Friday, June 17, 2011

Governments Work Together at Our Expense

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri could soon learn whether it will have to repay millions of dollars to the federal government for mistakenly inflating its food stamp rolls throughout much of the past decade.

State officials acknowledged in December 2009 that a computer programming error led Missouri to over-report the number of food stamp participants to the federal government for six straight years. During that time, Missouri received more than $14 million in federal bonuses because of its high participation rates.

So Missouri was overpaid $14 million dollars by the Federal government. Later we get this response from the feds:

"Kudos to the state for recognizing there was indeed a problem and reporting it," [Jean] Daniel [spokeswoman for the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture] said. "It's a long process when you have to go back in and pull all those samples and redo all this."

So the spokeswoman for the federal government expresses sympathy for the difficulty of doing the right thing?! I find that striking because the state of Missouri acted so harshly against small business owner Stephanie Patton. Missouri's Department of Social Services and Department of Health and Senior Services destroyed Stephanie's adult daycare business with their racist regulatory overreach. Because of ongoing legal proceedings, Stephanie has not been able to re-open her business and return to the work she loves. So we see an odd professional courtesy between Missouri and the feds while closer to home it's "small business beware." I doubt the economy will turn around while cozy state and federal regulators only hold private individuals and businesses to account.

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