Skip to comments.Top secret: $80B a year for food stamps, but feds won’t reveal what’s purchased
Posted on 06/25/2012 11:03:52 AM PDT by Hojczyk
Americans spend $80 billion each year financing food stamps for the poor, but the country has no idea where or how the money is spent.
Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak and are accepted at retailers from gas stations that primarily sell potato chips to fried-chicken restaurants. And as the amount spent on food stamps has more than doubled in recent years, the amount of food stamps laundered into cash has increased dramatically, government statistics show.
As a result, fraud is hard to track and the efficacy of the massive program is impossible to evaluate.
As the House debates the once-every-five-years farm bill, the majority of which goes to food stamps, there is a renewed and fervent call from a broad spectrum of camps that the information - some of the most high-dollar, frequently requested and closely held secrets of the government - be set free.
The District said it would be illegal to tell the newspaper how many food stamp dollars were flowing to each local vendor, but first offered to sell The Washington Times the information for $125,000.
Why dont you just pay the charges? Your paper has a lot of money, said David Umansky, spokesman for the Districts chief financial officer.
Told that the newspaper would not pay, the CFOs office then said that only JP Morgan, to which it contracted out operations, had access to the store totals and that the office had never looked at them. After six months of the local government attempting to extract the information from JP Morgan, the District finally said that releasing the information would be illegal.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
In the case of my exwife, I was going through divorce and proved to the court she was commiting food stamp fraud and that she had entered the marriage fraudulently.
Liberals in charge there ignored all the evidence, gave all the custodies of my children to her, and put her right back on food stamp.
This is what Obama is doing: he is betraying the country with MExican illegals and fraudulent feminist armies, just so he can get elected and the country be secured away from jailing him once the Russian and CHinese come in after the army has been perverted and dwindled.
I’ve been around food stamps, back when they were paper.
One strange thing was that if you did not use them all for a couple months in a row, you got your benefit reduced.
This led to a situation where the recipient MUST go buy a couple of tenderloins, a cooked lobster or two (raw lobster or shrimp not covered, but the grocery store would steam it for you). This usually happened at the end of the month. Just to keep at the benefit level you were at. I knew someone who’d buy a roast, then invite folks over for a dinner, and charge them some small amount, sort of like a rent party.
And there were huge bags of rice and blocks of a cheese-like substance like fireplace logs, sacks of beans, and instant milk.
cutting food stamps by $1/month can save a half billion dollars per year.
This article is very misleading. The food portion of the money on an ebt card cannot purchase the following: hot food of any kind, laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper plates.
The food portion, or credits, can purchase soda, candy, cheese doodles, ringdings, twinkies.
This doesn’t make sense to me -
There is also a small cash allotment that could theoretically be used at a fried chicken place, but it would be used up after four or five meals.
We're on the wrong road............ >
We saw a shrimp vendor - the truck and camper kind - with a “We Accept Food Stamps” sign in their front windshield!
I am so pissed off over the food stamp (EBT card) fiasco. The whole mess should be dumped and we just use UPS or Fed Ex or even the post office to deliver a box of powdered milk, powdered eggs, dried potatoes and some cans of soup to these peoples homes each week.
At most, it should cost about 10 or 20 per person per week.
If this doesn’t piss you off, what’s up??
Rather than focus on how some poor and/or unfortunate people are spending their food stamp money, why not focus on getting the economy back on track so folks don’t need food stamps?
Making stores report on what’s being purchased, and then folks examining the data and second guessing purchases, then trying to “outlaw” certain items, sounds like the creation of a new multi-billion dollar government department, as well as adding costs to retailers.
Plus, who is going to determine what is “taboo”? Michelle Obama? Too much salt in that soup, no soup for you! Too much sugar in that Gatorade, so you home-bound cancer patients who need it to rehydrate lost electrolytes, too bad!
Sounds like a politicized boon-doggle waiting to happen.
I don’t have a problem with that as shrimp is food, albeit and expensive one. If they had been selling velvet pictures of Elvis, then that’s a different question.
I was approached by a woman in WalMart one evening and she asked if she could pay for my groceries with her EBT card and I was to give her the cash. I turned her down, of course, but she continued to seek others for the same deal........
Now That I think about it, I should have done so, then walked out of the store without giving her the cash............
Because most on food stamps have no intention on being contributing members of society. You cant turn back dependence without a social revolution..
Dependence will inherently end when the host dies.
When the gov’t can’t deliver any more, or people stop accepting fiat money because it’s worthless,
they’re going to starve or turn to crime. And most are too lazy to steal.
Do away with the whole stupid program and ship a care package to their doors each week. Basic, not fun, and motivation to go find work.
Plus, it will save the US treasury billions or possibly trillions.
but now Krogers, Safeway and Piggly-Wiggly all have a lobbying interest, so we’re all SCROOOOOOOD!
Deal with that every day - people offering me food stamps in exchange for cold hard cash. Pisses me off.
And ...supporters of the same government entities running the food stamp program — and the almost defuct postal service as well, want the government to take over YOUR healthcare!
It is my understanding that what can and cannot be purchased with food stamps is determined by the state overseeing it. This includes things like Slimfast and Ensure (vary by states), etc. Some states allow you to buy things at restaurants, some do not. While you aren’t supposed to be able to buy “hot foods,” according to the government site:
“In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.” I believe that this too, varies by the state’s rules.
