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Welfare for Life

by on May 1, 2012

There are many people deserving of a lottery win. Take me. Having trucks full of cash show up at the doorstep as a result of guessing or uncovering the proper numerical combination would enhance my quality of life by at least 12 percent, especially considering my obsession with earthly delights. First, I’d start ordering pizza twice per week.

But here amongst the ample miseries of reality, one dastard used buying the correct random ticket as a chance to prove your aunt’s mug wrong, namely the one about how she wants to prove to the Almighty that winning the lottery won’t spoil her. A lucky scumbag proved that fate is a jerk:

A town of Albion lottery winner accused of scamming the state out of thousands of dollars in welfare benefits was slapped with a new charge in court Tuesday night.

51-year-old Anthony Palermo was charged with a second count of filing a false statement in addition to his previous charges of welfare fraud and grand larceny, all felonies.

Through court paperwork obtained by Two On Your Side, we’re learning just how the $1000 a week “Win For Life” winner was allegedly trying to access state benefits.

But obtaining the improbable fantasy of seeing the word “LIFE” three times was apparently inadequate. He just needed help through tough times when four figures per week weren’t enough:

Orleans County Officials say Palermo collected at least $700,000 from the Lottery to date, but when applying for Medicaid in September 2011, Palermo stated on the form he was earning “no wages.” He also stated he was receiving unemployment benefits in the amount of $134 a week, a far cry from $1000 a week for life.

In the line marked “other” where Palermo could’ve claimed his lottery earnings, he checked none.

Why would the Medicaid people check something like that? The entitlement smorgasbord provides those lacking virtue with so many agencies to exploit.

The state has an endless list of absolutely necessary assistance-doling entities that we can never cut unless we want to be evil, heartless, infant soul-eating, compassion-free Republicans. Their staffers trust human nature so much that they don’t check for larceny:

Of the more than $4300 in state benefits Palermo allegedly collected, $585 came from the Home Energy Assistance Program in three separate checks this year, including $150 from NYSEG, $275 also from NYSEG, and $160 from NIMO.

It’s still unclear why Palermo needed the extra cash and allegedly sought to defraud the public assistance programs, but investigators are continuing to sift through paperwork while the prosecution and defense discuss a plea deal and restitution.

Unclear? Um, maybe he did it because he wanted more money? But don’t worry about his future, as even felons keep getting their winnings:

Palermo is due back in court on May 22nd and at that point he could possibly take a plea to lesser charges and agree to pay back some or all of money he allegedly got from Medicaid and HEAP. If he’s convicted of the four felonies he could serve jail time, and with any of these outcomes Palermo will still be collecting his Lottery earnings.

Well, he’s certainly earned it. He’s cashing in dividends from a lifetime of toil, obviously. Still, some might argue that the whole appeal of the $1,000 a week for life game is that the supremely lucky ticket-buyer can indefinitely get by comfortably.

The game may not offer “(blank) the world” champagne-for-breakfast-in-a-floating-mansion money, especially if the player gets five bucks by beating the house’s number in the first game. But winning the contest’s top prize should provide enough to live in a middle-class manner literally until one’s final day.

The same authority that runs the game enabled the easy benefit scheme. This winning bastard provides merely the most notoriously prominent example of someone who could get by with his own means and doesn’t bother. Thank a state that is insanely generous with giving out compulsory donations from workers.

Those who worship at big government’s altar invariably whip out sob stories about people who can’t get by without ever acknowledging how many are destitute due to the exact financial anguish created by same grabby policies.

Separating the words “welfare” and “state” would benefit the economy tremendously. And the kindhearted could donate to charities that they choose and thus hold accountable.

Or maybe we could make everyone happy by handing winning lotto tickets to all. Getting something for nothing is the New York way; cushy welfare benefits just provide better odds. Albany specializes in giving people whatever they desire. You’re already in it, although not to win it. The one guarantee is that the state always loses.

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