Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year-End Rant

I want to get in my last licks for 2009 before I roll out the 2010 complaints. I have no fear of ever running out of material for my rants because there is no end to the dumb or annoying things people do.

The other day in the Daily News there was a story about a man who totalled his Corvette and now wants to sue Allstate, who insured him even though he had an expired driver's license at the time the policy was written. He claims Allstate was negligent for not doing sufficient research to uncover the fact that he had no valid license. Frivolous lawsuits (it was dismissed) like this infuriate me. How can these morons be allowed to waste the court's time with such ridiculous cases? There should be a better screening process to weed these suits out of the court calendar before they ever come to trial. As an alternative, there should be penalties like paying court costs to be shared between the greedy plaintiffs and their ambulance-chasing lawyers to prevent junk litigation like this. Finally, people should take responsibility for their own stupid actions.

Here's another winner right out of today's paper. We all know that NYC Transit and the MTA are in a financial hole because of mismanagement and a failure to get a decent day's work out of the union-protected slugs that get paid for 8 hours although they only work 4. They want to raise fares yet again to make up the deficit. They are strapped for cash and yet they provide Access-a-Ride service to people traveling to the Empire City Casino in Yonkers! OK, I can see if seniors need to get to a doctor's appointment, or even to the grocery store to shop for food, but taxpayer-subsidized transportation to a casino to gamble with what little money they have is just beyond the pale.

Last week NY State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo released the findings of an audit of NY State Medicaid. It seems that millions (does anybody realize how much a million dollars is anymore?) of dollars are being wasted on paying phony claims, people with duplicate eligibility receiving payment two or three times for the same claim, but the best one really blew my mind. In one case, auditors found a Medicaid recipient from Poughkeepsie who had gotten $300 round-trip taxi rides to visit her son at a long-term care facility in Albany five days a week. The Dutchess County Local Department of Social Services approved the trips, at a total cost of nearly $196,000. After the comptroller’s audit, the taxi trips were classified as not medically necessary. (It would have been cheaper to just buy her a house in Albany!)

One all too common consequence of spending other people’s money is failure to think ahead. An example can be found in San Jose, California whose school district approved the purchase of a $725,000 pizza machine it claimed would “churn out 800 pizzas a day to sell on various campuses in the district.” In reality, the machine reportedly produced only 2,000 pizzas in two years due to frequent breakdowns, which works out to roughly $360 per pizza. What’s worse, the San Jose school district eventually took pizza off its menus completely when it realized there weren’t enough trucks to deliver pizza to different campuses, all of which had the same rigidly enforced lunch time. The machine is mostly retired at present, trotted out only on Fridays at various elementary schools for “pizza day.” Ever wonder why Californians pay such high taxes? (Story from "12 Outrageous Wastes of Taxpayers’ Money")

We need some accountability folks. People who do stupid things should just fess up and shut up. Lawyers should stop taking cases that have no merit on the chance they'll get a jury dumb enough to pay something to their undeserving clients. And last of all, politicians should stop wasting taxpayers' money as if the well will never dry up. Unemployment is so high because people do better sitting at home collecting their "entitlements" than they do finding a job. Peter Finch's speech from the movie Network pretty much sums it up. YouTube - Mad As Hell ...

There, I feel much better now. Wishing a happy and healthy New Year to my faithful readers.


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The Whiner said...

Ugh, and now may I post my last comments of 2009. There are just too many stupid, brazen people in this world - and their careless, shameless way of taking or trying to get something for nothing costs the rest of us a bundle. Malcolm had to make about 80 phone calls to get us reimbursed for Ava's flight to Cinn. the time we went, and that's a legitimite expense. So how come some Yahoo gets $300 cab rides? Oh it's time to hit the Whinery...

Jim Pantaleno said...

Whine on daughter...plenty of easy targets that need their chains jerked.

Joseph Del Broccolo said...

Well, at least three of us agree! I would like the lawyers to have a grading system, along with fines, that allow the world to see how creditable they really are, when it comes to frivolous law suits!