July 28, 2014

EDITORIAL: Food stamp use skyrockets

Add another item to the list of soon-to-be-unsustainable government social programs.

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 in 7 people in the United States relies on food stamps.

The problems are myriad.

The original intent of the program was to stimulate demand for agricultural products. It was used as a price support for farmers. Now, the program is a general welfare program and is fraught with significant fraud and abuse.

Anyone who has spent any amount of time at the grocery store can detail the time they stood in line behind a person purchasing steak and lobster using government assistance. We also hear regular reports of people selling food stamps for cash.

If the program is working, it’s troubling to note that so many people can’t afford basic necessities like food. And we suspect that problem is about to get worse as food prices skyrocket.

There’s no question that a wealthy country like America shouldn’t allow people to starve. The debate should be how to best manage a program that truly helps the neediest get through a rough spot without creating a permanent entitlement. Such a program should also limit fraud and abuse.

That’s not the program we currently have.

Comments

  1. I am always ready to give and serve people who are truly in need – always have and always will as long as I financially able. I do, however, have a problem with social or handout programs that result in the takers lining their pockets using the programs such as big biz, developers and other special interests do on their conniving and manipulation.

    One example of a social program that I believe needs more oversight and regulation is the Champss program provided by Johnson County but financed thru state and federal funds. This program provides a meal to a citizen who is 60 years or older at the HyVee Store on 119th St. and also now expanded to their stores in Overland Park and Mission. The people applying for this service are not vetted in any way and I have written to the County Commissioners on this issue time and time again asking for more regulation of the program – just because the service is free to the County doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be making darn sure this service should only be given to people who are truly in need. The normal donation amount of $2.50 is encouraged by the County but if a person states they cannot afford that amount, they get their meal tickets for FREE and the meal ticket has a value of around $6 the last I checked. I know for a fact there are people who are taking advantage of this program and who are making thousands and thousands of dollars more than I am and are very able to pay for their food costs as I can and should not be TAKING from this service – again they are lining their pockets on the backs of all citizens throughout the state and the nation.

    So yes, I do want to help the people who need to be helped but I am sick and tired of taking care of the takers and I will continue to yell at the politicians about a program such as the Champss program which they use as a political tool so many times to get them the votes they want. Those Commissioners should be demanding the Jo. Co. Human Services Dept. have safeguards such as complete vetting being done on that program so the needy may be served more and the takers should have the door slammed in their faces. I would hope more citizens than myself would be making the Commissioners understand that government/taxpayer money should be going to those who deserve and need the dollars and not going to the lowlifes who leech off of others.

  2. In case you didn’t notice we’re going through the worst recessionary period since the great depression. It blows me away how blind people are to those really in need but have no problem giving Exxon Mobil and the oil companies billions of dollars in subsidies every year.

    Let me just repeat that. We the taxpayers give billions of our tax dollars every year to companies like Exxon Mobil who made 11 billion profit in the first three months of the year. On top of that it was a 67% profit over the same time last year !

    And you’re worried about food stamps while you spoon feed the oil companies lobster and caviar? And you wonder why you get the shaft at the pump.

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