Maybe you co-signed a car loan for your son and he "forgot" to make the monthly payments. Or you co-signed a home loan for your daughter and her husband became "temporarily unemployed." Either way, you're on the hook for the whole shebang and the bank can send you the bill.
You're likely to find that you're not quite as fond of your son(-in-law) anymore, especially if he seems insufficiently remorseful. In any case, you've learned your lesson and you'll never co-sign a loan for him – or probably anyone else –- ever again.
If you don't see yourself in this scenario, you might feel pretty good.
Well, think again. Every single person in West Virginia is having this experience right now, because every single person in West Virginia has a government "relative." And his name is Darrell McGraw.
Old Quick Draw won lawsuits against major drug companies for alleged Medicaid overcharges, but he kept that portion of the money that should have been returned to the federal government. Now the feds have announced that they are withholding more than $2.7 million from their next Medicaid appropriation to the state because of one such settlement.
Last month, the U.S. Departmental Appeals Board ruled that McGraw should have reimbursed the federal government its multi-million dollar share of a $10 million settlement with Purdue Pharma in 2004. Earlier this year, the Board decided that the feds were entitled to $446,607 of McGraw's 2004 settlement with pharmaceuticals manufacturer Dey, Inc.
We're on the hook for nearly $3 million so far, and it's liable to get worse because Old Quick Draw has "won" lots of cases and spent lots of money that wasn't his to spend. Meanwhile, his favorite private lawyers have received millions in fees for their involvement.
Has he apologized? Has he tried to make amends? Has he at least abandoned his reckless ways? No, of course not.
We'll keep bailing Darrell out until we finally learn our lesson and vote him out of office.