Class action lawsuits used to be the "lottery" where people could try their luck. Now we have a new lottery in town---collecting "free money" from a government only too happy to redistribute your taxpayer money---thanks to Obama and fellow Democrats.
The Pigford case originated as a small case where several hundred African American farmers might have had some legitimate legal claims against the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) for being wrongfully denied farm loans. This might have been true or it's entirely possible that the black farmers might have been denied loans because they had bad credit. So even the original case is "suspect." Things snowballed from there.
From Investor's Business Daily:
The original Pigford settlement arose out of a 1997 class action lawsuit by Timothy Pigford and 400 Southern black farmers. They had apparently legitimate claims of discrimination against the USDA in its allocation of farm loans from 1983 to 1987.
In 2007, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, where 0.0012% of farms are operated primarily by blacks, began working to pass legislation providing even more money for new classes of claimants via Pigford II. These now included Hispanic and female farmers as well as American Indians and expanded by a decade the time that claims could be filed.
As president, he signed this bill in 2010.
Based on Census data reflecting the original period in question, the USDA first estimated only 2,000 claims would be filed. But in this age of victimhood and dependency fanned by demagoguery, "more than 90,000 people have filed claims" and the "total cost could top $4.4 billion," noted the Times.Conservative crusader Andrew Breitbart, who sadly died recently, was one of the few people covering this increasingly fraudulent story. Now, suddenly, the New York Times surprisingly ran a big story about how egregious this scandal has become despite the fact that Obama's hands are all over it! Has hell frozen over??
From the NY Times:
[A]n examination by The New York Times shows that [an effort to redress discrimination] became a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms that stand to gain more than $130 million in fees. In the past five years, it has grown to encompass a second group of African-Americans as well as Hispanic, female and Native American farmers. In all, more than 90,000 people have filed claims. The total cost could top $4.4 billion.
From the start, the claims process prompted allegations of widespread fraud and criticism that its very design encouraged people to lie: because relatively few records remained to verify accusations, claimants were not required to present documentary evidence that they had been unfairly treated or had even tried to farm. Agriculture Department reviewers found reams of suspicious claims, from nursery-school-age children and pockets of urban dwellers, sometimes in the same handwriting with nearly identical accounts of discrimination.
Yet those concerns were played down as the compensation effort grew. Though the government has started requiring more evidence to support some claims, even now people who say they were unfairly denied loans can collect up to $50,000 with little documentation.
As a senator, Barack Obama supported expanding compensation for black farmers, and then as president he pressed for $1.15 billion to pay those new claims. Other groups quickly escalated their demands for similar treatment. In a letter to the White House in September 2009, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a leading Hispanic Democrat,threatened to mount a campaign “outside the Beltway” if Hispanic farmers were not compensated.Again from Investor's Business Daily:
the only "proof" required was a form stating the claimant had "attempted" to farm, perhaps planting tomatoes in the backyard, and to have a family member vouch for that assertion.
The government would then send the aggrieved "farmer" a check for as much as $50,000.
Remember Shirley Sherrod, the former (black) USDA official whose speech before an NAACP group revealing her angst about helping a white farmer got her fired? Time magazine reported that $330,000 was "awarded to Shirley and Charles Sherrod for mental suffering alone," in their claim against the USDA.
The Times examined 16 ZIP codes in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina and found that "the number of successful claimants exceeded the total number of farms operated by people of any race in 1997, the year the original lawsuit was filed."It gets even worse! The NY Times story reports that one family alone collected a half million dollars in “compensation” by having 10 extended family members file claims.
In another instance, the residents of an entire URBAN apartment building each received payments of $50,000, no questions asked. Most of these claimants are pure fraud. Obama knows this to and doesn't care.
No wonder so many Obama voters were ebullient when Obama won in 2008. Pigford is about pigs feeding at the public trough all at taxpayer expense. Obama is one of the main enablers. Van Jones must be proud.
I support an impeachment trial for Obama. Isn't stealing $ billions from taxpayers "high crimes?"