Thursday, May 17, 2012


The release of the SNAP data for February highlights that we are still near record usage for foodstamps here in the US.   The month of February panned out with the following details.

46,326,352 of your fellow citizens are using your tax dollars to feed themselves and their families.
The cost to feed these folks was right at $6.160 Billion.  The average family receives about $278 a month.

YTD, actual participation is down 27bps!! ALRIGHT!  Year-over-year usage is still up 4.8%.


The improvement in the data is slight, but I am hopeful that this trend continues.  When we examine the growth of the program it is not hard to see how it came about as the economic times have been tough.  At the same time, we have forces within the system attempting to create and increase dependency  on the government.  In 2010, California renamed their foodstamp program to CALFRESH in an attempt to remove the "stigma" of receiving foodstamps.  Is it any wonder we have citizens demanding services and saying that they deserve to be taken care of?  No, we have officials that tell users of programs that it is their right to be served and cared for, that the role of government is to make sure everyone is healthy, full of food, happy, and catered to.  The notion that government is the benefactor of course is a lie.  Government simply crowds out those people that would naturally step in and care for the needy.  Government also is only the middleman that doles out services by taking funds and spewing them out in an inefficient manner.

I don't want government programs to advertise on radio, tv, and print that they have all this "free stuff" and it is very acceptable to receive benefits.  I WANT there to be a stigma associated with living for free, for receiving free food, for having medical care that someone else provides and pays for.  When there is no stigma there is not any attribution that the services are scarce and that there is an expectation that they will only be provided for a short time.  When advertisements scream that the government wants to provide these resources it suddenly conveys that there is no limit to the amount of benefit that can be received and it costs people nothing.  By having a massive entity taking in taxes and distributing services we create an impersonal situation where recipients never see the real cost of the benefits and feel as though they need to maximize the amount they receive in any way.  (Think about having an insurance company pay your medical bills - you have no real idea about the cost, so you use the benefits as much as possible).

The promotion of dependency must stop for the good of our nation, it's poor, and for the ones that are seen as the producers in our country.  If the target continues to be placed on our most successful, we can bet that the incentive to earn and gain will be less great.


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1 comment:

  1. I think we need to be careful about blaming "those damned bums on welfare". Most of them want to work. It's not their fault that we're in this mess. We're watching the biggest rip-off in history and many of those 46 million are victims who don't have a clue what's happening.


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