Now, in the grand scheme of bureaucratic incompetence, tens of millions of dollars is not really that much, I think we will agree. In and of itself, it's a lot of money, sure, but incompetent bureaucrats in other parts of government squander this kind of money pretty frequently. In the case of state-level benefits programs, federal policies actually encourage extending benefits to as many people as are 'qualified' to receive them, and benefit those who 'qualify' the most. In other words, they invite the very incompetence and fraud that they then round on, once it has come to light.
I mention the story mostly because yesterday the IRS estimated that the cheapest ObamaCare plan covering a family of five, the "Bronze Plan," will cost about $20k/annum. That really does price it out of reach of many, if not most, of what the feds like to designate "working families." In typical Obama fashion, he laments that the costs are due to the way the legislation, which he demanded be rammed through Congress, was written, and that his hands were tied. Anybody who watched what was visible of the process at the time with any attention at all could have foreseen that the tricksy guidelines fed the CBO to estimate the costs at the time the legislation was being rammed through were grossly unrealistic. And anybody who cares to consider the nature of the bureaucratic beast that is supposed to administer this monstrosity must also understand that any system so grotesquely designed has built into it plenty of opportunities for incompetence, fraud and waste, and that those opportunities are the only things that never do go to waste.
Meep has done a wonderful job for a long time here pointing out the varieties of magical thinking that unions indulge in, with regard to government benefits programs (as well as pensions), or "entitlements," if you will. Now, many of those unions, who helped agitate for the passage of ObamaCare, find to their shock and dismay that it is much more costly than they were led to believe. Imagine that. And to top it all off, the US GDP actually contracted during the last quarter (CNN spins it, thus), and unemployment has just risen again. Administration apologists are busily explaining the contraction away as the result of decreased defense spending and fear of sequestration, but the idea that small businesses might not be expanding in order to avoid ObamaCare mandates is almost nowhere discussed in the legacy media. The highly theoretical windfall from higher taxation on 'the wealthy' was expended entirely on hurricane relief and all its riders.
Wealth is created by labor, usually under the aegis of a 'business,' with access to resources. Entitlements are created by fiat. A majority, it would seem, of our perverted political class believes that the latter is more important than the former, although whether the latter means anything at all depends entirely on the condition of the former. The welfare state really is an economic suicide compact, in its present metastasis. Here we are, in this lifeboat, and it seems that there's nobody left to shake down. Now the drawing of lots begins. Now the death panels begin. Now the Liverpool Pathway is coming to us. All of this shite about quality of life . . . quality of life is not for the elderly. Death with dignity is. Just how dignified it is to be made entirely dependent on the whim of the all-powerful State might still be debatable; I am not sure. Obama wishes to enlist those terrible doctors who perform unnecessary surgeries to line their pockets to discourage us from owning guns, because we must trust the fox to guard our lives and property here in the henhouse.
We are, like Hamlet, "promise-cramm'd."
The character from the children's story was ridiculed for trading a cow for a handful of magical beans. At least he got a handful of beans to go with his promises. And, no, the story is not about herdsmen shifting to agrarianism, though I'm sure some academic is ready to argue that premise. It's about wish fulfillment and robbery and the treasures that bad people—by which I mean other people, especially those very large ones who live in castles on clouds and whom we regard as abusing their employees—have accumulated. We have reached the point, in short, where none of the unalienable rights propounded by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence is regarded by our government to be still unalienable.
I like to think, though, that we can enjoy ourselves vicariously, still. So, if your bag is underaged Dominican hookers, Bob Menendez is still living the dream for you.