Six Myths About Food Stamps

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This post first appeared in AlterNet.


Customers check out prices of the high quality fresh produce in the store. (Michael Stravato/ AP Images for ALDI)
(Michael Stravato/ AP Images for ALDI)

In the middle of the worst economy and job situation in decades Republicans in the House voted to cut $40 billion from food stamps. This will kick 3.8 million people out of the program by 2014, then 3 million more each year after.

Republicans in Congress have blocked every effort to help the economy. They block bills to create jobs by fixing our crumbling infrastructure because it’s “government spending.” At the same time, right-wing outlets (accurately) complain that the economy is so weak that millions are hurting. And then the same Republicans who blocked efforts to help the economy cut assistance to the people who are hurting, claiming they don’t really need the help. No shame. In the months leading up to this vote, right-wing outlets such as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, RedState and the rest of the far-right propaganda machine invented a number of justifications for cutting the program. Here is a take-down of some of those myths and lies.

Myth #1: Food stamps are “growing exponentially” because of waste and fraud.

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) recently said, “Throughout the Obama presidency, we’ve seen the food stamp program grow exponentially because the government continues to turn a blind eye to a system fraught with abuse.”

Interestingly, a number of members of Congress disparage food stamps while receiving farm subsidies. Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-MO) said, “This program is known for waste, fraud and abuse.” (Halter has received $516,000 in farm subsidies.) Kristi Noem (R-SD) said, “Loopholes and fraud …have led to federal spending on SNAP to increase 270 percent.” (Noem has received $503,000 in farm subsidies.) And Rep. Doug Lamalfa (R-CA) said that churches are more “accountable” at helping the poor than government. He said government has “failed” at helping the poor, so we should “retract” the program. (Lamalfa has received more than $1.7 million in farm subsidies.)

And other conservatives call President Obama the “food stamp president” because the program has grown since the recession hit.

Actually, the SNAP (food stamp) program is doing exactly what it is supposed to do and what a democracy would ask of it. It is helping people who need the help.

Last March the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) responded to the charges that the program’s growth is out of control, reporting that:

  • SNAP has responded effectively to the recession.
  • The recent growth in SNAP spending is temporary.
  • SNAP reaches a high share of people who are eligible.
  • SNAP payment accuracy is at all-time highs.

(Click through to CBPP for comprehensive details.)

What about “fraud?” Implicit in the accusation that the program is “growing exponentially” is the idea that the program is rife with fraud and waste. But the fraud and waste rate in the SNAP program is less than one percent. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the SNAP program. They say the fraud rate “has fallen significantly over the last two decades, from about four cents on the dollar in 1993 to about one cent in 2006-08 (most recent data available).”

Finally, the “error rate” which includes over-payments and payments to ineligible households is very low as well. According to Feeding America using USDA data, “SNAP error rates declined by 57 percent since fiscal year 2000, from 8.91 percent in fiscal year 2000 to a record low of 3.8 percent in fiscal year 2011.” Want to guess what the “compliance rate” with the IRS is? Last time they checked in 2006, $450 billion was left uncollected because of non-compliance. In one year. But conservatives aren’t complaining about that.

Myth #2: Cutting food stamps will make people get jobs because able-bodied people are getting food stamps instead of working.

Republicans call food stamps “welfare” and called the bill cutting food stamps the “Work Opportunity Act.” The idea is that after five years of recession and with 11.3 million people unemployed — 4.3 million out of work for 27 weeks or more — along with 7.9 million people working part-time but looking for full-time and another 2.3 million “marginally attached,” what the country needs is even more hungry people.

Actually, even though many on food stamps are children, elderly, disabled or temporarily unemployed, lots of people who use food stamps already are working. According to Feeding America “76 percent of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits.” According to the USDA, “Over 30 percent of SNAP households had earnings in 2011 and 41 percent of all SNAP participants lived in a household with earnings.”

One more thing, people don’t get very much food stamp money: four percent get only $16 a month. The average household gets $281 a month. The average individual gets about $133 a month.

Would you quit work or refuse a job for $133 a month which can only be used to buy food?

Myth #3: Food stamps make people “dependent.

Rep. Mike Cramer (R-ND) recently served up an example of right-wing mythology, saying that food stamps are responsible for “a culture of permanent dependency.”

The right-wing Heritage Foundation and others constantly harp on this idea that democracies providing government services for people makes them “dependent” — as if people are squirrels who will lose the ability to find their own food in the wild.

This idea that government services make people “dependent” is an insult to people, democracy and civilization. Does the government service of bringing water to your house make you dependent on not taking a bucket down to the stream or something? Does a road make you dependent on not walking your donkey through the woods to town? Do police and courts make you “dependent” on not having good swordsmanship or carrying a large club?

If anyone is “dependent,” it is corporations that pay so little their employees have to come to the taxpayers for help buying food for their families.

Myth #4: Food stamps are about politicians “buying votes” with other people’s money.

Amplifying the “dependency” argument, conservatives disparage democracy by saying that elected officials “buy votes” by providing food to hungry people — and other government services.

The Christian Post has an example, in “Signing Up Seniors for Food Stamps Is Called ‘Buying Votes’ for Obama, Says Fox News Host.” The story reports that Fox News’ Stuart Varney says, ”The AARP, huge support[er]s of President Obama, politically and financially, big supporters of Obamacare. And now they’re out there signing people up for food stamps. This is part of the buy-the-vote campaign. They’re really shifting America, changing what America really is,” he said.

Far-right Brietbart blasts, “HOW MANY VOTES WILL A 70 PERCENT INCREASE IN FOOD STAMPS BUY?” Similarly the right-wing Washington Times says, “Food stamps for votes.”

The idea of a democracy is that people vote for the things they want, everyone has an equal vote, everyone pitches in and everyone shares in the resulting prosperity. Government spending in a democracy is, by definition, ‘We the People’ doing things to make our lives better. But to conservatives, government doing things that make our lives better is just “buying votes.”

Myth #5: Food stamp recipients take drugs.

The Republican bill to cut food stamps also will “allow states to require food stamp recipients to be tested for drugs.”

Harold Pollack and Sheldon Danziger at The Washington Post look at this in “House Republicans want drug tests for food-stamp recipients. There’s no good reason for that.” They write, “Using 2011 data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we looked at the behaviors and circumstances of adults ages 18-64 whose households received SNAP. We examined whether respondents had used some illicit substance during the previous month or year. We then looked at whether they met screening criteria for abuse or dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs.”

They found a slightly higher illicit drug use among food stamp recipients. But if you correct for the demographics of people who will be on the program compared to the population at large, that slight risk gets even slighter.

So a few more people on food stamps use some drugs than people not on food stamps. Does this warrant testing everyone? Or is it about further humiliating people who aren’t rich? And why should smoking pot exclude someone from getting food stamps, anyway?

Myth #6: People use food stamps to buy cigarettes and alcohol.

Conservatives have widely circulated stories about people using food stamps to buy cigarettes and alcohol. The Blaze trumpets stories like, “THIS 65-YEAR-OLD CLERK WAS FIRED FOR REFUSING TO SELL CIGARETTES TO A FOOD STAMP CUSTOMER” and outlets like Fox echo it. These kinds of stories are everywhere in the right-wing echo chamber.

Here are the facts: According to USDA, households may use food stamps to buy foods, such as breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; meats, fish and poultry; and dairy products. Also they can buy seeds and plants which produce food to eat. (In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.)

Households may not use food stamps to buy beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco; pet foods; soaps, paper products; household supplies; vitamins and medicines; food that will be eaten in the store; hot foods.

So here we are in the worst economy in many decades. It’s more than difficult to find a job. Wages are actually falling for 95 percent of us. We have the highest income and wealth inequality since just before the depression.

Meanwhile, according to the National Priorities Project the government is handing over $1 trillion a year to the wealthiest and corporations in the form of “tax expenditures.” Then there is that $450 billion a year that the IRS just fails to collect. The corporate foreign-income tax “deferral” has corporations holding as much as $2 trillion of taxable income outside the country. And hedge-fund managers making into the billions each year still get their Romney-style tax breaks.

Yet Republicans are picking on the poorest citizens, lying and smearing them as lazy druggies and blaming them for the high unemployment by saying that $133 a month is keeping them from bothering to look for a job. Why do we put up with this?

Dave Johnson is a senior fellow with the Institute for the Renewal of the California Dream and a Fellow at the Commonwealth Institute. He blogs for a number of sites including AlterNet, Open Left and Huffington Post. Johnson is a co-founder of Carbon Tracing, Inc. a company involved in technology for carbon market trading.
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  • GaryL

    While the writer does yeoman work deconstructing the subtleties of the arguments, he fails to address the “why” behind the creation of the program; what’s the malaise underpinning the necessity for such programs?

    Could it be the failed, debt based system of currency in place since 1913? And, as a direct effect, the tumbling GDP? And, since JP Morgan Chase administers SNAP, the associated funding traveling through the system contributes to the GDP (minus administrative fees of course)?

    Any way one cuts it we seem to be experiencing an economic model that has transformed from an entrepreneurial one to a socialized one, potentially due simply to a monetary model that has consistently produced less currency than is required to extinguish the debt associated with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719301157 Brian Kane

    Unfortunately, these facts would be ignored by the Republicans even if they knew about them. There is a compassion gap, and there is also what I call the Fantasy Land Factor (FLF). The FLF is what explains why conservatives so frequently vote against their own self-interest. In their fantasy land, everyone outside of their circle of friends and family is a lazy crook who is stealing from the system. In this fantasy land they also cannot envision a time at which they too might need these services they are so eager to cut. And frequently in Fantasy Land they are already using government services and don’t even realize they’re government services. FLF creates a terrible mindset that ends up hurting a lot of people.

  • xnerd

    Great articular.
    I worked as a cashier for a while when I couldn’t find a position in my field.
    yeah, You can NOT buy booze with food stamps.

    I have had people around the internet post messages about “how they” worked in supermarkets and how these people would buy cases of beer.

    Lies lies lies lies.

    People have to realize. that there are MANY MANY more people than there are Jobs to be had. We have to take care of these people until we can fix our failed economy.
    If anything Food stamps pump MORE money into ACTUAL small businesses, which HELPS the economy.

  • Chet J Gee

    Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely share this with my friends and followers in trying to disseminate the truth.

  • Carole B Fazzini

    Another lie is that SNAP users buy products such as Lobster, brand name products, etc. I buy store brand on everything. I am so grateful for the Program. No, I probably won’t starve without it, but my independence will be compromised . I don’t work ( am 80 yrs old) but when I did, I paid taxes to the government and now the government is helping me because I have low income. Keep SNAP program. some people abuse it, I’m sure. Some Republicans and Democrats in Congress also abuse their position to gain extra money !

  • the Bobster

    lordy……

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719301157 Brian Kane

    I’m sorry Gary, you are wrong.The entrepreneurial model is still vibrant. According to Forbes, in 2012, 543,000 new U.S. companies were created every month. http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2012/07/22/whos-starting-americas-new-businesses-and-why/

    Corporations still make enormous sums of money, obviously. Walmart does not pay most of its workers a living wage, most need help from the government to pay bills and yet in 2011 had a profit of almost $15 billion. They have laid off 120,000 workers since 2008. You wonder why people need assistance? You think it’s helpful to label our economy “socialist?” For one it is a lie, and two, it also keeps other people believing the same thing, demonizing those who need help.

    $15.7 billion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719301157 Brian Kane

    However, having a JP Morgan Chase hold a non-competitive contract for administering this is wrong. In New York, a seven-year deal originally paid JPMorgan Chase $112
    million for EBT services, and was recently amended to add $14.3
    million–an increase of 13 percent.(http://www.alternet.org/story/155849/are_corporations_and_big_banks_making_a_windfall_from_food_stamps)

  • Yokie

    Really, Darin? Do you think that a mom on welfare doesn’t love her children and want good nutritious food for them? So, a child cannot have a special treat once and a while? It’s not enough that they are poor, they don’t deserve a damn pack of Skittles once and awhile? There may be fraud in welfare, but food stamps? Most people are humiliated to have to get food stamps. How would you feel about it? That’s how THEY feel, Darin.

  • Anonymous

    FLF = FLUFF.

  • Anonymous

    The program that should be zeroed out until the National Debt is say half the GDP, is the farm subsidy programs especially the appalling revenue stop loss insurance which is massively subsidized by tax payers. Yes – lets completely separate farm subsidies in all forms everywhere from food stamps & nuitrition support. The support for those grotesque subsidies for multimillionaires is despicable & once people see the profligate fraud by farmers colluding with insurance brokers. GOP is not much interested in that conversation.

  • Doug Russell

    The gov’t IS the people. There is no difference.

  • xnerd

    You hit the nail on the head.
    I have seen people repeat the same old tire lies over and over and over, even have you show them in black and white that what they said is not true.

  • xnerd

    Gary, the greater the effectiveness of shipping our jobs overseas, the more social model we are going to end up with.

    Its not hard to understand.

    What is hard to understand is how, anyone could still vote for a republican after watching them continuously block legislation from going to committee that’s sole purpose is to exclude companies that ship jobs overseas from the Bush tax cuts.

  • Doug Miller

    Darin I’m sure if you talked with most food stamp recipients you would find they would much rather buy juice or milk than soda pop. They would also like to buy healthy food instead of processed crap for their children. Unfortunately it’s the soda pop and processed foods that are cheap while fresh vegetables, fish, and meat are extremely expensive. This situation has led to the huge increase of obesity in our country because our children are eating foods that nutritionists advise against eating. One other change that should be made is to allow food stamp users to buy toilet paper, hand soap, and even laundry soap. For some reason our legislators seem to think if your on government assistance you shouldn’t have the right to stay clean.

  • Sarah Fawcett Kangas

    I was on food stamps for many years when my children were young. I did not buy lobster or steaks, I bought mainly hamburger and chicken, at that time both were both under a buck a pound. We had pork steaks occasionally, but not pork chops that was too expensive. I would go to discount food stores to buy what I needed for the month. Very little was spent on snacks, a couple bags of potato chips ($.49 ea.) but no more and a couple bags of cookies, less than a buck. Cakes I made from scratch along with icing. I did not sell my food stamps and I knew no one that did. These cases that you hear about people selling are few compared to the people that use every penny they get for feeding their children. If you haven’t been on food stamps you’ll never know how it actually is, these people that do it for a week or a month have a glimpse of what it is but when you’ve been on it for years then you’ll know the real effect it has on you. Food stamps is for feeding our children. If you are a true Christian you would not turn your back on the needy, the orphaned, and the widowed,

  • Anonymous

    “And then the same Republicans who blocked efforts to help the economy cut assistance to the people who are hurting, claiming they don’t really need the help. ”

    And you are surprised by this, why?? These are the same people who want to make access to birth control more difficult (because expecting people to abstain from having sex is just so successful), ban all abortions and then, when women who can’t afford a child, they also want to take away any help in the form of prenatal care, WIC, etc. There is no rhyme or reason.

  • Anonymous

    And let’s not forget, this is also the group that wants to put religion into government because being “christians” is so very important to them. Too bad Christ would be the first one to call them hypocrites.

  • http://kibblesbits.wordpress.com/ Ann

    So it happened once and that’s better than actual real numbers. A whole 100 in fraud and you will starve millions and turn a blind eye to corporate welfare. Genius.

  • Pam Plachte

    let us not forget that military families are part of who we are helping to feed. We, also, have vets who are coming back with PTSD, disabilities, and unable to find work. We owe them something if they are unable physically or mentally to get/hold jobs.

    Some of those who are offering to use their EBT for the cash, has anyone stopped to think that there is a reason they are getting assistance, they are actually trying to pay a utility bill? Last I heard they can’t be used to help out for other ‘needs’. Heating bills that are higher than expected.
    I have, personally, never been on assistance, but I would certainly not hesitate to make sure my family had heat or electricity.

  • jack lehr

    When I was in junior college, the person making appointments in the counseling dept. became an acquaintance and she really opened my eyes! She said if you want to know how to screw the system you need to get in with the Hispanics. The I.D. system was back then a person’s SS #. She showed me the back office where all the paperwork was processed – 100% Latina. She told me this is where SS#’s were stolen (along with other personal data). She told me about the attorneys whose only practice is coaching illegals on how to configure their financial lives to qualify for every handout there is. These people are not picking vegetables or “doing jobs Americans will not do.” They are merely stealing from America. She showed me her 5 year old house (she paid 140.00 a month under section 8). She showed me $30,000 in furniture paid for on a credit card that would be part of a bankruptcy within a month. She showed me her car, stolen in CO and given the plates of a CA car that had been totaled. The new Left Wing Amerikka!!! Sure we can survive this! This is what all successful countries do!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tuibguy Mike Haubrich

    And you knew about her fraud and you didn’t report it? I don’t believe your story.

  • Bernardo Stevens

    OMG. Every one of those “myths” is true.

    Case in point. Of COURSE people use food stamps to buy cigarettes, beer and Lotto tickets. They do this 3 ways. All are illegal.
    1. They sell the use of their card at a discount. They’ll buy their neighbor $20 of food in return for $10 in cash.
    2. They buy food and sell it to their friends or neighbors at a discount.
    3. Small family-owned groceries simply ring up the wrong items. You buy cigarettes and they ring up baby food.

    Get it?

  • Bernardo Stevens

    So you’re confirming that the “myth” is true. Thank you.

  • Bernardo Stevens

    Access to birth control is difficult?
    The pills are $9/month at Target! Solved.

  • Bernardo Stevens

    We spend almost a TRILLION dollar a year on Federal means-tested programs.
    “Means – tested” is code for welfare. That’s over 80 different programs.

    So anyone who pretends we don’t “help the poor” in this country is lying to you.

  • jack lehr

    Years ago – just a kid – I did not rat on anyone – no young people do. The story is true. San Luis Obispo County. It actually happens all the time. Yes, some (most) people on aid really are in need – a LOT are frauds, er, excuse me, Obama’s “base”.

  • Bernardo Stevens

    How stupid. Soda is not cheap. And fresh vegetables and fruit are a lot cheaper than processed food, stupid.
    Look at the unit prices, dumbie. PER POUND.
    Apples in season … $1.49
    Oranges………….. $4.99/ 5 lb bag

  • Bernardo Stevens

    No, most SNAP recipients are NOT embarrassed.

  • Bernardo Stevens

    Small family groceries certainly DO allow people to buy cigarettes, beer and Lotto tickets with EBT cards.

    And people make deals with each other,. If you buy me $20/food I’ll give you $12 cash. That’s how it works. Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that marijuana is illegal so kids can’t be buying it in school, right?

  • Bernardo Stevens

    What? Every one of those “myths” was actually true.
    Pick one and I’ll explain it to you.

  • Bernardo Stevens

    We spend almost a trillion a year in Federal means-tested programs.
    Means-tested is code for welfare.

  • moderator

    Please read our comment policy before commenting. If you repeatedly attack others or use hate speech your comments will be deleted and you will no longer be able to comment.

    Sean @ Moyers

  • scat

    If you know of any actual instances of this kind of practice, you must report it.

  • scat

    Then you have no business accusing others of acting improperly.

  • Lorraine Freeman

    Who knew the economy was going to collapse??

  • Lorraine Freeman

    People speed all the time so I guess we should just shut down the roads! This is your logic, buddy. Please…*think*.

  • Lorraine Freeman

    The question is: PREVALENCE. Is every single person on food stamps selling them for beer and cigarettes? No, OF COURSE NOT. Many people simply would have no money for food if not for food stamps. MOST people use food stamps for, well, food.So what you do is find the offenders and put them in jail, while leaving the vast HONEST majority ALONE. Get it?

  • Lorraine Freeman

    Also the fact that whatever money is put into the big corporations is immediately whisked offshore, so there honestly is simply not enough money circulating through our economy. It’s pretty crazy. There IS no national monetary ecosystem anymore.

  • Kylie Brooks

    Can you clarify “must?”

  • queenfish

    Many years ago, in San Luis Obispo? Guess what – OBAMA wasn’t around then! Find someone else to blame – go back maybe as far as Eisenhower, depending on your age!

  • Larry E Agee

    This was a farm subsidy program at first -

  • queenfish

    Check out salaries for the military today. They bear no resemblance whatsoever to the salaries military personnel were paid during the Vietnam era. I am blown away by those paychecks I’ve seen – as well as the Commissary privileges for shopping for food and everything else you need to run a household, the medical benefits, the incredible retirement plan…….I got really sick and tired of hearing people on the phone, bragging to their friends as they neared retirement that they were “triple-dippers.” Military retirement, social security, AND getting first pick of all the good civilian government jobs – and not to mention, of course, the college education that they get as part of their enlistment packages. Our military are not as pitiful as some want us to think.

  • queenfish

    Spot on!

  • queenfish

    Not nearly as much as what we see done by those in Congress – those arrogant thugs don’t even have to buy postage stamps! How many of them do you think honestly have to do their own grocery shopping or count how much they pay for gas or electricity or water? They haven’t lived in the real world of this country so long they haven’t a clue of what ordinary Americans have – and guess what – they don’t CARE – all they care about is their own re-election and feeding at the public trough with salaries and benefits that are completely out of sight of virtually all working people – and they are incredibly rich before they even pick up their “pocket change” salaries!

  • queenfish

    Spot on!

  • Anonymous

    So if someone is really poor and can’t afford toothpaste, toilet paper, dish soap, and other non-food items, if they’re THAT POOR, you’re going to begrudge them a little fiddling? Sometimes when I’m in a bad mood, I wish that all the Scrooges could be reduced to the income level that qualifies for food stamps (and it’s lower than you think) and have to live as a poor person among poor people for a year. Right-wingers have a tendency not to understand these sorts of things until it happens to THEM.

  • Daniel Wayno

    I have personally seen people who get food stamps trade there food stamps for money and a bad ratio in the favor of the person getting the food stamps. In this way they receive Cash that they can then spend on alchohol, cigarrettes, phones, drugs, and any other number of things.

    The process is as easy taking the person with you shopping for food and buying it with the food stamps. Then the person gives the cash money to the food stamp user, and takes the food. Essentially getting the food for half of the normal cost.

    Not only have I seen it once or twice but numerous times, and in some cases the people even tell me that’s what there doing.

    As I read this I can only think to myself it’s an obvious political agenda piece. There are so many ways around the system that leave the government completely unaware (through proper channels) of what is going on that it is just silly for them to claim these things are myths.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Not that I wish to stand up for congress members, But it is unfair to say they all are detached from the real world some of them are only newly added and from the real world it takes a while more for them to get detached lol. So we can be sure there are at least a few there still rooted in the real world.

  • Daniel Wayno

    My mother had to support the family alone for nearly 5 years because of my father going to jail. During that time my mother who was a house wife all her life went into work. She had sometimes up to 3 jobs at a time and did whatever it took to make ends meet. There were times that even us kids were worried and when we found money on the side of the street we even gave it to our mother to help with the bills.

    Not only did our mother succeed in taking care of the 5 of us (me, my brother, my sister, and my sisters kid.) But she managed to pay off most of the bills buy us school supplies and clothes, keep up the utilities and maintain her relationship to her husband.

    She didn’t apply for welfare because she didn’t need it, even though she was having hard times she knew she could make it work and she did. It is easy to fall back on a system like this and cry foul. But she didn’t do that because she knew in her heart she didn’t need it. Most of the people on Snap don’t need it either. It is however very convenient to lean on snap when your having trouble instead of putting more effort into to taking care of things.

    I recently also had my own troubles, almost lost my car, I did lose my job, and had to make hard choices. I went from Computer tech support to Computer repair with my brother, to Solo computer repair because he couldn’t pay me. That wasn’t enough either So i went further and dug deeper to find other skills I wasn’t making money with. When I wasn’t working(at night) I started to make Chain Maille Jewelry and eventually I had enough to do a show at local craft fairs on Saturdays and Sundays. When I finally did find a job any job I took it, it wasn’t what i wanted but it paid money. So I donned the hat of a construction worker. I managed to pay off my car by combining all three of my trades and eventually pulled myself out of that poverty. Never once as an able bodied man did i ever consider getting assistance when I knew I had the ability to provide for myself.

    Now I understand if you have no choice, but it’s easy to convince yourself that you have no choice. The young have engery, health, and no kids. The old have experience, wisdom, and if retired lots of time.
    The middle aged have both wisdom and energy with a crippling case of kiddies =p. But there is always something else you could be doing to make a little extra cash. Painting, Jewelry making, carpentry, Repair work, Yard work, Art painting, Craft Shows, Yard sales, babysitting, daycare, and many more things. When I couldn’t find a job I made work for myself until I did. *gasp* I also didn’t buy presents for people when I was broke or pretend like I was still a normal person. I outright told people I just don’t have the money right now. Later when I fixed my financial issues I set aside some money in savings and then bought everyone in my family some very expensive presents as a thank you for the ones I got when I couldn’t give back.

  • surely

    Yup, ALL small family grocers do that. You seem to have a major problem with charity. Charity. That’s helping people… you know, kids, elderly, sick, disadvantaged, disabled. Let’s just toss them out. How Darwinian, survival of the fittest. That’ll work perfectly.

  • Anonymous

    God bless you. I developed a chronic illness, and then a few other, and cannot work. I was a single mom before all that happened and always, ALWAYS a hard worker. One of the first things mentioned on any performance review.

