Last Updated:September 17 @ 11:52 am

One sixth of the nation is on food stamps

By Kay Daly

Like most government welfare programs, food stamps was meant to be a last resort in desperate times for those who have had drastic difficulties with their financial situation.   It was never meant to be a program from cradle to grave nor was it to be a generational thing, passed down like a precious antique.   (For a real eye opener on the whole subject of welfare programs, check out Marvin Olasky's "The Tragedy of American Compassion."  It will change your entire perspective on the subject of what real help is...and what is just downright cruel, despite what the liberals claim!)

The Wall Street Journal sadly noted today that 43 million Americans are on food stamps.   The state with the smallest percentage of citizens on food stamps is Wyoming and the "state" with the largest percentage collecting food stamps?  The District of Columbia.   So within the shadow of the Capitol dome, more than one fifth of the District's population is on food stamps.

Like most welfare programs, the lottery and nearly anything that the government seems to get involved in, the program actually hurts those it claims to help.

Not only does it trap recipients into a lifestyle that is hard to extract oneself from, not only it is a generational cancer that grows, spreads, and eats any kind of ambition, determination and motivation alive, but it also steers recipients toward some of the worst food habits on the planet.  Have you ever seen the items on the approved list for food stamps?   High in preservatives, fats, sodium, chemicals and carbs -- these are the quick food solutions that seem "cheaper" and boy are they engineered to taste swell.  But they are building eating habits in generations of children that will be devastating to their health.

Perhaps they are thinking they can just take care of the results of the food stamp program with Obamacare!

In all seriousness, there are children out there who are eating their way into a shortened life span who have never seen a fruit or a vegetable that didn't come out of a can or a frozen bag.  The sodium level alone in most of the food stamp approved premade foods and quick prepare foods are sky high.  The sugar level in the packaged drinks approved for the food stamp program would keep a child on the ceiling for most of the school day.

Obesity program, Mrs. Obama?  Take a good long look at the laughable nutrition standards in the food stamp program and what folks are actually buying and you'll see a whale of a correlation to obesity.

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71 Comments

  1. RWComment by RW
    February 3, 2011 @ 6:51 am

    I despise admitting this, but it is necessary to clarify my qualifications to comment: I had to be on food stamps briefly. It certainly helped, it is not meant to be the entire food budget for a family or singleton, but it does help. Because of having been in the program, I know what the little credit card thingy that is issued to use, looks like.
     
    I have a job where I go to grocery stores, and Big Box stores like Sam’s Club and Costco. Much of the time, my station is right near the check out line. You cannot imagine the kwap people who have SNAP buy! I’ve seen grocery carts filled with junk food, candy and cheap ice cream. “Juice boxes” that are little but colored, sugared water, cheap frozen dinners and the entire family is anywhere from over weight to flat out obese! OK, so I bought ice cream once in awhile on SNAP. Even some chocolate, but I am more educated in nutrition than the average Mommy, by need. My first family was a special needs  stepchild, who had a seriously restricted diet: no preservatives, food coloring, or additives. Processed foods were literally poison to her little system. I was and still am, in the habit of buying foods as nutritious as possible. Before any food goes into my grocery cart, I look at the label. If I can’t pronounce it, or spell it, I don’t buy it!
    The gubbmint does a family no good when kwap is allowed to be such a huge part of a budget. Sure, cultural norms are part of the problem. Rice and beans, altho a good source of a complete protein when eaten together, is fattening. And a meal made up of just rice, beans cooked with lard, and a juice box is basically filling, but empty calories. As part of a meal that includes a green or orange veggie, some dairy, it can be truly nutritious.

    We might want to also juxtapose the low grades/poor education with nutrition, of our less fortunate people: a poorly nourished child’s brain simply cannot develop properly! Without that, all the money thrown at education simply cannot overcome a brain that is physically stunted because the kid wasn’t fed properly in the first 10 years of his/her life.
     
    If the gubbmint can restrict items from the program, like toilet paper, soap and booze, how difficult can it be to restrict kwap calories from the program? Everyone would be better off.

    Yeah, Mrs. obama, if you are truly serious about ending the obesity epidemic, then lobby to decrease junk food within the SNAP system. And while yer at it, set an example. One doesn’t need $450 running shoes to move. Such expensive shoes are a status symbol within many of our poorer parts of our national community. That money would be better spent in better food, and making trips to the library or a park. $30 running shoes work just fine, try it, Mrs. obama, you might like it, and set an example for us all.
     
    As an aside, Kay, I used to live in Iowa, and I was fortunate to actually see how frozen veggies are processed. They are picked, washed, cut, flash frozen, and packaged, at fields’ edge! They are very frequently fresher, and therefore more nutritious than the so-called fresh you will find in the grocery store.

