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Food Stamps: Fighting Hunger Or Draining Resources?

Congress says food stamps are costing the country too much and debating big cuts. One in every seven Americans is using them to eat. What’s going on?

In this 2010 photo, a sign announcing the acceptance of electronic Benefit Transfer cards is seen at a farmers market in Roseville, Calif. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

In this 2010 photo, a sign announcing the acceptance of electronic Benefit Transfer cards is seen at a farmers market in Roseville, Calif. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

It’s time for Farm Bill renewal in Congress, and the biggest item by far in the big bill is not about tractors or sugar beets or corn subsidies.  It’s about food stamps.

In total, $80 billion a year out of the $100 billion in Farm Bill spending goes to food stamps — to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, with 48 million American getting help with the grocery bill.

That number exploded during the Great Recession. It’s still high. Some in Congress want to whack it back. But for a lot of Americans, it’s what’s for dinner.

Up next On Point: The Farm Bill and food stamps.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mary Clare Jalonick, food and farm reporter for the Associated Press (@MCJalonick)

Deborah Frank, founder and principal investigator for Children’s HealthWatch. She’s also the director of The Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center and a professor of child health and well-being at Boston University School of Medicine.

Daniel Sumner, director of the Agricultural Issues Center at the University of California at Davis. He’s also the former Assistant Secretary for Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture. He formerly served as a senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the USDA.

From Tom’s Reading List

USDA: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — “SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.  The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits.”

Wall Street Journal: Use Of Food Stamps Swells As Economy Improves — “The financial crisis is over and the recession ended in 2009. But one of the federal government’s biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn’t shrinking back alongside the recovery. Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as the modern-day food-stamp benefit is known, has soared 70% since 2008 to a record 47.8 million as of December 2012. Congressional budget analysts think participation will rise again this year and dip only slightly in coming years.”

Associated Press: Senate Votes To Make Small Cut To Food Stamps — “The Senate voted Tuesday to keep a $400 million annual cut — or roughly a half of 1 percent — to the food stamp program as part of a major five-year farm bill. Food stamps now cost almost $80 billion annually and are used by 1 in 7 Americans. The House and Senate have differed sharply on how much the domestic food aid should be cut, with the House version of the farm bill proposing to cut five times more than the Senate bill and change eligibility rules for recipients.”

Chicago Tribune: Editorial: Worry About Food Stamp Growth, Not Junk Food — “Is there any human impulse stronger than the urge to tell others what not to eat? Fast food, red meat, white bread, trans fats, sugary cereals, processed foods, salty snacks, fried anything, refined grains, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, sodium, Snickers bars … We’re surrounded by unhealthy choices, and by people who would like to legislate them away.The latest victims of these well-intentioned busybodies are low-income Americans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, still known to most everyone as food stamps.”

Tweets From During The Show

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  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    maybe they would not have so many people on foodstamps if they did not spend so much money advertising and promoting the program

    • 1Brett1

      It’s pretty easy to express an opinion when that opinion is already created for one by Republican supporters of such nonsense. 

      Besides, what does your comment even mean? People who ordinarily wouldn’t apply for foodstamps do so because they see promotional campaigns for foodstamps? That’s ridiculous.

      But feel free to continue to perpetuate your version of “welfare queens.” I’m sure you’ll have other smug and crass things to say today…it’ll be a day like any other. 

      • jefe68

        This kind of mindset is all about the libertarian, Or at least some of them. What’s more telling is this guy has three likes.

        This show today is going to bring out all the worst in human nature. The bile, the diatribes about EBT fraud and people buying junk food.

        I don’t think the system is perfect, but how can anyone with an ounce of human dignity sit and demean people in need of assistance. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.

        • 1Brett1

          Thanks, jefe. The usual neocon suspects tend to like those kinds of straw man comments where the SNAP recipient is a lazy, entitled crack user who just waits for the next dose of “free stuff.” It’s interesting how they will fall in lockstep with the most crass, calloused of comments when it comes to those demonizing poor people, or in the case last week, those who seek a college education, or any thinking that even remotely pertains to the greater welfare of our citizens.

          I didn’t even have to look to see who “liked” FB’s comment…

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            At the request of States, FNS developed the materials below which detail why
            increasing participation of eligible people in SNAP makes sense for States and
            communities from an economic development perspective and for low-income people
            from a nutrition perspective

        • HonestDebate1

          Now it’s 4 likes. It’s not a matter of dignity it’s a matter of widespread, documented, proven, undeniable fraud and abuse. It is enabled by people like you who use the  emotional and despicable tactic of attacking anyone who wants to fix it. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            seems like they got bent out of shape by even making a very modest suggestion

          • 1Brett1

            Of course, your “modest suggestion” is more like a “modest proposal” a la Jonathan Swift… (look it up)

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            why would i have to look that up? where is jefe to call out your hyperbole?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i have to laugh at your smugness, crassness and inanity.  i am not a republican so i dont know what you are talking about there.
        Brett they advertise for the foodstamps program.  What is the point of a “promotional campaign” besides to promote something? If you think the advertising does not work then it is an even bigger waste of tax money right?  either way its a waste so that you are wrong either way. thank you
        i wont even discuss you assertion that there are “welfare queens” as i find that to be an offensive characterization.

        • 1Brett1

          I’m just surprised that you even know what the words “smugness, crassness and inanity” mean!

          You missed my point: people don’t go on foodstamps simply because of their being handed a pamphlet, or because they see an “ad” somewhere; they go on foodstamps to feed their families because they are poor.

          Any weather reports to offer?

          • HonestDebate1

            What if someone’s $200/month pot habit is putting a squeeze on finances and they don’t want to quit, then they get a pamphlet and learn there is a way to have their cake and smoke it too?

          • 1Brett1

            “Hey, dude, you can smoke all the weed you want and get $130 a month from SNAP so you don’t have to buy that ditchweed!”

            I have to give you credit, you have become quite creative in your variations on “welfare queen.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            here is the radical conservative bill mahar show on the subject
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5tqH7UrzOw

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            and what if my kids dont like milk? what if they like cigarettes?

          • HonestDebate1

            Then by all means buy them some.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy


            “The Simpsons: Bart the Murderer (#3.4)” (1991) [watching his first Itchy & Scratchy cartoon] Fat Tony: It’s funny because it’s true.Bart: Uh, say, are you guys crooks? Fat Tony: Bart, is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family? Bart: No. Fat Tony: Well, suppose you got a large starving family. Is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread to feed them? Bart: Uh uh. Fat Tony: And, what if your family don’t like bread? They like… cigarettes? Bart: I guess that’s okay. Fat Tony: Now, what if instead of giving them away, you sold them at a price that was practically giving them away. Would that be a crime, Bart? Bart: Hell, no.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i love your presumptive condescension. you must have misunderstood what i said. i get that you think the ads don’t make people go on foodstamps
            so then why would you want to waste money on advertising when it could be better used to provide benfits for poor people?

          • 1Brett1

            The “advertising” you speak of is information for people who might not know about such programs and are in need; it’s not quite like the “sexy chat lines” advertising you respond to. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            did you read the link to the snap program i posted earlier?

      • HonestDebate1

        Next thing you’ll be saying “welfare queen” is racist.

        • 1Brett1

          Only if one were to characterize those on foodstamps as lazy, entitled blacks languishing on their front porch while they watch their flat-screen TVs, drive Cadillacs, and use their SNAP money for crack.

          • HonestDebate1

            But no one does.

          • 1Brett1

            Yeah, no one has ever characterized those on welfare in such a way; where do I get this stuff! [sarcasm]

          • HonestDebate1

            Not the black part. You are referring to Reagan who coined the phrase. He never said black. It makes no sense. There are far more whites on food stamps then blacks

          • 1Brett1

            Oh, yeah, Gregg, Reagan didn’t mean that…Oh, and do bigots actually look at statistical data and say, “I guess I was wrong about lazy blacks.” 

            I guess your name change doesn’t change your intentional obtuseness…A turd by any other name…

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand you think you can read minds. I read words. Believe it or not, blacks are not inherently lazy.

            Edit: You read Reagan’s mind not mine… this time.

          • 1Brett1

            Don’ttell me what I think. I never said you thinksuchthings, just that some do

          • HonestDebate1

            Went right over your head.

          • 1Brett1

            I went to college; I’m not smart like you.

    • responseTwo

      Before you demean the least among us, volunteer to work in a food bank and get to know the people who have to go there. Pray to God your life doesn’t end up going the direction there’s has, and donate some food to the food bank each week.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        before you demean me i have in fact volunteered in food pantrys and particiapted in many can drives and made many donations. thats not at all what i was talking about. food banks are not paid for with tax dollars and they do not advertise.  i was talking about foodstamps and how the govt spends money to advertise the program in order to get more people to go on foodstamps. so instead oj just making garbage statements you can defend the practice of advertising for the SNAP program if possible

        • JustEdith

          Ha! Ha! Ha!  The government advertises in order to get more people to go on food stamps.  That sounds absolutely crazy.  Much like Chevrolet advertises to get you to buy a car, the government advertises for people to go on food stamps.  Ok.  They even have public relations firms, I bet, which they hire to help them with their marketing strategy.  There are focus groups, the whole shebang.  Big glossy ads taken out in magazines, and those annoying commercials during the Super Bowl.  Such a waste of our tax dollars.  I’m telling you.  

        • responseTwo

          “defend the practice of advertising for the SNAP program if possible” – some of the people who work low wage jobs don’t know they can get food help. that’s how i defend it. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            so you think thats the best way to address that problem?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, Texas’ government is pretty much expert in keeping govt services away from people who have qualified for them. Wonder how they’re doing with poverty?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        here is a map i guess we should copy utah.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Utah’s population is squat compared to Texas.

          Texas is the GreatGoddamMiracleOfPersonaResponsiblityAndJuhaisus. And their government model is to shame poor people and put obstacles in the way of governance they’ve paid for and qualified for. Because the only people who stick up for poor people in Texas are, y’know, squishy on PersonalResponsibiltyAndFreedom.

          Try better. Actually, I think at this point we’ve seen your best.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            it was as a percentage of the population.
            so you dont think there should be any shame attached to welfare? is it a lifestyle choice above reproach?

    • sickofthechit

       Maybe we would not have so many on food stamps if cheney/bush had not trashed the economy with unpaid wars, unpaid medicare drug benefit and an ill advised and ineffective tax break for the wealthy. 

      An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  If they cut these programs as the repubs want we will be paying for it for decades.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        what will happen? will all those people starve to death?

    • HonestDebate1

      And we even promote them in Mexico for potential illegals.

      • 1Brett1

        Such a surprising new sobriquet…no one would ever guess who you are.

        • HonestDebate1

          I had to look up sobriquet. Sorry it’s not new I’ve been using it for a decade, long before I came here. I’ve pounded the drum forever. I’m not hiding anything. What’s your last name? Where do you live?

          • 1Brett1

            I didn’t accuse you of anything…just pointed out a fact. You changed your onscreen name for some reason, though. 

            And, as far as my full name and where I live, I divulged that on this forum years ago. There are too many nutcases on here now, though. I don’t care what you call yourself, but like I said, you had a reason. None of my business but your tone and neocon sentiments haven’t changed. Calling you out is just a short cut for those who had had enough of trying to interact with much of your inanity as Gregg “Smith.” 

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ll never understand why you are so curious about why I do things and usually project some dastardly intent. But you do. And you’re not calling me out. Do you actually think anyone who has ever read this blog doesn’t know who I am? I could have used “LiberalPOV” and started misspelling things you know. I didn’t. Now I’ve seen you on a few comments telling people what they probably already know. I guess it makes you feel smart. It’s not a mystery dude.

            And I don’t care about where you live or what your name is. I was making a point. I asked you once long ago what part of the country you were from for purely innocent reasons. On Point encourages people to say. You replied to the comment but did not give a region (I didn’t ask for a city or state) and I respected that and never asked again. It’s none of my business.

            So, if you are dying to know the reason all you had to do is ask. It’s a novel concept I know. Part of the reason is the same as yours but there is a bigger reason which you undoubtedly will scoff at. I speak out against a government in a country where I am no longer sure it’s safe to do. I am not going to stop speaking out.

            So I’ll ask you to please stop using my name and respect my wishes. All of my previous comments have been anonymized.

            But you are different. Not even NJ would vote to have me leave but you did the first second you were given the chance. I kept poking my finger in eyes to garner the votes. I begged for them. No takers but you. When you got lonely you tried to remove your “like” but I called you on it so you put it back. You defined yourself then and that’s cool. I just know what kind of man you are, that’s all. I hold no grudge and debate you civilly when engaged civilly. I’ll start fresh every time until the your unique nastiness comes out. I say this because I have my doubts you will comply with my simple and reciprocated wish.

          • 1Brett1

            Don’t tell me what I think…and, dude, get me out of your head…And, yeah, I did give you a region, and I’ve mentioned my home town many times. And I’ll probably keep calling you Gregg; it’s easier to type…sue me.

          • HonestDebate1

            No you did not, you let it sit unmentioned and I understood. It’s the courteous thing to do. You are confusing me with someone else. I have never read a comment that said where you live. That must have been before I got here. Sorry, I can’t sue over this and I understand you are not courteous. I don’t have much leverage here, just a hope for courtesy. If you keep it up I will keep asking nicely until the evidence is clear you are doing something nearly everyone agrees is against all blogging etiquette but as I pointed out, you are unique. After that I may flag you but I hate to do that and I doubt any comments will be removed because of it. It’s about all I can do. I’m not going away.

          • 1Brett1

            The mid-Atlantic region is not a region? I don’t live too far from you, really…I also explained (which was most recently less than a month ago, actually) that I used to give out more personal information, from my mother’s then stage 3 cancer, my father’s then broken hip and subsequent heart attack, my work/businesses, to my hometown’s name, but now I don’t trust the current crop of posters like I used to, so my personal stuff is off limits (I’ve never changed my name other than to put 1 before and after my name, as there was another Brett on here for a while and I wanted to be distinguished from him). Brett is my real name. What purpose at this point after all of these years on this forum would putting my last name on here serve? How much personal information should I give out to paint an accurate portrait of myself? 

            I go to a lot of music festivals; and, while I used to think it would be great to meet some people from this forum (even considered telling some New Englanders on here about a festivals I was playing at a few years ago up there; there is one coming up mid-summer that I’m on the main stage, in New York, for example), now I just think what a drag it would be to meet some of these neocon punks on here out in public (there are also a few on here who are either extremely left or ideologically all over the map that I’d rather not know anything about me). I also have a very visible couple of businesses, and I play music in public in various states; I’ll pass on having someone like that “donniethebrasco” character or “alsordi” know anything about me; they seem unstable ..By the way, I’m a lot more polite than some of the other posters on here, but that doesn’t bother you if they are in your camp, and that is what this is about: your ideology. Period. 

            And about your asking people to vote you off the forum a couple of months back? It was nothing more than a stunt and an attention-seeking thing; I don’t take those things seriously. And, while I think your presence has served to diminish the level of discourse that used to be found on here, you have every right to post…you sure have a kind of vindictive streak and remember things in an intense way that means nothing to me, though, I will say that. What is it that you are going to ask me nicely about, Gregg? So far, you haven’t asked me nicely to do anything; you just say you are doing something nicely. I thought it was just your way of saying something is so, then it makes it so in your view. You prattle on about how nicely you’re are doing this, that, something or other; I lose track of what that is, though, sorry. What is it you are going to flag me for? I’m not sure what you are getting at.

            For future reference: I don’t really care how nice you think I am. Beyond making fun of your posts and occasionally replying seriously, I don’t really find much value in your views. I find them bigoted and myopic. But, it is fun to watch your daily hissy fit and obsessive need to “debate” every comment with which you disagree. I’ve said this to you many times before…is all of this clear enough to you? 

          • HonestDebate1

            I read that but it was not a reply to me, I was not the one who asked. I don’t want to know if you don’t want to tell. I really don’t. The only reason I asked this morning was to illustrate I’m not alone in wanting to keep private, that’s all. I thought it was pretty obvious given the context.

            You don’t have to explain the gig thing to me, I feel the same way. I have a Youtube channel and there has been occasions when I thought about posting a video (musical topics sometimes come up or boards are dedicated to them) but that would give out my channel which has other information as well. I don’t even want to do that. And I don’t want vindictive political comments on my music. I used Gregg because I  took over a blog for a while as Honest Debate and I didn’t want people here, there either. It was a Disqus change that required me to sign in with an existing account so Smith was added because of that quite by accident. I went with it because it’s a common name.

            The first i mentioned it I wrote: “So I’ll ask you to please stop using my name and respect my wishes.”

            I consider that asking nicely. 

            My “stunt” was sincere, I was fully prepared to ride off into the sunset. I don’t care about attention. At that time nearly every time I opened the page my name would be up top evoked out of the blue. Civil discourse was getting nearly impossible for the insults and personal attacks. I’d mostly take it and kill’m with kindness. I tried stipulating I was all those things I was being called just to try and get a response to my point. But it got ridiculous so I did what I did and it largely worked. Now it’s just mainly you, and a few others who go out of their way to say something snarky about me. It does help my case when they out themselves but it is futile regarding debate. Others can be nasty but that’s cool, we still can give and take to move discourse forward. I consider some of the nasty libs here (not you) to be intellectually honest and thought provoking. Since I’m complementing them I don’t mind dropping names, Mike Card, Jimino, Duras, and TF are a few. Nope, you’re a different kind of nasty. Other libs like JGC are delightful. You did what you did and nobody else would. I never doubted you wouldn’t. But i thought you would have company. I’ll interpret it as I please.

            My opinion is you are unique and it’s funny you call me vindictive, that’s fine, whatever. I’ve never evoked your name to anyone else. You do it to me all the time and even did so today. I’ve never assumed you are up to no good and being sneaky. I’ve never called you an idiot or anything like it. I’ve never peppered all your comments with gratuitously irrelevant snarky replies. I just try to refute what I disagree with without getting personal. You usually get personal but your not the only one. But whatever, I don’t care what you think about me either. Never have, and not just you, I could not care less what anyone here thinks of me. I don’t think that’s all that unique although some are obsessed with it. You don’t appear to be.

          • 1Brett1

            “I’ve never called you an idiot or anything like it. I’ve never peppered all your comments with gratuitously irrelevant  snarky replies. I just try to refute what I disagree with without getting personal.”

            Come on, you’ve called me all kinds of unsavory names over the last couple of years…and what’s with the “ALL” stuff, nothing like building another inaccurate characterization. And, anyway, you have and do get personal with people, you just do it a little differently than I…

            Anyway, I understand the desire to keep personal stuff off this forum…I would hate to have people come to my website and bombard it with political attacks and hate crap. 

          • HonestDebate1

            Nope, I don’t think I’ve ever called you names but it is possible I suppose. I’m not a doormat,I’ll take only so much. I don’t use phrases such as”It says a lot about you…” No, I try very hard to not get personal with most.

          • 1Brett1

            There you go with your anti-intellectual/anti-formal education junk. 

        • hennorama

          1Brett1 – a new sobriquet perhaps, but the same “mold egg girths”.

  • 2Gary2

    How about we tax the 1% and spread the wealth so not that many people need food stamps.  How about we make corporations like the welfare queen walmart pay living wages so their employees do not need food stamps and we as tax payers do not have to subsidize their low wage model of business.  The 6 waltons have more wealth and income than the bottom 155 million Americans and we are still subsidizing walmart  WTF???

