According to WSJ, Food Stamps are the source of fraud AND diabetes
01.07.2011 § Leave a comment
So I now follow Newt Gingrich on Twitter, leading me to read some pretty hilarious/disturbing things, like this piece from the Wall Street Journal, representative of the current right-wing backlash against progress being make to Food Stamp eligibility:
According to WSJ, the Obama administration’s repeal of the required “asset test” on Food Stamps applications is responsible for a wave of “bureaucratic crime” and various other “absurdities” resulting from overly-lax regulations. The initiative, part of an ongoing (PR) campaign to de-stigmatize the program and increase eligibility for those in need, aims to reduce the amount of paperwork associated with new applications thereby making it easier to receive benefits. In the article, WSJ columnist James Bovaird argues that now millionaires all around the country are eligible for Food Stamps, and that “some food-stamp recipients were selling their cards on Craigslist or brazenly cashing them out on street corners (for 50 cents on the dollar) and using the proceeds for illegal drugs and prostitution.”
Of course, as the Obama administration is “far more enthusiastic about boosting food-stamp enrollment than about preventing fraud,” they are making it even worse by “cracking down on state governments’ antifraud measures.” Bovaird is referring here to the fact that the Obama admin has requested that CA, TX and NY stop mandatory finger-printing of Food Stamps recipients (because Food Stamps recipients shouldn’t be treated as anything but criminals).
My favorite part of the article is definitely where Bovaird argues that providing Food Stamps is causing diabetes by encouraging people to eat more:
“Perhaps the biggest fraud of all is the notion, which the USDA has been touting lately, that the food-stamp program is a nutrition program. (The program’s name was formally changed in the 2008 farm bill to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—SNAP—to make it sound more wholesome and attractive.) What is really does is boost caloric intake, which is why numerous studies (including a 2009 Ohio State University report) link food stamps to the worsening obesity epidemic among low-income Americans.”
And last but not least, Bovaird throws a wild-card into the mix when he acknowledges that the rise in the number of folks on food assistance began long before Obama. The absurdity here of course is in Bovaird’s analysis of the phenomenon not as the result of Bush’s fucked-up financial policies (causing financial ruin for thousands and the increased need for social assistance, etc), but rather because G. Bush was secretly a left-wing traitor crusading for the poor:
But the Obama administration doesn’t deserve all the blame. Food-stamp enrollment surged before Mr. Obama took office. The number of food-stamp recipients on George W. Bush’s watch rose by more than 50%, even before the recession hit in 2007. As Slate reporter Annie Lowrey wrote for the online magazine last December, President Bush and his food-stamp chief Eric Bost “went on a quiet crusade to expand eligibility, increase enrollment, and reduce stigma around nutrition aid.” (emphasis added)
Eat the rich.