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    • leasesqftComment by leasesqft
      February 3, 2011 @ 9:50 am

      Hi: I am greatful for the food stamp program. I have a brother who worked all his life and then became ill with a major disability, uncurable. He spent all his savngs and I could no longer pay for everything for him. I applied for the food stamps program for my disabled brother.  I am truly greatful that this great “abused “country has it. Without it, my brother would probably wind up homeless and living on the streets of new york city  until dead from exposure if he didnt have a sister who gave a damn..
      Yes there are abusers….we see it all the time ….foodstamps and fur coats .$.350 sneakers……..$300. sunglasses              Its is easy to abuse.  just have no money in your name……and its a right to passage into the food stamps system along with medicaid!

      However; There are people who really do need it and on a long term basis and who rely entirely on it for their food source.     Just so you know I buy his paper goods for him still. Its called Family and what you can do for your own.

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    • dwb54Comment by dwb54
      February 3, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

      To leasesqft  I agree. To help someone who is not capable of helping themselves is the right thing to do. But there are so many people who “MILK” the system for what they can get, that the corruption hurts the ones who truly need the help. They are too sorry and lazy to get out and help themselves. That is what the system has evolved into. The current administration WANTS as many of us as it can get dependent on the government for everything. But what are they going to do when our currency collapses and food stamps are worthless? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! These people that sit on their a** and draw food stamps and welfare while they breed like dogs, churning out as many illigitimate children as they can spit out, all the while slinging dope and running ho’s better wise up. The TIT is fixing to dry up!

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    • sirjasonComment by sirjason
      February 3, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

      The Food Stamp program was initiated to be a temporary ‘hand up’ for families or individuals who need immediate assistance to feed themselves and/or their families…until they are able to feed themselves 

      Problem is too many laggards saw the opportunity to ‘game’ the system as a permanent ‘hand out’ for free money and food without working…now there are almost 3 generations of families on permanent welfare who have never worked for a living.

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  2. samComment by sam
    February 3, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    When I see Food Stamp users checking out at the grocery store they have very little in the way of food,  Their baskets are filled with beer, soft drinks, cigarettes, and junk food.  In this digital world it would be very simple to block those kinds of purchases.  Of course. most of these people don’t workk either because thseir combined welfare

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    • alba43Comment by alba43
      February 3, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      You can’t use snap benefits for beer or cigarettes.

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    • jeaneeComment by jeanee
      February 3, 2011 @ 11:05 am

      Food stamps are used to buy beer and cigarettes. They simply buy food, walk out the door – turn around and take the food back for a refund then purchase whatever they want.

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    • minnema5Comment by minnema5
      February 3, 2011 @ 11:21 am

      YOU CANNOT BUY BEER/CIGARETTES with Food Stamps!
      IF you take your merchandise back it automatically goes back on your Food Stamp CARD YOU DO NOT GET CASH BACK! At least that’s what happens in Michigan. We have the Bridge Card program.

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    • 83ragtop50Comment by 83ragtop50
      February 3, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

      My experience is that many use card for steaks and junk food. Then pull out their cash to buy beer, cigarettes, etc. I am all for helping those that cannot help themselves, but there needs to be some controls put into place. Back in the dark ages – before food stamps and now plastic cards – folks were provided staples like cheese, potatoes, etc. so they could eat. I would suggest two changes. One specific and one general. Specifically limit the items available for the food stamp program to basic staples. As noted by another, this is quite doable with bar codes and digital scanners. And in general, stop raising the income level that qualifies for assistance. In fact, it should be decreased by at least 25%. Oh, and a thrid specific recommendation – stop trying to not hurt anyone’s feelings by providing a little plastic card so they appear to be just another credit/debit card. How about a special card/device that can only be used at designated checkout stands?

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  3. SFret (Jim)Comment by sfret
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    Nothing like lack of follow up and oversite.

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  4. Hank BassComment by Hank Bass
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:12 am

    Michelle Obama’s push for healthier eating is just “fluff” made for her to look better in the public’s eye.  Truth be known, if it wouldn’t cause too much of an uproar, she’d take off for Spain, Hawaii, Fiji or some other “ritzy” destination.  Hypocritical?  You bet, that’s what they all are.

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    • minnema5Comment by minnema5
      February 3, 2011 @ 11:22 am

      Exactly! Do as I say NOT as I DO!

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  5. SilentThunderComment by SilentThunder
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:12 am

    One sixth of the population is hardly a surprise.  That is pretty close to the “real” unemployment rate in the Obamamerica.

