A recent US News & World Report article set out to unveil the “facts” about food stamps.
What are the so-called “facts”?
For one, the article claims that the food stamps program is not “bloated,” but rather, the surge in participation and spending is a result of the program “doing what it’s supposed to do.”
But what is it “supposed to do”?
Food stamps (or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as it is now called) were designed to ensure that Americans without the ability to provide for themselves are able to receive basic nutrition. However, application loopholes and policy changes over the past decade or so have allowed recipients to bypass income and asset tests, meaning many people are receiving food stamps that would not have been eligible under the program’s original purposes.
Sound familiar to anyone? Let’s try this one on. During the late 1980s through the 1990s and just about through the first decade of 2000 people were held to fewer circumstances (income and asset tests) that those receiving food stamps today, albeit working with banks on home ownership.
We really don’t care what it is called meaning a recession or the housing bubble exploded. We don’t like to muddy the waters – orders given by politicians to bankers, investment bankers, and those given over to securities transactions – to literally lower the standards when purchasing a home is just plain wrong.
It seems very real and very possible that humankind will go for anything that’s not bolted down. Food stamps, housing, and other entitlements are definitely included. This blatant disrespect for one that uses these hand-outs (for those not needing them) is surely making its way into some kind of culture. One specific culture that we would prefer not to be aligned with.
One of the changes in eligibility requirements is “broad-based categorical eligibility.” This type of eligibility means that an individual who receives any service under another welfare program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—even something as small as a TANF brochure—can be deemed eligible for food stamps. A full 50 percent of all food stamp recipients now enroll in the program through this broad-based categorical eligibility procedure.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has operated substantial outreach programs to pull more people onto the food stamp rolls. Some states have gone so far as to hire food stamp recruiters, tasked with filling a monthly quota of new food stamp enrollees.
What’s more, food stamps are just one of roughly 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs. The total cost of government welfare spending has been on a nearly continual climb over the past five decades and has increased 16-fold, to nearly $1 trillion annually, since the 1960s. Welfare is the fastest growing part of government spending, and under Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget, total welfare spending will permanently increase from 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 6 percent of GDP.
In addition it should be noted “as a fact” that those receiving food stamps are those who work. However, a significant portion of able-bodied recipients of food stamps perform little to no work. Of the roughly 10.5 million households receiving food stamps containing an able-bodied, non-elderly adult (there are approximately 20 million households receiving food stamps total), more than half—5.5 million—performed no work during a given month in 2010. Another 1.5 million to 2 million performed fewer than 30 hours of work per week. This isn’t unique to the recession, but is typical even during good economic times.
Programs like food stamps should be reformed to promote self-reliance through work, empowering individuals and families to become free from government dependence.
Other topics that we are raring at the bit to get too is one the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; however it does take time sifting through all of his lies.
The other one we wanted to get to today….(time permitting) is the lifting of the arms embargo so that the Syrian opposition rebels can put together an overwhelming offensive on the current regime.