    My income paid in gave me more than the minimum in social security, so I don’t qualify for any other assistance, but $100 less and I would qualify for almost everything else, so I’m in a wonderful gray area as far as that goes (in some states I might qualify – it always depends on the state, of course).

    There are people in our church in similar situations, and we’re always on the lookout for things to help them – be it a used microwave in good shape, a used piece of furniture. We do what we can to help everyone get by, because that is the best way for all of us to get through – together.

  • AW

    The doctor’s visit to get the prescription is $500 or more if you don’t have insurance. And if you live where I do, you have to factor in a 680-mile round trip to the nearest women’s health clinic.

  • Anonymous

    Hello there. I can’t address all of your post with real world experience, but I CAN address the “the ALDI I shop at is hiring at $12.50/hr plus benefits for cashiers…” comment.

    I’m not sure where you live. In my area, $12.50/hour is enough to get by, provided that you’re living alone, not paying for daycare and don’t have to travel too far (i.e., have access to public transportation or a very short drive or maybe could even walk or bicycle). HOWEVER, if any of those variables, change, suddenly the $12.50/hour goes from being “I could live in a studio apartment and pay all my bills if I didn’t have car insurance and a car payment and get by” to “I have to choose between paying daycare/utilities/car payment and eating.”

    Seriously. It becomes ramen noodle and peanut butter time (as a physician, you should know how lovely that is for the body long-term).

    I am assuming (I know it’s not a good thing, but usually starting salaries reflect the cost of living in a general area) that your Aldi pays what it does because cost of living is higher there than it is here. Here an Aldi person starting out would probably make a competitive cashier’s wage, which is more like $8.50/hour.

    I earned that for awhile. I brought home $425 twice a month after I paid for my part of the benefits. I had two kids. Lucky for me, one was old enough to stay home by himself after school, but not old enough to babysit yet. Do you know what daycare was per child? $100/week. Since I couldn’t afford $400/month daycare on $850/month take home salary, I had to choose the night shift (hey it got me from $8.25 to $8.50 though, so it’s all good, right?). I had my ex watch my kids at night and I got them during the day (it was his excuse not to help financially, which he wouldn’t have anyhow, so I took what I could get).

    My mortgage (I know any responsible citizen gets a house and builds equity) was $450/month.

    I live in a rural area, so I had to have a car. Insurance, when you included homeowners, too, was $160/month.

    I had to put gas in my car to commute 32 miles to earn that $8.25/hour. I had to pay electric, natural gas, any copays for any doctor’s visits, food and everything else.

    See, when you take away those benefits it often leaves the family in a much more precarious situation (back in Colorado I watched a family struggle for three years until they could get out of and stay out of the system, because every time they tried to get off, they ended up in the situation I was in. My situation was temporarily affordable because I had an additional $500 income from a mortgage I held; then a three-year lawsuit ended up suspending that for awhile, and if a boyfriend had not stepped in and asked me to marry him, I would have ended up homeless and losing my kids because I couldn’t afford to keep going). Often they get out there on minimum wage with two or three kids at home and not enough education to get much better, but wanting to start out, and immediately they are making too much money to get even coverage for their apartment, utility assistance, etc., and they add it all up and they’ve got less than they would get on minimum wage (because it is very far below poverty level for a family of four, and it appears that most of the programs try to get a family up to at least poverty level), so they say, “Geez, I might have been treated like dirt when I was on benefits, and people at church might have kept telling me to get a job, but at least the last 12 days of the month there was still food to feed everyone,” and they quit. They decide they are better off eating while they look for a better opportunity.

    Some keep trying. Some quit. And some, I will admit, are like you said – they are born into it as a lifestyle and aren’t quite sure even how to get out of it, especially when minimum wage leaves them worse off than living inside the system does.

    If you really want to get rid of these programs or reduce them significantly, education should be made more affordable and more attainable. Not all people who are under-educated are too stupid to acquire an education; they merely lack any viable financial access to acquiring one. They might not be healthy enough for military service (or might have strong ethical reasons why they will not participate in military service), or, like a poor girl in our church, have family that are so poor that they refuse to see any way to help her actually GET to and stay in a school because her scholarships would have only covered tuition, and they couldn’t begin (no matter how many people tried to encourage them to look for ways) to see how to get the girl to an apartment or dorm on campus that they could afford, or even how to get her a driver’s license because they couldn’t afford to have her increase their insurance (so she could stay home and commute to a local college).

    It isn’t a broad brush type of problem. It isn’t a “just do this and it will go away” problem. Poverty has never been like that. Education does a lot to reduce poverty. Better job availability would do a lot to reduce poverty.

    If this country would have handled the whole banking crisis differently, I suspect we wouldn’t be in as deep a mess as we are now, either. At this point, we’ve told the banks they own us. They love that, of course.

  • Sharon Gaught

    Wow you people just need to get out and go live with people like me who live on maybe 700.00 a month . Pay rent , electric, gas , insurance on a car , feed , clothe , and try to make it . If something does break yeah it may never get fixed because we have to live . We have to make a decision if food or medicine . You should be so lucky and blessed to buy wine … some of us real poor and needy would love to have a burger from McDonalds or see our kids oin new clothing instead of hand-me- down clothing or stuff from the Salvation Army , or have a Christmas . My children have went three years with no Christmas due to bills we needed to catch up on . SO shut the hell up , none of you know . Not a one of you . You dont care , you turn your noses up at the poor , I see you … I have watched you treat the poor and those that cant even spare a few dollars for their kids to go to the movies . If our children are wearing something other than NIke , Abercrombie, Levis, or all those other crappy clothing . You say you care for the poor ? No you dont . In my area its the poor helping the poor , we share , we barter , we sacrafice what we have to those that are worse than us. Like my poor neighbor on SS who makes 6.00 over the limit to have food sttamps and she has to chose food or medicine or heat for her home . Really you self righteous know it alls , you dont know crap and stop spouting that you do . Not all of us are drug users , lazy , or anything else . I worked three jobs when I had my twins and it didnt get us off the food stamps or the help . 3 jobs , Im well educated with my LPN and now disabled … guess what Im one of those that need help and Im honest and do eveything the damn government wants . The poor are the government whores , we have to jump through hoops, do balancing acts and give everything away just to live and to survive. So get you stories about the poor right . All your talking about is a few bad apples .

  • Sharon Gaught

    AMen , I know hundreds of people doing just this right now .

  • Sharon Gaught

    Amen , my story is the same as yours … there is no change , and the food being bought is the same as well . So how ever many years ago you were on it , guess what it hasnt changed , which makes me think that the government has it cost of living and cost of food based on minimum wage and thats how they keep us in the system . There is no way out .

  • KMC528

    That presumes you can take the generic. I couldn’t. As much as they try to tell you the generic is identical to the name brand, it’s not. Every time I tried to switch to a generic for the lower co-pay, I had a problem. One caused me to have hives … not a good thing when your work involves dealing with people who are afraid you’re contagious.

  • Jennifer R

    Repeat after me: Anecdotes are not data. Anecdotes are not data. Anecdotes are not data.

  • MARK

    then a box of cereal would be 11$

  • K in O.K.

    Do you know how many people live in the United States? To say “I have seen this happen at least several times!” means nothing statistically. Meanwhile, it is well-documented that the wealthiest individuals in our society, along with corporations that make outrageous profits, consistently pay low taxes, receive subsidies and tax credits, etc. and make out like bandits while the rest of us are having 10-20% of our meager paychecks taken out for taxes, to be refunded once a year (the bulk of which is used to catch up on bills that we got behind on because our checks were insufficient due to over-taxation).

    So.. you might want to focus your critical eye on someone who is actually profiting from duping or manipulating the system, rather than someone who is trying to make ends meet. Poor people aren’t nearly as big of leaches as corporations and wealthy individuals.

  • K in O.K.

    Fraud is fraud, true, but why are you fixated on the $10 a person in the ghetto makes off their neighbor getting food for their kids at a discount, when wealthy people and corporations are getting out of paying thousands and sometimes millions in taxes?! WHY DO YOU ONLY CARE IF THE POOR FOLLOW THE RULES TO A T AND NOT THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY?

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    I think you’re supposed to report this.
    If you don’t, you’re part of the problem.

    One also might wonder how it is you come to know so many people who commit fraud.

  • Larry Powell

    Hopefully this may dispel some ignorant statements and made up stories about food stamp abuse. Some of these stories do not even make sense and are not true. The Rethuglicans just continue to fabricate this crap. In years past they sponsored many of these programs to buy votes from the poor. Now they just want to starve the poor so they will not vote against them.

  • Adrian Gruber

    Its ironic that the same politicians who cut food subsidies for the poor are the ones who get cash subsidies from the corrupted farm bill. Again its the “HAVES vs. THE HAVE NOTS”. Republicans are playing a dangerous game, if and when we ever get motivated there will be such a backlash against them, democrats too need heed the warning signs. Our beloved country was born in Revolution against a corrupt occupier. Washington has alienated the people. Our democracy is rotten with money, SCOTUS will undoubtedly cast out the last limits on campaign contributions allowing the super rich to buy elections. The Republic is in DANGER!

  • jack lehr

    Baloney. That’s like saying if someone is angry it invalidated what they say. Nonsense! For people who are hungry and in need, by all means we should help them – but why would left wing “idealists” simply not care about fraud? It weakens the system so that when things are not so golden the funds dry up. Fraud existed then and it exists now. And leftists seem to get off on it. Just weird.

  • Anonymous

    Beans and rice are not just carbs. They are actually a good source of protein too.

  • Daniel Wayno

    I don’t go around judging other people and calling 911 every 5 mins. Besides that I was at the time unaware it was a crime.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Works the same way with the cards lynnz. The owner of the card just buys the food.

  • Daniel Wayno

    do you often go out of your way to split of familys with jail time and cause a persons life to turn upside down?

    I don’t have the inclination to ruin a person life over a few bucks but apparently you do. I do however wish it would stop in a manner that doesn’t further downtrod someone who is already at the bottom.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Just because you label something anecdotal doesn’t make it so. It’s hardly a singular or limited story, it happens all over the country and is exploited in a large variety of ways. That is a fact. When Just One person has a story like this I would agree with you. But that is not the case, and the idea is not original

  • Jennifer R

    You cannot base your argument on what people say they see. People say a lot of things, and make a lot of assumptions. Show me the hard data to back up your claim and then you might have a leg to stand on. As of now, you do not. The bottom line is, people need to eat, and SNAP has been a critical safety net.

  • AnnaFrieda

    I wondered why so many people can be so furiously upset over someone getting a couple of dollars in food stamps but say nothing about wealthy corporations getting millions in subsidies and tax breaks. Until my daughter suggested that it is because the people getting food stamps are visible to us because they shop the same stores as us, while corporate welfare is a behind the scenes, closed door affair. For anyone interested in corporate welfare, or just to prove my point, I like to suggest reading “Free Lunch” by David Cay Johnston.

  • jdh

    @jacklehr:disqus People who spaz out over welfare all seem to obsess about the same thing: people get cash for their benefits and then spend them on things other than food. You assume, of course, it’s drugs or alcohol. It couldn’t be rent, medication, clothes, cleaning products, gas, tires, ETCETERA! But let’s not bother with that. So what’s your solution, my friend? Assign a personal agent to follow every welfare recipient around 24/7 to make sure they follow the rules? Or should we just take it all away from everyone? Perhaps we should create laws and penalties for violating them. Oh, wait, there already are laws for SNAP. Maybe we should raise punishment to the death penalty! Ooh, that would be sweet! People speed too. And do drugs. And rob banks. You can’t STOP people from doing things they aren’t supposed to. You can only deter them and punish them if they get caught. That all already exists for the SNAP program. My friend, people are always going to buck the system. It’s NEVER going to go away. Why don’t you stop obsessing about something you (none of us) can do much about and channel your energies into something slightly more constructive…

  • LisaRW

    They do and so do I…..I had to take a drug test to work at a retail store….I am making the money and i take a drug test….you are receieving the money and you shouldn’t??? A drug test should be mandatory for all people receiveing government aid. What’s the big deal? If you are not doing drugs then no worries!

  • LisaRW

    Corporations give us jobs…what do welfare recipients give us?

  • jdh

    LisaRW: You can’t be serious, can you?

  • jdh

    What difference does it make if they’re doing drugs?

  • jdh

    There is no hard data. That’s why he can’t produce it. The propaganda machine is based on “he said/she said”. A giant game of telephone running in a continuous loop. Or, more formally, the echo chamber. Chamber. Chamber. Chamber….

  • jdh

    queenfish: Are you serious? You can’t possibly be serious. Do you live in a bubble? Or fantasyland. You’re talking about people retiring and we’re talking about enlisted men/women who can’t feed their families?

  • jdh

    Don’t bother. People like Bernardo know everything.

  • queenfish

    No, I don’t live in a bubble – I was a military wife, and numerous members of my extended family are career and active-duty today, as well. All are enlisted personnel, not officers. I know there are hardships to the military life, first-hand. I also know that we chose not to have more children than we could feed on the salary we had – my military allotment as a wife with one child was $123.10. My husband’s bring-home was less than $100 a month. We rented base “housing,” an 8′ wide by 24′ long trailer (ours was the largest size, because we had a child), and we paid $55.10 a month to rent it. All of us young families siphoned the remaining gas out of our vehicles and put it into mine so that our spouses could get to their “areas” those last few days before payday – because my car got the best gas mileage. We pooled our remaining food and shared potluck meals those days, too, so that we stretched our food a little further. I know what salaries, housing, and benefits are now, too, and I’m glad that things have improved – they had to – without the draft, they had to offer a much higher set of incentives to get people to enlist, and they did. No one, working any job, should have such low pay that they can’t afford a decent standard of living – and regardless of whether they are military or civilian, they and their children deserve same consideration.

  • sharonl_74

    LisaRW: Corporations do not “give” us jobs…they allow us to slave away for them so they can stash millions in tax free shelters, then renege on 25 year promises of retiree benefits.

  • sharonl_74

    It’s more expensive to pay for the drug tests than what they save weeding out the drug offenders.

  • Adrian Gruber

    Well said!

  • Dracul Jan Ivanescu

    please for the love of god fill out a foodstamp application ….. after you give them your bank account number and social security number and authorize them to access your banking information electronicly anytime. get back to me.

  • Daniel Wayno

    I am sorry that criminals don’t write down there exploits of a government system for you in cold hard data so you can understand it. Maybe if you stopped looking a a sheet of paper and looked at real people who sneak around abusing the system you would understand it better.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Speeding laws are made to save peoples lives, and the reason the government isn’t doing anything about you going 10 miles over the speed limit is because the cops are too busy chasing the dude going 120 in a 45 putting peoples lives at risk. I didn’t say I wanted anything by the way. The purpose of this post was to try make the truth into a myth. By speaking out about what I and others have seen, as well as the people on here that also tell what they have seen. The purpose of this article to make myth out of fact is dispelled.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Usually when these conservatives talk about “welfare queens” or people on welfare in general, it’s minorities. While Republicans love talking about “the little guy,” they really speak pejoratively of poor people as undesireables mooching at our collective teets.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Corporations are not people. Welfare recipients are human beings. Gifted with life. Part of our living society.

    Young people give us labor…what do old people give us? To the ice floes!

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    It costs more to administer these tests than to simply provide benefits. It’s a practice of diminishing returns.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Beans and rice are a healthy foundation to a balanced diet.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    If I may offer a suggestion. My family is in a similar situation where we had less money in our budget for food than the USDA set up as a minimum for a family of five as ours is. We cut all those meats out except for once or twice a week because meat is expensive. We got our proteins through lentils, beans, kale, and dairy.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Obamacare allowed my wife to double her coverage for half the price.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    But you’re using these anecdotes to contradict the data provided with this story. When less than 1% of the program is used this way, it’s not a problem we need to expend large amount of resources to fix (diminished returns), and it’s certainly not a reason to dump the whole program.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    The government system has people who investigate these things. That’s where the data come from.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    You stop it by reporting it.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Wrong. Employers don’t hire people because they’re beneficent but because they need the labor. They overwork people as much as they can until the demands of the job require more hands. They don’t lay off people because they can’t afford them because they’re also losing productivity and thus income.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Because we have a trade partnership with China. We send them expensive things they can’t produce and we receive cheap things they can.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Almost everyone in the supply chain to sell you that box of cereal is a union worker not making minimum wage.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    The majority of that is Social Security benefits. Another portion of that is veterans benefits. A good chunk of it is corporate subsidies.

  • Daniel Wayno

    1%? lol This is a job for people, there are those who choose this as there proffession in life to manipulate the system to there advantage. In 2011 the hard data says that over 858million of the current 80 billion plus food stamp system was stolen.

    180 million would be 1% of 80 billion. 858 million is 4.76%. I am pretty sure much of the “data” slipped through the cracks.

    4.76% of 80 billion doesn’t seem like nothing when you say how much has actually been fraudulently charged and used.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Nobody is making a living off of $233 monthly checks… that are only good for foodstuffs.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Yes and that data if you look it up says the national average for food stamp fraud is 34%.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Yes I am Afraid they are, One simple google search of the term “Food Stamp Trafficking” would pull up over 100 different cases all involving people who make asborbant amounts of money off of it.

    One woman who signed all the children up at her daycare for foodstamps, another of 10 business’s all in the same area that frauded the system by charging for items that didn’t exist then splitting the money. I did reply with links but it has to be moderated to make sure i am not linking virus’s =)

  • Anonymous

    The article makes the false assumptions that we live in a democracy, and that the government is a part of the people. We live in a Constitutional Republic, where the government is a vendor of specified contracted goods and services.
    Also, when people pay their road taxes and water bills, they are purchasing those goods and services. Dependency is receiving charity that one has not purchased.

  • Daniel Wayno

    People make work for themselves, corporations are made by people. Someone Somewhere sat down and decided to make McDonald and his idea and hard work eventually made him rich.

    People working hard to solve there own problems is the answer.

  • Daniel Wayno

    People working to fix there own problems is never patently false. It is the way this modern world which we call home was built. Through hard work and sweat.

  • Sick of it

    Can you honestly say before God almighty people working to fix their own problems is “the way” this modern world was built? Thievery, religious manipulation, squashing the little guy, and defrauding take precedence in that myth you embrace. I have yet to find one account of the truly wealthy who wasn’t given, handed, helped, coddled,carried, married, bartered, borrowed, stolen, or been a part of a broad scheme to capitalize. I suppose that is work to pull that game off.

  • Alone, existing.

    I am 51 years old. Succum to a debilitating illness 3 years ago. I own nothing. I receive $151.00 in food stamps and $710 from SSI a month. Anybody envious?

  • Terri DiA

    Sadly she probably is.

  • Terri DiA

    Florida found that out the hard way. Discovered something like less than 2% tested positive for drugs but cost over $1Mil to administer the test. I think they gave up on the program.

  • Terri DiA

    which just makes me wonder how long ago your observations were.

  • Dave

    WOW Some people are so out of touch.

  • http://dbcooper.livejournal.com P.F. Bruns

    Great stuff, Mr. Johnson, but the site named for the late Mr. Breitbart is Breitbart, not Brietbart.

  • Terri DiA

    the last time the minimum wage was raised there was actually an economic boom in this country. People making minimum wage are not usually ‘savers’. Usually if they have more money they are buying more of what they need to survive. Which increases sales, which in turn increases demand and then increases jobs. It also dropped quite a number of people off of assistance programs. Everybody wins. There are states and cities in this country that have min wages higher than the federal level. Those areas weathered the recession much better than areas at the federal level.

  • Steve

    It gives Republican hypocrites something to look down upon

  • Janet Cater

    You are very fortunate you have never needed the safety net and a grinch to deny assistance to those in need.

  • Janet Cater

    Drug tests are a waste of tax payer money…see Florida experience!

  • Janet Cater

    I hope you get a job soon. Our society needs to do more to help people like you by asking the uber rich to pay their fair share.

  • Robert Breeze

    Sickofit, may i post your comment on Facebook? That is one of the most intelligent comments I have ever read, obviously written by someone who knows. If only people would walk in another’s shoes before they criticize and complain, this would be a better country.

  • Guest

    I can’t see how junk food and redbull can be part of food stamps..I see people really buy more junk food than anything with food stamps..

  • k

    We feed EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD !!!!, AND Yet we pitch a fit about taking care of our own, Shameful!!

  • Brownie

    I am a college graduate, I spent 20 years as a Naval Officer’s wife. After my divorce, I recieved nothing, as in 0 from my husband or the Navy. I have to subsist on SNAP benefits while I am trying to get a job. There are very few jobs for someone who spent the last 20 years moving from place to place, even though I always worked and always volunteered in the local community wherever we were stationed. I still volunteer in my community and work at the local homeless shelter. I have not been able to get a full time, paying job, so if it were not for SNAP benefits I would be IN the homeless shelter and eating at the soup kitchen where I volunteer.

  • Jelica R

    Re #6, for those who don’t know how food stamps work, they now use a card (like a debit card) that is filled electronically and will NOT pay for anything not allowed, not even soap, toilet paper, or a rotisserie chicken (no hot food). Will it sometimes pay for chocolate and nuts? Yes, because the former is an antioxidant and the latter is a source of protein for vegetarians (and anyone else who wants a healthy snack). If a person includes, say, cigarettes with his/her grocery purchase, the card will only pay for the permitted food, and the shopper has to pay for the other things with his/her own money or credit/debit card.

  • Brownie

    It’s too bad that your poor grammar and mis-spellings negate any coherent argument you may have.
    Brownie

  • Ruth Dilger Williams

    Exactly.

  • Sick of it

    By all means.

  • http://twitter.com/333maxwell Chas Holman

    Of all the things my taxes have went to in the last 45 years of me actually paying taxes, I can honestly say I never once said ‘God, I hope these taxes are not buying hungry people food’…

    Hungry people are desperate people, and no one needs desperate people looking for opportunity in the middle of the night in your neighborhood. Feeding people is the very FIRST step to a civilized society.. and the last step, because you can’t just feed people once and the problem goes away.

    The sooner as a nation we fess up to the fact we ARE our brothers keeper, it will be far less expensive than fighting the situation, rather than preventing as much as possible it in the first place.

    It is NOT like this nation doesn’t have plenty of food.. dumpsters outside every Restaurant in the country will demonstrate that gross fact. We waste more than we eat and we use food as a tool against people. It isn’t the best way.

  • Anonymous

    Good to know. Now when our Constitutional Republic starts a war I don’t agree with, I will simply not purchase that good and/or service by not paying that portion of my taxes. Also, unemployed people should be denied all services (use of roads, public libraries, the courts) because they are not paying for them.

  • Dom Pinckney

    you know what I find funny when people with ebt cards are buying organic from whole foods people still aren’t happy. you cant blame them buying only junk food thats what’s cheap fast and easy and unfortunately most are looking for convenience. Lemme ask something are you bothered by people using coupons getting food and other items for nearly free, Because that is quite similar in a sense.

  • Just Fed Up

    People fall so short of reality sometimes. Most of the people that are receiving assistance through food stamps or otherwise, would rather not. There are not enough jobs that pay well enough to pay all your bills and put food on the table at the same time. I wish sometimes that people would remove their head from what ever box they have it in and see the big picture. Not everyone can be rich, not everyone can be famous, and it is the little guy that you put down that does all the dirty work that no one else wants to do and gets paid little to do it. I wish the rich would start forking over some of their money and maybe things would start to get better. SSI and food stamps are not a living, believe me I know this for a fact. I am going back to school to get a job that probably won’t even be there when I graduate. Do I dislike that they place everyone in the same basket so to say and say that they are all lazy? Yes I DO. Sometimes people just need that helping hand to get back on their feet. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

  • Dom Pinckney

    the big deal is the waste of our money and not much of a return

  • Dom Pinckney

    does that apply to prescription drugs because those get abused alot.

  • Dom Pinckney

    seems they really are

  • Sick of it

    I can’t see how insanely wealthy people sleep at night knowing there are families crammed in a car sleeping in a parking lot less than five miles away.

    I can’t wrap my head around the idea that a person sits on millions and they take portions of it and purchase a huge home that looks more like a museum with 20 bathrooms all while there is a place in their home town called tent city.

    My list is endless and for some reason the idea of worrying about what food products someone utilizing a food stamp card just doesn’t even make the list of concerns.

  • Anonymous

    You are incorrect. Granted, foodstamps leave you very little choice. Try living on $4.50 a day for food. What baffles me is why people become ‘shopping cart police’ when they think of foodstamps….you do not know the stories of the people you see. People get really nosy…..as if people in poverty have given up the right to privacy. And by the way, I agree with you about red bull and soda. They should not be available.

  • Mase

    Surely just a typo. Do you also write the author of a book when the editor hasnt caught it?

  • Janesma

    You are a great writer. We need more people like you. My son has his PhD and is teaching for $30,000 a year with a wife and twins. The health insurance offered by his employer, is over $900 a month. They can’t afford it. My son didn’t want to get help with food but had to for his family. Sure there are people that take advantage of the system, but that is the minority. Many are hard working peopłe.

  • Anonymous

    I got 30 lashes with a cat-o-9 tails as a condition of employment. That should be mandatory for you too! See what a stupid argument that is? See what a sheep you are? Because your awful employer invades your privacy, you believe everyone’s privacy should be invaded?

  • Anonymous

    The most abused drug is alcohol, yet nobody is talking about drug testing for that. Alcoholics and other drug addicts will starve themselves to death, using all of their resources to feed the addiction instead. I would think support that can only be used to buy food would be a good thing.