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  6. Double AceComment by Double Ace
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    Probably less than 10% of those receiving food stamps need them for the purpose they were intended. We have raised generations that think this is a way of life. In the inner cities your mama was on food stamps, her mama was on food stamps, and probably her mama before her was on food stamps. It is a free ride to those folks, and they are not going to work until they get hungry. They will work off the books long enough to buy the car, flat screen TV, fancy clothes and gold jewelry. Politicians want us to believe this is a program to help people in need. In some cases maybe, but in most cases it is a way of life.

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    • Dingbat36Comment by Dingbat36
      February 3, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

      Yep and these are the same people who make a business out of having as many “babies” as possible. The little darlings are good as gold. Mommy is declared unfit and someone else (a family member) acts as foster parent and collects the money which goes to the children. Our government is so “family oriented” that they want to keep family together as often as possible. Whoever “fosters” the kiddies” not only gets the money for support of the children, but food stamps and welfare as well.  I know there are deserving needy people out there but those who are milking the system far outnumber the needy!

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    • BadgerComment by Badger
      February 4, 2011 @ 9:57 am

      In Baltimore Public assistance has turned into a legitimized drug ring.  All the drug addicts are on food stamps and CarePac, free healthcare with a prescription plan.  Doctor shopping is the norm and it’s not uncommon for an addict to have multiple prescriptions for mind altering pharmacuticals which they sell to the highschoolers and use the money to buy crack and heroine.  There are stores that give them cash, 50 cents on the dollar for their food stamps and pawn shops that pay them to steal over the counter meds for resale in there shops.  Try turning one of them in and you wind up in trouble. Yes, it’s time for term limits …

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  7. reckless1Comment by reckless1
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    Cutting the program completely would, of course, be the most logical thing we could do. But the fact is it is embedded in the population and relied on by many for decades. As a christian nation, a complete cut off would never be accepted by the populus, unless your agenda is riots in the streets, as the progressives are building towards. So, what to do?

    Cutting 15% would be a start. Investigating who’s actually is receiving this compensation is the most important. Today I can guarrentee you that I could walk into any city office and recieve food stamps. No deep investigation would take place of my background and definitely my SS number would not be run to check into my bank accounts that I may hold. Millions are taking advantage of this system. Why can’t we enforce a law that you may receive only ONE federally funded program at one time. If on SS and medicare, you are not able to receive food stamps. If on unemployment that is being extended and paid for by the federal government, you are not eligible for food stamps. I think we get the idea.

    Limiting the parent to claim only 2 eligible dependents will help stop the baby manufacturing mill that we are all aware of but afraid to speak about. The idea of school lunches is another program of personal responsibility that is forced onto the federal government. This should be completely stopped. I’m not being rightous here but this is the parents JOB and is part of the raising of your family.

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    • alba43Comment by alba43
      February 3, 2011 @ 10:51 am

      They ask for all sorts of information that pertain to bank accounts, employment, bills and for any form of proof of rent or housing payments. Have you ever considered thinking about how it would affect the elderly who can’t work and are sick if the programs were limited to just one federally funded program?!

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    • leasesqftComment by leasesqft
      February 3, 2011 @ 10:55 am

      If on SS and medicare, you are not able to receive food stamps.

      That would be cruelty.AND DEPRIVATION TO STARVING.disabled people on ss.  My permanently disabled brother who spent all his earning before he applied for foodstamps would be dead if your ideas were implemented.    he gets 1100 a month his rent is 1135.00  we live in nyc THATS CHEAP!.  he has no food money (food stamps thank god)no clothes money no  electricity money or non cell phone money. no dental money no health insurance money. no day to day living money..nothing nothing at all left after the rent and i pay part of it too.!  NOT RECIEVE FOOD STAMPS?.   YOUR A uncompassionate and selfish WITH THAT COMMENT.

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    • minnema5Comment by minnema5
      February 3, 2011 @ 11:31 am

      You are extremely delusional.
      You CAN receive Food Stamps while on Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment etc.
      I know this for a FACT!
      My sister receives SS and gets Food Stamps. Has for MANY MANY YEARS!
      My kids are on Medicaid and my husband was unemployed for close to 2 yrs and we received and STILL RECEIVE Food Stamps!
      My kids receive FREE lunch at school BECAUSE we are on Food Stamps!

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    • newrepublicanComment by newrepublican
      February 3, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

      To LEASESGFT

      Your brother is the one for whom the program was established.  The 1-10% who need it and not just feel they deserve it.  You do not need to justify the program’s existance for the sake of your brother, but you need to understand that the systemic abuse of the program WILL spoil it for your brother if corrections of the abuse are not implemented NOW.

