How Should the Food Stamp Program Be Reformed?

House Republicans have begun the process of determining ways to make cuts in the $74 billion food stamp program, which has grown by 45 percent since President Obama assumed office.

The House Agriculture Committee, which oversees what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, kicked off a series of hearings on the issue even though caseloads actually plummeted by 11 percent in 2014 as the nation’s economy improved.

“SNAP has grown from a relatively small pilot program to the second largest federal welfare program, quadrupling in spending since 2001,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), the committee chairman. “Everyone from recipients to taxpayers deserves an efficient program with a clearly defined mission.”

The program, Conaway asserted, has remained largely unchanged over the past 30 years despite “significant changes in the nation’s economy and the socioeconomic makeup of the American population,” leading to what GOP lawmakers maintain is a necessary review.

“We can all agree that no one ought to go hungry in America, and SNAP is essential in protecting the most vulnerable citizens during tough times,” Conaway said. “For many it is a vital lifeline to keeping food on the table. What we don’t want is for this program to hold people back from achieving their potential.”

There exists a role for SNAP, Conaway said, “but we need to have a complete and clear understanding of its mission and purpose.”

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the ranking member, expressed no objections to the SNAP review but added, “I don’t think we should do anything,” noting that the issue received a thorough discussion during the most recent negotiations over the farm bill where an agreement was reached.

Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told the committee that SNAP has played a key role over the years in eliminating hunger and malnutrition and warned against wholesale change.

“I hope the committee will keep in mind the accomplishments the program has made and proceed with appropriate caution,” Greenstein said. “The well-being of millions of vulnerable Americans is at stake.”

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“I don’t think we should do anything,” OMG, what a typical liberal who doesn't want to lose his voting base. Yes, bring back the work program and time limits. Mandate birth control pills as well. No stamps to pay for liquor or cigarettes, either. Take some of the money saved to monitor these actions strictly.

How about getting rid of it, totally? Like the irs, the epa, the doe, et al. THAT would save a lot of money. 

Amen Melanie!!  

But not really I do believe it should be restrictive to just food items. Why should they be able to eat lobster steak and all the pricey items when most of America? Why should they be able to buy tobacco products  on my dime,? 

That's right, Harry. Why should they when we can't even take care of ourselves because the government creeps are stealing our money and giving it to them? This type of thing used to be taken care of privately, but it's been centralized and governmentized (new word). I can't even go to the dentist because they've driven prices up deliberately to keep real American citizens from prospering. I hope they burn in hell.

I am a compassionate person and try to help my fellow man so I wouldn't wont to see the foodstamp program stopped altogether as there are many poor folks who would perish if not for the program.Years ago when the welfare system had begun there were many items a person on welfare couldn't get.Some of those items were soap,toliet tissue or household cleaning items.Only grocery items which a lot was restricted.Now you can use them for almost anything.I would however restrict those ladies who spread the enterance of the golden gate and have one child after another and put them on welfare.There should be limits on how many children a woman can have and still draw welfare.I could go on all day and night but I will stop here.

Charles, I am all for compassion.  However in this case I have two responses to think about.  First, why is the FEDERAL government being "compassionate"?  The answer is, they aren't being compassionate.  There is something in it for them.  They have a huge pool of money, and they skim it and keep a portion in DC.  Considering how much money is spent each year on entitlements, even a two percent skim is a LOT of money by all accounts.  Essentially, they are being "compassionate" with your money, and keeping some of it for themselves.  Secondly, there is no reason these programs cannot be run at the local level.  At the local level, these kinds of programs can be run far more intelligently and efficiently than when they are run by an empty suit inside the beltway.

Put ID photos on the card to prevent criminals from stealing cards, no lottery use, no alcohol use, no cigarette use, no clothing use, card should be used for food purchases only. Violator's are taken off program for one year.

So they purchase the food, then go outside and sell it, go back in and buy alcohol and tobacco.  Freeloaders always find a way to get around the rules.  The only solution is to get government out of the charity business.

Anthony, you're spot on with that.  That is the exact reason I would advocate for a work program.  If someone is on welfare for over 180 days, they would be required to do a few things.

1.  Report to a doctor employed by the county (welfare should be no more than a county level program, and receive no federal or state funding).  The doctor will assess what they are medically capable of.  Regular doctor's visits would be required in order to continue receiving assistance.

2.  Based on the doctor's prognosis, they would be assigned a task or tasks designed to defray costs to the county.

3.  Recipients of welfare would be required to apply for, at minimum, 1 job per each working day.  That shakes out to five days per week.  We can give them major holidays off.

I think once the free ride is gone and they have to work, the free loaders will become much less interested in free loading.  Additionally, once localities cease receiving federal and state funding, the programs themselves will quickly become much less lavish than they are in their current state.  Additionally, the feds would lose their power over localities when they stop "giving" them money.  Of course in the current state the feds are giving states and localities OUR money, but they do so with strings attached, giving them a form of control over the recipients of the funds.

The knee jerk reaction is to completely get rid of it. But, there are people that would have a terrible time without it,  The knee jerk reaction is somewhat justified. I was returning a new coffee pot that had been purchased for me as a gift to a Walmart. I was in line behind a well dressed woman who was returning a whole basket full of food items. I noticed because it included meat and other refrigerated items. I could not come up with a reason why she might be doing it. Then there was a sub total and cash came out of the register and into the woman's hand. Then I knew what was up. I probably should have said something. But, I just did not. The odds were that I would have been the one who ended up in trouble.

The best way to get children of able bodied people off of it would be to feed the kids at school. Yes, year round three squares. Mom and dad would have to fend for themselves.

