And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posts Tagged ‘food stamps

Lovin’ it People!  For the first time in 40 years the Farm Bill failed to pass the House.  Republicans and Democrats got together altho for almost opposite reasons and voted the Farm Bill 2013 down.  There may be hope yet of getting this spending to at least slow if not stop.  BB

Article from Cato Institute:

JUNE 21, 2013 11:36AM

Farm Bill Fails for First Time in 40 Years (or Ever?)

It what some characterize as a triumph (and others as a sad indictment on the state of U.S. parliamentary politics), the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the farm bill yesterday (roll call here, 62 Republicans and 172 Democrats voting “no”). According to Charles Abbott of Reuters, it was the first time in 40 years (or possibly in history) that the House has failed to pass a farm bill.

It seems that many GOPers voted against it because the food stamp cuts were not big enough, and most Dems who voted no did so because the food stamp cuts were too big. Good luck trying to square that circle.

The Hill and Politico have more on the political fallout, none of which I particularly care about. Whoever is to “blame” (personally, I’d like to bestow Presidential Medals of Freedom on the culprits), it is clear that the old urban-rural alliance, and the idea that you can build coalitions by loading a bill with “something for everyone,” is fraying.

For too long, American taxpayers and consumers have been burdened by the scourge of special interest politics that sees farm bills passed more-or-less intact time after time. And the reason, quite frankly, is that things could be even worse if the farm bills fail to pass. One of the ag lobby’s best friends in Congress, Rep. Collin Petersen (D-MN), exposed the extortion threat behind this quinquennial circus in part of his remarks Wednesday:

Mr. PETERSON….When I was chairman and did the last farm bill, we maintained the permanent law, and we did it for a reason, which is that it is very hard to get these farm bills done, and sometimes you need some motivation to get people to move. That’s the main reason we left it there. [From the Congressional Record, pH3860. HT: Scott Lincicome, emphasis added]

That’s the key to ending the role of the federal government in agriculture once and for all: getting that “permanent” 1949 law off the books. It would be a hard legislative slog, for sure. A narrower (but still worthy) amendment by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), striking only the dairy price support part of the 1949 Act, failed 309-112. (On the other hand, an amendment stripping out the supply management aspect of the proposed new dairy policy passed 291-135.) But so long as this law is part of the national legislative fabric, we’ll have a dairy cliff (or some other commodity-themed cliff) every five years.

Where to go from here? Maybe the House will pass another extention of the current farm bill (itself an extension of the 2008 farm bill, which was supposed to expire in 2012), trying to buy time. Or maybe they will try to cut food stamps even more in an attempt to pass the bill with Republican support more or less alone (though that would presumably be vetoed by President Obama). Or, possibly, the House will not pass a bill at all and go straight to conference with the Senate. (The Washington Post’s Brad Plumer goes into more detail on that possibility.) I don’t know. What I do know is that Congress will more or less be tinkering at the edges unless and until that permanent law is repealed once and for all.

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I have written before about the farm bills of the past and how they are unholy alliances between big donors and Congressmen from both the cities and the farm states.  Read just some of the facts in the following and you will see how this needs to be stopped.   Billions of dollars in tax subsidies go to big agribusiness.  Owning farms is a favored money making  and tax savings  ploy used by millionaires.  Hollywood especially  likes this  little trick or treat  on tax payers.

Also the huge, huge, 47% of the American public participating in the  subsidy of food stamps is part of the farm bill!  Most food stamp recipients  live in cities, not farms.  Putting food stamps under the Agriculture Department insures the city representatives voted with the farm representatives  so the Farm Bills no matter what they contain in outrageous pork are always sure to pass.   It is long past due for the American public to say NO! and stop this rip off.  We can no longer afford to support millionaires owning farms as a side line or people who can well afford their own food to snatch food from our tables!  BB

 

Farm tractor

WHAT EVERY TAXPAYER NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THE “FARM BILL”

 | MAY 9, 2013

“We will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with ‘must-pass’ legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time,”

GOP Pledge to America

Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees passed legislation to reauthorize federal farm and food stamp programs—these bills will soon be considered by the full House and Senate.  These so-called “farm” bills were considered in the 112th Congress but were blocked by widespread conservative opposition.  Proponents are once again seeking to pass the legislation though Congress.

