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Food stamps, Feeding America's debt.

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WASHINGTON — The 1,000-page "farm bill" being debated in the Senate is somewhat of a misnomer. Four of every five dollars in it — roughly $80 billion a year — goes for grocery bills for one of every seven Americans through food stamps.

 

Republicans say Congress could cut the cost $2 billion a year by just closing a pair of loopholes that some states use to award benefits to people who otherwise might not qualify.

 

"This is more than just a financial issue. It is a moral issue," says Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., one of several Republicans pushing for cuts in spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP.

 

The program has swelled from 28 million to 46 million participants and its costs have doubled in the past four years. The recession and slow recovery have increased the number of people unemployed over the same period from 8 million to 12 million.

 

The Agriculture Department credits the program with keeping about 5 million Americans out of poverty every year. Before 2004, people received paper stamps or coupons worth $1, $5 or $10. Since then, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Island and Guam have moved to debit-type cards that allow recipients to authorize transferring their benefits from a federal account to retailer accounts.

 

Democrats led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are resisting a proposal by Agriculture Committee leaders in both parties to trim a modest $250 million from the program each year by cracking down on abuses.

 

They say that would deprive about half a million households losing an average $90 a month in food aid.

 

The Republican-controlled House, which has yet to write its own farm bill, is certain to demand greater food stamp cuts, too. Finding common ground with the Democratic-led Senate could be key to whether Congress can pass a 1,000-page bill that also makes fundamental changes in farm subsidies before the current legislation bill expires at the end of September.

 

Sessions points out that the federal government now spends twice as much on food stamps as it does on fixing the nation's roads and bridges, and that SNAP is now the government's second-largest federal welfare program, following Medicaid.

 

To qualify, households, except those with elderly or disabled members, must have gross incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line. The Agriculture Department, which runs the program, says the average monthly benefit per person as of last November was $134.15. As for helping the economy, it calculates that each dollar in benefits generates $1.72 in economic activity, including 16 cents for farmers who grow the food.

 

While critics such as Sessions say the program is ripe for savings, the department says SNAP is doing a good job of eradicating fraud and error, with only 3 percent of payments in 2010 being excessive or going to ineligible households.

 

The Senate last week rejected an amendment by Rand Paul, R-Ky., that would have saved $322 billion over 10 years by cutting it $45 billion a year and turning spending decisions over to the states. The vote was 65-32 against, with 13 Republicans joining every Democrat in opposing it.

 

"I think Americans would be flabbergasted at the amount of money" spent on food stamps, Paul said.

 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., who chairs the Agriculture Committee, said the Paul amendment was "outrageous and would go completely against the commitment we as a country have made to help those who truly need it."

 

She said the bill already takes steps to eliminate abuses in the system, such as barring lottery winners from receiving benefits, ending misuse by college students, cracking down on benefit trafficking and preventing liquor and tobacco stores from accepting food assistance benefits. It also targets a practice of some 16 states of giving as little as $1 to individuals in home heating assistance so that they can qualify for additional food stamp benefits.

 

Sessions is trying to get votes on amendments that target efforts by states to get as large a share of federal food stamp aid as possible. None of the changes, he said, would result in people going hungry.

 

He would save $950 million a year by ending the practice of 14 states and the District of Columbia providing people with as little as $1 a year in home heating assistance — even if they don't have a heating bill — so they can automatically qualify them for greater food stamp benefits of up to $100 a month.

 

Another $1.1 billion a year, he says, could be saved by assuring that recipients don't have assets exceeding federal eligibility limits.

 

The Congressional Research Service says 40 states plus Guam and the Virgin Islands use what is called "broad-based categorical eligibility" to let people who exceed federal asset limits on eligibility collect food stamps if they're getting some other federal benefit, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

 

This year, for example, households with liquid assets above $2,000 could not qualify for food stamps. The limit is $3,250 if the household includes an elderly or disabled person. The value of a home, retirement and education savings and up to $4,650 of the fair market value of a household's motor vehicles are excluded from the assets test.

