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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Food Stamp President: Food Stamp Fraud More Than Doubles In Obama's First Term

By Susan Duclos

The year by year rise in the number of Americans on the welfare program now called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was highlighted intensely by  Newt Gingrich who  referred to Barack Obama as "the food stamp president."

 Liberals inexplicably screamed racism at Gingrich for using that term, despite the fact that those using the program are of all races, religions and ethnicity.

Recent reports show that food stamp usage  increased by  70 percent since 2008, with a record 47.8 million people relying on the the welfare SNAP program.

The government spent about $81 billion on SNAP in fiscal 2012, making it one of the costliest programs in the government’s social safety net. And the Congressional Budget Office and other analysts say food stamp spending will likely rise again this year.

Not only has food stamp usage risen by such a staggering amount, but so has food stamp fraud, which has more than doubled during Obama's first term as president. (H/T Breitbart) reached out to the USDA to verify this number. A spokesperson stated via email, "In 2011, program costs totaled $75.7 billion. Using the most recent data on trafficking available, USDA estimated that trafficking would be 1 percent of $75 billion, or approximately $750 million."

This number is $420 million more per year than a report released in March of 2011 that wrote on fraud within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from 2006-2008.

"Trafficking diverted an estimated $330 million annually from SNAP benefits – or about one cent of each SNAP dollar – between 2006 and 2008. About 8.2 percent of all stores trafficked," states the Extent of Trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (2006-2008).

This isn't the only type of welfare fraud that has been reported on in the last couple of weeks.

Electric Benefit Transfers (EBT):

  • EBT is used in all states to issue food stamp benefits to recipients.
  • Many states also issue cash benefits such as TANF using EBT.
  • Recipients are issued an “EBT Card” similar to a bank ATM or debit card to receive and use their food stamp and/or cash benefits.
  • Benefits are automatically deposited onto the card by the State.
  • Recipients with food stamp benefits can use their EBT Card for eligible food purchases at most grocery stores and some other retailers. Food stamps can only be used for food and for plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. Food stamps cannot be used to buy:

  • - Any nonfood item, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, and household supplies, grooming items, toothpaste, and cosmetics.
    - Alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
    - Vitamins and medicines.
  • Recipients with cash benefits can use their EBT Card like cash for purchases and cash-back with purchases at grocery stores and at most ATMs (automated teller machines).

Last week it was reported from a 2News I-Team investigation  in Massachusetts, that  Electric Benefit Transfers (EBT), where welfare recipients were making cash withdrawals of their welfare benefit money at amusement parks, strip clubs, liquor stores, movie theaters, sex shops and pawn shops, just to name a few places.

As I said at the time:

That is an investigation into one state, now multiply that by 50 (or 57 if you are Obama)  and we are talking about some welfare recipients using taxpayer money for uses that welfare was not intended for. Abusing the system and regulators not doing their jobs to prevent the abuses.

As of October 2012, welfare is the single biggest chunk of federal spending, above Social Security and basic defense spending.