    • Shag_Wevera

      You must be some kind of pinko unpatriotic commie hippy dippy liberal…

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      now you are talking

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Holman/718259282 Jason Holman

      Sympathatic to your views, but bear in mind that taxing the so called “1%” more will mean:
      - less revenue than expected
      - less future economic growth
      - failure to raise enough money will mean even higher taxes
      Please define a “living wage”. Wages must be determined by market forces, not government fiat.
      Why does it matter that the Waltons control more wealth? Opportunity matters more.  

      • redontherocks

        you sound like a walmart spokesman. a living wage means you can live off your income, period! you know what would create lots of jobs? slavery, then the “job creators” can amass all the wealth and we will all be better off… right?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Cut the workday to 6 hours, with time and one half after 6 hours, benefits paid on EVERY HOUR WORKED, and let others do some work. There are just too many on the non performing assistance road. Too many on disability also. Let’s focus on getting prices down, way down; growth and investment up, way up; wages up, way up ! We need to shift the equilibrium point on the labor supply and demand curve. Economics: 101 ! I know what your saying, “ but I can’t make it on my extended hours now ! “. What your not seeing is that your economic problems are a result of labors loss of economic power. There ARE TOO MANY POOR PEOPLE because poor people keep having TOO many babies, thereby, creating a large surplus of workers. Why should businesses pay more ? On top of this insidious problem, our Congress is pushing for even more people to come in to the US. ——Nuts to the power of stupid !——–
    Especially since we are probably 40, or less, years away from a society that will be run on machine intelligence! —- Well there is one comforting fact, those that are doing us in will also be done in. To that I say :
    Halleluiah ! Goodbye! Adios, Hasta la vista, Do Svidaniya, don’t let the door hit you in the A** or coffin lid hit you in the nose ! SEEEEEE Ya !
    My personal favorite, from the movie “Unforgiven”, Clint EastWood as William Muny from Missouri, …”We’ve all got IT coming kid. “

    • JustEdith

      There are too many poor people because labor has been devalued in the shift in the market known as globalization.  Not to mention the effects of the crisis.  Capital flows freely while people cannot. You’ve got to compete against people who can work for pennies on the dollar, it has nothing to do with how many children poor people have.  Arrghh!  Even if it were so, it is not the children’s fault and I don’t think they should have their food supply cut off.  This discussion is about food stamps.  What kind of quasi-fascist state are we headed to?  

      I do agree with some of your points though. What we’re seeing now is definitely a consequence of labor’s loss of economic power vis-a-vis organized capital.  And you may have a point that this ‘doing-in’ that’s been carried out will eventually affect everyone, including the likes of Blankfein and others, but by the time that happens, I imagine it would get a helluva lot worse for the most vulnerable, and all the rest of us.  I couldn’t rejoice in that.  What a sorry state of affairs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        human labor is almost obsolete, soon it will be enitrely so and its value will fall to zero.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      give “player piano” a read

      • HonestDebate1

        I love Vonnegut! I’ve read them all.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          me too i just hate it when distopian novels come true

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, welcome to the monkey house. Suicide parlors anyone?

  • Potter

    Also from the New York Times the other day 
    by Dorothy Samuels:

    There Was a Time When Ending Hunger Was a National Goal for Republicans and Democrats

  • arydberg

    Another step in the downward march of the average American citizen while the rich double and triple their wealth.   

    As for the unhealthy choices it is the FDA that has put over 1000 chemicals on the market to make Americans fat and poison others.    

    The FDA needs to explain why we rank 27th in health among  all the advanced countries?    Why do some countries have 1/3 our infant mortality rate.    

    • Shag_Wevera

      Cuba has a signifigantly lower infant mortality rate than the US does.

      • notafeminista

        Cuba counts mortality differently.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1615029/

        • Shag_Wevera

          Fine.  All infants die in evil Cuba.  They don’t actually have a higher literacy rate than we do either.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Infant mortality in 2000–2005 was 6.1 per 1,000 live births (compared to 6.8 in the United States).

          • Shag_Wevera

            BTW, MDs in Cuba make around $15/month.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, at some point shouldn’t a country as powerful and mighty and rich as the USA not even have to worry about Cuba being in our proverbial rear view mirror on this?

        • arydberg

          There  are a lot of other countries out there beside Cuba that have a lower infant mortality rate than we do.    The FDA should explain why.  

      • harverdphd

         Sounds like a good place for crybabies.

    • glorkohl

      Exactly right! For elaboration, read economist Joseph Stieglitz’ essay “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%”.
      Agree 100% w/ your remarks.

  • TyroneJ

    Before I start, I want to point out that I’ve had relatives on various forms of public assistance, so I know how lifesaving it is for those in need. But I also know there’s a whole subculture that abuses the system as a lifestyle choice.

    I would like to see replicated nation-wide the experiment that was accidentally performed here in Massachusetts. In 2012, mailings were made to all 500,000 EBT card holders in Massachusetts informing them of their option to register to vote via US Mail. The US Post Office returned over 10% of them as undeliverable. In other words, the State has no way to verify the legitimacy of over 10% of welfare recipients (> 50,000) in the State. The Patrick Administration is pretending there is no issue, saying all welfare systems have “leakage”. 10% of any government budget going to unverifiable anything is, in my opinion, unacceptable. It’s even worse when government officials think that’s acceptable and not worth putting controls in place to eliminate it.

    I would like to see at least a cursory audit, like Massachusetts accidentally performed, done nation-wide. And I’d like to see EBT cards cut off for everyone with an undeliverable address – let them come to the welfare office to be revetted and their info updated to get their benefits turned back on. The taxpayers have a right to verify all recipients of public assistance are legitimate. And the usual drivel about how these people have transportation issues makes this requirement onerous as everyone, especially so-called “advocates” know that’s bogus.

    If you talk to the police, it’s not uncommon for them to nab drug dealers and the like with multiple EBT cards, under multiple names, often from multiple States. (Remember what NYC found when they started targeting fare jumpers in the NY subway? A huge proportion of people they nabbed had EBT cards from both NY & NJ.) In Massachusetts, as was recently covered in the papers, even when these drug dealers are found with $65k in cash, multiple EBT cards under multiple names are reported by the cops to the State agency responsible for investigating welfare fraud, the reports are ignored until months later, the papers pick up the story.

    • Shag_Wevera

      What makes an address undeliverable?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        generally the name of the individual needs to be on the mail box to get mail

        • 1Brett1

          That’s nonsense, but I guess in your world…

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy
          • 1Brett1

            Again, nonsense…there is nothing on USPS’s website that indicates your mail will not be delivered unless you have your name on your mailbox. But, you have a history of making up “facts.” It’s kind of amazing how casually you do so, I must admit. Did you really think simply putting USPS’s web address up as a link would make your warped reality true? 

    • Shag_Wevera

      It would be interesting to know exactly how much food stamp fraud costs you personally per year, wouldn’t it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        how much?

        • Shag_Wevera

          I don’t know.  I’d be interested to know.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            turns out that it helps everyone the more people we get on food stamps!
            Despite the obvious nutrition benefits of SNAP, in fiscal year (FY) 2009 28
            percent of low income people who would qualify for SNAP do not participate. This
            means that about 12 million low income people in FY 2009 were losing out on SNAP
            benefits. But it also means that communities do not benefit economically from
            their participation. SNAP is the only public benefit program which also serves
            as an economic stimulus, creating an economic boost that ripples throughout the
            economy when new SNAP benefits are redeemed. By generating business at local
            grocery stores, new SNAP benefits trigger labor and production demand,
            ultimately increasing household income and triggering additional spending.
            http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/business-case.htm

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i wonder how one might best invest in the bodega industry

      • noybw

        The 2012 total federal budget (expenditures)  is $3.538 Billion [1]

        The budget for food stamps is $17.57 Billion [2], or about 0.5% of the total federal budget. That’s half a penny per dollar.

        Let’s just guess that 10% of the budget for food stamps is lost to fraud and waste. Note that fraud and payment errors are down in recent years, but it’s hard to find a precise estimate of the totals. But 10% would be surprisingly high.

        That’s a dollar in fraud/waste for every $2000 you pay in federal income taxes.

        The national median household income is about $50K, and the median household pays about 5% federal income tax [5][6].

        So the median household loses about $1.50 a year to food stamp waste and fraud. I think this is a pretty solid piece of back-of-the envelope style calculations mixed with established facts, but if you don’t like these assumptions, double the fraud estimate. Triple it. Calculate for a much higher income. No amount of waste is acceptable, but any way you look at it, food stamp fraud is a really, really insignificant part of your tax bill.

        Here’s an exercise for the reader: if all money spent on the Iraq war was used to fund food stamps instead, for how many decades could it finance the entire food stamp program at FY2012 spending levels? Hint: it’s more than four decades.

        [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_United_States_federal_budget

        [2] http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/olab/tanf.pdf

        [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program#Fraud_and_abuse

        [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program#Fraud_and_abuse 

        [5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

        [6] http://www.cbpp.org/files/4-14-10tax.pdf

      • John Cedar

        It is impossible to quantify the multiplier effect of the lost motivation, lost work ethic, lost general ethics, and the devil’s deeds done by idle hands, of those receiving government handouts.

    • anamaria23

      That is good fact based information from  which citizens can influence their legislators  and demand reform.
       
      Let’s deal with the 10%.    Then, let’s elect those who will
       work for a more equitable society through education, skills training,  health care for all,  family planning.
       
      “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. 
       When I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a Communist”
                                                    Dom Helder Camara
                                        
                                                     Brazilian Bishop

  • JustEdith

    No country for old men, babies, working poor, people between jobs….  How coarse.  Where will it end?  This disgusts me. The United States used to be the example.  A good example for a decent life and a fair shot. Some people use food stamps as a stop gap.  I knew a guy who told me that his family had to survive on food aid from the government at one time.  He said his family would not have made it without that help.  This is a white guy who grew up to go to university, have a middle class life.  I say that because I know the stereotype that goes with this kind of aid.  Let them eat cake, I guess.  Kick ‘em when they’re down.  Such greed.  I am absolutely disgusted.  

  • northeaster17

    I think we need to enforce the laws already on the books. I know there is fraud and abuse in the sysrem but we don’t need anymore laws until the ones already in place are enforced.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I have a crazy idea.  Let’s give rice and beans away to anyone who wants it.  Let’s not use food as a tool to manipulate the poor.  No drug test for the rice and beans, no work or training requirement, no means testing.  If Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or Bill Clinton want to come down to the local semi-trailer and get a 50lb sack of beans and rice, so be it!  No more food stamps or vouchers, no more anger at the cadillac driving welfare queens buying doritos and frozen pizza with govt assistance.

    Are we the richest nation the world has ever known?  Do you believe in American exceptionalism?  Would you like to eliminate hunger as an issue for the poor and presumably hear less from and about them? 

    Oops, almost forgot the kids.  Y’know what, milk is so ridiculously subsidized let’s include it with the beans and rice…

    Free beans and rice and milk for everyone!

    • donniethebrasco

       Sound great!

      Milk, rice, and beans.

      Maybe some bread.

      However, I think I heard Michelle say that they can just eat cake, but I might be mistaken.

      She also said that it is hard to choose between a $5 million dollar vacation on Martha’s Vineyard and a $6 million dollar vacation on Hawaii, but she’ll try to make a good decision.

      • Samuel Walworth

         Right, Michelle Bachmann is that clever, I knew it, I knew it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Cite, please.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i like it. i think thats basically what they did in the good earth.  this is probably why private organisations have food pantrys and give food directly and not debit cards.

    • harverdphd

       Great idea….it gets my vote…it’ll be a hard sell but just think of the health benefits.

  • donniethebrasco

    As a lobsterman, we cannot get rid of EBT.  I sell so much on the first and 15th every month I have trouble keeping up with demand.

    • Shag_Wevera

      You hear that Merka?  The poor dine on surf n turf while you slave away at the widget factory all day!!!

    • 1Brett1

      I notice Futo Buddy likes your welfare queen backdoor characterization. Do they drive up in Cadillacs?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        seems like its you who is stuck on calling everyone who gets benefits welfare qweens. do you know that walmart has to bring on extra staff at midnight on the day the benefits go into effect just to deal with the rush?

        • 1Brett1

          Um, because people have to wait until their benefits go into effect before they can get their food at Walmart? …Such shocking abuse of the system you have exposed here. (That last line was sarcasm, just to help you out a little bit.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            the point is that walmart is the actual beneficiary of the program. i dont really understand your attidude. you seem to have a very high opinion of yourself

          • 1Brett1

            Wow…is it a good thing that Walmart would rather promote foodstamps/social service programs as a benefit to their low wage jobs and lack of benefits to their employees? Wouldn’t it actually be better for them to actually provide its employees with decent health insurance/pay them a decent wage so they could get off of SNAP? And, isn’t it a bit of a waste of tax dollars for them to get tax breaks for informing their employees of such programs? You seem to be going through quite a few contortions to defend Walmart, a very, VERY large global company.

            What does that have to do with your perception that I have some kind of conceit because I think you’re full of it? 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            1) incoherent, please rephrase
            2) thats what i have been saying
            3)Clearly, see #2
            i think you may have some sort of mental issue. why would you think i was defending walmart when i identified them as the actual beneficiary of the food stamp program? are you on something that makes you come up with this stuff?
            you seem to think you are qualified to make all these odd assumptions (eg that i am a republican, you think you have read books i have not or that you know words i dont) and despite you being wrong you continue to act as though you are not. its sort of bizarre.
             i did not use the word conceit but thats close enough to describe how you come off when you make those statements. what is the reason for such remarks?

          • 1Brett1

            What? 

            I never said you were Republican, just that you defend  conservatism. How do you know what I think? What books have I said I’ve read that you haven’t? What words do I think you don’t know? This is where I lose you, historically, so let me tell you what I mean:
            you’re ranting. You are delusional. You seem to be expressing something that seems more of a construct of your dull wit than anything I’m doing to you. 
            Maybe one explanation is that you lack skill in expressing yourself? Sorry, just trying to find a reason why your comments seem nonsensical. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            brett it seems like you are too tied up with partisanship that you see anyone who disagrees with you about anything as a “conservative” even if you have to streach what they say to fit your notions. you even said i was defending walmarts labor policies. I reject your -isms and schisms.  thanks for the good laugh you gave me when you tried to deny saying things that are right there in your profile
            “Of course, your “modest suggestion” is more like a “modest proposal” a la Jonathan Swift… (look it up)”
            “I’m just surprised that you even know what the words “smugness, crassness and inanity” mean!”

            “It’s pretty easy to express an opinion when that opinion is already created for one by Republican supporters of such nonsense. ”

            you’re ranting. You are delusional. You seem to be expressing something that seems more of a construct of your dull wit than anything I’m doing to you. i have a theory as to why your comments are nonsensical 

          • 1Brett1

            I was asking you if you defend Walmart’s policies, that is different than saying you defend them. It was difficult to discern what exactly you were saying, which is why I asked.

            You do defend conservative views…what am I to take away from that? You seem (and I said “seem”) like one of those neo-libertarian types or modern independents. You may not identify yourself as conservative; but, not unlike most other people who espouse the opinions you do, it’s a kind of “walks like a duck, quacks like a duck” proposition. Sorry if that is presumptuous; I was just calling it as I see it, not unlike you who characterize me as so partisan I am blinded by it. Are you going to be a hypocrite about it? 

            Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’ is a satirical essay; it’s not a “book.” By the way, my joke about your “modest suggestion” was just that: A JOKE. I was playing off of not only the use of “modest” and the rhythm of the word “suggestion” and how it is like the rhythm of the word “proposal,” but how all of that fits into your ostensible lack of compassion for those who are poor. But, hey, if you don’t like having your crassness and overly simplistic views made fun of, then don’t post them if that makes you feel better. I can’t really debate your inanity, just point to its absurdity, and that takes the form of humor, sorry if you think I should respond differently.

            Which things have I “denied saying” that are in my profile?

            And yes, I do think you are a dull wit; so what, though? Does it really matter so much to you what I say?

            We are all of us partisan in some way. My political ideology doesn’t overshadow my ability to see BS, however, on both sides of the aisle, as it were. I will say I’m a liberal democrat (with a lower case “d”), although I move more centrist as the years go by, and I’m not going to self-consciously recoil from that like so many neocons who will not identify with conservatism and the Republican Party but agree with most everything they are about. Why do necons say they are nonpartisan then respond favorably to most every piece of conservative ideology, and why do they categorically reject EVERY part of liberal ideology, policy and view, yet in all of that  say they are not what they are?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            brett your swift joke was fine. i love jokes (its better when they are funny but i like the effort) it did not become condescending untill you put the “look it up” in there. i dont know if its funny or sad you don’t want to admit that.
             i dont care to be put into one of your pigeonholes you should put less effort into trying to “type” people you dont “seem” to be that good at it at least in my case and even if you were its not productive for rational debate to do so.

            “Which things have I “denied saying” that are in my profile?”
            i am starting to think you don’t even read my posts(or yours) before you comment(scroll up to all the quotes from you i posted).

            i could care less what you say you are free to make as big a fool of your self as you care to.

          • 1Brett1

            Sorry, I guess I won’t try to find any point or meaning in any of your comments, then, which is a shame; they actually have some meaning in thinking they come from some ideology, some belief. If I take them as just some form of logic or rational argument, they don’t hold up at all; they seem stupid. 

            Really, you just characterize what you say I said, so it’s difficult to know what you really are talking about…

            I don’t mind making a fool of myself. The fool, historically, is a valuable character in recognizing absurdity: look it up! (Oops, sorry, your thin-skinned, condescension meter’s needle just went to red). I guess the difference in you and I is that you take yourself much more seriously than I do; I don’t take you seriously at all! Ha! …Seriously, though, you may think I am full of myself or take myself seriously, but I’m here to poke fun at the ridiculousness of the modern debate in which we find ourselves, with some minor points here and there–oh, and to compose an occasional serious comment. Years ago, before you necons (oops, I mean, “ideologically ambiguous”) came to this forum, we could have decent discussions and free exchange of ideas. Sure, there would be disagreements, and things would get heated some times. Now, it’s just a tit-for-tat kind of thing…what’s sort of funny is this moral/righteous indignation you guys feign so much; now that’s comedy!   

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            if you are too far gone to recognize your own direct quotes i don’t know how to have a discussion with you. i am still not any where near being a neocon unless you are just kidding about that. i like jokes and make them all the time, not everyone will like or get all of them and some will get all bent out of shape. you have provided me with several good laughs with your attitude and wild accusations but i am not sure if those were things you were joking about. you need to make your jokes funnier and less bitter sounding and then i will have an easier time knowing when you are kidding. i seek nothing but the discussion and free exchange you ”seem” to be blaming the demise of on me and those you have decided are “you guys”.  

          • 1Brett1

            …It’s just that you whined that I “put you down all the time for ‘books’ I think you haven’t read,” for example…well, Jonathan Swift’s essay was the only literary reference I’ve ever used in a reply to you, and that reference regards an essay; and, also, it was clearly a play on words (a play on the title of the essay), words you chose yourself to sum up in your own ideas about poor people: “modest suggestion.” How many times do I have to explain that before you get it? It wasn’t funny to you, therefore I am in denial about things I said to you? That is some pretty convoluted thinking.

            You see it’s not only your exaggerated complaint in that example, but your ostensible misreading of my reply. It’s this sort of inaccurate characterization of my words and intentions that I was talking about. But, then, even if I explain myself and go through the effort to bring some clarity to my silliness, you still don’t seem to get it. 

