Fraud taking money from government programs is a HUGE (YUGE?) thing. They range from doctors billing for non-existent treatment, to over-prescribing drugs for participants, to luring patients in with the promise of FREE stuff (mobility devices for ALL!).
It's not free - it is spending money that taxpayers don't have, to enrich people with no conscience.
With government programs, if you don't pay for something, it's not the same as getting it for FREE!
Someone - perhaps younger or future taxpayers - is paying for it. Free stuff comes at a cost - that money won't be available for other needs - defense of our borders, care for veterans, paying back the money that is already owed (here is a link to the National Debt Clock - the upper left hand corner shows the overall tally - other parts put that figure in context). That's all money SOMEONE has to pay for - and there are not that many rich people who can be forced to pay for it.
Payback will fall to those of us who work and pay taxes. That's about 53% of the population. A little more than 1/2 of Americans are responsible for paying for all of these 'give-aways'.
What can we do about this massive debt?
- Put a halt to increases in programs. Sort out those who should not be getting money, or who are being overpaid (including government contractors).
- Put all departments/agencies on an austerity budget - 5% less in their budget this year. They will have to chose which activities are core, and which are fluff.
- Offer bounties to those who report fraud or abuses of government programs - if their evidence or information leads to a conviction/settlement, they get a cut.
- If someone takes money they are not entitled to, it comes out of their:
- Income tax refund/credit
- Social Security check, if they haven't paid it off before they collect one
- Other sources of income, including Federal/State/Local pension
- Cut the waste. Stop those end-of-the-year purchases. If the agency/department doesn't spend everything, they return the money. NO bonuses if they spend to the limit. NO raises/promotions until the department's budget is at least 5% less than was budgeted.