  • Cost:  The House bill costs $940 billion over ten years.  By comparison, the last farm bill, enacted in 2008 with the initial cost of $604 billion.  That equals a 56% increase in farm and food aid since the last reauthorization.  Proponents argue that the bill will save $33 billion, but not in any real world sense.  The bill includes policies that over ten years will cost 56% more than the last farm bill.  It is only because the Congressional Budget Office must ignore the expiration date of these programs and assume their continuation into eternity that the bill can be judged to “save” billions.  Similarly, the Senate bill costs $955 billion over ten years, an increase of 58% from the last farm bill.
  • Food Stamp Nation:  Roughly 80% of the bills are comprised of food stamps.  This is because there are now nearly 48 million individuals on food stamps, compared with 30 million in 2008 and 17 million in 2000.  One in seven Americans is now collecting food stamps.  Yet, the reduction to the food stamp program made by these bills are miniscule (2.7% in the House and 0.5% in the Senate), not the sort of reforms needed to roll back the program.  This is one reason why most conservatives are so intent on splitting up the bill between its food stamp and farm subsidy components—a reform ignored by both Agriculture Committees.
  • Unaffordable Subsidies:  The remaining 20% of the bill contains lavish price supports and revenue guarantees for farmers.  For instance, while both bills eliminate wasteful direct payments to farmers, they redirect much of those “savings” back into a new “revenue protection” entitlement program that will effectively guarantee the profits for farmers that currently benefit from direct payments, and likely an even larger number of farmers (thus expanding the dependency and the number of beneficiaries of future farm bills).  This additional safety net is on top of currently subsidized crop insurance available to farms and set at current crop prices, which are at or near all-time highs.
  • Violation of the GOP Pledge to America:  Packaging the food stamp spending and commodity subsidies together is the definition of legislative “logrolling” that has been used for generations to shield these programs from bold reforms by securing as large a coalition of supporters as possible.  The American people voted that type of legislating out of office in 2010 when House Republicans adopted the Pledge to America, which precluded the packaging of unpopular legislation together.
Russ Vought Photo

POLITICAL DIRECTOR

 @russvought

When Americans choose to live off the backs of others instead of taking care of themselves it is a national disgrace.  i am NOT talking about the poor, I am talking about dead-beats and just plain thieves who see a chance to get something for nothing and therefore they do.  Anyone who wants to can now get food stamps because a program that was to help the poor is so easy to qualify for.  Why is this program so full of fraud and abuse?  One reason is that it is administered by the Department of Agriculture and the funding is always a part of the farm bills (This outrageous rip-off for another day!!).  Anyhow since the funding for food stamps is part of the farm bill the city representatives vote for it to keep the food stamps for their inner city poor and the rural representatives vote for it in order for their city colleagues to vote for farm subsidies.   Each group pats the others back!  Time is long overdue for We the People to take both groups in hand and shake some sense into the programs they give each other.  Under Obama the food stamp programs has doubled!!  YES MORE THAN DOUBLED!    The following article exp[lains very well what the problem is and how we need to fix it.  BB

The Facts about Food Stamps Everyone Should Hear

 and 

May 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

(0)

 

Newscom

Newscom

A recent US News & World Report article set out to unveil the “facts” about food stamps.

What are the so-called “facts”?

For one, the article claims that the food stamps program is not “bloated,” but rather, the surge in participation and spending is a result of the program “doing what it’s supposed to do.”

But what is it “supposed to do”?

Food stamps (or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as it is now called) were designed to ensure that Americans without the ability to provide for themselves are able to receive basic nutrition. However, application loopholes and policy changes over the past decade or so have allowed recipients to bypass income and asset tests, meaning many people are receiving food stamps who would not have been eligible under the program’s original purposes.

One of the changes in eligibility requirements is “broad-based categorical eligibility.” This type of eligibility means that an individual who receives any service under another welfare program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—even something as small as a TANF brochure—can be deemed eligible for food stamps. A full 50 percent of all food stamp recipients now enroll in the program through this broad-based categorical eligibility procedure. As Heritage welfare experts Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley write:

In states using this loophole, a middle-class family with one earner who becomes unemployed for one or two months can receive $668 per month in food stamps even if the family has $20,000 in cash sitting in the bank. Because of this, food stamps has been transformed from a program for the truly needy to a routine bonus payment stacked on top of conventional unemployment benefits.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has operated substantial outreach programs to pull more people onto the food stamp rolls. Some states have gone so far as tohire food stamp recruiters, tasked with filling a monthly quota of new food stamp enrollees.

