What is the goal of the food stamp program?

posted at 1:21 pm on July 13, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

Yesterday, Daily Caller reported that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is using tax dollars to push the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, in Spanish advertisements. This series of advertisements, while not new (they have been out since 2008), is another bit of controversy surrounding the ever-more expansive and expensive food stamp program. They also follow on the heels of an English ad encouraging people to sign up for assistance.

According to Daily Caller, the USDA has defended the ads:

“Congress allocates funds to USDA with the mandate to conduct public education about the benefits of SNAP and how to apply to help reduce hunger in America,” Amanda D. Browne, a USDA spokeswoman explained in an email to The Daily Caller. “The radio spots were written and produced in 2008 and are targeted to communities most at risk for hunger.”

These ads raise at least one important question: what is the goal of the food stamp program? Supporters say it’s to help those in financial and other troubles, but numbers from the Congressional Budget Office show this claim does not match the growth of the program over the last 12 years. From my post this morning on Big Government discussing the food stamp program:

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report in April 2012 said spending on food stamps from 2000 to 2011 went from $18 billion to $78 billion. Much of that growth came from 2007 to 2011, when SNAP benefit totals increased from approximately $38 billion to $78 billion. According to CBO, 65% of this latter growth was due to the weak economy, 20% was due to increased assistance in the 2009 stimulus, and 15% is related to “other factors,” including higher food prices. Using CBO’s numbers, approximately $26 billion in SNAP increases since 2007 can be directly attributed to the recession. This $26 billion equals about 43% of the growth since 2000, meaning 57% of growth is attributed to factors not directly associated with the recession.

With this kind of growth of food stamp spending outside of economic reasons, I think it’s hard for supporters to claim SNAP is used solely to help the poor. Hoping for a bit more explanation, I have contacted the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry — the two respective committees in charge of the two farm bills being jockeyed around in Congress — to ask how the cost of the programs (currently expected to be $400 billion over five years) will change as the economy improves. While I did not receive answers prior to publication, I think elucidation by these committees would provide important information to taxpayers who are very concerned about the cost of SNAP.

To clarify: none of this is intended to say those on food stamps are necessarily at fault for being on the program, even if it is not used strictly for the poor. For example, unlike Medicare, Medicaid, defense and other portions of the federal budget, fraud and improper payments are not major contributors to the cost of the program, though of course any inefficiencies should be eliminated. From my Big Government piece:

While the Agriculture Department says only $800 million, about one percent, of the funding for food stamps is lost to fraud, [Heritage Foundation Research Associate Rachel] Sheffield wrote in December 2011 nearly 3.9% of funding was lost to “improper payments,” totaling $2.5 billion in 2011.

Additionally, according to a homeless activist I interviewed:

I feel that the effectiveness of the food stamp problem is multi-faceted. Many individuals who are on the food stamp program don’t have stable income, and thus the SNAP program creates a standard of living that is hard to break away from. Some individuals will work 25-30 hours a week and sometimes they work 10 due to the constantly shifting nature of their professions. Much like the stock market, low wage earners’ income seems to be quite volatile and thus the individual has a hard time creating the stability needed to leave the food stamp program…

The second major issue is the inability to educate the SNAP participant on healthy food choices and the inability for the participant to acquire healthy food options. Many times healthy food options are clearly too expensive or not sustainable on a food stamp budget. Many reports and news articles have discussed the difficulties of purchasing food items on the $200.00/month maximum that is allotted to NH residents. While that might seem like a lot to a college student, a full-grown male who is suppose to maintain a balance of 2200 calories a day (especially individuals who work manual labor) is not going to receive the nutritional sustenance needed to stay healthy. I’m not saying that SNAP is useless; however positive changes to the long-term sustainability could really help individuals who truly want to leave the SNAP program forever.

As a believer in smaller government, I think the food stamp program is flawed both philosophically and financially. In what I’m sure is a slap in the face to its defenders, as I pointed out at Big Government, it even provides some corporate welfare. Basically, I think Sheffield summarized it well when she wrote in April that the USDA and the federal government in general “[seem] to be saying that federal dependence translates to poverty relief.” Again, the question arises: what is the goal of the food stamp program? While those on it, and its supporters, may truly believe it’s about helping the poor, the anecdotal and empirical evidence indicates it often is not.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Obama Goal: 100% participation…

PatriotRider on July 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I read the DC article yesterday and was beyond pissed…

OmahaConservative on July 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Getting votes! Duhhh

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Bankrupt the country?

Destroy all cultural adherence to self-reliance?

Make more Democrat voters?

Am I getting warm here?

squint on July 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Without question, for the Communists/Democrats/Socialists/Progressives/[insert any other euphemism to detract from "Communists"], the goal is to make The People dependent on the State, for even the most basic necessities of life.

