Today I discuss purchasing marijuana in Colorado using government EBT (food stamp) cards, the great constitutional conservative, Senator Mike Lee, and of course, the Super Bowl.
While 50 years ago the federal government declared war on poverty, I would submit that in recent years it has led an undeclared but real new war: a War on Work. The government increasingly is using its coercive powers to punish people who want to work, creating a vast class of able-bodied Americans dependent on the government — and politicians — for their daily bread.
The statistics are startling. A smaller proportion of working-age Americans works today than when the recession officially ended 4-1/2 years ago (June 2009).
But this trend is not just a failure of policies to encourage economic recovery, such as the stimulus package and the ineffective, highly expansionary Federal Reserve monetary policy. The decline in work has been going on since at least 2000, under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
The omnibus spending bill before Congress continues to fund U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advertising programs for food stamps in foreign countries like Mexico, Breitbart News has learned.
The bill was hashed out between House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The funding will continue despite claims in a document the House Appropriations Committee published that the bill contains a “prohibition” on such programs. Page three of this press document states regarding food stamps that the omnibus spending bill contains a “prohibition on advertisements or outreach with foreign governments.”
LANSING (WWJ) – Could this mean the end of welfare as we know it?
A bill has passed in the Michigan Senate that would require those receiving public assistance to do some “volunteer” work. Another bill, which passed the House Commerce Committee, requires drug testing, revoking benefits for welfare recipients who refuse the test or who test positive.
“What [the legislation] does, it says, in order for your to receive your cash assistance, your welfare check, you must provide some kind of community service to the community,” said the volunteer work bill’s sponsor, State Senator Joe Hune, who represents Livingston and Shiawasse counties in Mid-Michigan.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
When one thinks of the poor in America, one might think of the welfare system, or government (section 8) housing, or maybe the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You know, food stamps.
Actually, it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen anyone at the grocery store pull out a paper “food stamp”. Now it’s the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. You’ve seen it, even if you haven’t realized. The EBT card mimics a standard credit card.
So that’s what may come to mind when reflecting on America’s less fortunate. It certainly wouldn’t be J.P. Morgan, Xerox or eFunds Corporation.
Now why in the world would anyone think of these three large corporations in relation to the poor?
Well, you see, the federal government pays for the food stamp program, but it does not administer it.
Have you ever heard the term public/private partnership? Well, this is a classic example of its real-world application. It also sounds better than what it is; crony capitalism.
These three corporations hold the EBT contracts for the various states. J.P. Morgan has 24 state contracts alone. In other words, the government pays J.P. Morgan as the administrator of SNAP funds in almost half the states.
Have you heard that dopey saying, mostly uttered by socialists and other leftists: “they’re getting rich on the backs of the poor”?
Logically, that’s an impossibility except in this case, where corporate executives and investors are doing just that. It’s an ingenious scam and here’s how it works.
J.P. Morgan wins state EBT contracts. It in turn lobbies Congress and the White House. It pays particular attention to those of the Department of Agriculture and members of Congress that oversee the department’s budget.
Maybe Morgan might donate money to a politician’s election or reelection campaign, similar to the almost $1 million in donated in 2008 to the Obama presidential campaign. It’s just coincidental that shortly after taking office in 2009 Obama signed the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act”. Buried in the Bill was a 13% increase in EBT benefits and also broadened acceptance into the program. In other words, allowing many more to enroll in SNAP.
My guess, you like me have heard the ads promoting food stamp enrollment. As more and more unfortunate Americans are forced into the EBT program, J.P. Morgan’s profit increases and investors reap the benefits. Investors such as Obama, which has invested upwards of $1 million.
They are the number 3 campaign contributor to Senate Agriculture chair Debbie Stabenow. Sen. Jay Rockefeller has invested over $50 million in J.P. Morgan.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for investment profits. Just not rigged profits. And that’s what they are. Companies like J.P. Morgan reap huge profits and increased stock value by manipulating political hacks. At the same time these political hacks reap profits by investing in the same companies they promote. That’s crony capitalism.
And with more and more people enrolling and the addition of the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program into the EBT system, the circle of profits and corruption will continue unabated.
Senate Democrats Endorse Continued Advertising of Food Stamps in Mexico
Are things not good for you and your family in Mexico? Come on! Cross the border and we will fix that. We are roughly 17 trillion in debt but as long as there are printing presses, monopoly money and socialist idealism we will feed you.