Here’s a link to the eligible food item site. It doesn’t mention states variations, but if you do a internet search, you’ll find that different states DO allow different items.
I hope that clears that up.
The USDA Food Stamp program has been screwed-up and fraudulent since the early 1970s. The university study showed how and why...but the honchos at the USDA stuck the report in the file and said “thanks”.
The real scammers register in multiple counties and redeems in out-of-the-way locations. Stores that have more redemptions than they have inventory purchases....hummm sounds hard to do.
Shrimp IS food and at Aldes I could buy a 1 lb bag ror about $4.99 which also happens to be what hamburger costs where I live. AND, I could get at least 2 meals from it which made it extremely economical.
I never got any cash award along with foodstamps. EVER. Any cash award I may have received was in the form of child support when the kids were little. And, I never had to pay back any unused foodstamps, because there weren’t any. I ALWAYS had to add cash to the grocery purchase because there weren’t enough foodstamps to cover a month’s groceries. At one time I actually had to purchase my food stamps. It was pretty darmed hard too. When your childsupport is $270 per month, and your rent is $250, and $117 worth of foodstamps costs $47.00 plus you need diapers, pay the electric bill, laundry soap, laundry machines, and other misc. items one needs with children, well, the numbers don’t add up. So, you buy the smaller allotment of FS which at the time cost $17.00 for $65.00 worth of FS...
I don’t know where folks get off lying about how ‘good’ life is on fs. It’s not unless folks are doing other illegal activities to make extra cash. But when you fly right and legal, it’s damned difficult and not easy at all.
What some folks DO do is sell some fs for 50 cents on the dollar for some cash. A person has to buy diapers and soap somehow, as well as gasoline in order to participate in the ‘volunteer service’ one has to perform in order to receive them if one isn’t disabled, but is out of work.
As for that recipt..it means nothing. How do we know the person who purchased those goods wassn’t re-imbursed for them while the person who did the reimbursement was spared having to pay the food tax that does exist in some places?
I don’t believe it’s as much a matter of won’t as can’t.
Studies were done during the Bush era that looked at the specific issue of salted snacks and soft drinks. They found that food stamp customers purchased less of these (both in the absolute and as a proportion of their spending) than cash customers did. This was one reason why the programs did not bother to ban these items, as requiring retailers to identify and exclude them would raise the cost of the programs.
Baraq says chill out and sing along:
Here in Indiana one of the tv stations got a file of all the ATM withdrawals made with Indiana Supplemental Assistance. That’s basically “welfare” over and above EBT.
It was interesting: NYC, Vegas, Calif, Puerto Rico, casinos all over the country, Disney Orlando, Nevada brothels, Hawaii. Glad these “victims” are able to take nice vacations.
No more righteous a move on your part than it would have been on theirs. FWIW I have never, ever been approached with such a proposal.
New York City ain’t the same thing as a casino, but the latter certainly seems to bespeak heartbreaking fraud.
What really burns is out and out fraud. You were using the program as officially intended. That shows you had conscience. So many people living at the bowery level DON’T have much conscience.
At the grocery store checkout a teen in front of me whips out a texas lone star card an buys a snickers bar ... Gets 98$ an change cash back ..... Asked the clerk wth ?
She said a common practice ....
That is what the EBT cards were supposed to curtail or stop. It has to a big extent, but druggies will find ways around as the previously mentioned woman tried. Back in the late 70's early 80's, I remember there were lots of places in Jacksonville, FL where you could get 50 cents on the dollar (and higher) on your food stamps if you knew the right people......................
How hard can it be when it is all digital? A banned item gets scanned and is kicked to a “cash” list or is excluded. That doesn’t do anything to the cost of the program.
Its funny: Costco can tell me how many of something I bought in a year but we can’t keep up with food stamps? We can definitely know where the money is going if there is the will to know.
I wonder if the Obama campaign will start a web page where folks can pledge their EBT $$ to Baraq’s re-election?
I know, but I paid for the groceries in the first place..................;^)
‘Will”?..........How do we know they haven’t already?.........................
Because there is a SH*Tload of fraud going on, and this is one way to root it out.
“All digital” is like saying “all in a language” for all the good it does. French? Swahili? Afrikaans? Put that all in a book and expect everyone to be able to read it?
Retailers are consistent within themselves but are not set up to bubble lists of sold items in any consistent format back up to Uncle Sam. At best a UPC could be furnished, but there is no standard UPC for things like fresh produce sold bulk in a store. Adding categories of “counts as food but food stamp banned” items would increase overhead.
You paid for a little bit of them, but the neighbors for the rest.
Breaking two laws is no righter than breaking one.
I’d say the odds of Trayvon’s last purchase being on EBT > 50%
That would have been supplemental bennies not food bennies.
Already in place by proxy IMO....:o)
Yes, but what could she have done about it?
Call the cops?.........
Bought take-and-bake pizza at Papa Murhphy’s the other night. Went to pick them up and a sign in the window welcomed EBT cards. I won’t be back.
Confine the purchases to rice and beans. Complete protein-It will keep them alive AND SLIM.