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Old 02-28-2013, 12:21 PM   #3801
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The media? They're ratcheting up.
They are pawns:

Woodward: White House Warned Me "You Will Regret Doing This" | RealClearPolitics


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http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sh...#ixzz2LxEqMJhZ

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If you're watching, Madam Secretary, all three of us have brilliant ideas. All of us have great ideas. And I especially put myself in that group with Joan and David. We know how to do this, we’ll get you in there.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:28 PM   #3802
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it doesnt matter what it was intended for.

say you get $200 extra a month for food, that's $200 a month less you need to spend on food and $200 extra a month you have to spend on blow.

say you get $200 a month for food, but can spend it on anything you want, you speed $200 of your own money on food, and $200 free money on blow.

It's all the damn same. the income has been supplemented.
I will break this down for you and make it a little more intuitive.

I receive $400 a month for food stamps from the govt because that is how much they feel I need to purchase food for my given circumstances and level of income.

I however am a thrifty shopper and can actually get by on only $250 a month in groceries.

If the $400 I received from the govt was sufficiently restricted then I would only have effectively supplimented my income by $250 because I would not be able to spend this money on something else. However, because I can use a workaround I can now go by blow with the other $150 a month I receive that is in excess of what I actually need.

Now I could always just spend that extra money on more food but that would atleast prevent me from spending it on blow. Then you may say, oh, well you could sell that food for blow and you would be right but you would not get face value. This also becomes more work. There is no way to completely eliminate abuse from the system but you can make it as hard as possible to do it.

I know this is really hard to wrap your brain around but this is actually not that uncommon because as you pop more babies out it becomes easier to feed more people on less money but you receive a disproportionate amount of compensation from the govt. as it relates to actual increases in costs.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:31 PM   #3803
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I hear this argument all the time and it would be valid if that was the entire story but it is not. You are assuming that they are buying groceries with unrestricted funds and then using the EBT card work around to buy things they would have otherwise bought with the unrestricted cash. This often times is not what is happening.

The problem is these people are receiving so much assistance that they have excess EBT funds over what they actually need. They are then able to use work arounds to use the excess funds on items that they were not intended for instead of this money being recycled back into the system to help provide relief to others that actually need it or just save the government some money.
How much excess funds?

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As of September 2012, 47.7 million Americans were receiving on average $134.29 per month in food assistance.
I'm willing to bet that even the poorest of the poor already spend at least $40 per week on food expenditures.

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EDIT: BTW this type of work around is considered money laundering and is a federal offense if it is commited by a non-profit or university to allow for the cash from a restricted grant to be spent on unintended projects. I fail to see how this is any different but if you would like to prove me wrong I welcome your arguments.
The difference, of course, is that food is one of, if not the very first thing that people spend their money on. The "first dollars" out of a person's income go toward food. Therefore, supplementing food income is really just supplementing total income.

What is true of people and food is not true of universities and research projects. I don't have a lot of experience with university revenue and expenditures, but I'm guessing that there are a whole host of things that universities spend money on before research projects -- payroll, utilities, maintenance, advertising, and so on.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #3804
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cheetos and oreos are expensive.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #3805
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That average of $134.29 is just that, an average. Was it a mean average or a median because this can make a lot of difference. For instance I had friends who tried to apply for food stamps after college when they could not find a job. They would only receive something like $25-$50 a month in assistance. These people are not the problem not to mention they are not the ones using the work arounds.

It is the low income family with 3 or 4 children that is receiving in excess of $400-$700 a month in assistance but is able to shop for the whole family for the month at $350-$500 and use the excess funds in a workaround to buy drugs, a tv, spinners, or any other item that is not food. If you do not think it is plausible to feed 5 or 6 people on $350 a month you would be wrong because my mother did it for 20 years without food stamps and we actually ate healthy. If you don't care about what you eat you could probably do it for less.

As far as the university comparison was concerned, it makes no difference what the first dollars you spend are on. I am talking about the act of using a work around to spend funds that would be otherwise restricted on things that do not fall under the approved criteria. Even your example is absurd because if food is so important why would you be spending money that was restricted for use on food on something else that is not food unless of course you have more than you need for food.

EDIT: To clarify my above point, if you commit an illegal act it is a crime no matter the underlying reasons. Killing someone intentionally in self defense is still murder. It is a justifiable murder that will not be prosecuted but it is still a crime. So you can try to argue that this type of workaround is justifiable but you cannot argue that it is not a form of money laundering.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #3806
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the problem is, only 30% of the people who are actually elibigible recieve these benefits. if more of them joined, there would be no more poor.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:13 PM   #3807
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It is the low income family with 3 or 4 children that is receiving in excess of $400-$700 a month in assistance but is able to shop for the whole family for the month at $350-$500 and use the excess funds in a workaround to buy drugs, a tv, spinners, or any other item that is not food.
You're missing the point. Quit worrying about the supposed "extra" money that they are spending on non-food items (it's worth noting, by the way, you've offered no information other than pure speculation that people are receiving way more in SNAP funds than they would normally spend on food).