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    • KMcCComment by KMcC
      February 3, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

      leasesqft,
      Why does your brother need to have Govrmt furnish him a CELL PHONE.  I work and don’t have one.  A great deal of working people do Not have Cell Phones or Dental Money.  Here in Texas and most states I have been in Health Care is availabe to all as no hospital is allowed to deny medical care (this burden from illegal aliens is killing Texas hospitals by the way).  Day to day living money, ha?

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  8. hanksmithComment by hanksmith
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Anything that is ‘provided’ for you by the government is never enough and the hoops that you have to jump through to get it are ridiculous. We have too many who look to the government for permanent assistance and it has become overwhelming.
    I have been out of work for 3 months. I was selling advertising as an independent contractor. Therefore I get no unemployment. Do I qualify for food stamps? Maybe. But where I live there is a community facility run by a church that provides 2 hot meals per day to anyone who is homeless, near homeless or working poor. They do not ask for any kind of documentation or ID.
    This is what has saved me this past month. Not government help but true assistance from a private, church funded resource. If we could just get back to smaller government with less interference we would be better off as a country. Career politicians need to become a relic of our past. Term limits!
    I continue to look for work.

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    • charles1712Comment by charles1712
      February 3, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

      Hanksmith, Good for you hang in there things will soon turn around . The left dose not know it yet but Obama is out the door and it is coming soon . Needless to say there will be quite a few politicians going with him to prison for the fraud perpetrated on the American people.

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  9. serenityComment by serenity
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    Our community is seeing a huge rise in people needing the totally-voluntary Food Bank, because of the economic conditions, especially in building jobs. Food stamps should be an emergency situation, and not last years, but if jobs are not available, people are tied into paying for house mortgages where they live. What are they to do?
    I have seen, though, much abuse, where people buy non-nutritious items. Also people with food stamps then have the money to purchase cell phones, satellite dishes, etc. Maybe if you had to sell all that excess, if you stayed on Food Stamps longer than one year, that would help. The government used to inspect homes of people on tax-paid aid, and then they would hide their televisions, but those are less easily hid nowadays.

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  10. jameskearnsComment by jameskearns
    February 3, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    The 2011 budget for stamps is 80 billion. It should be cut to 10 billion. 10′s of thousands of cities and towns in this country have food pantries where people can get food. In addition 10′s of thousands of churches in this country distribute food free many of them with no questions asked as to the familiys need. Our church provides families who show up once a month with about 200 dollars worth of food. Gee most of it is plower, sugar, cerial, butter, milk, bread. Normally about 5 items of bread items can be had by each family. At the end the left overs are the sugar and flour, items needing preparation.
    My experiance is that you acan get 30 dollars of food stamps for 20 dollars almost anywhere. The cash is used to buy the cigs and beer and the tvs. In addition many of those on food stamps are drug dealers and others that have additionsal income. If you are on unemployment can you get stamps? If so that should be stoped right now. With the stamps and unemployment they make more than if they were working.

    70 billion can be saved right now if congress acts right away. Pass this to your congressman and representative Paul Ryan R WI

    Wake up america.

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    • minnema5Comment by minnema5
      February 3, 2011 @ 11:49 am

      They should fund $160 Billion in Food Stamps! NOT decrese it!
      The Food Stamp program is a necessity to the LOW INCOME of America!

      HAVE YOU EVER RECEIVED THE FOOD YOUR CHURCH DOLES OUT?
      Most of the FOOD from these places are EXPIRED, MOLDY and UNUSABLE to the people they are given to!

      HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UNEMPLOYED?
      HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO LIVE ON $1448 PER MONTH?
      HAVE YOU TRIED TO PAY YOUR RENT ($915), UTILITIES (Gas/elec/water/phone)($300), GAS IN VEHICLE TO LOOK FOR WORK? ($100) etc WHILE ON UNEMPLOYMENT?

      ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR 3 SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN? (18, 16, 11)
      COULD YOU EVER FEED A FAMILY OF 5 ON WHATS LEFT? $133

      WE ONLY GET $164 PER MONTH IN FOOD STAMPS! Tell me exactly HOW I can stretch that amount to feed my entire family of 5 each month?

      Until you are in the shoes of the people who depend on Food Stamps YOU DO NOT GET TO JUDGE US! OR demand that the government REDUCE our much needed benefits!

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    • newrepublicanComment by newrepublican
      February 3, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

      Please Minema5, why do you believe all people on Food Stamps are in your situation?  You may have a valid need for temporary assistance.  You are not the reason for the public reaction to cut benefits.  But if you are not willing to fight the abuses then you too will lose your benefits!