Another “fact,” according to the author, is that much of the growth in food stamp costs is due to the recession and is temporary.

That’s partially true. Food stamp spending has roughly doubled in the past four years, and part of this is clearly due to the recession. However, food stamp spending has been on an upward climb since the program began back in the 1960s. In the decade prior to the recession, total government food stamp spending nearly doubled, from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $37.9 trillion in 2007.

Bfoodstampreform2012chart1

Moreover, according to Obama’s budget plans, food stamp spending will not return to pre-recession levels when the economy improves. “For most of the next decade, food stamp spending, adjusted for inflation and population growth, would remain at nearly twice the levels seen during the non-recessionary periods under President Bill Clinton,” note Rector and Bradley.

What’s more, food stamps are just one of roughly 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs. The total cost of government welfare spending has been on a nearly continual climb over the past five decades and has increased 16-fold, to nearly $1 trillion annually, since the 1960s. Welfare is the fastest growing part of government spending, and under Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget, total welfare spending will permanently increase from 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 6 percent of GDP.

US News & World Report also suggests as a “fact” that most food stamp recipients work.

However, a significant portion of able-bodied recipients of food stamps perform little to no work. Of the roughly 10.5 million households receiving food stamps containing an able-bodied, non-elderly adult (there are approximately 20 million households receiving food stamps total), more than half—5.5 million—performed no work during a given month in 2010. Another 1.5 million to 2 million performed fewer than 30 hours of work per week. This isn’t unique to the recession, but is typical even during good economic times.

The food stamp program is just one of dozens that comprise the complex system of federal means-tested welfare programs. Instead of continuing to pour more dollars into these programs, which have failed to promote self-sufficiency, policymakers should roll back aggregate spending on means-tested welfare to pre-recession levels when employment recovers. Likewise, programs like food stamps should be reformed to promote self-reliance through work, empowering individuals and families to become free from government dependence.

Posted in Family and Religion [slideshow_deploy]

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In case you missed these during the year I am posting Heritage top 10 2012 research papers here in one place.  They are all as relevant now as when they were published; in fact some even more so.  The United States is well on its way to total destruction as a free nation.  Our one chance at salvation was to elect Mitt Romney for President and we didn’t.  Obama won by a slim margin, but he  and the Democrats take that as a mandate to do as they please and because they still control the Senate and Harry Reid is at the helm there is nothing in the federal government to stop them.   The only forces now fighting Obama and Obamanation are the states and some very brave companies and individuals  who are trying thru the courts to hold off or hold back the onslaught of our demise.    I think you need to know what all of these reports say in order to perhaps  minimize the  personal damage the federal government will do to individuals in the coming years.  Sincerely and Happy New Year my Friends, BB

Top 10 Heritage Research Papers of 2012

Todd Thurman

December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

federal spending 2008 – 2012As the year comes to a close, we reflect on 2012 by offering highlights of the top 10 most-read research papers by Heritage scholars.

1) The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government
By William Beach and Patrick Tyrrell
February 8, 2012
The great and calamitous fiscal trends of our time—dependence on government by an increasing portion of the American population, and soaring debt that threatens the financial integrity of the economy—worsened yet again in 2010 and 2011.

2) Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013
By Curtis Dubay
April 4, 2012
If President Obama and Congress fail to act this year, an enormous, unprecedented tax increase will fall on American taxpayers starting on January 1, 2013.

3) High Gas Prices: Obama’s Half-Truths vs. Reality
By Nicolas Loris
February 23, 2012
Higher gas prices drive up production costs for goods reliant on transportation, and more money spent at the pump means less money spent at restaurants and movie theaters.

4) Federal Spending by the Numbers
By Alison Acosta Fraser
October 16, 2012
The federal government has closed out its fourth straight year of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, and the imperative to rein in spending has never been greater.

5) Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three-Year Mark
By James L. Gattuso and Diane Katz
March 13, 2012
During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans.

6) The Ryan Budget: Confronting the Nation’s Spending Crisis
By Alison Acosta Fraser and Patrick Louis Knudsen
March 21, 2012
In the few months since Washington’s dramatic debt ceiling confrontation, America’s fiscal situation has only worsened. Federal spending is set to soar past previous record-shattering levels, endangering the economic future of the nation.

7) Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout? Taxpayer Losses Came from Subsidizing Union Compensation
By James Sherk and Todd Zywicki
June 13, 2012
The U.S. government will lose about $23 billion on the 2008-2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama emphatically defends his decision to subsidize the automakers, arguing it was necessary to prevent massive job losses.

