By KRISTIN TATE
Government welfare is well intended, but it can make poor people comfortable remaining in poverty. Why pay your own way when Uncle Sam will pay it for you?
Food stamps, or in USDA parlance, the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” is an expensive and bloated welfare program. A temporary and effective safety net to help struggling Americans put food on the table undoubtedly makes sense, but SNAP has spun out-of-control.
Unfortunately, the program is ridden with fraud. Some food stamp recipients even trade in their benefits for drugs and alcohol.
This week on the O’Reilly Factor, correspondent Jesse Watters traveled to Key West, Florida. One man Watters spoke with told him that he is on food stamps and that he trades them in for alcohol and cigarettes.
WATTERS: Are you on food stamps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 4: Yes. I trade the stamps for beer and vodka, and cigarettes.
WATTERS: You know you are supposed to spend it on food.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 4: Right.
Some liberals assert that food stamp use is up because the economy is bad, but that is simply not the case. Food stamp spending nearly doubled years ago, before the current recession. The program’s budget rose from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $37.9 billion in 2007. Congress should means test the food stamps program much more aggressively to focus on the truly needy, while eliminating disincentives for individuals to go to work.
This is certainly one of the most pressing issues facing the nation. But it receives almost no coverage from the so-called mainstream media.
What will it take for the media and citizens to wake up? Will it take 50% of all citizens receiving food stamps? 75%?
Americans have become obsessed with the “1%” and “99%.” They should instead focus on the 17% taking from the 83%. That is a statistic worth protesting in our public parks.