Stealing from all of us

Theft from the government is hardly a victimless crime

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People who bilk the government are flush with excuses to explain their actions.


Nobody is going to miss anything.

It’s not like anybody got hurt.

Who cares? It’s free money, right?

Wrong. Sadly, all those rationalizations help comprise the attitude that too many Americans have when it comes to looting the public sector. Perhaps it’s an indication of how civically stunted society has become – that people who steal from the “government” don’t realize they steal from us all. Where do they think government comes from?

How profoundly disappointing if allegations are true that two moving companies overbilled the Department of Defense on services to relocate soldiers, some of whom were deployed from Fort Gordon.

The companies, Covan World-Wide Moving Inc. and Coleman American Moving Services Inc., deny the allegations brought forth in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia. The companies and their affiliates have billed the government $723 million for moving costs since 2009.

If any overcharges are deemed fraudulent, as opposed to a mistake or negligence, justice hopefully would be swift and severe, such as the punishments levied last week against members of a local fraud ring that used their jobs at Georgia Regents Medical Center and East Central Regional Hospital to steal patient identities and file more than $346,000 in bogus income tax returns during a four-year period.

All participants in the 12-member conspiracy, ranging in age from 22 to 48, have pleaded guilty to federal charges. As of this week, eight have received prison terms and one lesser participant received probation; sentencing dates for the remaining three ringleaders are pending.

U.S. District Judge J. Randal Hall also included restitution in some of the sentences, which means participants in the scheme will have to pay back the stolen funds in monthly installments once released from prison. That is only fair.

Another high-profile tax fraud case originating in Augusta, this one involving a tax-preparation business filing false returns to take advantage of tax credits for the poor, ended in prison terms for the 54-year-old company owner and three accomplices last year.

Unlike the more recent tax fraud case, which relied on identity theft, these perpetrators exploited the earned income tax credit, or EITC, which is arguably the most vulnerable to “improper claims” (IRS parlance for “fraud”).

The EITC acts as an anti-poverty program by wiping out the federal income-tax liability for low-income working families and providing cash payments of up to several thousand dollars. A 2013 Treasury Department report estimates the credit costs the government more than $10 billion a year in improper claims.

The department’s inspector general said it has warned the IRS about rampant EITC fraud but that the IRS “acknowledges that further reductions in the EITC improper payment rate will be difficult to achieve,” according to the report.

Really? Hopefully the agency could find a handful out of its 98,000 employees to focus on a fraud-prone credit that sucks $10 billion from the treasury each year. Maybe the bureaucrats who were tasked with harassing tax-exempt political groups with conservative-sounding names could be freed up.

There’s no such thing as “free money” from the government. Defrauding the government simply is stealing from your neighbor using bureaucrats as a conduit. And those who get caught deserve punishment.

Comments (13) Add comment
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Bodhisattva
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Bodhisattva 01/27/14 - 08:43 am
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Political groups?

No, no, no, no! They're "SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS". If they were political groups they would be committing tax fraud and they would need to be investigated by, the IRS. They could have filed under rues as primarily political groups and been under no scrutiny whatsoever. Of course all of their donors and the amounts given would have to have been disclosed, the death knell to the Tea Party's always fraudulent claim of "grassroots". It's good to see the Chronicle finally admit it, even though it was by a slip of the pen (or computer). The Tea Party groups committed tax fraud by knowingly filing under "social welfare organizations" rules which state that politics CAN NOT BE THE PRIMARY ACTIVITY, which is their only purpose for existing, in a scheme to dodge donor disclosure laws. Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive!

teaparty
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teaparty 01/27/14 - 10:35 am
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I received this email today
Unpublished