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    • Dingbat36Comment by Dingbat36
      February 3, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

      I see you have been castigated by minnema5 for your remarks. Churches do not pass out expired and moldy food…….their standards for donations are much the same as for any food bank. Canned food, mixes, beans flour sugar tea, coffee (yes even granulated creamer as well).
       
      Perhaps minnema5 should consider why there is a need in her household for the computer and the Internet connection she is using to scream at everyone here…….neither of those expenses are truly necessary and certainly not thrifty purchases. I wonder if her home also contains a big screen television with cable or satellite also……….how about Nintendo, Play-station or Wii? And for the dumb people in here like me, why on earth did she have 3 children she couldn’t afford? In this day and age with all the contraceptive choices available it certainly is much easier to decide not to have a family.

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  11. EveComment by Eve
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    Food Stamps and Wic can be a life saver for a SHORT period of time for those out of work folks and should be kept for those who are deemed unable to work and provide for themselves. (Altho to be honest this used to be the domain of charity organizations who did a much better job) However, it is NOT right for generation after generation to pass down the food stamp way of life. I think it is rather ironic that someone can pick up government checks, OUR MONEY, without a drug test yet the ones who make that money are usually required to take one! Two things. To recieve government aide of ANY kind you should be tested for drugs and go through E-Verify to make sure you are a legal American citizen! Teach the welfare kids the tale of the LITTLE RED HEN!

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  12. AbbyComment by Abby
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:24 am

    First off, term limits.  Second, everyone on SS, even House and Senate (watch SS get fixed right away).  Third, everyone should  pay into a pension plan, not have the rest of the nation support them –Congress, Senate, Teachers, Union Workers, etc.  No one should be allowed to receive income they didn’t contribute to.  That should be a separate pot for the handicaped, etc.  Also, why do we have to pay into the Internal Revenue Service before the due date?  that way they earn our interest and then spend our money and try to figure a way to keep the excess.
       another thing, didn’t the government vote to keep taxes at the same rate?  Why then, are we having an additional 50, 60 dollars withheld?  What warranted this change?  As long as the individual pays his taxes prior to the due date (which helps him to take care of his own), he should be allowed to do so.  Why does Uncle Sam get our money and our interest on said monies?
         It is true, many do not try to find work because they are way ahead sitting at home and being paid for it.  They don’t need to worry about transportation, clothing, child care, etc. 
        Why can’t we provide jobs for everyone?  Some can be in the child care business taking care of welfare’s children while others work at jobs, or community services?  The generation to generation mentality is the result of government taking care of the people?  What ever happened to one’s own responsibility?  Teach these people to fish rather than feeding them the fish. 
        Having children (just for the sake of subsidies) when one can not afford it is wrong.  Take these children and allow them to be adopted by those who can afford and want children.  That gets the subsidies under control in that direction.  We have let these people play the system for way too long.  What about the unwed women who had infertility treatments to have 7-8 or more children and then collect welfare, additional funds, etc.  Then she is able to have a mercedes, a fur coat, all the trimmings including a large home.  Something indeed is wrong in the way our government works.  This has been ongoing for many years; we need to wake up and correct these problems, not add to them.
    Political correctness and trying to treat everyone the same (share the wealth) is insanity. We can share our wealth without government assistance, and have been doing so for as long as I can remember (and I am over 60).
    When I was young, we lived off the land. We made do with what we had; we didn’t have credit, nor did we live beyond our means. People have to learn to live within their means and that does not mean welfare in order to buy a tv, cell phones, etc. Let’s take responsibility for our lives, not wait for handouts.

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    • AMVoterComment by AMVoter
      February 3, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

      My understanding is that you are seeing the additional $40-50 taxes taken out of your check because the “making work pay” tax decrease expired 12-31.  Yes, I was shocked too when I got my check.
      Years ago in California Reagan tried to have welfare recipients work but our “illustrious” left sued, so people continue to sit on their butts doing nothing and collect our tax dollars.  Anyone collecting government assistance should be required to perform some type of community service or if nothing else, be required to report daily and sit in a large room for 8 hours.
      Yes, there are people who truly need help and they should receive it.  But the vast majority have made government assistance a way of life.  They are very savvy and know how to scam the system.
      Before anyone disagrees with me, I worked for over 20 years with these people and saw it on a daily basis.
       
       

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  13. PJSolarzComment by PJSolarz
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:33 am


    You can’t use snap benefits for beer or cigarettes.”  You can in Michigan. It’s called a Bridge Card here and you can get cash as well as food with your card.