    Instead, it seems some people are intent on punishing them for being addicts. I guess it is easier and cheaper to let addicts self destruct rather than treating their particular mental illness.

  • Michelle Elaine Hampton

    Similar story here. Husband hurt at work – twice. Super huge company that is the largest meat producing company in the world denied both claims, played games with LOA vs Medical leave. Our state is fully aware of the issue but has their hands tied due to current laws. The company literally laughs at you if you mention “attorney”. They literally starved us out for 2 months before we said to hell with it and looked into aid. (yes all the while looking for a job, he turned down two offers right after he was hired by the meat packer) At the end of 2012 we did qualify as a family of 3 to receive 347.00 a month as I was off work due to a miscarriage. Fast forward a few months he finds another job by looking daily, online applications, agencies (that are a joke by the way) in person applications & temp services….I have serious retail management experience, but after a move here it took 33 applications to land a pay grade at 1/3 of what I made before, frankly, I was being paid what I paid green sales help TEN years ago. Fast forward a few more months – house fire. 3rd degree burn on my dominant hand. ( plus the 2 herniated disks that were found a few days before that steaming from an auto accident where the ER just pumped me full of morphine and sent me out the door because I was a private pay, telling me my back was just “early onset arthritis” It has taken 6 months, after grafts, to be able to hold a pen to sign my name or hunt-n-peck type. And band-aid to help for my back. Yet Disability has been denied. the social security office literally sent back a letter stating that they had no idea what my work history looked like and therefore could not ascertain what degree I may be disabled (despite both my doctors recommendations) Sorry but that isn’t a hand out. I have been paying into the fund for 20+ years. Get disability , no Food Stamps needed. Now my husband is at 12.00 an hour and at the time of last Food Stamp application spurned on by my doctors to help with medical expenses, he was paying in 600.00 a month in child support payments for kids that did not DNA to be his – we did not qualify for any state or federal aid. Had my husbands prior company been truthful he would have received unemployment, since they fired him for getting hurt. Had the state done due diligence and required a DNA as per their regulations ( same agency happens to run both SNAP and Support in our state) no SNAP needed. o think SNAP is just this magic line of raining money have a rather dense mindset. I was not raised to ask for anything. I have been working in some fashion since I was 13 and my husband since he was 10. Are any of you aware of how invasive the process is? For instance – how many of you disparaging the “free-loaders” are willing to turn over 6 months of your banking statements? Have your employers past or present contacted? It isn’t easy to ask but in my case – I have a child, one who didn’t ask for an economic downturn. We are not people who buy lobster or 200.00 jeans, just people trying to make it work on less and less, watching our savings account shrivel to nothing, praying that none of us get hurt – and then 3 major health issues in 4 months. You want to judge me and others like me? You go ahead, make yourself feel better – because guess what? I used to do the exact same thing when I was sitting in my glass house, with my new car. While there are abuses, working in a grocery store I saw many, however, the blame for the need should not be on those who grovel to get it. It should be on the companies, the lawmakers who fight tooth and nail to keep those without firmly away from those who have.

  • Fredster

    Stop lying! You and about a thousand other critics of poor people have said the exact same thing word for word. It’s not up to you to decide what other people eat anymore than it would be my right to decide for you.

  • Fredster

    I’ll file this under “convenient theories of the over entitled”

  • Michelle Elaine Hampton

    There is a neat little tab on the SNAP page where you can report such abuses. It would be nice if observant people, such as yourself, would take the time to report the abuse versus taking the time to write about it on some blog where the impact is minute.

  • Fredster

    And NEVER bring up that Caucasians make up the majority of welfare recipients in this country.

  • Anonymous

    Beans and rice require an apartment with a working stove, and pots and pans. A lot the poor are not in circumstances where they have access to a kitchen. And furthermore, poor people are more likely to be poorly educated. They may not know what’s nutritious and what’s not. Hell, there are so many nutritional fads and pseudoscientific beliefs shared by educated people – put a zero carber and a raw vegan in a room together and watch the fur fly!

  • Sabrina McCoy

    So, when did putting out burgers for the masses become a solution to a problem?? Using McDonald as an analogy is an epic fail. Especially when the “millions” earned are on the backs of people making minimum wage and who, typically, get a raise when the minimum wage increases. I should know, I worked in one for quite a while. Not to mention, he didn’t work hard. WE did.

  • Selena

    What is wrong with people? We have been so incredibly fortunate in the 1st world, we don’t know what it’s like to go with out food. It’s the first, most basic necessary, and we are having a debate about this in the richest nation in the world. Where is the humanity?

  • Fredster

    People who corporations grossly under pay on purpose knowing that entitlements exist to pick up the slack they created. And people like you who are more than willing to be the face of bigotry. Like a fool.

  • Fredster

    Clearly you have no clue what is going on in this country if you believe that myth. or you don’t care and this is how you reconcile that with your moral compass.

  • Anonymous

    Until they can accurately test for alcohol, all testing should be suspended. Alcohol causes more problems, deaths, sick days, etc, than all other drugs put together. It is foolish to think that testing protects anyone!

  • Fredster

    The big deal is that it’s a waste of tax payer money to appease people like you who have such a sense of entitlement that you don’t see how ridiculous it is to be mad at poor people for being poor and trying to bully them as a result. You’re thought process is the same as someone who would kick a puppy. And you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Fredster

    If they can’t afford to eat, how can they afford drugs?

  • Anonymous

    Leave it to Florida! For only one reason am I glad for global warming…..Florida disappearing under the water!!!

  • Anonymous

    I hope things improve really soon for you.

  • Fredster

    Why do you care? I’m pretty sure you don’t go to all your friends, neighbors and relatives what they should and shouldn’t eat. So what makes you think that your opinion counts to strangers?

  • disabled

    I am disabled and receive food stamps. I am permanently disabled and cannot work ever. I receive $799 a month for Social Security Disability. That is what I live on. I first received $158 in food stamps when I first applied. Then it went down to $143. No change in income. Then it went down to $135. No change in income. Then it went down to $128. No change in income. Then it went down to $121. No change in income. I just received a letter that said I would receive $128 for the month of October 2013. But in November of 2013 I would receive $11 less which is $117 for the next year. No change in income. That is less than $3 a day for food. I really don’t know what I am going to do. It is not my fault I am disabled. I did not choose this. What do I do? Well I guess $117 is better than nothing! Like someone said, desperate people do desperate things. It is against the law in my city to panhandle. Don’t think I wasn’t thinking of doing that!

  • jtay

    I am super dedicated to feeding people in need. I do not think food stamps are a govt. handout….and agree they are totally a necessity and worth fighting for. I do however think we could be more judicious in the amount of junk food that can be purchased with food-stamps. I just watched a dude check out at a line with 12 monster beverages and some twinkies and checked out with his EBT card. Then pulled out a huge wad of cash (in $20′s) and paid for his case of beer and carton of cigarettes. Something was wrong about this scenario.

  • Cathi Korelin

    A single parent with 2 kids earning 15k a year, getting food stamps, section 8, Medicaid, and all the other programs available has an actual income value of 67k per year. This was a study done not my making up numbers.

  • Cathi Korelin

    For one person it is easy to live on 4.50 per day. Pasta, veggies, I can do it on less.

  • Anonymous

    It’s none of YOUR business what others buy. Food stamps are VERY restrictive, and can ONLY be used to buy food. Grow UP, keep your nose out of others’ business. It’s better for you.

  • Anonymous

    It’s actually better to mind your own business. EBT regularly checks on recipients.

    Grow UP.

  • Octoberfurst

    Nonsense. The numbers you are refering to is if said person was receiving EVERY SINGLE PROGRAM AVAILABLE. But the overwhelming majority do not and can not.

  • Anonymous

    Really these people complaining dont like it when they bike cheap junk food or expensive high quality food.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe on spaghetti or macaroni and cheese.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe your little sob story. One cannot “buy” food stamps anymore. EBT benefits are loaded onto a debit card, and they are transmitted electronically.

  • Sick of it

    This particular study would be an extreme situation with fabricated examples to inflate a hypothesis. In one similar study they went as far as to include a third income provided by a mythical boyfriend who suddenly needed to be a part of the equation in degradation. Again, a complete fabrication to raise the ceiling on the amount. It fails to be factual across the board but plays into the caricature of negativity.

    Spend one month with the true average recipient and the only thing you will say when you walk away is how are you making it all work?

  • Care

    Thank You very much for your response. Things are still hard but they are getting better every day. I keep telling my husband that our dreams can still come true, we just have to believe. I will gain employment. The right career is out there I just have to work harder to find it – and I will.

  • Anonymous

    You are completely wrong. I have a very good friend who had to apply for EBT (SNAP) because she lost her job three years ago. She takes temp jobs when they’re available, and makes custom cupcakes for sale, but she and her wife are barely making it on unemployment and EBT. She was HORRIBLY embarrassed to ask for help, but she had to.

  • Anonymous

    No, they do NOT. Post a video of someone doing it, and MAYBE you’ll have some credibility.

  • Care

    I agree with Robert Breeze. You really nailed the issue very well.
    People just usually want to point fingers at the poor and blame them for what is wrong with the world. Every time there is a financial crisis, its the poor and disabled that are getting their programs cut or discontinued altogether.
    I remember living in Portland quite a few years ago, and they were dealing with financial issues determining which programs to cut. When a public official said he was going to live on what a family of four would be allotted for a month just to show everyone how easy it would be. He said he did fine. But what he didn’t say was how much food he used that was already in his home at the time. They never even mentioned if they removed all of his previous supply purchased food stuff. And, only having to deal with that amount for a month it would be hard but not impossible. Its when you have to deal with it for and extended period of time that it is hard.
    Thank You for your post Sick of it.

  • Anonymous

    You man the Cato Institute study that added together the maximum payment of all the existing benefits one person could possibly receive into one lump sum. This, despite the fact that receipt of one type of benefit (such as unemployment) precludes a person from receiving another type of benefit (such as workman’s comp/disability). Or the fact that single adults do not qualify for the maximum benefit only families with more than 2 dependent minor children or an overriding health circumstance. Or that it took into account Medicaid subsidies being paid to individuals under Obamacare even though the subsidies are not available yet and 27 states do not participate in the exchange program that qualifies for subsidies. Even the author of the study conceded in an interview on the radio yesterday that his results were “potentially” flawed. These “studies” that come up with such results are always suspect and designed to do one thing – take in the gullible or the ignorant and use them to support the right-wing agenda.

  • Anonymous

    if you are on SNAP it is very likely that you will qualify for 2/3rds subsidy on your health insurance premiums under the ACA, as well as 2/3rds subsidy on your out of pocket expenses. If you make under 38,000 and you live in a Medicaid expansion State, then you will be eligible for Medicaid on January 1.

  • kyle

    im a cashier at a grocery store and i have seen a couple people having anywhere from $900 – $1.5 grand on the food stamp card. if that is what they get each month something is a little off on that picture. Im not against food stamps but that seems way to high for someone to have just for food a month.

  • Anonymous

    Are we now lumping large families in with druggies and whores? People who, for religious or whatever reason, don’t mind having a large family should be punished? This is just another form of judgment and humiliation, and should be left alone, none of anyone’s business, just like if someone bought a candy bar with food stamps. How do you know that’s not the only treat they’ll get this month? How do you know that that family is not practicing their religious faith as near by the rules as possible? It’s their right to do so. Do not ASSume that a large family is the result of whoring or ignorance.

  • Irish Rose

    You are totally lying about seeing people by Redbull! Energy drinks are not covered by foodstamps & so what if someone did drink a redbull? Maybe they need the energy for work!

  • jane

    I’ve been unfortunate enough to have to rely on them. I didn’t sell them for drugs and alcohol. I tried giving them up to put the pressure on myself more to get a job, that was really a sad joke that made everything worse and actually set me back even worse than when I started. I didn’t stay dependent on them either. I now have a decent job that pays well enough to be out of eligibility for food stamps. I will always remember how hard those times were to be in and to get out of. I’m wishing for a day where people lift you up during these times instead of vilifying you out of misplaced/un-informed anger. It never made sense to me, people picking on you for being so down and out. Even if you don’t care about me and my situation, common sense shows that you’re bullying will actually make things more difficult for them and vicariously it will make your “problem with my dependency” even worse. The idea that any human being should have to deal with fellow beings holding them down and then admonishing them for being down is aggravating beyond belief. If you don’t have words that can actually help than kindly stfu!

  • Rowan Rain

    Wait. Did you say that corporations make jobs? I didn’t think anyone actually believed that BS anymore.

    Corporations exploit workers by making them work for lower than a fair living wage, then tell them they should be grateful, and judge them when the bills can’t be paid. Corporations, if anything, contribute to the problem. They certainly don’t provide even a semblance of a solution.

  • Anonymous

    You are lying,. Straight up lying. Some people have a card that is EBT plus their monthly disability, SS or welfare payments. It is NOT for food stamps only. Try doing a little research before you make false statements.

  • Anonymous

    Keeping people fed and housed is a lot cheaper than allowing them to go hungry and homeless. Hungry, homeless people are sicker and need a lot more care than healthy people. Work in the healthcare system and you will see for yourself. This country has its priorities totally screwed up. I was using food stamps for a short time when my children were very young. It is NOT a nice place to be and I could not imagine living the rest of my life being dependent on someone else to help feed my children- least of all, the government. Assuming that someone who is using food stamps is lazy and does not want to work is asinine. There will always be those who will abuse the system…but punishing all by taking away the food stamp program because of those few who do abuse it is like shooting ourselves in the foot.

  • Anonymous

    Hear, hear. Said well.

  • Anonymous

    I have a friend who is on SSI, getting $1200 a month, and was denied food stamps! He does qualify for medical aid with the county/state, though. He wishes he got aid to the tune of $67,000 annually!

  • Sean Andersen

    Sorry Daniel, but you are the one propogating the myth. So because you saw 1 person trade their food stamps for money, that means everyone on food stamps does it. Your logic is severly flawed, but I am guessing you don’t care. The only ‘truth’ is what ever fits your condescending narrative. Grow up and grow a pair you coward.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the government’s way of subsidizing the huge BigAg companies, as well as Monsanto, et al. People get addicted to the cheap processed junk, and are able to buy their “fix”. What do they care if it’s *healthy* or not?!

  • Sean Andersen

    “This is a job for people, there are those who choose this as there proffession in life to manipulate the system to there advantage.”

    Of course there are, we call them 1%

  • Sean Andersen

    Wow! Really! 100 cases. 300+ million people in the US and you are bitching about 100 cases. Grasp at straws much. Apparently you don’t understand what the word ‘anecdote’ means.

    Hillarious, every case you cited here is one of a CORPORATION/BUSINESS de-frauding the system, not individuals.

    You are so blinded by your ignorance that you can’t even see how stupid you look.

  • Sean Andersen

    Learn the definition of ‘anecdote’. Again you are listing BUSINESSES that are de-frauding the program, not individuals. Do you even know how to read? You can’t spell for $#@!, that is for sure.

    Begone troll!

  • Sean Andersen

    Maybe if you paid attention to ACTUAL data and REAL studies, instead of mindlessly regurgitating FOX talking points.

  • Sean Andersen

    Actually no it says it is 1.3 cents per dollar, which is 1.3%

    2 second Google search is your friend.

  • Sean Andersen

    The reason Jack, if you had actually read and understood the article, is that personal welfare fraud is MINOR it is a tiny portion of total welfare. The cost to catch this tiny percentage of frauds is FAR more expensive than the actual money lost to fraud.

    And why are you so concerned about someone scamming $100 in food stamps, but care nothing about the corporation who rake in BILLIONS on corporate welfare?

  • http://UnconventionalTourist.com/ FrugalTravelsNepal

    I was on food stamps for a couple months when my children were all preschool. The problem was that back then, since I was marginally qualified-working poor, If there was 5 Fridays (paydays) in the month I would lose half of my benefits. It is no fun having to find time to go register again when I got an extra payday for the following month and it was not enough food stamps to feed my little family. I bought the bag of frozen Tyson chicken and would make three pieces for dinner, one for each of my kids. Since they were so small there was always a bite or two for mom. The upside of it was I got down to a size 3 and really looked good.

    I drove to the next town over which was where most of the poor people lived to do my shopping due to my embarrassment. I will never forget what it was like and am grateful that I have more compassion from the experience.

  • Sean Andersen

    Wow for a DR (which I doubt) you really don’t know how to think critically do you? SO many red herrings in your post I thought someone was bleeding.

    Watch how quickly your strawman arguments fall.

    1. I get drug tested so everyone else should be too. Hmm how bout – My boss comes in and sexually assaults me everyday so everyone should be sexually assaulted. Instead why don’t you fight to STOP the illegal and unconstitutional practice of drug testing as a pre-condition for employment instead of dragging everyone else down into the mud with you. Grow up and grow a spine instead of demeaning the poor.

    2a and b. Blah, blah, blah. Whine, whine, whine. Complete and utter horse$#@*! Why are you so concerned with the pennies given to poor families, but don’t care about the corporations and 1% stealing BILLIONS. Ever heard the saying “Penny-smart, pound foolish”?

    Medicaid underpays for everything, actual cost of UA is closer to $20-30 a pop.

    Your sly attempt at trying to hide your racism isn’t fooling anyone.

    Once again clowns like you DO NOT understand the meaning of ‘anecdote’. The plural of which, is NOT ‘data’

    Pull your head out of th FOX Noise bubble and actually THINK once in a while.

  • Sean Andersen

    Wow 1 store in 1 city! Stop the presses everyone we’ve got a bonafide anecdote here!

  • Sean Andersen

    ANd do you know why that is Doug? Because the junk food and soda corporations take in HUGE subsidies (aka Corporate Welfare) apid for by our taxes. But you will never see a single Republican bring that up.

  • Sean Andersen

    Again Daniel, learn the definition of ‘anecdote’. No matter how many anecdotes you string together they NEVER become data. Get a clue.

    So many red herrings in every one of you statements. Maybe if the jobs your mother took actually paid a living wage she would not have to work 3 of them. Why do you want people to have to work 24hrs a day, abusing their body, and never even seeing their children just to scrape by?

    Not everyone is young and ABLE-BODIED. Most on SNAP are disabled or elderly, but you would have them work till they drop and then die. You are a sad, pathetic, coward. Wake up and join humanity instead of being a tool for the right.

  • Sheila Ceelen Janusz

    I know a lot of people who get food stamps! Some of them do right by them and then I know a few that do wrong by them. Example cashes them in at certain gas stations for gas and cigarettes. (This shouldn’t be possible) When they can get actual cssh they use it towards other things. And one particular gets almost $600 a month. And they buy 80% of junk food which is ab waste then complaons at the end of the month they have no food to feed their kids. And some that are homeless by their own choice on drugs getting $200 a month. And we have their kid and our own 2 kids with one income (I’m a full time student) and still cant get help and we lost everything our house, car etc. Snap told me my husband would have to quit his job first. And DCF said we would get assistance in help for the kid we are now raising for the past 3 years and still nothing! Ugh this system is wacked!!!

  • Sean Andersen

    Be gone troll! Please don’t feed the troll folks, you’ll only encourage him.

  • Sean Andersen

    Which is what GOP brains are full of – FLUFF

  • Sean Andersen

    That would be true if we lived in a democracy, but we live in a constitutional republic, which means we elect representatives to be the government for us. We are not the government, but we can control who is.

  • Sean Andersen

    Complete BS Bernardo, get your head out of the FOX noise cloud and actually think for once. The large portion of that trillions goes out in subsidies to multi-million dollar corporations and all you can whine about is the tiny sliver handed down to those you deem undesirable.

  • johnf

    He could of been buying the food for somebody else. Many disabled and all children under 22 have to have some one else handle their SNAP benefits for them. Also he may of been buying the beer and cigarettes for somebody else with their money. Or he may of sold his car since he could no longer afford gas and insurance. Never judge another until you know everything.

  • Donna

    Why do we put up with this – because some people want to believe this, it fits into their world view and lets them feel better than

  • Shannon Hardesty Giallombardo

    no hes right i know a fam who gets almost 900$ in food benefits alone sooo…..

  • Shannon Hardesty Giallombardo

    that is so frustrating ive sen the same thing honey buns and milkshakes with food stamps, 42$ worth! that to me is not necessity its just gross and i recieve food stamps for my stepdaughters we buy healthy vegetarian food spending the majority on produce so seeing it wasted is a slap in the face yea its theirs to do what they want but come on have some shame, and here in maine many people do buy beer and cigs with food stamps, independently owned stores can ring them as something else and charge a little more ppl even use them at nail salons here! smh

  • Boo

    We feed other countries in the world but not by the vote of the people. I think most Americans would prefer to feed our own. The government just does what it wants.

  • boo

    Well, Sick of It, when you go to college, earn a degree while working your ass off to feed yourself, and then get a job and work your ass off there, you will have every right to spend your money the way you want. It’s none of anyone’s business. Do you think that the wealthy people should just hand over their hard earned money to you and the others who didn’t bother to go to college or work your asses off? You are sick.

  • Jonathan Scott Spicer

    I`m disabled and get food stamps.It`s only $16 a month and ya really can`t do much with $16 anymore. At least it does help!

  • Anonymous

    Do you even know what you are saying Daniel? To me it sounds like you are saying every single poor person should go out and start their own business and create their own living wage job – and if they don’t they deserve what they get and don’t deserve help beyond their paltry wages, Is that what you mean Daniel?

  • Boo

    In your son’s case, I believe that food assistance is necessary and justified. But there are way too many people just taking advantage of the system and not even trying to work. I don’t care if they go get a job at McDonald’s and have to have food assistance, at least they are doing something.

  • Boo

    You are the one’s that should get the help instead of the lazy asses who are healthy and able to work.

  • Anne G. Arsenault

    These are all conservative Republican views and we know they are all lies. The problem is that the Republicans keep repeating the lies so often that people begin to believe they are true. We must teach people not to believe everything they hear or see on TV.

  • I can relate

    The negative image created by these politicians about the average recipient of any type of government aid has horrible repercussions. When I was laid off last year my unemployment was barely 650.00. The amount was so small I honestly didn’t have enough to cover the basics ( rent, utilities, car insurance, along with gas ) not to mention additional bills for medical. How I was going to afford consistently looking for a job and then once acquired even afford the first week or two weeks before a first pay check was constantly a part of my equation. Because I wanted a little pride while feverishly looking for work I avoided applying for food stamps. I simply starved. In two months time I had lost over 30lbs living on spaghetti noodles and oatmeal. I looked like a crack addict. I was getting no sleep worrying about what was going to happen to my life and how soon I’d be on the streets. I finally caved and walked to the library to use a computer and filled out an application for food stamps on line. I couldn’t even get to the office for an interview and to have even a droplet of dignity I did not want to ask any one to take me. She came to my home and was shocked. I was granted 122.00. I’m very frugal and made it work and to be honest I ate very well with a variety of meals. Some were very nutritious while I allowed myself the right to have a few munchies as well. The downside for me was actually using the card. There was no way I would use it locally which meant having enough gas to find a place like walmart or foodmaxx in a neighboring town. I made sure it was always very late at night. The entire process of even shopping would make me vomit the entire time wondering if I’d run into anyone who may know me or who may work there. I hated the looks or even attitude but to the workers credit not once was I treated poorly. This program saved my life. Anyone who buys into the idea that there are those having a part on this assistance and that they are loving every second of it have simply bought into the negativity that so many have needed to create to turn their backs on those who struggle. I often get the impression that others actually believe those that are impoverished deserve what they get and all the associated misery. So many have an opinion about what they’d do but they apply their current very cushioned life style and have no clue what being beaten down to nothing really consists of. When there is no family to turn to. When there is zero income. You get no sleep. You really don’t feel like eating. You feel chewed up and spit out. There is a vicious cycle that takes place that is so degrading any thought of what you think you would do goes right out the window. You have to live it and not in a weeks mock contest where you play the game of being poor and using a food card but you actually have to live it and hand every luxury over you have at your finger tips. It’s demoralizing.

  • Anonymous

    But we’re up against it. Just came to my facebook feed, this viral cartoon. “Someday I wish I could afford an iphone like the girl in front of me who just paid for her groceries w/ food stamps.” Shared and reshared by bitter people, even my loved ones, who’ve been spoon fed a bunch of lies by small minded people at fox news and all who watch it. really discouraging.

  • Crazy Maria

    Well, they are here where I live..I am a cashier..and redbull is on food stamps..

  • Crazy Maria

    Your right it’s not up to me..I am just saying..I am a cashier like I said and I see what people buy..I have two grandma’s on foodstamps and they buy over $50 on junk food for thier grand kids..Whether its right or wrong..

  • Guest

    I am not complaining folks..I only told you what I see every day..I have nothing against people on food stamps…

  • Guest

    Your right boo…I am not wealthy but I am not going to blame the rich for my personal issues or money problems..I wish I did go to college and finish..but I did serve in the military for 14 yrs..I am content..

  • Guest

    I am not wealthy..I am middle class..I do everything I can to survive w/o government assistance..thanks..I only speak for myself too..not others..

  • Crazy Maria

    I agree…

  • susan

    As far as I know food stamps(now called SNAP)are loaded onto a card like a debit card. In order to use them the card is swiped like a debit and then a receipt. comes up showing what amount was spent and on what. This is how the stores get their money . There is no way it can be used for gas or ciggs. $600 a month would mean there are many children in the household or other dependents that are eligible for help,and that would have to be proved. The average household even with 4 children would not receive that much at all. Please stop with the made up stories. Lying about stuff does not make it true.

