Thursday, August 5, 2010

Food Stamps Anyone?

Posted by WMUR, Cross Posted at What Makes Us Right

As I struggled to determine what my first post would be as a participant in the Left Coast Resistance, I scoured the internet for just the right topic.  It took me a few days, but I think I found a topic that will enable me to stir things up a bit with my fellow bloggers and readers.  It is a topic that has been relatively kept under the radar for some time, even with all of the challenges of the Great Recession!  We have all heard about all of the issues facing the country with unemployment and under employment, and the costs surrounding stimulating job growth.  We have even heard that Obama was not going to extend the Bush tax credits, just when small businesses need it the most. What we have not heard much about was SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program).

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP, was originally created as the Food Stamp Program back in 1939.  After a 20+ year hiatus, it was rejuvenated in the 60's and had roughly a half million people receiving benefits.  Since that time, the program has continued to grow by leaps an bounds, and has recently set a record for participants for the last 18 straight months.  According to a recent report at FoxNews, there were 40.8 million recipients in May alone.

What I think is more astonishing than the 40.8 million people is the fact that there was over $5.5 Billion in aid provided in beneficiary payments in May.  This was a 19% increase from the previous year!  Individual monthly benefits average around $134, which remained flat to previous years.  Projections by the USDA have enrollment in 2011 to reach 43.4 million, with no real slowdown in site.

To make this situation more interesting,  congress just voted to reduce funding to this program by $12 billion annually.  The money saved will be rerouted to save the jobs of teachers.  The logic is that we can educate our children to prevent future recipients of this program.

I just have a few questions.
~How long can someone stay on this, and what follow up is there to ensure no fraud?
~Are recipients required to look for additional sources of employment or income?
~Are we providing benefits to illegal aliens?

More info can be found here
Looks like a lot of opportunity for fraud!


Amusing Bunni said...

WMUR, this is important to bring up too. That is a huge increase from previous years.
I read yesterday that unemployment went up by leaps and bounds too, higher than April! I don't see this correcting itself anytime soon.

What Makes Us Right said...

Bunni, I agree this is a major concern. I am exceptionally troubled about the opportunity for fraud. Although there are requirement to initially receive, I am not so sure what the follow up process is to stay in the program.