The Corner

National Security & Defense

Something’s Rotten in the State of Denmark. It’s the Welfare System.

From today’s you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me file:

The Danish government has been inadvertently paying benefits to citizens fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, Danish officials said Tuesday, as outrage grows that militants are manipulating the country’s generous welfare system. . . .

Officials said that since last year, municipal and state authorities had been trying to collect about $95,000 in welfare benefits that had been wrongly paid to 29 citizens who had gone to Syria to fight for ISIS. [NY Times]

This is a tiny oversight, right? Kind of thing that can happen to anybody, yeah?

Until now, national regulations have made it difficult for the authorities to stop benefit payments to a suspected militant, even if the person had been identified by the intelligence services as an ISIS fighter. Officials said investigating the circumstances of individuals in Syria or Iraq was logistically challenging.

In case you didn’t catch that: Even if Danish intelligence spots you jihad-ing your way across the Levant, RPG-launcher on your shoulder, sex slaves in tow, the Danish government will still have a hard time cutting off your government check.

The thing about managerial liberalism is that it only works when the managers are competent. When news like this emerges, you start to see how voters could begin looking around for something — maybe anything — else. 

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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