Saturday, July 6

Government subsidies looted for billions of dollars--again. This time not the U.S.

Leftists and Democrats demand that the federal government subsidize "green energy."  Then when companies like Solyndra and dozens of others that reaped a total of $6 billion in crony loans quickly went bankrupt, they all tried to divert our attention to some other...LOOK, it's Justin Bieber!!

But rational adults understand that government subsidies are a magnet for corruption and theft.  They often cost siphon off billions but deliver little or nothing to taxpayers in return. 

Case in point is Nigeria's fuel subsidy--both vehicle fuels and for cooking.  To curry favor with its citizens the government of Nigeria decided to subsidize fuel so citizens could buy it for less than the actual market price.  In practice this involved the government paying fuel importers a specified amount for every gallon of fuel delivered.

It took crooks about a second to figure out no one was checking to see if the fuel was actually, you know, *delivered.*  They realized they could tell the gummint they imported X million gallons, pocket the gummint check, pay a lousy hundred-grand in bribes to a couple of corrupt pols and make a fortune.

So investigators found that in 2011 the government claimed it paid $8 billion in subsidies for 35 million liters consumed per day.  In reality it paid $17 BILLION in subsidies for 59 million liters of fuel per day that scammers fraudulently claimed to have imported.

That's a $9 BILLION ripoff in just one year alone.  Nice.  Oh, and the number of companies claiming to be fuel importers soared from *six* in 2006 to 140 in 2011.  You'd think that would have been a clue, eh?

This is ALWAYS what happens with government subsidy and "free"-money programs.  Sometimes the scammers find the spigot quickly and sometimes it takes a little longer, but the end result is always the same.

See, unlike businesses--which have to make a profit or they'll die--gummint doesn't care if money's wasted, whether due to scams or "just" inefficiency.  It doesn't matter cuz there's absolutely no penalty for waste or corruption.

Oh I'm well aware that there's a *law* against defrauding every gummint program, but how often have you heard about folks actually going to prison for doing so?  Oh sure, the occasional republican congressman, but that's it.

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