Suppose that SNAP funds were limited to $20 per person per month. You're still not paying for their food -- you're paying for whatever they buy with the $20 they've saved on their monthly food bill. You just bought their next DVD, or movie ticket, or case of beer, or their next bag of weed.

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EDIT: To clarify my above point, if you commit an illegal act it is a crime no matter the underlying reasons. Killing someone intentionally in self defense is still murder. It is a justifiable murder that will not be prosecuted but it is still a crime. So you can try to argue that this type of workaround is justifiable but you cannot argue that it is not a form of money laundering.
Using SNAP funds on something other than approved purchases is a crime because someone wrote a law prohibiting it, not because it's morally wrong. It's like the speed limit, not like committing murder. Malum prohibitum, not malum in se.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #3808
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
You're missing the point. Quit worrying about the supposed "extra" money that they are spending on non-food items (it's worth noting, by the way, you've offered no information other than pure speculation that people are receiving way more in SNAP funds than they would normally spend on food).
This would be like asking me for a statistic on how much fraud exists in the private sector. There is no accurate statistic because we cannot know what we have not found. Only speculate as to the amount based on personal observations.

However, to prove my point to some extent I just went to the SNAP calculator online and entered in a fake family to show you what I am talking about.

I assumed 4 people in the household. A 29 year old mother, 10 and 5 year old sons, and a 7 year old daughter make up the family. The mother earns $15,000 a year from a job and also receives supplemental SSI. She pays $450 a month in rent/mortgage. She has no phone bill because she receives this from the govt. and she pays no utilities because she is in low income housing. I also generously assumed that she had no significant medical expenses.

EDIT: I also speculated that she had no child care expenses either. I tried to make this example as conservative as I could while still falling in the realm of the normal low income family.

My ficticious family was eligible for $668 a month for food. Case in point.

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Suppose that SNAP funds were limited to $20 per person per month. You're still not paying for their food -- you're paying for whatever they buy with the $20 they've saved on their monthly food bill. You just bought their next DVD, or movie ticket, or case of beer, or their next bag of weed.
This point is only valid if all $20 is used for food an there is no excess that is then converted for use to purchase other items. See above for speculation on excess funds.

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Using SNAP funds on something other than approved purchases is a crime because someone wrote a law prohibiting it, not because it's morally wrong. It's like the speed limit, not like committing murder. Malum prohibitum, not malum in se.
All illegal actions are illegal because someone wrote a law prohibiting it. The underlying nuances for the reasoning behind the WRITTEN LAW are irrelevant.

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Old 02-28-2013, 01:51 PM   #3809
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My ficticious family was eligible for $668 a month for food. Case in point.
So, by my math, that works out to about $5.96 in food costs per person, per day. You find that to be excessive? Do you believe that most people, even poor people, spend less than $6 per day on all food expenses?

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All illegal actions are illegal because someone wrote a law prohibiting it. The underlying nuances for the reasoning behind the WRITTEN LAW are irrelevant.
It's anything but irrelevant. "Crimes" that are only crimes because the state has prohibited it (jaywalking; 55 mph national speed limit; using EBT cards for non-approved purchases) can easily be made legal.

If someone is attempting to use SNAP funds for something other than food, then the injustice is that the SNAP system rewarded them with more assistance than they need. That is the problem. Trying to fix that problem by restricting purchases is treating the symptom rather than the root cause.

EVEN IF it were feasible to completely restrict inappropriate purchases (let's suppose each recipient had a team of government agents following them, monitoring every purchase, 24 hours a day), you would still simply be expanding that person's total budget -- they would buy excess food, or more expensive food. Subsidizing something encourages that behavior. When you add money to someone's budget, they will find a way to spend it, one way or another. That is the problem.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:09 PM   #3810
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So, by my math, that works out to about $5.96 in food costs per person, per day. You find that to be excessive? Do you believe that most people, even poor people, spend less than $6 per day on all food expenses?
I believe that most people on food stamps or those just above the level of food stamps do. As I stated before my mother fed 4 of us for 20 years for less than $400 a month and that was without being a crazy couponer and just shopping sales and still buying healthy. People in this income bracket tend to batch cook like a cafeteria which severly reduces the cost of each meal for each person. My mother can still feed four people for under $400 a month even with the rising cost of food. You just have to know how to shop and put a little more effort into it.

I do believe there are poor people who do spend more than that a day per person but that is because they do not care to try and spend less which you cover later.

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It's anything but irrelevant. "Crimes" that are only crimes because the state has prohibited it (jaywalking; 55 mph national speed limit; using EBT cards for non-approved purchases) can easily be made legal.
The ease with which something can be made legal is irrelevant to the point that was being made. Which of course is that is, in fact, illegal. Not easy to make legal.

