There are more than 46 million people collecting food stamps in America, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That’s enough to fill both halls of the Kauffman Center 13,675 times.
We’re not convinced the food stamp program is worth the cost estimated at more than $80 billion each year, especially considering the program is wrought with fraud.
Just how much fraud is anyone’s guess, but there are alarming indicators that the food stamp program may not be exactly what it seems.
News broke last fall that EBT cards, the debit-type cards used for food stamp program and for cash-assistance programs, can be used at legal marijuana shops in Colorado.
Congress closed a food stamp loophole that allowed EBT cards to be used at liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos. However, it’s still legal to use the cards at legal weed stores.
No one wants to deny food to families in need. However, it’s difficult to imagine Americans would willingly choose to support drug habits, or drug leisure past times, given a choice.
Worse, a Government Accounting Office review suggests that federal efforts to fight food stamps are ineffective at best at detecting and eliminating fraud.
The report found that the states involved in the study had difficulty conducting fraud investigations, despite the amount of fraud increasing significantly between 2009 and 2013.
In a 30-day period, the GAO found “28 postings from one popular e-commerce website that advertised the potential sale of food stamp benefits in exchange for cash.”
It’s time to reconsider how and how much the food stamp program is allocated. The current program isn’t working.