Economic Policies Impact All Of Us

The Trump economy has been good for everyone. Taxes are lower, wages are moving up, unemployment is low, and the workforce participation rate is moving up. Wages on the lower economic scale have seen a marked increase in the past year. However, one thing that impacts government spending as well as being an indication of economic conditions  is food stamps. Yesterday Breitbart reported that the most recent USDA data revealed that 37,911,631 people received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in December 2018, marking the lowest level of overall participation in the nation’s food stamp program in nearly ten years. That is good news for the people who no longer need food stamps, and it is good news for taxpayers who fund food stamps.

The article reports:

The last time overall participation in food stamps reached this level was in October 2009, when 37,672,818 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data.

…After 2013, SNAP enrollment plummeted once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits.

Food stamp enrollment dropped even further under President Trump’s administration partly because of the administration’s efforts to reform welfare programs like SNAP at federal and state levels of government and an improving economy spurred by Trump’s tax reform package.

The article concludes:

According to the latest USDA data, 4.2 million Americans have dropped off of the food stamp rolls during Trump’s presidency.

President Trump also signaled that he is looking to limit dependency on welfare programs like food stamps even further.

The president recently told Breitbart News in an Oval Office interview that he does not want any immigrants coming into the U.S. to be dependent on welfare programs.

“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump told Breitbart News last Monday.

The asylum program was not meant to be a free lunch. There is a difference between people coming here to work and people coming here for free stuff.

One Way To Trim The Federal Budget

Breitbart is reporting today that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 3.8 million people dropped off food stamps since President Donald Trump’s first full month in office.

The article reports:

The latest USDA data revealed that food stamp participation dropped to 38,577,141 in November 2018, down by 3,899,257 since Trump took office in February 2017, when 42,134,301 Americans received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp enrollment also dropped to its lowest level in a decade. The last time overall food stamp participation was this low was in November 2009, when 38,184,306 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data.

Overall food stamp participation had consistently declined since 2013 when the Obama administration was in power and enrollment in the program reached its highest levels in the nation’s history.

After 2013, SNAP enrollment plummeted once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits.

Another cause for the drop in food stamp participation was a proposal to tighten regulations regarding recent legal aliens. Food stamp participation by people who immigrated to the United States during the past five years has dropped by 10 percent. This is in response to a proposal that immigrants who received food stamps or other welfare benefits would not be granted permanent residency in the United States.

We cannot be the free lunch for anyone in America or the world who does not want to earn a living. Food stamps should be a temporary safety net–not a permanent solution. Work requirements and limitations on non-citizens using food stamps are a way to make sure the food stamp program is not misused.

How Much Of Our Tax Money Is Wisely Spent?

On Sunday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about fraud in the government’s food stamp program.

The article reports:

According to a new report produced by the Government and Accountability Office (GAO), at least $1 billion in food stamp benefits are “trafficked annually,” meaning they are fraudulently used. The extent of the fraud is uncertain, the GAO warns, estimating the abuse of the program could be as high as $4.7 billion.

About 20 million lower-income households receive benefits from the $64 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, to buy food. But GAO found that instead of being used for food, many stores are defrauding the program by “selling” cash instead of food.

“For example, a store might give a person $50 in exchange for $100 in benefits – then pocket the difference,” GAO explains.

The article explains one possible remedy:

The fraud, known as “retailer trafficking,” costs taxpayers at least $1 billion. However, the real cost could be “anywhere from $960 million to $4.7 billion,” the GAO adds.

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank advocating reform, launched a “Stop the Scam initiative” to raise awareness of the widespread problem.

“Welfare fraud is one of the biggest untold stories of the last decade, robbing resources from the truly needy and eroding public trust in the integrity of our welfare programs,” Sam Adolphsen, vice president of executive affairs at FGA, said in a statement. “While the bad-actor food stamp retailers exposed in this GAO report are in part to blame, we must not lose sight of the accountability that falls upon the food stamp recipient willing to commit fraud and abuse the system.”

The FGA hopes to reduce fraud and abuse at the state level by uncovering discrepancies in each state’s eligibility systems by regularly reviewing their processes.

Public assistance works best when it is closest to the recipient. That way the people providing the assistance know who is in need and who is taking advantage of the program. It also allows those administering the program to spot fraud more easily. Every program in Washington needs to audited for fraud and cleaned up. That alone might make it unnecessary for Congress to raise the debt ceiling every few months.

The article concludes:

Finally, GAO recommended that FNS should “determine the appropriate scope and time frames for reauthorizing high-risk stores,” increase penalties for retail traffickers, and establish performance measures for its trafficking prevention activities.

The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 gave the USDA the authority to strengthen penalties for retailers that commit fraud, but as of November 2018, FNS had not done so.

“By failing to take timely action to strengthen penalties, FNS has not taken full advantage of an important tool for deterring trafficking,” GAO states.

When the GAO confirms what actions FNS has taken in response to its recommendations, it plans to provide updated information to the public, the agency states. It states that the FNS generally agreed with its findings.

The USDA/FNS did not respond to requests to comment for this story.

 

One Result Of A Strong Economy

On Monday, Breitbart reported that for the first time in eight years, the number of American households on food stamps has dropped below 20 million.

The article reports:

The latest data from the USDA reveals that the number of households on food stamps in February 2018 dropped to 19,992,124—the first time it fell below 20 million since September 2010, when 19,979,385 households were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The USDA notes that not only is the number of households receiving food stamps at a record low level, but the number of people enrolled in food stamps has also gone down. From January to February of this year alone, overall food stamp enrollment dropped from 40,640,170 to 40,032,131.

The downward trend in enrollment has only continued over President Trump’s first year in office, keeping on pace with the stable decline in SNAP participation since 2013.

The food stamp program is included in the Farm Bill which is currently in Congress.

The article reports:

Although the Trump administration is making it a priority to require food stamp recipients to work to receive benefits, the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill released Friday does not include the work requirements sought out by the Trump administration and the House Agriculture Committee.

The House’s version of the bill includes a provision that would require most adults ages 18 to 59 who enroll in food stamps to work, receive job training, or look for work under a case manager’s supervision.

It is time for the people the government is feeding to go to work. The idea that working people should pay exorbitant taxes to allow other Americans to live well without working is just ridiculous. It is time for the gravy train to end.

Somehow A Lot Of News Reports Missed This

CNS News posted a story today about the number of Americans now receiving food stamps. If a picture is worth a thousand words, here are two pictures that tell the story:

food stamp participation chart

food stamp chart monthly

If the economy is doing so well, why are so many people receiving food stamps?

The article reports:

In 1969, the national population stood at 202,676,946, meaning the 2,878,000 persons on food stamps represented 1.4 percent of the population. In 2013, the national population stood at 316,128,839, meaning the 47,636,000 average persons participating in SNAP represented 15.1 percent of the population.

In 2013, one in five American households, or 20 percent, participated in the SNAP program. In 2013, there were 23,052,396 households that participated in the SNAP program, which was 20 percent of the 115,013,000 population.

If we don’t vote for people who want less government in November, we will totally destroy what is left of the economy of America. It’s up to the voters.