Saturday, September 17, 2011

How food-stamp waste, fraud and abuse leads to a permanent underclass.

I don't want to see anyone go hungry, but the Food Stamp program is an invitation to commit fraud.

Did you know:

  • Millionaires are legally entitled to collect food stamps.
  • There are only 40 inspectors to oversee 200,000 merchants that accept food stamps.
  • Recipients routinely sell their benefit cards on Facebook and Craigslist.
  • Jail inmates collect food stamps.
  • Fictitious food-stamp cases consume million of dollars.
  • A $2 million lottery jackpot winner is still eligible for food stamps.
  • The USDA has vetoed all proposals from local or state governments to prevent food stamps from being used for junk food.
  • Food stamps are increasingly being redeemed at fast-food restaurants.
  • (See The Food-Stamp Crime Wave.) 
Food stamp waste fraud and abuse also has a multiplier effect, because if one is on food stamps then the children of the food stamp recipient  are automatically eligible for free or reduced school lunches and various other assistance programs use receipt of food stamps as an automatic qualifier for program assistance.

In states with bottle deposits a new form of food stamp fraud is called "water dumping."  Food stamp recipients will purchase water and immediately poor the water down the drain and redeem the plastic bottles. (link)

In Atlanta, a local TV station caught a man buying food stamp cards in the parking lot of a grocery store, using them to purchase items in the store, and then the purchased items were used to stock the shelves in his near by convenience market.(link)

The fraud and abuse in the food stamp program is so wide spread that it is now the norm and hardly news worthy. As I see it, the fraud, waste and abuse is not as offensive as what it does to people. It creates a mentality of entitlement, criminality and dependency. It robs people of their dignity and self worth. If one sells their food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar because everyone else is doing it, then fraudulently getting public housing does not seem so wrong; gaming the system becomes the norm and then one develops an attitude of permanent underclass dependency in which it is too expensive to stop being poor.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Stites wins election for District 13 seat on Nashville Metro Council

Commits to service, low taxes, accountability

NASHVILLE – Josh Stites will be the next Councilman for District 13 following his victory on Thursday in the general election against opponent Marilyn Robinson. After low turnout in early voting, Stites took the election with 60% of the vote compared to Robinson’s 40%. More than 1,000 votes were cast with nearly 250 cast in early voting.

“I look forward to serving my community and the City of Nashville for the next four years,” said Stites. “I want to thank all of those who supported my campaign and voted for me; your belief in my candidacy has been truly uplifting. I look forward to hearing from the people of District 13 to determine what will help make our district even better.”

“I also want to thank my wife, Jenny, and my family for their support. They have worked especially hard during this campaign, and without their help this would have been a far greater challenge.”

“I plan to represent our city well by encouraging growth in business, responsible spending, sound budgeting and fiscal policy and much more. Nashville is a great city, and a growing city. We need to plan well for the future, and I look forward to being a part of that planning.”

Stites will be sworn in at a date to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Robert Duvall Win!!

Robert Duvall Win!!

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Congratulations Josh Stites

Congratulations Josh Stites!

UPDATE 8:15 P.M.

Josh Stites has been declared the winner in District 13, with 617 votes to Marilyn Robinson’s 405 after all results came in, Davidson County election commission officials said

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Vote September 15th

Election day is today!


There are three very tight runoffs today in Metro Davidson County and these candidates need everyone to turn out. Check your neighbors who are unable to get to the polls in these precincts and ask to drive them.  Make sure your friends and family members in these districts get out to vote.  This is the most important election right now for Metro Nashville Davidson County!

Dave Patterson—4th Council District--

Josh Stites—13th Council District--

Robert Duvall—33rd Council District--


-non partisan-
at your District Precincts

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011


DCRP-Davidson County Republican Party  Breakfast Summit, Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meeting at 
365 White Bridge Pike, Nashville
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Fellowship, Dutch Treat Breakfast 8:30 AM, meeting 9:00 AM

-Special Guest-
Joe Kirkpatrick 
Joe Kirkpatrick 
former candidate for Governor of TN and
now radio personality on 880 AM

Rod Williams
former Councilman and blogger at A Disgruntled Republican
speaking on 
Why is United Way funding Left-wing Activism
Moderator - Matt Nemeth

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Monday, September 12, 2011

A picture worth a thousand words. Food Stamps

Look at this picture. what do you think is the topic of the story that accompanies this photo? Smoking perhaps?  That is what I first thought when I saw the picture, but this is the picture on the front page of the Local section of The Tennessean yesterday accompanying a story titled, "Many older adults scramble to pay for food."

