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Food Stamps on the chopping block

Posted by david52 z5CO (My Page) on
Wed, May 22, 13 at 13:28

"Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) agitated against food aid for poor Americans included in the Farm Bill during last week’s House Agricultural Committee debate, accusing the government of stealing “other people’s money.” Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has already been decimated in both the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, cutting off nearly 2 million working families, children, and seniors from food assistance.

Fincher invoked the Bible in his defense of the devastating cuts, quoting, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

At a Holiday Inn in Memphis over the weekend, Fincher expanded on his version of the Christian social gospel: “The role of citizens, of Christians, of humanity is to take care of each other, but not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.”
While Fincher interprets food assistance for the needy as “stealing,” he has not similarly condemned the Farm Bill’s massive agricultural subsidies. In fact, he supported a proposal to expand crop insurance by $9 billion over the next 10 years. Fincher has a great personal stake in maintaining these particular government handouts, as the second most heavily subsidized farmer in Congress and one of the largest subsidy recipients in Tennessee history:

USDA data collected in EWG’s 2013 farm subsidy database update - going live tomorrow - shows that Fincher collected a staggering $3.48 million in “our” money from 1999 to 2012. In 2012 alone, the congressman was cut a government check for a $70,000 direct payment. Direct payments are issued automatically, regardless of need, and go predominantly to the largest, most profitable farm operations in the country.

Fincher’s $70,000 farm subsidy haul in 2012 dwarfs the average 2012 SNAP benefit in Tennessee of $1,586.40, and it is nearly double of Tennessee’s median household income. After voting to cut SNAP by more than $20 billion, Fincher joined his colleagues to support a proposal to expand crop insurance subsidies by $9 billion over the next 10 years.

As the Environmental Working Group notes, crop insurance subsidies have no limits on their recipients’ income levels. Therefore, the bulk of the crop insurance is paid out in million-dollar installments to a small group of large farm businesses, while the bottom 80 percent of farmers receive roughly $5,000 a year. SNAP, on the other hand, limits aid to income below 130 percent of the federal poverty line, or $30,000 per year for a family of four. end quote

Stolen from elsewhere:

Here is a link that might be useful: link


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

We have HEAP, Emergency HEAP and Free Furnace/Boiler Maintenance/Repair/Replacement customers that criticize food stamp recipients.

We have somewhat of a Welfare Economy in many regions, so people might as well accept it, join them, or profit from it.

If life gives you lemons, set up a lemonade stand and accept EBT cards.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 22, 13 at 15:14

"Projection: it ain't pretty".


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Well, gee golly, Batman... if corporations and industry weren't so hot for that cheap overseas labor and material costs, we might actually have enough decent manufacturing jobs in THIS country to go around... instead of being basically a service oriented society where pay is so low and benefits so nonexistent that people actually require extra assistance to feed their families.

And then we have all these mega-wealthy "farmers", and I use the term very loosely, scamming the government for their share of the stolen haul from taxpayers in the form of farm subsidies and other programs that pay these con artists NOT to utilize their land, or to keep it in "conservation".

Um, really?

And to top it off, we get representatives that want to hot glue religion right to every piece of legislation.

What?

Man... talk about the country going to hell in a handbag... and I'd have to honestly say it's not those "needy" that are breaking the bank, but those who have a share in the banking.

Doh!


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Changes may be coming in Wisconsin to cut the number of recipients:

"MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A proposed work requirement for food stamps recipients in Wisconsin is projected to knock half of the people off the program."

Here is a link that might be useful: Earn your Food Stamps?


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

The work requirement isn't always fair. Many unemployed people live in areas where unemployment rates are higher than average. Yuma, AZ for example. 15.9%.

If work is available, let's pair them up with an employer instead of requiring them to spend money they don't have on bus or car searching for work that isn't there or expecting them to commute out of town while earning minimum wage.

Some folks are stuck with no way out.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, May 23, 13 at 12:04

Some folks are stuck with no way out

.....it is difficult for people to understand and/or accept that Brush, I am glad you and others do.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Lets see - you're unemployed, run out of unemployment insurance, can't find a job and need money to feed your kids, but that can't happen because you need to find a job before you can get food stamps.

Given that the vast majority who get food stamps are children and the elderly, this makes even more sense. Drop out of 4th grade go get a job so you can eat.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Stuck with no way out is right!

And some folks say... "so, why don't you just move to where the jobs are?"... like that's easy and doesn't cost anything.