            Frankly, I can’t quite glean what your political leanings are, to be fair. They seem more like a mish-mash, a kind of junkyard philosophy of libertarianism and neoconservatism. But, you could simply explain where I am not understanding your political views? Are you ashamed to identify your politics?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            “Frankly, I can’t quite glean what your political leanings are, to be fair.”

            clearly, yet you still continue to try. a “junkyard philosophy” thats funny.

            “You see it’s not only your exaggerated complaint in that example, but your ostensible misreading of my reply. It’s this sort of inaccurate characterization of my words and
            intentions that I was talking about. But, then, even if I explain myself and go through the effort to bring some clarity to my silliness, you still don’t seem to get it.”

            so i guess you know how i feel now

            i believe our partisan politics are pretty silly. i look at each issue and decide. sometimes i agree with “the left” sometimes I agree with “the right” more often than not i think both “sides” are foolish.  it seems like you would really like to stick a label on me for some reason. i think the two party system is just a tool to distract the masses and it seems to be working. i think those who latch on to a party and blindly follow it without thinking should be ashamed of themselves.why is it important to you that i identify with a predefined group or doctrine?

          • 1Brett1

            Eh, it’s not that important for you to identify, but it seems more of a hedge than some principled action. I could be wrong; it’s just my take on you. I haven’t seen much disagreement with Republican issues on your part, but much disagreement of Democratic views…just saying. And, when you have expressed specific opinions, they seem vaguely libertarian (that’s redundant, I know, as libertarians are vaguely, non-specifically, for anything, just specifically against all kinds of stuff). 

            By the way, yes, both sides fail us as citizens, but we have a two-party system; that’s the way the system is set up. Even if a third party were to emerge, they’d still have to put their pants on one leg at a time, so to speak.  Our form of government would not be magically transformed if a third party emerged. 

            Why are you afraid to identify as having libertarian leanings? 

  • Gary Kay

    How can we let people go hungry and still insist that we are a Christian nation? We can if we believe our own lies.

    • donniethebrasco

      Then feed them with healthy food. Beans, Rice, Eggs, Milk, Bread, and Kale. Introduce them to a vegetarian/vegan diet.

      I have cooked in food kitchens.  I suggested that some of the “clients” help out.  I was told that it would be wrong to ask them.  They are clients.

      They are encouraged to have no responsibility for their lives and it creates a culture where they don’t feel like they should have any responsibility to feed or house themselves.

      This culture caused the New Orleans during Katrina to have the problems it did.  Human beings who couldn’t do a single thing for themselves and wait for the government.  When the government wasn’t right their, it became a 3rd world country with thugs taking people’s water and food.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Let’s not make food political or ideological.  There is enough food for everyone.  I don’t want the laziest. most shiftless being on Earth to starve.

        • Shag_Wevera

          …or even to be hungry.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            in america we wont even allow terrorists to starve themselves

      • jefe68

        Wow, it’s amazing. On one level you talk about the idea of bringing decent food to people.
        then in the next sentence you eviscerate the very people you were helping. Did you ever stop think there were also legal issues here? who are you to judge anyone?

        • 1Brett1

          If what he says is even true or some exaggeration, or even an out-and-out fib.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          what legal issues might having the people help themselves bring up? it all comes down to giving a man a fish vs teaching him. Back when we first developed the modern welfare state there were programs like the CCC and WPA people worked and were paid not just given handouts. the snap program touts the economic stimulas benefits of their program but instead of benefitting america by getting good projects done and raising up individuals, it benefits walmart

  • twenty_niner

    Any negative connotation associated with food stamps has all but evaporated away. Years ago, they were actual stamps that you had to hand over to the checkout clerk, and then sometimes the clerk would need to get on the intercom to get change for your stamps, and about everybody in line knew you were on food stamps. Now it’s just a card you swipe like a credit or debit card. 

    The latest evolution is that now even college students are brazen enough to go on food stamps. When I was in college, we ate a lot of ramen noodles for about .25/serving, and it didn’t occur to anyone (in the process of getting an actual college degree) to use a program designed for the impoverished.

    “Food stamps: Once associated with the poor, now commonly used among college students”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/food-stamps-once-associated-with-the-poor-now-commonly-used-among-college-students/2012/11/05/36971aee-275f-11e2-b4f2-8320a9f00869_blog.html

    • Shag_Wevera

      Brazen indeed.  It’s just food, man.

      • twenty_niner

        “It’s just food, man.”

        That someone had to work hard to produce.
        That someone had to work hard to package. 
        That someone had to work hard to ship.
        That someone had to work hard to display and sell.

  • RobertME

    Every American should see the film A Place at the Table.  It’s a documentary about hunger in America.  It’s a powerful film and puts a human face on the problems facing the working poor, which is a virtually untold story in the country at this point.  It’s too easy for the millions of people struggling to feed themselves and their children to become numbers and statistics. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKOiT1vY7v0

    • donniethebrasco

       Poor people have become conditioned that they are not responsible for feeding their children.  This creates a view of their children as economic benefit creators.

      I have personally met people who see their rug rats as ways to get checks from the government.  They collect SSI because their kids are disabled, **WINK WINK** Don’t tell anyone, or we will lose our checks.

      Public Consulting Group works with state welfare agencies to get their “clients” off of welfare and onto SSI.

      The only way to get off of SSI is to have more than $2,000 in a checking account or get a job.

      It is hard to leave SSI.

  • AC

    this is a strange issue. when i tried to look it up on google, many of the articles listed that corporate welfare gets almost 50% more tax dollars compared to ALL social programs combined (100 billion vs. 59), even companies making billions in profit.
    does anyone know if this is true?
    that can’t be right….

    • donniethebrasco

      Please define what you mean by corporate welfare.

      I agree with supports for corn.  Cash payments for ethanol is bad government policy.

      If corporations reduce taxes by doing what the government encourages them to do, I disagree with calling this “corporate welfare.”

      Also, you should include the people who work in government programs that support economic redistribution and their unfunded pensions.

      • AC

        this isn’t my field so i looked it up and it said it was govt support to private industry either by support or subsidies or tax incentives…
         
        i don’t think you can’t have government workers, so that’s just silly – let’s ask someone from Moore OK, i’m sure they’ll agree with me….

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        it gets tricky when the corporations lobby and write the tax code so they can eliminate most of their tax burden through forign subsidiaries and accounting tricks. if a normal individual or small business could just say”  sorry all my income went to my forign office where the taxes are almost zero so i am actually in debt in america so my tax burden is almost 0″ then it would be fair but otherwise its a scam. F Ireland ,make these corporations pay their taxes in america

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      SNAP (food stamps) alone cost the Feds $81B in 2012.

      Total ‘welfare’ spending is now the largest single expenditure (now exceeding SS) and exceeds $750B.  IF you include state  spending it now exceeds $1T.

      This doesn’t include the EITC — to the tune of another $50B per year as transfer payments to the working poor.

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/welfare-spending-now-largest-federal-budget-item_654849.html

      • AC

        that’s the only read that shows those numbers, why?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I’m not sure.  The numbers are out there but someone had to add up all 83 programs.

        • HonestDebate1

          AC, there are two possibilities as I see it. Either The Weekly Standard made it up to spread a lie and create a mountain out of a molehill to criticize policy, or everybody else is avoiding reporting the cold hard truth for fear of being labeled as heartless.

          I’m sure TWS isn’t the only one showing the numbers but they sure are not widely reported. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          No percentages. Plenty raw numbers to scare people. Funny how the WS does that.

  • madnomad554

    The farther society gets away from its agrarian roots and beginnings, the more prevalent this is going to become. I’m gonna say this fully knowing it will be shot down with one excuse after the other, because it has been shot down before…

    GROW AS MUCH OF YOUR OWN FOOD AS POSSIBLE.

    Let the excuses begin.

    It amazes me that most Americans have no problem growing grass, meaning the lawn. The lawn and garden industry is a $25 billion a year industry. And by the way, the garden part of that has almost nothing to do with growing food. It’s lawn and garden as in, “curb appeal”. Many have no problems spending money on lawn mowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, but won’t spend one penny on growing food. All that sweating, toiling and sunburning over grass, but will seemingly be damned before they sweat, toil and sunburn over a potato.

    I can here the excuse drumbeats already. Most will say, don’t have the time, yet you have time to mow grass. Adults in this country consume 28 hours of TV per week and 13 hours of internet use per week. Twelve year kids are consuming 35 hours of TV per week…surely the kids can sweat a little in a food producing garden.

    So there, I just found millions of people 41 hours per week, to grow food. If your gonna sweat over grass, why can’t you sweat over food?  

    • Shag_Wevera

      Gardens are great.  I expand mine a little every year.  I still don’t want anyone to be hungry and don’t think there is any reason for it.

      • donniethebrasco

         When you spend all your time waiting in line for food and housing, there is no time to grow your own food.

        You also have to work.  Working is for people who support me.

    • adks12020

      You’re right growing your own food is great and doesn’t take much time…if you have the space to do it in. Most urbanites don’t exactly have a lot of room to grown food.

      I feel lucky that although live in an upstairs apartment in a city I have a good sized porch on which I grow tomatoes, various herbs, peppers, & garlic.  I’m also thinking about planting some beans. All those things can be grown in pots. I don’t know many city dwellers that are lucky enough to have the kind of space I have though.

      A lot of the poorest people in this country live in cities. They don’t own homes with yards or have access to their own outdoor space like I do.

      • madnomad554

         Yes a clay pot and a 99 cent pack of seeds go a long way.

        All benevolence doesn’t have to come by way of food stamps for the inner city and such. Surely there are caring suburbanites who could grow more food than they need and simply give it away at a farmers market. Most if not all large urban areas have at least one farmers market.

        There is no magic bullet for this problem, but incremental change, along with food producing sweat and toil, could arrest most of this problem.

        • adks12020

          You know, now that I think about it, there is a program in my city where people with yards donate a portion of their yard space to others so they can grow food on it. In exchange the people growing the food give a small amount to the person that owns the home. A lot of the people donating space are older people that cant do the work themselves. It helps them and the people they donate their yard space to.
           
          I saw that on the news a few weeks ago and thought it was a fantastic idea.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “You’re right growing your own food is great and doesn’t take much time…if you have the space to do it in.”

        …and don’t forget the time.

        “Food deserts” disproportionately affect poor people, and should be part of this show.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          “food deserts” are a myth.

  • HonestDebate1

    I’m all for a safety net. I’m all for helping people in need on a temporary basis but it’s gotten out of hand. People are using food stamps for liquor and lap dances. I have no doubt crack dealers accept them too.

    There is also the issue of States recruiting and seeking out as many recipients as possible to shift welfare cost to the Feds.

    I do understand the economy Obama has given us has caused so much misery that many legitimate recipients find them necessary through no fault of their own.

    • Shag_Wevera

      A hopelessly partisan post.  “The economy Obama has given us”.  Does it have anything to do with the economy Obama was given by the president preceding him?   BTW, can I get the address of the gentleman’s club that accepts food stamps for lap-dances?

    • jefe68

      Oh please.

      • HonestDebate1

        Where am I wrong?

      • 1Brett1

        You know “HonestDebate1″ is Gregg Smith don’t you? …Consider the source.

  • Scott B

    I wonder how many people wouldn’t be hungry if Apple, Google, Facebook, BP, et al, were paying the billions of dollars in taxes they should be?

    • donniethebrasco

       It is not taxes, it is wages.

      Thinking that you can tax solutions to poverty creates more despair and more poverty.

      • Scott B

          The “job creators” are only creating jobs in the offices of CPAs, tax
        attorneys, and banks in the Carribean and Switzerland (just talk to
        Mitt!).  The companies, like Apple, find it cheaper to build catch net
        for jumpers at FoxxConn, than to pay a living wage.  They hide billions
        in Byzantine tax law loopholes custom made for those like them. 
        Corporate execs get paid millions a year, and ever increasing pay and
        benefits; while the companies cut costs by mass lay-offs, wage freezes,
        and cutting benefits (like insurance) that make workers pay more out of
        pocket and less able to bye essentials like food.

        “Don’t say it’s raining when your pissing down my back” – Skid Row “Riot Act”

  • donniethebrasco

    Poor parents are being conditioned to not have to feed their kids.

    That is your responsibility.  The kids are also being conditioned.

  • donniethebrasco
  • Scott B

    There’s a mistaken notion by conservatives in Congress that, somehow, people forced to not be able to afford food, will make them find jobs and make better budget decisions. Yet these same conservatives in Congress have no problem creating, and maintaining, a tax code that benefits the wealthiest people and corporations, subsidizing those that least need help, who are the biggest draw on the government teat.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Can we get a less Public Radio Polite “Both Sides Have a Point” title?

    I hope the show itself is better, but when I saw one clueless GOP congresscritter and centrist-right pundit after another climbing on board the bandwagon, I should have placed a bet in Vegas that public radio would be helpless to swallow this baited hook.

    And was it so difficult to find a left-wing editorial for the reading list? Leave it to the WSJ to not know the first thing about the disconnect between “the economy on average” and working class incomes.

  • unknown_personality

    Lets make a budget where all of congress makes so little money that they qualify for food stamps, and see how they feel when their food stamps get cut.  It disgusts me that the people that are making all these decisions about what happens are the ones that these decisions never affect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    This is not a some say kind of things.  If they cut benefits people will be hurt.  The Republicans can say all they want but numbers do matter.  Just heartless.

  • Scott B

    Let those millionaires in Congress live like the 99% for even 6 months, and see how they feel afterwards. Must be nice to not have to worry about where your kids’ next meal is coming from.

  • Jim

    To the conservatives.. or the fake and so-called tea party,
    this is class warefare. and it will not only affect poor inner city families… it will affect YOU as well. just watch.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      It’s pretty much all class warfare, and the plutocrats are really good at it. Screw the lower middle and lower classes with offshoring, union busting, tax cuts etc and then when they are forced to the safety net, complain that too many slackers are getting a freebie, and cut that too. My hat is off.

      Maybe a bill allowing you to buy guns with food stamps could save the program.

      • Jim

        excellent idea… when they are hungry, they can use the guns to rob a grocery store?

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Even better….that would be “self reliance” that aynal rand would approve :)

      • Jasoturner

        Class warfare?  Or simple selfishness?  I think a lot of wealthy people don’t care a whit about anybody but their own families and their own money.  It is the acceptance of selfishness as some form of noble industriousness that has poisoned the well.  I mean, it manifests itself as class warfare, but basically we’re just a bunch of greedy, uncaring free agents.  I believe it really did used to be different.

  • creaker

    We are dismantling the floor that has kept the working poor placid enough to keep organized labor from moving in, just when we’re about to push through an immigration bill that will bring in guest workers to replace them. Interesting timing.

  • alsordi

    FOOD STAMPS are transfer payments to big beef, pork, wheat, corn and dairy producers….also the oil companies. 

    Just like government employment is a transfer payment to the above and to Walmart.

    And we should also mention the defense industry that makes things that go boom.  

    Much of the above are useless, but the US has this huge private bank that keeps printing fiat money to pay for all this eating, loafing and killing, which fuels the economic activity of the USA

  • carl_po

    Would someone please ocmment on the hypocrasy of red-state legislators decrying government spending while continuing to be major league hogs at the trough?  why is it that the media rarely addresses this reality? 

  • MarkVII88

    Since so many people in favor of cutting food stamps cite the fact that EBT credits can allow the recipients to buy unhealthy foods like soda, chips, cookies, and lots of pre-packaged junk, what is the feasibility of seriously restricting the eligible foods these credits can buy?  I’m thinking that restricting qualified items only to food staples like eggs, milk, fruit, bread, meats, cheese, veggies, rice, beans, nuts. Let those on EBT buy crap with their own money.

  • creaker

    This hasn’t been about feeding people – if all that foodstamp money wasn’t handed from the poor to corporations and factory farms, the program would disappear in a week.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    People not being able to buy hot food like a cooked chicken with food stamps at the grocery store is STUPID. They can buy soda, candy, cookies and other junk, but not REAL food!

    They can buy a cake from the bakery section, but not a cooked chicken?? What is the difference? They both take effort on the part of someone at the store to prepare. One is clearly more healthy than the other which, food value wise, isn’t much different than cookies.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    So does the fact that the number of folks who have fallen so far that they depend upon food stamps imply that people suddenly became twice as lazy or that the number of jobs that pay a living wage has fallen through outsourcing, vulture capitalism and other systemic problems in our economic system?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Clearly laziness. They woke up one morning and said ‘Gee, I think I’d like to live in poverty so I can sit around the house and get free money from the government’  ;)

  • caitrin MacDonald

     I have food stamps and keeps me and my children fed.  IF I lost my food stamps I would have no opportunity to go back to school and dig myself out of poverty.  I am beginning grad school for an masters of science in nursing to work in family care as a Nurse Practitioner.  In 3 years I will no longer need food stamps.  The out of touch, well paid politicians need to stop blaming poor people for ruining the economy.  As if the poor were that powerful.  Look to thieves on wall street, the increasing wealth gap, other policies that congress and the senate have passed to see what the real causes of our economic woes are in this country.  Maybe politicians should take a pay cut and reduce their health insurance coverage. 

  • Dab200

    Simple solution: increase the minimum wage (double it at least!)  and then one can cut the majority of food stamps.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      What happens to a job when the wage paid for that job exceeds the value derived from it?

      • Dab200

        Redundant! But if wages were increased you would see that it wasn’t the case. It is a choice of deciding how big the profits should be, how many hundreds of times more the CEO’s salaries should be than these of regular workers. Majority of corporations sit nowadays on great loads of cash, without investing or extending their work force. The value of these huge profits derived from the work of minimum wage employee. Maybe some balance would be in order.

        • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

          The salary of the CEO is a red herring: in the vast, vast majority cases, you could cut the CEO’s compensation to zero and not materially impact the balance sheet. Please stop deflecting the conversation to CEOs whenever the issue of the value of low-skill labor comes up.

          Now, address the question: what happens to a job when the wage paid for that job exceeds the value derived from it? I.e., when the job is not worth what the government says you have to pay for it? There is only one answer to this, and I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure it out.

          • Dab200

            I said it at the very beginning, that job becomes redundant. I wish an empirical experiment would be possible: all minimum wage workers stop working voluntarily or are fired immediately, either doesn’t matter but they have the freedom and means not to return to work for that kind of money. Within a week the value of that same work increases. The minimum wage, whatever it is now $7-$9 depending on the state is ridiculous. ($7.25 Federal?) What I am saying is that no human being should work full time and be below the level of poverty, have no money to put food on their table. They end up needing assistant and food stamps so it s basically a transfer of wealth – from bottom up!
            I didn’t enjoy the conversation today, it was very general. I want concrete examples: how many employees of i.e. Walmart are on food stamp, get any other Government assistance, what is a total cost of that for us the society and then balance that with tax breaks that Walmart receives, profits it accumulates, etc. And I am not picking on Walmart, it should be done systematically by all major companies,meat industry, agriculture and others. They need to be exposed and shamed. You can not complain about people on food stamps but not pay them enough money to buy their own food. I know there is a lot of waste & cheating within this system but more by far waste is at Pentagon. Why GE didn’t pay any taxes last year and in fact received refund? Why, sorry another cliche, Mitt Romney paid 10-14% in taxes, and working people pay more? I don’t want any hand-outs for anyone, I want the game to be fairer!

