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  1. #1

    Default Amazing--Michigan Trucking Lobbyist get Millions of State Fund

    Another argument to support good journalism--if belated journalism. A couple of days ago the Free Press reported that a board, funded with millions of tax dollars and tasked with 'truck safety education', was an arm of Michigan Trucking Association, the lobbyist for the trucking industry. itself. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse! Today the funding is reported to have been halted.

    "The board, which is normally a rubber stamp for state contracts and grants that are already in the pipeline, took the unusual action after the Free Press reported Monday that the Michigan Center for Truck Safety, a nonprofit agency housed inside the offices of the trucking association, had received about $8 million in such grants since 2012, funded by truck registration fees.

    "The Free Press reported that the center uses some of the grant money to pay the trucking association tens of thousands of dollars in rent and other expenses, and that a monitoring report in 2013 found that the center had received reimbursement from the state for close to $300,000 in impermissible expenses over a two-year period."
    https://freep-mi.newsmemory.com/?pub...a60695_1341082

  2. #2

    Default

    Looks like less than 10% of the funds were misdirected. Is this more or less than most public grants?

    The real problem here is the existence of a grant program, rather than its mostly appropriate use.

    If we decide to have such grant programs, we have to accept a percentage of waste. Retail stores aren't surprised by shoplifting. Government grant programs shouldn't be surprised by misdirection of funds.

    That it took years to correct this also shouldn't shock anyone. Someone applies for a grant. Someone read the application. Someone makes a judgement call on whether the application meets the criteria. They don't usually have the power to decide whether the funding is prudent. Just if it meets the criteria.

    This kind of ongoing waste is less frequent in the private sector because the money comes from someone's own pocket. In the public sector the person dispersing the funds usually likes their job. Which might go away if the program ceases to exist. So fraud reporting is effectively discouraged.

    (Hey, I've got an idea. Let's adopt Senator Warren's plan and eliminate private insurance and let these same granting agencies control 1/3 of the US economy. What could go wrong?)

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