USDA gets around to really cracking down on food-stamp fraud

posted at 6:41 pm on February 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

During President Obama’s first term in office, participation in the federal food stamp program increased from about 32 million Americans in 2009 to approximately 48 million by October of 2012 — an average growth rate of just over 11,000 recipients per day, CNS News reports. In dollars, that translates into $55 billion spent on the program in FY 2009, all the way up to $80 billion in FY 2012.

And the USDA didn’t merely content themselves to fiddling with the requirements and expanding the rolls, but they actively encouraged and recruited participation in the program.

So, it really is too magnanimous of them, after devoting so many of their energies to making the program more popular and widely accessible, to more fully consider and take action against the inherent consequences that come at a cost to taxpayers.

The Hill reports:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday announced it would take action against the “bad actors” who abuse the program by extending the legal definition of “trafficking” to include indirect ways of receiving cash for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

It is already illegal to sell SNAP benefits directly for cash, but the new rules would also bar cash refunds for products purchased with food stamps.

“Where there is a will to commit malfeasance, bad actors will try to find a way, and we must do everything we can to stay ahead of the curve,” said Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “Today’s announcement reaffirms USDA’s ongoing commitment to cracking down on abuse and protecting taxpayers’ investment in this critical nutrition lifeline.”

Gee, thanks. Could we perhaps have thought of some of this before we extended and marketed the program?

For the umpteenth time: Republicans do not want to merely deprive people of food stamps, they want to engender an economy in which it is neither necessary nor even desirable for people to do so because there is greater opportunity in the private sector — a task at which President Obama has failed. “Food stamps are the most direct stimulus you can get,” seriously? Well then, why don’t we just sign everybody up for food stamps?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

What they are going to start doing is qualifying people for food stamps based on their voting record. IE: poor Republicans need not apply.

wildcat72 on February 21, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Sign up, everybody. Bring the Beast down.

rayra on February 21, 2013 at 6:47 PM

“Where there is a will to commit malfeasance, bad actors will try to find a way, and we must do everything we can to stay ahead of the curve,” said Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon.

Freudian slip?

Definition of MALFEASANCE
: wrongdoing or misconduct especially by a public official

Kaptain Amerika on February 21, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Mitt Romney’s horse is (potentially) costing me money. For consistency’s sake, I oppose welfare recipients keeping pets if it costs me money — that is, if their TANF payment increases based on the number of pets they’re feeding….Here’s the problem — you clearly didn’t think this question through, because a non-taxpayer funded cat is not the equivalent of a show horse that doubles as a tax write off.
 
urban elitist on August 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM

rogerb on February 21, 2013 at 6:58 PM

“Where there is a will to commit malfeasance, bad actors will try to find a way, and we must do everything we can to stay ahead of the curve,” said Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon.

Government bureaucrats, staying “ahead of the curve.”

Not only have all of the horses left the barn, they are clear outta sight! And this imbecile is, “staying ahead of the curve.”

To use another metaphor, it’s already strike four, dummy.

RedCrow on February 21, 2013 at 7:02 PM

yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

tdarrington on February 21, 2013 at 7:02 PM

“Where there is a will to commit malfeasance, bad actors will try to find a way, and we must do everything we can to stay ahead of the curve,” said Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon

….riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight !

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Here’s how it’s done in the welfarewonderland known as Michigan.

1. Go to the store and buy soft drinks including deposit of $.10 per can/bottle

2. Walk out of store and dump soft drinks out

3. Take the empties back in the store and return for cash and buy your favorite beer/wine/liquor.

Or even better, pick up a 5 gallon jug of water for 5 bucks, pay the $6 deposit, walk out of store pour out water, walk back in and get $6 cash.

WelfareWonderland on February 21, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Here’s how it’s done in the welfarewonderland known as Michigan.

1. Go to the store and buy soft drinks including deposit of $.10 per can/bottle with your food stamps/card.

2. Walk out of store and dump soft drinks out

3. Take the empties back in the store and return for cash and buy your favorite beer/wine/liquor.

Or even better, pick up a 5 gallon jug of water for 5 bucks, pay the $6 deposit, walk out of store pour out water, walk back in and get $6 cash.

WelfareWonderland on February 21, 2013 at 7:16 PM

My goal is to be as self sufficient as possible so when this ship goes own I won’t starve like these slavish dependents of the welfare state.

