A group of gang members in California is helping Nancy Pelosi stimulate the economy by collecting unemployment checks for one member who is in jail for murder.
“Family members of a convicted murderer in the L.A. County jail system were arrested for allegedly cashing $30,000 worth of his unemployment checks, authorities said,” according to the LA Times.
“‘Anthony Garcia had family and friends cashing his $1,600-per-month government assistance checks while he served time,’ said Capt. Mike Parker, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His accomplices would then deposit a portion of the money into Garcia’s jail account. They also shared the cash with Garcia’s fellow incarcerated gang members.”
But hey, if you’re a Democrat, there’s always a bright side to an out-of-control government program, even if it involves a crime.
“It injects demand into the economy,” Pelosi told reporters last year, as she defended extended unemployment benefits according to Fox News “arguing that when families have money to spend it keeps the economy churning. ‘It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name,’” concluded Pelosi.
See? Not just a silver lining, but a whole rainbow of benefits for unemployment fraud.
I know: You are worried because this guy is already in BIG trouble as a result of that whole murder thing. Garcia is serving 65 years-to-life for the killing of a rival gang member, John Juarez. But, as Pelosi points out, collecting unemployment is the fastest way Garcia can help Democrats create real, good-paying jobs for their friends who are selling drugs both in and out of prison.
Maybe we can get Anthony Garcia a Medal of Freedom, just like Obama tax-advocate Warren Buffett?
According to the San Gabriel Tribune, Garcia’s brother, mother and “three other people were arrested last year on charges related to a scheme to smuggle drugs into county jail.”
As county sheriff’s detective Sgt. Kevin Lloyd told the Tribune: "Theft, drug sales, and violent crimes are an integral part of the gang culture."
And it takes money to fund organized crime.
That’s where unemployment fraud steps in.
It helps if you don’t think about it as a crime. You need to think about this as a kind of bailout program for gang culture. After all, these folks may be despicable thieves and murderers, but as the Tribune points out, they have families who can’t always count on their criminal enterprise working out.
That’s when true, self-sacrificing Democrats turn to fraudulent unemployment benefits to get the over the hump.
And apparently, we have nothing to fear, because Democrat patriotism seems to be breaking out all over our great country.
States paid out $16.5 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims in 2010 writes the Fiscal Times, and in “the 12 months from April 2010 to March 2011, overpayments jumped again to 11.6 percent--more than $1 for every $9 paid out, a 1.6 percent increase over the historical average last decade.”
Only $1 for every $9 paid out is fraudulent? Heck, that’s a lot better than the General Motors bailout.
I was a little skeptical, but Nancy may have been right.
Certainly, the green job thing didn’t work out; the bailouts have kind of a mixed reputation; stimulus was the wrong kind of shovel-ready.
So there you have it: Unemployment fraud really could be creating jobs “faster than almost any other initiative” the Democrats have tried.
The Department of Labor doesn’t look at it as crime, mostly.
“We don’t think this is mostly about fraud—we think it’s a lack of clarity of understanding [emphasis added] what eligibility is,” Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor, told the Times.
See? The government says it’s not anyone’s fault. It’s all the fault of that darned word “is.”
It’s only fraud if you, like Eric Holder, are stupid enough to have a state of mind that intends to deceive others and conveys such very transparently.
So don’t expect the government to enforce the anti-fraud law or better “clarify the understanding of what eligibility is.” They have no money to do that. Not with all the extra fraud dollars going out the door.
“This is about states not having enough resources to enforce eligibility,” said Walter Nicholson, a typical liberal hack economist at Amherst College who is just an apologist for even bigger government programs, and who, according to the Times, specializes in unemployment insurance.
The Times points out that a mind-numbing 43 percent of the unemployment payments made in Louisiana and Indiana were fraudulent in 2010. And only $474 million of the $16.5 billion in fraud from that year has been recouped.
But, as I said: That’s a much better record than General Motors, even if the recipients might be less deserving.
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