Should County Taxpayers Spend to Save State/Federal Welfare Dollars?

The Orange County Grand Jury has released a report on Orange County’s welfare fraud program. For the full report click here. In a nutshell it says the county needs to spend its funds to add more welfare fraud investigators because the savings will exceed the costs, and even though as reported in the Register on May 21 (“Report: Slashing fraud staff is costly”, Local News, Pg. 1 – OC Watchdog) most of the savings will be reaped by the State and Federal levels of government “It’s taxpayer money”, according to a quote from Grand Jury Foreman Bill Lycett as reported in the Register story.

Now let’s see, everyone seems to want government run like a business. If you are running a business with limited revenues, would you add to your operating costs so that your neighbor can benefit, even though your cost increase will not produce enough savings to your business to pay for itself? I doubt it.

This is the dilemma the County faced when forced to make budget cuts last year. The State and Federal government are the primary beneficiaries of the fraud detection program because they finance almost all of the CalWORKS program, yet they refuse to finance the welfare fraud program with those savings. The County seems to have reached the point where if the program does not save the County money equal to or greater than the costs, the program takes its share of budget cuts. Seems like a sound business decision was made by the Board of Supervisors.

But, the Grand Jury wants the county to restore those cuts, paying for the increased cost without reaping enough savings to the County treasury to cover those costs. Seems the Grand Jury does not want County government run like a business after all.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.