8) Government Employees Work Less than Private-Sector Employees
By Jason Richwine, Ph.D.
September 11, 2012
The stereotype of the under-worked government employee is frequently invoked in criticisms of public-sector employment. But does the average public employee really work less than the average private employee?

9) Tax Policy Center’s Skewed Analysis of Governor Romney’s Tax Plan
By Curtis Dubay
September 23, 2012
Their conclusion is the result of a series of carefully made choices. These choices, not the underlying nature of the Romney plan, cause them to arrive at their selected result. This finding is harming the debate on tax reform.

10) Welfare Reform’s Work Requirements Cannot be Waived
By Andrew M. Grossman
August 8, 2012
Under the guise of providing states greater “flexibility” in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform.

Food Stamps on Campus | Cato @ Liberty

I am old, yes I am because I remember well when even small children were ashamed of being on the government dole.  In fact in the 1970’s I  did a research  paper on children and welfare trying to determine at what age awareness of being on welfare began and how the children reacted to the knowledge.  My findings indicated then that ages 6-7 was the first awareness and the reaction was confusion as to why they were different than most of their classmates  in that they received free lunches and most of the class did not.  Ages 8-10 were aware that their family received more government handouts that just the free lunches.  This group was deeply shamed and embarrassed by the fact and in most cases tried to hide the facts.   However by age 12 there was acceptance and a beginning rationalization for their family’s eligibility for welfare.   By age 14 this turned into a cynical  sneering “if “Uncle” wants to give me money I’ll take it and ask for more.”

This research was all conducted by survey and there were no interviews.  The only criteria measured was age, I was not concerned with race or sex and because I did not confirm the race and sex of the children taking the survey my professor deemed the research incomplete.  I remember being quite put out at the time by his attitude.

I believe if I did the survey today I would find the attitudes considerably changed from the early 1970’s.  I don’t believe shame would go much past age 8 if that, and the cynicism would be a bold declaration of entitlement.

Food stamps have long been a part of our military families budget because the wages are so low.  The Department of Defense uses the food stamp program to pass some of their  expenses onto and into another department in the government.  (I would like to point out an erroneous belief that most of the public has concerning the military commissaries.  Many believe the commissaries are subsidized by the tax payer.  this is not true.  The  commissaries and base exchanges are self supporting non-profit entities there for the convenience of the military personnel.  Any profits   are used  to build and maintain recreational facilities on the posts.)

This article tells us that food stamps (welfare, government dole  has now become a part of the college experience.  Welfare acceptance moving into the middle class!

Food Stamps on Campus

Posted by Tad DeHaven

Food stamp usage is on an upsurge as a result of the economic downturn and liberalized eligibility. Thanks to some good journalistic work from Aleksandra Kulczuga of the Daily Caller, we’re getting a better picture of how government dependency is spreading to a new generation.

Kulczuga reports that college students are increasingly going on the dole thanks to encouragement from college officials and poverty organizations dedicated to fomenting government dependency.

From the article:

Adam Sylvain, a sophomore at Virginia’s George Mason University, recounted a recent conversation with friends in his dorm room. “My roommate told me he applied for food stamps, and they told him he qualified for $200 a month in benefits,” Sylvain said. “He’s here on scholarship and he saves over $5,000 each summer in cash.”

“A few of our other friends who were in the room also said if there were able to, they would get food stamps … They think that if they’re eligible it’s the government’s fault, so they might as well,” Sylvain said.

Students at GMU can buy a meal plan for $1,275 that provides 10 meals a week for the semester — that’s $71 a week.

When I was in college, my friends and I worked during the school year and through the summer to fund our expenses. My father worked multiple jobs to pay his way through college while supporting a young wife. He grew up in a family headed by a single mother that relied on extended family and charities to help them through tough times. He may have been eligible for food stamps in college, but he would have never taken a government handout.

Today’s generation seems to be different. This Salon article tells of unemployed college grads using food stamps to purchase organic food at high-end grocers like Whole Foods.

From the article:

At Magida’s brick row house in Baltimore, she and Mak minced garlic while observing that one of the upsides of unemployment was having plenty of time to cook elaborate meals, and that among their friends, they had let go of any bad feelings about how their food was procured.

“It’s not a thing people feel ashamed of, at least not around here,” said Mak. “It feels like a necessity right now.”