Enough is enough. If people cannot see the real agenda of the socialist movement in America then they are more than ignorant. They are just plain stupid. I’m sorry but certain things make no sense.
On Thursday there was a proposed amendment sponsored by Senate Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama. The amendment never made it out of committee and if a common sense idea doesn’t make it out of committee, it doesn’t exist in this country, at least in the eyes of the mainstream liberal media. I am neither a journalist nor a liberal so I will certainly share it with you.
Sessions offered a common sense proposal to cut off advertising for the food stamp program on foreign soil. OK now, show of hands… How many people even know that we advertise our government benefits in foreign countries? What I am about to tell you is exactly why you cannot trust anything the left proposes for immigration reform.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
I believe we’ve heard many so-called conservatives claim we are in a jobless recovery.
That’s a hot one. There has been no recovery nor have there been any jobs.
Well, there may have been jobs created, but a lot more have been lost.
Here’s a fun fact for you. When Obama was crowned King of the world in 2009, there were approximately 142,187,000 people employed in the U.S.
Today the number is 142,101,000. So, as Rush would say, for those of you in Rio Linda, there are about 86,000 fewer people employed today than at the time of Obama’s coronation in 2009.
Just think about that for a second. Consider the bold-faced lies the democrats and the media are foisting on the ill-informed American people. It’s actually criminal. And what of our side? Where is the well-informed conservative on the TV talking-head shows that can say, “You are lying and here is the proof? These are the facts, etc.”
Where are the Paul Reveres, riding through the countryside, exclaiming these facts?
I guess, in a way, we are the virtual town criers. “It’s 2012 and all is NOT well”.
Anywho, the real employment figures are bad, but given a little more context, they become even more devastating.
One thing these talking heads never mention is the increase in the overall population growth of this country.
From 2009 to today, American population has increased by 8.8 million. So, there are over 8 million more people living here and we have 86 thousand fewer jobs than 3 years ago?
If they’re not working, what are they doing? Well, they are on some form of government assistance, like welfare, food stamps, disability, etc.
Today, approximately 45 million people are on food stamps. That’s 1 out of every 7 Americans! These aren’t just nameless, faceless strangers. They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, or maybe ex-coworkers in some cases.
People are becoming so desperate that when their unemployment runs out they are applying for social security disability. That way they at least have something to live on.
Now, I’m not going to discuss, the fraud and abuse by many, scamming the system just to receive a government check instead of finding a job. We all know there is plenty of that. We also know that many people could more heavily rely on their own families for assistance in lieu of the taxpayers. But the number is not that great and it can’t mask the incredibly weak employment figures. Like the 8.1% unemployment number that isn’t.
That’s a fake number. Pure and simple. It’s like a 300 lb. man stepping on a scale that tops out at 200 lbs. Just because the scale only reads 200, doesn’t mean he lost weight. If you recall, there are 6 unemployment categories ranging from U-1 to U-6. The U-3 number is the one that everyone has settled on. I frankly don’t know why the government, news outlets, et al, have settled on the U-3. I guess it makes things appear better than they are. If that’s the case, the U-1 number is under 5%. Like magic we could have almost full employment. The fact, or myth, that the U-3 unemployment number dropped from 8.3 to 8.1% is irrelevant.
In the last month alone over 580,000 people just gave up looking for work. The Labor Force Participation Rate, the number of people employed or looking for work, dropped to 63.5%, a level not seen since September, 1981, at the tail end of, hey what do you know, the Carter administration. That’s how that 8.3 dropped to 8.1. Those, over half a million poor souls, are now not counted. Voilà, less unemployment. The real number, the u-6 is up around 15%.
And let’s not forget King Barack’s just enacted, defacto illegal immigration amnesty program . Hey, what’s a million or so more unemployed people who have no job and won’t be able to find one.
Nothing is more essential to moving a family forward, or a nation, than a job, and today America has less of them than when Obama became President. The hope and change experiment needs to come to an end.
So when you meet our conservative candidates out there on the campaign trail, ask them why they’re not pushing the real numbers and calling the fake numbers, what they are, fake. More people need to know this stuff.
Attribution: Bob Beauprez
by: Caroline May at The Daily Caller
The Mexican government has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.
