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Food Stamps: A Microcosm of Out-of-Control Government
Pajamas Media ^ | 9/15/2011 | Tom Blumer

Posted on 09/15/2011 4:50:39 AM PDT by IbJensen

Too generous, duplicative, and fraud-riddled — yet ever-expanding.

As I showed earlier this month, the economy has been extraordinarily and historically unimpressive since the recession as traditionally defined ended in June 2009. Nevertheless, during the intervening 26 months, according to the more comprehensive Household Survey at the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted employment, since bottoming out in December 2009, has grown by 1.67 million, or about 1.2% of the workforce.

This degree of job growth should have caused the number of those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), still popularly known as food stamps, to level off or at least grow only slightly, right? Dream on. Food stamp enrollment during the eighteen months ending in June of this year increased by 6.2 million, or 16%. In the past 3-1/2 years, food stamp enrollment has grown by 72%, from 26.3 million to June’s 45.2 million. In 2007, about one in eleven Americans was receiving food stamps; now it’s about one in seven.

The food stamp program is a case study in good intentions gone wild, and a direct rebuke to those who believe we can’t reduce spending on government welfare and entitlement programs, and reduce or eliminate many other federal programs and departments, without harming the vulnerable.

The original 1964 legislation creating the program was a result of a classic “win-win” logrolling arrangement between urban politicians who wanted to feed poverty-stricken families and rural reps who sought increases in farm subsidies. Predictably, both groups got what they wanted, while taxpayers lost. Uncle Sam’s Agriculture Department originally predicted that the program “would eventually reach 4 million, at a cost of $360 million annually.” By the end of 1974, the number of participants (15 million) and the cost ($2.7 billion, or $1.6 billion in 1964 dollars) had both essentially quadrupled those original estimates. The tab in calendar 2011 will easily top $70 billion.

Individual and family benefits have recently skyrocketed for no defensible reason. During the last few years of the Bush administration, leftists ramped up an orchestrated PR campaign called the Food Stamp Challenge. It was designed to prove how absolutely impossible it was to survive on the program’s average benefit of $21 per person per week. Among those who agreed to participate in what they claimed was the grocery-store version of Mission: Impossible were several congresspersons, Oregon’s governor, and many journalists.

But the $21 benchmark was a fraudulent figure. It was the average net benefit after legally mandated deductions from gross benefits for family income and assets, the reasonable idea being that the government would make up the difference between 30% of a household’s income and what recipients could afford to pay for food from their own resources. Depending on household size, individuals and families deemed as having no available resources were getting $27-$36 per person per week in benefits — amounts that roughly coincided with what the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the time considered to be the cost of its “thrifty” but adequately nutritional meal plan. Rather than argue the merits of the income- or asset-based deductions, Food Stamp Challenge promoters refused to even recognize their existence, falsely insisting that the net benefit was all recipients had to spend on food. Meanwhile, during August 2007, Colorado activist Ari Armstrong and his wife demonstrated that they could live within even the artificially low Food Stamp Challenge amount without undue hardship, and spent a whopping 44% less than the gross benefit amount.

Even though benefits were already adequate, and even though the cost of food at home increased by a bit less than 5% during the two years involved, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s Congress, with George W. Bush acquiescing, increased gross benefits in fiscal 2009 by 9%. Once Barack Obama became president, gross benefits went up two times in just over eight months by a total of 13%. These increases, combined with rules changes in many states easing income, asset, and other eligibility tests, caused the average net benefit over those two years to explode by 40%. Gross benefit levels have stayed the same since October 2009, but they’re still way above the reasonable levels of three years ago. The bottom line is that we no longer expect recipients to be thrifty with their taxpayer gifts.

What ordinary people would see as obvious abuse is clearly on the rise. In Southwestern Ohio in early 2009, a couple with $80,000 in the bank and a paid-off $300,000 home qualified; it was not an isolated incident. Colleges have actively encouraged their students, no matter how well-off their parents might be, to get with the program. In a sign of how widespread student abuse of food stamps might be, Michigan has removed 30,000 of them from the rolls so far this year.

Duplication of benefits between other federal programs is rampant. Children in food stamp-eligible families are often if not usually getting free lunches and/or breakfasts at school. It’s not mean or nasty to observe that such families are getting 21 meals’ worth of benefits each week their kids are in school, but only have to figure out how to feed their kids 11 or 16 times. Many college students on food stamps are receiving financial aid based on their school’s officially published cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, room — and board.