 

Sessions also would end a program of bonus payments for states that increase registration for food stamp benefits and require the government to verify that recipients are in the country legally.

 

The House is waiting to see what the Senate will do on the farm bill before acting, but Republicans there already have made it clear that food stamps are fair game as lawmakers look for ways to cut government deficits.

 

The House Republican budget introduced earlier this year would reduce food stamp spending by an average $13.3 billion a year over the coming decade and turn the program into block grants for the states. And in May, the House Agriculture Committee approved an average $3.3 billion annual cut in food stamp benefits as part of a GOP proposal to avert automatic cuts in defense spending to go into effect next year. Both those proposals are going nowhere in the Senate.

 

 

 

Will comment myself later, I have a few comments and questions to raise but I have to do something serious for a minute.

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$2 billion is chump change

food stamps and welfare each take up about 1% of the federal budget. it's a joke that their mission would be to end it (and i seem to remember them crying about 'jobs' so they could get elected.. but now they are worried about vaginas.)

 

anyway we need trillions, which only closing tax loopholes on corporations and raising the tax rate on the wealthy can fix

we also currently have one of the lowest tax rates in history

that's why republicans make me laugh. they'd rather take money from people that need it the most to give it to those who can afford to hoard it... people who only got that way on the backs of the poor, in one way or another.

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We can debate the reason why people need food stamps all day long, but my biggest concern about anyone bringing up the money side of it is

 

 

 

 

Are they as willing to have a issue with companies getting tax breaks and write offs when they ship jobs overseas and they are sitting on record profits?

 

 

Personally I would rather pay people to eat, even if they are ripping off the system, then any company getting tax breaks or anything of the such. They are taking tax payers dollars worse then some family eating, even if we are talking billions of dollars.

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Symbols, I wrote my post while you were posting.

 

 

 

Glad to see we are thinking alike. Would give more props to you if I could.

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^ I think it is a shame, but I also think corporate welfare ( which costs more) is more of an issue and should be stopped.

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Well im not here to argue what you two have brought up.

 

Grand scheme of things this might not be the biggest issue, and I wouldn't say that it is only 1% of our federal budget. Medicaid and Medicare respectively make up around 1/3rd of our budget, defense is another 1/3rd or more, and the rest is discretionary spending and so on

 

Here is a quick snippet from the 2010 budget, which im using because out of the last 4 years was the one I could fine broken down the quickiest.

 

$571 billion (+58.6%) – Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending

 

This is out of roughly 2.5 trillion dollars of the Mandatory spending.

 

Im not arguing against food stamps in anyway, my initial points I wished to touch upon were:

 

1 out of 7 Americans, which is out of a population of 300,000,000 at the lowest.

Meaning a fuckload of people are reliant upon food stamps.

 

If that holds true, more than 10% of the population should be around or below the poverty line, and not own jack shit.

 

Also for any economist or smart ass people, can someone explain to me how a $1 being given out for this program generates a $1.70 for the economy. Wouldnt that mean they could just expand the program and tax back the profits to help pay for it?

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I am not going to post in this thread after this ( maybe?) but I will leave on this point

 

Money spent on any basic human need for people who can not meet those needs regardless of reason, is better spent then on a corporation who does not need it.

 

 

This is overly simplified, but sums up the basic premise of my beliefs about this.

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^ I think it is a shame, but I also think corporate welfare ( which costs more) is more of an issue and should be stopped.

 

This makes my head hurt. Its like saying "I think mcdonalds is bad for you, but blood diamonds are a real problem so we should stop that."

 

 

 

Tangent: Did you know the price of diamonds is totally artificial? De Beers owns enough diamonds to give everyone on the world a cup-full. They just regulate how many there are out there at any given moment. Then when a new startup diamond company comes in, De Beers inflates the shit out of diamond prices and bankrupts the other company. De Beers is such crooks that they arent legally allowed to have any of their corporate offices in America.

 

Alright, back to why poor people that don't work deserve money out of my paycheck.

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Thats fine, and if you want to argue corporate greed and all that shit then make a thread for it.

 

Im here to stay on topic, unlike a politician.

Fair enough if you dont wish to contribute further.

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Last post

 

 

 

For real

 

 

 

 

Cil = has been really hungry as a kid and did not have a option to do anything about it.

 

Most people have never been in those situations.

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Im again, not arguing against hungry people being feed.

 

My arguement is against the mother fucker who walks into a grocery store with $200 J's on, and then fills up three shopping carts with food, throws em the EBT card and then goes and puts it into a BMW.

 

Seen this very scenario way too many times for my comfort.

 

Those people take funds away from kids who are actually hungry.

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Partly it's because the guidelines for the program can only take in to account income from certain sources, I know that for years child support payments and other types of unearned income couldn't be added in to the final score. They had to be reported, but didn't factor in. I believe that has for the most part changed. There are a few that still don't count, but it's not like it was. So yes it's still full of loopholes, but it used to be much worse. Glass half full VS. Glass half empty.

 

I have known dudes that where self-employed, did strictly cash business then turned around and got foodstamps and an ssi or some other government check on top of that. Some where out and out scammers but a small minority did seasonal work and couldn't have made it with out the other income. So how do you seperate the two? Short of an investigator following everybody that gets benefits there is no way to eliminate that kind fraud. Even if only 10% of cases where investigated, the cost would still out weigh the benefits.

 

Know that every congressman/senator with high poverty rates in their state/district is going to fight tooth and nail to keep as much government money as they can flowing in to their backyards. There is just too much money at stake not to. The people in these areas have developed a sense of entitlement to that money. Why work a McJob when I can stay at home and chill and make damn near the same amount, if not more? If Congressman Scamatelli doesn't get it for them again, well they just vote him out. Their kids grow up seeing this as the way it is supposed to be and there is no motivation to break the cycle.

 

Now understand that I think we need a safety net there for the people that truly need it. I having been one of them as a child. Yes it was embarrassing to go to the grocery store with a pocket full of foodstamps, but it was better than starving. I do believe the current system is flawed, but it's what we have to work with right now.

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cunt east wood . i like the way you put it .do i get stamps? yes.why ?cus i can not find find a 40 hour a week job . i work at a day labor job to make rent and still behind!that why it makes me sick to se this happen ... fucks in the office whit j's on and a $150 phone while i am stuck there just trying to eat while all the jobs go over seas . i and i am left fighting for a lil $25 3 time a week to pay my rent. then ppl act like i am bad to sell 30 stamps for 15 bucks so when i am out looking for work i can wash my ass and have a clean shirt on my back

 

ppl can talk like all on snap are lazy but most are just trying to feed their kids and get by . thats why the gov is here . they are in the bissness of takeing care of the poeple

 

and if they are geting more form uncle sam then they can form a mcjob then they must be working hard to do so . big up to them .

 

one more thing ... what in your wallet

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Where are you from simon?

 

And im not disagreeing, fuck a minimum wage job.

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1 out of 7 Americans, which is out of a population of 300,000,000 at the lowest.

Meaning a fuckload of people are reliant upon food stamps.

 

If that holds true, more than 10% of the population should be around or below the poverty line, and not own jack shit.

 

the stats from 2011 were that 15% of Americans lived below the poverty line--$23,050/yr for a family of 4. Keep in mind these numbers don't accurately represent America's homeless.

 

 

The fact that the uppercrust's solution to starving Americans' problems is to take away the program instead of improving it speaks volumes. Yes there are people who abuse the system, that will be the case no matter what the system/problem/method.

 

My problem with the ebt program is bigger than the program: its the food sourcing/food desert issues that affect what can be bought in the first place--corner stores w/ oreos and top ramen VS proper markets that have food w/o hfcs and its kin (ie fruits and vegetables).

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ill contribute this, my girl is on food stamps because she is a substitute teacher, which doesnt pay shit. trying to get picked up to be a full time teacher but no one is hiring. she also works a second job as a cashier at night and can barely get any hours because she is competeing against 40 year old cashiers with kids.. she is in a shitty studio apt for $680/mo. the food stamps really help her out. cost of living here is crazy.

 

 

i think its totally fucked that something that actually helps people is made out to be something bad.

sure there are people who abuse it but its not everyone.

 

 

what pisses me off is that this is brought up as a major issue when i work for the DoD and see the outrageous prices they pay for shit... $500 dollars for rolls of anti static tape for fuel systems as an example. $500? give me a fucking break. and we blow thru probably 15+ rolls/ aircraft. OR when we are told to throw out the extra hardware we have left over after a job instead of resorting it and putting it back in bins... "because of man hours". these bolts can be like $20 ea and we are tossing handfuls of them all the time. ive compared catalogues of crap for civilian aviation and we purchase A BUNCH of the same exact shit for 4-5 times as much. scrapers, caps, plugs, drill bits, sand paper, latex gloves, ear plugs, respirators/cartridges, TAPE.........

 

THAT needs to be handled. whoever owns 3m is corrupt as fuck and paying off someone in the govt for those contracts.

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i buy food stamps from simon kenton and yes he needs to wash his ass

*proped

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yo that is fucked up that a teacher can not make a liveing and have to do all that . if them rich fucks would just relax about the tex on their house and pay a lil more the kids would get a better deal the teachs would wantt o do better and could . . its like if we would all do want we can with what we have maybe less would need stamps .

 

 

and a great way to make them go farther in the summer time is to buy seeds and grow food . yo i got tomatos and peppers goin now in a yard of a friends so that a fix fist 666 :) big up to cusin berry for hooking it up

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@ BNH

 

Defense spending is the first place the government needs to trim the fat.

No one wants to hear that because everyone in congress has a life line somewhere in the

DOD.

 

Im all for food stamps to feed the people, like just about everyone in this thread has said I rather there be a program in place that feeds people and gets abused by some who are poor/middle class anyway than support a bunch of fucking warfare to line the pockets of the rich.

 

Again, my curiousity mainly lied in the fact so many people get food stamps.

Im still a bit baffled

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WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday unveiled its approach for a long-term farm and food bill that would reduce spending by $3.5 billion a year, almost half of that coming from cuts in the federal food stamp program.

 

The legislative draft envisions reducing current food stamp spending projections by $1.6 billion a year, four times the amount of cuts incorporated in the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill passed by the Senate last month.

 

Food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, look to be the most contentious issue when the Agriculture Committee begins voting on the bill Wednesday and when the full House begins debating it in the future.

 

Conservatives in the Republican-led House are certain to demand greater cuts in the food stamps program, which makes up about 80 percent of the nearly $100 billion a year in spending under the farm bill. Senate Democrats are equally certain to resist more cuts in a program that now helps feed 46 million people, 1 out of every 7 Americans.

 

"Underfunding this critically important program when families temporarily rely on it to put food on the table in a tough economy is irresponsible and inhumane," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a food stamp advocate in the House. The Agriculture Committee said its bill would strengthen the program's integrity while better targeting assistance to those in need of it.

The House proposal, like the Senate measure that passed on a bipartisan 64-35 vote, also does away with the much-criticized direct payment system whereby farmers get federal assistance even when they don't plant a crop. Both put greater emphasis on crop insurance to help farmers get through natural disasters and falling prices.

 

The House bill differs, though, in giving farmers a one-time choice between a revenue loss program to cover shallow losses before insurance kicks in and a new target price program to see producers through deep, multiple-year price declines. The Senate bill contains only the revenue loss program, overriding the objections of Southern rice and peanut growers who have traditionally relied more heavily on price support programs.

 

The two chambers are in a race to reach a compromise before Sept. 30, when the current farm bill expires.

 

House GOP leaders have shown little enthusiasm for taking up the farm bill because of resistance from conservatives to the bill's price tag, but the Agriculture Committee's chairman, Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and top Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, stressed its importance.

 

Lucas said the bill, which is the result of two years' work, "is reform-minded, fiscally responsible policy that is equitable for farmers and ranchers in all regions." Peterson said that by failing to act before the September deadline, "We jeopardize one of the economic bright spots of our nation's fragile economy."

 

Sen. Debby Stabenow, D-Mich., the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the Senate bill "represents the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades" and that she was "very concerned" about some of the differences between the Senate and House legislation.

 

Stabenow cited the food stamp issue, saying the House bill "takes far greater cuts in food assistance by changing eligibility rules so that some people truly in need will not receive the help their family needs."

 

The legislation, in addition to setting commodity support and nutrition policy, also authorize conservation, trade, foreign food aid, rural development, forestry and energy programs.

 

While the bills cover five years, the Congressional Budget Office measures their effects over 10 years, and in that time period the House bill would save taxpayers more than $35 billion, the Senate bill $23 billion. The House savings come from trimming about $14 billion in the commodity support programs, $6 billion by consolidating 23 conservation programs into 13 and $16 billion from food stamps. Savings in the Senate bill are similar for commodities and conservation but $12 billion less from food stamps.

 

The Senate derives its food stamp savings mainly by cracking down on fraud and on a practice of some states of giving households as little as $1 a year in heating assistance, even when they don't directly pay for heating, to make them eligible for increased food benefits. The House also stops this practice while restricting a system wherein states can provide food benefits to those whose assets exceed legal limits for food stamps as long as they receive some other welfare benefit. It ends Agriculture Department bonus payments to states that increase food stamp registrations.

 

The Congressional Budget Office, in its analysis of the Senate bill, estimated that the $4.5 billion saved over 10 years by curbing the heating assistance link to food stamps would result in nearly 500,000 households each year having their monthly food stamps reduced by an average of $90, nearly one-third of what they receive.

 

"America's children, seniors and 1.5 million veteran households facing a constant struggle against hunger deserve better from Congress," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who led Senate efforts to block food stamps cuts, said of the House bill.

 

The House measure, like its Senate counterpart, leaves intact a program that protects sugar producers from foreign competition and creates a new subsidized insurance program for cotton. It does not include several amendments attached to the Senate bill, including one that required those getting subsidized crop insurance to comply with conservation requirements and another that reduce by 15 percentage points the share of crop insurance premiums the government pays for farmers with adjusted gross incomes of more than $750,000. Currently the government bears an average 62 percent of crop insurance premiums.

 

The House bill also contains a provision, passed separately by the House last year, that eliminates a requirement that farmers obtain additional pesticide application permits under the Clean Water Act.

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What is the farm bill?

Who pays for the farm bill?

What affect does the farm bill have on the retail price of food?

Is the food stamp program succeeding at its mission statement of providing short-term aid to people while they temporarily are under the poverty line, or are more people just being sucked in?

What other options exist, and how many of them are being laid out on the table?

 

A couple more articles and reports before you make a snap-decision based on two identical articles.

 

 

http://www.npr.org/2012/06/13/154862017/why-the-farm-bills-provisions-will-matter-to-you

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/26-6

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/reports/farm-bill-101/

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^that's pretty much how i feel about it.

 

I'm not exactly sure how someone can actually starve in America in this day in age. I think you actually have to be mentally handicapped. I used to dumpster when i was younger for fun, it seems like a total no brainer if it was actually for survival. Ironically the only friends I have on food stamps happen to be two of the fattest most unhealthy people I know, because of what they eat. straight up shit food, bought on food stamps. both of whom are totally capable of working (one i work with) but only choose to work 25 hour weeks, with plenty of that money under the table, or tips. that way they are easily on the grid for being at poverty.

 

Gotta wonder how many other scum bags do the same thing. apparently too many

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