Some people really ARE stuck with no way out.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

"MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A proposed work requirement for food stamps recipients in Wisconsin is projected to knock half of the people off the program.

Gov. Scott Walker's proposal is scheduled to be voted on Tuesday by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee.

Walker's Department of Health Services reports in briefing papers that about 31,350 participants in the Wisconsin FoodShare program would not be able to meet the proposed requirements. That is half of those in the program who are able-bodied adults without children.

Walker wants to require FoodShare recipients to spend at least 20 hours a week searching for work or participating in job training to keep their benefits.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says five states impose the work requirement and six others have it in portions of their states."

No details available yet, but in Wisconsin at least, where there's a job search requirement, provisions are in place to make that possible even if transport is not available. Job training is a great idea, I think.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

snip -

"The new subsidy data comes as the Senate continues floor debate this week on a new five-year farm bill. The House bill is expected to go to the floor next month.

Despite an estimated $24 billion in savings in the Senate bill and $40 billion in the House, the new farm bills preserve several Depression-era subsidy programs like price supports for American sugar growers and limits on sugar imports. The bills also create subsidies for Southern peanut and rice farmers.

The most significant change in both the House and Senate bills is the end of direct payments, which cost taxpayers about $5 billion a year.

Both the House and Senate bills would use the savings from eliminating direct payments to increase financing for crop insurance, a federally subsidized program that pays 62 percent of the premiums for farmers and covers decreases in crop yields or revenue. About $1.3 billion a year is paid to 15 insurance companies to sell and process the policies.

The program has grown in the past few years, and last year paid out record amounts because of the worst drought in 50 years. Research by an Iowa State University economist, Bruce A. Babcock, that was financed by the Environmental Working Group, found that the payouts were mostly a result of policies that guarantee farmers a portion of their projected revenue, rather than coverage that pays them for their damaged crops.

The new farm bills would increase the crop insurance programs by $9 billion and include an additional subsidy called the “shallow loss” program, which would cover farmers for modest crop yields or declines in prices.

Several conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, as well as environmental organizations including the Environmental Working Group, oppose crop insurance subsidies, which they say amount to income protection, rather than protection against crop losses from drought or natural disasters. The Obama administration has called for cuts to all of the farm subsidies including the crop insurance program. snip

So the jerk Honorable Congressman with the massive crop subsidies just wants to guarantee his income. Maybe we ought to impose a requirement that he, personally, actually work on his farm to receive those hundreds of thousands of guaranteed income every year.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, May 23, 13 at 20:34

" Maybe we ought to impose a requirement that he, personally, actually work on his farm to receive those hundreds of thousands of guaranteed income every year."

Works for me :)


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

In the past our work requirements of various social programs were discriminatory.

Many would get waivers if they had kids, claimed to have health issues, or had transportation issues.

Some used the workfare style programs as a source of free labor.

Unemployment requires work searches as well, yet many we know collected 99 weeks of unemployment. They simply didn't try very hard to find work.

Once their 99 weeks ran out, many we know found or created work within days.

Some of the only strictly monitored and enforced work and work search requirements we've seen are those of some of the temporary and homeless housing programs.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

I drive by the HUD-subsidized housing in our city every day on my way to and from work. The parking lot is full of new Yukons, Escalades and sports cars. Many of them are at least 30k vehicles. Gathered around them are young men who look to be in their 20's. They're just there talking & laughing. They're there in the mornings and in the evenings many days. Same thing with the run-down houses in the area. I grew up in a small town where food stamps were routinely used and back then you could tell they were food stamps. A woman dressed in obviously nice clothes would go in and load her shopping cart with name brands, never bothering to look at sales or use coupons. Then she'd pay with food stamps and load her groceries into a much nicer & newer car than mine. And as a taxpayer, I'm supposed to feel guilty over not giving more?

People who are elderly, disabled, or have hit a rough spot in their life and need a helping hand are completely different situations. I think there should be a safety net for things like that. Food stamps and welfare are supposed to be for those who are really in need. They shouldn't be a career choice by generations after generation.

I once had a young lady who worked for the same company ask me to lie on a form to DSS. She was getting some sort of free child care that was dependent on income. She got a higher paying job with us & her free child care was to be terminated. She asked me to lie on the DSS form about the amount that she was making so she could continue to get it. Some people have never seen this type of stuff first hand, but growing up in a small, poor Southern town, I have. The fraud and waste in these programs is astounding.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Test all applicants for drug use - that would eliminate a LOT of welfare recipients!


