a thought on how to eliminate food stamps

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by oldgator, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. oldgator
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    oldgator Premium Member

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    Instead of doling out food stamps---set up eating areas that provide food to eat at the site to those needing food. This would
    ---eliminate the abuse of food stamps to buy cigarettes, I-pods, booze, drugs etc
    ---create jobs---people to prepare and serve, etc the food at such locations
    ---foster better family cohesiveness among the poor by having it so that entire families would eat together
    ---people who are poor and need food should welcome such a program. It would deter abusers of the food stamp system.
    ---the food would be healthy food not junk food, booze, etc that would greatly help the children

    I'm a lib dem and agree with GOP/cons that food stamp system is a nightmare in many ways. The issue is better alternatives. Of which starvation is not one.

    The above would be a transition step only. With the goal being the poor not sucking forever on the taxpayer teat.
  2. icequeen
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    icequeen Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with that in theory. It seems like it would work like soup kitchens or local food pantries would where everything is distributed there. However, playing Devil's Advocate on that, anyone can "dress down" and look needy so you'd still need some kind of checks-and-balance system in play. Also, I know from experience here in winter there's no way you could set up a center downtown and then have people who are poor make it there for their meals in the morning and then get their kids off to school or go to work (for those that qualify as "working poor", which there are a lot of). Not feasible under 6 feet of snow. Having their own cards/funds makes it easier for them to have the access.

    What I think needs to happen is a more thorough review/qualification process, and while I'm usually against big government, there need to be MORE agents who are scrutinizing and checking the finances of the applicants and making sure that they qualify EVERY year. I'm sure most people qualified legitimately at some point, but then they got jobs and stayed on the program instead of getting off the program. This and Social Security are two big areas where I think yearly reviews would be of HUGE benefit and would outweigh the problems/costs with hiring extra people to review the files. People should prove they need to be on the system and those that truly need the help should get it.

    There also need to be stiffer penalties, including paying back with interest, for those who are found to be cheating the system.
  3. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how the problem can be solved but our annual expenditures under Obama have doubled. Perhaps the culture of corruption has something to do with this?
  4. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    Changing eligible foods to the same as WIC would go a long way to stopping the fraud.
  5. 108
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    108 Premium Member

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    Would be a logistical nightmare

    On top of it is the cold reality that food stamps are the best bang for your buck economic stimulus there is

    That being said, I support strict requirements
  6. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    I was Family Promise coordinator at my church. Once we provided shelter and food for a family of seven (52 year old grandma, her daughter and son in law and four kids). Churches provided all meals while they got $1,400 per month in food stamps.

    Used to piss me off when every Saturday (they were in the program 10 months) they would come back from the grocery store with shopping bags of cookies, snacks & soda pop.

    Once I told granny I thought I could get the parents a job in the kitchen at a nursing home. Her response?
    "No, they need a job paying $13-15 an hour each. Lord knows how much food stamps they sold.

    Finally got them out of the program when I secretly followed them to the meth clinic. Fact that the 22 year old father had all his teeth pulled was my first clue.
  7. GT Gator
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    GT Gator Well-Known Member

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    EXACTLY!

    The WIC program is actually a relatively well-run program that limits its beneficiaries to buying only "healthy," basic foods. To get an idea of what you can buy on WIC, here's the list from Florida's WIC program (beware it's a PDF):

    http://www.doh.state.fl.us/family/wic/Documents/flwic_foods/flwic_foods_eng_1-13.pdf

    The beneficiary is required to present the voucher along with their ID to get the food.

    So, no lobster, no steak, no McDonalds, no Mountain Dew, no pizza, and no energy drinks (all allowed under SNAP). Just relatively healthy foods.

    There is also no EBT card that you can simply give/sell to others by simply giving them your PIN number.
  8. philnotfil
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    philnotfil Well-Known Member

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    This is the obvious simple and straightforward solution, which means that it will never happen.

    But it absolutely needs to happen. If logistics weren't a nightmare, then I would want to see, rather than a soup kitchen approach, a food bank approach. We can use the grocery stores that already exist and instead of money on a card, vouchers for the specific items.
  9. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Giving people money in EBT form to buy food seems the most efficient and cost effective approach to me. Whatever "fraud" there is seems rather minimal to me, and given that its a cash benefit, it essentially goes back into the economy anyways.
  10. GT Gator
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    GT Gator Well-Known Member

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    Are you okay with EBT recipient's ability to buy lobster, McDonalds, or Monster Energy Drinks?
  11. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Define "okay." I'd rather they didn't of course, but they are really only harming themselves. So, in that sense, I guess I am.
  12. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    I like the OP's suggestion...

    That or qualified grociers with prepackaged items for the week depending on how many dependents.

    Both should require community service after 26/52/X number of weeks to continue receiving...
  13. wargunfan
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    wargunfan Well-Known Member

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    Don't mean to be a nay sayer but your solution, while attractive on its face, would remove a major vote getter for a certain political party. Therefore it will not happen.
  14. GT Gator
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    GT Gator Well-Known Member

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    If they were just harming themselves, I would agree.

    However, the vast majority of SNAP recipients (71%) have children. As long as we, the taxpayers, are paying for them to feed their children, wouldn't you rather force them to buy healthy, basic food items (like those on the WIC program) rather than lobster, McDonalds, and Monster Energy drinks?

    In addition, the vast majority of the SNAP recipient also rely on the public trough for their healthcare (through Medicaid and Medicare). As long as we, the taxpayers, are paying for their food, shouldn't we limit their food to items that won't give the heart disease and Type II Diabetes?

    And, here's the most important question; why not limit their foods to healthy, basic foods? What harm does that create? If it's good enough for the other major Federal food program, WIC, why isn't it good enough for SNAP?
  15. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    I could live with your proposal, so I'm not going to draw a line in the sand or anything. On philosophical level though, I'm all for giving people the proper guidance, knowledge and resources to make good choices for their family as part of SNAP, but if we're not going to sanction or limit someone who isnt a SNAP recipient's abilites to purchase food that is bad for you, then I can't really get 100% on board with forcing a certain group of people to be any different simply because they make so little money as to qualify for SNAP. From a taxpayer perspective, if we give someone $100 to spend on food, then that's $100 spent whether its on lobster & McDonalds or "healthy" food.
  16. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    If we let the farmers farm all the crops they want food prices will go down immediately. Eliminate mandatory Ethanol in our fuels and watch farmers grow more crops. Not just corn too.

    The price of food is too high.
  17. GT Gator
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    GT Gator Well-Known Member

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    Great point. Our kids would also start eating sugar again instead of HFCS.
  18. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    The thing about sugar is that the High Fructose Corn Syrup is just as bad for you as sugar. The only real deference is that drinks with real sugar fill you up when you drink them, but the HFCS leaves me thirsty for more.

    They have the same effect on your body, but you get full faster with sugar in drinks than you do with HFCS.

    The corn industry is our of control.
  19. corpgator
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    corpgator Well-Known Member

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    That and HFCS is much more resource intensive to grow. Sugar cane is a much denser crop.

    Letting the people come to the food wouldn't work so well. The poor are mobility limited and what about when they need to eat food at work? The system we have now is pretty darn efficient.
  20. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, at keeping food prices high, and giving out free food.

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