“USDA and the government of Mexico have entered into a partnership to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” the USDA explains in a brief paragraph on their “Reaching Low-Income Hispanics With Nutrition Assistance” web page. “Mexico will help disseminate this information through its embassy and network of approximately 50 consular offices.”
The partnership — which was signed by former USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista in 2004 — sees to it that the Mexican Embassy and Mexican consulates in America provide USDA nutrition assistance program information to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals working in America and migrant communities in America. The information is specifically focused on eligibility criteria and access.
The goal, for USDA, is to get rid of what they see as enrollment obstacles and increase access among potentially eligible populations by working with arms of the Mexican government in America. Benefits are not guaranteed or provided under the program — the purpose is outreach and education.
Some of the materials the USDA encourages the Mexican government to use to educate and promote the benefit programs are available free online for order and download. A partial list of materials include English and Spanish brochures titled “Five Easy Steps To Snap Benefits,” “How To Get Food Help — A Consumer’s Guide to FNCS Programs,” “Ending Hunger Improving Nutrition Combating Obesity,” and posters with slogans like “Food Stamps Make America Stronger.”
“The partnership with the Mexican embassy was established in 2004,” a USDA spokesman wrote The Daily Caller in an email. “USDA does not perform outreach to immigrants that are undocumented, and therefore not eligible for SNAP.” (RELATED: USDA buckles, removes Spanish food stamp soap operas from website)
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has been pushing for reform of SNAP, sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Wednesday demanding more answers and documents pertaining to the partnership.
The agency has yet to supply documents and information requested by Sessions’ Senate Budget Committee staff, including the Memorandums of Understanding between USDA and the Mexican government regarding the food assistance partnership.
In an interview with TheDC, Sessions explained that the little-known partnership raises questions not just about where tax money is going, but about America’s immigration policy.
“It’s a very disturbing policy, gone on for some years, and it raises very serious questions about American immigration policy as well as fiscal policy,” Session said. “Let’s get back to the fundamentals. What happened with the ‘96 welfare reform was to say that if want to you come to America you come legally, you assert you’re not coming for welfare benefits but you’re coming to work or otherwise be independent. There is no logic behind an immigration policy that would encourage immigrants who can’t successfully operate within this society.”
According to Sessions, immigrants who come to America should be able to operate successfully without the aid of government.
“An immigration policy should seek to bring people to the United States who will be able to function independently without government subsidies,” he explained. “We’ve got millions of people that want to come here, millions of people who would be able to perform without a subsidy, so we need to be selecting those people.”
Sessions isn’t simply concerned that the USDA has eschewed transparency with their Mexican partnership or that legal immigrants are encouraged to get on the government’s handout rolls — he is also worried about the lack of protections against undocumented immigrants receiving benefits for which they are not qualified.
As the senator detailed in his letter to Vilsack, and the USDA’s 2011 Guidance on Non-Citizen Eligibility for SNAP explains, although undocumented immigrants are usually not eligible to enroll in SNAP, illegals may enroll their eligible children.
It is up to the states to determine if applicants or households are qualified aliens. In some circumstances, SNAP benefits can be conferred upon people who merely state, upon penalty of perjury, that they are in the country legally.
“Applicants need only attest that they are citizens of the United States, and the state must accept that attestation as conclusive,” Sessions explained in his letter. “Some states currently voluntarily participate in the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program, which allows administrators to run a simple check to determine if non-citizen applicants are eligible for benefits. States that do not use SAVE to verify alien status may simply accept the applicant’s attestation of legal status as a substitute for verification, or, alternately, may accept submitted documents without checking their veracity.”
Sessions offered an amendment to the Senate version of the 2012 farm bill last month which would have required the government to use SAVE — a program similar to E-Verify — to ensure SNAP recipients are in the country legally. The amendment was not brought to the floor for a vote.
According to Sessions’ office, the Congressional Budget Office was unable to estimate how much money the SAVE amendment would have saved because the federal government does not know how many ineligible illegal immigrants have accessed SNAP.
Mexico is the only country with which USDA has a nutrition assistance outreach partnership agreement.
During every election cycle, virtually every Republican candidate affirms his or her support for limited government, free markets, and balanced budgets. They all tout their conservative credentials on the flashy flag-waving issues of the day in an effort to ingratiate themselves with Republican primary voters. However, it is the “inside baseball” issues such as the farm bill that expose many of them as frauds.