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

THANK YOU Kittiemom and Kayjones--I've been referencing these situations for a long time, and accused of making it up and outright lying.

There is a subsidizing apartment complex in my home town within view of my home, where there used to be a nice old house with oaks. The family sold the property and these apartments were built about twenty-five years or so ago.

Stabbings, shootings, drugs, items stole from my mother's carport storage room, children playing in the highway--all a part of this since inception. There are lots and lots of vehicles with fancy rims, loud specialty sound systems, though, peeling in and out all hours of the day and night. These people that can't afford housing can afford hundreds and hundreds of dollars to trick out their cars to cruise up and down the main street.

That's what those that do pay federal income taxes have been subsidizing, and it's hurting everyone. Especially the people it was designed to help.

But hey, the promise of someone else paying your way and a better life is always enough to get a Democrat a vote.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Scenes from "The Wire".

So, if a new Escalade costs $64,000, put plates and register it - paying the sales tax and road taxes, you'd be out close to what, $75,000. Lets just ignore insurance.

So, taking Florida as an example, the average per-person food stamp benefit is $139.00 a month - see link.

So, $139.00 x 12 = $1,668 per year. So do buy that new Escalade, your family would have to have .... $75,000 divided by 1,668 = 45 people.

Here is a link that might be useful: average benefit per person.

This post was edited by david52 on Sat, May 25, 13 at 10:55


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

The drug testing/welfare has already been done... in Florida, I believe... and the results came back showing that it cost more in the testing kits and testing, and that a very low proportion of assistance recipients tested positive for anything illegal.

In other words, it was a costly experiment that didn't work... all to prove a stigma that isn't true. Although, there are some questions raised as the Governor had a great financial interest in the test kit company picked to provide the testing.

The search engines are loaded with this story... here's a random sampling of what happened...

Here is a link that might be useful: Oops!


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Several of our employees that live at a subsidized housing project have new/newer vehicles as they value owning new/newer vehicles more than owning a home, saving or investing.

Some are paying very high interest rates, plus their gas guzzling trucks and SUVs cost them a lot of money in gas, maintenance and repair costs.

One is driving a newer SUV with nearly bald tires as they can't afford new tires.

They ran out of gas twice last month.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

It is kind of staggering that close to $75 billion is spent on 46 million people helping them buy food.

I'm sure that there is some fraud - the Gvt estimates it at $753 million a year.

"April 27, 2013: It's the question Kathryn Hoffman hates to ask, especially of the elderly people who come into her office looking for help.

Do you have a burial plot? How much is it worth?

But that question is one of many Hoffman must ask as a food stamp outreach coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania in Allentown. It's her job to help people gather the information they need for the caseworkers who make eligibility decisions on the federally funded food stamp program.

The burial plot question is part of a nearly year-old procedure known as an asset test. Gov. Tom Corbett's administration reinstituted the test - on top of existing income-verification checks - to make sure food stamp applicants aren't sitting on other forms of personal wealth such as inheritances, savings and checking accounts, stocks and bonds, a second car, a boat or plane.

"A lot of people have burial plots they have inherited," Hoffman said. "That's supposed to go to the assets. So they have to get the value of a burial plot. That can be hard and [sometimes] you're asking people in their 80s to do this … I feel bad having to ask it."

When the Department of Public Welfare reinstituted the asset test last May - five years after it was discontinued by former Gov. Ed Rendell during the Great Recession - officials said it was needed to stop "waste, fraud and abuse" by keeping wealthy individuals off the public dole while the number of food stamp recipients was climbing.

"People with over $100,000 were applying for food stamps and that's exactly why this program is in place," said Anne Bale, spokeswoman for the Public Welfare Department.

But some lawmakers, Rendell, and advocates of the poor and elderly panned the plan as an unnecessary, time-consuming government regulation. The critics said the asset test would clobber struggling families in a bad economy, and force more families to rely on soup kitchens. The household limits range from $5,500 to a maximum of $9,000.

So far the test has not uncovered a lot of fraud. But it has caused a lot of confusion and heartache for assistance liaisons such as Hoffman, and for state welfare caseworkers who work locally and grapple with enormous caseloads.

Of the 1.8 million state residents who applied for food stamps this year, about 4,000 - less than 1 percent -were either removed from the system or had their applications rejected because of the asset limit, Bale said.