Thrift being no longer necessary, the next stage is apparently removing the expectation that recipients prepare their own meals. The program’s new frontier is permitting the purchase of restaurant meals. This “feature” is currently limited to four states and is in theory only available to the elderly, disabled, and homeless. If you believe that every fast-food cashier is verifying whether every person paying with their SNAP card really qualifies, I’ve got a Microsoft Sweepstakes-winning email to forward to you. It should be no surprise that lobbying efforts to expand restaurant merchant eligibility are well under way. I sense that another “win-win” at taxpayers’ expense, which will also serve to cement currently too-high benefit levels, is on the horizon.

Finally, the food stamp program, like so many other federal efforts, is riddled with fraud. Ohio alone replaces 200,000 supposedly “lost” food stamp cards per year out of a current pool of 1.6 million recipients, or perhaps 500,000 households. Many if not most of the cards are being sold for cash or drugs.

To contend that this and other federal programs and departments can’t be cut — real cuts, not just reductions in projected, artificially jacked-up spending — is absurd. Unless we’re gunning to be the next Greece but without anyone who will bail us out, we can’t afford not to.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: evilregime; goodbyeusa; socialism
The poverty rate continues to skyrocket as the central socialist government spreads wasted capital around the ghettos and barrios of the failing nation!

What we now have is a Federal Bureaucratic Empire and like all Empires that seek Growth in Size, Power and Spending and are forever in Expansionist Phase, they become totally dishonest, subversive and most importantly, they become Despotic. And, like All Empires that Seek Growth in Size and Power, these same Bureaucratic Empires Become More and More Despotic and Fascistic, and will do and or say anything to Protect their Empire Status which gives the Bureaucracy Power.

The Federal System is forever seeking growth in Spending and Power and to do this, they have to Find New Victims to Serve or New Problems to solve, and of course what ever problem they were created to Solve, Improve or Eradicate, never decreases in size and in fact, the Numbers of Problems and Victims will always Increase as the Size and Power of The Empire Bureaucracy Increases.

We have to stop this insane and out of control Federal Bureaucratic System this is an out of control Despotic System this is continually growing.

And, under the Obama Regime, the federal government has expanded by at least 270,000 new Federal Bureaucrats by expanding to some degree every single Federal Agency, Bureau, Commission or Department. For example, under the Obama Nationalized Health Care Bill, over 16,500 new IRS agents were added to the Out of Control Internal Revenue Service which is one of the most dangerous and despotic federal bureaucracies in the entire country, if not the world. And, also, under the Obama Regime, several new agencies and commissions have been Created Out of Thin Air to Solve Other New Problems that the Government bureaucracies and Policies have Caused to begin with, and every one of these New Born Federal Agencies or Commissions will immediately begin to Seek Growth in Size and Power.

This out of control Federal Expansionism of the Fascistic Nanny State Bureaucracies started out with LBJ in the 1960’s with his So-Called War on Poverty, which is where the Food Stamp Program and all the other so-called Entitlement Programs started, that to date, this so-called War on Poverty which was dubbed The Great Society Program, has squandered over 14 trillion dollars is this so-called War On Poverty, which is coincidentally the current National Debt, and today, the numbers of so-called people living in Poverty has more than Quintupled since the mid-1960’s and the inverse of this, is that in the mid-1960’s, over 80 percent of poor children lived with 2 parents of the opposite sex who were married which is the traditional definition of a family. And in this traditional 2-parent family, one or both parents had jobs, and also these families had dignity, self respect, respect for others and respect for their resources. Today, after 50 years of this so-called War On Poverty, not only have the percentage of people described as living in poverty Qunitupled, today, in 2011, less than 20 percent of the so-called poor live in traditional families with 2 married parents of the Opposite Sex with one or both parents working at a job and raising their own children with no assistance from the Nanny State.