This is the kind of dependence that will not only require The People to look to the State for everything; but, also, will require The People to obey the State.

He who controls even the most basic necessities, controls The People.

They know this.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

What is the goal of the food stamp program?

Ensuring a continuing Democrat presence in the US government, at the expense of the taxpayer.

And that’s all it is.

BobMbx on July 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Modern day plantations, so the moochers can be uneducated, uninformed, exploited just for votes, so the looters with Obama in charge, can live like kings and queens.

Here’s your hard earned taxes at work. Obama the PimpnMadam, all in one, thanks you. Oh, he also says gracias.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Slavery.

Urban Infidel on July 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Create a permanent dependent class.

tom daschle concerned on July 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Here are your hard earned taxes at work, for legal and illegal votes.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

The second major issue is the inability to educate the SNAP participant on healthy food choices and the inability for the participant to acquire healthy food options.

Well….uh….we could spend some money on advertisements placed inside casino’s, dog tracks, and restrooms in bars. That should get the message to the users of the SNAP program, cuz that’s where they are.

BobMbx on July 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Plus this, which might be illegal, but what does Oama care, so long that he gets re-elected, so Michelle can suck on lobsters and shut up.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Don’t you miss the black liberation activity arguments of libfreeordie? inthemiddle is being laughed at in the other thread.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Create a permanent dependent class.

Actually two…..one on the receiving end, one on the distributing end.

hawkeye54 on July 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

……glad to see that the party that controls the purse…thinks that money for the program should be used for “advertising” !!!!/
…air time is soooooooo cheap…but then the MSM never benifits/

KOOLAID2 on July 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Here in downtown Indy those “SNAP accepeted here” posters have been pasted virtually everywhere. You can look in any direction and see dozens of them.

tommyboy on July 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Modern day bondage, just for votes.

The looters should wake up and pitchfork their looters.

Listen to this. It is brilliant.

The leftists are for hammocks.

The rightists are for safety nets.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Hey! Give The Obamassiah a break! It’s election time, it’s going to be close. AND IN CHICAGO WE GOT NO PROBLEM BUYING VOTES!

Just ask Joe Kennedy.

GarandFan on July 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Duh on me

The looters moochers should wake up and pitchfork their looters.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Ruining the work ethic and self reliance that every individual has as their most basic instinct.

Bmore on July 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Don’t focus so much on Obama… Consider this…

How do bureaucrats increase their “market share”? Or the power and scope of their agencies and relatedly their personal prestige and salaries?

For every $1 that is “given away” by government, there are several more dollars spent on the bureaucrats. (The number from the Clinton years was about 1:8.)

The “customers” or whatever you want to call them are only the tip of the iceberg. The real problem are the “public servants” who are being paid to “Help”.

This points to the reason that the Republicans have been incapable of dealing with the problem. They are focusing on the wrong thing: it’s not the “recipients” who are the problem, it is the process. “Helping the Needy” is a gloriously noble goal, and a political loser to fight.

Fixing the process to make it more efficient and effective is also an acceptable goal. Unfortunately, it requires attention to detail and a willingness to do battle with the real enemy, the people on the government payroll.

CrazyGene on July 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Obama hates minorities. He believes in their bondage, so long as he and Michelle live like King Louis XV and she like Madame Pompadour.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

These ads raise at least one important question: what is the goal of the food stamp program?

This really has to be asked?

Dante on July 13, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Ruining the work ethic and self reliance that every individual has as their most basic instinct.

Bmore on July 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Meh, the base instinct is to be a male lion: eat what the females gathered, scroom at will, for occasional procreation, even eat your young, if necessary, or kill them for more scrooming, sleep whenever, start all over.

What you write about is Christian work ethic, which ‘destroyed’ the world and thus must be eliminated. Get with the program.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

These ads raise at least one important question: what is the goal of the food stamp program?

“Social justice” aka theft by thuggery

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM

In the short term, to buy votes. In the long term, Food Nanny Moochy probably has a nefarious plot yet to hatch to reprogram all food stores in the country to accept food stamps only for what she defines as “healthy” food. Get ready for black bean burgers, lentil and brown rice cutlets, quinoa and black-eyed pea salads and cheeseless flavorless cardboard pizza. Ptui! Yeccchh!

stukinIL4now on July 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Create a permanent dependent class

Um, that ship has sailed. We’re well into expanding a permanent dependent class, to wit, we now have families (generally headed by single parents) with multi-generational welfare recipients living together in federally subsidized housing. Thus these children (often from multiple fathers) have grown up knowing no other source of family income but a check from the government. They don’t even know what it means to work for a living.

natasha333 on July 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

The majority of the GOP voted to expend $800B over the next 10, so there’s that.