  • toc1234

    Tom and Deborah, as Boston-based people, please comment on how much of a sh!tshow the Mass EBT program has been.  the highlight was that the bureaucracy that runs it couldn’t explain why millions of dollar per year were going to people who moved or died.  then as a follow-up there was a major police sting operation concerning misuse of EBT money. 

  • Markus6

    I have no problems with people who are in need getting food stamps. My guess is 95% of people agree with this. But isn’t it possible that what’s happened with disability insurance has now happened to food stamps; it’s been corrupted.  We now see a separate currency with food stamps with its’ own black market. I’ve heard in Massachusetts, the governor refused to put people’s pictures on the ID needed for the stamps. It’s no longer just people in need getting stamps, it’s people using them to make money who don’t need them.

    I know this is happening; I just don’t know how much. If it’s less than 5%, that’s probably fine. If it’s greater than 10%, it’s not. 

    Are there any facts here, or is it just demagoguery about how mean republicans want poor people to starve. I can guess which way this conversation will go.

    • brettearle

      I doubt that there is one place in government–whether it is at the check-cutting end, where these `certificates for cash’ (SS, Medicaid, SSI) are issued in the mail; or else at the Congressional appropriations-end, where special-interest allocations are attached to large bills, by Congressmen, who need to promote benefits, of any kind, for their constituency–where there isn’t mismanagement of funds.

  • sickofthechit

    Why make someone fill out the same paperwork over and over if the first set gives the examiner the info they need to qualify/disqualify them for the benefits?

    I could have qualified for food stamps for the last 8-10 years, but decided I could not morally do it because I could be working harder and so did not think it would be right for me to go on the dole.  I regret it very much.  Having to spend $100 or so less per month over the last 8-10 years would have allowed me to avoid foreclosure 4 years ago.

    The cost of food stamps is well worth the return we realize in terms of health and welfare.

    One thing that absolutely has to be controlled is stopping the people who sell their food stamps to get drug or alcohol money. 
    charles a. bowsher

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Why make someone fill out the paperwork over and over?

      You’re in Kentucky, if I recall. Do they have that Texas-style way of having government services available but doing everything in their power to make people unable to get them?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       Hindsight. Certainly the local economy would have benefited from you keeping your house.

      But I share your moral dilemma. I’m pretty sure my older daughter could get SS disability but as I have a job and can take care of her, I have not done it. On the other hand, should I lose my job, the cost of health insurance alone would break me.

  • AC

    catch 22?
    if you limit the types of foods people can purchase, will frito lay and coca cola end up having to lay off workers?

    what an issue. i can’t find a starting point to think about it all!

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Damned Disqus – not posting replies properly AGAIN.
    This is a reply to Scott B.
     
    I would LOVE for everyone who supports this sort of thing to be required to live for one year on minimum wage, with no savings and no family to borrow from. I wonder if they would think the food stamp program is needed then.

    • AC

      that would make a good reality tv show. pitch it to a network & let them find you your ambitious politician willing….

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         It would be great to watch them squirm on TV, “proving” how it is NOT hard to live in poverty, while waiting out their year of purgatory.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Barbara Ehrenreich put her bottom where her mouth was, in “Nickeled and Dimed”.

          Still waiting for the first right-wing pundit or pol or wingnut welfare hack to do this, let alone some CEO who’s on CNBC’s Rolodex.

          • glorkohl

            Barbara Ehrenreich”s “Nickel and Dimed” was published in 2001, when she was quoted as saying that one full time minimum wage job was not enough “if you want to live indoors”. 
            A stupendous success, the book is now required reading in many high schools.  Guess what we need to prepare today’s college grads for?
            Yep, you guessed it….

                That was 2001. Can any listeners
            out there spell “progress”?

    • Scott B

       I’ve suggested  that Morgan Spurlock get in touch with me. Let them live on min wage, and throw a wrench in now and then where their car breaks down, or the water heater blows and they have to miss work, they HAVE to buy insurance, sit in social services offices  for hours, “get cancer” or “break and arm”, get fired, all of it! 

      Wendell Potter, former VPO at Cigna insurance, literally took a Sunday drive while visiting his parents and found a  health safari in WV. He was astounded to find hard working people, and people that lost jobs through no fault of their own, lined up for hours for free basic health care, eye care, dentistry. This is the man that lead, and wonm the industry crusade against Michael Moore’s movie on the heath care system in the US, and he had an epiphany and now works helping people. wendellpotter.com

  • creaker

    Back a hundred years ago, people who couldn’t get paid enough from their jobs to feed their kids unionized. Now they get food stamps.

    We subsidize so companies can pay low wages.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The he’s our Jesus, no he’s MY Jesus audio was great. The tool saying that Jesus was his personal savior and that Jesus wants us to be good to each other but be bad to the government couldn’t be more clueless. We ARE the government moron, you think you would know that since you work within it. Oh wait, that’s right, it works for you doesn’t it?

  • Scott B

    The part of Food Stamps that hurts is when recipients, like my family was, that are just getting back on their feet, and if you make ANYTHING over the income limit, they take it all away.
     We are a family of 3, and both adults lost our jobs before my wife got her back. We were less than $20 over the limit and they took the less than $200 per month  in food stamps away, forcing us to rob Peter to pay Paul in deciding what bill didn’t get paid.

    When my wife called social services to find out what happened, and was very polite about it, the soc. services worker thanked her, as she had been getting yelled at all morning by people like the family of 5 that lost all their food stamps for being less that $10 over the limit.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      That is SO WRONG! You would think they would have a built in “limit PLUS the aid you are getting” before pulling the EBT.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yep. Hey, where are all our “right wing reformers” on this? You think they’d be all on top of making this better for people who want to work.

      • Scott B

         We thought it was a mistake, which is why she called.  Also, that’s BEFORE TAX money they base it on, like we were able to spend that big big (big for us) chunk of money on something like food or bills.  The soc services worker sounded like she was having a really rough day, and was very sympathetic, saying she wished there was something she could do.

        They also take the sum your last 4 paychecks and figure that’s what you earn every week all year. So if you get a chance for OT, or worse- mandatory OT – you’re screwed!  We’ve been on and off food stamps because my wife would get some OT and off we went. Never mind that those couple of weeks might be the only OT she got for months. Then we’d have to wait for a month so the figure went down to what it usually was, and start the process all over again. 

        It’s not like anyone’s trying to get rich, but you certainly can’t get your footing if you can’t find a foothold, let alone keep it.

        I can see taking away dollar for dollar. But all of it for less than $10 a month?  Better, let people have, say, $50 a month of certain products, much like WIC, for a few months, so they can get off the system and stay off the system.

  • geraldfnord

    It all depends on how much you like capitalism and want to see it stick around.

    I net-like capitalism but it always seems not to work for some people either by reason of their unfitness (e.g. a two-year-old with poor parental-choice skills who refuses to get a damn job!) or otherwise (e.g. the usefulness of the threat of poverty in making people accept dangerous or abusive working conditions even as they are taught to hate the poor as an outlet for the rage proper to their own owners and masters). Either the State should allow those who lose this particular game to starve–private charity has never been sufficient to avoiding this…never—or it should kluge some way of keeping this from happening.

    I think the latter course to be the better one for those of us for capitalism works…if not out of simple, human, decency then for the simple reason that capitalism teaches all of us to look to our own self-interest, and if it doesn’t work well enough for enough of us, their self-interest will at least seem to be in its destruction.

  • Scott B

    The male guest says kids can be on WIC, but WIC only covers kids until they are 5 years old. Thank the powers that be that her school qualified for a free breakfast and lunch program now that she’s over 5, or we’d be circling the drain that much faster. Do kids 5 and over not need to eat, too, on the same strained budgets of so many parents?

  • debhulbh

    We are creating poor with our outrageous prison policies. By locking up 2 plus million of our own people young men with families who are locked up for 5-10-15 yrs cannot provide for their families many of these men are first time non violent offenders!!! There is another 4 million who have gone through the .system and their families are affected by the lack of earnings etc. nd turn to food stamps to fed their children.

    47 million are on this program was the statement made. Who are these 47 million? who are these poor? What is their story? what percentage of this number is directly linked to the 6 million mens families who are tied up in our out of touch prison system. Lengthy prison sentences not commiserate with the crime, send young men and women (mostly men) to prison and their families suffer. Our prison system is filled with men. and the correlation is that… the men are gone …. their families suffer.
    We are creating this problem by locking up men for huge lengths of time, many of them first time nonviolent offenders. Policy such as mandatory minimums affect this issue majorly…
    Must be included in this debate…

  • Jim

    reducing or eliminating food stamp means no more social mobility for thousands of AMERICAN families… 

    Shame on congressional leaders for even thinking about cutting back food stamps.

    TO the so called leaders in Washington,
    America should not be a ME ME ME society like you want to portray it. do some selfless act instead of continuing to be selfish pigs. do NOT cut back on food stamps.

  • donniethebrasco

     Rice, beans, milk, kale, bread, and eggs.

    Vegan diets for government wards.

    Something the lefties can agree.

    Also, drug tests and no smoking.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Sure, drug tests for all beneficiaries!

      That means every middle-class suburbanite’s home mortgage points and interest deduction. That means every “self employed” luxury-car-driving accountant’s Euro sports sedan writeoff.

      Unless you’re into moral-hazard shaming of the poor, let’s do this all the way around.

    • 1Brett1

      Except that “milk…bread, and eggs” would not be vegan.  Ah, now you’re advocating that government should control all aspects of a person’s life if he/she gets something from the government…okay, then.

  • creaker

    It’s amazing they negotiate food stamps against crop subsidies, when these huge corporate farms benefit from both. They win either way.

  • donniethebrasco

    City Year employees are encouraged to apply for food stamps by their management.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “Rationing by inconvenience”?

    I have a feeling that there’s a “True the voteSNAP” thinktank report coming out soon.

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    ____________________________
    -
    -
    I think the big issue here is that these phony Ayn Rand acolytes that simultaneously refer to themselves as Christian simply CANNOT have it both ways: either you’re a Social Darwinian or you’re a Christian – you can’t be both!
    -
    -
    ____________________________

  • Scott B

    Richard Wollf had a great quote on Bill Moyer’s PBS program that said we had two schools of money: The economic schools, and those based in reality, called “business schools”.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    “Anton, please tell the class today how your family copes with losing food stamps.”

    “I’m fine. I ate this morning. Jimmer was good.”

    “Jimmer?”

    “Yeah, he was my kid brother.”

    Now SNAP is on the table but not the dinner table. Once that happens, the door is open for further cuts.

    So, here we are. Subsidies for Big Ag, Pharma and Oil. These things happen because we have a Congress with no historical context. Of course there’s administrative waste at SNAP, no different than corporate waste in the form of actuaries who influence tax law in their favor.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Disqus at it STILL. Reply is to HonestDebate1 related to lap dances, etc.

    Then the problem is FRAUD by those taking EBT credits for non eligible “products”.

    One has to wonder WHY it is possible to get cash with an EBT card since they are supposed to be used for food and hot food isn’t eligible.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yeah, at some point it gets funny where “bad actors in SNAP means stop SNAP”.

      Reform sounds useful, but “reform doesn’t mean reform” from all people. I’m talking about the same people who have it in their head to “reform” SocSec.

      Anyone in the center and right calling for reform of SNAP has to prove they haven’t spent the last five years (or hell, since the Hunting of Bill Clinton) trying to destroy governance. Because they are not to be trusted.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I’d like to see us, as a nation, dump the resources and time that is currently devoted to the abject failure that is the war on drugs into fraud investigation. Not just fraud committed by “poor, lazy, people”, but fraud committed at EVERY level. Corporate and financial fraud are undeniably the biggest players so let’s start with them. Once we’ve stopped the hundreds of billions of dollars that vanish through these means annually we can crack down on the EBT transgressions. Prioritize.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Two problems that I’d like to see addressed by the food stamp discussion: why is junk food which is the root cause of many health problem considered eligible food? The other issue is the ‘food deserts’ created by our thriving fast food, processed food and junk food industries; how can we modify SNAP to promote nutrition?

    • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

      Make vegetables cheaper. 

  • donniethebrasco

    We all agree to feed the poor.

    The problems:

    1. cheaters who buy lobster meat.
    2. encouraging parents to not feel that they are responsible to feed their children
    3. people vote with their stomachs and wallets.  They support the people that feed them.  The market should feed.  No bread lines.
    4. McDonalds accepts food stamps.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       How can McDonald’s accept food stamps when hot food is not eligible nor is food purchased to be eaten at the location? Soda and shakes to go??

      • jefe68

        And there lies the rub. This guy is throwing as much mud as he can and hopes something will stick.

        He’s a real piece of work.

        • glorkohl

          Shoo! I never thought that the Obamaphone chick was an “OnPoint” listener nor a listener’s fave! See, you
          learn something everyday just by listening
          to this show ! What a world!!  

      • 1Brett1

        Yeah, that just BS. So is his “I sell out of my lobsters because people on foodstamps buy me out” meme.

    • HonestDebate1

      And there is an enabling factor as well. If you don’t have to worry about buying food that leaves more money for the lotto, beer and iPhones.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Do your market research: That’s “malt liquor” and “Androids”.

        • 1Brett1

          But, but, but, Gregg, er, “HonestDebate1″ says nobody characterizes SNAP recipients as “welfare queens,” TF. 

          • HonestDebate1

            Never said it, liar.

          • 1Brett1

            Regarding how some use racism to characterize those on SNAP, and Welfare in general as “welfare queens,” etc….to which Gregg, er, “HonestDebate1″ said “next you’ll be saying ‘welfare queen’ is racist.”

            Me: “Only if one were to characterize those on foodstamps as lazy, entitled blacks languishing on their front porch while they watch their flat-screen TVs, drive Cadillacs, and use their SNAP money for crack.”

            Gregg: “But no one does.”Gregg now says, “never said it, liar.”

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you for clarifying what I never said.

            Here’a clue “blacks” is your word. No one said it. Plenty of people use “welfare queens” I never said they didn’t. You injected race all by yourself. That’s sick.

            Pleas don’t use my name, I have anonymized all my previous comments and changed my account.

          • 1Brett1

            Finally, you made a direct, polite request, and you even offered a little info. beyond that. Thank you, I will honor and respect that.

            Now, as far as “welfare queens” that has some very specific connotations, and most people would see some level of racism associated with that phrase. Injecting race into it isn’t my doing. Simply because you don’t believe it has any racial undercurrents, doesn’t make it so. 

            What did I tell you you never said? You are so cagy, it’s hard to keep up with your shell game opinions.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well thanks but I thought I already asked nicely.

            The connotations were never said by Reagan they were connoted by racist. 

            I never said what you said I said.

            “HonestDebate1″ says nobody characterizes SNAP recipients as “welfare queens,”

            I said nobody characterizes welfare queens as lazy blacks. Certainly Reagan didn’t, I didn’t, I haven’t read it here, just the accusation.

          • 1Brett1

            YOU? Who posted a Youtube video on this forum after the last presidential election (to perpetutate your narrative that poor people and minorities “voted for Obama just to get free stuff”) showing a poor, run-down, inebriated black woman ranting about why she hadn’t gotten her “Obama phone” and other free stuff? NO, no, no one would ever construe that as an attempt at a racist mentality… 

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re lying again. You lump poor people with minorities, I don’t, I never have. I don’t assume blacks are poor.

            Who, Glozell? She’s funny, you believed her act. She was making fun of you.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TswMeHnh2cA 

            Or maybe you were talking about this piece of trash but she got her phone:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio

          • 1Brett1

            No, Gozell was making fun of people like you, and you took her satire out of context to say something about your belief that black people voted for Obama because he’s black (specifically, you were talking about Colin Powell, but you used a Glozell video to accompany your nonsense). Your use of her video was racist to distort it for your own meaning…but, yeah, you posted this video above just after the election. Yep, you’re a racist, a southern white racist (at least you’re a classic).

          • HonestDebate1

            Yadda yadda.

    • glorkohl

      Which McDonald’s accept the foodstamps?  In
      our grocery store, ‘prepared foods’ ( rotisserie chicken, for example) cannot be purchased with food stamps.  How does McDonald’s circumvent this restriction? NJ also  allows no soda or candy on the stamps; that’s cash payable just like the prepared foods.  Interesting!

  • caitrin MacDonald

    And let me tell you that it takes a lot of time, energy and work to apply for food stamps and send more information every 3 months to prove that recipients still qualify.  This is very upsetting, and it pits Americans against each other because it identifies a group to blame, even though poor people are NOT THE PROBLEM!

  • donniethebrasco

    Another problem:

    Chechen terrorists got food stamps.

    • jefe68

      Another problem:

      Inane people with a computer and internet access.

  • alsordi

    Its the illegal immigrants who you see at the grocery store with one chicken and some vegetables in their basket. THey are also typically accompanied by a wife and kids (traditional family). 
    Its the very large single american mothers that have one or two shopping carts filled with all the worst foods you can imagine. 

    • jefe68

      How did you know that the family you saw in the grocery store were illegal immigrants? Did you ask them for their ID?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Hey, some folks have a sixth-sense about that, the way I remember the logos of every NY-Penn League team from 1998.

        (And I miss the Vermont Expos.)

  • creaker

    One group that isn’t getting mentioned that would get hit by this is the military.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/food-stamp-cuts-military-bases-commissary_n_1607249.html

    • donniethebrasco

       The military receive food stamps because of how they receive compensation.

      They receive a salary, but they also receive housing allowances, food allowances, etc.

      Their low salary allows those with large families to qualify for food stamps.

      If their salary is $35,000 (which qualifies for food stamps), they receive the taxable equivalent of $60,000 with housing and food allowances.

      • creaker

        That’s not the military I remember – if you’re lower ranking (not qualified for base housing), married with kids (not eating on the base), you don’t get much of anything beyond salary.

  • lydia447

    I live in KY and know of many who are on food stamps that sell  them every month.  There is a lot of fraud in this program!  

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       You can turn them in anonymously. If you know of the fraud and do NOT report it, you are equally responsible for that fraud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    Caller was funny.  Don’t give people SNAP benefits because it makes them lazy.  Never mind the 9 months he received them that didn’t count.

  • donniethebrasco

    not lazy and dependent

    the problem is that parents don’t feel responsible for feeding their children.

    They also don’t take promotions at work because they will lose benefits. (and they don’t work overtime)

    I’d rather see unionization of places like Walmart, McDonalds, etc. instead of having government benefits to enable these low wage jobs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beth.jacobs.54 Beth Jacobs

      they can not feed them it is a game of Russian roulette and that nasty comment about “nice collage “students is so condescending the fact that there is a push for every one to collage is making things worse and those “collage volunteers” are making things even worse and worse they are like 95% of all American “volunteers” (And I am a volunteer but most are upper class who write  off their volunteer hours on their taxes) who need something too do so their “spouses” destroy cultures that were once self sustaining (and carry out rape by the way to leaving uncared for kids ) so that their leisure class spawn and wives can have something to do

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.jacobs.54 Beth Jacobs

    collage is a myth the lower class are the new slave labor and you know it

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

    Let’s TRIM the defense budget down some–I’m sure we could find the money for SNAP and still have a defense budget larger than the next seven or so countries combined.

    Cut down on farm subsidies.

    And tighten restrictions on what you can buy with SNAP. More EBT programs at farmers markets.

    Some people need this program and use it well. In hard times or students trying to get ahead. Some people legitimately can’t work.