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If someone is attempting to use SNAP funds for something other than food, then the injustice is that the SNAP system rewarded them with more assistance than they need. That is the problem. Trying to fix that problem by restricting purchases is treating the symptom rather than the root cause.
I agree that the real problem is excess funds and that my suggestion would treat the symptoms. However, because of cost/benefit and realistic budget constraints it is easier(read cheaper) to address the symptom. If you restrict the items that can be bought like a WIC check than the only way to spend more on food is to buy excess items that would be more than you could eat. This is because WIC checks do not allow you to just buy anything. They give you specific foods in a specific price range that you can pick from which would stop people on food stamps from say shopping at whole foods instead of the local supermarket.

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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
EVEN IF it were feasible to completely restrict inappropriate purchases (let's suppose each recipient had a team of government agents following them, monitoring every purchase, 24 hours a day), you would still simply be expanding that person's total budget -- they would buy excess food, or more expensive food. Subsidizing something encourages that behavior. When you add money to someone's budget, they will find a way to spend it, one way or another. That is the problem.
I understand this issue and there is never a way to completely eliminate this from the system. If there are cheap and relatively effective controls that can be put in place to limit the abuse as much as possible than I would rather not just let it be.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:18 PM   #3811
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You know who likes SNAP? Drug dealers.

A reporter in a Texas border town yesterday interviewed a gas/convenience store. He said that it's not uncommon to have people come in and drop $2,000 and more on their SNAP cards. To prove it he showed a $7,000+ receipt.

Drug dealing is very cash-intensive. It doesn't show up on your 1040EZ, so the government asks if you need assistance. Being fine, upstanding citizens, drug dealers always say YES.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:52 PM   #3812
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You know who likes SNAP? Drug dealers.

A reporter in a Texas border town yesterday interviewed a gas/convenience store. He said that it's not uncommon to have people come in and drop $2,000 and more on their SNAP cards. To prove it he showed a $7,000+ receipt.
What are SNAP cards? Are they like pre-paid gift cards in that you go in to the convenience store and trade cash for these cards, then use them for food and other stuff?

That doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

Or are you saying someone spent $7,000 at a gas/convenience store and paid with a SNAP card? What the hell do you buy at a gas store that runs up a $7,000 bill?! I'm assuming hookers and blow is not a line item on the receipt...
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:11 PM   #3813
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I have no idea about the vailidity of that story but a SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program, sounds so fancy) card is a food stamp card. You can use these cards at many gas stations for various items they have but $7,000 seems way too high to me. Hell, even a single transaction of $2,000 seems excessive.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:28 PM   #3814
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:35 PM   #3815
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:41 PM   #3816
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**** Chomsky.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #3817
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What are SNAP cards? Are they like pre-paid gift cards in that you go in to the convenience store and trade cash for these cards, then use them for food and other stuff?

That doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

Or are you saying someone spent $7,000 at a gas/convenience store and paid with a SNAP card? What the hell do you buy at a gas store that runs up a $7,000 bill?! I'm assuming hookers and blow is not a line item on the receipt...
Here's your spoon-fed news. Open up...

People with $7K Worth of Food Stamps? The State Where This Is Happening Might Surprise You | Video | TheBlaze.com
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #3818
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**** Chomsky.
I'm all for the free-market and such, but when elitist business man can (grossly) profit while the average worker gets boned and can't afford to live, that's bullshit.


Laws are written to support a small group of beneficiaries while the rest of the country suffers. Deregulation helps to a certain extent, but when the powers at-be collude to fix congress and create unofficial monopoles and market controls, the country and the economy suffer.


Just wait till us mechanics get a union. Hope you don't need any work done, because what the tech is paid, vs. the corporate profit is disgusting. Sure, I can go to an independent shop, which has fewer tax breaks, and less economic scale advantages. Add to that a litigious society, and one lawsuit for an honest mistake could destroy the shop.

There's not a good way to stand up to the "Bourgeoisie", if you will, except to organize. Alone we are weak, but together, we can fight. It's fun to say, as a college educated, desk job working, middle class person; that the "lower" class just needs to stop bitching and start investing and work harder. For those of us that actually work for a living, living on the edge of poverty, yet refuse government assistance, we are at our wits end. We support your infrastructure, grow your food, make your products, and fix you broken possessions. But instead of being thanked or appreciated, we're looked at as drop-outs from "The Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can't Read Good". We work the longest hours, take the worst pay, have the worst benefits (ie: none), destroy out bodies, and live on the edge our whole lives. We just want a little respect and a liveable wage.

But I suspect you'd rather I just shut-up and take my place in the smoke filled factory, working 60 hour weeks, for just enough food to scrape by. Who cares right? People are disposable, they should have been born in a richer family, or a better school district, or invented the cotton-gin. All of those free market laissez-faire principles are really helping in those Nike factories, and the Egyptian clothing mills, and West-Virgina coal mines.


Call me the constitutional communist.



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Old 02-28-2013, 04:36 PM   #3819
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**** CHOMSKY.




and **** communism. I'm not too found of murders... watch yourself commrade.



and **** unions.


you know what? **** you.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:43 PM   #3820
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BTW,

SNAP=Supplemental Nutritional Aid Program...

You know, Cheetos, Coke, Lays with ridges, a weekend in Las Vegas, a cruise through the Bahamas, etceteras.

Again, so simple that you wouldn't understand.
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