You can apply this scenario and correlation to every single federal Agency, Bureau, Commission or Department. Whatever the supposed reason and justification for creating the Agency, Bureau, Commission or Department, you can rest assured that the Problem they were Created to Solve or To Improve Upon will Never Go Away and in Fact, you can bet that the Problems will not only Persist, they will grow Exponentially in Numbers as the Federal Despotic Agency Empire grows Exponentially in their own Self-Perpetuating Growth as they seek Size, Power and Spending and the degree of their Despotism and Fascistic rules and regulations will also grow, especially, if they fear any interference in their operations or if they are threatened with extinction.

Like all Despotic Empires, these Federal Bureaucracies will Fight to the Bitter End to Survive and will never willingly give up their Empire Status which gives them Power, Prestige and Status. That is why you see the Obama Regime using all the federal Bureaucracy to Attack Their Enemies or they are Finding New Problems to Solve or New Victims to Serve or legitimate citizens and businesses to target for attack in order to Protect Their Own Empires and to Expand their own Empires.

It is no accident that the numbers and percentages of folks now on Food Stamps has grown, as the Definitions of Poverty keep Changing in order to Add New Victims to the Roles to coincide with Size, Spending and Expansion of The Food Stamp Industry which is the Federal Model of Fascistic Nanny State Bureaucracy. That is why in Alabama, the state in which I live, there was a public service announcement, ( These Public Service Announcements which inundate the airwaves especially on Radio, is how the Feds Advertise all their Various Agencies, Departments, Bureaus, and Commission and Programs which are constantly Recruiting New Victims to Serve or to Create New Problems to Solve), which said that only 67 percent of Alabamians who qualified for Food Stamps were actually receiving Food Stamps. These Public Service Announcements were a Recrutitment Tool to get the other 33 percent of those qualified for Food Stamps to go out and Sign Up for them. These public service announcements which are paid for by Tax Payers, encouraged family members, friends, churches and social service agencies to Encourage those who Qualified For Food Stamps to Go Out and Sign Up. The Food Stamp Bureaucracy Was actively Recruiting Victims to Serve as they Sought also to Increase Their Budgets, Numbers of Employees on their Pay Rolls and of course to Protect Their Ever Expanding Empires.

This look at the Food Stamp Program is but a Microscopic View of the Entire Federal Bureaucracy and this Correlation in their Growth and How They Make Any Problem that they are designed to Fix, grow worse and fact, the problems are Guaranteed to Grow as the Federal Bureaucratic Agency Seeks It’s Own Growth and Survival and Becomes a Despotic Empire. And, of course along the way, they Create Even More Problems that requires a New Agency or Department to Solve.

There is not a single Problem in the USA today that the Federal Government itself, has not caused and or created.

And, of course, as the Feds Bureaucratic Empire has expanded, due to the Feds Mandates on Local and State Governments, local and state governments have also Expanded their own Bureaucracies with their own Expansionist Ways, but the difference is this: The States have to Balance Budgets and cannot Borrow from Communists in China or Islamists in Saudi Arabia or From the Loan Sharks who run the Federal Reserve. That is why if we are to fight this Federal Fascistic Bureaucracy, we have to first Admit that this is exactly what we have at the Federal Level of Government, and then to begin taking back our Local and State Governments to insure they start their own downsizing along with the downsizing of their spending and power.

We can take the country back one town, county and state at a time, and then replace the U.S. President and Congress and begin the Dismantling of the Federal Fascist Bureaucratic System and the Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions and Departments which are not only bankrupting the nation, these same Federal Bureaucracies are Destroying Our Freedoms, Rights and Liberties with needless and endless regulations that are not trying to Micro-Manage every single aspect of our private and work lives.

This Federal Government is The Cause of Every Single Problem in the USA Today and to Clean this Country Up and Return to a Constitutional Republic, about 80 percent of this Fascistic Federal Bureaucracy Must Be Abolished in their Entirety.

1 posted on 09/15/2011 4:50:42 AM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

After Irene came through and caused some long-term power disruptions FEMA started advertising on the radio that ‘Food Assistance’ was available to anyone that had lost their home or had been displaced.

I thought that was cool but the radio ad continued: If you have lost food that was in your freezer FEMA would give you food assistance in the amount that you claimed was lost.

Now the federal government is the freezer guarantee program? I have a chest freezer and have always figured that if the power went out or my freezer died then I would be out the cost of the food. A risk I am willing to take but I don’t understand why the rest of the taxpayers should be forced to take it with me.