  • liminalx

    Wow, so many vitriolic comments towards the hungry and poor.

     

    As more and more resources are consumed by the few (via
    conservative legislation) and the poor are demonized, the U.S.A. continues to
    “trickle down” the road towards oblivion. 

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    ____________________________
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    -
    I absolutely love how the farm bill is structured – it forces those hypocrites whom are opposed to one from of welfare – (such as food for kids) – but are proponents of other forms of welfare, (such as Corporate handouts), to not hide behind ideology and phony religious aphorisms.

    -
    -
    ____________________________

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    Thank you to the caller who so accurately pointed out how the conservative cry of lowering taxes will create jobs has been so hollow! I agree with the idea of pulling SNAP out of the Farm Bill, but eliminating it or reducing it too much is insane.

    There is certainly abuse in the system that should be rooted out (although I am always amused by the great cries about abuse in social welfare systems and the suggestions that accompany those cries to eliminate the welfare, but everyone knows people who cheat with their tax deductions (aka cheat the system), but few call for the end of deductions….). And just like illegal workers, it needs to focus on the businesses that foster the abuse. If you arrested the store owners who allow it to happen..

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Just silly.  Unemployment did go down after the Bush tax cuts but we haven’t really had pro-growth tax reform.

      It would be like a conservative complaining about the liberal PROMISE to end poverty.  Well, we’ve spent $15T since the ’60s and poverty hasn’t budged.  Not a good investment, eh?

      http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/11864-the-war-on-poverty-$15-trillion-and-nothing-to-show-for-it

      • Jasoturner

        Well, that raises a question.  Are you suggesting that poverty today would be exactly the same had we never made any efforts to address it?

        In my industry, electrical use will generally increase by 2% per year.  If you spend money on conservation it might lead to no load growth.  That doesn’t mean the conservation didn’t work.  It means you need to consider alternative outcomes as well.

        • donniethebrasco

          If you make electricity 25% more expensive, it will be used less.

          If you don’t give away money for food, poor people won’t be obese.

          • Jasoturner

            I work at a hospital.  I’ve gotta run things no matter what electricity costs, and we’ve cut our use brutally already.

            There seems to be a linkage between being poor and being obese, but it seems to be linked to the dietary choices the obese can afford and have access to.  Gary Taubes has a good discussion of this topic in “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. 

            Now it is true that places that don’t subsidize food for the poor, like North Korea, don’t have poor fat people walking around.  But I don’t think you want to advocate for that model.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           No, my point is that would be also be a superficial and inaccurate argument just like Elizabeth’s.

          However, the macro analysis certainly says two things.  1) we spent a lot of money 2) we didn’t solve the problem.

  • IP_woodchuck

    Followed a 20 something thru grocery store other day. 2 Carts FULL of frozen Pizza, other frozen junk food, chips, cakes, cookies. 2 carts, but no fresh vegetables, fresh fish, nothing like that. Mostly junk. She paid with the “ETB-SNAP” card. I am tired of paying for lazy people playing the system! Keepm it for eldely, or those who recently lost employment.

    • Blue_To_Shoe

      ____________________________
      -
      -
      And I guarantee that the very few Americans that are making extreme sacrifices through their military service are tired of paying their blood for lazy, comfortable living, able-bodied, macho ‘tough talkers’ that bark loudly and nothing else.
      -
      -
      ____________________________

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       That person must get a LOT of EBT money. Nothing cheap about any of that, and enough EBT credits to fill 2 carts?

      I suspect for every one person like the one you saw, there are 99 that are working their tails off to get as much food value per credit as they can.

  • donniethebrasco

    She is a member of the poor-industrial complex that encourages wrapping one’s self in victimhood.

    • nj_v2

      Please just shut up.

    • geraldfnord

      True…nothing bad ever happens to anyone who doesn’t fully deserve it in this Just World.

  • donniethebrasco

    Where can I buy food stamps?

    • sickofthechit

       Not recommended, it is a Federal Offense to buy, sell or trade them.

  • donniethebrasco

    Drug tests, not fridge checks.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Dude, time to switch to decaf. I don’t know what combo of licit and illicit drugs may improve the quality of your output. There are just a bunch of us praying (even agnostics like me) for less quantity from you.

      • jefe68

        He’s a pill.

  • srm41

    Tom – 1st – foodstamps is also part of nutrition program.  2nd – anyone who suggests a person prefers to live off of food stamps and not work has no understanding of a person who has been unemployed and struggling. There is a huge amount of shame,  embarrassment and discrimination unemployed people feel and experience. No one would voluntarily live like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Jones/100001340260805 Mike Jones

    food stamps and minimum wage should be talked about
    at same time, they are intertwined. two thirds of minimum or
    low wage jobs are at larger companies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Here’s a good idea: raise the cost of hiring people such that poor, low-skilled people who would otherwise scrape by with a job at a low wage and no health care instead have no job, no wage, and still no health care. That will solve all our problems!

  • brettearle

    It can be quite common, it seems to me, that when a society is going through severe economic downturns–which put excessive burdens on families and individuals–that there is a tendency to scapegoat and blame the weakest among us.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      But doesn’t that make “mathematical” sense?

      Spread the load over the widest base so the actual “dollar hit” to each “responsible” person is lower.
      ;)

      • brettearle

        I take your,  ;),   to be tongue-and-cheek, based on your comment….

        which, if your comment is in the `vein’ that I think it is, is excellent social satire.

        [Otherwise, you've struck out.  But I think it's, more likely, a Grand-Slam.  (I'm such an Optimist.)] 

  • Jeff

    Cut all ethanol subsidies, slowly phase out all other crop subsidies, make some minor cuts to the EBT program…just make it a bit more difficult to get food stamps, don’t advertise in Spanish, don’t offer the programs to people who are not eligible (verify) and don’t allow application over the phone/internet (make people go ask for help face to face with a human being).

    • jefe68

      Don’t advertise in Spanish?
      Do tell.

      • Jeff

        Here you go, directly from the USDA/SNAP website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/  As you can see Spanish-Language Television Advertising is listed as part of their National Media Campaign.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yeah, “Don’t advertise in Spanish”. That’s a hoot: Everyone has paid taxes at some point, and getting the government services they’ve paid for is sorta part of the plan. Unless we want the Federal Government to be like Texas, the laboratory of bad gummint.

      • Jeff

        That’s fine if people pay taxes but legally speaking people who are within the country illegally are not eligible for SNAP/EBT or any other food stamp program.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          You really need to brush up on the tax code, bub. And I won’t even touch how racist it sounds to not provide government services in a language citizens speak.

          Keep jacking that “run government like a bidness efficiency” shite.

  • yingyangyou

    I have been medically disabled and on a fixed income since 1996. Have nearly died from chronic illness twice. Yet I have managed to pay for my own food and housing without government assistance or private assistance. I come from working class people, did middle class work, do not have a trust fund by any means. And…I pay the taxes that fund food stamps.

    First, food stamps are corporate welfare. They enable corporations to pay uneducated and educated people less wages and benefits.

    Second, food stamps encourage generational poverty. They enable poor people to have more children. Using ‘family values’ as a rationale for them is part of the problem. The black market in food stamps among poor drug addicts and illegal immigrants is a part of this issue as well.

    Third, the farm bill leads to huge government food surpluses every year. Why not open school cafeterias and cafeterias in federal buildings to serve low-cost, high-nutrition meals for communities using surplus food stocks?

    Fourth, there is a growing food pantry industry which feeds off the food stamp dollar. Like the shelter industry, it is an expensive bandaid for issues caused by greedy anti-tax corporate capitalism.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Disqus is in rare form today.

    I like the caller’s take that basically if Wal-Mart is unwilling to pay a living wage, Wal-Mart should pay higher taxes to compensate for the unnecessary additional burden that they place on the system.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      Or just eliminate those jobs entirely, which is much more likely. Raising the price of low-skill labor beyond the point at which it is economic and automation will replace it: what it won’t do is magically make low-skill labor worth more.

      • Jasoturner

        That must be why corporate profit margins have been flat for the past decade or so.

        Oh, wait a minute…

        • StilllHere

          With 40%+ of revenues coming from outside the US, talking about a link between corporate profit margins and the US economy makes 0 sense.

  • Scott B

    WIC seems to be a racket for manufacturers. Not the program, but some of the foods allowed.  With WIC we could by a cheese like “Colby” or “Jack”, but if we tried to buy “Colbyjack” that was considered “fancy”, and not allowed, never mind that it was the exact same price by the exact same maker. Some cereals will be allowed, by certain makers, but a cereal that’s much cheaper, with less sugar and better nutrition, will be disallowed.  This holds true for juices, canned goods, and every item on the list.  Worse, the list of what’s allowed will change, seemingly weekly. The can of concentrate juice, the one kind that the kid likes and drinks, isn’t allowed because it’s a slightly smaller size, yet it made the same amount, and was cheaper; so we’d had to  get a kind that no one liked because “those are the rules”.

  • OnpointListener20xx

    Dear Tom & Guests,
    Helping/Feeding the Poor is definitely a civil duty. However, this charity should be done by private entities because they know the people who they are serving and are in a better position to judge where they are helping those who need a hand up or just want a hand out.
    It makes no sense that we have the food stamp program when the the poor is being taxed. The 10% Tax bracket should be eliminated and the 15% bracket should be adjusted. It makes more sense to enpower the poor to keep more of the money that they make through their own actions than to take their income and then giving them food stamps because they can’t feed themselves.

  • caitrin MacDonald

    SNAP is NOT income, because you can ONLY use it for food.  It is NOT cash.  It is a card that can only be used for food, and not all food.

    • OnPointComments

      There are plenty of news stories of people who trade their EBT cards for cash.

  • M S

    Yet, our so-called representatives want to increase the supply of labor and further depress American wages…another NAFTA and broken promises.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jill.castle.750 Jill Castle

    Children are our nation’s future–they need nutrition not only for growth but for brain development. If we raise a nation of poor children who weren’t able to receive needed nutrition early on, how will our nation move forward economically and in a competitive world?
    also, children don’t choose to be born poor–we should help those children who need food and meals…and education. 
    SNAP-ED provides families/parents with the nutrition education they need to make healthier choices!

  • OnpointListener20xx

    Dear Tom & Guests,
    Helping/Feeding the Poor is definitely a civil duty. However, this charity should be done by private entities because they know the people who they are serving and are in a better position to judge where they are helping those who need a hand up or just want a hand out.

    It makes no sense that we have the food stamp program when the the poor is being taxed. The 10% Tax bracket should be reduced to zero. The 15% Tax bracket should be re-adjusted. It makes no sense that Uncle Sam is taxing the poor to the point that they can’t feed themselves and then putting them on a food stamp program.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Why aren’t the huge grocery-store chains & Walmart lobbying to oppose this legislation? A cut down on SNAP benefits will definitely & very negatively affect the shareholders of corporate retail food conglomerates. They ought to be as alarmed as those who will surely starve.

  • Jeff

    Can we please keep the conversation focused on able bodied adults who are on SNAP or EBT?  No disabled person or child will be affected by these suggested changes to the food stamp program.  Holding up children and disabled people as taking the brunt of these reductions in spending is false and we should not play that game.

    • brettearle

      Isn’t the problem–with regard to the viewpoints of those who oppose such benefits–that it is, indeed, difficult to identify and verify abuse? 

      • Jeff

        See my last comment on how to reduce spending:[...make some minor cuts to the EBT program...just make it a bit more difficult to get food stamps, don't advertise in Spanish, don't offer the programs to people who are not eligible (verify) and don't allow application over the phone/internet (make people go ask for help face to face with a human being).] 

        • brettearle

          Those ideas may be reasonable.

          But then, like the IRS, you’ve got to find a
          well-funded program for proper staffing and training–who can, and will, enact due diligence of proper follow-through and discernment of eligibility.

          That, in itself, takes more money and better management–both in which, we might find Government wanting.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            And then we have to get it run properly. And half our elected officials have given up on governance.

          • brettearle

             Yup.

        • broadstreetpump

          Food stamp/SNAP applicants already have to go to a face-to-face interview to verify your identity, along with a few other documents.  This is typically done by the state. Eligibility is verified and you have to reapply later on.  You can also lose your benefit if you mess up.  The amount changes based on changes in income and other factors – for instance if you start to get SSI Disability, you will see your SNAP/food stamp benefit go down. If you go to your local SNAP/food stamp office or look at the application online, you can see what is required.  However, to actually apply and get the benefit itself you need to go to the office.

    • Kiep99

      All changes to SNAP affect the disabled & elderly!  SNAP was cut in January & will be cut again in November.  That will affect how patients cope with multiple chronic drugs.  Taking the drugs on empty stomach or with the wrong food increases organ damage with many drugs as well as the body’s ability to cope with multiple Rx drugs. This will increase side effects, increase ER visits & inpatient visits.  

      The easy part of health care should be nutrition.  SNAP benefits are cut with each Social Security COLA rise regardless of medical need and the fact that the current COLA formula doesn’t even cover Parts B/D premium hikes!!!!

      Social Security COLA must be pegged to the BLS CPI-E measure which tracks elderly/disabled spending almost to the penny.  SNAP benefits need to be expanded as well & coordinated with individual & regional needs. 

  • bilbo44

    I think this is a good issue o discuss because it highlights the problem with our budget. We always discuss individual issues on he merit but never discuss the overall impact on the budget or whether we are willing to pay for the programs. The standard answer for paying is tax the other guy i.e. the 1% or business. We are running approx. $900 billion deficit and have $16 Trillion in debt. when are we going to balance the budget. I think people think when the govt pays for things that it is not their money. It is a lot easier to budget monies when it is at a local level. On the local level people do get involved and make decisions based on what they want to pay. They generally do not enact programs or fund capital programs if they do not want to pay higher taxes. The federal govt does not work this way.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Maybe if Corporations weren’t engaging so fully in the topic you were discussing yesterday impoverished Americans wouldn’t be starving themselves to pick up the slack.

  • Matt_in_Maine

     I resent the implication that SNAP beneficiaries are lazy!  I’m a recent college grad with a wife and daughter. If it weren’t for SNAP, we would have had to leave school or get an abortion when my (then) girlfriend became unexpectedly pregnant.  Republicans don’t want people to get abortions, but don’t give a crap what happens to those babies after they’re born!  It’s crazy!

    • brettearle

      Not to mention their view, for the most part, on Abortion and Capitol Punishment

      • OnPointComments

        I am all for capitol punishment for our members of Congress.
         
        Not to mention the Democrat’s view, for the most part, on abortion and capital punishment.

        • brettearle

          Why don’t you make your views public–so  you can be laughed into Oblivion?

      • mozartman

        Yes, Capitol punishment.  What is this?  Blow up the Capitol?  or do you mean capital punishment? 

        • brettearle

          If you like, you can send a letter of reprimand to my fourth grade teacher.

          Would you like her address?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       You got it wrong pal.  We resent the SNAP beneficiaries that ARE lazy.  Not everyone on SNAP is lazy.  Hopefully it is part of the hand up for those folks.  Good luck to them.

    • OnPointComments

      I resent the implications that people who work and pay taxes are not compassionate, and that it is their responsibility when you irresponsibly have a child that you cannot afford.

    • HonestDebate1

      Only pregnancies from immaculate conception are unexpected. BTW, I think Mary did the nasty.

      It’s pretty tortured to suggest it’s either taxpayers pay for food stamps or abortions run rampant. 

      We are a compassionate nation and no one wants to see kids go hungary. No one minds helping out as long as you help yourself and use the generosity to get back on your feet. I trust you are no longer are on food stamps or at least have a plan for the future to feed yourself.

    • mozartman

      I am all for help to those who need it – see my other posts.  But unintended pregnancies in these days is stupid. You and I know how it works.  A pack of discount condoms costs very little. A Norplant from PP is very cheap too and if you don’t have the money, they will do it for free.  Or, just be careful and find some other way to get the pleasure you seek.  I have very little understanding that in these days, with so much info and so many options, a couple still has an unintended pregnancy.  A little self control and thought goes a long way.  You don’t do the child any favor either.  Get your education, get a Norplant or condoms, have some income and some savings and THEN have a child or two.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Okay, you need to talk to women about what kind of birth control women like and don’t have to depend on a man to use.

        • mozartman

          I mentioned both a condom (man) and Norplant (woman).  Women have more options, but that doesn’t mean that men can just wash their hands off.  But I do blame the guys more since they can “control’ the process more than the woman.  if you have an unintended child in this day and age in the US, you have nobody to blame buy yourself.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Well, themselves, and all those Tea Party leges and their crackpot laws keeping women from the safe and legal abortions.

      • Matt_in_Maine

        You’re calling me stupid without even knowing my personal circumstances?  You’re such a wonderful and compassionate man. 

        First off, I DO KNOW HOW IT WORKS. Guess what? We WERE using birth control.  In case you didn’t know, all birth control methods have a certain percentage of failures. That was us.  I bet you didn’t think about that one, did you?  As to our decision whether to have an abortion, that is a very personal choice, and one I will not discuss online.Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to look for research jobs, now that I’ve graduated cum laude with my BS in biology.  But first I think I’ll spend a few minutes with my amazing daughter who is funny and smart (twice her age in cognitive development), and smile as I consider how some random guy online thinks I shouldn’t have had her.  Shame on you, sir.  Perhaps you should think before you speak in the future.

        • mozartman

          Matt – I am a liberal guy and support those programs.  I may have come across a little harsh, but I did not call you stupid.  i said “that’s stupid.”  Anyway, my apologies.

          Yes, accidents happen and I am aware of it.  I was speaking more in general.  There are so many people out there who put kids into this world without a thought of how they can provide for them.  They only think about themselves and not the consequences.  I waited until I was 30, had a job and some money before I had my first child.  I have two to make sure I can offer them a good education and environment.  I get really upset about people though who have three or more kids, sometimes with different partners and then complain that life is so hard. I am all for asking that these people get a Norplant or a vasectomy if they apply for any kind of public benefit. They can barley afford themselves, letr alone a child or more and those children are very likely to end up in the same place as their parents. 

          • Matt_in_Maine

            Thank you for the apology.  I can understand why you and others may get upset over people like that.  It’s easy to be upset with other people when we don’t know much about them.  It’s good that you were responsible and waited.  That was our plan too, but sometimes life throws us curve balls.  Neither of us came from “welfare families,” and we were both taught the importance of waiting for the right time to have children.  Having a daughter unexpectedly has taught me not to be too quick to judge others.  Their situations may seem even more foolish than mine, but many of the people with 6 kids on welfare didn’t have the benefit of the upbringing I did, and upbringing is so crucial. 

            I think the real shame is that many kids are given a poor education, and that conservatives are working so hard to teach abstinence in schools over sex ed, then complaining about all the poor people needing help.

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    ____________________________
    -
    -
    I am currently basking in the warmth of fake macho talk from soft, suburban-bred commenters that ironically have been coddled the most by this nation – I call it the Paul Ryan delusion.
    -
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    ____________________________

  • Greg Lee

    Not a whole lot of mentioned of those that intentional get pregnant and have children to get benefits.  Think it doesn’t happen – it definitely does.  If a woman is uneducated/unskilled.  Having a child(ren) she can qualify for free or low cost housing, medical care, food benefits, legal help, child support. Depending on what city she’s in the free housing alone is enough to encourage this type of mentality. Why do you think a great many women have multiple children by different men.  What, you think they didn’t learn after the first kid?  Better think again.  She learned all too well. And there’s a very good chance she saw and/or learned this from the generation before her.

