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.