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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

You Won't Believe This

      You Won't Believe This
      Imagine the IRS deciding to stop all income tax audits because it didn't have enough employees.  Do you suppose some folks might try to cheat on their taxes?
      Well as far-fetched as it seems, the state welfare department in 2001 did exactly that.  It stopped auditing the millions of dollars it was sending to day care providers under the unbelievable naive notion that this "honor system" would work.
      Of course it didn't and the state got taken to the cleaners for about $10 million of your tax dollars.
      None of this occurred on the current director's watch but it was IsmailA 0Admed's thankless task to disclose all this to the capitol press corps this week.
      Oh sure he tried to razzle-dazzle reporters with all that talk about installing reforms, and being aggressive about finding fraud, but the elephant in the room refused to wander away:  Some fool had implemented a policy whereby providers got money from the state and the state looked the other way hoping against hope that nothing bad would happen.
      This debacle, and that is being charitable, began on the watch of Mr. Welfare Reform himself, Gov. John Engler.  He was hell bent on slashing the size of state government, so he offered early retirement to lots of civil servants and surprise, surprise, lots of them left state government just to get away from Engler.
      As a result in the welfare department 22% of the folks who rode herd on the child care money said adios and Engler's welfare director Doug Howard amazingly signed off on the honor system because he apparently didn't have enough bodies to monitor where the mool a went.
      "It didn't work," a sheepish director Amand confessed.
       While he can't be held accountable, ya gotta wonder what his predecessor, Marianne Udow was doing and where was Gov. Granholm during all this?
       Incredibility however the honor system continues today as the department is still under funded and understaffed, but everyone promises they are clamping down on the fraud.
       Now, don't you feel better?


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