- Food stamp use among military rises again (CNN, Feb 17, 2014):
More military families used food stamps to buy milk, cheese, meat and bread at military grocers last year.
Food stamp redemption at military grocers has been rising steadily since the beginning of the recession in 2008. Nearly $104 million worth of food stamps was redeemed at military commissaries in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
“I’m amazed, but there’s a very real need,” said Thomas Greer, spokesman for Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that helps soldiers on the financial brink nationwide.
- Illegal Alien With 7 Kids Got Food Stamps, Housing & Social Security — for 20 Years (The Minority Report, Jan 29, 2014)
- Working-Age People Make Up Majority Of Food Stamp Recipients (AP, Jan 26, 2014):
In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in U.S. households that rely on food stamps — a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.
Some of the change is due to demographics, such as the trend toward having fewer children. But a slow economic recovery with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs also plays a big role. It suggests that government spending on the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program — twice what it cost five years ago — may not subside significantly anytime soon.
- Record 20% of Households on Food Stamps in 2013 (CNS News, Jan 21, 2014):
A record 20% of American households, one in five, were on food stamps in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The numbers also show there was a record number of individuals on food stamps in 2013 and that the cost of the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was at an all-time high.
The USDA says that there were 23,052,388 households on food stamps in the average month of fiscal 2013, an increase of 722,675 from fiscal year 2012, when there were 22,329,713 households on food stamps in the average month. Continue reading »
- JMorgan To Exit Foodstamp, Other Prepaid Cards Business (ZeroHedge, Jan 9, 2014):
Mess with us, we’ll mess with you. That is the message one can derive from JPMorgan’s surprise announcement that it plans to “sell or wind down its business of issuing prepaid cards for corporate payrolls and government tax refunds and benefits.” Which also includes the infamous Electronic Benefits Transfer, or foodstamps, card. According to Reuters, the product, which has been offered with cash and treasury services to companies and governments, “had become a headache of risks in operations and regulations, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.”
Curiously, it was just over two years ago when JPM said this about its EBT business:
- Why Is a Senate Democrat Agreeing to Another $8 Billion in Food Stamp Cuts? (Bill Moyers, Dec 6, 2013):
On the same day that President Obama eloquently described his vision of an economy defined by economic mobility and opportunity for all, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow was busy cutting a deal with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to slice another $8 to $9 billion from food stamps (SNAP), according to a source close to the negotiations.
“One study shows that more than half of Americans will experience poverty at some point during their adult lives,” said President Obama. “Think about that. This is not an isolated situation.… That’s why we have nutrition assistance or the program known as SNAP, because it makes a difference for a mother who’s working, but is just having a hard time putting food on the table for her kids.”
Indeed it does, but the chairwoman consistently fails to get the memo.
- Food Bank CEO: “People Are Scared to Death” (Infowars, Nov 11, 2013):
Demand for food overwhelms pantries in Wyoming
The CEO of a major food bank in Wyoming warns that “people are scared to death” over the impact of a stimulus withdrawal which has left millions of Americans short of groceries, as demand begins to overwhelm food banks in the state and across the country.
Jay Martin, CEO of Joshua’s Storehouse in Casper, Wyoming told the Star-Tribune that the number of families using the food bank in October was already significantly up from a year ago and that the November 1st food stamp cut caused “an immediate upswing” in demand.
“People are scared to death of the lack of food availability,” Martin said.
- Obama using food-stamp cash to fund Michelle’s ‘Let’s Move’ (New York Post, Nov 11, 2013):
As you dig into your Butterball with all the trimmings this Thanksgiving, remember that millions of famished schoolkids around America may be forced to forgo classic turkey — and chow down instead on vegan black-bean patties and organic locavore quinoa salad.
On Nov. 1, sizable cuts were gouged into the federal food-stamp program (or, as it’s now called, SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which feeds 47.6 million people, or nearly one in six Americans. In the city, 1.9 million folks get the bulk of their Jell-O and Campbell’s Soup from stamps.
But news has spread among the poor, like leafy green vegetables, that it wasn’t heartless Republicans who triggered the cuts.
Rather, some of the food-stamp cash was snatched to pay for Michelle Obama’s pet project, Let’s Move. What?
