The 2009 Obama stimulus package is a constant source of stories about incompetent bureaucrats in Washington wasting taxpayer money, with Solyndra being the most famous of them. The latest story involves a man, David Myers, getting a guaranteed $7.45 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture. His company, Ways LLC is using the guaranteed loan to purchase a home health agency in Mississippi. What's the problem with this loan? Amongst other things, Myers was involved in a high profile case of corporate fraud. Bloomberg News had this to say about the man being trusted with millions in taxpayer money:
“Myers, 54, served nine months in prison for helping to falsify the telecommunications company’s books to meet earnings targets. The $11 billion accounting fraud wiped out more than 17,000 jobs and $184.6 billion in market value from WorldCom’s high on June 1999.”
Obama’s $760 billion stimulus program includes 515 loan guarantees for businesses, and places the USDA in charge of selecting qualified applicants. Ways LLC was one such business.
Surprisingly, there are no regulations or law preventing the government from doing business with David Myers:
“Myers pleaded guilty to fraud, conspiracy and false filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2002. Federal law prohibits the USDA from making a grant or providing a loan or loan guarantee to corporations or executives who have been convicted of a felony within the preceding two years.”
The USDA, in its infinite wisdom, decided that it was worth gambling on David Myers’s business, seeing as to how he pled guilty ten years ago instead of two. The USDA, and every other over-empowered government agency, can afford to make these gambles, because they are not held personally accountable for their failures. In the end, it is the taxpayer who takes the hit.
This post was authored by Kyle Bonnell, a Townhall.com editorial intern.