Back in April, in a post entitled "The Welfare State Aggressively Advertises To Expand Itself," I described a Washington Post report on state-funded "outreach" efforts in Florida seeking to expand the food stamp rolls. Over the past couple of days I have just kept my eyes open for examples of government use of taxpayer moneys to expand itself and/or entrench its power. This is everywhere.
In the New York Post on June 26 we have Betsy McCaughey reporting on the use of government funds supposedly to set up the California Obamacare "exchange" known as Covered California. It seems that California has been granted some $910 million (!) of Federal funds to set up its exchange. What is that money being used for?
More than half the funds are being handed out in contracts to third parties, and the lion's share of those contracts are for what the exchange terms "outreach." In truth, the money is going to build Democratic Party enrollment.
Examples please? McCaughey's article is full of them, from $600,000 to the NAACP, to $2 million to the SEIU, to $1 million to the AFL-CIO, to $1 million to the Community Health Councils, all for various forms of "outreach," otherwise known as more or less thinly disguised efforts to build enrollment of Democrat-leaning voters.
Further on the efforts to promote Obamacare in California, we have the Heartland Institute reporting on grants to the Los Angeles schools to propagandize their students to promote Obamacare enrollment to their families. LAUSD is getting a grant of $990,000, for a purpose described as follows:
“Teens are part of a ‘pilot’ program to test whether young people can be trained as messengers to deliver outreach and limited education to family and friends in and around their homes,” said Gayle Pollard-Terry, a LAUSD spokesman, in an email. “Teens will be educating adults that they already know (e.g., family or friends) and not other adults.”
Well, should we at least feel good that the kids are not being paid for the effort? Don't worry, others will be:
LAUSD will also use tax-paid staff to promote ObamaCare through phone calls to students’ homes, in-class presentations, and meetings with employees eligible for ObamaCare’s taxpayer-covered healthcare, the grant award says.
Turning away from the promotion of Obamacare, I took a one block walk today down 125th Street in Harlem, going from the subway station at Lexington Avenue to the Metro-North station at Park Avenue. And in that block was a hawker on the street loudly promoting "FREE PHONES!!!" (for anyone receiving government benefits) and handing out flyers for the purpose.
And in the mail at our house, addressed to my recent-college-graduate daughter, from Sallie Mae (nickname of SLM Corporation, purveyor of federally subsidized and guaranteed student loans) junk mail promoting that she should "APPLY TODAY!" for one of their loans to go to graduate school. Well, thankfully, she's not in graduate school.
They are literally desperate to grow as rapidly as possible the number of people receiving the handouts. But when did it become OK to use taxpayer money to promote the growth of the government and of government dependency?