I received this email today and it spot on for what is happening.
Who is Saul Alinsky?
Saul David Alinsky, a writer, was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of the modern community organizing movement. He is most noted for his book Rules for Radicals.
Died: June 12, 1972, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Education: University of Chicago
Spouse: Irene Alinsky
Books: Rules for Radicals, Reveille for Radicals
Anyone out there think that this stuff isn't happening today in the U.S.?
In case you hadn't noticed, all eight rules are currently in play, and Chairman Obama and his oligarchical minions are very much its hardcore disciples. November 4, 2014 will only mark a beginning, as we must run the Progressives out of office in Congress, keep the heat turned up for the 2016 elections, and work to rid ourselves of the entrenched liberals in the government bureaucracy.Then, we can turn around the eight social state agendas that have been insidiously injected into our culture.
How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky:
There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.
1) Healthcare - Control
healthcare and you control the people
2) Poverty - Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt - Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun -Control � Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to
create a police state.
5) Welfare-Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and
Income)
6) Education - Take
control of what people read and listen to take control of what children learn
in school.
(7) Religion - Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
8) Class Warfare - Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States?
Alinsky merely simplified Vladimir Lenin's original scheme for world conquest by communism, under Russian rule. Stalin described his converts as "Useful Idiots." The Useful Idiots have destroyed every nation in which they have seized power and control. It is presently happening at an alarming rate in the U.S. It may be too late to reverse the decline.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 01/27/14 - 11:19 am
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"Tea Party's always

"Tea Party's always fraudulent claim of "grassroots". "

I've been to a few Tea Party rallies. Those WERE NOT millionaires and billionaires on the Commons down there. Definitely grass roots.

The only problem with the Tea Party organizations is that they started beating the Democrats at their own game. So Obama and the Democrats turned the IRS loose on them. Meanwhile, Obama's half-brother got an tax exempt approval in 30 days, personally approved by Lois Lerner. Where there is stink, there is rot and the IRS persecution of Tea Party groups smells to high heaven. And it still continues.

Oh yeh, how is that Obamacare working out for you folks. They Republicans tried to tell you and they were 100% right. Premiums up between 50% and 300%. Same for copays and deductibles. Skyrocketing costs to be passed on to the taxpayers. Companies not hiring and cutting people back to 29 hours so they won't have to provide benefits. Doctors retiring and others refusing to participate in Obamacare policies. The Republicans told you. So did the Tea Party. THAT is why the IRS was instructed to harass and deny their requests.

deestafford
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deestafford 01/27/14 - 11:25 am
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The editorial and the comment by teaparty are really on target..

The editorial and the comment by teaparty are really on target and tie together very well.

With less than half of the people in the country paying income tax they don't know/understand where the government gets it money and as a result don't see that it is stealing from their ( I was going to say "neighbors" but their neighborhood is probably made up of the same ignorant people.) fellow citizens. Too many people think the money for the government just falls like manta from above. They don't understand or care that the only way the government gets money is to confiscate it at the threat of prison from the producers.

Teaparty's comment about Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals unfotunately will pass through the semi-permeable membrane between the ears of the left without leaving an awareness of what Obama and his cohorts are trying to do to the country. They see all his actions as attempts to right pass wrongs caused by the "priviledged" and compassion for the "less foootttuuuunnnnate".

dahreese
5019
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dahreese 01/27/14 - 12:36 pm
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"Teaparty's comment about
Unpublished

"Teaparty's comment about Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals unfotunately will pass through the semi-permeable membrane between the ears of the left without leaving an awareness of what Obama and his cohorts are trying to do to the country."

What are you and those who share your conservative/Republican views going to do when the White House has a Republican president and nothing changes?

That's exactly what you had when GWB was president.

Conserrvatives/Republican commenters on here, and the AC as well(?), moan and groan that it isn't the responsibility of the government to create jobs and then turn around and moan and groan that Obama hasn't created any.

Make up your minds.

deestafford
44848
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deestafford 01/27/14 - 12:55 pm
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3
dahreese, that is a good question...

dahreese, that is a good question and one the party is wrestling with and one the tea party is trying to impact. You see, we have not had a true conservative nominee or president since Ronald Reagan (peace be unto him) and we conservatives are trying to prevent making the same mistake.