    • brettearle

      I would wager that the exploitative population, you identify, is quite low–when it comes to ripping off the system.

      But you, and others, need to believe otherwise–because it fits your political agenda.

      • Greg Lee

        “…quite low…”  More prevalent than you think.  Having one child even when you can’t afford that one, yes, that could be an accident. But knowing you can’t afford the one you have then having more… that’s not a always an “accident.” And I’m sorry for you, if you refuse to accept that some people do have children to get benefits.

        “… your political agenda.”  LOL!  I don’t have a political agenda. I could careless about politics. Simply stating what I’ve see happen multiple times, over and over again.  Whether you like it or not, it occurs. A significant number of people (though not all) use the welfare system as a means to replace education and work. And not use it as the helping hand that I believe it was originally intended to be.  It happens and that’s the way it is.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          You really out yourself as a not-poor white male.

          • Greg Lee

            Wow, good stereotyping. My guess is you’re not an FBI Profiler for a living – hopefully.

      • glorkohl

        Check it out here in Newark, NJ.  While we work part time and cannot get health insurance, have to budget to get by on powdered milk and dried beans and rice, and ration gas in the car to get to 2 jobs,  unemployed welfare women with
        multiple kids know that they are absolutely, completely and utterly guaranteed free health care, food stamps, utility assistance and possible rent assistance until their youngest turns 18.  Who wouldn’t pop out  5 or 6 kids for that return on the investment?  Every foreign born caught onto this real fast… ’cause it’s a sure thing! How can you go wrong? Better yet, America, how can you go right??

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.jacobs.54 Beth Jacobs

    it is a nasty game of Russian roulette set up by the upper classes most people cannot any more afford to: feed, clothe and shelter themselves let alone their kids and choose between needs; and that nasty comment about “nice collage “students is so condescending the fact that there is a push for everyone to go to collage is making things worse. “collage volunteers” are making things even worse than that as they are like 95% of all American “volunteers” (And I am a volunteer but most “do-gooders” are actually upper class people [I use the term "people" loosely]who write off their volunteer hours on their taxes or are “paid” via collage credit) .Most so called volunteers are themselves tax write offs who need something to do so in effect their “spouses” / parents destroy cultures that were once self-sustaining (and carry out rape by the way leaving behind kids ) so that their leisure class spawn and wives can have something to do

    • donniethebrasco

      Unions before aid.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Next week onpoint will have a show on the obesity and diabetes epidemic among the US poor.

    Today’s show will be forgotten.

    • broadstreetpump

      The low benefit of SNAP/food stamps often results in high calorie consumption bc calorie-dense but nutrient-poor foods are more affordable. So you end up with people on SNAP with high BMIs with diabetes, requiring more medical care.

  • HonestDebate1

    Hunger is a great motivator. It’s also amazing how much your body can do without. I’ve been poor and hungry. It never occurred to me to apply for food stamps but I do remember getting some government cheese.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beth.jacobs.54 Beth Jacobs

      you are very lucky and I am guessing young wait till you are old or injured and can not get hired

      • HonestDebate1

        I was young then (20ish) but that was over 30 years ago. Now I have insurance with a very high deductible in case something catastrophic happens. I’ll pay for stitches, medicine, dentistry or other incidentals with money I have set aside for just such things. And I have skills, a work ethic and a reputation for getting the job done professionally and reliably that I have nurtured over that time so work is not a problem. The government is not the only answer.

      • 1Brett1

        Why, “HonestDebate1″ bootstrapped it, and it taught him valuable life lessons! The injured and the elderly are too mollycoddled; they’ll never learn to be self-reliant that way! 

        [sarcasm] 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      …a motivator right up there with anemia and cratered blood sugar.

      Give it a rest or people might think you were too…what’s the phrase? Oh yeah: Too lazy. Too lazy to apply for food stamps.

      • HonestDebate1

        Not all people on food stamps are lazy. No one says that, it’s crazy. But most lazy people are on food stamps.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Hilarious, Greggg. “Most lazy people are on food stamps.”

          That’s even without the added unspoken rightwingfact that black people are lazy.

          Keep being the only sane rightie out there who can’t see the bigots on your side. Changing your handle doesn’t fix it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Aw c’mon man! That’s sick. And I was just singing your praises a few hours ago. More whites are on food stamps than blacks. I know, I know, it’s a dog whistle… or something. Can we leave race out of it? I said nothing about race. You know I’m not a racist but think I don’t realize I run with them. Whatever. 

            I stand by my admittedly incendiary claim, but it’s not about race.

            I have changed my handle because I no longer am sure it is safe to speak out against my government. That’s sad. It’s probably a meaningless baby step, but still…

            It will take a while to work it all through but you gotta start somewhere. So, I’ve acknowledged what really makes no difference. I’d appreciate it if you leave it here. 

            I have not changed my views nor my willingness to express them. I did it in a way that was very obvious to my liberal friends. It’s not like I am not associated with the phrase “Honest Debate” to those who frequent this blog. As a matter of fact, I’d guess anytime regular On Point commenters hear the phrase “Honest Debate” they think of me…for whatever reason.

            I love that.

    • mozartman

      Tell that to a three year old who is hungry – why doesn’t he/she get a job?  

      • HonestDebate1

        Why would a parent let their child go hungry?

        • mozartman

          Duh? Because they don’t have the money.  let’s say you have a HS degree and are of average smartness.  You work since you are 15 years old and earn say $15 an hour.  Thar’s barely enough to survive in the US even with a small family.  recession comes, thanks to Wall Street, and the $15 job is gone.  dad is a hard worker, takes anything and works for $8 now.  best he can find since he cannot afford the gas for the car.  had a kid during better times and now can’t pay rent, heat, some school supplies, etc.  Kid is hungry.  Who do you blame?  The dad, the kid, the mom? 

          • HonestDebate1

            The flaw is your assumption that you are chained to the station in life to which you were born. In America, you are not…. so far.

          • mozartman

            That may be true for some, but I am talking about a sudden change in employment.  The child cannot wait until you get retrained or move.  Most people cannot just pack up and move, especially when their mortgage is under water and they cannot sell.  What are they supposed to do?  SNAP is supposed to be a temporary help and critics are rights to say that it turned into a permanent crutch for a segment of the population.  But for situations as i described it, SNAP is a very good program.
            BTW – social mobility in the US has fallen to levels below that of most European countries.  if you are born poor you are likely to stay poor since you don’t get the education you need to succeed.  

  • pauly2468

    It is a false choice to say that either multi-billion dollar corps keep wages low or they have to lay off people.Accept the conditions or lose the job is a false choice.
    Also,tax evasion is an enormous problem at the upper end,along with subsidies by taxpayers.
    Many able-bodied people are underpaid or unemployed,to the detriment of their(and their childrens’) health.
    The 40 -hour work week laws were passed many decades ago to protect families,to allow parents free time to relax,spend with their children etc.This situation of underpaying and under-utilizing the skills and talents of Americans is an end-run around these laws and an undermining of the freedoms the founding fathers championed.
    The Founding Fathers did not advocate for Plutocracy.

    • brettearle

      The problems you raise are so broad and so intractable, I would argue, that I defy anyone–in and out of government–to solve them.

      Society, Culture, and Government are so entrenched, so dysfunctional, and so enmeshed, with convoluted complexity of all kinds, that I cannot see any real solutions.

      Regulations, anti-regulations, growing population, cultural divisiveness, systemic economic sluggishness, Raw Anger in many places in the country, Congressional conflict and division….

      With all the convoluted crap going on, how do you slog through it?

      I’ll give you three guesses….

  • pauly2468

    If someone wants to make a quick buck with cheating,then $130/month will not do much for them.
    It’s the trillions given out in tax breaks and subsidies for rich people and corps(much of it going into offshore accounts) that is the problem.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The US spends north of $1T on social welfare annually.  The federal outlay on social welfare is about $750B and now exceeds spending on SS.  These are facts.

      • mozartman

        $750Billion on social welfare?  What programs do you include here.  SNAP is $80 billion.  TANF, which is true welfare is about $17 billion and handed as a block grant to the states.  medicaid is  about $270 billion and the bulk of that actually pays for nursing homes for the elderly.  otherwise, they would be out on the street.  That’s $470 billion rounded.  Medicare is NOT a welfare program as it is paid with a dedicated tax.  The problem is that the premium for that service is too low, but that’s another issue.  Social security is NOT welfare either – it’s paid with premiums as well. So where is the rest of  those $750 billion?  

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          You can read about the non-partisan study that added up the total cost of the 83 social welfare programs.  It also doesn’t include the EITC which is another $50B in transfer payments to low income workers.

          I don’t understand what you were saying about SS.  I only mentioned it because it is the SECOND largest government spending category.  Medicaid IS social welfare and is a large expenditure.  It is a program to pay for health care for those who can’t afford it.  Just like SNAP is a program that WAS intended to pay for food for those who can’t afford it. 

          http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/welfare-spending-now-largest-federal-budget-item_654849.html

          • mozartman

            Well, many people think that SS and Medicare are welfare.  They are insurance programs.

            Congress and many Americans are all talking about cutting this or that program, including SNAP.  if you read the same CBO study that projects spending on major programs into the future, you will see that all but two will remain very stable as a  a percent of GDP, even discretionary spending that includes SNAP.  SS too.  The only too are Medicare and to a lesser extent Medicaid.  They go up like an Appollo rocket. That’s simply a reflection of our totally dysfunctional health care system.  Most Americans may know as does Congress, but they close their eyes and focus on rather piddling programs such as SNAP or even PBS. They know if Medicare/aid were to get seriously cut, tens of millions of Americans are in serious trouble and they would seek care the super expensive way, via ER.  That’s where the focus should be.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You make good points about the scale of programs. Although, SNAP is fairly large at about $80B.  However, most Americans are still upset with the abuses of the programs like SNAP.  Part of the problem is these programs are funded by the feds but administered by the State.  This is why I think the block grant idea has merit.  It might bring better local accountability.

            You are correct about SS and Medicare being insurance programs  but they fail the actuary test.  No insurance company would be allowed to stay in business with the unfunded liabilities in these two programs.  > $100T

            http://www.usdebtclock.org/

          • mozartman

            I am not so sure if states are that much more honest or better equipped to handle that money.  Politicians are greedy everywhere and with our campaign laws, they are subject to the same pressures to hand out the pork.  I also don’t think there is that much abuse with SNAP.  of course there is some, but what do you think about defense?  Tens of billions go down the drain there. But instead of a poor schlock selling his stamps for some smokes, people steal millions through the defense programs.  Just look at the Iraq war and how many tens if not hundreds of billions were drained away and we have no idea where they are.  where is the outrage here?  Fraud at the Pentagon, prison systems, homeland security, etc. is vastly more expensive than fraud with Snap and similar programs.

            As for Medicare and SS – the overhead is far lower there than with any insurance company.  They were/are actually well funded, but Congress put in some stupid rules.  An ins. co. invests money they don’t need for say 20 years in a variety of assets, like real estate, stocks, bonds.  Medicare and SS are only allowed to buy low yielding special trust treasuries.  Had the trusts been allowed to invest like a regular ins. co. then the programs would be in far better shape.  About 40% of the national debt is owed to those programs for which we paid our premiums. Congress of both parties spent the surplus and put IOUs in there.  Now Congress wants to renege on that debt, just like the Greeks.  They paint a horrible picture of those programs to the public since they know they cannot stiff the Chinese bond holders or pension funds.  But they can stiff the recipients of those programs who paid into it by cutting programs and benefits.  That’s the real scandal here. 

            Also, an ins. co. sets rates based on actuarial principles and they raise them form time to time.  While SS and Medicare are ins. programs, the premiums are labeled taxes and as such, are impossible to be raised or set at the proper actuarial level.  Just a few % more, and most “problems” would melt away.  or, let them invest their trust funds differently.  let them operate like an ins. co. and not like an arm of the Feds.  They are good programs, but politicians meddle too much in them.  

          • mozartman

            Don’t worry – that 100T figure is pure fantasy.  Long before we even reach 20T or 30T will the bond market reign in.  if a trend cannot go on forever it won’t, somebody said.  Look at the greeks – they thought they can happily borrow at german rates forever, but the cold hand of the markets stopped them cold.  While we are not Greece, the same markets will prevent us form ever coming close to those levels.  Then we have to cut back -OMG! progarms will get cut and we have to forego keeping grannie, who is a zombie already,  alive for another week at $20K a day.  That’s where a lot of money is wasted here. Then she will have to die peacefully in a hospice care at $100 a day. Medicare benefits will shrink, no matter what. Forget about 100T debt.  It will never happen.  

        • OnPointComments

          Means-tested welfare does not include Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, or worker’s compensation.  Means-tested welfare spending or aid to the poor consists of government programs that provide assistance deliberately and exclusively to poor and lower-income people.  In FY2011, federal spending on means-tested welfare came to $717 billion. State contributions into federal programs added another $201 billion, and independent state programs contributed around $9 billion. Total spending from all sources reached $927 billion.
           
          http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/rectortestimony04172012.pdf

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Percentages, please. Your rehashing Foxholers’ talking points and bigscarynumbers fall flat to people who are smarter than Fox News viewers.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I posted the study already in this thread.

          Not my problem if you have reading comprehension issues but have a nice day anyhow.

    • StilllHere

      Except one is cheating and the other isn’t.

      • J__o__h__n

        It isn’t cheating if your lobbyists, lawyers, and accountants make it legal. 

        • StilllHere

          If you don’t like the law, work to change it. 

          Lobbyists, lawyers and accountants don’t pass laws.

          • jimino

            And advertising doesn’t make people buy stuff either, eh? 

            So you think those spending  hundreds of billions of dollars on lobbying and advertising do it so we and our elected officials all can simply possess the best information possible before making a decision?

            I never would have confused you with Pollyanna from the comments you make on this site, but maybe I’m mistaken.

          • StilllHere

            Is it lobbying or advertising?  Every side on every issue has lobbyists. Why would a company spend on lobbying when it can avoid the expense and just be corrupt?

          • 1Brett1

            Oh, yeah, John would have just as huge a voice, just as much power, to influence legislation as corporate lobbyists, sure…

          • StilllHere

            Assuming no one shares John’s view, then maybe he gets the voice he deserves.  Every interest has a lobbyist.

          • 1Brett1

            I used to think your ideological alliances rendered you stupid (and I’m not completely convinced that isn’t your problem), but I’ll take your comments at face value and say you sound awfully naive.

          • StilllHere

            In contrast, I’ve always recognized you as a complete waste.

          • 1Brett1

            Perhaps that’s why your  IQ score was an adaptive scoring?

          • myblusky

            Lawyers and lobbyist can do what we can’t – spend all day fighting for their “cause” because that is their full-time job.

          • StilllHere

            There’s a lobbyist for everything.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Except the poor. And conservation.

            I’d ask you to keep trying, but don’t.

          • StilllHere

            Please, you’re pathetic. There’s a whole poor industrial complex and plenty of conservation groups.  Feel free to donate your time, you seem to have plenty to waste.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hack.

            I won’t dignify your shite about me personally with an answer. If poverty is so easy, you go on it. You stupid fnck.

            In the meantime I’ll take comfort in the knowledge that the people making decisions about the poor inside the Beltway are no more poor than you and I, and usually much richer.

          • StilllHere

            Seriously, pathetic dribble, worse than your usual tripe.

          • 1Brett1

            well, even your barbs reveal inadvertent malapropisms, not unlike Muggs Mahoney.The word you wanted is “drivel” not “dribble.”Thanks for the Bowry Boys style humor, though. 

          • StilllHere

            Thanksmrspellcheck

          • StilllHere

            .

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Are you that naive or just playing stupid?

  • Jon Fitz in West Hartford, CT

    1. One of your guests mentioned the need for both macro nutrients and micro nutrients for healthy development. Why then are we subsidizing purchases of products like doritos and soda? If a person or family is receiving snap benefits should they be required to buy foods that will provide a healthy diet?
    2. When a person or family is receiving snap benefits; they are declaring that they are unable to provide for themselves and their family. Do they have the right to have more children and receive additional benefits at tax payer expense I believe they have, by default admitted that they are unfit parents.
    Thanks Jon Fitzsimonds

  • gmmyer

    In rural America $20,000 to $25,000 a year in salary is big money. If you make less than $35,000 you cannot pay all your bills and put food on the table in the USA. The working poor need SNAP because it helps them to pay their heat, electric and other utility bills by covering a small portion of the monthly food bill! Utility costs are much higher in rural areas and in the northern USA they can be the difference between life and death.

    I help run a food shelf in northern Vermont. 70% of our clients work, and continue to need the assistance that SNAP and
    and the USDA Commodities program provide. I estimate that we only reach 40% of the people who need food assistance in our area because of the stigma of need. We have worked hard to bring people into the SNAP program and do not want to see this program cut or disfigured.

    Congressman Eric Cantor has discussed growing up in the 1970s. There are many people alive today that have only lived in the era where Food Stamps, Medicare and Civil Rights were an integral part of our lives.

    I grew up in the 1950s and 60s and I remember watching a documentary of people staving in rural Appalachia under terrible conditions in the early 60s. I know political conservatives who say withdraw all support for the poor and let them die on the street as they do in  much of the world. The SNAP

    The United States Department of Agriculture Commodities Program permits anyone making 180% of poverty level to receive
    surplus meats, grains and fruits and vegetables if they meet the income eligibility standards. A family of 4 can make $42,643 a year and qualify to receive USDA commodities.

    SNAP participants are only permitted incomes that are 130% of poverty level. As someone on the front lines of hunger the Snap program should be growing not shrinking.

    • brettearle

      You state the issues well.

      What, I think, we ought to keep in mind, generally, however, is the following:

      –Politics interferes with Entitlement Policy more than
         ever

      –People can have a difficult time being
         resourceful–even if it means their survival or even if it
         is, simply, to their advantage to be resourceful

      –The Economy is so difficult that it is hard for politicians,
         and the constituencies of those politicians, to think
         clearly and to embrace enough compassion….in times
         of:

         Anger, Fear, and Anxiety

      Sometimes, a country–which ordinarily professes compassion–cannot be so, if….it….is….in…..Decline.

      • broadstreetpump

        What are your thoughts on programs like WIC then, that include a training component?

        • brettearle

          I didn’t know that WIC included a training component–if you mean job training.

          If you mean, “how to handle your life or nutrition” training, I hadn’t heard of that either–with regard to WIC….

          I am an enormous advocate of job training through government and through government sponsored programs; or else via the private sector–with, or without, government subsidy.

          Unfortunately, it is my understanding that these training programs are woefully undercreated and woefully unsatisfactory.

          If these programs could be broadened and improved, they could likely help to stimulate the Economy as well as to increase the quality of many people’s lives.

          What’s more, these training programs could be tied to Entitlement allocation: 

          Compulsory participation/decrease in benefits, based on subsequent ft/pt employment….

           

      • gmmyer

         I agree with your points Brett and also believe that this country is in decline. We could not afford the Bush tax cuts and I have always thought that these tax cuts were put in place to damage the entitlements that were in healthy shape in 2000 given the budget surplus that Clinton and Gore had in place at that time.

        In the 1960s American values and Canadian were the same but that is certainly not the case now.

        • brettearle

          Thanks for your response.

          With regard to the Bush tax cuts, I think that your cynicism may be a bit overboard, here–with regard to the motivation of the Bush Administration.