Mr. Arrogant on July 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Obama hates minorities. He believes in their bondage, so long as he and Michelle live like King Louis XV and she like Madame Pompadour.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Absolutely, 100% correct. They hold minorities in utter contempt. Those who would rule always do. You have to hate the ruled class, to even want to keep them down, under your thumb, and always subject to the perpetual misery of servitude.

To love someone is to desire what is in their best interests.

Slavery and dependence are anathema to love.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I don’t know what the government’s goal is, but I do know what our goal was.

My mother and I were on food stamps when I was young after she had divorced my father. I recall her putting a 12 inch black and white tv on lay-away because she didn’t make enough money to buy one outright (early 80′s).

Yeah, we were on food stamps, and I know my mother hated it. Her goal, our goal, was to be off of it as quickly as possible.

I don’t think we were on it more than two or three years.

That should be the goal of anyone on food stamps. A stop-gap measure as you work towards full financial independence again.

But for many in the government, no doubt it seems like a reasonable thing to keep people on the dole, reliant on the government. And for many citizens, no doubt it seems like a reasonable thing to stay on the dole, to not try and succeed, to make oneself as self-sufficient/independent as possible.

Logus on July 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

To breed more inthemiddles ?

Bmore on July 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

“You wanna eat, boy? Keep votin’ for me”

BobMbx on July 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Getting people back on their feet or increasing government dependence?

Isn’t the answer obvious? Especially since blowbama just eviscerated Clinton’s welfare reform by removing the work related requirements associated with Clinton’s “workfare” program.

We REALLY need reform of the executive order function. It’s been abused to the maximum in the last few decades especially. The way I understood it to SUPPOSED to work is that E.O.s were to be used to facilitate ADMINISTRATION, not create laws, regulations, and rip freedom from Americans at every opportunity.

It needs reform along with many other things in federal government, and ASAP. Any communist like obama that comes in is going to use it to rip the heart out of America, just as this commie in chief has been using it. Repubs have abused it too, but I can’t think of an example without researching (don’t have the time right now), but I’m quite sure there are many here that have examples in easy mental reach.

Laws have a definite path to follow before they actually become laws and get enforced, which brings another needed reform into mind; that of SELECTIVE enforcement. Any president selectively enforcing, or NON-enforcing laws should be immediately impeached and jailed. If the law is bad, there is a remedy, and it does NOT start with the president or his stooges.

A vote for obama is a vote for the destruction and burial of this country. We need an all inclusive list of the people that wish this as evidenced by their vote so we can deal with them accordingly. That’s what the libs want anyway, right? Lets do it!

Wolfmoon on July 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

End game: Big Government Totalitarianism.

jukin3 on July 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

fraud and improper payments are not major contributors to the cost of the program

Bull, this program is abused in multiple ways. Perhaps you may not consider it fraud, but many do.

If you have visited a super Walmart, the kind that has the attached grocery, you will see folks using the food card to buy luxury class foods. USDA grade A steaks, salmon steaks, and lobster. These are all qualifying purchases, as they are considered staples, not prepared food.

Then you have the stores that cross check items. Run approved items through the register but the customer gets the non-approved items. Check out 4 loaves of bread on the card, but walk out with a pack of smokes.

This is not what most of us think of when we hear the term safety net.

Nathan_OH on July 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM

The SNAP program has so many faults it has become a joke. First, it now is simply part of a debit card issued by the state government. So a recipient who gets cash assistance and SNAP can go in and buy the approved items, get cash back, and buy cigarettes. Second, the allowed items include lots of junk from candy to soda. Third, but then they don’t allow things like cleaning and hygenic supplies. So you can eat whatever you want but you don’t have to be clean. There’s more but I don’t want to take up the whole thread. LOL

Deanna on July 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

A “Bainer” versus a “Birther”. Birther: Lies are made up to hide the truth. Bainer: Lies are made up to make the truth a lie.

Connecticut on July 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

hawkeye54 on July 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM

The ones on the distributing end, especially in D.C., are the upper middle class Ivy league grads. Great welfare program they have. Jobs, benefits and a stable retirement.

chemman on July 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Food stamps are just another scheme for theiving moochers to steal from their fellow citizens with the threat of imprisonment or violence if they don’t comply. Like Medicare, Social Security, and a whole raft of other government wealth redistribution schemes. Anybody who receives more in “government” handouts (actually the money is taken from other citizens, other individuals -not some ambiguous govenrment that just magically has piles of money that came from nowhere) than they contributed are parasitic scum and should be cut off from the money spigot without so much as an apology or a warning. In fact these “poor desperate Americans” who are invariably allegedly seeking “handups, not handouts (BS!)” should be billed for the balance of what they’ve taken and should be hounded by debt collectors until they pay up.

Additionally food is actually dirt cheap, and is virtually free. Maybe not the food these “poor beat down working poor (BS!)” would like, but enough to fill their fat greedy bellies and keep them alive. A pound of bananas costs less than a dollar. And how many apple trees go through the year producing thousands of apples but no one eats them? Not to mention all the many “soup kitchens” who encourage dependence and welfarism and help reinforce the handout society that is ‘Merica.

Daikokuco on July 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

There is quite literally no free lunch.

The cost to the recipient of food stamps is a dear one. Like every other entitlement, people will alter their behaivor to mantain their benefit. Time and energy that could be used to better one’s life goes to gaming the system to maintain one’s “benefits.” People pay for the free stuff by giving up large chunks of their independence and freedom of choice.

“Free” government stuff is a Faustian bargain and is ultimately deleterious to both the individual and society.

Rather than advertising food stamp availability, government should be promoting ways to get off the government dole.

MessesWithTexas on July 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

The goal: to bankrupt the USA and ease the introduction of a new socialist style government and economy.

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

To love someone is to desire what is in their best interests.

Slavery and dependence are anathema to love.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Indeed, indeed…why they are the ultimate racists and class dividers, by:

1. Expecting so little of the first black president, and

2. Keeping the masses dependent, from diapers to Depends.

Too bad the right doesn’t fight them on the obvious.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

The goal?

Everyone knows that it’s the Cloward-Piven strategy.

I can’t beleive we’ve gotten through a whole page of comments and no one has said the obvious yet.

Cloward-Piven:

Get as many people on government benefits as possible so as to overwhelm the economy, intentionally precipitating a financial collapse, and only then will the people DEMAND a socialist revolution.

He is following it to the letter.

Zombie on July 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

“You wanna eat, boy? Keep votin’ for me”

BobMbx on July 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

The perfect analysis.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

The goal: to bankrupt the USA and ease the introduction of a new socialist style government and economy.

slickwillie2001 on July 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

True, but this is just a small sub-chapter.

Their ultimate goal is global “social justice”, aka theft by thuggery, so long as the looters live good.

Moochers, wake up and pitchfork your masters.

The rest of you, starve the looters. Later you’ll need to fight them in other ways.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

The ones on the distributing end, especially in D.C., are the upper middle class Ivy league grads. Great welfare program they have. Jobs, benefits and a stable retirement.

Yup….and working hard to expand both, among all other so-called “safety net” programs designed, really, to keep every client entangled forever in the net with the administrators forever holding it.

hawkeye54 on July 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Parasite economics.

tommyboy on July 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

The goal: to bankrupt the USA and ease the introduction of a new socialist style government and economy.

slickwillie2001

Bingo.

But don’t be afraid to call it by its proper name, after the people who devised this strategy: Cloward and Piven.

Zombie on July 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Rather than advertising food stamp availability, government should be promoting ways to get off the government dole.

MessesWithTexas on July 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Nobody ever votes to gore their own Ox.

SWalker on July 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Don’t focus so much on Obama… Consider this…

How do bureaucrats increase their “market share”? Or the power and scope of their agencies and relatedly their personal prestige and salaries?

For every $1 that is “given away” by government, there are several more dollars spent on the bureaucrats. (The number from the Clinton years was about 1:8.)

The “customers” or whatever you want to call them are only the tip of the iceberg. The real problem are the “public servants” who are being paid to “Help”.

This points to the reason that the Republicans have been incapable of dealing with the problem. They are focusing on the wrong thing: it’s not the “recipients” who are the problem, it is the process. “Helping the Needy” is a gloriously noble goal, and a political loser to fight.

Fixing the process to make it more efficient and effective is also an acceptable goal. Unfortunately, it requires attention to detail and a willingness to do battle with the real enemy, the people on the government payroll.

CrazyGene on July 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

I asked on a different article a few weeks ago if the increase in food stamps had an correlation to the rising cost of staple food items (meat, bread, milk, etc). With the farmers and USDA being so integrated into the food stamp program it makes me question…

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Food stamps program is an example of “fundamentally changing America.”

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, of the Agriculture Department gave “a Gold Award” recently to the local social workers in tiny Jefferson, N.C., between Husk and Deep Gap and not far from the Tennessee border, for bravely confronting “mountain pride” and increasing food-stamp participation in Ashe County by 10 percent.

_RobRob on July 13, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Ineptocracy:
A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers…

PatriotRider on July 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Their ultimate goal is global “social justice”, aka theft by thuggery, so long as the looters live good.