Savory aromas wafted through the kitchen as a table was set with a heaping plate of Thai yellow curry with coconut milk and lemongrass, Chinese gourd sautéed in hot chile sauce and sweet clementine juice, all of it courtesy of government assistance.

Remember that many of these students probably had their college educations subsidized by the government as well.

I believe as a nation we need to make dependence on the government a shameful  situation again!  BB

Yes, New York is literally dragging welfare recipients in off the streets by actually running them down to sign them up for food stamps.  New York is not by any means the only state to be doing this either.   It isn’t a Republican or a Democrat thing because politicians are all guilty and want you and me dependent so they can tell us how they have saved us or are going to save us and we vote them in office again and again.  Neither is it new as it has been gong on for the past 50 years.  One of my first jobs was in a welfare office during the summer break.  That’s when I learned all you have to do is sit in on any welfare department meetings and all you hear is “outreach”.  Outreach is getting more and more people on the welfare rolls.   Beating the bushes to find “needy folks”.  And if they don’t come in on their own or even know they are “needy” it is your responsibility to show them just how needy they are.   After all if all these needy folks stand on their own two feet, get jobs, change their life styles  or what ever it takes to  accept responsibility for themselves then the welfare departments may have to cut back and lay off workers.  You know, those over paid, over perked, unionized  government workers who have all but destroyed the state of California, who did destroy the steel industry and the auto industry in the United States,  and who are going after your wallet more and more everyday.   Look at your local government and the  way the school boards and county employee rolls are growing.  Then check the pay some of these people get for sitting on their bums; these facts are supposed to be public records.  Tho if your city/county is anything like Greensboro, NC you may have top take someone to court to get your hands on the “public” records.

One more thing: the fastest growing workforce in the country are goverment workers.  Growing by 150,000+ just this first Obamanation year!  BB

From big government Blog:  My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Dependency

By the way, this is not just the fault of Democrats. The ranking Republican on the Agriculture Committee is a big defender of the program, in part because of the sordid pact among urban and rural politicians to support each other’s handouts. And President George W. Bush’s food stamp administrator actually had the gall to assert “food stamps is not welfare.” No wonder the burden of federal spending skyrocketed during the reign of so-called compassionate conservatism.

The correct policy, of course, is to get the federal government out of the welfare business. If Mayor Bloomberg thinks it is a “civic duty” to expand food stamps, he should see whether New York City voters agree with him – and want to foot the bill.

A decade ago, New York City officials were so reluctant to give out food stamps, they made people register one day and return the next just to get an application. The welfare commissioner said the program caused dependency and the poor were “better off” without it. Now the city urges the needy to seek aid (in languages from Albanian to Yiddish). Neighborhood groups recruit clients at churches and grocery stores, with materials that all but proclaim a civic duty to apply — to “help New York farmers, grocers, and businesses.”

There is even a program on Rikers Island to enroll inmates leaving the jail. “Applying for food stamps is easier than ever,” city posters say. …These changes, combined with soaring unemployment, have pushed enrollment to record highs, with one in eight Americans now getting aid. “I’ve seen a remarkable shift,” said Senator Richard G. Lugar, an Indiana Republican and prominent food stamp supporter. “People now see that it’s necessary to have a strong food stamp program.” …The program has commercial allies, in farmers and grocery stores, and it got an unexpected boost from President George W. Bush, whose food stamp administrator, Eric Bost, proved an ardent supporter. “I assure you, food stamps is not welfare,” Mr. Bost said in a recent interview. Still, some critics see it as welfare in disguise and advocate more restraints. …The federal government now gives bonuses to states that enroll the most eligible people.

…In 2008, the program got an upbeat new name: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP.

…Since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office eight years ago, the rolls have doubled, to 1.6 million people…

Albany made a parallel push to enroll the working poor, setting an explicit goal for caseload growth. “This is all federal money — it drives dollars to local economies,” said Russell Sykes, a senior program official. But Mr. Turner, now a consultant in Milwaukee, warns that the aid encourages the poor to work less and therefore remain in need. “It’s going to be very difficult with large swaths of the lower middle class tasting the fruits of dependency to be weaned from this,” he said.

You may want to read Star Parkers:

Star Parker : Back on Uncle Sam’s Plantation – Townhall.com

Monday, February 09, 2009

Townhall.com Columnist

Back on Uncle Sam’s Plantation

by Star Parker


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