Excerpted From IJ Review: Have you wanted to take that dream vacation to the Virgin Islands or Hawaii, but couldn’t because you just don’t have the money? How about taking a weekend in Vegas? Well, a new report finds that Colorado welfare receipients are doing just that and you’re helping to pay the bill.

Arthur Kane of Watchdog.org investigated the ATM withdrawals of Colorado welfare receipients and found that $3.8 million was withdrawn out of the state over the past two years.

Here’s more:

Taxpayers are apparently buying welfare recipients booze and cigarettes for the road — at times a very exotic road.

A Watchdog.org analysis of a Colorado Department of Human Services welfare ATM withdrawals database shows that $3.8 million was withdrawn by Colorado welfare recipients outside the state in the past two years. There were withdrawals at out-of-state liquor stores and tobacco outlets, as well as vacation destinations like Hawaii, Las Vegas and even the Virgin Islands, data shows.

Just checking flights on Kayak.com shows that these vacations can be pretty pricey.

The flight from Denver to Las Vegas isn’t actually that bad, starting out at $139. However, if you’ve ever been to Vegas you’ll quickly realize Vegas is not a cheap vacation destination.

Screencap from KAYAK.com

However, flights to Honolulu, Hawaii, are just a tad bit more pricey. A coach seat starts at $595.

DENtoHNL

Meanwhile, a flight to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands is actually a bargain at $575 per seat, if you fly coach.

DENtoSTX

When you begin to factor in hotel rooms, meals, and entertainment, these vacations become very pricey. Many working American families simply cannot afford to take these kinds of trips.

Welfare programs are designed to help needy people get back on their feet, not help them take vacations to exotic locations and buy booze and cigarettes at taxpayer expense. However, in Colorado, this is not the first time that welfare receipients have been found to abuse their benefits. IJ Review reported three months ago that Colorado welfare receipients were using their EBT cards to withdraw cash at marijuana shops.

According to Watchdog.org, at least one Colorado state representative has promised a bill to try and address these abuses of the welfare system. How could anyone think vacations to exotic locations and trips to the liquor and tobacco store is a wise use of taxpayer dollars designed to help the poor and needy?

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