Ah, government. It protects and serves. Floridians spent last year lamenting Gov. Rick Scott's bright idea for welfare recipients: a ludicrous plan to drug-test every single person on state aid. (The courts later threw that idea out the window.)
Believe it or not, there's now a governor whose food stamp plans backfired even worse. Meet Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, whose Department of Public Welfare disabled food stamp cards from 11 p.m. Saturday to noon Sunday last month while switching vendors. The reason: to save cash. But when the clock struck noon Sunday, no one had access to food funds. This came on a day when most people grocery-shop. In fact, it was Palm Sunday, when many families shop for Easter. One grocery store employee told the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice that the supermarket was "chaos."
According to reports, irate customers shouted at cashiers and abandoned full shop carts, leaving employees hustling to restock perishable items such as ice cream and frozen dinners.
Governor Corbett, who took office in January 2011, has overseen four major glitches in programs for low-income residents. He makes Scott seem almost benign. These have all occurred in the name of cost savings and efficiency. Doesn't sound too efficient to me.
Here's a sample of Corbett's chaos, rounded up by Philly.com:
During his attempt to curb abuse of the Medicaid system, 110,000 children lost health coverage last year.
To save money, unemployment offices were shut down and more than 100 employees were laid off. Thousands of residents' checks were delayed.
Corbett, in another genius move, decided Boston would be a more suitable place to find a payroll company. This yearlong transition (which is still ongoing) led to hundreds of health-care workers not getting paid.
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In yet another dumb move, the state chose Xerox as its new card services provider. JP Morgan, the same company that manages Florida EBT cards, was Penn's previous provider. Of all the complaints I've heard over the years about JP Morgan, EBT card issuance and replenishment have not been two of them.
So the next time you want to throttle Governor Scott, remember: At least on one issue, there is a less competent governor out there.
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