Urban areas would descend rapidly into barbarism if the flow of freebies was cut off.

Charlemagne on February 21, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Sign up everyone for food stamps, raise the minimum wage to $35/hour…

Nirvana!!!

BigWyo on February 21, 2013 at 7:20 PM

LOL. Yeah, I’m really confident that obama is going to start “cracking down” on the democrat base.

Pork-Chop on February 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

1. Go to the store and buy soft drinks including deposit of $.10 per can/bottle

2. Walk out of store and dump soft drinks out

3. Take the empties back in the store and return for cash and buy your favorite beer/wine/liquor.

Or even better, pick up a 5 gallon jug of water for 5 bucks, pay the $6 deposit, walk out of store pour out water, walk back in and get $6 cash.

WelfareWonderland on February 21, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Why bother with chump change? Go shopping for someone at .65 on the dollar. Buy someone $100. worth of food and they give you $65.
Or better yet, buy something and return it for cash at full price.

Mimzey on February 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Sure… when they’re not Forcing USDA staffers to pound on the tables while chanting “The pilgrims were illegal aliens” and forbidding use of the term ‘minority’ and demanding that ‘emerging majorities’ be used in its place.

First, I’d like to point out that it’s impossible for an individual to be deemed an illegal alien unless said individual has entered a sovereign nation which has an established government, established and recognized borders, and existing formal immigration laws, without following those immigration laws and procedures. When the pilgrims were colonizing what was to become this nation, the area was inhabited by disparate neolithic tribes. There was no established nation, government, delineated borders, or immigration laws to break.

Were this any other employer forcing employees to chant this drivel against their will, obviously at peril of non-promotion or even of losing their job for refusing to participate, the suit against such an employer would already be in the court system.

Recently the USDA released a pamphlet directed at illegal aliens informing them that enrolling for foodstamps was NOT being on ‘the public charge’. They also stated categorically that the illegal alien need not enroll in their own right if they had a child or relative who was here legally, as they could get the benefits through that individual.

But hey! We can rest assured that the USDA is looking out for the taxpayer interest now that they’ve announced that they’ll be cracking down on all that ‘fraud’.

But the USDA is right on the job… cracking down on ‘fraud’.

thatsafactjack on February 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Obama would love to have everybody paying for their groceries with tax money. Obama controls tax money. If he doesn’t like you, he can cut you off from your groceries while still taking your grocery money.

Kind of like the public schools.

njcommuter on February 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM

but the new rules would also bar cash refunds for products purchased with food stamps.

Hmmm…..will they make sure that warnings go out in Spanish?

GarandFan on February 21, 2013 at 8:26 PM

but the new rules would also bar cash refunds for products purchased with food stamps.

Does it show that on the receipt? Don’t know..just asking.

Mimzey on February 21, 2013 at 8:32 PM

…but the new rules would also bar cash refunds for products purchased with food stamps.

…thus creating a huge market for RECEIPTS!!! …which will be bought with food-stamp-eligible items…

(Government morons have absolutely NO business sense!)

landlines on February 21, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Caifornia Advantage cards for everyone!The casinos would appreciate your business.

jeffinsjvca on February 21, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Well then, why don’t we just sign everybody up for food stamps?

That is so classic Erika.

John Kettlewell on February 21, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Bad apples buying good apples with your tax dollars.

How you like them apples?

NoDonkey on February 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

“USDA gets around to really cracking down on food-stamp fraud.”

Does that mean Obama might go to prison?

stillings on February 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Years ago there was a market by me that was a heavy foodstamp user store. One man would go in and buy a pack of gum with a five dollar food stamp (back when they were paper), get cash change, get back in line and buy a pack of cigarettes. It got so ridiculous that he’d joke with the cashier about making him get back on line.
Seriously in this day and age, everything is computerized, all food has a barcode. Issue the food stamp card with a photo on the front and only allow certain bar coded food to be purchased. If a refund is due, it goes back on the card. I think it would even be possible to limit food purchases by calories/day/person. Or even food group/day/person ensuring fruits and veggies are bought and limiting junk food.

hopeful on February 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM

@Mimzey

It isn’t chump change, all they are looking for is enough money to buy a pint of booze, or a couple 40′s. Most aren’t forward looking enough to be thinking about tomorrow.

WelfareWonderland on February 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM