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Food Stamp Use Skyrockets, 'poverty' Given A New Meaning

January 1, 2010 by  

Food stamp use skyrockets, 'poverty' given a new meaningAs millions of people continue to hit the unemployment lines every month, food stamp use in the United States has reached a record high.

Food stamps, which were renamed "nutritional aid" by the Bush administration to erase the initiative’s stigma, now help feed one in eight Americans and one in four children, The New York Times reports. The program is expanding at a pace of 20,000 people per day.

Even though it has reached record highs, federal officials feel that the program needs to be growing faster still.

Kevin Cocannon, an undersecretary of agriculture, states that food stamps only reach about two-thirds of those who are eligible and that there are another 15 million people who can benefit from the program.

Critics of the welfare policy believe that government assistance can breed apathy and that there are millions who abuse the program. recently reported the story of an Ohio woman with a Mercedes, $80,000 in the bank and a $300,000 home with no mortgage who has legally been receiving $500 per month in food stamps.

Robert Rector, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, called the findings of The New York Times report valid, but said the "hyperbole" suggesting that many people are in danger of starving is false, according to the Associated Press (AP).

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  • Dennis

    Perhaps if people had to put in some work hours to receive benefits, provided there are no disabilities. It may cut down on abuse. People used to have to work for a welfare check years ago. This will help to get rid of the dependancy of being helped and get on with some kind of work, possibly making the person rise above it.
    But, that being said, fedaral officals wont stop until, EVERYBODY is on foodstamps! Wanting everybody to need them, so that they can control everything in life! It’s in the name…..AIDE. We can give aide and we can TAKE it away, if you don’t do as your told.
    That is why they are taking over every company, destoying businesses. They would like for us all to make very little money, say like, Cuba, people there only make $15.00 A MONTH. China makes about $100.00 a month for about a 12 hours a day work day. So people need to quit being fooled into this being taken care, misconception.
    This way they are in complete power.
    What puzzles me is, they hate capitalism, but YET they are the MOST Capitalist , greedy for power monsters. They have become so rich from capitalism and that is what has made this country so great, BUT,a power hungry Government is going to destoy it all.
    It is possible to help those who need it , if GREED & POWER aren’t the agenda.
    The reason these people that want to push socialism, communism in the U.S. do not just go to countries where it already exist is because…. They wouldn’t be the TOP POWER.

    • Victor L Barney



  • TeresaE

    Here are a few stats to ponder.

    A single parent with three kids gets $630 a month in foodstamps. Has anyone bothered to see how many hours you have to work at minimum wage to come up with $630 a month NET? Let me help you:

    $7.25 minus social security is $6.70 an hour net (assuming no federal or state withholding). $630 a month is 94 hours, now realize it is actually more hours because said parent will have to pay daycare for their kids. (not to mention transportation, food, clothes, etc).

    So, if the only jobs available are part time, you would lose out to work.

    Our entire system is designed to create dependence (and associated inertia and apathy), not a “leg up” as welfare was before Clinton “reformed” it.

    Just wait until forced insurance hits those that still bother to work.

    I see bleak times with the majority 100% dependent on the government.

    • Dennis

      Well considering the single parent issue, that is certain to be much more difficult. Working for your help was in the day of old expected in a two parent family. This helps stop the “just lay around and be taken care problem”. I am not sure where along the line this was stopped but it only added to the dependency problem.

    • J C

      I tend to agree, especially as concerns the governments seeming agenda of creating dependency. Problem is, what happens when 50% are totally dependent and the other 50% come to understand that there is no point in working? And since the government actually produces “nothing of value” where does the capital for all this come from? Social programs are failures by design. The whole system needs to be scrapped and we need to return to our Constitution, less the “interpretations” inherent to the Promote the general welfare clause.

  • Victor L Barney


    • Dennis


      • Joe H.

        Make that two of us that didn’t! I voted McCain only because of Palin!!!

        • Miles C

          You got that right! Maybe we would have been REAL lucky if McCain had been elected and then turned it over to Palin. I think she would have had the guts to stand for something that we everyday folks could believe in.

    • JC

      What “we” are you talking about? Something just less than 2/3 of the US did NOT vote for communism. Only 1/3 actually voted against it and 1/3 seem to have lost faith in the system altogether.

  • Kristin

    The comments here are appalling. You are all placing you analysis in the wrong place. There is a reason WHY people need food stamps. That reason is there there is not enough meaningful work to go around. Many people who receive assistance work, sometimes more than 1 job. The problem is they are low paying jobs and the expenses people face outweigh their income. Sure there are people who abuse the system, but they are far fewer than the media would like us to believe. Giving people what they need to survive is not meant as a means of control, it’s a patch to cover areas where capitalism fails. Capitalism cannot provide for everyone, that is inherent in the system. Since it needs accumulation of wealth to thrive, not everyone can benefit from that accumulation. Food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare, these things all need to be looked at as human rights, the bare necessity needed to survive. Capitalism can not provide these things, because these things do not produce profit when everyone has access to them. This is where the market fails. Until we have a system where people do not need to worry about food security, access to health care, having a roof over their head, our whole society suffers. Let the US, the richest country in the world, be judged by the condition of our worst off. By those standards we don’t fare very well.

    • Joe H.

      Good then get rid of the estimated 20 million illegal aliens here in the U.S. and it will ease it some!!!

      • Joe H.

        I know of three third generation welfare families. The kids are very able to work as are the grandkids! Why should we continue to fund this idiocy???? Take a family of four kids all over eighteen. If they are still living at home and have minimum wage jobs then the kids are bringing in over 28.00 for every hour they work. Say after taxes they are bringing in 20.00 I’m sure the family can live very well and even save some in a “pool” to pay for unexpected car repairs and such!!!

    • Dennis

      Capitalism would work and has, how do you think America has gotten to be so great? The problem occured when all of our companies shut down and moved out of the country. America has become a purchase country, buying what all the other countries are building. We just shuffle it from store to store. All the steel mills , furniture building companies and the like are shut down. America needs companies that build and manufacter products for all others to buy. Then there will be jobs! Higher taxes will just keep business from building!
      Liberals complain about green, green, green, well why haven’t we been building all these solar panels, wind power, water power stations in mass production? Well because the scam has been billions more money in complaining about needing it than actually producing it. proving that they don’t really care about the issue.
      That is precisely the fraud of global warming all together, that people stand to gain billions just for the building of lies, deceit and not from the actual solving issues. As long as you keep saying we are still searching and we found thid little thing, just to keep them hanging on, they keep on funding.
      We concentrate on our own energy, and pump for oil off the gulf coast, we will get alot of jobs rolling.
      That would help get people off the dependence of govt. and quit being victimized.
      Liberals love for everyone to believe they are “helping” but this is not help it only makes you more vulernable.
      Please do not get me wrong, if it is the last thing and you do not have much choice but to get some assistance, just don’t make that your lifetime career.
      People get comfortable with it even though everybody knows it’s not enough money to get half way through a month.

      • Claire

        Dennis– Very worthy words and very true.

    • Claire

      Kristin–I understand what you are saying, and I sympathize with the people that are legally receiving welfare. I also believe some of them should quit having babies in order to receive their welfare checks. And I think the system needs to “clean house.” I am not a hard-hearted person, I sincerely have compassion for my fellow man/woman but we have choices in life. If we are physically able, we can choose to work and be an upstanding citizen or we can choose to be a leech and live off of others without any remorse. However, I believe Joe H is right. The illegals are sapping the life out of us. We need to stop this cancerous growth that is destroying the lives of the legal American citizens. The citizens of America are paying the price for these (God forgive me for saying this) freeloaders. We cannot and should not allow any more illegals into this country. We cannot take care of the entire world!! It is to the point that some of us can no longer take care of ourselves. Be realistic.

      • Claire

        Kristin–I have also noticed when I go to the grocery store, the people on welfare will usually have 2 carts full of groceries and they use a “card” to pay for them. I assume they are buying 2-3 weeks of groceries but I do not know. If it is for one week then yes, I am aggravated. I have looked at their carts and by gosh, I think they eat better than a lot of people. Some of the women look like they just stepped out of a beauty parlor and have on nice clothes. How in the hell can they afford to have their hair done and be on welfare? I must be behind the times or something. I always thought if a person was on welfare they would look the part. They would LOOK poor. I do not want or wish anything bad for any person, but our government needs to put thier house in order.

        • Claire

          Don’t get me wrong–there is nothing wrong with looking nice and presentable but is the welfare system overpaying or what? There is a lady I work with that has filed bankruptcy twice and kept their house both times. Her husband is on welfare-a bad back–but yet he bowls and goes to the off-track betting place plus he goes to the casino boat in Peoria. I know I make more money than she does, but geez. How can they afford all that?

          • Joe H.

            that’s because some of them receive welfare AND work under the table!!!
            Look at the guy a few years ago that was from Ohio. He supposedly was disabled, went to Fla and flew in every time he was supposed to show for an appointment. The biggest surprise was when he was caught working as a golf pro on weekends AND doing roofing full time during the week!!! This went on for over a year and would have continued if he hadn’t gotten greedy and said he needed money to attend college!!! They put an investigator on him and caught him at both jobs!!!

          • Joe H.

            If you want to see something that should bring a tear, search America why I love her narrated by John Wayne!!!! Beautiful. Shouldeven make the libs ashamed!!!

    • Chuck

      I believe one of the larger issues that tends to be ignored is a very simple one. Is it the role of the Government to care for these people?

      I believe the answer is a resounding NO.

      Their extended family, churches, etc are who should be taking care of them. If the Government was a fraction of its size, and the tax load was a lot less due to that, people would have a great deal more, and it would free everyone up enough that giving would not be nearly as much of a problem.

      You would see that family down the street with 3 kids and the dad got fired. You would know they depend NOT on the government, but rather on the heart of people they know – friends and family. People would be willing to pitch in and do whatever they could to help.

      All the government programs do is literaly erase the guilt for the vast majority of the population, so they are not willing, nor do they see the need to help.

    • Miles C

      If the Obama recovery keeps going the way it’s been going, a lot of us may be forced to apply for some stamps. I know I’d eat much better then than I do now according to my observation in the grocery store check-out lane.

      • J C

        Eat better right up until the people paying for it….stop.

  • Bill Peltz

    There’s something wrong with this paragraph: “ recently reported the story of an Ohio woman with a Mercedes, $80,000 in the bank and a $300,000 home with no mortgage who has legally been receiving $500 per month in food stamps.”

    Ordinarily, there’s no way that this is legal. The upper limit on total household resources, which includes cash on hand plus the amount by which the market value of a vehicle exceeds $4650, is only $2000 — or $3000 if the household has someone either 60 or older or disabled. This Ohio woman’s Mercedes alone would disqualify her.

    However, in October of 2008, the Bush administration suggested to states that because of rising unemployment they could change the rules and simply look at income, and not count cash and other resources on hand. So Ohio took the suggestion. Evidently that’s been reversed, because I just tested their requirements on line and was told that the $4500 in current assets held by two elderly people would disqualify them. So, this year, the Mercedes driving woman couldn’t get food stamps.

    • Miles C

      You need to go by the DHR office and watch what they drive up in or the grocery store parking lot. Lots of them drive Cadillacs, new Suv’s, Jaguars, etc. So, don’t come and tell me the rules. Or maybe one can just lie or pretend and get what they need.

      • Joe H.

        Miles C.
        Do you realize how long it would take them to check all the information the welfare office gets on these peoples background? They couldn’t possibly check all of it. So the professional welfare cheats go in feed the people a line of bulls..t a mile long and they get it. Meanwhile, the ones that really do need it for a couple of months get their bowels inspected before they get it!! It was not meant to be a lifetime thing, it was meant to be a hand up to get you over a rough spot here and there!!!


    We are beginning to relive the days of LBJ and soon with inflation rearing it’s ugly head we will begin to picture the Jimmy, the peanut, Carter days. Change and hope is a incompehensible task for these idiots and this un-credentialed moron.

    The problems being created, extended and manufactured by this band of lying thieves is something that is going to haunt us for quite some time. It is a lesson of “How Not To” and we will bear this burden and be blamed for it by generations yet to be born.

  • lori

    A woman I work with, who makes over $10 an hour, receives commodities for herself and her young son. She is married, files income tax separtely from her husband, who makes over $17 an hour. Because she supposedly pays the household expenses, claims her child as a dependent, is eligible, even though she is married and her husband (father of the child) does live in the household! That, in my opinion, is or should be illegal! How many others are doing the same? I think we need to do away with married people filing separately. Better yet, end Income Tax, and have a national sales tax on on sales, with no exceptions, and implement a higher import tax for those who shop in other countries!

  • lori

    Another point, there is no COLA increase for social security again this year, even though living costs have skyrocketed. Government workers, including Congress, are getting raises, but the elderly who paid into Social Securtity are not included. More people on Social Security will have to go oo food stamps and other low income programs in order to survive! A number of older people are being forced to apply for energy assistance to keep from freezing! I got a job so I am not dependent on federal and local programs, but I am still healthy. What about the ones who aren’t?
    I think Welfare should be cut for anyone capable of working. Make it workfare instead of welfare!

  • Walter

    Kristin, Kristin, Kristin, take the blinders off. If and when our nation ever reverts back to capitalism, there may be an opportunity to compare the benefits of capitalism to socialism or some other ism. The problem of course is the fact that there has been no capitalism in America for decades. Capitalism began to be replaced with socialism when the Federal Reserve Act was passed into law in 1913. Socialism got a huge boost with the 16th amendment which supposedly authorized a tax on income, and then really got into high gear with Roosevelts New Deal and such government welfare as food stamps, AFDC, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public housing, etc, etc, & etc. Capitalist nations do not have such programs. America was intended to be a charitably capitalist nation and once was, a nation of people free of unlawful and burdensome government regulations, and thus prosperous enough to freely assist the poor and needy get back on their feet and once again become fellow capitalists. Back then our government was small. There were almost no taxes. People stuck together in families, communities and churches, and depended on one another when help was needed. We were free of unnecessary government interference in our lives. Our young people were not being used like cannon fodder in overseas military enterprises for empire building, made possible by the revenue generated from excessive taxation. Now, take your blinders off and look at what America is today. Our government now borrows more money every day than the entire federal budget prior to the new deal. ALMOST ALL of this borrowed money is needed to finance all of the previously mentioned welfare programs which most of us now feel entitled to, hence their name Entitlement Programs, plus the trillions being spent on 734 overseas military bases and the rest of our empire building, plus the interest on the debt generated from all this borrowing. Incidentally, we only pay the interest on the debt. No principal payments have been made since 1965. We are now well over 100 trillion dollars in debt. There is at least one government agency regulating every single aspect of our lives. Our people are so overweight from entitlements that nearly 60% of us now qualify as obese. Whereas while we were the most loved and respected nation on earth while we were a capitalist nation with no debt, we are now the most hated and despised nation on earth with more debt than all other nations combined. Our empire building has cost the lives of millions of innocent Iraqi’s, Afgani’s, Pakistani’s, Yemini’s and others, not to mention the 4400 dead among our own soldiers, the 100′s of thousands wounded, and the 10,000 who have committed suicide since our invasion of Iraq because multiple deployments have ruined their marriages, their employment, given them PTSD, and racked their souls with so much guilt from all the unarmed men and innocent women and children they killed that their only way out was suicide. Kristin, did you not see the letter to the American people from Vladimir Putin that appeared in Pravda a few months back? In that letter he expressed the consternation and dismay of the Russian people at the willingness of Americans to abandon their capitalist constitutional republic in favor of marxism/socialism. He asked us if we were stupid? He said all we have to do to see that marxism/socialism doesn’t work is to look at what it did to Russia. Amen to that. And instead of mostly solid families and strong, stable interdependent communities, we now have a 25% white illegitimate birth rate, and a staggering 85% inner city black illegitimate birth rate, with most of us not even knowing the person who lives next door. Who needs strong families and communities when U.S.(Uncle Sugar) is more than willing to extend the hand of socialism and welcome us into the dependency class? All indications are that America will cease to exist as we know it sometime before the end of this year, killed by socialism/marxism. It may possibly take a little longer than that, but when it does soon happen, you will see a return to Capitalism, but it will be largely a raw, unsympathetic, dog eat dog variety of capitalism as our people fight and kill each other over a morsel of food, a drink of water, or a warm shelter. Vladimir Putin and the Russian people are right. We must be the stupidist people in the world.

    • JC

      I appreciate what you’re saying. But how can we revert back to capitalism…we’ve never had it. We’ve had crony capitalism or fascism or mercantilism since Alexander Hamilton instituted the first central bank and made it the personal slush fund for him and his rich friends. But straight up capitalism has never been given a chance.

  • Commended

    Amen to what Walter said. That says it ALL!!!!!!

  • Walter

    That is more or less correct, as I tried to explain to Kristin. But remember that Hamilton wasn’t successful in getting a central bank permanently established here. It wasn’t until the death of Andrew Jackson that the moneyed interests finally realized their goal. And after all, it wasn’t a central bank per se that Jefferson feared. It was a private central bank that he foresaw as destroying this nation. If Kennedy had realized his goal of a federal central bank issuing debt-free U.S. Bank notes to eventually replace so-called Federal Reserve Notes which are debt instruments of a private central bank, we would now be on sound financial footing. So I disagree that America has never been a purely capitalist nation. The Founding Fathers gave us entreprenurial capitalism, and that is pretty much what we had up until the private foreign central banks managed to deceive congress and newly elected Woodrow Wilson into passing the Federal Reserve Act which conservative Howard Taft had refused to sign. After that we began the long steady downhill slide into socialism, hastened by way of the so-called income tax, both of which crooked congressmen saw as the goose that laid golden eggs inasmuch as there was now a currency(Federal Reserve Notes)which were not so limited in availability since only the interest on them had to be paid in gold. When president Nixon removed even that provision in 1971, successive presidents and congressmen now had an unlimited supply of monopoly money as it were, fiat currency, which they could borrow in order to finance whatever vote-buying federal benefit their constituents demanded. The resultant bank manipulated cycles of inflation and deflation have achieved Jefferson’s worst fears, namely that the people have been robbed of their wealth and are waking up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered. We in America are in desperate need of another revolution. One is now brewing. It won’t be pretty.

    • JC

      We see our history a little differently Walter but we arrive at the same conclusions. Time for 1776 again…there are foreign tyrants running our nation.

  • Walter

    J.C., I would be interested in knowing how your view of American history differs from mine if you would care to elucidate on it.

    • J C

      Actually, re-reading your last post, I think we’re very much on the same page.

  • Ron

    Walter, Iagree with what you say in both your above posts, plus I agree with what you say about Kennedy, and that is probably what got him killed, not something to do with Cuba or any of the other different scenarios which have been put forth, probably by the big bankers who continued to get bigger because of his death.

    • J C

      Ron, you might throw in the real reasons behind the Civil War while you’re thinking that way. Jackson called the central bankers a “pit of vipers that must be routed from these United States.” And Lincoln was in deep with the Northern Corporatists who wanted access to the raw materials of the South. Ending slavery was a politically correct banner to run a war under (and a worthy cause in itself)but not the direct motive.

  • big teddy bear

    I think my son is planning something the same. I wish luck to you.

  • s c

    I’d like to be adopted by that woman in Ohio (not really). Obviously, she knows how the game is played, yet once again those MORONS in Congress don’t get it. They don’t want to get it!
    How is it that Congress has never heard about FOOD STAMP FRAUD, and after all these decades they still don’t have any plans to get rid of it? That’s NOT a rhetorical question, people.
    FOOD STAMP FRAUD is NOT a new problem, but Congress sure knows how to duck and dodge the issue. WHEN will we stop sending generations of worthless, filthy rich, useful idiots to WASHINGTON?


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