A Response to Right-Wing Outrage on Food Stamps Fraud

(posted in response to people complaining about welfare fraud, which PA identified as occuring in 0.01% of the total welfare cases. Complainers were advocating for the elimination of food stamps – more of the “pull yourself up by the boot straps crowd” which I will address in later posts)

The average SNAP (foodstamps) benefit in 2011 was $128.40/person, per month for PA. This is not a lot of money (have you been to the grocery store lately?) Source: http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/18SNAPavg$PP.htm. A government program that runs as it should 99.9% of the time seems pretty good to me.

There will always be people that misuse and abuse privileges. In local papers we have read recently about judges, senators, and congressional reps that have done pretty much the same thing: used their ability to take benefits that the taxpayers pay for to give themselves a little more.

I’ll never understand why people,who have a pretty decent life, carp and complain about the poorest of the poor getting some help – would any of you trade places with these people? None of these people are living the high life cheating on food stamps. Somehow, to me – people getting a few more groceries is less egregious than politicians feathering their own political and personal agendas. In this county, perhaps in many of your neighborhoods, there are kids going to bed hungry. This should never happen in this country, but it does every day and it has become much worse in these economically-challenging times.

I wonder where you all (referring to the “no government help” crowd) think people with nothing to eat should go for food?

People will not just roll over and go hungry, and many cannot just go get a job (that’s a simpleton answer, anyway).

People who are hungry, and especially those with children will find a way to eat. I recommend that you go read history to figure out how that might happen (and don’t confine yourselves to US history – read about the poor in Europe prior to any social infrastructure).

If we, as a society, don’t take care of people who are hungry, they will eventually figure out how to get food, and I would suggest that their tactics might be a lot less desirable than tax-funded food stamps and other welfare assistance. Believe it or not, welfare benefits were not hatched as some liberal plot intended to drive Rush “Limbo” and his ditto-heads crazy; they emerged for reasons that included maintaining social order and a safe society.

Think about it…

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