As if the $1.1Tr, Earmark-festooned debacle of a Porknibus Bill that recently erupted forth from the bowels of Czar Reid’s Senate wasn’t calamity enough. As if the utter refusal of the Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives to properly apply their Pay-Go Laws to the extension of unemployment benefits wasn’t a sorry enough joke. We now have a new method by which disingenuous political interest groups can use the Federal Court System as an organizational ATM. It’s The Pigford Algorithm, and believe you me, it’s malicious logic.
John Derbyshire describes the worm-like budget-buster virus that Pigford has unleashed. Detestable governmental corruption follows below.
The juggernaut rolls forward still. The number of claimants is now around 94,000. Last Wednesday, Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 4783, which pays $1.25 billion in compensation to black “farmers” (and $3.4 billion to Indians alleged to have been cheated out of oil, gas, and timber royalties). The payout to black farmers comes on top of $1 billion paid out in a previous tranche 11 years ago.
Here’s how the scam works. It involves using the Civil Law Courts to organize a class action lawsuit. The plaintiffs organize a large group of “aggrieved” individuals, lawyer up as best as possible and slam the USG with a barn-burner of a high dollar lawsuit. The group needing a financial lifeline just happens to map 1 to 1 on the set of “aggrieved” plaintiffs and they all live porkily ever after!
Yet this wouldn’t normally be a stable plan. If a bunch of blood-sucking leaches organized a lynch mob to sue Exxon because their gasoline made cars run too loudly and affected the plaintiffs’ hearing, they had better really lawyer up. Exxon would not vigorously defend itself, with top-dollar corporate attorneys, they would counter-sue.
They would be grieving against people’s mothers for jay-walking too often near Exxon affiliate stations. They would take out radio ads explaining to everyone who lived near the plaintiffs explaining how frivolous lawsuits helped contribute to the $4.50 gasoline everyone was whinging about. Suffice it to say, trying a Pigford-like stunt against a party responsible for the damages involves operational risk sufficient to at least somewhat curtail the practice.
This brings us to the genius of the entire Pigford Scam. They successfully sue a disinterested party that can shunt the cost of losing a lawsuit off to a 3rd party as a negative externality. The Pigford “farmers” are suing the US Department of Agriculture. The 3rd Party that will get to beer-bong this negative externality is the US Taxpayer.
At best, they are motivated to care about this the way Brett Favre used to care about pre-season NFL Football. Even worse, at least for some of the litigation timeline, they are suing their own buddies. They are “opposed” by people who feel like losing this case, in order to help their political allies. Perhaps it’s more like Brett Favre’s infamous lay-down for Michael Strahan’s sack record.
So not only is this a complete perversion of how the adversarial system of Civil Law is supposed to work, but it is also a scam by which dishonest people; who never pull weeds out of their herbaceous borders, much less till the soil, can scam checks off the government. Derbyshire describes how sleaze-bag trial attorneys mint tragically aggrieved “farmers” to skim their 25% cut off the Federal Treasury.
Standards for entry to the class were laughably low. A claimant basically just had to be black. He need not ever to have farmed: To have applied for a USDA loan was sufficient. No surviving documentation of the loan application? No problem: The court would accept an affidavit co-signed by a non-family member.
Derbyshire, OB. Cit.
So let’s say Shyster Joe has two at least ostensibly African-American clients; Mr. Brown and Mr. Black. Mr. Brown drives a cab at Dulles Airport and Mr. Black shines at the terminal. Mr. Brown grew up in Anacostia, Mr. Black in Alexandria. Neither man has ever farmed in his life. Mr. Black got close once as a kid when a neighbor paid him $25 to mow a lawn. Shyster Joe has them sign the required affidavits for one-another and Shazaam!! Both men are aggrieved farmers. Oh, the (expletive) humanity!
There isn’t much that can be done now, short of publically humiliating every one of these recipients. We need to find out which lawyers can still live with themselves after they represent all of these “aggrieved” scumbags on the take. Perhaps a law banning or limiting the extent to which the USG can be a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit would be a commendable future reform. In the meanwhile, couldn’t this expenditure be offset under glorious and sanctimonious Pay-Go?
CP: The Minority Report