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  14. AbbyComment by Abby
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    Yes, building (construction) jobs have ebbed; why not learn another skill?  Why not volunteer in order to learn a new profession?  Times change and we need to change also.  Not to sacrifice our beliefs but in order to survive.  Handouts tend to place the individual into a form of slavery.  You are bound by the handouts and need to break the chains of bondage.

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    • KMcCComment by KMcC
      February 3, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

      Abby, in the Southwest construction jobs only go to illegel aliens as they work for much less.  If we did not allow them to work without proving citizenship, then there would be work at a fair salary for our citizen. 

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  15. wenramComment by wenram
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:42 am

    I am also one of the ones who was on the food stamp program and also on WIC.  During that time I was grateful for the program but it was limited as to how much I could spend.  What irked me was that I got more in food stamps as a single pregnant woman than when I married the father of my baby.  How is that for the government being pro-family?
    If you are going to be on food stamps you shouldn’t be able to buy junk food on it.  It should be more like the WIC program.
    But what do I know? I’m just one of the stupid masses who has to be lead around with a ring in my nose according to Obama, Inc.

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    • 83ragtop50Comment by 83ragtop50
      February 3, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

      The reason you get less when you are married is that there are supposedly two providers available. Not sure what getting pregnant out of wedlock has to do with it.

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  16. cfilliosComment by cfillios
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    The fact that a program is abused does not make it wrong.  Those of us who have had the pleasure of working in private industry, helping support the overpaid government workers – now earning more than their private sector counterparts on average – have suffered layoffs, relocations, etc.  I spend 20 years in high tech, and know folks who have still not recovered from the tech bust of the late 1980′s.  By now we’re older, and truly facing age discrimination.  And we hear how our colleges are failing to produce enough engineers and scientists.  Whey would our kids enter these fields when they witnessed what happened to us?  And to add insult to injury, our Congress tells us we need to make further sacrifices.  Like them?  I know a woman who recently took a position with our local congressman.  She says the medical benefits alone are incredible – unavailable to the rest of us.  So I say, if we can’t work because of age discrimination, and we can’t access the quality of healt care available to our congresspeople, then we need to subisit somehow.  Lower the retirment age;  give every household with a head over the age of 55, $1M, require they quit their job if still employed, and stop all other benefits.  Imagine…even if it costs the gov’t $200M – a high figure – jobs would open for younger folks, and eveyone wins.  Look what we’ve already dished out for TARP, and other stimulus programs.

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  17. blueyeszzComment by blueyeszz
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    You don’t know the half of it!  Last time I was at the grocery, I saw someone load up a few cases of expensive Energy Drinks that average $1.50 a bottle.  Yep, it’s an approved Food Stamp item.  So along with expensive Energy Drinks, allowed is
    *candy
    *soda
    *chocolates
    *chips
    *weight loss shakes
    *cakes
    *cookies
    *pastries
    etc…

    Basically, anything that’s edible.  People also take advantage and buy very expensive cuts of meat and imported cheeses that you’d think someone who is “struggling” and needed their small food stamp allowance to last and stretch for the month, could not afford.

    It gets worse…in some states, you’re allowed to use them in Restaurants and Fast Food joints.  Included on those lists are Jack-in-the-Box, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, McDonalds, etc. 

    And if someone wanted to spend their entire allowance on cases of energy drinks or candy…the government doesn’t know a thing about it…because it doesn’t keep track of what anyone purchases.  Courtesy of your tax dollars folks.

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    • minnema5Comment by minnema5
      February 3, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

      As a food stamp recipiant I have to admit, in the past,  I have bought candy, pop, & junk food! 99.99% of the time I try to AVOID these items. 

      Lately it is extremly difficult to buy healthy food that is affordable!

      I cringe at the meat prices! Gone are the days when you could buy meat that was less than $2.00 a pound – sometimes it was less than $1.00 per pound. NOW most of it is more than $3.00 per pound AND I mostly shop at Aldi’s or Save A Lot.

      At Aldi’s I used to buy 1lb carrots for 0.69 cents TODAY it’s $1.49.

      You could buy a gallon of milk for less than $1.50 NOW it’s upwards to $3.00 per gallon!

      Prices have not gone done at all anywhere! In fact, they have consistantly gone up in the past 6 months to a year. Ever since gas prices rocketed over the $3.00 per gallon mark! Consumers pay the cost when this happens. It’s the trickle down effect!

      A few years ago I went shopping with my mother. I had a FIT in the store when she wanted to pay OVER $4.00 per pound for meat (when there was a lesser expensive cut of meat available) and $3.29 for a bottle of NAMED BRAND Ketchup (when the store brand was $0.99)! She said my dad had to have it!