  • Sick of it!

    Boo for all we know your life story is a revision where working your ass off was a part time job supplemented by your parents and family in general. You had the option of including meals in your tuition with grants and loans. Without each form of pampering and coddling you would have been unable to get that education as realistically all on your own with absolutely nothing available to you, you would not have the resource to get that education.

    There is no way to determine just how your’ve risen up to the level of wealth and who opened doors for you but again in a revised version if you simply showed up for the pampering you did it all on your own.

    Yes I fully expect the wealthy to help those less fortunate realizing they don’t have the same advantages. I want the wealthy to admit unless they plan on being stuffed with all that extra money why not pay it fwd so that those lowly individuals have an equal shot. Yes I expect the wealthy to openly be honest that their journey was just as much as a hand out as welfare but it was masked in the formula of a family who was saving face for their own name.

    I think the only sick individual in the equation is the wealthy blow hard that actually makes an excuse not to help out the poor and does it without blinking an eye and sleeps real good at night knowing there is human suffering, degradation, and misery. I’ll stand next to that wealthy person on the day of judgment and when God finally tells that wealthy human to cut the slop what then will they say? You had the means. You simply turned your back. Now that is sick!

  • Dennis

    Most people who utilize food stamps truly need the help. Some of the misuse comes from poor choices and some loopholes in the procedure. I have witnessed purchases of soda, chips, cookies, ice-cream, high-priced ready made (cold) sandwiches and convenience foods which have no nutrition value and do not sustain families well. Perhaps the programs should be designed to steer recipients to healthy foods and teach them healthy choices. Being a realistic social liberal, I realize that this article does not tell some of the true abuses and have a very unrealistic liberal viewpoint.. We SHOULD help others, but not as a permanent lifestyle. Let us support them as a comprehensive package, not just a band-aid approach.

  • ポール ゲリー KJ6VSR

    Although I believe that “Those that will not work shall not be allowed to eat,” some welfare recipients use the dole not for drugs like alcohol and tobacco, but rather for organics beyond the scope of their ability to purchase and for gym memberships so they can be healthy enough to work again.
    Some people I saw in the welfare line are covered with tattoos and smelled of cigarettes & it sent me to the Right a bit, the Tea Party shutdown threatening veterans disabilities pushed me back to the Center.
    The GOP uses what you fear to do what they have had trouble doing: winning elections.

  • Janesma

    We will never convince these selfish people til they themselves experience a job loss, serious illness, disability, or divorce that knocks them down a few pegs. My husband and myself with 5 kids used to work 2 jobs. One was delivering newspapers in the DC suburbs. The wealthy neighborhoods barely gave tips. The trailer park people were very generous even though they struggled themselves.

  • Rebecca Marquardt

    They are not lying.
    Red Bull and other energy drinks are covered. They weren’t always. A few years ago they changed their label information from supplemental facts to nutritional facts and this made them qualify. I was a grocery checker when the change occurred. This was in Washington state, but I believe it is across the country.

  • Nana

    Let’s live in a world of abundance instead of a world of lack and being judgmental about what food stamp recipients are buying with their food stamps. Food stamp recipients like desserts too. Let’s increase foodstamps because 100 percent of that food stamp money would be spent in the economy and it would stimulate the economy. We are connected in this life and when we deny our brothers and sisters enough to eat, we are also denying ourselves. Hungry kids cannot think and get sick so we pay a higher price in the long run.

  • kturner4968

    Here’s the thing…some people do not have a way to get to an actual grocery store (like in my hometown there is no bus service) and there is not one in walking distance. These people get their food from the convenience store…and about all they have is JUNK FOOD…that’s why that is allowed (besides…do you really begrudge a child a birthday cake once a year..yes you can buy those with SNAP). As far as the energy drinks…it depends on the way they are label as to whether or not they can be bought with SNAP. If it is labeled with a food type nutrition label, the energy drink is allowed. If it is labeled like a supplement (think vitamins), then it is not allowed.

  • kturner4968

    Actually…you have to pay taxes on any unemployment benefits you receive…whether you choose to have the government take them when you receive them or when you file your taxes. You still have to pay.

  • kturner4968

    I don’t see many corporations giving those jobs at this moment….and you never know…the children that are welfare recipients today may be a future president, the scientist that FINALLY cures cancer, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, an astronaut or who knows….would you rather children starve?

  • Anonymous

    No, instead the study made up the numbers! That’s much more scientific!

  • Anonymous

    As long as you’re correcting other people’s definitions, go look up “charity” in the dictionary. One cannot purchase charity, save on others’ behalf.

  • Anonymous

    You could always get another job…oh, that’s only a solution that works for OTHER people.

    I’ve never taken a drug test for employment in my life.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty liberal but I find the idea of people having 10 kids that they can’t afford to take care of a bit galling. I don’t mind providing social services to two or three but there comes a point where this is an unreasonable burden thrust upon the rest of us. I would rather spend far less to make sure contraception is available to those in need.
    There’s also the excess population of humans putting evermore strain on the earth’s ability to provide for us. We probably should be breeding less not more.

  • Anonymous

    Prove this. Because Rush said so? These are electronic transactions you know…..

  • Anonymous

    That’s the ‘theory’. The fact is every time the min wage has been raised, this HAS NOT happened.

  • Daniel Wayno

    I am saying that if a person willingly and purposefully does not try everything in there power and skilset(even outside of there skillset) without resorting to illegal activities. Then they are in that situation because they put themselves there.

    If a person does do everything in there power and still ends up there he or she deserves assistance. They should get every bit they need. But only the person asking for the assistance really knows whether they truly need it or not. I am not including children btw my statment was only for adults who are able to work in some form or fashion. Even if it is just daycare, sewing blankets for sale at craft shows, or mowing your neighbors lawn.

    I know because I was there, and doing odd jobs can indeed pull you through tough times. Starting your own business is not out of the question either. And yes even burger flipping if you have to do it to make ends meet.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Kind of but you managed to twist it around a bit. I think people should do whatever it takes legally to support themselves and there family even if that means paltry labor. But I also Believe that if a person does the above and still needs help he or she should receive it.

    From my own experience however I know just how hard it is to put forth a best effort to support yourself. Also how easy it is to fall into complacency and stop trying to fix the problems.

  • BC

    I am just curious, where did you witnessed this. Because this opens up another issue, which is the lack of real, fresh food, of any kind in inner cities. No grocery stores. No produce. I don’t know if this is where you witnessed this or not, but it is a VERY real issue.

  • Daniel Wayno

    You put words in my mouth and insult me, how kind you are. You try to make me out as a devil but All I want is for people to support themselves. I have said time and time again that when a person really needs help I want them to get it. Make me into a villain for wanting people to work to support themselves, it doesn’t bother me any.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Those business split the money directly with the snap users they all know what they are doing when they go to these places and charge fraudulently.

    And it would seem to me that you are actually the troll. As you have hunted down everyone of my posts and insulted me on every single one, and trying to put words into my mouth to make me into a demon.

  • Daniel Wayno

    A coward hides, I do not. My words are no less true because a couple of people on welfare think i am horrible for asking them to work when they have the ability too do so.

  • Daniel Wayno

    I see your one of “those” people who blames everything on orginzations and corporations/political parties.

    It can’t ever possibly be the people who own up for there own actions in life.

  • Daniel Wayno

    Troll much?

  • David

    Here’s a clue good citizen, report the gas station to the authorities. Also just think- homeless by choice+drugs… what could that mean? It certainly couldn’t indicate some sort of mental illness.

  • David

    Its called roll-over. I have a friend who is disabled but is too embarrassed to use his card so it actually piles up. Go ahead and cut food stamps considering that money directly affects your job standing. If they aren’t buying food, what does the grocery need you for. Enjoy unemployment and if you need food assistance well you can thank yourself.

  • David

    Yeah I read that study in that one journal published by that one institute. Here’s my link:

  • David

    So you went to a grocery store one time and saw this one customer. Assume away.

  • David

    If you see it everyday I assume you work at a grocery store = food stamps helps you stay employed.

  • Anonymous

    Well – the working poor keep the shelves stocked, the burgers flipped, our children alive while we are at worked and our elderly parents’ chins wiped and their diapers changed. Why is it their fault that they must do it for less than it costs to keep themselves alive? In my opinion we can either require all employers to pay a living wage that allows every worker to be completely self-sufficient, or we accept the fact that our economy requires the labor of low-skilled workers and requires them to be paid less than a living wage. Then we can all chip in – through our tax dollars – to make up the difference between living and not for these workers. Our economy benefits greatly from the contribution of low wage workers. Just because our economy can’t bear the burden of paying them fairly does not mean they don’t deserve the dignity of decent homes, food, clothes – and yes – having families of their own. The flaw is in the economy – not in the workers.

  • moderator

    Sean and Daniel,

    You have both made your points, please move on.

    Thanks
    Sean @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Daniel and Sean,

    You have both made your points, please move on.

    Thanks

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Octoberfurst

    Your story is total BS. NO ONE makes 82 grand a year on welfare. That’s just absurd. You should be ashamed for telling such lies.

  • Anonymous

    And who sets the limits on how many children a family is allowed to have? Are we to become China? And what then becomes of the freedom to practice one’s faith by its rules? Unless a religious practice is doing direct harm to someone, it is protected unler law. Are we going to redefine what “harm” is? Will we say that anything that puts X amount (by whose standards is that X set?) of financial burden on others is “harm”? Then can we define “harm” as what the banks, large corporations, politicians and ultra-wealthy set are doing to the rest of us? If you start telling people how many children they can and cannot have, how will you enforce it? Enforce abortion? Sterilization (won’t THAT go over well with the Freedom of Reproductive Rights crowd!)? What will happen then if we do figure out that “personhood” really does begin at comception? We’ll have to then redefine what a person is. Lovely.

  • Ed Ruthazer

    Just because some store owners might break the law and ring up cigarettes on food stamps cards doesn’t justify making poor children go hungry. Arrest the criminal, don’t punish the kid.

  • http://dbcooper.livejournal.com P.F. Bruns

    No, but on a news blog like this, the author often is the editor. When the author is not the editor, the editor is often hard or impossible to contact. Also, Mr. Moyers himself has always been a man for whom factual accuracy in all forms is sacrosanct. Finally, this is a public forum in which I made a respectful comment. Therefore, I consider my comment appropriate and this discussion closed.

    I suppose you probably would be extremely unhappy if I mentioned your missing apostrophe in “hasn’t.”

    Have a nice day!

  • Anonymous

    Yep. They don’t know that that iphone is two generations outdated and it was a gift to boot. They don’t know that that data plan is being paid for by her parents, who want her to be able to send them pictures of their grandchildren on a daily basis. They don’t know and therefore shouldn’t judge. They want to judge, though, so they’ll demand more and more information, more and more scrutiny and humiliation. They’ll demand that that family not be allowed to receive such assets and still be on food stamps. Unfortunately the mentality in our society seems to be that if you’re poor you shouldn’t have *anything* nice or of good quality. It’s completely bassackward.

  • Anonymous

    And you can’t know everything. And even if you could (by demanding laws that force people to further humiliate themselves by giving up even the pretence of privacy) you shouldn’t. So – just – don’t – judge!

  • Anonymous

    You cannot know why they’d buy energy drinks. Maybe they work way too many hours to earn way too little money, and if they don’t get a lot of sleep because they’re worrying about money all the time, they need to *function* at that job in order to keep it. The point is we should not be judging!

  • tag

    i hope you are going to a food bank. it is a long wait in a long line for not a lot of food usually but every bit helps. some centers even have used clothing uso

  • Kazuya Miyashita

    I’m not against food stamps and do agree with a lot is being said but I have a problem with
    Myth #6: People use food stamps to buy cigarettes and alcohol.

    Conservatives have widely circulated stories about people using food stamps to buy cigarettes and alcohol. The Blaze trumpets stories like, “THIS 65-YEAR-OLD CLERK WAS FIRED FOR REFUSING TO SELL CIGARETTES TO A FOOD STAMP CUSTOMER” and outlets like Fox echo it. These kinds of stories are everywhere in the right-wing echo chamber.

    It states that the employee was refusing to sell cigarettes to a food stamp customer, it doesn’t say that the employee got fired for refusing to sell cigarette to a customer who was trying to pay for cigarettes with food stamps. The employee may have been fired because he/she refused to sell cigarette to someone he/she knew was on food stamps and did not believe that someone on food stamps should be buying cigarette which he/she considered a luxury item and that money should have been used to buy food,

  • Shouldn’t be like this

    odd how a whole 3.00 dollars in taxes a year to cover welfare seems to bring out the negativity. Word to the food stamp users. The next time someone gives you a bad time about using the card buy them a candybar and tell them they are paid in full and from there on out shut the ef up! Truth is food stamps receives only a portion of that 3.00 dollars. What a financial struggle it has been to hand that 3.00 dollars over. They’ve missed out on so much but the one thing they know for sure is that it’s enough to form a negative rude degrading opinion.

    My opinion is that those who attack recipients on welfare do it to make themselves better. They need someone below them to attack. Their entrance into attacking them is that little thing about paying the tax. From there on it’s a game. Truth is you paid next to nothing so another human could eat or have shelter. You may stink at your job and are no more hard working then a struggling single person trying to survive poverty and just breath. You get a pay check to hold a scanner and press a button and collect payment for some goods. Wow, you are envied. Where did we ever come up with the game to attack the poor?

  • Just Torch

    And, that is the clerks right or responsibility to make that decision? When did the clerk become the owner or even the manager of the store? When did the clerk become the arbiter of society? When was the clerk elected? Whether the clerk should have been fired or merely reprimanded is up to the owner of the store. I do not claim to know. this may not have been the only incident. There may have been a tirade unleashed berating the customer. Again, I don’t know.

    What I do know is that your argument has no merit, and it wasn’t the clerks place to do anything other than to complete the legal transaction. The clerk should have kept his or her politics and or beliefs completely out of that transaction. They had no relevance to the transaction.

    This is the problem with right wingers. They say that they want individualism and freedom, but then they want the right to tell you what to do with your life. Freedom! Except, we’re going to tell women what they can do with their bodies. Freedom! Except we’ll tell you what you can or can’t buy with your limited funds. Freedom! Except that we’re going to tell you that this person is more free because he or she has more money. Meanwhile, we’ll waste our national resources making these select few wealthier and our national blood fighting meaningless wars.

    Yeah, no thanks. I don’t have a problem with “welfare”, but I don’t want to give it to big businesses. I will support giving it to individuals, families, and even small businesses. And, under no circumstances can you have my children for a meaningless war. If we have to defend ourselves or fight for something that is a truly meaningful cause, then I will be there myself. Until then, send your own children, and leave mine out of it.

  • Anonymous

    Nietzsche has a major run on what he called in English “resentment.” He got the anti-food-stamp people down pat.

  • Anonymous

    What’s up with the surplus food program nowadays–anybody know? Real question.

  • pixie

    So, wait a second. You’re suggesting people use the “dole” for gym memberships? Do you really think the government hands out free no-strings money? Um, no. Government assistance is either SNAP — used only for food, and not even for necessities like toilet paper — or housing assistance, or utililty bill assistance, or healthcare. There is NO “welfare check” — that DOES NOT exist. Therefore, nobody can use the “dole” for a gym membership!

    Also, what is “the welfare line” and where did you see one? I’ve been on public assistance of all kinds — unemployment, food stamps, etc. — and there are no lines of people. You go in to a government office and you sit in a waiting area and wait to be helped. There are no “lines.” And actually unemployment is now done entirely online.

    Your lack of simple understanding of these issues means everybody who has the misfortune to stumble across your “comment” here should feel free to completely disregard it.

  • pixie

    Hi, “shortstuf.” Guess what. You are completely full of it. You are wrong on all levels. Food stamps do NOT get disbursed at the first of the month. Each family has their own unique disbursement date. The dates are staggered so the system always has money trickling out. There is no “first of the month.” I’ve been on food stamps and I know this.

    Secondly, what do YOU eat? Have you NEVER eaten packaged foods? If you believed in eating healthy foods or organic foods you would NOT work at Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart stands 100 percent against those of us who want organic food choices, GMO labeling, local foods, etc.

    And third, how dare you blame poor people — or any people — for their food choices? Giant “food” corporations like Nestle and Kraft and Wal-Mart and Monsanto market that junk to us and call it “healthy.” They spend millions lobbying the government so they’re not regulated and they don’t have to tell you how bad the food is for you. They spend millions marketing food to consumers — and then you BLAME THE VICTIM when the marketing works?

    Look, there is NO nutritional education in this country. NONE. It’s so cruel to blame people who receive no guidance, who are being mercilessly marketed to by big food corporations, when they make poor food choices. It’s not their fault! The system is stacked against them.

    Anyway, who are YOU to judge somebody else? It’s pretty un-Christian to think you are superior to another person. As a cashier you judge these people because it makes you feel better about yourself and your life. It’s time you admit that and learn some compassion.

    And lastly, people on food stamps are very often forced to buy the very junk food you’re talking about because “real” food, “whole” foods, non-processed foods, non-packaged foods are the most expensive foods in the store. Fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy cost WAY more “per-calorie” than junk food. When I was poor sometimes I just had three or four dollars on which to feed myself for a whole day. I would go to McDonald’s and get a value meal because I could split the sandwich and fries into two meals. The cost per calorie of that stuff is the lowest you can find. I needed calories, cheaply. How much lettuce would three dollars buy in a store? Or how much of a healthy cut of meat? How much of a healthy fruit choice like cherries or peaches or blueberries?

    In sum, you need to do some self-reflecting and think about why you find it so satisfying to judge others.

  • pixie

    “Not every story is like this.” Really? No, you’re right. Some stories are worse. Some people grew up in such poverty, and come from such disadvantage, that they do not have the life skills the “I can relate” original commenter has. Therefore, they’re worse off. The toll a life of poverty takes on a family, in terms of mental health, ability to succeed in school, ability to learn the skills required to get a good job, is huge. Yet — these are the people you would call “lazy” and abusive of the system. Because they lived a life of such disadvantage you cannot possibly comprehend the effects. Your inability to think critically and see this is just…sad.

  • pixie

    Lies lies lies and misinformation. And judgment and cruelty. You should be ashamed of yourself for having written this ugly and hateful paragraph. The person who replied to you “susan” is right — food stamps are on a SNAP card and the system will NOT authorize anything that is not food. ONLY FOOD will be authorized. It all happens in the computer when you swipe. Not even toilet paper can be paid for with a food stamp card. So you are only, um, ten million percent wrong. That’s all. Maybe if you learned some compassion your life would be a little bit better.

  • pixie

    Um, “kyle,” maybe you should use your brain to think critically, and not to jump to conclusions or judge others.

    First of all, it is none of your business what balance somebody has on their card. You shouldn’t even have access to that information! Beyond the transaction being approved or denied, why is it that you even can see the balance on the card?

    Secondly, there is only one SNAP card allowed per household. So that household could be large — with many children, grandparents, disabled people, etc. on one card. Remember that four percent of food stamp recipients get $16 a month. SIXTEEN dollars! And the average individual gets $133. Did you NOT read the article?

    Third, how do you know the SNAP card wasn’t for a group home of disabled people? Or for a person who is taking care of her own disabled elderly parents and also her husband’s disabled elderly parents?

    And lastly, there is such a thing as “rollover” — money stays on the card from month to month.

    Ugh. Ignorance sucks.

  • Anonymous

    In my state there are monthly surplus food distributions for mothers (pregnant or postpartum, low income but not receiving WIC), children through age 5 (low income but not receiving WIC) and low income elderly. The program is administered through a regional food bank. There may be other qualified groups that I am not aware of – I’m guessing the disabled – but I’m not sure.

  • Anonymous

    Shortstuf – If it were allowed on this forum I would upload copies of dozens of receipts for items I purchased for my family using SNAP benefits and coupons. In total you will find hundreds of dollars spent – in fact the vast majority of my family’s benefits – on produce, lean meats, low fat dairy and whole grains. Our food budget allows me to spend $3/day/person so you will also find processed foods on our grocery receipts because those are the items that I can purchase inexpensively when combining store specials and manufacturer’s coupons. You’ll also find some treats like cheap ice cream, tortilla chips and ingredients for baking. I have also been known to use our benefits to purchase cupcakes for my children’s birthdays.

    My spouse and I both work full time – believe it or not. I’d much prefer that we were paid fair living wages and we didn’t have to grovel to the government to prove our need to be able to feed our family. I’d prefer not to have to sneak my SNAP card out of my wallet when it’s time to pay. I’d much prefer not worrying about what other shoppers or the cashier are thinking about the items in my basket – if they will overlook all the fresh healthy foods and zero in on the $5 bucket of ice cream or the box of brownie mix. That’s not how it works though. Our 1% employer who pays us crap is honored for his success and all the jobs he’s created while we are ridiculed and judged. Ya -that seems fair.

  • common sense

    Shortstuf–I’m glad you came forward with your comments because if I said this they wouldn’t believe me. They buy steaks that I can’t afford, they buy shrimp that I can’t afford and I could go on and on. Wake up people give it to them that need it and not to people that could go out and earn a few dollars.

  • common sense

    mom2lukeHow do you know so much about Fox News if you don’t watch the channel?

  • Anonymous

    I hear Fox News Sunday Talk show on CSPAN radio…but my husband watches it and tells me the ridiculous things they say. So does Jon Stewart!

  • Anonymous

    that’s nothing mostly foreigners come to the register with two loaded carts of food and every week loads of party favors they use the EBT cash and food stamps to pay for it I have seen a balance of $3,000 on both sides of the food stamp/ money cards this is a joke these ppl throw away our hard earned cash with the purchases of total junk food and party favors they frequently pull out a wad of 50&100 dollar bills asking for change as if to rub their arrogance in the faces of the minimum wage worker ringing them out most can’t even speak English but they know how to work & defraud the system of this government. this government needs to wake up and stop lying to the American ppl we can c clearly what they are doing they are forcing the snap program down the throats of foreigners while denying Americans you only find foreigners working in the welfare social security offices any where there is government give a way’s look to find foreigners running the show stealing this country blind

  • jack lehr

    Oh, I understood the article. Who said I didn’t care about corporate fraud? You just made that up. Interestingly, the defenders of corporate fraud are like evil cousins of the knee jerks who defend food stamp fraud. The ones I was made aware of would not appear on any radar as frauds, yet they are. That is the point – the statistics are phony and are politically slanted. But understanding that would require critical thinking and not just ideological prattling. These frauds (NO I am NOT talking about people in need) are defended by an army of left wing “activists”, or as they are more accurate;y called “low information voters” – just as the corporate fraudsters are protected by corrupt fat cats. We will never have solutions until we the people refuse to accept any fraud.

  • jack lehr

    Well genius, we just don’t have the pile of cash in this country we used to have, so this issue is not going away. I don’t recall saying any of the things you said – what is it with you empty headed leftists – you just make up your own little reality. Fraud in welfare as well as corporate fraud is rampant in this country. But welfare and food stamp frauds can always count on an army of left wing ideologues for whom cheating and lying is a “human right”.

  • jack lehr

    Fraud has been around a lot longer that Obama – it’s just the army of left wing know nothings who leap to defend these frauds that has grown under Obama. Creating Democrats, one fraud at a time.

  • Anonymous

    During Obama’s first term in office, economical experts figured it would take 1 day of tax cuts away from the rich to pay for all the food programs for the poor in America for1 year.That covers food banks, food stamps, WIC, lunch programs in schools, emergency food, and lots of other food programs to help those in need. Just 1 day of tax cuts for those with so much money they could never spend in 100 lifetimes and John Boehner refused.

    Nice to know how little those rich Christians, who would not even know if it was in their bank account or not and never miss it anyway, are too cheap or depraved that they would not even consider letting 1 day of tax cuts be taken back to feed the hungry.They could even write it off of their taxes.

    Greed, you can take that with you when you die, money, not so much.

  • Kathy

    I am so sorry you had to feel like that….no one should ever be made to feel less than the most important. I know I do not always the life I just said but I try to be empathetic and never have left anyone go hungry around me and never will. Food, Water, Air and shelter…..basics required in a civilized world no matter what. For anyone refusing those basics I hope they enjoy the fires of hell as that is where they belong.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the help. This must be federally run, I suppose.

  • jdh

    EBT is “Food stamps”. More false information is not necessary.

  • Openthreads

    At the local 7-eleven, woman ahead of me in line talking on her top-end smartphone bought $24 in pork rinds, chips, candy and soda with her Food Stamps EBT card and then got in her high-end Lexus and pulled out of the parking lot. Anyone who’s paying attention sees this kind of waste, fraud and abuse quite frequently.

    Also, Food Stamp EBT card recipients will use their Food Stamps EBT funds to buy food and then follow-up their transaction and buy alcohol and cigarettes with their cash…and, of course, they have left-over case because their ripping off the American taxpayer.

    Yesterday’s (10/13/2013) temporary erasure of any limits on EBT card purchases in Louisiana and the panic and mayhem that ensued are a clear example and indictment of the vast fraud and abuse of the food stamp program.

    Anyone working in the food stamp program for over 10 years who can’t see or admit to the widespread fraud and abuse in the food stamp program is either lying or living in a bubble.