It’s come to this. Some 76 million meals a year will vanish from this city — poof! — partly because the president diverted money from SNAP to the first lady’s signature program, part of her Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative — the bean-sprout-heavy, $4.5 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
- Food banks brace for wave of hungry masses as federal food stamp cuts kick in (Natural News, Nov 2, 2013):
The federal food stamp program known as the “Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program” (SNAP) has now been cut by a small amount — just $36 / month for a family of four. But even this tiny reduction in a national entitlement program is causing shockwaves across the nation as food banks scramble to handle the anticipated surge in “hungry masses.”
“Food banks across the country, stretched thin in the aftermath of the recession, are bracing for more people coming through their doors in the wake of cuts to the federal food stamp program,” writes USA Today.
There are almost 50 million Americans on food stamps right now. A family of four used to receive roughly $600 / month from the government, but that amount has now been cut by around six percent. The fact that this $36 reduction is causing so much panic underscores just how deeply millions of Americans have come to depend on government money to simply survive. Continue reading »
- Today, America’s Foodstamps Program Gets A 6% Haircut: What Happens Next? (ZeroHedge, Nov 1, 2013):
Today, one of America’s best-known welfare programs with 47.6 million participants or 15% of the total population, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also known as “foodstamps” or EBT, is due for a substantial haircut: beginning Friday, there will be a phased in $5 billion reduction (6% of the program) for the 12 month period starting November 1st 2013. So what happens next? Continue reading »
YouTube Added: 29.10.2013
Food stamp recipients face a massive benefit cut set to kick in when stimulus funds expire Friday.
The nationwide cut “is equivalent to about 16 meals a month for a family of three,” according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis using the USDA’s “Thrifty Food Plan.” CBPP called the roughly $5 billion annual cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “unprecedented” in “depth and breadth.”
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, told Salon Monday.
Purvis said that the looming cut would mean about 76 million meals “that will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in NYC alone — a figure that outstrips the total number of meals distributed each year by the Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in the country. “There will be an immediate impact,” she said.
- “Riots always begin typically the same way”: Food stamp shutdown looms Friday (Salon, Oct 28, 2013):
The head of the largest food bank says the $5 billion annual cut will take a week of meals off millions’ plates
Some prominent conservatives have questioned the significance of public assistance cuts for the poor. Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kistol contended during the government shutdown that “it’s not going to be the end of the world, honestly, even if you’re on nutritional assistance from the federal government. The state of Arkansas can help out, localities can help out, churches can help out, I believe no one is going to starve in Arkansas because of the shutdown.” Asked about such claims, Purvis said that citing the efforts of groups like hers as a reason not to worry about public assistance cuts was “one of the most ill-informed arguments on the planet.” She told Salon, “the first line of defense against hunger is a food stamp.” While some “have had this way of romanticizing charity,” she said, “charity is also a system that is based on capacity and resources.” Purvis added that politicians “didn’t make any additional resources available to these magical charities that they expect to step in for this devastation that’s geared at the poorest of Americans.”
YouTube Added: 23.10.2013
FOOD RIOTS to come to U.S. in NOVEMBER as FOOD STAMPS / EBT is CUT to 47 MILLION Americans
The USDA is directing states to withhold Electronic Transfer Benefits for the month of November until further notice, setting up a potential food stamp crisis that could very easily lead to riots and widespread looting if the government shutdown drags on.
The USDA, which oversees the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), issued the order in a letter to SNAP administrators which states, “Understanding the operational issues and constraints that States face, and in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing States to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to State electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice.”
- Uh Oh: 47 Million Food Stamp Recipients Are Having Their Benefits Cut Back On November 1st (Activist Post, Oct 21, 2013):
47.6 million Americans are about to have their food stamp benefits cut, and most of them have absolutely no idea that it is about to happen. Needless to say, a lot of them are going to be very angry when they discover that they cannot buy as much food for their families anymore. The reason that this is happening is because a temporary boost to food stamp benefits that was put in during the last recession is expiring. But most of the people that are having their benefits cut will not understand this. Most of them will just be very upset that the government is “taking money away” from them.
And considering the “mini-riots” that we witnessed earlier this month when the system that processes food stamp payments went down for a few hours, it is obvious that a lot of food stamp recipients can very easily be pushed over the edge. So what would happen if we have another “debt ceiling crisis” in Washington D.C. early next year and food stamp benefits are temporarily cut off completely?