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    • KMcCComment by KMcC
      February 3, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

      minnema5, follow Oprah’s VEGAN plan.  NO MEAT, NO Dairy, No Eggs of any kind.  Veggies, fruits, GRAINS (whole not processed).  Its very healthy, it lessens problems with your heart, and stops the sympthons of diabetes.  The health improvement would save the country 100s of billions of dollars in health care.  Read “The China Study” by T. Collin Campbell, if that does not change your eating, nothing will.   If not Vegan, at least give up ALL dairy. 

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    • tacatComment by tacat
      February 4, 2011 @ 12:39 am

      reply to KNcC
      why did God give us cows & pigs & chickens? all food is a celebration of life - for us to consume in moderation     - Would you like for the cow/pig/chicken farmers to have no income & have NO INCOME FOR THEIR FAMILY ?  Wow – then they might need to apply for food stamps & medicaid HUH???

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  18. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    Be compassionate , but…

    There was a time when the Government  maintained food prices by buying surpluses. They were warehoused, and were distributed to the tryly needy. That did supply the basic needs for many, but of course it did not provide for ‘personal respect’. Food stamps return ‘independence’ to many, allowing them to ignore true needs, and satisfy personal ‘wants’

    RW decries rice and beans as ‘empty calories’. It has been well proven that the combination of rice and beans provides the protein equivalent of beef. And the ‘poor’ in third world countries have known that for centuries.

    Where you see the waste of food stamps goes even to many items that one might not consider luxury items. For example, look at the price of plain oatmeal, and then compare it to the many processed oat cereals. All of which are loaded with sugars and chemicals. The ‘plain’ is usually a quarter of the price.

    The system is totally flawed. Allow the government to keep people from starving, do not subsidize farmers to limit their production, buy the surplus and distribute it. If necessary, subsidize food distribution stores to distribute the purchased surplus to those in demonstrated need.

    There have been articles by affluent people who have taken ‘The Food Stamp Challenge’. They wring their hands that they cannot afford to socialize over a $5 cup of coffe. Does anybody remember the ‘Timber Float”? A toothpick and a glass of water!

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    • RWComment by RW
      February 3, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

      Rice and beans are, as I did point out, are a complete protein. BUT as the ONLY protein, with no other nutritious food, that combination is empty calories. There’s not enough to truly keep a body healthy! Full, yes, healthy…no.
       
      There is absolutely no reason that junk food cannot be eliminated from this program. There is NO reason that the little pamphlet that comes with one’s initial enrollment in food stamps can’t also info on include what is healthy and what is not.
       
      But subsidizing anything will simply add to the financial problem the gubbmint already has! I am ALL for taking every bit of food that is warehoused, from cheese and butter to grains, to keep food prices artificially high, and distributing it to the needy. Even if the needy must pay 25 cents for each item, it will help offset the costs of distribution.

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  19. StevenComment by Steven
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    I don’t know whats worse, the fact that people are acting shocked that in times of near Great Depression economic troubles that people are on foodstamps or that most of the people here don’t bother to take the time to educate themselves about they system and make idiotic statements posing as fact.
    Yes there are abuses of the Foodstamp program and all other social programs but compared to the number of people who otherwise would be homeless and hungry the abusers are a small issue.
    The biggest and most cost effective way to decrease the percentage would be to remove all the illegal immigrants currently on the system.  Thats something I cannot understand about the government.  We should provide for OUR citizens but why are we supporting people who are here illegally?  Why are they entitled to a piece of our system when they are committing a crime in the first place?
    Of course no one, left or right, wants to fix the system.  If anyone made a move to remove the illegals from the system, their Hispanic voter bloc would stop supporting them.  So the system stays broken and the candidates from both sides pander to the illegals and the Hispanics.

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    • Thor H. AsgardsonComment by Thor H. Asgardson
      February 4, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

      Excellent comments.

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  20. johnnyromComment by johnnyrom
    February 3, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Do away with food stamps and ship every person that was on it a box of MREs each month.  If it’s good enough for our military members to eat MREs it should be good enough for the poor and hungry.  Chances are they’d go a couple of months eating that and decide they would like something better for themselves to eat.  It’s a sure fire way to make sure people aren’t starving to death and at the same time will motivate them to find an alternative.  Not to mention, it would give the post office a chance to show how good they are.  If they want or need to be on a government program then maybe they should have to rely on the government delivery service to provide it to them.  Tuff love is what most (not all) of these people need.

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    • TRUTHTELLERComment by TRUTHTELLER
      February 4, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

      Right on.