We have a country full of charitable organizations, we need a government to protect and serve the majority, not a select few !




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Breaking — West Virginia Lawmakers Invite Persecuted Pro-Second Amendment Counties In Virginia To Join Their State

West Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation to invite persecuted pro Second Amendment Counties to join their state.

The West Virginia Senate adopted a resolution to remind Virginia residents from Frederick County that they have a standing invite — from 1862 — to become part of West Virginia.

West Virginia freedom fighters broke away from Virginia Democrat slave owners during the Civil War.

This week West Virginia has once again invited persecuted Virginia pro 2-A counties to come join their state.

Sounds like a winning plan!

Resolution 8 reads as follows:


(By Delegates Howell, Summers, Shott, Householder, C. Martin, Hott, Graves, Cadle, Barnhart, J. Jeffries, Maynard, Phillips, Foster, Hamrick, Steele, D. Jeffries, Wilson, Waxman, Bartlett, Paynter, Linville, Sypolt, Bibby, Hill, Ellington, Higginbotham, J. Kelly, Mandt, Pack, Dean and P. Martin)

[Introduced January 14, 2020]

Providing for an election to be had, pending approval of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a majority of qualified citizens voting upon the proposition prior to August 1, 2020, for the admission of certain counties and independent cities of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the State of West Virginia as constituent counties, under the provisions of Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution of West Virginia

Whereas, The Legislature of West Virginia finds that in 1863, due to longstanding perceived attitudes of neglect for the interests of the citizens of Western Virginia, and a studied failure to address the differences which had grown between the counties of Western Virginia and the government at Richmond, the Commonwealth of Virginia was irretrievably divided, and the new State of West Virginia was formed; and

Whereas, Such division occurred as the Trans-Allegheny portions of Virginia perceived that they suffered under an inequitable measure of taxation by which they bore a disproportionate share of the tax burden; and

Whereas, That this perception was further compounded by the effects of a scheme of representation by which Trans-Allegheny Virginia was not allowed to have its proper and equitable share of representation in the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, That this arrangement arguably resulted in the tax dollars of Trans-Allegheny Virginia being used to enrich the Tidewater through internal improvements which did not benefit the people of Western Virginia, while the people of the Trans-Allegheny had little to no say in how their tax dollars were allocated; and

Whereas, Though this course led to an irreconcilable division, and the subsequent formation of West Virginia, yet, the longstanding peaceful cooperation between this State and the Commonwealth of Virginia is a sign that such separation, undertaken even under the most challenging and onerous of circumstances, can, with the passage of time, yield lasting results which are beneficial to both sides; and

Whereas, In the intervening years, the same neglect for the interests of many of the remaining counties of the Commonwealth of Virginia has allegedly been evidenced by the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, Particularly, many citizens of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont contend that an inequitable measure of taxation exists by which they bear a disproportionate share of the present tax burden of the Commonwealth; and

Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont also believe that, currently, a scheme of representation exists by which the citizens of Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont do not have a proper share of representation in the government at Richmond; and, consequently

Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont believe that their tax dollars are used to enrich the Tidewater and Northern Virginia through internal improvements which do not benefit the people of these other parts of Virginia, while the people of these other parts of Virginia have little to no say in how their tax dollars are allocated; and

Whereas, In recent days, these tensions have been compounded by a perception of contempt on the part of the government at Richmond for the differences in certain fundamental political and societal principles which prevail between the varied counties and cities of that Commonwealth; and

Whereas, In the latest, and most evident, in this string of grievances, the government at Richmond now seeks to place intolerable restraints upon the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to the citizens of that Commonwealth; and

Whereas, The Legislative body of West Virginia believes that this latest action defies the wise counsel which has come down to us in the august words of our common Virginia Founders: as the government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that tribune of liberty, Patrick Henry-who stated to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 that “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of a Signer of the Declaration and premier advocate of American independence, Richard Henry Lee-who stated in The Federal Farmer that “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that zealous guardian of our inherent rights, George Mason-who stated that “To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of the declaimer of our independence and theoretician of our freedoms, Thomas Jefferson-who stated in his first draft of the Virginia Constitution, that “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms”; and

Whereas, The Boards of Supervisors of many Virginia counties and the Councils of many Virginia cities have recognized this dangerous departure from the doctrine of the Founders on the part of the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, These Boards of Supervisors and Councils have passed resolutions refusing to countenance what they affirm are unwarranted and unconstitutional measures by that government to infringe the firearm rights of Virginians; and

Whereas, The actions of the government at Richmond undertaken since the recent general election have, regrettably, resulted in unproductive contention and escalating a lamentable state of civic tension; and

Whereas, That, as has been proven in numerous instances, such as have been observed internationally in more recent times with the peaceful dissolutions of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and the creation of South Sudan, or, earlier in Virginia’s own history, with the formation of Kentucky, the peaceful partition of neighboring peoples can occur, and, is often very beneficial to both sides in reducing tensions and improving the tenor of discourse over ongoing political and societal differences; and

Whereas, Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state; and

Whereas, In a spirit of conciliation, the Legislature of West Virginia hereby extends an invitation to our fellow Virginians who wish to do so, to join us in our noble experiment of 156 years of separation from the government at Richmond; and, we extend an invitation to any constituent county or city of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the body politic of the State of West Virginia, under the conditions set forth in our state Constitution, specifically, with the consent of a majority of the voters of such county or city voting upon such proposition; and we hereby covenant that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitutions; and

Whereas, Providing that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall give its assent to any county or independent city presently part of the Commonwealth of Virginia having the opportunity and ability to do so, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia.

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