I know it is not politically correct to think such things but I immediately thought, that if she can afford to smoke, she doesn't need food stamps. The story says that 56 year old Therese Marrs was laid off from her factory job in February and has been unable to find work. Her household consist of she, her husband and their 16 year old daughter. The article does not say how much her husband earns. It does report however that she is receiving unemployment.  I think things like how much her husband earns and how much she receives in food stamps would be relevant to the story but apparently the author did not. The story's focus is that many baby boomers have been hit especially hard by the recession and many have had to turn to food stamps to survive.

To qualify for food stamps a family of three has to earn below $1984 a month or $23808 a year. If she is receiving $250 a week unemployment, that would mean her husband could not be earning over $10884 annually and they still qualify for food stamps. Something does not add up. The article does say her husband "recently" got a job. I wonder if they are still legally eligible for food stamps. If the household is now earning over $23808 they should not be getting those food stamps. Did he fail to report the change in income?

That aside however, what is it costing her to smoke? Assume a pack of cigarettes cost $4.84 a pack and assume she smokes two packs a day that comes to $290.40 a month. If she is making the maximum allowable to collect food stamps (1983.99) her two-pack a day habit is 15% of her family income. Assume her husband has a two-pack a day habit and cigarettes are eating up 29% of their income. Assume the 16-year old smokes a pack every other day and that adds another $72.60 and makes cigarettes eat up  $653.46 of their $1983.99 income or 33% of the family budget.

The reporter didn't tell us much about the finances of the Marrs household, but if we assume Mr Marrs is working but getting their food stamps legally, then he must be making right under the maximum limit so the household would get only about $112 in food stamps. If food stamps were awarded when he was not working, they could be receiving about $460 worth of food stamps.

Use of food stamps are at a historic high in this country with one in eight Americans on Food Stamps. This cannot continue. I believe those in the other party have a goal of making more and more Americans dependent on government hand outs.  If you are receiving food stamps or getting some other government hand out, then you are more likely to vote for the party that promises you more, not the party that promises government frugality. If the goal is to turn the whole country into a citizenry who are subjects, dependent on government largess, they are close to achieving that goal.

Do I think that food stamps should not go to people who smoke?  I am not sure I am there yet, but if we reach a point at which we must began curtailing food stamp outlays, I would give preference to those who do not smoke. If one has money to spend on cable TV, the lottery, beer, or cigarettes, I question if they really need food stamps.

One thing, I do think the government should do is vigorously investigate fraud and abuse. I would estimate that about 40% of all food stamp outlays result from fraud. I have little to base that on except my own observations. I admit it is just a guess. Working in a field which puts me in close contact with low-income people, I know that these abuses are very common.
  • The "babydaddy" lives in the home and has income, but the Mom and child receive food stamps not reporting his income. 
  • The babydaddy does not live in the home and does not pay child support but voluntarily gives the mom money each month. This is not reported in calculating food stamps.
  • Food stamps are used as currency. Food stamps are not actually issued any more. The recipient gets a debit card and a pin number. The person getting the food stamps will sell to others the use of his card. The going rate in Nashville is $100 of food stamps for $50.
  • Two or three generations of single moms will live in one house and get food stamps as if they were separate families although they are one household.
  • People will qualify for food stamps legitimately but then not report their new income when they do get a job and will continue getting food stamps long after they are ineligible. 
  • A lot of people, such as taxi cab drivers and beauticians, not only cheat on their income tax, by not reporting all of their income but they also draw food stamps because they under report their income.

Back to the picture: I also noticed that the women in the picture has a flat screen TV and is overweight. Not that that should disqualify her from food stamps, but this picture is almost a caricature of a food stamp recipient. What were they thinking?

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