Everyone knows there’s no voter fraud. And everyone knows that there’s no food stamp fraud. Nope. Everything is on the up and up. No widespread jacking of the US citizenry at all. It’s cool.
Errors by states in reporting improper food-stamp payments have thrown the program’s integrity into question, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said, prompting Democrats to warn against using misreporting as an excuse to cut assistance.
“No one knows the error rate of SNAP, and that is unacceptable,” Roberts said Thursday at a hearing of his committee, referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. States are “gaming the system,” the Kansas Republican said. “Something needs to change. And something will change.”
The U.S. spent $66.5 billion on benefits under SNAP, commonly referred to as food stamps, in the 2016 fiscal year, making it the government’s biggest food-aid program. About 41.3 million people received benefits in June, the lowest since June 2010, when the number of recipients was driven up by the recession. But it’s long been a target of Republicans looking to cut spending in the $4 trillion federal budget.
But things are not as clear cut as they might seem. Though many Republicans talk a good game on food stamps, in the end food stamps are a source of big time crony capitalism, revenue, for companies many Republicans like. As such reducing soda subsidies (for instance), something that would seem obvious, might find resistance as any effort to cut is made.
So we’ll probably continue to subsidize diabetes. (And then the treatment of the diabetes.)