On Thursday, the state's Inspector General announced that at least $25 million in welfare benefits went to people who did not deserve them. I'm not surprised. Recently, Governor Deval Patrick called examples of welfare fraud "anecdotes." Does he really believe that $25 million is chump change? I doubt it, and I can prove it.
Last December, the Department of Public Utilities levied some big fines on the state's power companies over their responses to Tropical Storm Irene and the freak October snowstorm in 2011. There were over 300,000 people who lost their power and many waited longer than a week for restoration after each storm. Governor Patrick demanded that the power companies be held accountable. The DPU fined them close to $25 million and called their responses, "systematic and fundamental failures." Governor Patrick applauded the determination of DPU and the sanctions.
What's ironic is that our state took in those $25 million and then threw them out the window. Well, technically, the utilities have not paid the fines yet and are considering an appeal, but you get my point.
So where's the condemnation and punishment for the state handing out 25 million in taxpayer dollars to welfare cheats? Wasn't this also a, "systematic and fundamental failure?"
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