Open thread: Jan 31,2014 Dan Crawford | January 31, 2014 3:01 pm Hot Topics Question: How does fraud in the food stamps program compare with fraud in the crop insurance program? Tags: open thread Comments (7) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
It’s a wild ass guess, but I’d say much higher in food stamps. The crop insurance program is administered by private insurance companies who then reinsure back to the Feds. The largest crop insurers are subsidiaries of Wells Fargo and Ace, with the former one of the largest banks in the country and the latter one of the largest property & casualty insurers. Both are publicly traded and have great incentive to root out fraud since they can’t compete for business on the basis of price (prices for crop insurance are formulaic). The next question would be are the private crop insurers defrauding the government, thought I’m not quite clear on how they would if they wanted to.
Ah well….just the latest in a long line….follow the real money in crop insurance.
His thieving was just a sliver of the largest fraud in the program’s 75-year history, a case that so far has ensnared 41 North Carolina tobacco farmers, insurance agents and claims adjusters whose law breaking cost taxpayers close to $100 million, federal prosecutors say.
“The system has checks and balances in place,” says Banu Rangarajan, 45, the assistant U.S. attorney who led the prosecution. “The problem is all the checks and balances here were involved in the fraud. The adjusters were paid off. The agents were paid off. Everybody was paid off.”
Fraud as a percentage of the program, or fraud in terms of actual $$? Because as a percentage, SNAP is pretty low.
Off topic question?
What’s the thinking at AB about MyRA?
Are there any long term implications to SS as a result?
At a max of 15k total value it is only a way to get folks started. 15k is like 600/year at 4% or basically peanuts. Of course the president would like to make it mandatory that all employeers that don’t offer a 401k offer this, but that takes congress. And it would be opt out only. Experience with 401ks which now tend to be opt out is that if the default is to enroll more folks participate.
MyRA apears to provide a reasonable low risk rate of return. I have enough to take risks, but it dos seem to me that over the horizon for which people shold be saving for retirement, a Roth IRA in an index fund is a better choice.
I think personal retirement accounts, whether 401k, Roth, or company pension should the saving people need above and beyond SS, so I don’t see MyRA having any impact on SS. People need a safety net (retirement insurance) because they aren’t all lucky enough to have jobs that provide enough to fund the above and beyond all the way to retirement. Providing for that safety net is one place where collective behaviour makes good sense.
We need people to understand how SS works, understand its value, and decide they want to pay for what they are getting.
Somehow, I disagree with the responses about MyRA and SS. I can see the arguments unfold now. MyRA, that’s your money to leave to your chullen and grandchullen. Social Security goes to support retired people who are too lazy to work for a living and many with more money in the bank than you have. Wouldn’t you rather your 2,4,8,12% go to your own personal savings account that would be there for you. Social Security will be bankrupt and won’t be there for you.
The G-fund “bonds” or whatever is very similar to the bonds held by the SS trust fund. So you could offer G-fund type “bonds” to current vendors of IRAs. MyRA is a government insurance wrapper on a stable value fund as far as I can see. When you think about it, the government can invent any kind of federally issued bond scheme they want, even one that is a can’t lose money market on adrenalin. I think it is those bond yields retirees have been looking for to make their investments survive. Oh no though, only current workers and thereafter can get these rates. Cause Cause Cause – it’s an IRA mmkt fund. So will people be able to take loans on or withdraw funds from these accounts?
Sounds a bit cynical but there is no magic here and I personally think it does deserve my cynicism. People need wages first. More than $10/hour. Then they will have enough to afford both SS and MyRA contributions. Let’s see, there are more things I can invent out of thin air but really. Why isn’t this the most useless idea for creating opportunity for those that don’t have it now? People need real opportunity.
Right now this is a limited fund giving bonds with a slightly better rate and with a cap. That can get changed too if it is popular but when rates like that are promised, can busting those rates down to lower the debt be far behind?