Saturday, September 17, 2011

How food-stamp waste, fraud and abuse leads to a permanent underclass.

I don't want to see anyone go hungry, but the Food Stamp program is an invitation to commit fraud.

Did you know:

  • Millionaires are legally entitled to collect food stamps.
  • There are only 40 inspectors to oversee 200,000 merchants that accept food stamps.
  • Recipients routinely sell their benefit cards on Facebook and Craigslist.
  • Jail inmates collect food stamps.
  • Fictitious food-stamp cases consume million of dollars.
  • A $2 million lottery jackpot winner is still eligible for food stamps.
  • The USDA has vetoed all proposals from local or state governments to prevent food stamps from being used for junk food.
  • Food stamps are increasingly being redeemed at fast-food restaurants.
  • (See The Food-Stamp Crime Wave.) 
Food stamp waste fraud and abuse also has a multiplier effect, because if one is on food stamps then the children of the food stamp recipient  are automatically eligible for free or reduced school lunches and various other assistance programs use receipt of food stamps as an automatic qualifier for program assistance.

In states with bottle deposits a new form of food stamp fraud is called "water dumping."  Food stamp recipients will purchase water and immediately poor the water down the drain and redeem the plastic bottles. (link)

In Atlanta, a local TV station caught a man buying food stamp cards in the parking lot of a grocery store, using them to purchase items in the store, and then the purchased items were used to stock the shelves in his near by convenience market.(link)

The fraud and abuse in the food stamp program is so wide spread that it is now the norm and hardly news worthy. As I see it, the fraud, waste and abuse is not as offensive as what it does to people. It creates a mentality of entitlement, criminality and dependency. It robs people of their dignity and self worth. If one sells their food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar because everyone else is doing it, then fraudulently getting public housing does not seem so wrong; gaming the system becomes the norm and then one develops an attitude of permanent underclass dependency in which it is too expensive to stop being poor.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comments. I am approached often to trade cash for stamps. The usual trade rate is $2 for stamps in exchange for $1 cash in order for them to get smokes, beer or drugs.