Yeah, the looters will live good, and they will redistribute to the masses, who’ve endured unjust exploitation at the hands of greedy producers, just enough to keep their support without too much grumbling.

hawkeye54 on July 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I get 300$ a month in food stamps, (boy that Yoplait was good)and I’m not a Demoncrat I’ll never be one. That said I’ll take the Guv money every time, it’s the 0nly way I’ll ever see a dime of my SS money, think about it, oh and it leaves me with cash for ammo, good times
Bob

Bobnormal on July 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

CrazyGene on July 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

It probably is worse than 1.8:1. The federal department takes its cut then passes the money on to State level departments who take their cut before any money is distributed to the needy. It some cases it goes to regional/county departments before it is distributed.

chemman on July 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Cloward-Piven:

Get as many people on government benefits as possible so as to overwhelm the economy, intentionally precipitating a financial collapse, and only then will the people DEMAND a socialist revolution.

He is following it to the letter.

Zombie on July 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Have any of you Glen Beckians ever explained how a government and economy brought down by the realities of socialist economics would then double down on socialism? The whole notion doesn’t even make sense. How are you going to have a socialist country when the government can’t even maintain its current spending? Look at what happened to the Soviet Union. That is what happens when the government runs out of other peoples’ money. NOT a transition to even more extreme socialism because everybody is already “hooked on the dole”.

Daikokuco on July 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Slavery.

Urban Infidel on July 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I remember my mother collecting food stamps while my father was in Vietnam. They helped while she was alone with two kids and eventually both my parents went on to have spectacular careers.

It’s not dependence it’s assistance. It’s not fun being on these programs and maybe they need something more sophisticated to get long term recipients off their asses.

Yes there was a dramatic rise in food stamp assistance since 2007 but that is a result of economic conditions rather than any recent legislation.

I would also note that these programs don’t buy votes. My parents never ever voted for a Democrat.

lexhamfox on July 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

To collapse a free and prosperous society?

Bmore on July 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I dunno…I see them use the stamps for food, than use their money to buy cigarettes and booze, but not pay for someone to create a resume.
They have money for Time Warner cable, I guess to find out what new programs are available to them…

right2bright on July 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

right2bright on July 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

This is the info source for inthemiddens and fibforfree.

derecho on July 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Have any of you Glen Beckians ever explained how a government and economy brought down by the realities of socialist economics would then double down on socialism?
Daikokuco on July 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Becasue a compliant media would work with ruthless socialists to blame it on the greedy rich. See the French and Bolshevick rev*ol*uti*ons for a primer on how it goes down.

tommyboy on July 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

TEATER STAMPS.

All ye America…..worry not….fret not…..you deserve to have no cares…..get ye your FOOD STAMPS HERE, and latch hol of the Federal Sow.

But don’t let go.

PappyD61 on July 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

I remember my mother collecting food stamps while my father was in Vietnam. They helped while she was alone with two kids and eventually both my parents went on to have spectacular careers.

It’s not dependence it’s assistance. It’s not fun being on these programs and maybe they need something more sophisticated to get long term recipients off their asses.

Yes there was a dramatic rise in food stamp assistance since 2007 but that is a result of economic conditions rather than any recent legislation.

I would also note that these programs don’t buy votes. My parents never ever voted for a Democrat.

lexhamfox on July 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

It was a different time back then and I’m sure your parents were probably proud people and only looked for help when absolutely needed. The government is trying to take the stigma out of applying for food stamps and trying to get everyone to apply.

While pride is not a good trait overall, a little is needed when it comes to this type of stuff. It’s all well and good for people who absolutely have no other choice, but there needs to be a bit of a stigma so people aren’t reliant on the government.

There was a time back in 2009 when my wife’s mom tried to help us get on food stamps. Thankfully I got a job before we applied. I did not like the idea of going on food stamps.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I remember my mother collecting food stamps while my father was in Vietnam. They helped while she was alone with two kids and eventually both my parents went on to have spectacular careers.

It’s not dependence it’s assistance. It’s not fun being on these programs and maybe they need something more sophisticated to get long term recipients off their asses.

Yes there was a dramatic rise in food stamp assistance since 2007 but that is a result of economic conditions rather than any recent legislation.

I would also note that these programs don’t buy votes. My parents never ever voted for a Democrat.

lexhamfox on July 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Always the confusion…always the smoke screen.

Of course some need assistance, and few (like the John Bircher types) want to deny that, and we also understand the stigma.

And in our country, our prosperous country, their is ability to provide…but not for the leeches, the many, not the majority (I don’t think), but the many who are capable of not needing that assistance, or the many who are scamming the system, that make it difficult for people like your family to live with dignity.

Don’t be defensive and attack those who want to reform the system and make it better…and better means removing some.

Our economy has exacerbated the problem, but the “problem” began long before the economy collapsed. And it is the proverbial “straw” that is breaking the camels back.
Now many could suffer because we didn’t have the will power to reign in the abuse.

Sorry but some are assistance, but many, too many are dependent, generationaly dependent.

right2bright on July 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Nobody ever votes to gore their own Ox.

SWalker on July 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

They would if someone else’s ox is forced to do the plowing.

CurtZHP on July 13, 2012 at 2:06 PM

oh and it leaves me with cash for ammo, good times
Bob

Bobnormal on July 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

You are who we need to reform…pitiful.

right2bright on July 13, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Under liberal (aka:communist) leadership, I envision an America where everyone is reduced to living in cardboard appliance boxes with addresses painted on the sides, right above a cut out window with toilet paper drapes.

The government, having run out of money a long time ago and no longer able to borrow more or print more fake money, comes box to box on the street looking to enforce the new cardboard house tax to fund the next political campaigns and fill the depleted union boss bank accounts.

When the occupants of the cardboard box cannot, or refuse to pay the government fee for allowing them to breathe, the gestapo IRS agent will then set fire to the cardboard box. If the occupants are white, they’ll be shot. If they have food, it’ll be confiscated before the box is burned and occupants murdered in the name of social justice.

This is what obama voters want, and that’s what they vote for when they vote democrat.

The time for war is coming, to a cardboard box near you.

Wolfmoon on July 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Nobody ever votes to gore their own Ox.

SWalker on July 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM

More like:
When Peter robs Paul, Peter never complains.

right2bright on July 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Becasue a compliant media would work with ruthless socialists to blame it on the greedy rich. See the French and Bolshevick rev*ol*uti*ons for a primer on how it goes down.

tommyboy on July 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Right, because 1790s French media and 1910s Tsarist media were soooo influential and widely distributed. And pre-1790s France and pre-1910s Russia were totally places of laissez-faire capitalism and eocnomic mobility. Very meritocratic, weren’t they? The Tsars and Kings and nobles totally earned and worked their way to the top, that is until those nasty socialists showed up and deliberately toppled the economy. Oh wait.

Your anaology blows.

Daikokuco on July 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

lexhamfox on July 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Did you actually read the article. Only 43% of the increase is attributable to the economic downturn. That leaves 57% caused by other reasons. In the Vietnam military era I knew a lot of young married enlisted on food stamps but like your parents they progressed and got off of them. What you are talking about is not an issue. It is the long term abuse of the system that irks many of us. The Non profit I administered for 2 years helped the poor fill out paper work to get FEMA energy assistance grants. They were allowed to apply every 365 days + one. Invariably we would get a phone call requesting an appointment because it was their turn again. The rules didn’t allow us to turn them away because of abuse. For most that we dealt with if they had just put some money aside each month they could have done for themselves. They would have premium cable, internet, landline and cell phone services but they couldn’t afford to buy propane or wood to heat their homes.

chemman on July 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

~70% of the Farm Program is food assistance Federal $$.

~99.99999% of the people I’ve ever seen use Food Stamps also buy things like cigarrettes, booze, have cell phones, buy luxury items of all sorts like playstations, video games, go to the movies, rent movies, have cable, etc.

If you are one of those people, you SUCK.
I say this as I struggle my a$$ off to buy a $6/gallon container of milk in the checkout line, whilst putting back the luxury item of bread in lieu of making my own.

Badger40 on July 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

While pride is not a good trait overall, a little is needed when it comes to this type of stuff. It’s all well and good for people who absolutely have no other choice, but there needs to be a bit of a stigma so people aren’t reliant on the government.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I completely disagree. Pride in oneself and one’s actions is one of the most important traits of a succesful, skilled person. Humility around others is nice, but there are very very few genuinely self-made men who don’t have intense personal pride. Don’t confuse pride with arrogance.

Daikokuco on July 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

And I am one of those people who COULD get food stamps.
But I will not bcs I can effing take care of myself.
Try it once you leeches!

Badger40 on July 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM

The goal of every government bureaucracy is to expand that bureaucracy. It’s budget must grow, its purpose must ever expand.

Because of baseline budgeting, that philosophy is ingrained in the system. The 113th Congress beginning in January must end the entire process of baseline budgeting. And if it can’t do that it must declare that any “emergency spending or stimulus bill” for any reason shall not add to the existing baseline.

Dasher on July 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

While pride is not a good trait overall, a little is needed when it comes to this type of stuff.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 2:02 PM

There is a difference in being proud of how you run your life and narcissistic, egotistical, pride-goeth-before-the-fall type of pride.

I’m proud to be an American, not just when it suits my needs. I’m proud of my children, I’m too proud to ever except food stamps or welfare. These are not bad things.

When I worked in Florida at construction making $3.35 an hour I needed to take food stamps to help feed my kids. I didn’t buy beer with it, I bought THEM food, and if there was something left I used it to buy more so my wife and I could eat too. As soon as I started making $4.00 an hour they cut the food stamps off because I made too much. I don’t see how, but I was glad to be excluded. I went on to work a second job to make up the difference, and that turned into a $5.50/hr job. Then I was actually able to get a phone!

Riding high!

Wolfmoon on July 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The goal is perpetual democrat political power, once they have 51% of the population on the dole they believe that they will never lose another election.

wildcat72 on July 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM

The government is trying to take the stigma out of applying for food stamps and trying to get everyone to apply.

That stigma was removed long ago, and the more people getting in the program the better, few questions asked. Perennial job security for the bureaucrats as long as the taxpayer revenues last for redistribution.

hawkeye54 on July 13, 2012 at 2:20 PM

FACT: the lunatic-left d-cRAT socialists WANT the unemployed (which their FAILED POLICIES HELPED CREATE) and ALL OTHER American citizens fully and completely dependent on BIG GOVERNMENT handouts through “wealth and income re-distribution” in order for them to stay in power. PROOF: Look how well that approach has worked out for the d-cRAT socialists with blacks, hispanics, American Indians, and various other groups who are now nearly 100% dependent on the BIG GOVERNMENT NANNY STATE for their entire existence – and they are solidly, mindlessly supporting d-cRAT socialism.

TeaPartyNation on July 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM

While pride is not a good trait overall,

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Self-respect instead of pride.

(Note I didn’t say “self-esteem.”)

davidk on July 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM

As we constantly hear: there is an obesity problem amongst the poor.

We have a food stamp program. If they aren’t making the right ones, the food stamps won’t help the situation no matter how many strings are attached to it.

Remove food stamp program and people will need to make real decisions about nutrition and their budget.

Kill two birds with one program removal.

ajacksonian on July 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Have any of you Glen Beckians ever explained how a government and economy brought down by the realities of socialist economics would then double down on socialism? The whole notion doesn’t even make sense. How are you going to have a socialist country when the government can’t even maintain its current spending? Look at what happened to the Soviet Union. That is what happens when the government runs out of other peoples’ money. NOT a transition to even more extreme socialism because everybody is already “hooked on the dole”.

Daikokuco

First of all, I am not a “Glenn Beckian.” I was blogging about Cloward-Piven long before Beck picked it up — in fact, for all I know he picked it up from me. Secondly, I don’t watch TV so I never once saw his show.

But most importantly, you’re misunderstanding the key point:

Of COURSE the Cloward-Piven strategy will fail. I’m not saying that it’s a good idea or one that would ever succeed. All I’m saying is that it has been irrevocably integrated into Democratic economic policy, and they keep plummeting down that road; most likely half of the progressives don’t even understand the ultimate purpose of their policy, but the other half must admit it to themselves, and assume that it will work, that a nation of hungry welfare recipients will literally “storm the Bastille” once the money runs out.

I agree with you: Cloward-Piven is economically impossible, and the authors were crackpots in academic guise. But that doesn’t mean that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party rejects their tactics — quite the opposite. Obama is trying to implement Cloward-Piven, and in the process ruin the US economy, even though the eventual goal of this policy could never come true.

It’s a tragedy heaped upon a tragedy.

Zombie on July 13, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I have a teen in his second year at college, and two different counselors at the school have encouraged him to apply for food stamps, and told him that as long as his parents aren’t claiming him as a dependent on their taxes, he will qualify. I told him over my dead body, and that his grandmother would come back from the grave to haunt him if he ever took food stamps, but I was also shocked that schools are encouraging able-bodied students who can work to apply for things like food stamps. He’s working and living at home, so he certainly doesn’t need them, so what is the goal? Train them young to be comfortable with government dependence?

mbs on July 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Daikokuco on July 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

There is a difference in being proud of how you run your life and narcissistic, egotistical, pride-goeth-before-the-fall type of pride.

Wolfmoon on July 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

This is what I was getting at. All of the synonyms of pride I’ve found talks about conceit and self-esteem. I understand being proud of something, but I think when it comes to personal pride, that’s described more realistically as drive and/or self-reliance.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

The thinly veiled racism permeating this site – always referring to the poor and those getting government assistance as “them” and never “us,” and the cliched image of welfare queens and dirty, thieving immigrants, etc. is completely undercut by the fact that the vast majority of “welfare” goes to help good old-fashioned white people – so look in the mirror, folks…

The fact is that the poor, regardless of race or ethnicity, when they vote, vote Democratic, not because they’ve been brainwashed and bribed into being lazy leeches, but because they’re smart enough to know that although there’s little enough empathy or concern for them from any part of American society, there’s none whatsoever from the Republicans…

pm123 on July 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Self-respect instead of pride.

