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More details from President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal are trickling out via a flurry of overnight reports from The Washington Post, Associated Press and Bloomberg News.
Here are some of the highlights from the latest batch of trial balloons:
Widespread reports continue to pour in from all over the nation of “glitches” with the food stamp system. It is eight days into the month and large numbers of people still have not received their benefits, and in other instances it is being reported that EBT cards are simply not working correctly. So what in the world is going on here? On downdetector.com there are scores of reports of problems with the EBT system from people all over the nation. Could this simply be another example of government incompetence, or is something else at work here?
I had heard some rumblings about this over the past few days, but I had not really taken them seriously until I read an article from highly respected author Ray Gano…
In Operation Stampede, what is being called the largest food-stamp trafficking takedown in history in terms of financial loss, law enforcement agencies filed federal charges last week against 22 Florida store owners or operators, including one convenience-store owner, in connection with schemes to illegally redeem food-stamp benefits for cash. the defendants fraudulently obtained more than $13 million dollars in EBT deposits for transactions in which the stores did not provide food.
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More than six years into Dear Leader’s glorious economic recovery, 45.5 million Americans, or one in seven, remain on food stamps.
I’d say that’s a problem, but I don’t want to be accused of “peddling economic fiction.”
The number of Americans receiving food stamps exceeds 45 million – a level which has remained relatively constant for more than four years now. That figure accounts for nearly 20 percent of the population of the country.
In 1969, there were 2,800,000 Americans in the food stamp program. Since then the number has increased more than 15-fold.
During the “recovery” from the Great Recession, the land of Lincoln had more people enter the food-stamps program than start jobs. Food-stamps growth in Illinois has outpaced jobs creation by a 5-4 margin… and stunningly, has put 25 people on food stamps for every manufacturing job created during the recession recovery.
– Food Banks In New York Are Running Out Of Food (ZeroHedge, June 12, 2015):
Welcome to the Recovery! Food banks across the US state of New York are running out of food (37% of food pantries say they have had to turn away needy people because they ran out of food), amid falling funds and rising demand from people that have trouble affording food. About 2.6 million people have trouble affording food across New York with about 1.4 million New York City residents relying on food pantries to feed themselves, according to the Food Bank For New York City. But as PressTV reports, contrary to the belief that people visiting food pantries are homeless and jobless, most customers are employed, but are not paid enough money to put food on the table without help.
– Wisconsin Republicans want to restrict what people can buy with food stamps (Independent, May 16, 2015):
– US to cut off food stamps for one million next year (PressTV, Jan 6, 2015):
The United States will cut off about one million of the poorest people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also known as food stamps in 2016, a new report says.
The reason is the re-imposition of a three-month limit which deprives unemployed adults aged 18-50 who are not disabled or raising children of SNAP benefits.
The abovementioned group will lose their food stamp benefits after three months, even if they are still looking for jobs, according to the report issued by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
– Obama, Let Them Eat Food stamps (Dollar Vigilante, Feb 20, 2014)
– 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.
– 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.