Excerpt from A Nation of Moochers: Scenes From Moocher Nation
“Mankind soon learns to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess or may assume. The public money and public liberty...will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold them; distinguished, too, by this tempting circumstance: that they are the instrument as well as the object of acquisition. With money we will get men, said Caesar, and with men we will get money... [Our] assembly should look forward to the time, and that not a distant one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782.
Q:Why are you here?
A: To get some money.
Q: What kind of money?
A: Obama money.
Q: Where's it coming from?
Q: And where did Obama get it?
A: I don't know, his stash... I don't know; I don't know where he got it from. But's he giving it to us. To help us. We love him. That's why we voted for him.
-- (October 7, 2009; scene in Detroit where thousands of residents turned out for free government money. According to AP, they were supposed to apply for federal anti-homelessness grants, but many were under the impression they were registering for $3000 checks from the Obama administration)
“At the meeting, it was hard to discern where concerns over AIG’s collapse ended and concern for Goldman Sachs began: Among the 40 or so people in attendance, Goldman Sachs was on every side of the large conference table, with “triple” the number of representatives as other banks, says another person who was there. ...
“The Goldman domination of the meetings might not have raised eyebrows if a private solution had been forthcoming. …
“Of the $52 billion paid to AIG’s counterparties, Goldman Sachs was the biggest recipient: $13 billion, the entire balance of its claim”.
--New York Magazine[i]
“On Wednesday, 30,000 people suffered through hours in the hot sun, angry flare-ups in the crowd and lots of frustration and confusion for a chance to receive a government-subsidized apartment.
“The massive event sometimes descended into a chaotic mob scene filled with anger and impatience.
--Atlanta Journal Constitution[ii]
”At 300 East 23rd Street in the exclusive Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan, a new 98-unit luxury apartment complex has been built with an outdoor movie theater and panoramic city views. The problem is that not enough buyers are coughing up the $820,000 to $3 million the project’s developers are asking for the privilege to own a unit in the building. ..Last December, the Federal Housing Administration loosened its financing rules so that U.S. taxpayers would have the honor of backing loans with down payments as low as 3.5%. Now rich Manhattanites can better afford condos in buildings with pet spas, concierges and rooftop lounges like the one in Gramercy Park, all on the taxpayers’ dime.”
“More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami.
“State-issued aid cards have been used at hotels, shops, restaurants, ATMs and other places in 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services. Las Vegas drew $11.8 million of the cash benefits, far more than any other destination. The money was accessed from January 2007 through May 2010.
“Of the nearly $12 million accessed in Las Vegas, more than $1 million was spent or withdrawn at shops and casino hotels on, or within a few blocks of, the 4.5-mile strip. The list includes $8,968 at the Tropicana, $7,995 at the Venetian and its Grand Canal Shoppes, and $1,332 at Tix 4 Tonight, seller of discount admission for such acts as Cirque du Soleil…
--Los Angeles Times[iv]
“In Wilkinson County, Miss., a home has been flooded 34 times since 1978….
“The home's value is $69,900. Yet the total insurance payments are nearly 10 times that: $663,000….
“The insurer? The federal government…
“In Fairhope, Ala., the owner of a $153,000 house has received $2.3 million in claims. A $116,000 Houston home has received $1.6 million.”
“A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation…
“For example, the program helped pay the electric bill of a woman who lives in a $2 million home in a wealthy Chicago suburb and drives a Mercedes, according to the yet-to-be released report obtained by The Associated Press…
“Illinois paid $840 toward energy bills for a U.S. Postal Service employee who fraudulently reported zero income even though she earned about $80,000 per year.
"Times are tough and I needed the money," she told investigators.
“EL CAMPO, Tex. -- Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. ...Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual "direct payments," because years ago the land was used to grow rice.
Matthews is not alone. Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all...
[i] Joe Hagan, “Tenacious G, Inside Goldman Sachs, America’s most successful, cynical, envied, despised, and (in its view, anyway) misunderstood engine of capitalism.” New York Magazine, July 26, 2009
[ii] Craig Schneider and Tammy Joyner, “Housing crisis reaches full boil in East Point; 62 injured,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 11, 2010
[iii] “Morning Bell: End Crony Capitalism,” The Foundry, The Heritage Foundation, August 18, 2010
[iv] “Millions in California welfare money spent at vacation playgrounds,” Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2010
[v] Thomas Frank, “Huge losses put federal flood insurance plan in the red,” USA Today, August 26, 2010
[vi] “Feds Wasted Millions in Utilities Program for Poor,” Associated Press, July 1, 2010
[vii] Dan Morgan, Gilbert M. Gaul and Sarah Cohen, “Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm,” The Washington Post, July 2, 2006