Putting photos on Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to prevent their use by unauthorized persons will cost a lot of money and result in only the stupidest welfare recipients being caught handing off their EBT cards to someone else. Net gain: zip.
LePage’s failed effort to cut state funding for general assistance would have forced cities and towns to pay more of the cost of that program, thereby raising property taxes. No winner there.
Hiring the Alexander Group, a conservative consultant with a questionable history, to study the welfare system has cost the state over $500,000 to date (with over $400,000 still owed, unless LePage can break the no-bid contract he signed with Alexander), produced a report riddled with plagiarism and resulted in not a dime’s worth of savings.
Out-of-state organizations that were supposed to handle dispatching rides for poor people managed to miss thousands of appointments while soaking up millions of public dollars — significant amounts of them after LePage was made aware of serious deficiencies in the program.
And the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention tried to prevent an outbreak of outrage by shredding documents allegedly showing some unethical (and possibly illegal) rearranging of ratings for health-care grants.
How’s that differ from welfare fraud?
For much of the mess at DHHS, LePage can’t be blamed for his actions — because there haven’t been any. He faults Democrats for his lack of progress, claiming they’ve blocked his reform initiatives. In some cases, that’s true, although it’s an open question as to whether the ideas the governor put forth would have even saved enough money to cover my legal fees.
And I haven’t done anything all that bad. Nothing I’ve been convicted of, anyway.
Alibis for both LePage and me can be emailed firstname.lastname@example.org.