  • Openthreads

    The call of Christians is to help those who are in true need. It’s actually destructive to enable people who are stealing, lying, committing fraud and abusing a system that has good intentions and noble goals.

    Because the welfare system shows no indications that it’s really interested in weeding out fraud and abuse, it’s necessary to cut the funding in order to force that to happen.

  • Openthreads

    I’ve witnessed many times people buying junk food with Food Stamps EBT cards and then immediately following up that transaction with purchases of alcohol and cigarettes with cash. The money they get from Food Stamps welfare is enabling their drinking and smoking habits and enabling their unhealthy living.

  • Openthreads

    The problem is there are vast amounts of people who are not poor and who are not in need who are getting abusing the Food Stamps welfare system. What are your proposals for eliminating the vast fraud and abuse in the welfare systems?

    The call of Christians is to help those who are in true need. It’s destructive to enable those who are lying and cheating and stealing.

  • Openthreads

    This is nonsense. When the limits on EBT card purchases was temporarily removed due to a system problem yesterday in Louisiana, there was chaos as EBT recipients started binge buying.

    With no limits, they didn’t sudddenly start filling their baskets with fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy food because the limits were removed and they could now afford it. Walmart is filled with junk, but it’s also filled with fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy foods.

  • jdh

    75% of SNAP benefits go to households with children. So by your logic, we should starve children because of the choices of their parents? Or, would you rather make them all wards of the State if their parents get found out? There is absolutely ZERO logic to drug-testing welfare applicants. ZERO! It is merely a hostile proposal by those with deep-seeded bias against the welfare system. Implementing drug testing would merely increase administrative costs and reduce the amount of funds available to those who need it, OR increase the cost to taxpayers. Besides, it has been tried and found out to be totally ineffectual. (Let’s not forget how many middle and upper-class “productive” members of society routinely smoke pot and take other recreational drugs. Is it OK because they can “afford” it? Give me a break.)

  • jdh

    Lol! Wow, that was an intelligent response! a) I didn’t say you said anything, I said “people”. b) You rambled on about what is likely a fabricated story of this organized college counseling crime ring and how people were out to beat the system c) I have nowhere here ever denied downstream fraud doesn’t happen. However, neither you nor anyone else can provide data as to its prevalence. 1% 10% 50%? All the talk of abuse is anecdotal and largely repetitive “I knew” “I heard” “Oh yeah, what about”. Left-wing ideologues? It appears social issues aside, you know little about economics and the role of social insurance in preventing economic collapse…

  • jdh

    I need to clarify your figures. The cost is not $3.00 per year. For SNAP it is $75/$1000 (7.5%) of one’s tax liability. This is a function of the cost of the program divided by total income tax revenue collected and applied to the number of Americans actually paying those taxes. This is still a pittance, and hardly an egregious theft of one’s freedom and hard work to feed the hungry.

  • jdh

    Understood. Your clarification is correct, but that’s not what your first comment implied. I think what you meant was the cash option on the EBT card (TANF) rather than the SNAP portion. They’re both on the card as you just said. I wasn’t attacking you. Misinformation is dangerous on both sides…

  • Anonymous

    So what? Are we the morality police? They qualified for the food stamps program, they are using that money for food. Any remainder of their money is irrelevant. They are poor – under the poverty line, and need help. They are not “pulling a fast one” by scraping enough money together for a pint and a pack of smokes. Your judgmental assessment is about *your* issues, not theirs. It’s a jealous, petty, resentful, and dangerously misguided approach.

  • jdh

    Wow! You’re making a lot of assumptions about this woman’s situation, huh? Top-end smartphone: perhaps needed for work or paid for by someone else. Pork rinds, chips, candy and soda. WHAT business is it of yours what someone buys? They only get so much per month. If that’s what they choose to spend it on, SO WHAT? It’s not like they can go back and request a do-over. And, what exactly is a “high-end Lexus”? How does any of that constitute “abuse” or “fraud” other than in your own opinion?

  • Anonymous

    “Vast”? As defined by whom? I’m glad you don’t get to decide who is in “true” need.

  • jdh

    Curious: How would you suggest they “cut fraud and abuse”? Just wondering.

  • Anonymous

    This anecdote is a lie. Statistically, it’s also irrelevant even if it were true. Again, if they qualify for the card what difference does it make if they manage to scrape up enough pennies for beer and smokes too? They still qualify for aid, live below the poverty level and need help. You want to cut off that help because you resent their ability to buy pork rinds?

  • Openthreads

    I regret their ability to have the government and the American taxpayer paying for their food while they talk on their top-end smartphones, drive their top-end Lexus and buy alcohol and cigarettes with their own cash. The anecdote is true, because you don’t want to believe it show how far in denial you are. Anyone who routinely goes to convenience stores or Walmart knows the anecdote is true.

  • Openthreads

    If she can afford a top-end smartphone and the associated data, voice, text plan along with driving a top-end Lexus (meaning an LS 460 that has a starting retail price of $72K) then she is abusing the Food Stamp welfare system by having the American taxpayer buy her junk food. It’s waste, fraud and abuse.

  • Openthreads

    By only giving benefits and welfare to those who need it.

  • Openthreads

    They don’t need help if they can afford alcohol and cigarettes.

  • jdh

    We do. Would you like to try again?

  • jdh

    The Lexus could be her boyfriend’s, friend’s, family member’s, maybe she works for a Lexus dealership. Maybe she’s getting these items for her sister no different than her sister lending her her ATM card and PIN. Maybe they’re for her disabled mother. Maybe they’re for her neighbor who can’t leave the house because her child is home sick. The point is, it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, and without facts, you are only making assumptions. I have a “top end” smartphone and am on SNAP. I’m self-employed and need it for my job. Without it, I would earn zero rather than just too little to feed my kids and meet my other obligations. My bill is always one or more months behind and it’s a real struggle to keep up with it, but I could not do my job without it. And, without the help I get buying food and taking that expense out of the picture, I wouldn’t be able to afford it at all. Social insurance is ASSISTANCE to avert total collapse. It’s not a “free ride”. Believe me.

  • pixie

    Look, you sanctimonious, cruel, judgmental piece of crap, it is NOT YOUR JOB to be the so-called morality police. NOT YOUR JOB. You do NOT know their situation, their life, or anything so your judgment of them is all about YOU. It just makes YOU look like a completely un-Christian, immoral, mean, terrible person. The reason you do it has nothing to do with THEIR CHOICES. It has everything to do with YOU wanting to FEEL SUPERIOR to somebody else. There is nothing more selfish than that. There is nothing less “MORAL” than that. You are the scum of the earth.

  • jdh

    Wait. I’m confused. They shouldn’t buy processed foods and junk, but they also shouldn’t buy healthy food and things that need to be prepared?

  • jdh

    “This Halloween I’m going as a Democrat. When the kids come to my door, I’ll take half their candy and give it to those kids too lazy to trick-or-treat.” This meme has been around for years. This type of thing serves nothing but to divide and perpetuate false stereotypes.

  • jdh

    Yes. And if you should happen to see someone on SNAP having a party for their child, you should promptly tear down all decorations and throw the cake to the ground. And, then report them to the authorities as not really needing any assistance. :)

  • jdh

    Cite the study please. Was it the Heritage Foundation? You also know that the likelihood of such a person qualifying for, and participating in, “All programs available” is highly unlikely? Given what that alleged $67k likely buys her in lifestyle, would you like to trade places with her? You can’t buy furniture and vacations with Medicaid. Section 8 (probably the hardest benefit to acquire) doesn’t get you a very nice domicile. I’d really like to see the study and review their data. $52,000 in benefits seems highly suspect.

  • jdh

    You know what they say “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” > Once it gets out, it doesn’t matter if it’s ultimately true or false, it’s already in the Right Wing echo-chamber…

  • jdh

    No, johnf, none of those things are possible. He was clearly abusing the system and defrauding the American taxpayer ;)

  • jdh

    What a silly comment. If it was that easy to make money writing articles for side money, I’d be a millionaire. Really. “Earth to matt mcdonald…”

  • jdh

    This year, for the ENTIRE year, I will earn less than I used to earn every 2 weeks in my former career. I am receive SNAP benefits. My story is long and complicated. The point is, no matter how secure you think you are, and no matter how firmly you believe the myth that hard work will cure all financial woes, you NEVER KNOW when your life could change and how rapidly and dramatically it can happen. Those who feel the need to bash people receiving social insurance take heed: what goes around comes around. I can guarantee you that. One day you may find yourself — despite your most earnest efforts — needing help to survive. Yes, the details of my situation are extreme, but my circumstance is far, far, far from uncommon.

  • jdh

    L-O-L! No reply necessary, Deena. I think everyone knows what a joke that post is. Sad thing is, it isn’t funny. Some people believe your nonsense…

  • jdh

    The fact of the matter is, you can’t provide any evidence of the prevalence of downstream fraud in the SNAP program. I haven’t denied it doesn’t exist. I’d be open to seeing it. Is it 1%? 10%? 50%? Also, most stories I hear relate to either an establishment committing fraud or the abuse of TANF cash benefits. NOT so-called food stamps. Given that TANF is exceedingly rare in relation to SNAP, I find the commonality of all such accounts highly suspect.

    And, irregardless of the prevalence of downstream fraud, what would you do about it? It is not fraud at the time of application, rather it is occurring no differently than speeding, selling drugs or robbing a bank. You CANNOT prevent it, only deter it. So, what is your proposition?

  • jdh

    So they just spent more money (into the economy) than they otherwise would have been able to. What’s your point?

  • Anonymous

    it’s so annoying and one of the many b.s. arguments/pictures they paint. (Who has EVER met a kid “too lazy” to trick or treat?!)

  • Anonymous

    omg. “it’s necessary to cut the funding.” sheez. WWJD?! seriously!! Jesus was hardest on the hypocrits. I can’t stand it when Christians claim to be following christ when they judge the unfortunate ” for their own good we mult humiliate them all and make them all jump thru hoops because a few might (might!) “abuse” an imperfect system.
    only christ was perfect, our only “call” is to try to be like Him! WWJD?!

  • jdh

    The data do not support the myth that people receiving SNAP do not work. And, many who don’t are part of the 17% unemployment (thank you corporations, not poor people). And understand this: minimum wage is a national requirement (the same in Idaho as in NY city), however cost of living varies GREATLY from area to area, from time to time, and from individual circumstance to individual circumstance. Making statements like “I did this and made it through” are invalid because they cannot ever be universally applied.

  • Anonymous

    it costs a fortune to drug test. like it costs a fortune to shut down the govt. “conservatives” aren’t acting “conservatively” these days.

  • Openthreads

    Wrong. Millions who don’t need it are cheating the system and stealing benefits.

  • jdh

    Millions who don’t need it. Got it. So a family of 3 making less than $26,000 gross annual income doesn’t need the help? Could you PLEASE provide something of substance and knock off the repetitive Tea Party talking points? I’m BEGGING you: go toe-to-toe with me on SNAP. Begging you. Please, show me the millions who don’t need it and are cheating the system.

  • Brad Johnson

    You can’t give examples because they don’t exist. Even going by what you’re saying, I HAVE worked in retail and I never had reason to believe someone was cheating the system. But then again, I never had much inclination to scrutinize what’s in people’s wallets or what they’re spending their stamps on. Having been on EBT myself in the past, I can tell you that it’s a VERY time-consuming and humiliating experience. The process from application to getting the card can take up to a month, and along the way they call your last employer to verify that you’re unemployed, or your current job to make sure you make less than the maximum allowed. And even if someone does have the time, energy, and know-how to get stamps when they don’t qualify, the pittance you get is hardly worth it.

  • jdh

    Jeff: What is it exactly you would be trying to convince me OF? I just don’t get it. Help me understand. Help me understand what you, Openthreads, and millions of others are trying to say. You don’t approve of their food choices? They have cash in their wallet? They buy beer and smokes as well as food? What is it? Do you know that 1/3 of all benefits go to households with earned income? In these homes, ALL members are considered in the enrollment counts. In other words, a huge number of people on SNAP WORK! They do have money. Why do you care so much what they spend it on? And if you happen to work in a grocery store, spending money keeps you employed (2 huge chains just closed down in the state where I live). And, I should say, those recipients (adults) who don’t work are in large part members of the unemployed. They are only counted in the unemployed if they are available to work and desire to do so. So, I ask again, what is the point you are trying to make?

  • jdh

    Jeff: No jobs impedes them from getting a job. Or, I suppose they could go get a job making 7 bucks and hour and lose money (the cost of childcare could exceed their wages). Many do. I don’t think anybody should be doing drugs, but considering the overwhelming majority of benefits go to children, disabled and elderly, this drug-testing idea is absurd. It will increase the cost of the program and has been tried and shown to be ineffective.

  • Tiffany H.

    Wowwww…You learn something new everyday because Arkansas don’t go on that buying cigarettes & alcohol. Only food nothing else. I receive SNAP with five kids to feed and trust we buy nothing but food because truth be told that’s not really enough. By the end of the month we out of food and i have to spend cash to feed my children, especially having boys. I don’t agree with them taking or cutting the stamps because their are people who really need it but i do agree with them taking from people buying cigarettes & alcohol. That can go towards someone with kids with
    no food, disabled, etc.

  • Kat

    I tried to buy an energy drink once and the machine declined. You really think I can buy booze?

  • Anonymous

    Whoa there. I never said anything about state-mandated anything, let alone forced abortions and sterilizations. That would be very wrong.
    I think people should just not greatly outbreed their ability to provide and should do so willingly out of a sense of basic responsibility.
    The religion angle is a red herring.

  • aurens66

    SNAP cards are not unlimited, they go at certain intervals determined by each state and have to be renewed. SNAP cards are only loaded once a month, and can only be used for certain food items and you need a PIN to access it. Also, each card comes with a photo ID, which you can be asked for to show that you are the person who was issued the card. So I call bs on this post.

  • aurens66

    You have to jump through so many hoops to get EBT and you get so little a return, it’s difficult to think of how this is a scam. So what if people buy junk food? It’s still food. But EBT not only helps out the children, elderly, disabled and working poor, it helps out Walmart, and Target, and grocery stores, this stimulates the economy, not to mention subsidizes employers who pay minimum wage, ie: not enough for their employees to live on.

  • aurens66

    I am a Buddhist, but I know the true meaning of Christian charity, as expressed in the story of the Good Samaritan, who gave all that he had to someone who needed it, and did not ask for their backstory as to how they got there. If you check the facts, there is less than 1% of fraud in the EBT system because it is all computerized, back in the day, the fraud mostly consisted of vendors, who would fake paper stamps, not the recipents. Saying that we have to cut off aid, so that people won’t abuse it is absurd.

  • aurens66

    Point out these millions who don’t need it. You can’t because you are making it up.

  • jdh

    Won’t work. Foster care is extremely expensive (also gov’t. subsidized) and from what you are saying, a family must choose between going hungry or being broken up? I won’t even get into foster care. Drug users can still love their kids. Just knock on a bunch of doors in middle class America and ask how many soccer moms and dads smoke pot. I fail to see a connection between drug use and financial assistance, other than horribly destructive stereotypes. Problem not solved.

    By the way, it’s extremely offensive to call applicants for assistance “potential drug addicts”. Everyone on the planet is a “potential drug addict”. Why do you feel it necessary to add to the cost of the program (isn’t that counter to your position) pursuing a path that has already been tried and shown to fail? WHY are you so hung up on whether someone uses drugs or not??

  • jdh

    Do ya’ think? ;)

  • jdh

    aurens66: Oh boy. Don’t go talking economics now. You know, Liberals don’t know anything about economics. ;)

  • Jeff Ballard

    I do because the fact of the matter is this: If someone is on food stamps and they are a drug user, and this drug user some how actually wants to get a job, or a better job (and i am assuming the government assisted drug user is a deadbeat) then how will they get a better job or a job at all if they would fail the drug test?

    Potentially making myth 3 relevant since the assisted person is on government assistance and on drugs therefore possibly not being able to work, thus making that person potentially dependent on the system.

    Lot of ifs here, but I have no doubts that this has happened.

  • Anonymous

    There’s food stamps that go to the ebt card, and there’s also child support and other type cash payments. I wish they’d divorce them. People see that ebt card buying gas, or a birthday cake, and they think, oh look they are buying gas and having parties on food stamps.

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t some child support that is collected by certain states go on some of the cards too? I was told it did. That information might be wrong.

  • Anonymous

    I won a smartphone. I don’t have a data or cell plan, but I carry it to use as an MP3 player, and when I am on a wireless network, I use it to get coupons and find rebates, even watch tv shows, because we cut the cable.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pagan, but I know all about ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ and what ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face; means too.

    They way I see it, they are there should any of us need them. I like knowing that.

    When my tiny 5 yo niece got cancer, it took my sister full time to care for her. The social programs were there. I know “by the grace of god, go I too.” and “the Lord Giveth, and the Lord- he taketh away.” Everyone on a high horse should remember Job.

    The only fraud I’ve see is from common law women with kids claiming the father doesn’t really live there. The cases of that I’ve seen though, they were still right at the eligibility line. Poor but not quite poor enough…

    In recent times a popular saying about Jesus has sprung up that talks about the one set of footprints in the sand. It seems Jesus didn’t think carrying people for a while was enabling them to be riders of his holy back.

  • Anonymous

    The problem I have with the drug tests, are that they cost a lot, for what they find and usually there is a politician that owns the lab. Plus false positives really happen. I just don’t care that much about other people’s consciousness and what they do with it. If they don’t feed their kids,and have the means- by any means- that’s criminal negligence.

  • Daniel Martinez

    Well you used lots of CAPS so it MUST BE TRUE!!!1!

  • Brad Johnson

    You spend way too much time scrutinizing what’s in other people’s carts. And before you say “It’s my tax dollars!”, it’s MY tax dollars too, and frankly I’m more concerned about our inflated military budget and how I’m going to pay for college and medical bills than what struggling parents buy to feed their families.

  • Brad Johnson

    THANK YOU!!! As much as the Right screams “Christian” values, they have some downright vile ideas for how the poor should be treated in this country. They have this vision of ghetto-fabulous Shaniqua living large off the government’s dime, when nothing could be further from the truth.

  • Brad Johnson

    Like Kazuya says, I think what happened was that the person bought other things with food stamps, then tried buying cigarettes with either his own money or the cash allotment on the card, to which the cashier refused. In that case, then YES he should have been fired for being a judgmental prick and forcing his beliefs on the customer.

  • Lauren

    That is true — although as has been pointed out, the article is making a different point. I have not been able to find out just how farm subsidy fraud is perpetuated, or how several members of Congress are supposedly getting “millions” from subsidies — I’ve found several places that claim that they are, but without evidence to back that up. I’m not saying it’s not possible — just I am curious as to how it happens! Less than 1% of our population is still engaged in full-time family farming — most of our food is now produced by corporations — so it’s possible that the fraud occurs mostly through corporate mechanisms.

  • Anonymous

    I guarantee that if an equal number of people living above the poverty line, even those who would be considered wealthy, were to wake up tomorrow and discover their debit cards/bank accounts were allowing spending but not depleting the contents of their bank accounts, just as many of them would go on massive spending sprees.

    It’s not a moral failing of the poor in other words, it’s a moral failing in people in general — lots of people will do unethical things if they are reasonably sure they will get away with it.

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    Ah I see, I looked it up.
    And it is indeed true if you have court ordered child support and alimony, in some states, it can be issued through an EBT card!

    EBT = Electronic Benefits Transfer

    Sometimes it’s issued through a different card, also another EBT card, that’s separate from food stamps. But my guess is, if it’s done by the same contractor that does the other stuff for the state – it probably looks the same or similar and probably could be mistaken for a food stamps ebt card! I mean think of it – is the state going to spend money to design different looking cards for food stamps, cash assistance, medicaid, and child support. No, they probably have one kind of card & they’re probably just programmed differently. After all, they’re just like debit or credit cards in technical specs.

    Child support can be considered “benefits”… but not from the taxpayers obviously!

    And I can totally see why it would be frustrating for people who get child support – that’s their own family’s money – to be judged on whatever they’re doing. Indeed, it is HIGHLY intrusive and anti-liberty to judge what someone’s buying with their own family’s money. I think even anti-social program Libertarians can agree with that.

    This is from a spouse who has settled through the court for child support.
    People who have dealt with out of court mediator settlements, or just personally negotiated child support & alimony deals on their own, might not know this is how it works when people go through family court.
    The payment is paid to the government office that handles & tracks this stuff, and then paid out to the spouse.

    And I know sadly some people are still stuck back in the old days thinking that only women get child support & alimony payments. And it would never occur to them that a man might have child support on card.

    I knew a woman years back who had 1 child with her 1st husband, and received child support payments for that child. She had a 2nd husband, they had no kids, then divorced, and had to pay him alimony.
    So she was receiving child support from her 1st husband, and then paying alimony to her 2nd husband.

    I also know of a woman who is divorcing her husband, they have a child together, she has custody of the child, but she pays alimony to her ex-husband.

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    EBT = Electronic Benefits Transfer
    It’s not specific to food stamps.

    It can also be a Medicaid card, for that matter.

  • jack lehr

    I remember seeing a show on abuses of the U.S. safety net by immigrants – one of the featured interviews was with an attorney in San Diego who’s sole practice consists of helping immigrants configure their lives and finances to qualify for every imaginable benefit. Democrats will say “so what”? Well, the “so what” is that these people do not show up as frauds even though they are. Lots of them. Now I know to a leftist each fraud is a victory, but to people who think this country should be more than just something to raid the coffers of, it is quite offensive. Now, don’t even start with all the “heartless” or “hypocritical Christian”, or all the other nonsense because everyone knows this stuff is true and it is a slap in the face to working people who pay taxes.

  • jack lehr

    “I once tried to buy a Chiclet with my card and couldn’t, so that proves there is no fraud in the social safety nets of America”

  • jack lehr

    People who say there is fraud in the social safety nets in America are – hateful, judgmental, hypocritical Christians, xenophobic, racist, just hate the poor, wear tin foil hats, drink the kool aid, watch fox news, etc – did I miss anything? It is becoming so apparent during this current administration that the left wing in this country has nothing. “Angry” hyperbole, of course, name calling, but as far as substance it really appears they have no notion whatsoever of the concept of MANAGEMENT. Just spend, spend, spend and cover up frauds because we don’t want to open that window! All ideology and no business sense. So who gets all the free stuff when the money runs out?

  • Anonymous

    I am firmly opposed to all this crap. Don’t put words in my mouth. I would not starve a single child for some foolish ‘principle’ because I’m not a tea party patriot.

    “Or you just accept that a small percentage of people will be highly
    imprudent with their reproductive issues, and you look after those kids
    because that’s what you do in a civilized society.”
    Yup. I think we agree. I accept it but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    I use the word breeding because it’s highly accurate. The planet’s resources are finite and at some point every additional person lowers the potential standard of living for everyone. We’re getting to that point. Human population can’t just go upwards indefinitely.

  • Anonymous

    I was just throwing out a number. Would 6 make you feel better? How many are enough?

  • Brad Johnson

    I was speaking in general terms. I HAVE a job and my own finances are relatively fine. But then again, I’m also in good health. How many people go bankrupt due to cancer and other illnesses they did NOTHING to deserve? Worse, how many die because they can’t afford treatment? I know this is a totally different can of worms, but you would do well to learn a little thing called COMPASSION.

  • Mrk

    Ma’am I feel so sorry for you.

  • jack lehr

    These things are true. Stopping fraud has nothing to do with helping people in need. It simply amazes me how the left just doesn’t care about fraud (theft). It really is like every fraud is a victory for their brand of politics.

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    It’s amazing that the right advocates for cutting staff to fight fraud, when that’s what’s needed to prevent and stop fraud.

  • jdh

    That’s the third or fourth time you’ve said the same thing today, Jack. What makes you think “Lefty/Liberals” don’t want to prevent fraud? Cutting funding to the program is certainly not going to accomplish that. It’s just common-sense.

  • Jeff Ballard

    nope im just getting bored with all the whining about how people expect so much from the government. No one deserves it, not I, not you, not anyone.

    Maybe if you believe in this so much you should pay more taxes than I, then I wont have too.

  • Anonymous

    You would be totally incorrect. Pot smoking is legal and acceptable under many circumstances in this country. In two states recreational use is completely legal. In 20 more it’s completely legal with a prescription. Pot use is not an indicator of ill-behavior any more than drinking a beer is.

  • Anonymous

    Some people steal. We don’t have any indication that’s it’s a significant portion, but your solution is cut off aid because some people steal? If there is fraud, we should fix it. Your answer to occasional fraud is not to fix the fraud, but to let others starve. It’s not a rational, or human approach, let alone christian.

    What is this “slap in the face”? Less than a dollar per year to you. Again, an irrational position.

  • John Dukehart

    You seem to be blaming the less fortunate for you not getting raises, rather than the 1% who have taken all the profits for themselves. Turkey on Thanksgiving is nice, but poor people like me need to eat everyday. You deserve a raise. Most people do, but its not the less fortunate holding you down, its the 1%.

  • Openthreads

    Food stamps are the most inefficient, vastly expanding social welfare program in the country, according to a new study.

    Forty-seven million people participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, and costs have increased over 358 percent since 2000.

    The increase in recent years cannot be attributed to the economic recession, according to Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, but lax eligibility requirements and an aggressive campaign by governments to boost their rolls.