"When you have 1.8 million in the program and it only affects 4,000, I don't know if that's any large number," she said.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

On the other side of the coin we know many that qualify for numerous benefits - housing subsidies, food stamps, HEAP, Emergency HEAP, furnace/boiler/water heater maintenance/repair/replacement, winterization/weatherization, daycare, free cellular phones/minutes etc, yet don't apply for these benefits.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Sat, May 25, 13 at 11:26

It has also been pointed out, and hotly disputed, that the "south" seems to receive more than their fair share of welfare dollars. Perhaps you need to fire the folks who are not doing their job.

Didn't we recently talk about some doctor in Alabama (?) that was signing folks up hand over fist for SSI???

Seems to be more a southern problem, here you will be turned down more often than signed up.

Mark I agree, pride keeps many here from accepting help ...


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Those Yukons, Escalades and sports cars are being bought with criminal activity, not welfare. Some have turned to crime by choice, others in desperation. Who of us would live in welfare housing with the drugs and violence? Poor people do so because they don't have the money to do otherwise.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

pls8xx, I have no doubt that those vehicles were bought with money from criminal activity. My point is, why should I or any other taxpayer feel like we should be giving more? If they can buy expensive vehicles using money from their criminal activities, why should the taxpayers be feeding, housing and providing medical care for their families? They should have to do as the rest of us and needs come before wants. Then, if there really is a need, that can be addressed. It is not right that people can afford cell phones (not everyone gets the free ones), cigarettes, eating out, and expensive vehicles while the taxpayers pay for their daily living expenses.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

So what is your solution?


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Lest we forget, some of those decent vehicles are also leased or rented, and many are repossessed, picked up for lack of payment.

One should never assume that just because someone drives a decent car, they are in any way wealthy or are buying them with cash, paid in full.

Different folks have different priorities, too... some would prefer a nicer car, and to live in a smaller apartment... while some prefer a nicer or larger home, but drive older or smaller, less expensive cars... some folks have both expensive items, and some have neither or just one. One can't really assume anything unless one knows, personally.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

"Benefits are generous and widely available to deserving poor people" A recent survey asking Americans how much money they believe welfare re­cipients receive per month, showed that most think benefits are staggeringly higher than those actually paid. In other words, Americans believe welfare recipients get enough taxpayer money to live by standards most of us take for granted.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

The truth is, most welfare recipients do not want to be in that situation, and would much prefer to make a decent living and live in decent housing... and the amounts "doled" out are not as huge as many people think.

There are differing parts to the whole "welfare" program... such as LINK, emergency funds, utility help, etc... nothing is handed out in one giant cash lump sum, or debit lump sum.

One must qualify for each part, and most folks do not qualify for every benefit.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Mark I agree, pride keeps many here from accepting help

Many don't know about some of the programs, or don't realize they qualify.

For example, many don't know they can get up to $6,500 towards replacement of their heating system, or $800 towards A/C.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

On the one hand we have the USDA buying food and storing it and paying farmers to not grow crops, and on the other hand Congress persons don't want to pay for kids to eat. Talk about one hand not knowing what the other is doing....


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

"After years of sometimes studying by the glow of a cell phone when lights were turned off at her shelter, 17-year-old Chelesa Fearce recently became the valedictorian of her Atlanta high school class.

Spending much of her high school life moving from homeless shelter to homeless shelter, Fearce finished at Charles Drew High School in Clayton County, Ga., with a 4.466 GPA and a 1900 on her SATs.

Her sister is graduating this year as salutatorian from her high school, George Washington Carver High School, in Atlanta.

“I just told myself to keep working, because the future will not be like this anymore,” Fearce told WSBTV.com. “You’re worried about your home life and then worried at school. Worry about being a little hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes. You just have to deal with it. You eat what you can, when you can.”

One of five children, her family only had apartments for short periods of time. Most of the time they lived in shelters or in the family’s car.

Halfway through high school she qualified for college-level courses and started earning college credits right away. She will begin school next year at Spelman College as a junior, where she plans to study biology as a pre-med student.

“Don’t give up. Do what you have to do right now so that you can have the future that you want,” Fearce said."

Here is a link that might be useful: See!!!! She didn't need no food stamps!!!


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Educational segregation by IQ in the absence of wealth, also, as per your college thread...


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Yesterday I paid the occupants of a home that will be auctioned off at an upcoming tax auction (if back taxes and liens aren't paid) to show me the place and/or make a deal.

They have 3 able bodied working age adults in the household, yet none are them are employed full time, or seriously looking for work. One works around 12 to 20 hours per week at a discount store.