          I’d have to do the research–but I do not recall any major entitlement deficits, during Bush II’s reign.

          Plus, he implemented the Medicare D program–even if he had no way to fund it, without increasing the deficit.

          Bush II’s tax cuts were a simplistic way of adhering to the economic policies of the Father of Neo-Conservativism, who lived in the White House from 1980 to 1988.

  • jimino

    As they say, “follow the money”, which goes to food retailers (especially Walmart which is greatly expanding its stand-alone grocery stores), food processors and producers, as well as the financial institutions that contract with the government to administer the electronic payment of benefits.

    No benefit-eligible people are getting rich off this program, but a lot of businesses are, or at least are dependent on the money that flows through it.

    I wonder how much was spent lobbying this bill on behalf of advocates for the poor compared to advocates for these business interests.

    • donniethebrasco

      Also, the government employees who see the poor as clients.

      The ecosystem of victimization.

      • jimino

        I have to hand it to Walmart and its business model:  Pay its employees so little they are eligible for benefits like food stamps, then advocate for a program like SNAP which gives those same employees federally paid-for vouchers they can spend at Walmart.  Sweeeeet!  That’s what we call free enterprise in 21st century America.

        I wonder, do they get an employee discount when they redeem their food stamps at Walmart?

        • 1Brett1

          When a Walmart employee asks to sign up for health insurance, he/she gets an in-depth amount of information from the employer about how to access local social services should he/she opt not to participate in Walmart’s health insurance plans….They characterize that as a service to the employee (for which they get a tax break by making that information available). Walmart covers all of the angles. 

    • OnPointComments

      Let’s see if I’ve got your views correct:  you advocate for the poor, but you don’t want anyone to sell food or administer the benefits.  Why don’t you tell us your solution?

      • jimino

        I think a program like food stamps is a good approach.  I just think its ignorant for its critics, who I typically hear criticizing the poor, to fail to understand who really gets the “welfare money”.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Now Jimino, “welfare” isn’t what the koolkidz are calling it now. I thought you were hipper than that.

          It’s crept its way up the wage scale, and is known as (snicker! sniff of derision!) “entitlements”.

          Hold on to your SocSec.

  • Markus6

    There are two issues here but we can’t seem to get off the silly one. 

    I don’t know anyone who says people in real need shouldn’t get stamps. This includes the old, sick, people temporarily out of work or holding down minimum wage jobs, children, all the rest. I’m sure there are people who would say let them starve, but this percentage is tiny. So, can we stop arguing about something that few if any disagree with, though I understand it makes us feel good to think republicans are monsters. It also makes for lousy laws.

    The argument should be about the corruption of the program. Food stamps have created their own economy. And they’re not being used just by people in need to buy food. I think it’s become similar to the problems of disability insurance. People without the need are taking advantage of the system. 

    I don’t know how much of a problem corruption is in food stamps. I suspect it’s very high. But I don’t know and with some exceptions all I see on this forum is emotional demagoguery and hyperbole. It’s not helping. 

    • broadstreetpump

      From the USDA (gov body that administers SNAP) “According to a recent USDA analysis, SNAP reached a payment accuracy of 96.19% in 2012 (the highest that the program has ever seen). Trafficking rates—the number of benefits exchanged for cash—are at 1%. There is always room for improvement, but the integrity of the SNAP program is currently functioning at the highest level it has ever seen.” Yes, there are holes in the system.  If you have suggestions – contact your state and federal reps. Food stamp fraud reporting is available through the USDA website and there are state-by-state crackdowns regularly.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         ”SNAP program is currently functioning at the highest level it has ever seen.”

        Now that is faint praise.

        • broadstreetpump

          …in terms of fraud.  Yes, they could do better, but I wanted to address the corruption question that Markus6 asked.  Based on the data, there does not seem to be a great deal of fraud.  (If you think these numbers are wrong and you suspect fraud in a specific case, you can report it)

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I can but it will do no good because I live in MA.  There have been many anecdotal cases of the police reporting fraud when discovered during arrests and nothing is done.  There is no transparency by the administration.  They won’t even disclose the list of EBT cards with balances over $5K when asked by the media and members of the legislature.

          • 1Brett1

            EBT cards with balances over $5K? 

            Explain, please. If a person doesn’t use his card for a year, he loses all benefits. I doubt people are stockpiling balances only to lose all of the balance at the end of the year.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I can’t explain.  Here is one news report from WA state.  I saw another from TX.  I couldn’t find  a news report from MA in my 5 minutes of searching.  I had heard about it by a store clerk who called a radio show since the balance show s up at the register when swiped.

            http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/food-card-recipients-stockpile-huge-balances-taxpa/nWZNS/

          • 1Brett1

            I don’t doubt your hearing about this or even the store clerk calling into a radio show, but the store clerk’s story sounds a little iffy…A person would have to NOT use his/her card for a year to get the balance up to $5,000, and that would be for an entire family’s eligibility. 

            For an individual, the yearly balance (if not used at all) would be just under $1600. Eligibility has to be renewed every three months, so it is unlikely that a person could continue to be eligible if records showed he/she didn’t use the card at all and piled up a large balance. And, as I said earlier, if a person doesn’t use his/her card for a year, he/she loses all benefits/eligibility. Having that kind of balance would work against someone who is eligible; it also would work against someone trying to game the system. 

          • broadstreetpump

            If you don’t speak up for yourself and others who think like you, no one else will.

      • StilllHere

        The IRS says it’s running at 106.7% accuracy.  I’m beginning to doubt government calculations.

        • broadstreetpump

          Where did you get that number?

      • Markus6

        I think their numbers are wrong as it’s a case of the fox guarding the henhouse (the government reporting on itself). It also matches what the government thinks of it’s debt – several trillion lower than any company would measure it. There are other examples where the government reported things are rosier than what really existed. 

        But all that said, you provided more information than 95% of the others on this forum. So, thanks and I’ll think about it. 

  • redontherocks

    I like the callers idea about taxing the corporations that pay so little that their workers need to seek out aid.  I’m currently disabled, receive some food stamps – not much – and people have approached me to offer to buy them.  When working in public aid, I routinely saw women who received upwards of $500 selling their food stamps for cigarettes, alcohol, what have you. Then, coming back two weeks later to borrow money.  We call people lazy, but, how can we expect personal responsibility when we don’t offer incentives or income opportunities that make it worth getting a job?  We need to go back to teaching pride and self worth.  And, going after these companies that pay so low and get taxed so low that tax payers have to pick up their slack.

    • donniethebrasco

       They create jobs which generate income taxes.  The sale of their products create sales taxes.

      Taxes are the problem, not the solution.

      • redontherocks

        It is a possible solution.  I’m pro-union, so, I’d be all about unionizing.  Unfortunately, we are passing more right-to-work laws and less pro-union laws making it more difficult than even 15 years ago when I was organizing.  We need to make these large companies start paying a decent wage or the use of gov’t benefits will keep climbing.

        • StilllHere

          If the wage isn’t decent, why not just go work somewhere else.  Right-to-work sounds like you have the right to work wherever you want.  Sounds good to me.  I also think you should be able to collect your whole paycheck and not have some taken off the top to support some corrupt union officials.

          • redontherocks

            Often times, there are not other, better paying jobs that they are qualified for.  And, many of the FT positions are being wiped out for PT positions.  I have had a lot of experience with unions.  Far less corruption than we are led to believe.  Far less corruption and far more benefits, decent wages, employment protection, advocates.  We need to begin going back to being on the side of the worker, not these mass employers who are gauging the worker.  Of course they need SNAP or medicaid when making such a limited wage. Just take a look at the struggle with food banks and how many will tell you the increase has been in working poor.  WORKING poor.  And, not because they aren’t trying to find a better job.  But, because even better jobs aren’t paying well enough.  

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Why not go work somewhere else”

            Now that’s what I call a demand for unionizing. I mean, if capitalism means “you get to choose what to do”, then these folks must be able to choose to organize. Right?

          • StilllHere

            Where in the public sector or academia do you hide?  You have no grasp of the real world whatsoever.  I bet you’ve never created anything that went beyond your navel.  

      • Pointpanic

        they’re not the “job creators” they’d have us believe they are. They don’t need us to profit from the kind of $$$$$ sepcualtion, that crashed the economy and got them bail instead of jail.

  • jimino

    x

  • jimino

      One is cheating and the other is corruption.

    That’s how a government for sale to the highest bidder works.

    • StilllHere

      Corruption, please.  Making stuff up doesn’t help.

      • 1Brett1

        tax shelter queens.

        • StilllHere

          Earned income credits?  How harsh!
          Child tax credits?
          Why do you hate America?

          • 1Brett1

            Oh, yeah, that’s exactly like being allowed to squirrel billions of dollars in offshore tax havens…just like it.

          • StilllHere

            It adds up, and it’s just as corrupt, illegal and immoral.

          • 1Brett1

            Ah, at least you just admitted that excessive use of havens to avoid taxes is corrupt and immoral…of course, you also mentioned it being illegal, which it is not.

          • StilllHere

            I’ll chalk that up to your public school education which obviously failed you.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Nice job of comparing pennies to Benjamins. I knew you had it in you.

          • hennorama

            The Earned Income Tax Credit has been around since 1975, and has been expanded under several administrations, both Republican and Democratic.  It generally benefits low income working families with children, and is widely viewed as the most successful anti-poverty program in the US.
            It is based on EARNED income (wages or self-employment) and therefore provides significant incentive for people to work rather than be on other social assistance programs.

          • HonestDebate1

            GWB expanded the EIC and it resulted in 6 million of the poorest no longer having to pay any federal income taxes at all. GWB was responsible for Romney’s 47% lament. He was responsible for the top 1% paying 2% more of the overall bill.

            He’s been catching hell for cutting taxes on the rich ever since.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – This is more of the same dishonest blather one expects from old Gregg Smith.

            Only someone with no knowledge of statistical analysis would think your statement “GWB expanded the EIC and it resulted in 6 million of the poorest no longer having to pay any federal income taxes at all” was honest.

          • jefe68

            Don’t waste your time with this misanthrope. 

  • Jon Fitz in West Hartford, CT

    One of your guests stated that children and pregnant women need good macro & micro nutrients. Why then are people enrolled in the SNAP program allowed to purchase doritos and pepsi (just two examples). They must be required to purchase healthful foods rather than those contributing to such maladies as Diabetes, Obesity and Heart Disease, otherwise they will further their dependence on government when admitted to the hospital for these very avoidable issues. Responsiblity must coincide with behavior. If not we might as well all get subsidies.

    • broadstreetpump

      The use of EBT/SNAP benefits to purchase soda pop and juice is very hot in the SNAP community right now. Unfortunately the implementation of monitoring this would be extremely costly.  Programs like WIC use checks for specific food items, but it is a much more limited system. This is an issue that is on the table, but implementation is cumbersome.  How would you go about it? (I ask that honestly, not sarcastically)

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Interesting idea about monitoring SNAP benefits.

        I’ll take a guess as to what may happen: Lockheed or somesuch will get the contract to do this, or the money it costs to monitor will come out of the money that should be pass-thru benefits. Or both.

  • Jon Fitz in West Hartford, CT

    One of your guests stated that children and pregnant women need good macro & micro nutrients. Why then are people enrolled in the SNAP program allowed to purchase doritos and pepsi (just two examples). They must be required to purchase healthful foods rather than those contributing to such maladies as Diabetes, Obesity and Heart Disease.

    • StilllHere

      and infringe on their personal freedom?

      Are we then going to tell people they can’t go on Facebook to play Farmville with their Obamaphones?

      • 1Brett1

        And the “welfare queens” meme gets a facelift!

        • StilllHere

          probably paid for by the government, maybe a tummy-tuck too

      • warryer

        These people are being supported by the tax payer. Taking money away from those who earned it and given to support those who want free pepsi and doritos. 

        It is my opinion that those who go on the government dole should lose the right to choose. Only the staples and no comfort foods. (Incentive to get off it).

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Who is on the dole, then?

          Lockheed-Martin? Any of the folks on Dick Cheney’s dogeared “preferred vendor” list? GE?

  • Christian Thompson

    I think using the standard poverty level as a measure of who should get food stamps. It would seem more logical to gauge need by age and ability to work and seek employment.  I could find several jobs tomorrow if I wanted, because I am fit, and able mentally and physically. I know many who are the same, but they are gaming the system. My grand parents traveled from    Iowa to California seasonally to find work in the 30′s! It is my opinion that we need to look at the system as a whole. Rather than the exceptions within the system. Being hungry is being overstated. We are creating an extremely soft culture as  a whole. Our government is trying very hard to make it acceptable to be on food stamps. That is wrong. It needs to be of last resort. And, it is not. It is becoming common. Handouts is becoming the norm. 

  • Jon Fitz in West Hartford, CT

    We have become a culture of beggars looking for one entitlement after another all the while corporate america is shedding all responsibility for their work force.
    How many people could golman sachs employ for the 29 million it is paying its CEO
    Greed and corruption seem to be the name of the game in America today, especially in Washington on Capital Hill and in the White House.

    • StilllHere

      But Goldman doesn’t need to employ anymore people to make the same level of profits and shareholders signed off on this pay package which was heavily incentive-based.

    • HonestDebate1

      How many people can you feed with the taxes paid by that CEO?

      • glorkohl

        In truth, probably only one child.  I am certain that the amount a CEO pays in actual taxes would not even buy a “Happy Meal”, thanks to fine tax legislation and even finer and more astute accounting. 

        • HonestDebate1

          That is an argument that cannot be logically made.

    • Sy2502

      The only responsibility private business has is profit. They are not charity organizations.

  • Christian Thompson

    At the same time there are so many handouts that need to be cut from the energy and big Ag. industries as well. But, who is going to joust those Juggernauts!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Solar, wind, auto batteries and ethanol cuts?

  • Pointpanic

    Once again ,I’m disappointed by the narrow spectrum of views offered by Tom’s reading list. Given the numbers of people who would be hurt by cuts to SNAP, I thought Tom would have the decency to read some publications by citizen advocate groups like “Food First’ or  Science in the Public Interest” just to name two.OH but the corporate underwriters would not approve .I’m sure. BTW who paid for the Chicago tribune editorial, Hostess or mcDonalds?

    • StilllHere

      More than 47 million people get food stamps, up from 17 million in 2000. That’s far more than can be blamed on the recession and slow recovery. Because of relaxed eligibility standards, millions of people are getting food stamps who wouldn’t have qualified in the past.

      • Pointpanic

        does it ever occur to you that given teh economic crash caused by bailed out Wall st speculators that more people need those food stamps because they can’t find work after being laid off? If you really care about govt. expenditures why not demand an end to subsidies for the nuclear and fossil fuel industries who cry “Big Government” when they must comply with safety and environmental regulations.

        • StilllHere

          Not 30 million people, no.

          I’m against all waste, fraud and abuse.

          • 1Brett1

            You just only feel compelled to talk about “waste, fraud and abuse” by poor people, though…Oh, and by “leftists” too, I forgot.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Poor people are subject to extra scrutiny by a certain segment of the folks who scream MahTaxDolarz!!!.

            Yip Harburg had it right: Never become the idle poor; only become idle rich.

          • StilllHere

            Let’s get the low-hanging fruit then we can worry about your halucinations.

          • RolloMartins

            The low hanging fruit? But the billions shelled out to the *real* moochers (the billionaires and millionaires receiving bailouts, tax credits, and shelters) you don’t mind so much? Those people are the low hanging fruit. You seem to be one of those who like to step over a dollar to pick up a penny.

          • StilllHere

            Hundreds of billions go to lazy moochers.  That’s where the real savings are.  Keep your pathetic envy to yourself.

          • jefe68

            I bet you’re a huge jerk in real life as well.

      • 1Brett1

        Where are eligibility standards “relaxed” specifically?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Percentages, please?

        And any time you want to bring up the wages of the working class since the start of the GWB recovery, I’m all ears.

        • StilllHere

          Do your own work.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You’re the one putting up raw numbers and acting you’ve proved something.

            I can get this from Fox News.

          • hennorama

            Lame deflection.

          • jefe68

            Why are you posting? What’s your f’n point troll man?

    • Matt_in_Maine

      Hostess didn’t pay for that editorial!  Their CEO chose to commit corporate suicide rather than negotiate with their striking workers.  Mind you, their workers were striking because they were offered another pay cut after the board literally stole (“borrowed”) about $400 million from the employee pension fund, and later voted themselves some bonuses! His decision to let the company fail put several dozen people in my town out of work, just a few weeks before Christmas.

  • ChefJackie

    As a teacher a poor and destitute area of Chicago, I work with kids who’s families are on food stamps and multiple forms of government aid.

    The problem I have is that almost ALL of these kids have new smart phones, ipods, etc. In addition these families have TV’s, cable, computers and internet.

    If these families can afford these luxuries of life, they should NOT be on food stamps. I have a feeling this is a more common occurrence that we think.

    • StilllHere

      That’s not possible, it does not happen, according to many here, you cannot be telling the truth.

      • ChefJackie

        IT DOES HAPPEN, I see it with my own eyes. People know how to manipulate their government benefits.

        You have obviously never been a teacher in the south side of Chicago.

        • StilllHere

          Don’t worry, I believe you completely.

          • broadstreetpump

            It does happen, and it is a problem. Items may be gifts, but purchases may be a function of poor financial responsibility on the part of the parents. In some cases, kids have jobs and they haven’t learned the importance of their choices, period. You can argue over the responsibility of teaching these life lessons…but many kids don’t learn financial responsibility, and they grow into financially ignorant adults.  A number of community based organizations and youth employment agencies try to teach fiscal responsibility to nip this kind of behavior early, but it does happen.

          • StilllHere

            But the government is actually enabling these poor decisions.

          • jefe68

            You have a knack for enabling inanity.

          • glorkohl

            Perhaps you should experience how common this daily occurrence is here in Newark NJ and, in correlation, take a look at the lousy standardized test scores. But the majority of recipients do enjoy their SUVs, 67″ home theatre systems and IPhone 5s so why should we worry?  

        • jefe68

          Are you in the union?

          • ChefJackie

             No

      • ChefJackie

        You do not know all of the facts, you are not in every persons home seeing how they live on food stamps. IT HAPPENS and it happens often.

      • 1Brett1

        You just can’t quite get the hang of sarcasm, can you…You see, one can’t pull back self-consciously for fear of being misunderstood and use sarcasm effectively. Show some courage, lady; your ability to pull off a sarcastic remark will benefit. 

      • jefe68

        Troll.

    • twenty_niner

      Yes, back in Chicago, where I’m from, there was a big black market for food stamps and lunch tickets (not sure how they do free lunches now). We used to buy lunch tickets at 50 cents on the dollar.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i had an inner city student walk in one morning and say “hey mr — check out my new jordans, where the eff is my (free) lunch card?”

    • jefe68

      How do you know this? How do you know what people have in their homes? And you know what, what business is it of yours in the first place.

      Your comment shows me you are in the wrong profession. Get a new job.

      • ChefJackie

        Well for starters, they bring their smartphones to school and they tell me about their TV’s, what cable TV shows they watch and how they use their computers to post on twitter and Facebook.

        Are you suggesting that I’m in the wrong profession because I disagree with the government benefit abuses? So based on that alone you think I should change professions? SUCH A LOGICAL POINT YOU MAKE. I WILL QUIT MY JOB TODAY!! THANK  YOU FOR THE GENIUS ADVICE.