Put simply, the farm bill is anathema to free enterprise, limited government, and individual responsibility. The House version (H.R. 6083) authorizes $957 billion in spending over 10 years, 80% of which will go towards food stamps. Despite erroneous claims in the media regarding severe cuts to food stamps, this bill actually consummates the Obama-era baseline into our entitlement empire forever.
Furthermore, this bill adds an additional 3 crop insurance and price support programs that distort the market, encourage risky behavior, protect parochial interests, and are tendentious towards large farms. This bill also continues the egregious coddling of rich sugar farmers and the dairy supply regulations that you so aptly referred to as “Soviet style.”
Unfortunately, a bipartisan group of 38 Republicans and 24 Democrats, led by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Peter Welch (D-VT), have sent all of congress a letter requesting floor consideration for this big-government, budget-busting monstrosity. If Republicans allow this bill to pass the House and become law under Republican-control of Congress, they will essentially be abrogating all their campaign promises to limit government, terminate special interest politics, decrease dependency and welfare, and balance the budget. In one fell swoop, they will blur the distinction between the two parties to the extent that they are virtually indistinguishable.
This is not the message we need to telegraph to loyal Republican voters ahead of a crucial election. Moreover, if we are going to continue the bond between urban and rural special interests, we will never wean dependency from the broad populace – even among those in conservative states. If we are going to continue imposing Soviet-style intervention in red states, and elect representatives from those localities who support such odious policies, where are we going to implement free market policies and elect conservatives? From blue America?
Let’s win this election decisively by standing on the bold free market, limited government principles that buoyed the Republican majority into power in 2010. Then, after assuming control of all branches of government, we can pursue new policies from a position of strength.
Let’s begin by decoupling food stamp spending from agriculture programs so we can break the indissoluble bond between multiple special interest groups. We understand that food stamps and agriculture programs will not disappear overnight, but we must recognize their deleterious effects on our economy, free markets, and self respect. And it must be our ultimate goal to phase out and wind down these programs in an effort to restore our Constitutional Republic to the entity that it was when originally conceived.
Please reject all calls to bring this bill to the floor during this Congress. Now is the time for us to stand on principle.
***Here are the members who took a leadership role in pushing the Speaker to radically expand the size of government:***
Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Robert Schilling (R-Ill.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), David Loebsack (D-Iowa), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Sam Graves (R-Ga.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Jeff Landry (R-La.), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La), Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Candice Miller (RMich).
Believe or not, food stamp recipients have traded their benefits with nefarious retailers in exchange for cash they used to buy drugs and weapons.
That’s just one of many outrageous examples of abuse in the food stamp program revealed when Phyllis Fong, the Department of Agriculture’s inspector general, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday.
“In terms of fraud, we have seen many types of trafficking in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits,” she said in prepared remarks.
“In some cases, recipients have exchanged benefits for drugs, weapons, and other contraband.”
“When trafficking occurs unchecked, families do not receive the intended nutritional assistance, and unscrupulous retailers profit at the expense of the American public.”
The latest estimate places the number of food stamp recipients in this fiscal year at about 46.3 million, up from 30.8 million at the beginning of fiscal year 2009. That’s a boon for the economy, don’t you know.
The sale or purchase of food stamp benefits for monetary gain is punishable by disqualification from receiving future benefits, fines, and criminal prosecution, according to CNS News.
However, it came to light in Fong’s testimony that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, does not have a policy to ban food stamp retailers from the program even when they have been convicted of defrauding the government.
Fong said: “‘Suspension and debarment’ is a legal tool that Federal agencies can use to protect programs from repeat abusers and ensure that the Government does business only with responsible parties.
“However, in a recent audit, we determined that FNS did not debar any of the 615 wholesalers and retailers convicted in relation to 208 cases, even though a conviction is adequate grounds for debarment.”
That’s just great. These companies were not just charged, but convicted and are still able to conduct business as usual.
She also testified that the USDA does not review the criminal background on food stamp retailers and “therefore cannot comply with its own requirement to deny SNAP authorization to any retailers with a criminal history.”
These are the same beuracrats that will control your healthcare soon. Comforting.
In addition, the food stamp program does not even check the Social Security number of many of its recipients, countless of whom are using the numbers of dead people and invalid SSNs to get benefits that Fong said potentially total $1.1 million a month.