Apparently they were approved for an apartment at a soon to be open subsidized housing project so they plan on moving to a local campground (if evicted) temporarily.

I told them about 3 local businesses that are hiring, yet they didn't seem the least bit interested.

They were more concerned about the money, goods and services I offered them, more of that instant gratification thing...


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Posted by markjames (My Page) on
Sun, May 26, 13 at 9:17

Yesterday I paid the occupants of a home that will be auctioned off at an upcoming tax auction (if back taxes and liens aren't paid) to show me the place and/or make a deal.

They have 3 able bodied working age adults in the household, yet none are them are employed full time, or seriously looking for work. One works around 12 to 20 hours per week at a discount store.

Apparently they were approved for an apartment at a soon to be open subsidized housing project so they plan on moving to a local campground (if evicted) temporarily.

I told them about 3 local businesses that are hiring, yet they didn't seem the least bit interested.

They were more concerned about the money, goods and services I offered them, more of that instant gratification thing...

*

And that friends, is the result of compassionate liberalism.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

•Posted by markjames (My Page) on Sun, May 26, 13 at 9:17

Yesterday I paid (how much?) the occupants (owners?) of a home that will be auctioned off at an upcoming tax auction (if back taxes and liens aren't paid) to show me the place and/or make a deal.

They have 3 able bodied working age adults in the household, yet none are them are employed full time, or seriously looking for work. One works around 12 to 20 hours per week at a discount store.


I wonder if you are in a position to know the whole truth of the situation. Is your information the result of a short conversation on one day or do you know these people?

Apparently they were approved for an apartment at a soon to be open subsidized housing project so they plan on moving to a local campground (if evicted) temporarily.


Apparently? If they were approved for subsidized housing I presume they meet the qualifications. Do you have a superior knowledge of the particulars that would make them ineligible? Could it be that they are current on their rent to an owner in loan default? A campground beats living on the streets.


I told them about 3 local businesses that are hiring, yet they didn't seem the least bit interested.


I wonder if they have already spent what precious money they have on travel and expenses to place applications with a dozen similar businesses. Do you know?


They were more concerned about the money, goods and services I offered them, more of that instant gratification thing...


If you need money for food today, the prospects of a uncertain paycheck three weeks from now seems like the distant future.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

I find this a depressing thread. Why it is that too often, too many focus on the small percentage of the poor who scam, drive beautiful cars, buy expensive rib eyes and lobster and pay for them with snap cards etc to the exclusion of the far greater number who are in desperate need, driving junk cars, wearing clean but worn out wal- mart clothing and trying to do their best to crawl out of a pitiful financial situation while retaining some small measure of dignity is beyond me.

Does that focus on that small percentage make the resentful ones feel better? Elevated? Honorable?
Does it make them feel justified for the deep and pervasive resentment because the poor do exist and must eat and that their country chooses to feed them with tax dollars rather than have them starve and die in a gutter?

Do conversations such as these, removing any shred of dignity that poor might be holding onto, make any of the resentful ones feel better? More honorable? Elevated?
Should we start a thread titled: "Are the poor who are on public assistance (aka your tax dollar) deserving of your dignity and respect?"
Well, maybe not. Imagine the responses that thread would get if some people were really honest about it.

When the subject of welfare is ever discussed, does anyone ever reflect upon why it is for such a great, obsessive need to focus on the very few who scam or are lazy and take tax dollars to the near total exclusion of the terrible numbers who do NOT scam and are NOT lazy and are in great need.
In order to catch and comprehensively punish the few who scam and lay on the sofa sucking up tax dollars, is it necessary and worth it to deny common dignity to those in real need by the persistence of ignoring the fact that they make up the vast majority of those needing my tax dollar?

Saying, 'oh yeah - THOSE people are ok in my book, Im happy to help THEM" is a shameful response to the need to laser focus on the small percentage who scam while lazy.
If they are in truth ok with those in what they consider are in true need come by honestly - then focus on them for their numbers are enormous, requiring a lot of focus - so much so that there will be no energy left to focus on small percentage of the dishonest and lazy.

If you are looking for snap cards located in big, new and expensive cars owned by expensively dressed people buying lobster at your grocery store and taking it all home to luxury HUD homes, that is forever exactly what you will only notice and see, concentrate on and be outraged over- to the expense of the far, FAR greater number in that same parking lot who have ancient cars owned by poorly dressed people who have never tasted lobster in their life. People tend to see what they want to see, what they are looking for in order to justify a position taken.