The media wants Christie someone who is blusterous and makes good headlines but is not conservative in the sense we want. Hopefully, the changes to the Republican primary system will help. One thing I would like to see is close primaries so that only registered Republicans could vote.

Our best nominee may come from one of the Republican governors out t here. Scott Walker has done a great job in WI. I still think Herman Cain would be great.

Senators and Congressmen as a whole do not make good presidents as evident by the current occupant of the office. Whomever we choose will win if they are able to articulate the small government, low taxes, and individual responsibility message so that even low information voters can understand it. We definitely do not need any more NE moderates.

Thank you for asking such a good question and allowing me to explain why we do not need to repeat our past mistakes of not running true conservatives. Of course, the democrats will have no problem selecting someone who matches their far left, collectiveness ideology as that is all who are available to run.

KSL
181626
Points
KSL 01/27/14 - 02:05 pm
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3
teaparty

Don't forget that Hillary is just as much of an Alinsky follower as Obama. She had her Senior Thesis at Wellesley put under lock and key during Bill's run for president because it was about Alinsky.

Dseven
185
Points
Dseven 01/27/14 - 02:11 pm
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"Don't Realize"

Don't kid yourself, these leaches on society, know exactly what they are doing. They simply don't care; they brag about it! They take, take take, and then take some more. Eventually when there is no more to take, and no one else to blame, they'll take blood.

deestafford
44848
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deestafford 01/27/14 - 02:12 pm
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If one looks at some of Marx's, Stalin's, Obama's, and Hillary's

If one looks at some of Marx's, Stalin's, Obama's , and Hillary's quotes they will find tremendous simularities. So similar that it is scary. She is just as radical and leftist as Obama is and has been all her life.

myfather15
59559
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myfather15 01/27/14 - 03:11 pm
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2
dahreese

We will do the EXACT same thing we do now, while we've got an extreme liberal President and NOTHING has changed for the better!!

Honestly dahreese; do you believe poor people are more wealthy or even better off, under this President? What has he done that substantionally has helped the poor and those in poverty?

I certainly do not consider myself poor or wealthy!! I consider myself living somewhere in the middle. I started out policing in 1997 and was making $8.50/Hr in my first policing job. Now I make over double that, but it certainly isn't because of ANY President. Why do you even expect a President to dramtically change individuals lives? I certainly do NOT and I don't believe that was the vision of the founding of this Country!! Government is NOT, NOT, NOT responsible or accountable for providing people with better lives!! THAT is communism!!

myfather15
59559
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myfather15 01/27/14 - 03:18 pm
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2
I certainly do NOT blame the

I certainly do NOT blame the President for all that ails this Country!! I didn't blame Bush and I don't blame Obama for EVERYTHING. But His policies are certainly HURTING the working man and woman out here!! THAT is a fact!! He is making us work harder to support people who refuse to support themselves and do THEIR PART!!

I am NOT talking about truly disabled people!! I'm talking about the millions of mouchers that exist and that is a FACT!!! Plus, our government wastes so much money, it should absolutely be CRIMINAL!! Why don't they start with completely eliminating pork spending and criminalize it!! Any politician caught creating bills that give family and friends big government money, should end up in prison!!

But then Obama and Eric Holder might have to incarcerate Michelle Obama and her friend that got the deal to create the ACA website!! Over 700 million to create a FAILED WEBSITE!!! Amazing!!

teaparty
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teaparty 01/27/14 - 04:05 pm
4
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"That's exactly what you had
Unpublished

"That's exactly what you had when GWB was president."
dahreese, you are corrected. GWB was a repub but was not very conservative. He did lower taxes which helped the economy until the housing bubble burst. When Bush created Homeland Security he created a monstrosity of a government fiasco. I agree most the republicans are not very conservative that is the reason for the tea party. But the repubs are much better than democrats. The Marxists/communists from the 60s & 70s have taken over the democrat party. The Marxist leaders of the democrat party think they are so much smart than the leaders of failed Marxist/communist countries of the past. But each time the Marxists come in power poverty and violence follows.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 01/27/14 - 04:32 pm
5
2
"Don't forget that Hillary is
Unpublished

"Don't forget that Hillary is just as much of an Alinsky follower as Obama."
KSL, the big difference between Hillary and Obama is Obama is a racist that hates everything this country was based on.