- The Coming Food Stamp Riots (Economic Collapse, Oct 16, 2013):
It may not happen this month, or even this year, but food stamp riots are coming to America. In fact, we got a small preview of the coming food stamp riots this past weekend when a “temporary system failure” caused food stamp cards to stop working in 17 U.S. states. Within hours, there were “mini-riots” at Wal-Marts and other retailers that rely heavily on food stamp users. So what would happen if food stamp benefits were cut off or reduced for an extended period of time? As you will see below, if Congress had not pushed through a “deal”, the USDA would have started cutting off food stamp benefits on November 1st. Considering the fact that 47 million Americans are on food stamps and more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government, that could have sparked massive rioting. So the good news is that the coming food stamp riots will probably not happen in November. The bad news is that the “deal” in Congress only delays the political fighting until after Christmas. In just a few months we will be dealing with a potential “government shutdown” and a debt ceiling deadline once again.
- Food stamp recipients delivered one-two punch by govt shutdown, end to stimulus boost (RT, Oct 16, 2013):
The government shutdown and a looming sunset on a temporary funding boost from the 2009 stimulus make November 1 an ominous date for Americans who rely on the federal food stamp program, some of whom would need to look elsewhere for help.
Food stamps are fully paid for through October, according to a shutdown plan released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on October 1. The plan outlined what would happen to federal nutrition programs once the government closed absent a funding agreement from Congress.
- Foodstamp Program Shutdown Imminent? (ZeroHedge, Oct 15, 2013):
When over the weekend, a Xerox “glitch” shut down the EBT system, better known as foodstamps, for nearly the entire day across 17 states leaving millions without “funding” to pay for food leading to dramatic examples of the basest human behavior possible, some of the more conspiratorial elements saw this merely as a dress rehearsal for what may be coming in the immediate future. While there was no basis to believe that is the case, a USDA (the currently shuttered agency that administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) memo obtained by the Crossroads Urban Center in Utah carries in it a very disturbing warning for the 46+ million Americans currently on foodstamps.
To wit: “understanding the operational issues and constraints that States face, and in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing States to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to State electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice.” In other words, as Fox13News summarizes, “States across the country are being told to stop the supplemental nutrition assistance program for the month of November, pending further notice.”
The U.S. Capitol looms in the background of a sign on the National Mall reminding visitors of the closures to all national parks due to the federal government shutdown in Washington October 3, 2013. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, professor of economics, founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Montreal and editor of the globalresearch.ca website.
- Shutdown of US govt & ‘debt default’: Dress rehearsal for privatization of federal state system? (RT, Oct 15, 2013):
By Michel Chossudovsky
The ‘shutdown’ of the US government and the financial climax associated with a deadline date, leading to a possible ‘debt default’ by the federal government, is a money-making undertaking for Wall Street.
Several overlapping political and economic agendas are unfolding. Is the shutdown – implying the furloughing of tens of thousands of public employees – a dress rehearsal for the eventual privatization of important components of the federal state system?
A staged default, bankruptcy and privatization is occurring in Detroit (with the active support of the Obama administration), whereby large corporations become the owners of municipal assets and infrastructure.
The important question: could a process of ‘state bankruptcy’, which is currently afflicting local level governments across the land, realistically occur in the case of the central government of the United States of America?
This is not a hypothetical question. A large number of developing countries under the brunt of IMF ‘economic medicine’ were ordered by their external creditors to dismantle the state apparatus, fire millions of public sector workers as well as privatize state assets. The IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) has also been applied in several European countries.
Tags: Bailout, Banking, Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Bonds, Bush administration, Debt, DHS, Dictatorship, Economy, EU, Europe, Fascism, Fed, Federal Reserve, Financial Crisis, Food stamps, GDP, George Bush, Global News, Government, Homeland Security, IMF, Keynesianism, Michel Chossudovsky, Military, military-industrial complex, New World Order, Obama administration, Pentagon, Politics, Quantitative Easing, TARP, U.S., Wall Street
- 22 Reasons To Be Concerned About The U.S. Economy As We Head Into The Holiday Season (Economic Collapse, Oct 14, 2013):
Are we on the verge of another major economic downturn? In recent weeks, most of the focus has been on our politicians in Washington, but there are lots of other reasons to be deeply alarmed about the economy as well. Economic confidence is down, retail sales figures are disappointing, job cuts are up, and American consumers are deeply struggling. Even if our politicians do everything right, there would still be a significant chance that we could be heading into tough economic times in the coming months. Our economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline appears to be accelerating. There aren’t enough jobs, the quality of our jobs continues to decline, our economic infrastructure is being systematically gutted, and poverty has been absolutely exploding. Things have gotten so bad that former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House. But this process has been happening so gradually that most Americans don’t even realize what has happened. Our economy is being fundamentally transformed, and the pace of our decline is picking up speed.
The following are 22 reasons to be concerned about the U.S. economy as we head into the holiday season:
- Walmart Shopping Stampede Ensues When Foodstamp Glitch Removes EBT Spending Limits (ZeroHedge, Oct 14, 2013):
On Saturday, tens of millions of Americans across 17 states found themselves in an unfamiliar situation: they couldn’t rely on the US government for their daily foodstamp-funded bread. The result was anger, confusion and sometimes, outright panic, as shoppers left their full shopping carts in stores, and departed their favorite general retailer in a daze. However, while most outlets that accepted EBT were experiencing a one-day, non-recurring hit to their EPS, several Walmart stores in Louisiana decided to brave through the Xerox-induced blackout for several hours by eliminating the spending caps on EBT cards, leading to nothing short of shopping stampedes. The result, as CBS reports, is that “Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield … were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.”
Walmart workers phoned their corporate headquarters to ask how they should handle all the shoppers with unlimited, government-funded spending limits, and were told to keep the registers ringing.
“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”
Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply “human reaction” to stock-up when given the opportunity. Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to “plain theft. That’s stealing, that’s all I got to say about it.”
The police disagreed: Continue reading »
I said many times before that …
‘… the greatest financial/economic collapse in (known) world history is coming’.
And I still urge everybody to prepare for that event.
Everything will be sold out (if supermarkets & stores are still open!) within 8 hours.
And of course there will be total chaos.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
- Benjamin Franklin
(The views expressed in the following article are the views of the author exclusively and not (necessarily) the views of Infinite Unknown.)
- EBT card food stamp recipients ransack Wal-Mart stores, stealing carts full of food during federal computer glitch (Natural News, Oct 14, 2013):
When the federal EBT food stamp system suffered a critical failure on Saturday, local retailers were disconnected from the federal food stamp database that keeps track of how much credit is left on each individual EBT card. Seizing the opportunity provided by the glitch, EBT card holders in Louisiana ransacked their local Wal-Mart stores, stuffing their shopping carts full of groceries and “paying” for them with near-empty EBT cards that essentially had unlimited account balances because all accounting was offline.
When the EBT database came back online and card purchase limits were suddenly restored, EBT card holders abandoned their full carts and just walked away, probably miffed that they missed out on participating in the felony theft of groceries.
This happened at Wal-Mart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA. As local news station KSLA reports:
Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.
The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.
The story goes on to report that one woman who racked up $700 worth of groceries had only 49 cents on her card. That’s $699.51 in theft.
- America Fumes After Xerox “Routine Backup Test” Leave 17 States Without Foodstamps (ZeroHedge, Oct 13, 2013):
Yesterday millions of “shoppers” living on the government dole left their shopping carts in droves in checkout counters, exited countless foodstamp-accepting stores, and made Wal-Marts and other general merchandise stores into veritable ghost towns, after a power outage at Xerox Corp, made EBT usage in 17 states for most of Saturday impossible, and left tens of millions of poverty-level Americans unable to engage in one of their favorite pastimes: shop with other people’s money. In short: the Welfare States of America were probably closer to a state of outright revolution than at any time before in history. And had the EBT stoppage continues into today and tomorrow, things would have certainly spilled out from the shopping aisle to main streets where the people’s anger may have culminated in an violent expression of disgust at a state which gives with one hand and a xerox company that takes with the other. Continue reading »
In other news:
- Food Stamp Debit Cards Failing To Work In 17 States (Huffington Post, Oct 12, 2013)
- Some supermarkets unable to process food stamps (Baltimore Sun, Oct 12, 2013)
- Food stamp debit cards not working in 17 states (USA TODAY, Oct 12, 2013):
People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure.The electronic benefits system experienced a temporary shutdown during a routine test of Xerox back-up systems, company spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said Saturday.
