My hopes were dashed this month when I finally took the opportunity to look at the July SNAP data. This report reveals the number of folks partaking in the government SNAP program, or simply put the food stamps program.
Once again we have 45.3 million people accepting the benefits of the SNAP program (2nd highest being May 2011), and we are paying an annual benefit cost of $6.087 billion. These levels are 8.4% greater than last year and are a 2.6% year-to-date increase.
DO ALL THESE PEOPLE REALLY NEED THIS?
45,000,000 people is a lot of people. My feelings on the program are mixed because I believe there are deserving and desperate folks that absolutely need assistance and then I know that there are a bunch of lazy, self-serving, system-scamming people that are just taking advantage of a bloated government sponsored give away. Callous? Not at all. Since this federal plan is administered on the state level, the individual states determine the specific rules for the usage of these funds in their territory. Some states are tough about doling out benefits, others, not so much. Tight fiscal budgets have led to a review of the liberal views of passing out free government cheese to anyone and everyone.
Please examine the link here about the state of Michigan and their experience with the food stamp initiative - (As you know I have about 15 to 20 stories in my queue at a time, and this link was one I had in early August that I was going to write about. That old link doesn't work, so here is another that is a summary). In this story, we find that Michigan kicked off about 30,000 college students that were abusing the system or at least maximizing the benefits available to them!
Despite the move to kick those deadbeats out of the program we find that the July Food Stamp data shows and increase in participants after the small decline we witnessed in June.
I wonder if the OWS guys qualify for these programs? I'm sure they do, if they are demanding free college tuition they must have already achieved free food, shelter, and clothing since those are the basic needs of each human. Now those needs are met by the government, it is only right to expect more efforts to provide every want and need these kids could imagine.
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