NOVEMBER 02, 2011
In a perplexing waste of taxpayer funds, the Obama Administration has injected $1.7 billion into a fraud-infested welfare program rife with corruption that’s routinely exposed in congressional probes and the media.
Even for an administration that specializes in doling out record amounts of public assistance, it’s a senseless allocation that deserves scrutiny. This is especially true because just a few months ago, the scandal-plagued program that gives needy residents cash to pay heating and cooling bills got $311 million from the administration.
Each year the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) gets billions from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The agency distributes the money because the government considers home energy a public health issue. LIHEAP could help keep families safe and healthy, according to HHS. In fact, the agency encourages people to apply by saying: “If you can’t afford to pay your home energy bill, your home may not be safe and you may be at risk of serious illness or injury,”
Prior to this latest allocation of $1.7 billion, LIHEAP had already received $4.2 billion this fiscal year. The money helps needy families get “basic essentials” to sustain a “healthy and quality standard of living,” according to Obama’s Health Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. She says the assistance will help “burdened” families who are forced to make “difficult financial decisions” relating to their home energy needs.
Instead the government has paid the air conditioning bills for thousands of dead people, convicted felons and federal employees whose salary exceeds the maximum income to qualify for the handouts. In fact, one federal employee admitted requesting “free money” after seeing the “long lines” of applicants. You can’t make this stuff up. The details are included in a congressional report documenting fraud in LIHEAP. Investigators blame lack of oversight for the problems.
Yet the administration keeps pouring money into it. Sebelius says it will “offset seasonal energy costs” so that low-income families can have more opportunities to “use their money for other necessities” such as food or medicine. As a side note, the Obama Administration is also promoting food stamps like there’s no tomorrow and it’s safe to bet the LIHEAP recipients are among those getting free food from Uncle Sam as well.
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