      MREs are the way to go.  They may not taste like  a Porterhouse steak, but they are a nutritionally balanced meal.  They are the standard bill-of-fare for our soldiers in the field.  

      The government has millions of them stored in warehouses.  Each potential food stamp reciepiant could easily get their three squares a day. Eliminating junk food, booze, cigarettes, trading for cash/drugs and all the other abuses that are occurring in the food stamp program. 

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  21. Comment by Rose
    February 3, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

    Unfortunately, I, too, have seen junk and non-nutrition items purchased with our charity via foodstamps.  These stamps are needed for desperate measures, but not as a continuing lifeline and definitely not for non-nutritious items except once in a while as a treat.  This is how we shop and why we are in good health as we age.  Welfare of any kind should be limited.  Assistance to help people get trained, rehabilitated and back to work is best, not pandering to them as “entitlements”.  Government social programs tend to be bad, unhelpful, and making people dependent, including invasion of our education system which has failed miserably to educate!  We were given the right to life, liberty and happiness, not living on the efforts of others.  If you want socialism, go live under socialism, you won’t like it.  I did and I know.  You want more government aid, go live in a country where that is the case.  You won’t be free, you won’t be able to choose, and perhaps not even allowed to live.  Foodstamps are necessary only when needed, not as a continuing mode of living.  KISS!

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  22. pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
    February 3, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    Food stamps, welfare and other government-provided entitlements have all done a great disservice to this country. Before all of this nonsense started, people were a lot more self-sufficient. During the Great Depression, people moved to where the jobs were when they couldn’t find one at home. Many of these entitlements have become generational curses on families. Charities used to take care of the poor, but since charities have limited resources (can’t print their own money) they encourage recipients to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. The government doesn’t seem to care if they ever get off assistance. While I could see some sort of government help (preferably at the local or state level) for the permanently disabled, most of the people on public assistance simply view it as a way of life. As such, the federal program needs to be completely dismantled. We are paying able-bodied people to stay at home and collect their government money. Women are having children out-of-wedlock because they collect extra money for each one they pop out.

    As for my qualifications to judge, I have never received any government assistance other than a Pell Grant. I have lived on minimum wage and put off having children until my husband and I could afford to raise them. We DO NOT have cable TV in our home. We consider it a luxury. We buy our own food and pay for our own housing and utilities. That doesn’t always leave a lot of extra money. Most people on assistance have cable TV. They don’t pay for their housing or food and any additional money they bring in is used to buy things the government won’t provide, like cigarettes, beer and cable TV. There are people who sell the food they purchase with food stamps to buy drugs. The system is rife with abuse.

    Charities would step in and help these people. People would have more discretionary income for charitable donations if the government would lower our taxes. Families should be helping each other out as well. We have become a much more callous nation since the government stepped in to help. Men have stopped taking care of their children and wives now that the government will do it for them. Honor and duty have been discarded for personal pleasure.

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    • dwb54Comment by dwb54
      February 3, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

      Right on! The biggest lie that was ever told was ” I’m with the government and I’m here to help!”

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  23. cynicalobserverComment by cynicalobserver
    February 3, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    food stamps are necessary with the government more interested in sending jobs overseas along with factories with no protection for the American working people.

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  24. glennComment by glenn
    February 3, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    I have never figured out why people on food stamps also get free lunches at school. To me it is paying twice to feed them. AS it stands now only 47 percent pay any taxes and I wonder how a little more than half can continue to support the other half. Time to make the majority of these bums start working for a living instead of producing babies one after the other

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  25. jerry99Comment by jerry99
    February 3, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    There was a good news story about a year ago. It showed a neighborhood in San Francisco with many small Chinese stores. The day after women received food stamps, they went to the stores and exchanaged them for 50% of their value in cash. The news reporter talked with a store owner and he said it is good, he gets the food stamp money and the person gets money. The drug peddlers were all lined up across the street and the food stamp recipients crossed the street and used the money to buy drugs. The practice works just as well with food stamp credit cards.
    Congress knows this very well and requires states to feed childred two hot meals at school. 17 states feed childred 3 meals/day.
    The program needs to be disbanded. The government could get someone who knows what they are doing, like the Salvation Army or Second Harvest Food Bank to organize and hire teenagers (with an 45% unemployment rate) to pack boxes with food and distsribute it every week. A real dietician could put together several menus and use that for the food boxes. It would just be too easy and make too much sense.
    May also put some drug pushers out of business. End Food Stamps now.

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    • RWComment by RW
      February 3, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

      And there ain’t nuttin’ wrong with having to pass a drug test to qualify and stay qualified for any government program!

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