2 posted on 09/15/2011 5:04:56 AM PDT by Bob Buchholz
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To: Bob Buchholz
"Many if not most of the cards are being sold for cash or drugs"

THIS is "news"?

Food stamps are like cash, which are sold at discounted rates to willing accomplice store owners, or on the street, or in some cases, traded for drugs.

"Obama gonna take care o' me" mentality has been around the inner-city for decades (Democrats gonna take care o' us).

Who in their right mind doesn't understand that?

3 posted on 09/15/2011 5:22:45 AM PDT by traditional1 ("Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: IbJensen

This Federal Government is The Cause of Every Single Problem in the USA Today and to Clean this Country Up and Return to a Constitutional Republic, about 80 percent of this Fascistic Federal Bureaucracy Must Be Abolished in their Entirety.

Hear! Hear!

I’ve always had a soft spot for the school lunch program. As a former teacher, I’ve seen some really skinny kids dig into those meals. And then I’ve seen the many pick over the food and chunk the rest in the in the round can.

But feeding the perfectly able-bodied adults at home as well has never sat well with me. If they want to go to bed with extra-full tummies, then they need to provide themselves with a skillset so they can attract a job that provides it for them. And I’m tired of shoving food down the pie hole of people that use their own money to buy drugs instead.

4 posted on 09/15/2011 5:27:47 AM PDT by RowdyFFC
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To: RowdyFFC
And I’m tired of shoving food down the pie hole of people that use their own money to buy drugs instead.

The "Giant" supermarket in Kennett Sq, PA: lines packed with non-English speaking fat folks (almost every one of them is fat, including the (ample number of) ample sized children that have carts-loads of groceries and they wip out the ol 'WIC' or whatever that check-like freebie thing is.

Then the go to the service counter to buy smokes with cash and **now here's the really good part**, wire cash back home. And I'm talkin a few hundred bucks at a time.

I have a can of tuna in oil and some salad for lunch. OK, it's solid white, you got me on the extravagance.

I shop for what's on sale, I pay cash, I am very fit. It drives me mad that I am paying people to over eat (obviously), wreck their bodies and then pay to take care of them!

I'll mention the loading of all those expensive groceries into the nice, newer SUV's later...

5 posted on 09/15/2011 6:10:25 AM PDT by NativeSon
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To: IbJensen

My dad was in the grocery store, buying groceries by taking money out of his bank account that has money in it that he made by working hard all his life. He saw this big fat woman in front of him in the grocery line with a full shopping cart being followed with 2 children, each pushing a full shopping cart. He ended up getting in her line at checkout as she was winding up her purchases. She paid for it with a SNAP card and got in a late model car in the parking lot. My dad paid for his purchase and took his one small bag of groceries home.

I hear these radio commercials all the time in the Atlanta area, pushing the food stamp program. Is there any doubt that this administration is trying to flood the system Alinsky-style by getting people on welfare but, now, we have the First Wookie getting people used to eating less, perhaps in preparation of a food shortage?

It is disgusting how that vulgar thing points a finger at Americans for eating while shoveling luxury foods in her gaping lobster hole.

She is SUCH a hypocrite. If she was serious about getting Fatty McButterpants off of the couch and away from the fridge, she would start with the food stamp program and outlaw fatty foods and sugary foods. Take away the cookies, poptarts, soft drinks and other foods that many Americans cannot afford to buy. Open gov’t stores instead of giving out foodstamps and abolish this currency that is consting Americans billions over the years. Have only healthy foods on the shelves, packaged in generic white labels with black lettering. CORN, RICE, CEREAL, APPLES. Put our money where your big mouth is, you wookie.

Anyone want to place bets she has her own wiper?

6 posted on 09/15/2011 6:14:54 AM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

Great comments.

Welfare should be exactly that. All these single mothers who have welfare children by various fathers should collect their rice, dry beans, Spam, powdered milk, oatmeal and a few selected canned vegetables from a central warehouse. No food stamps, no welfare checks, nada!

Further, I believe welfare whores who continue to have more than one child out of wedlock with no visible husband-father should have the children taken away from her and state operated orphanages should raise the kids. It would be cheaper and more humane.

7 posted on 09/15/2011 7:09:34 AM PDT by IbJensen (Welfare: putting a cake under the sink expecting that it wonÂ’t attract cockroaches.)
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