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Old October 22nd, 2010, 09:27 AM   #1
dreezy
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Default Food Stamps / EBT

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101022/...us_food_stamps

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HONOLULU – Lillie Gonzales does whatever it takes to provide for three ravenous sons who live under her roof. She grows her own vegetables at home on Kauai, runs her own small business and like a record 42 million other Americans, she relies on food stamps.

Gonzales and her husband consistently qualify for food stamps now that Hawaii and other states are quietly expanding eligibility and offering the benefit to more working, moderate income families.

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed by The Associated Press shows that 32 states have adopted rules making it easier to qualify for food stamps since 2007. In all, 38 states have loosened eligibility standards.

Hawaii has gone farther than most, allowing a family like Gonzales' to earn up to $59,328 and still get food stamps.

Prior to an Oct. 1 increase, the income eligibility limit for a Hawaii family of five was $38,568 a year.

"If I didn't have food stamps, I would be buying white rice and Spam every day," said Gonzales, whose Island Angels business makes Hawaiian-style fabric angel ornaments, quilts, aprons and purses.

Eligibility for food stamps varies from state to state, with the 11 most generous states allowing families to apply if their gross income is less than double the federal poverty line of $22,050 for a family of four on the U.S. mainland. The threshold is higher in Alaska and Hawaii.

With more than 1 in 8 Americans now on food stamps, participation in the program has jumped about 70 percent from 26 million in May 2007, while the nation's unemployment rate rose from 4.3 percent to 9.2 percent through September of this year.

"We've seen a huge increase in participation due to the economic downturn," said Jean Daniel, a spokeswoman for the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. "That's the way this program was designed."

In addition to helping alleviate economic pressures, many states embrace the popularity of food stamps because their cost — $50 billion last year — is paid entirely by the federal government. States are only responsible for paying half of their programs' administrative costs.

Food stamps have been blasted by some Republicans in this midterm election season as just another federal entitlement program, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich framing the vote as a choice between "the party of food stamps" and Republican policies that create jobs.


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Participants in the food stamp program, technically called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, receive a per person average of $133 per month to buy staples including milk, bread and vegetables.

Shortly after Hawaii announced it was raising its eligibility limits starting this month, three carloads of 10 seniors drove to the Kauai Independent Food Bank to ask if they qualified. Nine of them did, said Judy Lenthall, executive director for the food bank, which helps people apply for food stamps.

"We saw an immediate and overwhelmingly wonderful response," Lenthall said. "It surprised us how fast it's spreading."

States that have relaxed food stamp eligibility did so by moving to a system where applicants could qualify based on their income, and their other assets such as real estate, vehicles and savings accounts could be ignored.

Basing food stamps on income alone allows the newly unemployed and the elderly to seek government food aid without having to first sell their property or exhaust every dollar they've earned, said Sue McGinn, director of the food stamp program in Colorado, which will expand eligibility beginning in March.

"They won't have to wipe out their savings to apply for benefits," McGinn said.

Many of these states also raised income limits, although applicants still have to show they're essentially living at the poverty line after accounting for allowable deductions, including elder medical expenses and child support.

"It helps moderate and low-income people who are struggling," said Stacy Dean of the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "They're doing everything we want: they're working, paying all their bills, taking care of their kids, and they still don't have enough money at the end of the month to put food on the table."

Since 2000, the only states that haven't enacted the lower food stamp eligibility requirements are Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

In Hawaii, where everything from milk to gasoline is typically the highest in the nation, the changes are welcomed by Gonzales and others.

"As long as my kids have good food, that's all I care about," Gonzales said. "It makes a tremendous difference."
I understand this is for Hawaii and the cost of living is a bit higher there, but making almost $60k a year and you qualify for food stamps? Thats above the national averge for a families income. Qualifying more people to get aid is no way to get the leaches off of it.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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agreed!!
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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It's all about a power grab......the government wants to be a big part of providing for daily life so they can aquire control! Desperate people are some of the most impressional people. The more you don't stand on your own two feet, the less integrity you hold. If you don't feel like you can make good choices yourself, you'll let someone else do it for you.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 02:21 PM   #4
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A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

More food stamp recipients = more voters.

edited to correct stupidity
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 04:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DuffMan View Post
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Peter.