    “This program has expanded rapidly over the last decade in a way that is not justified by the recession that we went through,” Tanner said.

    “There’s very little bang for all this increased buck.”

  • David Coates

    Right. Okay, if you’ve ever worked in the grocery business, watermelonpunch’s point is not that difficult to understand. It’s possible to carry a cash balance on an EBT card and use it to make ineligible purchases (soft drinks were the ones I ran across most often). The very sound public policy reason for this is that someone who’s living in abject poverty is not exactly going to be carrying around a platinum Bank of America card for incidental expenses (like soft drinks, supermarket rotisserie chicken, prepared sandwiches, or whatnot). The cash balance could come from anywhere, too—I’m well aware of the fact that our hard-working VISTA volunteers will often deposit part of their stipends in the form of an EBT cash balance so they can buy some delicious treats later on, and I do think it’s unfair and disingenuous even to hint that they’re somehow defrauding the system, especially when it’s coming from someone who’s never worked a line and has no idea how any of this works.

  • David Coates

    Exactly that. That’s why there’s the “tax/non-tax” key on the register–it’s solely for separating out those transactions. Yeesh, I used to train people to do this, many years ago.

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    Yes you can. Lots of pot smokers have normal legitimate jobs.
    Not to mention if you are self-employed, or a business owner. Who’s going to piss test you before you open a business?

    Wall Street is FULL of not just pot smokers… people doing hard drugs like cocaine. And they not only have jobs, they have jobs that they sometimes fail at and still get paid the big bucks & bonuses. Occasionally they get caught & get into trouble. But judging by how many of them have been caught, you gotta figure a lot have been and continue to get away with it.

    Who’s piss testing CEOs and executives at banks do you think?

    Why is it okay for those people to get jobs on drugs, but not okay for poor people to get jobs on drugs?

    I’m not advocating for smoking dope ON the job of course. I think it would be just as detrimental to productivity as congress drinking on the job (which apparently they do!).

    I think addictions are a health problem that certainly deserves some attention. And I personally can’t fathom why anyone would bother taking the risk to do drugs, when it doesn’t seem worth it.

    But I think it’s a mistake to focus on a few food stamp recipients who might smoke some of their brother’s marijuana once in awhile. Or especially a mistake to deprive the children of the small minority of parents who might be irresponsible drug addicts.

  • Jeff Ballard

    And in those states an employer can still decide to not hire you if it shows up in your drug test, so I fail to see your point?

  • Jeff Ballard

    I cant even tell what side of the fence your on, your all over the place.. do you even have an opinion in that monstrosity that you call a post.

    You even post in such a way that i think you dont believe in, so maybe you have no beliefs?

  • Timothy Asher

    Why don’t you put some links in to verify your sources, that is if you have any which I seriously doubt.

  • Timothy Asher

    The 1%, what crap !!

  • jdh

    Preposterous! According to unemployment, census and poverty data, SNAP enrollment is staggeringly LOW! Millions more SHOULD be participating in the program and aren’t for some reason. I won’t waste my time explaining the data, or the huge economic implications of the under-enrollment (implications that more directly affect you than the few dollars you contribute to the program in your tax bill) because facts don’t align with your view of the world or your belief that social insurance is for the lazy and ignorant. Lax eligibility? Like requiring a family of 3 to earn less than $26k/year? And, exactly WHERE is this “aggressive enrollment campaign” I keep hearing about from the Tea Bag echo chamber??

  • jdh

    Stories like yours and mine go unheard and unacknowledged because “Conservatives” are too busy running on about welfare queens defrauding the system. Yeah, because that’s the majority of people receiving aid. Not! Fraud happens. It’s extremely rare, according to routine audits, at the time of application. It does happen downstream, but, despite the sensationalism, is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. We see a story once in a blue moon about “welfare abuse” but we don’t see any stories EVERY SINGLE DAY about “SNAP helped this family or that family feed their kids”. Sure, focus on the negative and ignore the positive.

    Social insurance programs are there for a reason: to prevent total economic collapse. They don’t get that. They think it’s a free ride for lazy people. They think anyone just goes out and gets “welfare” and that’s that. No clue. I never qualified for unemployment, even when I was unemployed. Is the gov’t. paying your rent? No. There are REQUIREMENTS for getting aid…I’m sorry to hear about your story. I too have been homeless, but I had couches to stay on. You have my prayers. Good luck to you.

  • Openthreads

    But they can immediately follow up their food stamp purchase and purchase alcohol and cigarettes with the cash left over because the American taxpayer is buying their food.

  • Openthreads

    But you can buy alcohol and cigarettes with the cash you have because the American taxpayer if buying your food.

  • Openthreads

    It’s my business because I’m paying for her junk food and candy.

  • Openthreads

    These food stamp recipients are not beaten and bleeding on the side of the road. They’ve become enslaved by a government that wants to keep them dependent on their slave master welfare state. The model of the Good Samaritan is to help those who are in true need, not those who are stealing and defrauding the system.

  • Openthreads

    “In fact, SNAP’s eligibility requirements have been significantly relaxed. This is no longer a program targeted at the poorest Americans who may need some temporary help, but has become part of an ever-growing welfare state. Nearly 17 percent of SNAP households have incomes above the poverty line. Almost 4.5 million recipients are able-bodied adults without children, more than 10 percent of the beneficiaries.

    Especially in conjunction with other welfare programs, SNAP helps breed dependency and undermines the work ethic. Like much of the American welfare state, it is designed to make poverty a little more comfortable, not to get people out of poverty.

    SNAP suffers from numerous other problems as well. The program’s administrative costs are extremely high, as much as $4.5 billion per year. Additionally, SNAP has a high rate of fraud and abuse. According to the Department of Agriculture, food-stamp fraud costs taxpayers at least $750 million annually, much of it committed not by recipients but by vendors.

    Largely because of the switch from cash benefits to EBT cards, the fraud rate has improved somewhat in recent years; but because the program has ballooned in size during that same time period, the amount of money lost to waste and fraud is still significant.

    And, finally, it should be noted that SNAP frequently subsidizes unhealthy food. At a time when obesity is a major national problem, should the federal government really be subsidizing the purchase of “soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream,” as noted by the DOA? Before we ban sodas for the rest of us, shouldn’t we stop forcing taxpayers to buy them for other people?”

  • TarHeel456

    SNAP no longer requires that able-bodied applicants look for work. Oh yes, there are “requirements” to qualify for the program but the way this administration gets around that is to tie the hands of the caseworker with incredible regulations. At one time, policy stated that the caseworker sends a form to the applicant requesting verification of their income received in what is called their “base period” (the month prior to their application or recertification). If the person did not provide the verification, they would be denied or not recertified. NOW, that request from the caseworker must name the SPECIFIC DATE that the person received the income! HOW, pray tell, is the caseworker going to know what date someone received income? This is just one small example of the ridiculous requirements placed on the CW’s who are administering the program. They are actively prevented from discovering fraud – deliberately so. The same thing is true in the Medicaid program. Their goal, straight from the mouths of those who work in the program, is to “sign up as many children as possible”. A common saying is that the CW is not an “ineligiblity” worker but an “eligibility” worker, meaning that the goal is to get people signed up, by hook or by crook.

    The stimulus act that increased SNAP benefits expires 10/31/13, so benefits will decrease across the board beginning 11/1/13. The new regulations mandated in the program to counter that are that the deductions that are allowed have been increased. A single person who has only to say they pay their own electric bill – no proof required, just a verbal statement – gets a $367 deduction per month right now.

    The saddest part of SNAP is how many women have another baby every single year to increase their benefits. There are MANY women on this program who have 5, 6, 7 or MORE children. It would seem to be common sense that if you cannot feed the children you have, you’d stop having them. And many, many of the people I see have been in the program for over TEN YEARS. In this administration, the typical American taxpayer is here to earn money so that it can be confiscated by the IRS and redistributed to those who refuse to even TRY to find work. The belligerence and entitlement attitude CW’s see every day, the verbal abuse from the entitled class, is unbelievable. I wish the average American, the ever-smaller percentage of Americans who are NOT on the government dole, could see what is happening in these government agencies. It is outrageous.

  • Openthreads

    Absolutely correct.

  • Anonymous

    You fail to see any point. Drug use is not connected to SNAP in any way. It’s not relevant to the discussion. Neither is your opinion of how recipients use aid money. The poverty line is not about your opinion. It’s about who gets the benefit, which is determined by the society via our social systems, not your opinion. What recipients do with that aid is not an issue – nor is it any of your business.

  • Anonymous

    Again, your opinion is not how aid is determined. Aid is qualified for by income level – not your personal judgement. We agree, as a society, that the poverty level and below can qualify for assistance. What they do with that assistance is not an issue – nor is it any of your business.

  • Anonymous

    Your opinion of what people do with their money *is* irrelevant – as is mine – because we already established, as a society, how and who qualifies for aid. It’s income driven – and nothing else.

    You seem to want to add a moral judgment to the mix – for no rational reason. You don’t seem to understand that your moral judgement is based in false assumptions (“everyone wants a hand-out”, “food stamp money goes to drugs and alcohol”, “there is rampant fraud” ) that the actual data tells us are completely wrong.

    Which is exactly why we don’t use such standards.

  • Jeff Ballard

    Just because something is “established” doesnt mean its perfect.

    Everyone wants a handout: If I offered you a 100$ bill for whatever you wanted to use it on you wouldn’t take it? If you say no I wont be capable of believing you.

    I have never stated or believed that “food stamp money goes to drugs and alcohol.” I dont even comprehend how that is possible, I dont believe that drug dealers except plastic cards of any type. I have stated that if you can spend money on drugs or alcohol then you could rebudget your funds and purchase food instead. If you respond again please focus on how I am wrong on this fact alone.

    Never stated that there is rampant fraud, it may even be less than 1-5%. Even so its still money being wasted.

  • Openthreads

    I don’t think so. According to President Obama in his speech on Sep. 16, 2013:

    “We put people to work repairing roads and bridges, to keep teachers in our classrooms, our first responders on the streets. We helped responsible homeowners modify their mortgages so that more of them could keep their homes. We helped jumpstart the flow of credit to help more small businesses keep their doors open. We saved the American auto industry.

    And as we worked to stabilize the economy and get it growing and creating jobs again, we also started pushing back against the trends that have been battering the middle class for decades. So we took on a broken health care system. We invested in new American technologies to end our addiction to foreign oil. We put in place tough new rules on big banks — rules that we need to finalize before the end of the year, by the way, to make sure that the job is done — and we put in new protections that cracked down on the worst practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies. We also changed a tax code that was too skewed in favor of the wealthiest Americans. We locked in tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans. We asked those at the top to pay a little bit more.

    So if you add it all up, over the last three and a half years, our businesses have added 7.5 million new jobs. The unemployment rate has come down. Our housing market is healing. Our financial system is safer. We sell more goods made in America to the rest of the world than ever before. We generate more renewable energy than ever before. We produce more natural gas than anybody.

    Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years — and just two weeks from now, millions of Americans who’ve been locked out of buying health insurance just because they had a preexisting condition, just because they had been sick or they couldn’t afford it, they’re finally going to have a chance to buy quality, affordable health care on the private marketplace.

    And what all this means is we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and we’ve begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity.”

  • Openthreads

    Those people you illustrate are the people that the SNAP program is designed to help and should help….that we should all be helping. Unfortunately, there are a multitude more who don’t need help and are abusing SNAP and ripping us all off. Unfortunately, the current administration is encouraging and enabling this fraud and abuse.

  • DalenCheryl Kaskey

    Do you believe everything Obama tells you? If they have added 7.5 million jobs, where are they? Why do we have increases in people on food stamps? Where is all the work being done on roads and bridges? There is continually work being done on roads and bridges but they are not keeping up with wear and tear on them. Obama is a big talker but when you look at the facts he is not getting much done, except talking. Actions are more important than speeches and Obama is just a speaker.

  • Openthreads

    In the news today:

    “Food stamp recipients are turning the government benefits into quick cash with ads on Craigslist, despite efforts to stem fraud, as well as auction sites like eBay — sellers offer the EBT cards at large discounts from face value.”

    Certainly not being done by starving, poor people.

  • DalenCheryl Kaskey

    If the program is unsustainable the food stamp recipient had better be aware that they will not get any assistance once the government defaults. We are dangerously close to that point now as the government is borrowing money to just pay the interest on the debt. As the debt increases and when the bond market fails interest will skyrocket and the entire budget will be interest on the debt. No food stamps, no disability, no medicare, no social security, no nothing from the government. Best be prepared.

  • jdh

    For the 500th time, then, WHAT is your solution???? Stop SNAP altogether. HOW do you propose “We” stop people from doing things they shouldn’t??????

  • jdh

    This is utter nonsense. “4.5 million able-bodied Americans” are on SNAP? There are over 21 million workers unemployed or forced to work part-time RIGHT NOW. In other words, this # represents nearly HALF of all SNAP recipients including children, elderly and disabled who in fact account for the majority of recipients. Over 4 million have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer (the maximum level tracked). Why 27 weeks? Because unemployment benefits stop at 26 weeks, barring approval for emergency coverage. The problem is, not all of these unemployed people are on SNAP. Enrollments should be MUCH higher. That is a HUGE problem for our economy. Do you get that? If not, I can explain.

    Nearly 17% of SNAP recipients have incomes above the poverty line. DUH!! The qualifications are typically income below 130% of the Federal poverty lines. OF COURSE their incomes are above the poverty line. What kind of research is that? And, it’s only 17% according to your analysis. Care to provide a source?

    Administrative costs in 2012 were 5% of the federal SNAP expenditure. That’s the federal portion (federal taxes) of the states’ cost. Show me a corporation with that level of efficiency.

    And as far as the food choices made? You can blame that on lack of education for one. You can blame it on marketing by big business for another. Perhaps you could even blame it on the fact that we now know manufacturers tailor their ingredients to trigger a form of addiction to junk food. Although, I guess it IS less complicated to just blame it on poor people. I suppose, then, you’d support such initiatives as Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban soft drinks? Nah, I’m guessing you’d consider that infringing too much on your freedoms. No? So it’s OK for everyone but poor people to have junk food? Come on man.

    (Sources: BLS Monthly Employment Situation; CPS Data; Table A-15; and Measure U6. All data for 9/13. USDA data. CBPP analysis.)

  • jdh

    LMAO! Gee, a FOX News “report”. How do they find this, exactly? I just searched craigslist for “ebt” and “food stamps”. Guess what? Nothing. So they post a screenshot and some nonsense. I could go do that right now. Whoop-de-doo. You do know FOX is a conservative propaganda vehicle? That’s their overriding directive. I guess they’ve got you. I also love the way they directly mislead (shocking) by repeatedly referring to SNAP benefits as “coupons”. Implying they can just be sold and handed over, perpetuating the age old myth of food “stamps”.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/22/craigslist-makes-turning-food-stamps-into-cash-snap/?intcmp=latestnews

  • TarHeel456

    I’ve tried to figure out why the recipients that I see every day who actually have a job QUIT when they find out that their food stamp benefit is lowered because they now have an income. They do this even when their income greatly exceeds the amount they receive as a benefit after they quit! Why would you think a person would do that?

  • Martha Lyons-mcauley

    there are scammers in everything, it is not worth the paper work and hassles to receive less than 20 dollars a month in food stamps! Low income elderly,like me, are choosing between meds and food

  • Martha Lyons-mcauley

    would like to see anyone eat a full month on 133 dollars.

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    People with million dollar homes and yachts.
    Cite sources please.

    And I don’t know, but I think liberals, as much as anyone, are all on board with expanding fraud detection staffing.

    Thing is, you have to actually spend money to save money with this. How much fraud detection resources spent really saves money… Obviously this is subject to a cost benefit analysis… and also the political will to actually allocate funds for the purpose.

  • http://www.rawon10.com/ Lisa Viger is Raw on $10 a Day

    And I bet you identify yourself as “Christian,” too … LOL … oh the irony of the “right.”

  • Anonymous

    How many different news organizations reported this and what are the names of the news agencies ?How many recipients are doing this on Craigslist? How many auction sites? How many sellers and what type of discounts?

  • Anonymous

    The pentagon’s defense department’s finance division that sets budgets for all branches of our fighting forces can’t even be audited. They are completely so screwed up that they can’t provide our country with a professional audit. Most companies do this on a regular basis.The horror stories of how they screw our men and women out of pay and benefits [ that they rightfully earned] is shocking. It is embarrassing to see all of the programs that the regular citizens of this country contribute, organize and operate, to supplement the men and women in our militaries and their families. This is something the pentagon should be doing .All of the military branches of the pentagon finance departments use many different computer systems and thus use different operating systems. So they can’t talk to each other. The pentagon admits that ten’s of billions of dollars each year are lost because they have no way of keeping track of the monies. The government spent 100 million on a special program to create an audit [ nothing else] and it took ten years. The pentagon failed at this. They couldn’t even focus on that task and complete it. To this day, the pentagon’s finance departments can’t provide an audit. They don’t where the total monies are going and at what rates. So all of you people who complain about the food stamp program [ incredibly low percentages of waste and fraud I must add ] who preach about the importance of defense spending and have no complaints about how and why your hard earned taxes vanish every year, should sit up and take notice.

  • Mark Schmidt

    The pending cuts in the SNAP Program will COST thousands of farm and agricultural jobs, as well as cut retail food sales nationwide..The GOP promised “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” and have been cutting jobs for 5 years now…

  • Nathan Koga

    It can be done! But with lots and lots of planning and effort. Usually not something that someone working two jobs would have a lot of time to do, sadly.

  • Nathan Koga

    For those who apply, the process is anything but easy. When I was on them, I had to go through a lengthy interview process and had to provide monthly information or the aid would be cut off.

    People who say its easy to get and stay on SNAP have no idea what they’re talking about. There were, at any time, no less than four things that could happen to me, which could immediately cancel my case, things like making actually less than your rent and expenditures, or finally finding a part time job that has different wages (your income must be able to be predictable, something lots of folks in need don’t really have). Or even, as happened to me, a mere clerical error which not only stopped my account but fined me 200 dollars even though I had not even used any of the money.

    It is a process that fills a need, and submits you to an arbitrary system that is very eager to assume you’re taking advantage. This goes for every poor family with kids or single mother or disabled person. Elderly person and underpaid workers, and yes, even the frauds. It is not easy to get into the system and to be able to do so with considerable wealth of any kind, would require a good deal of outright deception, and could come tumbling down at any time.

    Who does this hurt more? We accept a little corruption in exchange for literally feeding the poor, and the disadvantaged. Are we so vindictive that we must take the food from the mouths of those in need to punish those who take more than we feel they should? Is our desire for retribution that strong?

  • Nathan Koga

    Indeed. Also, able-bodied doesn’t mean that those people are being directly employed. In the current economy, even a smart, healthy person can find themselves in dire straits. There are times now when healthy, capable individuals cannot find work. Sometimes those people have families to feed. Just because you can work doesn’t always mean you’re able to find a job. It is difficult to do so, but sometimes, we all have times when we need to ask for help. And as society we’ve decided that thats something we need to help with.

  • Nathan Koga

    Technically this is incorrect. The government budget and debt don’t function much like a household budget. Well, unless you are able to get loans a negative interest rate. In this case, international “debt” is more like investment where a company invests in the outward stability of the US. By supporting the US dollar, they are ensuring that their own currency is backed by something fairly definite.

    Likewise, the US supports these countries by investing in them. Both parties benefit; the US gets an ally whose has essentially tied their county’s economic stability directly to the US dollar. And the country in question can exist safe in knowing that their currency will be backed by the fairly stable US dollar.

    This means a country like China, can buy heavily into US Treasury bonds which are essentially “debt”. By holding that amount of theoretical “owed” money, they have backed their own currency by the US dollar which prevents them from collapsing should anything bad happen. A country like Zimbabwe does this so that their own (insanely worthless) money can now be set on a money value which is guaranteed to always exist.

    Debt in the government’s case isn’t the same as personal debt, in which someone might come to “collect on it”. In this case, were say, China, attempt to cash the bonds (which is really difficult), it would be an act to damage their own stability which depends on the dollar like this.

    This is done because US Treasury bonds are considered essentially “stable”. (especially as much of this kind of debt came out of post-WW2) By investing in bonds and other national services at a negative interest rate, they are essentially paying the US for the privilege of holding an internationally-recognized object of a fixed value.

    To apply this on a personal level, it would be like banks coming to you and wanting you to invest in THEM and paying you to do so. This would be because you were so reliable that the “Debt” is essentially free permanent money for them that they can always count on being there (in one form or another). Because you’ve never failed to either honor your debt or provide services in time of need, your money is essentially good for “anything”.

    This does mean that much of the world’s economy is tied to the US economy, but since the US has never defaulted on the “concept” of its debt (at least not since the US was considered this reliable, about the early 1900s), its essentially flawless. Technically, the US Constitution even disallows the concept of the country being technically unable to pay its debts. Which may be held by individuals or countries.

    In the end this means that the concept of “Debt” is largely theoretical, rather than anything that individuals or small businesses can relate to. Sometimes, the government’s income is larger than the amount “owed”, and this is largely a good thing, as it signifies that the country can spend and produce enough to earn its place as a stable investment.

    Its really kind of silly when you think about it, but in the end, we are dealing with the entire world (more or less) economy as a part of it, and quite a lot of trust being banded around. In the beginning, our currency was basically backed by gold, but as time went on, the US’s reliability as a whole was both more stable and simply worth more to basically anybody who cares about money. This comprises much of what is considered “Debt” by the US to other countries.

  • Nathan Koga

    Well its not cash. You literally cannot pay for it with food stamps. Unless you get cash aid which is a very intense program and requires frequent participation and job counseling. True, you could theoretically pay for “vice” with that money, but you’d have to pay the price of dealing with a fairly large commitment that, if you don’t honor to the letter, will be cancelled with nary a second glance.

  • Nathan Koga

    If one was that dedicated, well… I guess more power to them. It would certainly eat into your account though.

  • Jennifer

    Add Monster energy drinks to those items that can purchased with food stamps…this article makes it sound like only healthy foods are available…smh

  • Jennifer

    I live in a community where it happens all the time. People will approach people in the grocery store to sell. Wake up from your liberal dream.

  • Cori Yates Cronan

    The proof of income required is PAYCHECK STUBS from the last month prior to applying. Those are DATED and if you don’t have DATED stubs or they are the WRONG DATE, they WILL NOT verify your income for that time frame and you WILL be denied. That is how the case worker knows the income falls into the requested time period or “base period”; everything has to be dated! You DO have to provide proof of a utility bill and also housing verification in the form of a bill in your name or a letter from your landlord stating your responsibility for said bill and a housing verification form filled out either by a landlord or by someone not related (that person has to sign an affidavit that they are verifying where you live and the bills you pay). The Work requirements are still in place and if you do not have gainful employment while you are receiving assistance, you have to work for the state or county in a full time voluntary manner at places like the community’s Senior Center to earn the assistance. You are also required to take job training if not already employed. You really should check your facts before spouting off about everyone on assistance working the system…

  • Cori Yates Cronan

    I agree, but it’s not just a lack of education about food choices or marketing or addictive additives. How about the fact that food stamps allows for about $2/day/person on the program and the cost of the healthier fresh foods vs. the cost of junk and processed foods is astounding. People can make their food budget last a little longer each month by making the less healthy choices. Plus, if they started buying the healthier choices, they get yelled at for spending the tax payers money on “luxurious” foods that they have to work their buts off to afford “it’s not fair”.

  • Anonymous

    JFC. I’m not saying there should be any actual limit. I’m just saying people *should* be responsible with their reproduction. If they aren’t, oh well! I’m not advocating penalties or whatever. Sorry if I touched some nerve.

  • disabledAndOnFoodStamps

    You end up eating a lot of noodles, rice, and ramen. At least, I did. Sometimes chicken, which was ridiculously wonderful. It was like getting prime rib or filet mignon when we could afford chicken to add to our noodle-rific diet.

  • pissedOff

    BS. You know nothing about disability. I have HEART problems that prevent me from working and it took me three tries to get on disability. My gf’s uncle who can’t walk had to try twice! You do not get…disability for…dyslexia…

  • TarHeel456

    You misunderstood what I said. If the client did NOT supply the paystubs with the recert form, the caseworker must request them. ON THE FORM REQUESTING THEM, in MY agency, we must SPECIFY THE DATE – THE VERY DAY – that the income was received; and if we don’t, it is “agency error” and the client will be approved without the verification. Work requirements are NOT in place in MY agency. Clients do NOT have to provide proof of utility payments – the client’s verbal statement “I pay the electric bill” is all that is required. AND, it also does not matter whether the person is related to their “landlord” – if the client says they live with their parents and pay them $500/mo for rent, and bring in a signed statement from their MOTHER that they pay their MOTHER $500/mo rent, we accept that and give the deduction.

    I know the facts. I’m a caseworker. Maybe you are, too, but those ARE the facts in MY agency. I assume they apply throughout this state.

  • Carole B Fazzini

    I don’t believe this ! It’s a lie. Prove it !

  • Carole B Fazzini

    thank you lie !

  • Carole B Fazzini

    tat hill, you sure need to get an education !

  • Carole B Fazzini

    Thank you Cori ! Well said, and it can be verified, not like the other clearly biased postings.

  • Carole B Fazzini

    I still don’t believe you !