(Note I didn’t say “self-esteem.”)

davidk on July 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM

That’s a good replacement as well.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM

The thinly veiled racism permeating this site – always referring to the poor and those getting government assistance as “them” and never “us,” and the cliched image of welfare queens and dirty, thieving immigrants, etc. is completely undercut by the fact that the vast majority of “welfare” goes to help good old-fashioned white people – so look in the mirror, folks…

The fact is that the poor, regardless of race or ethnicity, when they vote, vote Democratic, not because they’ve been brainwashed and bribed into being lazy leeches, but because they’re smart enough to know that although there’s little enough empathy or concern for them from any part of American society, there’s none whatsoever from the Republicans…

pm123 on July 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM

This has to be one of the most moronic statements I’ve ever read. I was almost one of “them” and others on this thread have said that they were one of “them”. Wow, talk about stupid.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM

The second major issue is the inability to educate the SNAP participant on healthy food choices and the inability for the participant to acquire healthy food options.

When food is free, people buy crap.

The obesity rate among the poor is almost twice that of the middle class. They don’t need MORE FREE FOOD.

PattyJ on July 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM

but because they’re smart enough to know that although there’s little enough empathy or concern for them from any part of American society, there’s none whatsoever from the Republicans…

pm123 on July 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM

So after you’re done being empathetic to the poor, how much money do you have left each month?

Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish…..

Teach a man to suck off government, you feed him as long as votes for you. Teach a man to be self-reliant……..

BobMbx on July 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Many reports and news articles have discussed the difficulties of purchasing food items on the $200.00/month maximum that is allotted to NH resident

I would have few problems living on $200/month for food – and I don’t live in an area where food is cheap. Yeah, it means not buying expensive food items, but if you are doing it on someone else’s dime, that’s not much of a drawback.

More to the point though, why the hell is the federal government feeding people.

18-1 on July 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The fact is that the poor, regardless of race or ethnicity, when they vote, vote Democratic, not because they’ve been brainwashed and bribed into being lazy leeches, but because they’re smart enough to know that although there’s little enough empathy or concern for them from any part of American society, there’s none whatsoever from the Republicans…

The Democrats make sure there are no jobs, and much as the nobility of old make a big show of giving them aid.

Conservatives, OTOH, getting government out of the way and let people earn their own living.

Yet you call the former empathy. It is truly an odd world you live in.

18-1 on July 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy. The earliest known attribution of this quote was December 9, 1951, in what appears to be an op-ed piece in The Daily Oklahoman under the byline Elmer T. Peterson[2]. The quote has not been found in Tytler’s work. It has also been attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville.

ColdWarrior57 on July 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM

“What the welfare system and other kinds of governmental programs are doing is paying people to fail. Insofar as they fail, they receive the money; insofar as they succeed, even to a moderate extent, the money is taken away.” –Thomas Sowell, 1980

ConservativeLA on July 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM

like all government programs they exist not to solve problems but to grow dependency on government. they would consider themselves failures if the demand for food stamps declined.

exceller on July 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Obama is reduced to organ grinding.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Bread and circuses. That’s it in a nutshell, and we all know how that turned out.

RebeccaH on July 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

More to the point though, why the hell is the federal government feeding people.

18-1 on July 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM

THIS.
There is no enumerated power commanding the Federal govt to do all of these things.
If a state govt wishes to do so, then it needs the support of its citizens to do so.
If it causes them to go broke bcs of it, people will leave the state.
And there should be no bail outs from the Feds.

Badger40 on July 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Food stamps are the easiest thing in the world to fix — have ‘em only work for rice, legumes, and flatbread (tortillas or pita) and give ‘em to everyone in the country. It’ll keep you alive, but people’d be awfully tired of it in a month or two.

cthulhu on July 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM

chemman wrote:

Only 43% of the increase is attributable to the economic downturn. That leaves 57% caused by other reasons

That’s a misreading of the data. “Not directly attributable” doesn’t mean “not at all associated with,” there’s usually a whole bunch of indirect factors going on. But more importantly:

Here’s the one big issue I have with that paragraph: Dustin’s mixing up his comparisons. He moves from looking at the CBO numbers for ’00-’11, then talks only about the recessionary period (’07-’11), but then backtracks and compares the recession-period increase to the numbers across the full 11 years. Its no surprise 57% of the boost over that time isn’t directly attributable to the recession, because for over half of that 11 year time period we weren’t in the recession – for the years ’00 to ’06, the percent of the recessionary-period increase that was attributable to the recession was by definition 0%, and that’s driving down the numbers to the 43% he comes up with. Compare the recession increase to the appropriate ’07-’11 period, as the actual report does, and you get that 65% number that’s reported by CBO.

Looks like its an efficient, well-run program by the testimony in the writeup, so I don’t see this as the big issue the article is trying to make it out to be. SNAP numbers seem to be up mainly because of the recession, and when the economy turns around participation will drop down again.

tagryn on July 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM

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