Darby
37774
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Darby 01/27/14 - 04:38 pm
4
1
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

When first we practise (sic) to deceive!"

.
Some of us are just a veritable reservoir of personal opinion and useless (mis)information.

swcohen
628
Points
swcohen 01/27/14 - 06:51 pm
2
3
Rules For Radicals

A semi-non-sequitur, (quasi-sequitur?) to be sure, but I have a signed first edition of Saul Alinsky's book in my library. I inherited it with the rest of my parents' things. I've no idea how or why they came to possess it, but there it is. I read it once... taken as an artifact of the time in which it was written, it was entertaining, if not exactly enlightening. A lot of bitterness, of railing against what we once called "the establishment," (that'd be us, then, right?) and a lot of circa-1971 wishful thinking about a new world. Dated, and practically useless for the redesign of the US economy that many of you fear. There's a good movie in there, though. Wonder if Christian Bale and Denzel Washington would be up for it...

InChristLove
22491
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InChristLove 01/27/14 - 08:06 pm
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2
(dahreese) "and moan and

(dahreese) "and moan and groan that Obama hasn't created any."

Oh no dahreese, we moan and groan about the lie Obama told us, that he would create jobs and hasn't. There is a difference.

Bodhisattva
10634
Points
Bodhisattva 01/28/14 - 08:18 am
0
1
"Some of us are just a

"Some of us are just a veritable reservoir of personal opinion and useless (mis)information." This isn't AA, no need for a soul confession Darbs. Why the (sic)? Readers could look it up to see it was the spelling as originally written, albeit archaic. I'm sure you were only trying to point out it was archaic, right Darbs?

Bodhisattva
10634
Points
Bodhisattva 01/28/14 - 08:56 am
0
1
" Meanwhile, Obama's

" Meanwhile, Obama's half-brother got an tax exempt approval in 30 days, personally approved by Lois Lerner." Lerner? The Lerner who went to the IRS ans was promoted to director of the Exempt Organizations Division in 2005, under the Bush administration? Malik Obama is a kook and a crook. I'm sure his approval came because he CLAIMED the foundation was "committed to a wide array of development and humanitarian projects which will help mitigate social-shortcomings in areas of education and literacy, health and well-being, poverty, and lack of community infrastructure in such basic needs such as water, electricity, shelter and sustenance" in Kenya. Notice it's not endorse political candidates and exist solely for political purposes. He set up a scam using his brother's name. He'll get his.

Darby
37774
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Darby 01/28/14 - 12:52 pm
2
0
"I'm sure you were only trying to point out it was

archaic, right Darbs?"

.
Of course it was archaic, as is the entire liberal, Democrat, socialist dogma that dictates and directs all extreme left wing propaganda.

If we are to have a prosperous future, we must live in the present. Agreed? Forsooth! , Odds bodkins!

Is that what you were trying to say, Bodsie?

I'll bet that even though you won't admit it, you'll be as happy as I will be to see that Keynesian in the White House pack up his toys and move out.

Although he may just issue an executive order to build himself a little vacation cottage on the White House lawn.

teaparty
11313
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teaparty 01/28/14 - 03:30 pm
1
0
' Malik Obama is a kook and a
Unpublished

' Malik Obama is a kook and a crook.'
bod, I have more respect for him than I do for the lying communist in the whitehouse.

Darby
37774
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Darby 01/28/14 - 06:49 pm
2
0
"Although he may just issue an executive order

to build himself a little vacation cottage on the White House lawn."

.
Now I'm scared. I may have just given OzBama the seeds of a plan. I can see it now. A little year-round vacation bungalow for him and Michelle and maybe a little nine hole golf course where the Rose Garden is now.

Horrors! I should have kept my big mouth shut!

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