Because it pays … By Mustang
Considering the total amount of welfare spending, welfare fraud is but a small percentage. This, at least, is the argument posed by the defenders of state welfare. On the other hand, interviews with welfare recipients where the questioner has gained a high level of trust with his subject illustrates that most welfare recipients fail to report their total income and that just over 80% of these recipients are willing to cheat because there is only a 16% chance that their dishonesty will be discovered. It’s a game —and one that pays good dividends.
Welfare fraud, while widespread, is mostly committed by people who struggle financially. In a study conducted in 2012, 88% of welfare recipients admitted that they regularly cheat, either to maintain their benefit, or toward increasing it. The 2012 study was remarkably consistent with one conducted in 1988, where 80% of Chicago blacks worked either full or part time but failed to report their income to the welfare office. In 1974, a study of 450 welfare recipients in Orange County, California discovered a 45% fraud rate; in less than ten years, this number increased by 729%.
In 2016, investigators in the Social Security Administration received 143,385 allegations of fraud. They opened 8,048 cases; 1,162 people were eventually convicted of fraud. This was a small percentage of individuals ever going into court, but the government claims to have recovered $52.6 million while imposing $4.5 million in fines.
Note: I’m not sure how the government “recovers” stolen benefits. What I do know is that fraud perpetrated against the Social Security Administration Trust Fund threatens the integrity of the fund and blocks access to needy applicants with legitimate claims for benefits[…]
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