“While the system is now up and running, beneficiaries in the 17 affected states continue to experience connectivity issues to access their benefits. Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon,” Wasmer said in an emailed statement. “Beneficiaries requiring access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an emergency voucher system where available. We appreciate our clients’ patience while we work through this outage as quickly as possible.”
- The Destruction Of America’s Middle Class (In Under Seven Minutes) (ZeroHedge, Aug 18, 2013):
While hardly news to frequent visitors, especially those who recall the following list, anyone who needs a 7 minute refresher into why the US middle class is on collision course with extinction is urged to watch the following brief video which highlights all the salient facts such as:
- 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck
- 27% of American have no savings at all
- 46% of Americans have less than $800 in savings
- The conversion of America into a part-time working society and the country’s second largest employer – a temp agency.
- The college trap and the student loan bubble
- And of course, foodstamps, foodstamps, foodstamps and the nearly 50 million poverty-level Americans who need them to survive
Why seven minutes? Because everyone knows that just like you can’t get “six minute abs“, so it is impossible to recap the doom of America’s middle class in only six minutes (or, gasp, less).
YouTube Added: 16.08.2013
- 27 Facts That Prove That The Family In America Is In The Worst Shape Ever (Economic Collapse, July 10, 2013):
The family is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. If you do not have strong families, you are not going to have a strong society. Unfortunately, the state of the family in America continues to deteriorate. The marriage rate has fallen to an all-time low, we lead the world in divorce, and about a third of all children live in a home without a father. Our young people have been taught that getting married and having a family is not a priority, and many of those that would like to get married and have children are not able to get the kinds of jobs that they need to support a family. The statistics that you are about to see should absolutely shock you. American families have never been this weak, and this is an incredibly troubling sign for the future of our nation. What will future generations of Americans be like if they do not have stable homes to grow up in? Will they be even more messed up than we are right now? That is a frightening thought.
The following are 27 facts that prove that the family in America is in the worst shape ever… Continue reading »
- American Households On Foodstamps Climb To New Record (ZeroHedge, June 8, 2013):
Yesterday, briefly, we were confused by the eruption in the stock market following a not too bad sub-200K nonfarm payrolls number. Because we know that in the New Normal bad is always good, no matter what the well-coifed TV pundit du jour tells you. Then we remembered that yesterday is when the USDA releases its monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program data, i.e. Americans on Foodstamps.It was here that the ramp was perfectly explained, because while the bad (for stocks of course) data was that individual foodstamps recipients rose by 170K in March – if just a whisker below all time highs – it was the number of American households on foodstamps, which rose to a new all time high of 23,116,441 (each collecting an average of $274.30 per month) that perfectly explained the Dow Jones’ 200 point surge higher: the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle-classes to the 1% continues without a hiccup.
- 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe (Economic Collapse, May 26, 2013):
If you know someone that actually believes that the U.S. economy is in good shape, just show them the statistics in this article. When you step back and look at the long-term trends, it is undeniable what is happening to us. We are in the midst of a horrifying economic decline that is the result of decades of very bad decisions. 30 years ago, the U.S. national debt was about one trillion dollars. Today, it is almost 17 trillion dollars. 40 years ago, the total amount of debt in the United States was about 2 trillion dollars. Today, it is more than 56 trillion dollars. At the same time that we have been running up all of this debt, our economic infrastructure and our ability to produce wealth has been absolutely gutted. Since 2001, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good jobs have been shipped overseas. Our share of global GDP declined from 31.8 percent in 2001 to 21.6 percent in 2011. The percentage of Americans that are self-employed is at a record low, and the percentage of Americans that are dependent on the government is at a record high. The U.S. economy is a complete and total mess, and it is time that we faced the truth.
The following are 40 statistics about the fall of the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe… Continue reading »
“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
– Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited
“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
- George Orwell
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
-Aldous Huxley, 1961
- ABNORMALCY BIAS (The Burning Platform , May 9, 2013)
Tags: 1984, Alan Greenspan, Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Bonds, Debt, DHS, Economy, Fed, Federal Reserve, Food stamps, GDP, George Orwell, Glass Steagall, Global News, Government, Homeland Security, Iraq, Obama administration, Police State, Politics, Ron Paul, Society, SSDI, U.S.