  • Talking Points

    SNAP benefits are great for those who need them, and should be provided on a short term (emergency) basis. Choosing to use SNAP benefits as a “lifestyle” should be unacceptable, as many people do. I have known many many people who abuse the system, but there seem to be no checks or balances.

    • broadstreetpump

      Point taken, and abuse of and corruption within the system is unacceptable and should be reported to the USDA when we as constituents see it – otherwise nothing will change.  However as someone else on this board mentions, it is exceedingly difficult to get off SNAP and stay off SNAP due to the “cliff effect.”  There is an unfortunate paradox (suggested by the chair car driver) that you can be slightly above the income eligibility criteria for SNAP, but be making less than you would if you were getting SNAP. This does not account for everyone, but there are people just scraping by on SNAP who lose the benefit then cannot make it without the benefit…and end up back on it so they end up in a chronic cycle of “emergency.”

  • Bruce94

    Today’s discussion reminds me of the “America Unwinding” theme featured earlier this week.  Another example of how one of our institutions, government, is now being constrained in the performance of its prior role in promoting economic growth with a viable middle-class as well as a safety-net for the most vulnerable among us. 

    It seems to me that GOP-led efforts to cut SNAP are just another instance of deficit hawks targeting the poor, elderly, and weak in order to balance the budget and avoid raising revenues through tax hikes or tax reform (i.e. closing loopholes) or cuts to a bloated defense budget.

    According to these Congressional Mad Hatters, why go after tax breaks for oil companies, hedge-fund managers and corporate jet/yacht owners, or itemized deductions taken by earners in the top two brackets, when you can go after poor women and children (the primary beneficiaries of SNAP as one of the guests pointed out)?  Why raise the marginal tax rates on the wealthiest 2%, or expect those earning over $1 million to pay at least 30%, or raise the rate paid on capital gains and carried interest, or restore the estate tax, when we can get cuts to programs that benefit the poor and hungry?

    Interesting that there was no mention of the fact that the substantial increase in per capita SNAP expenditures since 1990 has been offset to a large extent by a marked decrease in AFDC/TANF expenditures.  I thought I heard one of the panelists characterize Food Stamps (SNAP) as an income maintenance program.  If so, he failed to mention this trend and that the current increase in Food Stamp costs could be viewed as a consequence of the GOP-sponsored welfare reform act signed by Clinton that ultimately would deprive poor families of the cash assistance needed in order to survive the Great Recession and its aftermath — another part of Newt Gingrich’s enduring legacy and the GOP “Contract with America.” Or should that read  “Contract on America?”

    • William

      But people at the top are paying taxes, a lot of taxes, while we see a never ending increase in the welfare state with little discussion at the cost. Nearly a trillion dollars spent at the federal level for various welfare programs indicates we as a nation are doing a great deal for the poor. Is there a limit to what we should or can do for the poor?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Percentages, business cycle, and all those other annoying things you glide over: Any time you want to pretend you’re not just a right-wing shill, go ahead.

        • William

          You limit yourself to some sort of Liberal rant about just about any subject that comes up which limits your ability to discuss anything beyond the failure of Liberalism.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Keep JAQing off, William. You’re an ignorant hack clouding your crap in polite terms and take exception to being called on it.

            Whatsamatter? Too much watching Alan “Coma” Colmes and you can’t deal with a little honest debate?

          • pete18

            H-m-m-m, seems TF has run out of actual debating points.

      • Bruce94

        “But people at the top are paying taxes…” Yeah, the U.S. corporate effective tax rate is hovering around 12%, the lowest in over three decades while profits are soaring and wages are stagnating.  The total effective tax rate of the top 1% of individual or household taxpayers is around 25%, down roughly 10 points from the mid-1990′s.  Mitt Romney’s valet probably pays tax at an effective rate higher than Mitt’s. 

        Among the most advanced (OECD) countries in the world, the U.S. ranks at or near the bottom in total public spending and tax burden as a percentage of GDP.

        The call for limits would sound credible if before picking the pockets of the middle-class and working poor, you first asked the wealthiest and most privileged among us to pony up.

    • StilllHere

      Participation in the program has gone from 17 million to 47 million in less than 15 years.  More than 15% of the population participate.  The budget is through the roof with no end in sight. 

      You are right though, this is a clear example of how the unwinding as gone out of control.  We have now created multi-generational dependence on the nanny state.  Self-reliance is dead.  Instead of a short-term program for people down on their luck, we’ve created a system that can be abused for years to where it is now a way of life.  Participation is easy, requirements non-existent; just tell us where to send the check.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        did you hear about how many did not even have adresses when they sent out the voter forms

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=889135281 Edith Kruse Hollister Thornbur

    There needs to be some incentive to leave the program.  Years ago, it was a huge help to my family, but each time we tried to do a little extra – say for instance, get a second job to help out with a few more bills, it knocked us up a notch enough that we no longer qualified and ended up worse off than before we tried to help ourselves.  It was VERY FRUSTRATING!

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      yup thats the way the handouts actually can be counterproductive

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.kinnamon.35 Patrick Kinnamon

    Can we please take the personal morality out of the discussion! This argument should not be about an individual’s personal opinion on what level of benefit is “fair” to others.  Are there not studies available to guide us (scientifically) towards the the solution that maximizes upward mobility?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      those would be interesting.

  • d clark

    @ two minutes in, Tx hypocrite rep Tim Conway (sp) says that Jesus was telling him personally to help the poor, not the government. Well Pharisee, had you OBEYED and all the church with you, we would not NEED government involvement. So which is it fraud, did the government fail showing Christian compassion or did YOU!

  • HonestDebate1

    I think one reasonable way to curb some of the abuse is to require drug testing after a certain amount of time, maybe a couple of years, for recipients. I don’t like the idea of drug testing but I like the idea of taxpayers enabling drug use through generosity less.

    • StilllHere

      If we can’t tell them what they can’t eat and we can’t limit their datastreaming on free phones, there is no way we’re going to be able to require a drug test.

      • jefe68

        Troll.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Then, everybody. Every writeoff. Every benefit.

      • HonestDebate1

        I see your point but disagree. I think allowing (I hate the word in this context) people to keep their own money is a world away from giving them someone else’s money. Food Stamps are defacto money. No money changes hands with tax write-offs. Not one red cent.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Stop with the semantics.

          • 1Brett1

            Wait, what? Shouldn’t “stop with the semantics” be ‘HornyForDebate’s’ line? …I’ve got it! You can substitute  what you said with, “it’s a distinction without a difference”…no wait, that’s ‘HornyForDebate’s’ line too…

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      drug testing is a scam. its a multibillion dollar industry that depends on cannabis being illegal to be sustained. drugs of abuse besides pot are out of your system after just a couple days so almost all positive tests are for cannabis. if cannabis was legal and not tested for almost no one would ever fail the test and then they could not justify companies paying over $100 for a $2 test. besides that the tests are really just a test of if you are resourceful enough to cheat at the test

  • Potter

    I find annoying front loading of tweets to scroll down before you get to the comments. Can you find a way to give us a button to jump to the comments without having to scroll? Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hugh.nevin Hugh Nevin

    There’s something rotten when one third of all food products sold in North America ends up in the garbage. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i think it speaks to the plenty we take for granted

  • harverdphd

    I’m in for free beans, rice, milk, and eggs….but if you can’t afford a bag of beans, how are you going to buy health insurance?

    • bethrjacobs

      you said it…we will be going back to giving kids up to orphanages too

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      those who get freebies now are exempt just as those companies who lobby are exempt

  • bethrjacobs

    I suppose if you haven’t got a dream and will take any well paying job…but you can kiss that insurance goodbye it will not pass Obama care’s test and eventually all skills become outmoded in this country I and many others including a homeless lawyer I once met have extremely good work ethics but end up where we are because the system is only set up for a very few and I promise what ever business you work in it gets it’s share of public funding and tax brakes

    • HonestDebate1

      Beth, Disqus is moody and I am only assuming you are replying to me. It’s seems like it. If so:

      I was not trying to be contentious so if i came off that way, apologies. I am a dreamer… big time. I won’t elaborate but trust me, I am. Some have been realized and some are still in progress. 

      Don’t get me started on Obamacare, it stinks, it’s killing jobs and the economy. It’s awful. I am very concerned about my coverage and intimately aware it will not qualify. I will not be able to afford what will. I will be forced to accept the consequences and I’m not happy about it. It is a travesty wrapped in a cloak of false compassion.

      I don’t know you but from what I am inferring (I could certainly be wrong) you are injured, cannot find a job and your age doesn’t help. IMO you are the kind of person who needs and deserves help. You are not the problem.

      The outrage should be directed at those who are sucking the system dry fraudulently.

      I wish dreams were enough but sometimes they’re not. That doesn’t mean you should let them die. Please don’t. Good luck to you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      yup everyone will one day be replaced by machines

  • bethrjacobs

    and the next time my hands turn blue I will think of not only you but of the lawyer who hit me with his SUV causing my neck injury that causes my paralysis and only hope you suffer some of this  ”coddling”

  • Paducah72

    They played a clip of Newt Gringrich saying, basically, that Americans need jobs, not food stamps. 

    Then why did the Republicans in the Senate block the Bring Jobs Home Act which would’ve eliminated tax reductions for offshoring while encouraging corporations to bring jobs back through a 20% tax break?

    They blocked it because they care more about winning the game of politics than passing macroeconomic policies that promote job growth. What a sick game. (And Newt is a sick person)

    Everyone email your Republicans reps in Washington and pressure them to support the Bring Jobs Home Act. It was reintroduced in February. You can track it here:
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr851

    It only has Democrat cosponsors. This is unacceptable. Republicans need to stop the BS and support this bill.

    • John Cedar

      Dinnit you see the debate when Mittens schooled the faculty lounge POTUS, that there are no tax deductions for off shoring?

      • Paducah72

        Just because it doesn’t have a specific name, doesn’t mean the loophole isn’t there.

        “There is no specific tax break for the sole purpose of relocating a U.S. job to another country, as Romney said. But the tax code does allow companies to deduct business expenses when calculating their tax liability. And those expenses can include the costs of moving a job to another state or even to another country…”

        http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/talking-tax-breaks-for-offshoring/

        • John Cedar

           

          There is part of me that is curious, if that straw you are
          grasping at is intellectual dishonesty, but the larger part of me is sure it is
          the blind denial of an ideologue.

           

          Using equivalent dishonest semantics I am astonished you are
          not claiming republicans pay corporations for killing black babies. After all,
          health insurance is deductible, covers abortions, and some abort very later
          term black fetuses. And somewhere somehow, two ore more republicans voted for
          some aspect of it.

           

          It would make me even happier than I normally am, if
          people would learn the real meaning of the term “tax loophole” vs a tax rule
          used for its intended purpose.

          • Paducah72

            This “tax rule” that allows corporations to write off the cost of offshoring should not exist. It is unpatriotic and fiscally irresponsible. Government’s purpose is to serve the American people - not multinational corporations at the expense of the American people.

            Don’t you agree with that?

          • John Cedar

             

            I have to look at it more pragmatically. Given that free
            trade is what it is, it makes no sense, nor is it fair, to tie the hands of US
            corporations while they are in competition with foreign competitors with access
            to third world production and tax rates.

             

            Lumping offshoring into one animal is
            oversimplification.  A US company in the
            garment industry is all but forced to offshore. The deductions for doing so are
            minuscule compared to the investment needed to do so. Entire plants have to be
            mothballed and new ones need to be built. No tax deductions even begin make up
            for those expenses.

             

            Transferring intellectual property is an entire different
            animal. There are giant taxes assessed for doing that and the allowed tax
            deduction of a sliver of the expenses is miniscule compared to those taxes.

             

            The IRS could get a lot more money out of GE or
            Microsoft if they enforced existing laws and scrutinized the inter-company
            transactions of those giants. But again, in light of free trade laws, the goal
            should be fairness in that a stockholder of GE should be on level footing with
            a stockholder of foreign stocks of GE competitors.

          • Paducah72

            What is good for business is not always good for America. I am a capitalist and I do want US corporations to be able to successfully compete abroad. The Bring Jobs Home Act wouldn’t change that. As you said yourself, the taxes collected from it would be miniscule. The point of the bill is not to balance the deficit; it’s to discourage offshoring so that corporations can make money in a way that helps the middle class. Without a middle class, America will become a third world nation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      hint:newt is not in congress anymore. if newt was in charge we would be well on our way to a moon base and limitless clean energy

  • HonestDebate1

    I saw Obama’s speech today and couldn’t help but realize how irrelevant he has become.

    • jefe68

      You know, I was just thinking that about your comments.

  • bethrjacobs

    you can not even get toilet paper with them

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

    Caller towards the end of the show claimed that $1 in food stamps yielded $7 is GDP??    How is that possible?  Where is that number coming from?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      look at the snap website they claim all sorts of things

      • 1Brett1

        More nonsense. SNAP did NOT make the claim that Andrew Page mentions (from a caller on the show). You have a pattern of making stuff like this up. I’d say anyone should be suspicious because you didn’t provide a link, but you throw out this BS even while providing a link at times (and the link says nothing about what you say it says). What is pathetic is that you continue this tactic albeit proven to be BS over and over.

        Would you care to mention, oh, I don’t know, two claims from the SNAP website? 

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          brett you have a habit of reading too far into things. i did not say i agreed with andrew page i mearly directed him to a source of info about the program. that prompted you to rant for a while. why should i provide a link to a govt program? i assume the poster has a internet device to post with so he can look it up just as easy as me. whats pathetic is your having to make things up and then getting upset about them.  one link i posted recently did not redirect to the article i was looking at when i linked to it but to the search page i found it with. boo hoo
          i have actually posted a few quotes from the snap page. its a very interesting site you should look it up and give it a read. btw that does not mean i endorse every statement on that site just because i directed you there

          • 1Brett1

            “brett you have a habit of reading too far into things. i did not say i agreed with andrew page…” 

            Wha? Who said that, but you implied that such claims were part of a whole host of false claims on SNAP’s website, which none of those types of claims are on SNAP’s website. You were trying to make a false claim there; it’s obvious. I don’t care if you think I’m reading anything into your attempts to throw out false information.

            When did you post quotes from the SNAP page? …um is “posted a few quotes” the same as “never” in your world?

        • 1Brett1

          Two false claims that you say are on SNAP’s website? …Nothing? Crickets? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Actually, that’s nothing to do of the sort. Dems in Congress have been doing all the compromisig. The GOP has been marching steadily rightwards.

    You seem like a good sort, and the below isn’t for you, but the media and political climate in which a Democratic president has to work.

    I don’t particularly care about “common ground”. Our media has a fascination with comity, with getting along, above all else, when what people care about is good policy.

    That leads to the axiom that whenever the media says “excessive partisanship” it means that some Democrat somewhere is taking their own side in a fight.

    All I want is a Senate where 51 votes is required to pass ordinary, everyday things. And I don’t want to wait for a R to be in the White House for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    thats what they do already the foodstamps is an outdated term. they have whats called EBT cards in MA. so instead of selling your foodstamps you need a sketchy bodega or whatever to give you cash for your benefits on the card so you can buy drugs or whatever

  • marygrav

    Food is a political weapon in the United States.  As well in the West, remember when there was an Irish famine, the British was still exporting food for Ireland.  Colonizers have no shame, neither do demagogs.

    The greatest enemy of Food Stamps for the 99% is Steve King from the 5th Congressional District of Iowa.  His greatest job is that he has made more points scoring against President Obama. 

    Iowa is a farm state.  And Iowa has more poor and hungry people even in the rural areas than most states, yet it Governor and it Republican Representatives are against every program which aid the poor.

    King is now Co-chairs the Congressional Committee that determines life or death for the Food Stamp Program.  He has sworn to cut it to the bone.

    No the poor will not rise up against the government no matter how badly they are treated, but the “truly middle-class” will.  No Revolution has been led by the poor.  Lenin, Mao, Stalin, Castro, Marx & Engles, as well as Hitler himself were all Middle-class.

    When too many of the Elite disadvantaged get squeezed

    too hard they have the capability to inspired others to rebel and the arms to do so.  There is no MLK to say, WE SHALL OVERCOME WITH NON-VIOLENCE.

    • GEN_XER

      Uh… ok. Not sure what the point of your incoherent rant was exactly. Please do explain … I for one have only witnessed a bunch of population bomb pseudo- families buying terrible, diabetes inducing snacks, for their way-too-many-children with SNAP. Quit promoting bad behavior and you will have less of it. Take some responsibility for yourselves… Lame!

      • jefe68

        How do you know these are pseudo-families?
        Are stopping and asking these folks?
        I don’t know you from adam but I’m guessing you’re a self righteous dweeb who thinks he is superior to everyone around him.

        Don’t like that, well I don’t like you making assumptions about people you don’t know.

  • GEN_XER

    Not sure what others have witnessed, but in Tucson AZ I continuously witness mothers with 4-6 children in the checkout line ahead of me purchasing all manner of ice cream and other diabetes inducing snacks with their SNAP cards. I have no problem with poor people buying the basic necessities with my tax money, but when I see a population bomb family pull up in their hummer with rented rims and use my money to by a bunch of junk food I cringe. Seriously… this is completely fail! This is not only contrary to basic concepts of human dignity, it is contrary to the basic laws of nature.  I for one am tired of supporting these failures … that’s right I said it “failures” … If you just happen upon hard times, I’m more then willing to give you some of my money to help get things back in order, but if you are a chronic failure who has more kids then you are willing to support don’t come running to me for money. As long as there is no penalty for failure, it will proliferate and we will become a society of failures with too many kids for this planet to sustain.

    • jefe68

      They are buying cheap high choleric food because it fills them up. You had me until you went into the meme about “your tax dollars”. You do have not a clue, and you’re looking for people to demonize to boot.

  • Regular_Listener

    Somebody on the show – Ms. Frank probably – said she views attempts to cut food stamps as an attack on children.  But why are people on welfare having children??  At least according to the way I was raised, this would be unspeakable.  One does not have children if one cannot put food on the table.  These women should be offered birth control and abortions rather than handouts.  This sounds harsh, but what else can be done to stop the cycle of dependence?   But of course both liberals and conservatives would be against such a thing!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lori.cerny.7 Lori Cerny

      Deciding who should have children borders on eugenics. 

      Accidents happen.  People become disabled, lose their jobs, choose to further their education in the current economy, or relationships fail leaving one individual to work and care for the children. 

      Let’s not take aid away from those who need it… let’s find a way to have better oversight.

      I was in a wreck which totaled my vehicle.  I took out a loan for a new car because I did not have enough money in the bank for a used vehicle.  Two months later, I was laid off at work. 

      I was turned down for food stamps because of the new car.  I worked two part time jobs and lived on bologna and spaghetti for over two years.  Not everyone is as physically or mentally able as I was, though.  

      • Regular_Listener

         Hi. Sorry I did not reply sooner, just seeing this now.  First off, I am sorry to hear you have had such a rough time.  At least it sounds like you are OK even if your car wasn’t.  I know of others who have similar stories, so you’re not alone.

        Re the eugenics comment.  I don’t know much about eugenics, but I just took a quick look at it on Wikipedia.  What I (& others) are calling for is not an attempt to breed out undesirable elements like you would with horses or cows, but an attempt to put some common sense limits on bringing people into our rapidly populating world.  And I am not in favor of taking aid away from those who need some. 

        Best of luck to you.

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    Symmetry

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