bus drivers had a partnership in a club that they stayed up drinking all night at. My neighbors, they bragged about it during poker games. I could recount numerous other stories either witnessed by myself or told to me first hand by the perpetrator. In some neighborhoods it seemed as if everyone was on the take one way or another, getting paid under the table to avoid taxes, claiming foster children that had run away from home to collect state pay for taking care of them, and on and on. Charlie Rangel as we all remember was found to have four rent controlled apartments of which one was used as his office and didn't think anything was wrong with it.

    The Democrats seem to have no problem with massive corruption and waste of taxpayers dollars, especially when they benefit.

  23. Leibel Rodman claims 50% of a pay check went to people on welfare. I call bovine defecation. This person is making spurious statements that are supposed to be an appeal to our emotions.

    Also, a closer examination of Ayn Rand would reveal that she also took advantage of public assistance in the form of Social Security and Medicare even though she had the means to survive nicely without it.

  24. Hank, Nevada DHHS is full of "managers" who are or were the close personal friends of high-ranking officials, just like DETR. The highest-paid administrators have little to no education or real-world experience, just a few years moving up the ladder in positions created for them--so now they look qualified. No wonder the feds have a field day when they come out and look--see LV Sun coverage of audits. And all management does is accuse the feds of "unprofessional" conduct without reason. Ya think that's gonna help resolve issues where the feds have discretion to NOT insist on repayment of mis-spent funding? While State employees have had some adjustments to compensation, things cannot get better until cities, counties, and school districts realign compensation packages--we're just taxing everybody waaay toooo much. We cannot afford essential services until this is corrected--so we will see hiring freezes and layoffs UNTIL compensation is more realistic. We should be helping the economy by cutting taxes and cutting spending on illegals. National media shows Nevada has about 10% of all employees are illegals AND 57% of Mexican illegals are ON WELFARE. Gee, fire the 10% and open those jobs to AMERICANS. Cut off welfare benefits for illegals and let them self deport. Ya keep feeding them, medicating them, housing them, educating them, incarcerating's gonna cost a few bucks.

  25. Every election year the crusaders come out of mothballs to attack any and all waste of tax payer money that the press puts forth. Everyone starts talking about their own personal experience with a public assistance cheat. All patriots as you'd expect. They are religious and patriotic, but only when it but only when it affords them a chance to complain. To actually do something or take action would require effort. If you see something, say something. Don't wait for a letter to the editor to prompt you to complain about something you deem so detrimental our society, that you failed to notify authorities after witnessing it for years.

    I submit to you that all those who make the claim of witnessing such financial terror and failed to report it are so depraved and lazy cowards that not even prompting from a like minded individual can get them to think of forming an original idea.

  26. "Which side are you on?"

    America's side. Rich and poor and all the in between.