Food Stamp Nation

by Hans Bader on June 29, 2011 · 3 comments

in Economy, Employment, Politics as Usual, Stimulus to Nowhere

“Millionaires are now legally entitled to collect food stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income. Thirty-five states have abolished asset tests for most food-stamp recipients. These and similar ‘paperwork reduction’ reforms advocated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are turning the food-stamp program into a magnet for abuses and absurdities,” notes James Bovard in The Wall Street Journal. As he points out,

The number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in 2007, and costs have more than doubled to $77 billion from $33 billion . . . Wisconsin food-stamp recipients routinely sell their benefit cards on Facebook . . . ‘nearly 2,000 recipients claimed they lost their card six or more times in 2010 and requested replacements.’ USDA rules require that lost cards be speedily replaced . . . Thirty percent of the inmates in the Polk County, Iowa, jail were collecting food stamps that were being sent to their non-jail mailing addresses in 2009 . . . The Obama administration is responding by cracking down on state governments’ antifraud measures. The administration is seeking to compel California, New York and Texas to cease requiring food-stamp applicants to provide finger images. The food-stamp poster boy of 2011 is 59-year-old Leroy Fick. After Mr. Fick won a $2 million lottery jackpot, the Michigan Department of Human Services ruled he could continue receiving food stamps . . . ‘the winnings were considered ‘assets’ [rather than income] and aren’t counted in determining food stamp eligibility.’ Decades after liberals derided Ronald Reagan’s reference to a Cadillac-driving ‘welfare queen’ Obama administration policies could easily permit Trust Fund Babies driving Rolls Royces to get free food courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Sadly, this sort of thing is nothing new for the Obama administration. The stimulus package backed by Obama largely repealed welfare reform, as Slate’s Mickey Kaus and the Heritage Foundation have noted. Obama ran campaign ads claiming to support welfare reform, even though he had actually fought against meaningful welfare reform as an Illinois legislator. This claim was as dishonest as his claim that he would enact a “net spending cut” (which he flouted as soon as he took office) and that America would undergo an “irreversible decline” if the stimulus package wasn’t enacted (when even the CBO admitted that the stimulus will actually shrink the economy over the long run). The stimulus package gave priority to welfare and social spending, rather than infrastructure, in response to complaints by liberal activists that fixing roads and bridges would put unemployed blue-collar men to work, rather than women.

Joe Hyjek July 3, 2011 at 8:55 am

To make food stamps or any other benefit FAIR, why can’t we demand RECIPROCITY,
every person 16 and older can reciprocate an hour of service (work) for every $10 of any benefit received from government (taxpayers expenses) The only exemption should be those verified unable to perform work, (even these can provide some other form of reciprocity; like reading….etc.

flip July 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

At that point, the recipient is an employee of whateverorganization that receives their service.

Should this come into play, guess what else would fly off the scale ? Right: Workers’ Compensation payments.

Cheaper to feed lard to the deadbeats than to make them work for it.

Kberg July 29, 2011 at 4:00 am

A couple of issues here, fingerprinting has done little weed out non-existent fraud and abuse and is an example of over-regulation on a government program, folks have criticized the cato Cato is Shocked that the Three “des” Produce a Criminogenic style,

Most food stamp recipients or at least many are workers thanks to the 1996 welfare act,as for the lottery winner, Michigan had requested that asset limitations only income be used, the lottery winner should have used the following excuse, should trump collect social security? After all he paid for it, so if the Michigan lottery winner paid taxes, should he get benefits? The Michigan lottery worker is lazy probably, but pays taxes, laziness cannot be used to tax however, because bill gates, and a low-wage job should not be subject to different tax rates, for instance the free market dictates that many low-skilled jobs such as cashiers do not receive high pay, even though a more lazy job that involves computer work which can be stress, pays more and taxes the same.

The stimulus did not do much and inflation may be caused by the Fed, how can inflation go from zero to high in 2 years of zero growth?

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