  • Carole B Fazzini

    Obama has nothing to do with it

  • Carole B Fazzini

    thank you !

  • Carole B Fazzini

    you only talk a good talk…where is your proof ?

  • Carole B Fazzini

    Sadly, I know some people who don’t get food stamps or go to a food bank, because they are ashamed.

  • Carole B Fazzini

    Wow Jeff, you said exactly what I was thinking !

  • Carole B Fazzini

    So very true jdh, thank you for posting !

  • Right-wing Realist

    What I am comprehending from this article is that the food stamp program is perfect, nobody abuses their food stamp privileges, and Republicans are stupid for questioning its effectiveness.

    My goodness, I am not the religious type, but I will pray for your mental health in constructing such a weak argument.

  • DJ
  • Robertsong

    here here!

  • Robertsong

    my goodness what is the “news” source. I looked, I found not find any evidence on craigslist in my area, nor on ebay, though there were vintage signs, and banners! But this is part of the problem, the repeating of nonsense as if it becomes truth after a while. I was on food stamps my self. In fact in those days it was like currency. I finally found re-employment, and kept a $2 foodstamp because I wanted never to forget what it was like being on the stamps. The humiliation was unbearable, but hunger is more of a motivator. I hated it. I am sure anyone would prefer self support. But our society does not provide the opportunities, no matter what the right says,

  • DalenCheryl Kaskey

    I don’t see cuts in the SNAP program costing thousands of farm jobs. Farmers will grow and harvest the crops that they can. Ever hear of a farmer leaving half of his crop in the field because of low sales. I haven’t. My guess is that the EPA will cost more farmers their jobs than a reduction in food stamps. The reduction in food stamps will effect the people who use them the most.

  • Leonard Earl Johnson

    “JFK ~ Today, Where Have All the Flowers Gone” http://www.LEJ.org

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    Obviously you don’t know about all the countries that don’t subsidize their farmers, so the poor people with land are incentivized to grow drug crops, because they’re far more able to make a living that way.

  • john

    I don’t see anyone refuting Mr. Moyer’s numbers or references with anything but thier anecdotal experience. How about taking off those tin foil hats and actually working with facts and numbers. One important point Mr. Moyers did not make is that every dollar of SNAP benefits paid out generated about 1.84 of economic activity, largely in local economies AND farm production. Follow the bouncing ball here; if people are buying more food,, then farmers are growing and selling more food to wholesalers and retailers who are, in turn, moving more product, requiring more workers, who in turn earn paychecks and spend it in their communities and pay taxes to support local schools and municipal governments as well as local businesses. I hope we reach the day when people will put aside their meanness toward and petty jealousies of each other and focus instead on what make ALL of us stronger. All these folks are so all fired-worried about teaching people to live lives of dependency, (Would you really quit your job for 185 dollars a month in food stamps * max benefit for single person)? Finally, is it better for any of us to ‘force people out of dependency’ by replacing it with forcing them to live in hopelessness and desperation? Take that one to church with you tomorrow and see how it plays.

  • DalenCheryl Kaskey

    We are talking about the food stamp program in the USA. I don’t see the correlation.

  • Openthreads

    I did:

    “In fact, SNAP’s eligibility requirements have been significantly relaxed. This is no longer a program targeted at the poorest Americans who may need some temporary help, but has become part of an ever-growing welfare state. Nearly 17 percent of SNAP households have incomes above the poverty line. Almost 4.5 million recipients are able-bodied adults without children, more than 10 percent of the beneficiaries.

    Especially in conjunction with other welfare programs, SNAP helps breed dependency and undermines the work ethic. Like much of the American welfare state, it is designed to make poverty a little more comfortable, not to get people out of poverty.

    SNAP suffers from numerous other problems as well. The program’s administrative costs are extremely high, as much as $4.5 billion per year. Additionally, SNAP has a high rate of fraud and abuse. According to the Department of Agriculture, food-stamp fraud costs taxpayers at least $750 million annually, much of it committed not by recipients but by vendors.

    Largely because of the switch from cash benefits to EBT cards, the fraud rate has improved somewhat in recent years; but because the program has ballooned in size during that same time period, the amount of money lost to waste and fraud is still significant.

    And, finally, it should be noted that SNAP frequently subsidizes unhealthy food. At a time when obesity is a major national problem, should the federal government really be subsidizing the purchase of “soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream,” as noted by the DOA? Before we ban sodas for the rest of us, shouldn’t we stop forcing taxpayers to buy them for other people?”

  • roadrunner

    I try to understand the logic of the argument. You give food away so that farmers can produce more food…to give away more food. I will keep working on trying to get it.

  • roadrunner

    You are going off a little bit too, when you say that people can get high for free. If that were true, half the problems we have today associated with drugs would not exist; theft, burglary, prostitution, etc.

  • roadrunner

    Do you honestly think that if someone were going to defraud the welfare system that they would announce, “Hey, by the way I own a yacht, and I am applying for food stamps.” That is why they call if fraud. It is fraud because you go about getting the assistance via the use of deception. Don’t be so helpless and expect people here to give you a case by case basis. Just google welfare fraud or food stamp fraud or food stamp fraud convictions, and you should come up with copious cases that you can review on your own.

  • jdh

    Oh my. 100 people out of 47 million? I’m outraged. This “sting” was also targeted at those who would be tempted to BUY EBT usage, not SELL them. I think you’d find most “deluded Liberals” don’t condone SNAP fraud in any sense. Yeah, I get that “demand” is part of the problem, but that’s really like blaming prostitution on the fact that guys are horny.

    “Try this one on for size”:

    In 2010 (latest stats) 16+ million people illegally abused PRESCRIPTION drugs. It’s the number one source of drug abuse behind marijuana. At a FAR greater cost to the average citizen than “food stamps”. Prescriptions subsidized largely by private insurance premiums. Money out of your pocket if you have insurance. And since insurance pays, Big Pharma jacks the prices to unaffordable levels.

    257 million prescriptions for opioid drugs (eg. Oxycontin) were written last year.

    With such statistics, then, should we eliminate prescription coverage from all insurance? From Medicare? Get rid of insurance altogether? Why not just kill the entire system for those who commit illicit acts?

    My point: put things in perspective. Why not focus your attention and effort on something that really costs you money? Why not focus at least as much effort on real crime? Why not get outraged over something that actually MATTERS?

    The “outrage” over “food stamps” is completely and totally without merit and defies logic. Those who oppose it do so out of their own bias, complete lack of facts on the system, no understanding of economics, and deep-seeded bigotry which they seem to most often deny.

    The few dollars every tax payer spends on the SNAP program could not possibly go to any meaningful good use in another way.

    (Sources: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/prescription-drug-abuse http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k10NSDUH/tabs/Sect1peTabs1to46.htm#Tab1.1A)

  • jdh

    That’s all true information in many states. So what? What’s your point?

  • jdh

    Why don’t you Google how many cases of people have been helped by SNAP and other social insurance programs and put them on a scale? Perhaps you won’t find enough to satisfy you, but then again I hope you’d be smart enough to know that telling the story of every single person these programs helped is not news….

  • jdh

    L.O.L. :) Michael_in_NC could you please clarify what on Earth you are talking about?

  • jdh

    Extremely well-said Nathan! Your last paragraph is it in a nutshell.

    You also expose the fact that all these naysayers are under the absolute conviction that people simply go down to some office somewhere and ask for benefits and they get them. They have no clue. I’d like to see any one of them set foot in a DHHS office for one, and apply for benefits for another.

  • roadrunner

    I already know that. You were the one who was asking. I believe you are correct. It has helped many people, but there are many abusers, too. Just because it helped “Poor little Lucy” does not mean that you look the other way on all the abusers. You write as if these government programs were the epitome of efficiency and effectiveness and they are not. They could come a much longer way in enforcing rules and regulations instead of immediately being intimidated into doing nothing the minute someone cries on behalf of all the people it has helped. Truth be told, it helped me, too. That doesn’t mean however, that I pretend that that here isn’t any abuse. Of course there is. The sale of food stamps is as old as time itself. It’s being going on for years and years. Nothing new except the lack of aggressive enforcement against the abusers.

  • jdh

    I have never denied fraud and abuse don’t exist. However, downstream fraud (trafficking of benefits) is impossible to quantify — at least no one I have ever asked or anything in my years of research has been able to produce — and as a percentage of total benefits being utilized “legitimately” is most certainly a tiny, tiny fraction.

    So, I must ask: how do we improve detection and enforcement when “welfare” opponents are screaming and clawing to reduce funding? How do we handle something that requires additional cost while cutting the funding to cover it? Oh, I know, reduce the funding for the actual intent of program and increase administrative costs, right? Less than 75% of eligible participants are actually enrolled in SNAP. But, we should cut funding for benefits further so we can do nothing more than make people who hate welfare happy?

  • roadrunner

    I am not going to tell you how to improve it because frankly, I don’t know. If I knew that, I probably would be a very sought after person. What I do know is that one of the reasons that no one is able to produce as a percentage of total benefits (it sounds like you are talking benefit vs cost analysis), is because we can never even reach that point in a discussion. Everything becomes riddled with emotion; because you are a liberal and your conservative, blah, blah blah, and pretty soon facts are hard to come by and it all becomes a cesspool of political viewpoints. I wish that I could have only facts because in today’s political arena, there is way too much emotion and very few unbiased facts. I wish I knew exactly how much people benefit from food stamps vs how many abusers there are out there. But how exactly would we define “benefit”? Now here is a bit of my emotion. We got welfare as kids, and although it may have been a “benefit” as you say, all I recall is being embarrassed by it. Besides that, everyone knew where to go to exchange food stamps for other goods. It wasn’t rocket science. All I would like to see in these discussions is a little bit more spunk for both sides of the equation. Of course people benefit, but there are plenty of scammers out there and it is too bad we can’t quantify them because political placating has taken precedence over facts.

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    Well you want less regulations and less subsidization for farmers & farming. Who’s to say more farmers wouldn’t turn to drug crops in the U.S. if they were impoverished enough, and could make better money doing that?

  • Mark Schmidt

    After the GOP crashed the economy in 2007-8, unemployment increased because of lack of jobs. There is little if no “abuse” of food stamps…there are a lot of lying republicans and even more morons who believe them.

  • Grumpyhugs

    Fact: welfare benefits are no longer expanded if you have a child while receiving them, thanks to the Clinton era welfare reform program. SNAP is not welfare by the way, it is only the Food Stamp program, and the majority of recipients of food stamps nationwide are white working families. Your whole diatribe sounds like a fairytale based on nothing more than your misplaced outrage.

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  • DalenCheryl Kaskey

    Please read my original comment to Mark Schmidt. This is where it started and it has morphed from there. I swear some people on these comments are insane.

  • kimc911@gmail.com

    Now that we know more about the EBT incidents at WalMart a few weeks ago, we now learn that these weren’t just “dozens of people”, nearly everyone of these individuals were WalMart employees.

    When the EBT system went down different employees of two WalMart stores called co-workers telling them the EBT system was down, between the two stores as many as 42 individuals, WalMart employees, came to the stores and engaged in fraud and de facto theft. While the electronic system failure opened the door of opportunity, the fraud came from WalMart’s own employees.

    At both of these stores, every single junior associate employed with WalMart is on SNAP Benefits because WalMart refuses to pay their employees a living wage, and WalMart knows that the government will subsidize WalMart’s profits by compensating their employee’s low pay with SNAP. Over one million WalMart employees qualify for and subsidize their WalMart income with SNAP benefits.

    In my view, this is a Moral Outrage on the part of WalMart, a multibillion company who could pay every employee $100 per hour with full time employment and still reap profits over a billion dollars. Not one of these employees should have been eligible for SNAP benefits, everyone of them should have been paid enough as employees to disqualify them.

  • Aj Joyce

    Wow! You hit the nail on the head. But that’s the state of mind in this corporation (USA). As long as the rebloodlicans, & democrips have a competition spirit, the ‘war’ will continue. Right here in these united states of profit mongers! I AM sorry about that!

  • Aj Joyce

    Say that later. After the indictments for the war crimes committed, and still being committed, here in America. Killing people by the thousands vs. ripping off $200.00 a month. Jeez! Unbelievable!!!

  • Anonymous

    The solution is to set up kitchens and feed people healthy good food and in each neighborhood deliver these meals to the sick and old that can’t get to the dining rooms- pay the people who cook and shop and wait on table and deliver the food- make sure they make some money and eat and eventually feel proud of themselves- make it fun and make it nice and stop making it political and vote getting!

  • jdh

    By the tone of your comment, I genuinely believe your intentions are sincere. Unfortunately, this idea is simply unrealistic and with all due respect naive.

    Where will these kitchens be located? What hours will they be open? How far will I have to go to take my kids to eat breakfast and dinner before school and after work? How long will it take? Will the kitchen pay for their school lunches which I can’t afford? What about their snacks for school and after-school programs? What about juice, water, snacks, etc. to keep in the house? How much will it cost to open / build them? How much will the “servers” be paid? Minimum wage? (Minimum wage puts millions of people on SNAP already, that’s part of the problem!) How much will that cost?

    Doing all this and employing people who still can’t afford basic expenses doesn’t help. Working is not the problem, income is the problem. This is a dramatic point SNAP opponents don’t seem to fully grasp, if at all. From your comment, it seems you don’t really understand what the problem is. People aren’t unable to buy food because they aren’t “proud” they’re unable to buy food because they don’t make enough money. Additional low-wage jobs won’t change that.

    I would venture to safely say this type of plan would cost far more than the current system with accompanying disastrous set-backs to the entire economy and social fabric of this country.

  • Martylafl

    OK you lost me with the last sentence in Myth #5 –>”And why should smoking pot exclude someone from getting food stamps, anyway?” REALLY?! If someone has enought discretionary income to pay for POT, then they don’t need MY hard earned tax money for FOOD. They need to get their messed up priorities straight, FOOD is more important than POT. Stop laying on the couch smoking weed and get off your lazy butt and get to work! I was on food stamps for a time after divorce left me with kids to feed and it took hard work and school to get my Bachelors in Nursing, but I used those food stamps as what they were meant to be..a TEMPORARY help up. NOT to use the money for drugs!

  • Luci Joullian Cason

    It’s called pride.

  • Luci Joullian Cason

    Photo Ids are not required in every state on the SNAP cards. Furthermore, you can “lose” the SNAP card up to four times a year before you are investigated.

  • Sheila Kotze

    hmm… no one said the people on assistance where the ones buying the pot.
    Maybe a friend or family member was sharing some stash.. or maybe.. they grow their own.. millions of people do. It is a plant and it doesn’t cost really anything to grow it. So, maybe think outside the tiny box for a min.

  • Sheila Kotze

    Goodness,,.. did it ever occur to you that the iphone was a gift and maybe a family member pays the bill even.. not to mention.. maybe it is part of a family plan, most family plans are cheaper than an individual plan. And how do you know they have their hair done.. maybe they are just at doing their hair or maybe it’s what they did or even still do for a living.. same with the nails.. I do my own nails and everyone always think mine were done at the salon. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover is a well known saying for a reason.

  • Sheila Kotze

    Well.. when it costs the same to eat healthy, as it does to eat junk.. maybe things will change there.. But go in the store and fill your cart with healthy food.. then get the same number of “unhealthy” food items and see which costs more..

  • Sheila Kotze

    Who is “giving food away”? I don’t think you understand the system.. or even the reason why some people are bitching and yelling about how they have to pay for other people because maybe their tax will go up a penny. But say nothing of how the cost of living has continued to rise, as well as CEO and corporate bonuses over the past 30 years… but the minimum wage and most other employee wages have not… Not to mention.. the economy crash of 2008 (basically 2008) that left many people with no job and many with no home either.

  • Sheila Kotze

    and?? you make no point… even if people are in there trying to sell their cards.. what do you think that means?? Maybe a family member bought them some groceries and they need money to pay other bills.. or 50 other reasons they could be doing.. stop assuming you know what others are doing and why.. and maybe stop assuming the worst right off the bat.

  • Sheila Kotze

    So.. find some buildings.. several, and none too far apart because not everyone can live that close to one building.. so you would need several EVERY where.. buy the food to cook.. hire the people to cook and drive and everything else on top of parking lots needed as well.. basically make it like a big McDonalds on every corner that delivers instead of drive thru… think of how much that would cost. And how do people make these orders to be delivered? You would also need hundreds of phone operators. Or do you just give the people what ever food whether they like (or can even eat it) or not? I don’t think people not being able to go and shop for their own food is really the answer. A lot of people have food allergies.. who would keep track of that for the deliveries? Ect…This is not a well thought out plan..

  • Openthreads

    Beans, rice, apples, bananas and spinach will feed a family of four for less cost than unhealthy processed foods.

  • SmartyPants

    You make a valid point! I mean how do we even know the Holocaust was Hitler’s idea?! And the Cold War? Isn’t it possible that it was Americas fault?

  • Z

    I can. I spend $125-150 per month on food & now while I’m on unemployment I would love to receive that amount from the snap program so that I won’t continue to go hungry.

  • Z

    Your solution doesn’t sound feasible or a cost saving resolution.

  • Jon

    This article is biased, however not without some valid arguments. To answer the authors rhetorical questions of “And why should smoking pot exclude someone from getting food stamps, anyway?” If they have money for drugs, cigarettes or alcohal they should have no right to mine.

  • Anonymous

    Your story stinks with troll stories.

  • Ruth Toles

    The Bill passed in the House by 216 yes and 208 no – of the no votes 196 were Democrats and 12 were Republicans – of the yes votes 216 were Republicans. So – Republicans in the House did vote to cut $40 billion from food stamps. ONLY Republicans.

  • ash

    this article is totalcrap. YES plenty have become dependent on food stamps and refuse to work and threaten to have more kids just to stay on food stamps and not work. if theres so little fraud then why do I see food stamp recipients roll up in brand new cars and designer clothes, expensive handbags, jewelry and hair and nails done? why do i hear everyday of a 2 person family buy everyone in line their groceries including steaks because they were giving so much assistance? why is a jobless meth addict have so much food they cant even shut their refrigerator, and refuse to work because theyve got it “too good”. do your research before attempting such a cut and dry blog on such a broad topic. you are a dimwit.

  • cowboybob

    People can own a million dollar home and get food stamps. The program should be cut so only the truly destitute will get my taxpayer dollars.

  • Marseea

    Would be great to post an article like this about food stamp recipients – excluding the disparaging comments about Republicans. It’s not that the comments aren’t true, but would like my relatives to read the facts – which they won’t read when surrounded by disparaging comments about themselves.

  • http://www.watermelonpunch.com/ watermelonpunch

    The SNAP eligibility requirements were relaxed because during the Recession, a great many people became part of “The Poor” who were not before the Recession, when you know, like there were enough jobs for most people who wanted them.
    Duh.
    (Look into it. The SNAP eligibility requirements get relaxed based on requests from states that have high unemployment.)

  • Anonymous

    Ash, I mean no offense but you are a liar, plain and simple and you should be ashamed of yourself. You think people cheat the system? You are right, some people cheat the system! But your foolish and selfish obsession with the small number of cheats makes it much more likely those people who actually need help won’t be able to get it. 76% of food stamp households include a child, an elderly person or a disabled person. That is MOST of them. MOST of them are not cheats. So I ask: do you honestly care about the non-cheating kids, elderly and disabled? If not, that is ok. Just have the balls to admit it instead of making stuff up about you seeing food stamp recipients “roll up” in brand new cars, expensive handbags and nice nails. You aren’t just a liar, you are also a parrot…repeating back word-for-word what you have heard your right-wing idols say a thousand times before.

  • Anonymous

    That is one lame story.

  • snoglydox

    I love it when people peel the onion: good job!

  • snoglydox

    What I got out of his post, was that they have SEVEN kids!

  • Jim

    National broadcasters, ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS should point out the “real takers” every time one of these conservative bullies abuse those less fortunate

  • Ruth Toles

    Thanks snogly… I believe when one posts on these forums, that person should first verify what they post. Unless I am expressly just stating my personal opinion I look up the facts. I will also state that I am posting my opinion if I do so – rarely.

  • Michelle Elaine Hampton

    lol. As a recipient of SNAP, I can assure you that they do not.

  • Michelle Elaine Hampton

    absolutely true, which is why my family of three in MO now meets criteria for 45.00 a month in SNAP, though in October MO did decrease amounts across the board. My husband works at one of the better employers in this town, including shift differential and OT. I was in an accident and ended up with 3rd degree burns and can not work for a bit longer. Because of that accident and the doctors involved I was steered toward assistance by them, looking out for us. I didn’t qualify after my divorce in 2006, with 3 kids, 35 hours a week at 10.00 an hour and an ex who refused to pay support I certainly didn’t think our current situation would in 2013.

  • Anonymous

    The fraud on SNAP is less than 1% of the dollars deployed to the program while the fraud on farm price supports exceeds 5%. Republicans in Congress have been
    advocating more funds to audit SNAP and less funds to audit farmers. Also, they want SNAP to have less funds and farm price supports to have more funds.

    iokiyar

  • Anonymous

    Total cost of SNAP for the states with less than 1 million in population — AK, DE, ND, SD, VT, and WY — is $862 million. One hedge fund manager’s total income would cover it all.

    For close to a decade, each of the top 100 hedge fund managers has earned $1 billion before taxes. Their federal income taxes are just 15%, not the maximum ordinary income tax rate of 39% or so. Just think if those 100 paid 39%, not 15%, that $24 billion would pay more than a third of the total cost of SNAP. — $72 billion in 2011.

  • Openthreads

    Jan 17, 2014:

    The number of Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) receiving food stamps zoomed
    from 1.7 million to 3.9 million between Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal
    Year 2010. In that same period, food stamp recipients in total grew from 26 million to nearly 40 million.

  • Openthreads

    Jan 14, 2014: The owners of three Yonkers groceries and two of their employees have
    been charged in a scheme to exchange more than $1.2 million in food
    stamps for cash.

    Of course, this means that the people selling their food stamps don’t really need the food.

  • Anonymous

    This is obviously a liberal author who wants to continue giving away our country by increasing our debt each and everyday by giving foodstamps, welfare, free phones and housing to people who lie and cheat to receive these entitlements. I do not begrudge the needy but I see it day in and day out fraud and abuse. When they are caught, their is very little if any consequences because of all of our liberal judges. Next month they are doing it again. The Hispanics are killing themselves to get to our country so they can get on the dole. I have watch them check out at WalMart with $300-400 in groceries. The man or husband is behind them to pick up the items not paid by foodstamps. He pulls our a roll of hundred dollar bills and smirks to the people in line because he knows they are screwing America!!

  • Michelle Elaine Hampton

    I actually have already replied to this, but I am doing so again so that your BS reply will remove from my notifications.
    Grow Up? How very mature of you to respond in such a way after telling you to report what you see instead of lumbering around in some forum. Useless, mindless collective griping gets us nowhere near a solution.

    Mind my own business? SNAP is part of my business. It is Everybody’s business.

    Your comment that they check regularly is far from accurate. They do not have the staff to do so. The initial intake and yearly evaluation is all the time they have. The number of people who can apply has grown, so has the work load. They depend on people supplying accurate information at each of those meetings – Bank statements, pay stubs, release of information…it is not simply a matter of “Oh hey I want money and the state will give it to me, walk up to a window and make your order” Educate yourself a little before you make idiotic, childish remarks.

  • bb333

    Eliminate the entire program…”starvation is a great motivation to work.”…Walter Williams

  • tiff

    They give u so little that stamps only last 2 weeks out of month and many ask for help with getting eork anf housing but are not given the help forcing them to stay on aide longer trust I would rather work and be able to afford a roof over my head than to live off of ,400 a month with a child not even enough to rent a room so dont talk when ur rich ass doesnt know what u talking about

  • Anonymous

    Some problems with your math. At 133 person, 47.6 million on food stamps that only adds up 6.3 billion yet we spend 76.4 billion. Where is the other 70 Billion? There was 750 million in fraud according to the FBI for a single year. Your numbers just don’t add up to a good program.

  • Dark_Space

    I guess that would work if it were true. You’re really going to hate me – I’m a hedge fund manager. Most of us don’t make $1 billion a year, and we pay the same tax rates and operate under the same rules as everyone else. In fact, the average pay of the TOP 25 hedgies in 2012 (2013 numbers aren’t available yet) was $537mm – still a lot, granted, but half the number you’re assigning to the top 100. So there is that problem. Second, all ordinary income they receive as pay is taxed at the same rates as everyone else in America – if they get paid wages/salary/bonus of $200mm, they pay 39.6% on the bulk of that just like you would if you got paid that much. That being said the average Ordinary Income tax rate, because it marginally adjust up as your income increases, is actually just 17.4% (not 39.6%, so strike that number from your mind).

    Now, a portion of the evil hedge fund manager’s gains tends to be considered Capital Gains – imagine you went out and bought a farm for $100, you made $10 a year operating it (this is Ordinary Income taxed at the ordinary rates) and then you sell it for $120 – you would pay Capital Gains tax on that $20 profit of 15% if you were the sole owner. I’m grossly simplifying/ignoring things such as depreciation, but that’s basically how it works. In the hedge fund managers case he is the farm operator and an investor wants to invest in the farm – the hedge fund manager said I’ll run this thing for you and make you tons of money but I want a fee (ordinary income) and part ownership of say, 10% (capital gains/losses) – that $20 profit I mentioned earlier results in $2 going to the hedge fund manager, which is the amount that is taxed at 15% and offends you so greatly. There is no redefining of income or special loophole being used.

