US Welfare For Russian Diplomats

I’ve had this tab open on my browser for days, and I haven’t closed it because it’s so outrageous I couldn’t just let it go. Did you know that 49 Russian diplomats were living here in the United States, living the life of luxury, all the while receiving Medicaid benefits?

Ambassadors get many perks. Diplomatic immunity is a convenient way to avoid traffic tickets. They often live in grand houses and pay neither rent nor American taxes. Some embassies throw great parties, and motorcades can cut through rush-hour traffic. Certain diplomats get another gift from American taxpayers: They’re on welfare right here.

Earlier this month, the U.S. attorney in New York charged 49 Russian diplomats with applying for — and receiving — $1.5 million in Medicaid benefits. Since 2004, 63 babies have been born to employees of the Russian Consulate in Manhattan. State and federal welfare programs picked up the medical bills for 58 of those births. That’s in addition to the American citizenship they got just by being born here.

It’s not that Moscow has been so stingy that its employees need food stamps. Some have been living large at Fifth Avenue’s most fashionable shops. Credit-card statements reveal they bought crystal at Swarovski, jewelry at Tiffany’s and expensive shoes at Jimmy Choo‘s. The Russians fibbed about their income on welfare applications, and the bureaucrats handing out the assistance checks didn’t seem to care that the money went to ineligible foreigners.

Rep. Edward R. Royce of California, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wants Secretary of State John F. Kerry to explain why 11 of these freeloaders are still in the United States.

Read the whole thing, the article goes on to document how our country is treating the diplomats of allies like India while allowing these Russian freeloaders to get away with welfare fraud. They may have been charged, but don’t hold your breath waiting for the State Department to do anything about it.