I am so very sick of these threads of outrage over people who dare to be poor in front of you -( you being general before the outrage begins.)
Please show me a person who - by getting the snap card and buying the lobster and taking it back to the most cushy HUD housing that my tax dollar can buy - show me some who has been financially elevated to even the lower middle class because they were given my tax dime -

This conversation NEVER changes.
If persons need to think generally of the poor who are on public assistance to be lazy scammers who steal their tax dime, then obviously no hot topics discussion, graph, chart or set of numbers OR the face of the great number of the "honest poor" will ever lead them to think of the poor in this country any differently than they feel most comfortable in viewing them.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Perhaps we as a country should focus more on actually helping people get out of their situation. Giving them welfare benefits helps them live day to day, but does not change the overall situation.

Maybe it is different where you live. As I said, I grew up in a small, poor Southern town. My class in school was app. 100 students and with very few changes, was the same class K-12. I got to know a lot of kids whose families received welfare. Too many of them were accepting of their situation and had no dreams, no ambition other than to get whatever job they could with their high school skill set and accept any welfare benefits they could get to supplement. It was just a way of life. They knew nothing else and had no encouraging them to do anything more. I've known girls who had one baby after another because they get additional monthly benefits for each. I find it sad and disturbing that they will have a child just for the small amount extra they receive monthly. Then the children are the ones who suffer. They grow up in that cycle and it repeats. I have also known people who wouldn't accept a job if you handed it to them on a sliver platter. It is easier to sit home and get a benefit check from the government.

Giving welfare is just a bandaid in many cases. In some cases, people are elderly or disabled and can't do anything to help themselves. But for those who can, perhaps we should look for a way to help them actually make a better life for their families, not just scape by on welfare benefits. Would it not be better if more people would be inspired by the story about Chelsea Fearce and could actually rise above poverty?

mylab123, unless you know someone's situation, don't assume to know how they view the poor. Both sets of my grandparents were poor, but they encouraged their kids to make a better life for themselves. Only one of my grandparents graduated high school. The rest dropped out to work on the farm or help raise the family. Most of the meals at their homes were items from their farm or garden, because they could afford very little in the grocery store.

I am very aware of the truly poor. That makes me even more angry at those who scam the system to receive benefits while, in many cases, the truly needy fall through the cracks. I see this in healthcare as well. I hear the stories from nurses who go out and buy warm socks for an elderly home care patient because the patient can't afford it. When I hear things like that but see people driving an Escalade while collecting welfare benefits, yes, it makes me angry. It should make everyone angry to know that the truly needy continue to suffer while others are collecting money by scamming.

This post was edited by kittiemom on Sun, May 26, 13 at 13:51


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Estimates - by right wing zealots, the Dept of Agriculture, Liberals, etc - of food stamp fraud come to about 1% of what is spent, or about $750 million.

Which means that 99% is going to people who, legally, are entitled to this $130 a month supplement to buy food. Many of them are either elderly or kids.

The Republicans are trying to cut the budget for food stamps meaning that 2 million people will not receive benefits. Easy way out - just cut the money. No help in stopping fraud.

And the same people, using the Bible as their justification for these cuts, turn around and increase the tax payer funds for crop insurance, which is pretty much a guaranteed income for corporate farmers. Remember that some 95% of gvt support goes to 1% of the farmers.

Including one farmer who happens to be both a congressman and a huge recipient of farm subsidies.
But, see, he's smart enough not to drive an Escalade and and smart enough to quote the Bible, and everybody cheers.

begin quote: "Remember the last time you were smack in the middle of downtown Chicago or walking down a bustling street of Manhattan? Did you notice the sweeping farm vistas, the rich fields of corn and wheat?

Oh, wait a minute. There are none within the city limits of the Windy City or the Big Apple.

So why is the U.S. government sending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars (did you know this?) in farm subsidy payments to people who live in some of America’s wealthiest and decidedly urban neighborhoods?

The fact is, you can be a city slicker in Miami Beach or Beverly Hills and collect farm subsidy payments. All you have to do is have an ownership interest in some Iowa farmland. While 60 percent of American farmers must get along without a dime in federal subsidies, the so-called farm “safety net” benefits a narrow band of the wealthiest agri-businesses and absentee land owners and the lobbyists who ensure that the subsidies keep flowing.

The last farm bill, passed in 2008, was supposed to prevent people who weren’t actively engaged in farming from getting farm payments. It is clear those reforms didn’t work.