  • Dark_Space

    There should be time limits and work requirements, and extremely strict cinches on the purse strings at the top. Testing for drug use would cost a lot of money to implement, and frankly I assume that someone who requires food stamps has some issues they’re dealing with that may include substance abuse of some kind. At the very least they have failed to save properly, have had some horrible luck, and don’t have a strong support network – the vast majority of people on food stamps are not welfare queens.

    I’m a libertarian, and frankly extremely fiscally conservative. I do not want to live in a society that doesn’t have a safety net for folks. I don’t think the government is the best option, and they are not efficient, but frankly even if you assume 100% of the expenditure is wasted, it is such a small problem compared to virtually every other form of government spending you could be focused on. The Fed spent more LAST WEEK buying mortgage backed securities and Treasuries from Wall Street banks than it did LAST YEAR on the food stamp program. We have more tied up in government-owned or operated golf courses (there are 234 around the world operated by DoD), than we do on food stamps.

    At the end of the day, we have 47mm people on food stamps and that is a enormous problem no matter how you spin it. Focusing on whether they’re buying lobster or marijuana with it can be chalked up to one of the smaller problems currently on our country’s plate.

  • we need common sense

    This guy is surprisingly ignorant to seemingly everything
    around him, and even more so about government affairs, how a republic and
    democracy functions and what there roles are, and even more so what human
    nature seems to be like. Here’s a parable for you, “give a man a fish you feed
    him for a day, teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. I think it’s a good time for anyone that has
    the same mindset as this fellow, to take whatever sits on top of there
    shoulders out of there you know what, you can’t just simply blame everything on
    republicans. Hopefully one day this man, and all those like him, will simply
    come out of the left wing zombie trace they are in and wake up to the fact that
    all they keep doing is blindly following whatever the left tells them, its like
    sheep headed to the slaughterhouse chanting obama, obama, yes he can, yes we
    can. Give me a break!!!

  • kitty

    Solution :Go after the rich and drain their pockets to feed those who are disabled or one parent families who can’t find enough work or aren’t paid enough wages to keep up with the greedy economy. Force people to stop being so greedy and wasting money on trips to mars and the moon, and throwing food away that isn’t moving fast enough on the shelves in the supermarkets, and instead feed and care for people here on the earth. Force people to care for one another and make it a law to learn love, strange word isn’t it ?

  • Michael Ryland

    So, because 1% of SNAP recipients are committing fraud, we should deprive ALL recipients of a much-needed benefit. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Throwing out the baby with the bath water”?

    And, to the idiot who used the phrase “starvation is a great moitvation to work”, GO TO HELL!

  • Anonymous

    To Dave Johnson, on your last paragraph. Are you arguing that since we have corporate graft we shouldn’t pursue personal graft? How come you democrat party types haven’t gone after the tax collections? Oh ya, busy sicking the IRS on the Tea party.

  • Matt Scheaffer

    Blah blah blah liberals blah blah blah freedom.

    That’s what your type sounds like anymore.

  • Joy Ward

    How about we cut the 4% off food stamps for getting $16 a month…. that’s ridiculous why even apply for them…. that buys what maybe 4 gallons of milk a month? I mean I think they need to consider the really needy. Not giving it to people who qualify for less than $50 a month in stamps…. But here’s a idea since poor people live pay check to pay check we give them a raise and watch the economy grow. Pay people more for the work they do. No I’m not saying a cashier job @ taco bell should raise a family but what about the assistant and store managers? A lot of people that work full-time management jobs are on food stamps! You need work experience to be a manager and some of those jobs require a degree…. This is a slap in the face to those people that worked many many years in the field to work their way up only to still be on the bottom. Yet our government gets paid how? Yeah through tax payer money. OH ok so they can receive HUGE paychecks off our money but heaven forbid someone receiving $133 month in food is a free loader? Yeah who are the ones free loading? They get every single holiday off work, get to go on vacations… and a degree for their jobs is not even required. So how about we cut their paychecks and give everyone else a raise instead of being treated like slaves who work our asses off begging for table scraps watching the rich take their vacations on yacht boats!

  • Openthreads

    Farm Bill contains $200 Billion for farmers and $750 Billion for Food Stamps

  • Openthreads

    Food stamp’s heat-and-eat scam.

    Like attorneys who comb through the tax code looking for loopholes to
    exploit for wealthy clients, clever state officials browsing through
    food-stamp rules have figured out a way to game the program.

    The trick — called “heat and eat” — is to give
    someone with no actual heating bill a token amount of home heating
    assistance — as little as $1 a year in some states,
    or a single dime a year in California. Sixteen states and Washington,
    D.C., use the gimmick to extract billions of dollars in extra federal
    food-stamp benefits that their citizens aren’t really entitled to under
    the rules.

    It is a scam that bends the rules in ways lawmakers never intended. It
    gives some people extra benefits while others in the same situation get
    less. And it’s serious money: Closing this loophole would save more than
    $8 billion over the next 10 years.

  • Marquise

    Yeah and they’re also killing innocent civilians and RAPING people of foreign lands while calling everyone else a terrorist. But no. We should ALL praise the military for doing these things right?! We spend all of our money on nuclear weapons and the military but not on the needy people of our country.

  • Openthreads

    Food stamp and disability are exactly for people such as you. There are millions of dishonorable and immoral people who are cheating and gaming the disability and food stamps benefits systems and essentially robbing you of more benefits that you deserve. You, of alll people, should be outraged.

  • Anonymous

    I am all for helping the elderly and the physically disabled. But the rest, not so much. Let’s look at the numbers that are often used in various resources:
    1. 76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled, another source claims 87%.
    2. 72% of SNAP participants are in families with children
    3. nearly 48 million on food stamps, 21 million of them children.

    So let’s pretend 87% of SNAP households include a child, an elderly person or a disabled. So that leave 13% that doesn’t fit into the category. A single person working full time minimum wage will not be eligible for food stamps. So this means those 13% are either single and not working full time or they are in a household of 2 or more for which none are elderly, disabled or a child. Why should taxpayer supports them?

    Now 72% of SNAP participants are in families with children, so that accounts for roughly 34.56 million of which 21 million of them are children. So 13.56 million are adults. This means many families have more than 1 child. Is it not the responsibility of the parents to provide for their children? Would these parents have the child if there was no safety net? If so, how do they intended to support them? If they have a way, why are they not doing so? Putting the burden to provide food and shelter for your child on someone else is irresponsible.

    The remaining SNAP recipients, 15% of the 48 million, or 7.2 million are the ones that we should continue to help. If SNAP only helps the elderly and disabled, they can receive much more help.

  • Jasmine

    The people who resent the disabled and others who ACUTALLY need food stamps do not understand how food stamps work. You and other like you are the ones that food stamps benefit. However, you can not turn a blind eye to the fact that there are more people than you who actually do not need food stamps but get them anyway. Growing up, I’m now a 23 year old african american from Mississippi, my family was on food stamps. We needed that help because we were not financially stable and we were poor. This was a temporay thing. Once we were able to sustain ourselves we dropped food stamps and bugdeted our money wisely. I know for a fact growing up that there are people who lied about needing food stamps and tax refunds (because they would put other peoples kids on their taxes). I may have been a kid but kids remember and absorb what they hear. They use that money on stuff they do not need and cry when they do not have money for the things they need because they used it on unnecessary things. And by unnecessary I mean new cars, expensive clothes, shoes and jewlery, eating out all the time, expensive trips, etc. They didn’t buy healthy foods or pay their bills, or pay for gas. I often wonder when reports come out about the amount of people of food stamps do these people even investigate fraud like they should or is it the next guys problem. Without food stamps I would not have had food to eat growing up. So it makes me very angry that there are people who game the system yet no one is willing to do anything about to separate the pople who need it from the people who do not need it.

  • Jasmine

    Can you put up a link to this? I would love to read it.

  • Bitin’ Dust

    In MA alone over 1,000 deceased people were on food stamps in 2013. How about we actually start cracking down on things that we CAN do and stop complaining about what we can’t? Also (I’m from the right wing, prepare to be shocked), there’s a large gap between qualifying for food stamps and reaching the necessary income to be capable of affording your own food. It’s hard for those on welfare to make it up because whenever they come close, that rock they were standing on to reach that handhold just above them crumbles away. If we closed that gap the economy would grow, if only slightly.

    But that would require a lot of sacrifice from everyone, people who didn’t get angry that they were supporting other people who didn’t even need it, and the existence of honorable people who wouldn’t waste the extra money they were given – so it’s never gonna happen. Have a nice life!

  • Anonymous

    “Households may not use food stamps to buy beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco; pet foods; soaps, paper products; household supplies; vitamins and medicines; food that will be eaten in the store; hot foods.”

    How exactly is this enforced at stores? Can a store refuse to accept payment for these items?

  • B-Rett

    I think you have too much faith in people, especially American people. As an individualistic capitalistic society everyone wants as much as they can get with as little effort as possible. It’s surprising how little motivated people are to work and contribute to their communities. Basically the general public are opportunistic parasites that care only what’s in it for them even to point of causing their own demise. So establishing controls is the only way to prevent people from corrupting the very fabric of our society. Basically, you gotta save them from themselves

  • Anonymous

    That’s good. Can cash be taken out at an ATM? If so that is a huge loophole.

  • Anonymous

    My husband and I are both disabled. He’s on SSDI and I’m on survivor’s benefits. We got married after we became disabled and it was helpful to both of us so that we could survive what we receive in disability payments.

    Our disabilities don’t show. It’s not like I’m a blind person, an amputee or someone in a wheelchair.

    My husband has heart and other issues. I have severe PTSD and other issues. I believe if it were just for those single issues we might be able to work at least part time but it’s not just the single issues.

    Our neighbor, a “good christian” had a bad attitude about our being on disability. He used to rant and rave about scumbags and people too lazy to work, all the while giving us dirty looks and making inuendo’s. That is, until his son had a major heart attack and he had to come live with them while he recovered and applied for social security benefits.

    That changed his tune quite a bit. He’s a lot more nicer than he used to be.

    He sees us out there trying to grow a garden or do some kind of building on the place and realizes how long it takes us compared to a healthy person and I guess it has finally dawned on him that it takes us about twice or three times as long on some projects because we can’t work straight through.

    It’s stop and start, stop and start. We would never make in on the job even though both of us tried to work our way off of disability.

    Every one of us has known someone that is crookeder than a dogs hind leg and should be out working…IN OUR OPINION.

    But then, I can’t see that person’s disability and I better not judge what I don’t know.

    I went the route of trying to go back to work. At the end of a year, I was in such bad shape I couldn’t carry a cup of coffee across the room without sloshing it all over the place I had the shakes so bad. That went on solid for six months, just from the stress of working.

    I was good at my job. I loved what I was doing and they wanted to promote me to manager. I just couldn’t hack it. I suffered in silence while I watched myself deteriorate to worse than I was prior to applying for disability in the first place.

    That was a hard lesson. I was so hellbent on working God let me crash. I guess pride does goeth before a fall.

    Now together, we make slightly too much to qualify for food stamps. But, I will tell you this, prior to our marriage, my husband was living on one hamburger from McDonald’s per day and whatever he could get from the food bank.

    We still don’t use air conditioning living here in Florida, we use a shade tree. And we use a wood burning stove to heat the place in winter. That’s what we can afford.

    But I will tell you he was in a sorry mess prior to us getting married. His power pole rotted and fell over and he couldn’t afford to get it repaired. He went without power for a couple of months.

    That is poverty and there are millions just like him across the US and people don’t see them. They don’t complain. They just suffer in silence.

  • Openthreads

    Farm Bill is $1 trillion over 10 years with $750 billion over 10 years for food stamps (SNAP)

  • pparf

    You make a lot of assertions and provide no support for your claims. Why should anyone take what you have to say as accurate or authorative? Have you been spending too much time listening to the right wing echo chamber.

  • Anonymous

    Do you realize that 70% of food stamp recipients are the elderly, children and disabled? The other thirty percent are people out of work or underemployed. Get a grip!!! What makes you so mean to people you obviously don’t know. Stop listening to the fake news and go out meet the people at the food pantries. Many people are taking care of disabled children and or their parents or grandparents. Many are out military!!! Stop spreading your hate with no idea of what you are talking about.

  • Anonymous

    The nonfood items are automatically calculated by the computer and there is no human intervention needed.

  • Anonymous

    No. Food stamps have to spent on food. The money is from an entirely different program. You get one card for all benefits.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with much of what you say but you may not realize that anyone making less than a thousand a month in Texas, gets $15 a month in food stamps. That includes most of the elderly and disabled. In a city where the average rent is $1400. Even in the ghetto, rent is half my income. That $15 is 10% of my monthly food budget. May not be much to you but it’s three days of food for me.

  • Anonymous

    You didn’t report it. You and others like you are the reason they get away with it.

  • Anonymous

    In Texas, the money is on a debit card that requires ID and since most people only receive $15 a month, I can’t see that happening in Texas.

  • ken

    There is my wife and I we are on FS my wife worked for 11 years before
    becoming disabled gov.says she is disabled but wont pay her anything
    because she did not claim her disability within 5 years of quitting her
    job to have a child and raise that child I worked for 37 years non-stop
    and they refuse to give me my disability after having 7 heart attacks in
    less than 6 months even though the doctors say I am disabled and can
    not go back to work.If people have a problem with me getting FS ,guess
    what i dont give a crap I paid into the system for years I deserve to
    get something back,Its my money and I want it now.I would much rather
    work than to just sit at home all day playing with my grandkids ( which I
    love to do ) but would rather work.I havent had a job since oct 2009 I
    am 54 and with the way my health keeps declining I may never see
    retirement age .

  • Anonymous

    If you note, I said right at the beginning that I am all for helping the elderly and the physically disabled. It is the “rest” I have issues with.

  • ken

    deacc i apologize to you this was directed to others that posted it wasnt meant to be in reply to you .I put it in the wrong place

  • Jessica

    I find it hilarious that this article is just as biased as any right-wing article regarding the nutritional assistance program. This isn’t an objective journalist but a leftist trying to discredit the right side of the political spectrum. I wish we could be given facts without the author persuading the reader to dislike one party over the other. The simple fact that every so called “myth” is a supposed “republican idea” makes me question the authenticity of his claims. I am not a republican or a democrat but an individual who votes on policies that I believe to be beneficial to our nation as a whole. It’s sickening how most articles are smothered in generic rhetoric perpetrated from one side or the other.

    SNAP was designed to temporarily assist needy families not enable dependency. If those who are on it truly need help and are actively looking for employment then there is no shame in that. If they are collecting snap, living assistance, medicaid, & disability then we obviously have a problem. The .gov website lists a 3 months-3 years as the average time frame one can collect food stamps. Although, they can always “renew” and continue to prolong the assistance.

    In my personal opinion job creation is more important than government assistance. I lived in the “lower-income” side of town while attending college because it was what I could afford. I knew several individuals, my neighbor including, that refused to work a full-time job because he would lose his “food stamps, medicaid, & housing voucher”. He declined additional hours at work so that he could continue to claim less than the allowable income. Granted this young man was only 25 years old and fully capable to work full-time. I’m not saying all of the people on SNAP are cheating the system but there is much more fraud then the reported 1%. Reported being the key word.

    This article also fails to acknowledge the simple fact that privately owned business’s could very well sell beer or tobacco and disguise it to evade the snap system. If the author is certain that big corporations fraud the little people then why is it so difficult to believe the inverse, the little people (small business) fraud the big corporation (government).

    Bottom line, the article is not investigative journalism but a copy and paste of the Gov website. Go see for yourself, most of the statistics used here are on the snap site.

    Sadly this author is just another party propagandist.

    http://www.snaptohealth.org/snap/snap-frequently-asked-questions/

  • Anonymous

    So you contend in a 76.4 billion dollar program there is 70 billion in administrative costs? Then we really are in trouble. In 2012 there were 122 million people who filed and paid federal tax. If a person makes 50k, they pay about 5500 in taxes to the federal government. The 76 billion is about 3% of the budget, 3% off 5500 is about 160 bucks a year so its about 44 cents a day. Even though that math is also wrong, what if it was 10 cents a day? Does that make the theft okay? The democrat liberal point of view is that theft through the government is okay as long as it isn’t the defense department. The conservative point of view is no theft is good, and building a neighborhood full of people dependent on the government is totally immoral and destructive.

  • bucklaw

    Yeah bankers and Defense should get off the dole as well.

  • laura M

    for every 1.00 foodstamp spent it generates 1.75 in GDP. it keeps grocery stores open, people employed, financially supports the vendors and their employees, the trucks and those who operate them, farmers, and anyone else who is involved the food business and any supporting businesses. It keeps money moving and helps the economy. anyone who thinks that the less than 10 cents of your tax dollars is harming the economy has not done the research. I have, I am currently writing a paper on it for my college class and have found that foodstamps generate more economically than they cost.

  • laura M

    most people who receive foodstamps are elderly ( on social security which they earned) are disabled and many of those work in the very same sheltered workshops that are being closed , and children. Not sure how helping the elderly, the children, and the disabled is corrupting the very fabric of our society. the adults who are collecting are working class poor and supporting children. again, not visualizing how this is corrupting? for the adults who are single and collecting, there are strict rules about working and showing proof or they cut you off, and these folks get about 18 dollars a month so that really isn’t the story you were expecting to get was it? do some research, you find that for every 1.00 in foodstamps spent 1.75 is generated in the GDP. the truth is that foodstamps help circulate the money needed to help keep the economy flowing. they are financed through the Agricultural department and help subsidize the food industry. It was cheaper and easier for the government to attach the paperwork and means testing to the TANF program, but foodstamps are not welfare.

  • laura M

    ocgirl, been where you are, hang in there, it will get better!

  • laura M

    Just remember that even when people get them who do not them, they are still being spent on food, and every dollar spent in foodstamps generates a 1.75 in the GDP. it circulates money around and keeps the economy moving. the frauds, do not really cost us any money in the long run, and they are supporting the jobs that many of us have done, I have cashiered and my children (now grown) have cashiered. My son works In a grocery store and the foodstamps spent their, whether it is on ice cream and soda or lettuce and chicken, whether they are being spent by some one who deserves them or not, they are helping to support that store, its employees, it distrubuters, the truckers, the farmers, the factory workers and all the other food store related employees along the way. don’t sweat the small stuff when the big picture is that people are being supported, people are getting food and jobs are being created so more people can work their way off the govt aid. although, grocery store work is usually part time and many of the employees receive foodstamps. at least they are trying.

  • laura M

    it is actually a bill that allows for many who would not otherwise qualify for foodstamps to qualify. the phrase “heat and eat” means that they now will not have to choose to pay their bills or eat, they can do both. for those who have “no heat bill” it could be electric heat which is expensive, or it is included in their rent which is higher to cover the cost. It is not a scam. please do some research before you post the rhetoric you are hearing. I have researched this for an academic research project and have found that what people are spouting is misinformation.

  • laura M

    foodstamps generate 1.75 in the GDP for every 1.00 foodstamp spent. they don’t only support farms, they support all of our food suppliers, vendors, factories, truckers, grocery stores, and all the employees they support.

  • Anonymous

    If that be the case (1.75 factor for GDP), why not give out food stamps to everyone? And do so in unlimited quantity? You have found a factoid, meaning a technically correct fact that is missing context. You must factor in the negative impact of taxation and/or government borrowing on the actual producers in our economy, and also compare the net GDP generated by someone who actually works for his food money. Also, contrary to popular belief, foodstampers will still buy food . . . perhaps not quite as much junk food, but they will divert funds now used for cell phones, lottery tickets (and yes, even beer and cigarette money) to buy food with. So the trickle-down to the farmers and trucking companies will still be there. For sure, with any government handout, there are a few “winners.” But also for sure, government handouts are a net negative for the economy at large. The side effect of a significant cutback of the foodstamp program would be that a great many of the current foodstampers would increase their productivity (hunger is a powerful motivator), and benefit the overall economy.

  • Anonymous

    Of the 1000 dead people receiving benefits, how many were actually spending the benefit?

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  • Anonymous

    I have a doctorate in religion & sociology. And I wonder who Jack is talking about when he thinks none of us care about fraud, just because we oppose cuts in SNAP when we are trying to claw our way out of one of the worst recessions in history. I wish none of us would cheat each other, but like the author, I wonder why people are irate over those who scrape by, getting $131 dollars a month for food. Folks who get exercised at this, thinking this is what keeps people from getting a job, haven’t been hungry by force of circumstance, I suspect, for a long time. Why aren’t people more irate over those who can most afford it, scamming all of us out of paying taxes, or corporations with billions or a trillion in assets playing roulette with America’s coffers by hedging their bets, hiding money overseas & numerous other games? Frankly my religion, faith, morality, ethics, world view, and the message my folks gave me, those salt of the earth, Philadelphia, Evangelical, Republican people, who I joined voting for Nixon once, …. they all tell me to care about those on the bottom first, to walk a mile in their shoes, to do to other people what I hope they’d do for me and my kids, to love my neighbor as I love myself. That’s my world view & spirituality … And that’s why I support everyone in America having food, shelter, clothes, and yes, health care. It’s because I believe in humanity, and democracy, that I am free to oppose the “Every man for himself” doctrine, supported by the modern day Koch brothers, and their father, who believed we should never have had social security or Medicare. Gee, you think he would want health care for all Americans?

  • Anonymous

    So no Jack, you are wrong, many of us here care about fraud, all of it. But we care about the hungry first, & will go after those stealing at the top first.

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  • Joshua Hudgins

    The average family of 5 receives 400$ in cash assistance and 750 in food stamps and medicaid. So yeah there is plenty of reason not to take a job unless it pays 16 dollars a hour or more. Fraud and misuse is rampant. Alot f people sell their food stamps and this is not accounted for criminal elements such as drug dealers and pimps collect food stamps due to the unreportable income of the dealers or the hookers. And the regulation of snap is almost non existent once they set you up they don’t come inspect what you are doing with it. most mom and pop shops don’t follow the rules and heavily abuse snap transactions. The system is completely flawed.

  • Kristi Wilson

    End corporate and political welfare first. Over 2 mill in farm bills for ducking politicians? Give me a GD break. Why can they have millions but Jane Doe can’t have $133 for a couple of meals? American is beyond broken. Shut down the farm bill! Walmart also gets in on this BS. Then they don’t pay their workers enough to live. If I were president, I’d become a dictator, probably be shot too, because every politician would make minimum wage. Their asses need to get off the dole first. Those with the biggest hearts have the smallest wallets.

  • Anonymous

    8/22/2014 GAO Report says food stamp fraud is rampant

    Americans receiving food stamps were caught selling and bartering their benefits online for art, housing and cash, according to a new federal report that investigates fraud in the nation’s largest nutrition support program.

    Complicating the situation is the fact states around the country are having trouble tracking and prosecuting the crimes because their enforcement budgets have been slashed despite the rapidly-rising number of food stamp recipients, according to the Government Accountability Office report.

    Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, 47 million people have been awarded $76 billion in benefits. State agencies are responsible for addressing SNAP recipient fraud under the guidance and monitoring of the Food and Nutrition Service.

    “Such rapid program growth can increase the potential for fraud unless appropriate agency controls are in place to help minimize these risks,” the investigators said in their report.

    The GAO report resulted from a review of 11 state and federal efforts to fight food stamp fraud, effectiveness of certain fraud detection tools and how FNS oversees state anti-fraud efforts.

  • Anonymous

    In line at Walgreens last night. Woman paid about $20 dollars for candy bars and soda using her EBT card and then bought two packs of cigarettes for $11 with cash.

  • Holly

    I find it incredibly sad that respect for the role of a mother in the home has degraded to a point at which many would rather let others raise their children (yes, that’s what it is) than eat some humble pie by using food stamps. I’m sorry but my kid is WAY more important to me than looking good to the rest of the sheep who are afraid that if they aren’t working they are somehow less of a person. Believe me I WORK because I actually raise my child and take care of things in our home the way a family is supposed to be. My husband works more than full time plus overtime making twice minimum wage and we still qualify for food stamps because wages are stagnant but the rich keep getting richer and everything keeps getting more expensive.

    An economy that REQUIRES 2 incomes per family in order to provide the necessities is broken. Period. And that sucks, and I hope it changes… but I’m not going to throw my child and family under the bus trying to prove myself to ignorant double-talking so-called “family values” conservatives… instead of actually BEING a wife and mother. And believe me, honey, if you don’t think it’s work… it’s only because you’re not actually doing it. Other people are raising your children and you probably eat out a lot and maybe even pay to have cleaning and laundry done? Or if not, you probably just let your home be a shambles (that seems to be how most women keep their homes these days… because they’re too good somehow for the work of taking care of their family).

    You are correct that lots of families “move mountains” (as you put it) in order to allow both parents to work. However, most of those people are really not helping themselves that much financially and are actually just breaking even. The reason that there is a rise in SAHMs at the moment is because younger women are figuring out that the costs of working outside the home (work clothes and care, gas, necessity of 2 cars, daycare/babysitters, eating out a lot both at work and with the family, etc) often equal or exceed whatever little compensation they would be earning… and so it is really a wash and a waste of time… and they would rather give their time to their families then to a soulless corporation. I am truly sorry for you and other X and boomer women who don’t seem to comprehend that.