William Thien

Does Massive Food Stamp Fraud Indicate a Need for More Oversight? Part II.

Posted on: August 24, 2014

We have been hearing about rampant abuse of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps) a lot lately.

I don’t begrudge the growl of a hungry stomach, but the thing about putting so many people in the population on food stamps is that doing so adds a tremendous amount of money to the market. When money is scarce, prices go down. When money is available, prices go up. It’s just basic economic theory.

When you add so much money, $74 Billion dollars, $1617 on average per person using food stamps, when you add that kind of money to the market as in the case of the massive distribution of funds through SNAP, you create an unnatural market force driving up the price of food so that those who don’t use food stamps are suddenly paying more for their food but not receiving a corresponding increase in pay to do so.

In other words, food stamps make food more expensive for those not receiving food stamps! Food stamps weaken everyone’s dollar dramatically. What article of food was once a dollar is now two dollars, showing 100 percent inflation. Price controlled items such as milk and eggs do not see such dramatic inflationary increases but other items double and triple in price. What? Are we supposed to eat milk and eggs all the time? When we once could afford fresh meats, now we must choose processed meat and meat substitutes.

Just Wait. Some economist will conclude that in the future there will be a corresponding increase in heart disease and cancer as the population is driven to eating food substitutes resulting from the dramatically increased prices of groceries caused by SNAP. SNAP, the economist will conclude, is making the population unhealthy, that portion of the population that actually is taxed to pay for SNAP in the first place and can’t afford real food anymore because they have been priced out of the “real food” market due to SNAP! I’m sure the socialists will be able to spin that to the contrary. But many of them don’t do anything else, anyway. Some do, but that’s a subject for another day.

And not only are SNAP and other such programs driving up the costs for those not using the social programs, those not using SNAP are taxed to pay for SNAP. In other words, not only is the program driving up the prices for those not using SNAP, SNAP is also taxing you to pay to drive up the prices for you in the first place?

What? What are you saying, Bill? That’s pretty complicated. Not really. It’s like this. You are paying to make things that you need even more expensive. In an economic sense, you are using your own money against yourself! In essence, you are paying for something twice, perhaps three times when in reality you should only have to pay for things once. This is a prime example of what “real conservatives” refer to as the fallacy of government intervention.

As I said, I don’t begrudge someone who is hungry from using food stamps. But if the government is going to spend so much of the public’s money on food stamps and unnaturally drive up the cost of food for everyone who is not using food stamps, the government at least owes it to the public who is paying out-of-pocket to survive and also paying for the food stamps in the first place, the government owes it to them to police the SNAP program and other related programs with some fortitude and make sure that people are not using their SNAP benefits to pay for housing or to trade their benefits for cash and to then use that cash to purchase drugs and alcohol.

It’s only fair. Otherwise, maybe it’s time to cut the SNAP program back. There may in fact be no other way.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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1 Response to "Does Massive Food Stamp Fraud Indicate a Need for More Oversight? Part II."

Ultimately, of course, i’d like to see food stamps reduced. But i’m not against the entitlement in theory, just its abuse.

I believe it should be a stopgap measure against hunger; but there are nefarious forces in play.

My pet Quest card peeves:
1) Rolling my cart through, say, a Walmart Supercenter, and seeing fellow-shoppers with carts stuffed swith jumbo bags of Cheetos and 2lb.-bags of mini-Snickers bars, atop a half-dozen frozen Tombstone pizzas —- and then seeing those shoppers whip out their debit-card stylized Quest cards while at the checkout counter.
2) The perpetual queue of people soliciting at grocery store entrances, offering to all ’50-cents in cash on the dollar’ for the Quest cards; i know and hear school kids brag about selling $100 cards for $50 cash. Routinely.

I say the cards should be good for fundamental meats, veggies and starches, such as bread; condiments and fruits too would be ok—– but no snacks or desserts.

We need to remember what the core needs of the cards were originally supposed to satisfy; but nowadays you got international corps like Yum Foods, owner of Taco Bell, KFC and PepsiCo. lobbying congress to the tune of millions to push legislation that would allow food card participants to use their benefits at fast-food restaurants, including Yum-Food-owned enterprises.

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