According to the Environmental Working Group’s updated 2011 Farm Subsidy Database, the government sent $394 million in farm subsidy payments in 2010 to residents of U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 or more.

In bucolic Chicago, 734 farm subsidy recipients pulled in a total of $2,173,344.

In pastoral New York City, 290 residents got $800,887 in subsidy checks.

In agrarian Miami, 203 individuals collected $2,472,071 in farm payments.

In Phoenix, 486 residents banked $3,216,958 in subsidies.

In rustic Los Angeles, 199 locals received $421,717 in all.

In the pastures of Washington D.C., 195 residents cashed $475,214 in farm payment checks.

In the fruited plains of Denver, 1,146 people collected $3,394,550 in subsidy payments.

In Seattle, 564 individuals got $2,275,300.

In Spokane, 1,224 residents took home a whopping $10,580,181 in farm payments.

And amid San Francisco’s amber waves of grain, 179 folk got $1,094,172.

Denizens of more than 350 cities with populations of 100,000 or more cashed subsidy checks in 2010.

The issue of city dwellers cashing in on farm payments isn’t new. EWG has been calling attention to this abuse since 1995, when it produced its “City Slickers” report. Back then, EWG’s researchers reported that 1.6 million subsidy checks worth more than $1.3 billion had been paid out to urban residents over a ten-year period.

City Slickers” underscored the fundamental problem with America’s farm programs, and it still exists today: They mostly reward those who own the land, not those who farm it, or are most in need, or grow the healthiest food, or do the best job of protecting soil, water and wildlife habitat. end quote

How do we help these already wealthy people get off the government support? Its become a way of life - they teach their kids how to milk the system, how to squeeze an extra dollar out of Uncle Sam, they too go into heavily subsidized commodity farming, driving $300,000 air-conditioned tractors, many think they're destroying the future of the country with the thousands of tons of drugs they use on their mutant crops. I don't know how many farmers have multiple children who just do this to perpetuate the system.

This post was edited by david52 on Sun, May 26, 13 at 14:23


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

"I find this a depressing thread. Why it is that too often, too many focus on the small percentage of the poor who scam, drive beautiful cars, buy expensive rib eyes and lobster and pay for them with snap cards etc to the exclusion of the far greater number who are in desperate need..."

Because they stand out. Just like bigots stand out, extremist fundies stand out, really wealthy people stand out.

So they get extra attention in places llike HT. This doesn't exclude the opposites.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

I get your point Elvis - people with a broken arm in a cast can find themselves for a time bothered more about a splinter in their finger.

However, on this issue which has been endlessly discussed in this forum and elsewhere, I dont get it. David has presented some form of these same facts and figures with every thread about the poor and the government programs they often access. The information is easy to get, anyone with a computer and a search engine can access these factual numbers and percentages in no time.

The fact that such a tiny percent of dishonest scammers abuse the various programs is wonderful, wonderful news! A cause for real celebration especially with those who have felt the system to have been so abused by dishonest lazy poor people! We should be grateful and be more than willing to give them the dignity and respect we have withheld from them due to our false belief system regarding how they steal from the system.
In this land of deceit and excess regarding how govt. funds are spent, the fact that the poor are NOT the ones scamming the system in worrisome percentages - as other wealthy people with access to tax dollars are doing - this is wonderful news to be celebrated!

So why wont that happen?

Why, when this topic is eventually revisited, will pretty much the same resentments be once again listed and the info David will once again post be pretty much ignored by the angry?
Its as if the facts and figures David keeps repeating has become unwanted information.

Why will this information be discarded with too many continuing to hold onto flat out false information, information which continues to feed their anger and disgust regarding people who have been proven to be the least guilty of abusing our tax dollars after all - as well as the least able to defend themselves in the storm of suspicion and the very people need our charitable hearts and honest good will and respect the most?

Because this topic WILL be re-visited and the same anger and disgust will again be vented again about the same group of people and David will once again post the same figures which again will be ignored.

Ideas about this odd behavior regarding this topic is worthy of its very own discussion thread.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

"Because this topic WILL be re-visited and the same anger and disgust will again be vented again about the same group of people and David will once again post the same figures which again will be ignored."

Mylab, I think that you are not considering that although there is no doubt in my mind that some who vent their "anger and disgust" do so with the opinion that all entitlement recipients are somehow undeserving of financial support funded by the largesse of other citizens better financially endowed (for whatever reason, personal wealth, hard work, etc) than they, those people are probably not here on HT. This is by and large a group of thinking and generous people. Stubborn too, and often seemingly at cross-purposes.

Speaking for myself, and I'm pretty confident that I'm not alone here, the "anger and disgust" I feel toward the system cheaters is toward those individuals only, and it's not only personal toward these individuals, it's mostly about the terrible damage they have imposed upon the integrity of the programs. That's real cause for anger and disgust.

I think that until we see more evidence that the problems of fraud are being addressed by the government this distrust felt by so many will continue.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Education, housing, food, taxes, health ... are all related. Debating yes/no on one bill or welfare check doesn't effectively address the issue.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Yesterday I paid (how much?) the occupants (owners?)

50 gallons of heating oil, burner/boiler repair and $100 in cash. Yes, one of the occupants is the current owner.

I wonder if you are in a position to know the whole truth of the situation. Is your information the result of a short conversation on one day or do you know these people?

There are very few long term year round residents in this region that I don't know.

I've known 2 of them for over 20 years and 1 for over 30 years. My grandfather built the home for the one of the occupant's grandparents that gave them the home free and clear in 2009.

The current occupants, the parents and grandparents have been customers of ours for decades. Two occupants have also worked for us, or rented apartments from me.

When I discuss options with pre-tax seizure occupants to possibly allow them to stay in the home, keep the home or walk away with cash/goods/services, I obviously have to have knowledge of their jobs, self-employment, income(s), savings, assets, liabilities etc.


A campground beats living on the streets.

The campground they may possibly move to is better than 90% of the rentals in the area where they plan on living. It's a direct lakefront campground with a marina, store, nearby stores, sandy beaches, excellent fishing etc.

They plan on staying in a large lot and park model camper owned by the grandparents and given to one of the occupant's brothers, however currently for sale.

The brother that owns the camper is a customer as well.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

I know, right, Mylab?

I, too, have brought forth the databases in which one can look up, by county, name, subsidy type, or other criteria, exactly who it is that's claiming and living off of all the huge subsidies the federal government pays out annually... to little or no response.

We've shown factual information that shows that somewhere around 1% of the budget goes to welfare, and of that 1%, only about 1% is taken in a fraudulent way by individuals.

We've also shown factual information, time and again, regarding the larger fraudulent operations perpetrated by the very insurance and medical corporations that accept government funded Medicare and Medicaid.

We should celebrate the fact that it's not the little guy scamming the government, and we should ask our representatives to look deeper into the larger amounts of government funding that disappear into personal accounts.

It seems to be pretty much the same old - same old when we talk about these issues. The reality is avoided in favor of the false visual implanted by those who want to keep the government stream flowing exactly as it has been... into coffers where it's not needed.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

""A lot of people have burial plots they have inherited," Hoffman said. "That's supposed to go to the assets. So they have to get the value of a burial plot. That can be hard and [sometimes] you're asking people in their 80s to do this … I feel bad having to ask it." "

What a disgusting way to treat our elderly!

What sort of people are we anymore that we are so callous to one another? Particularly to our "deserving" poor?

It makes me ashamed to be a US American.

And before I get some love it or leave it crap back ... I think it's the people who believe in such shameful practices that should leave, not me. They can go and form the United States of Selfish-ville, where no one considers anyone else to be their brother or cares how they do, whether they live or die, or whether they do so with any dignity at all either.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

markjanes,
Thank you for the response, it's gives body to your original post. After hearing the background I'm more inclined to attach greater credibility to your other posts.

That said, I don't think it wise to use one observation to arrive at a generality, but it was worth reading.


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RE: Food Stamps on the chopping block

Our high cost of living in some regions adds to the need for public assistance benefits as well.

For example, I looked at another tax auction property with annual property taxes of over $50 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Between property taxes, heating oil and propane, the senior customers are paying well over $10,000 per year in property taxes and heating fuels alone for a 1800s home in need of countless repairs and upgrades.

Much of our population has literally been taxed off their land and priced out of their former neighborhoods.

Real inflation - rents, motor fuels, heating fuels, insurance, costs of professional services, materials etc have really hit many of the employment/income/savings/credit challenged hard.

We walk away from more and more bad situations as customers can't afford our services.

We can't help many since they don't have a single full time income, zero savings, zero credit and zero net worth, many with large negative net worth.

Looking around, more and more business that cater to the employment/income/savings/credit challenged are popping up in various regions.

In some regions well over 50 percent of our customers are HEAP customers.


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