More food stamp recipients = more voters.

right in your sig line, and you still wrote it wrong


I understand the need for welfare, food stamps, etc., and for the most part I'm OK with it. There are lots of people who need help, and do deserve it. The ones that abuse the system are the one I have always had a problem with. We've all seen them, so no real need to describe them.

From what that article says, they no longer look at savings accounts, properties owned, etc??? Now that I have a problem with. Why should money be taken out of MY payceck, which could instead have gone into MY savings account, just so that someone else does not have to use thier savings? What if they own multiple homes? multiple cars/payments? where are they getting the money for those payments? would they need the food stamps if they didnt have to make a car payment? Fuck it, give them a 1 time check of $1500, tell them to buy a used car and get rid of the payment, and use that money to buy food.

I agree 100% with what WSUFlyer said
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 04:28 PM   #6
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Of all the opinions surrounding this debate, no one has yet keyed in on this point: why is this a federal responsibility? I understand each state sets its own standard, but the Feds pick up the tab. How does that make any sense?
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
States that have relaxed food stamp eligibility did so by moving to a system where applicants could qualify based on their income, and their other assets such as real estate, vehicles and savings accounts could be ignored.

Meanwhile.... There are a record 1.88 MILLION people in Michigan
using the Food Assistance Program (FAP)

People aren't even putting effort into feeding themselves.
Food pantries are reporting declines in demand.
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...ntries_se.html
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 08:27 PM   #8
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Of all the opinions surrounding this debate, no one has yet keyed in on this point: why is this a federal responsibility? I understand each state sets its own standard, but the Feds pick up the tab. How does that make any sense?
Because it's a federal "right" that only uses the state level government to come up with the appropriate qualifications based on cost of living, industry, ect for each state. As pointed out in the article, Hawaii has a very high cost of living....and local government can make decisions based on these factors easier than the feds. (Just shows how the feds are the ONLY corrupt polititions) Similar to education......each school system is ran by a local board, but the feds provide partial funding and the security that there will always be a public school available.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 09:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by WSUFlyer View Post
Because it's a federal "right" that only uses the state level government to come up with the appropriate qualifications based on cost of living, industry, ect for each state. As pointed out in the article, Hawaii has a very high cost of living....and local government can make decisions based on these factors easier than the feds. (Just shows how the feds are the ONLY corrupt polititions) Similar to education......each school system is ran by a local board, but the feds provide partial funding and the security that there will always be a public school available.
I suppose my sarcasm gets lost in the translation sometimes. I understand the mechanics of the distribution, but the fact that a local issue has become a federal responsibility is a sign of how over-reaching Washington has become. This was certainly not the intent of the 17 enumerated powers detailing the role of the federal government.

Only a bureaucrat could explain that when my neighbor is short of money for food, the best way to fix this problem is to have a federal department confiscate some of my money, give it to another federal department, have that department allocate some funding for yet a third department, have that third department send it to a state agency who then determines after a series of reviews, interviews and a lot of paperwork that my neighbor could use some food, so they disperse the funds to state run combination credit card/bank institution so my neighbor can go down and buy some food with a state credit card. I bet out of every dollar collected for this specific program, less than 30 cents actually makes it to someone in the form of spendable food dollars.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 07:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JonCash View Post
I suppose my sarcasm gets lost in the translation sometimes. I understand the mechanics of the distribution, but the fact that a local issue has become a federal responsibility is a sign of how over-reaching Washington has become. This was certainly not the intent of the 17 enumerated powers detailing the role of the federal government.

Only a bureaucrat could explain that when my neighbor is short of money for food, the best way to fix this problem is to have a federal department confiscate some of my money, give it to another federal department, have that department allocate some funding for yet a third department, have that third department send it to a state agency who then determines after a series of reviews, interviews and a lot of paperwork that my neighbor could use some food, so they disperse the funds to state run combination credit card/bank institution so my neighbor can go down and buy some food with a state credit card. I bet out of every dollar collected for this specific program, less than 30 cents actually makes it to someone in the form of spendable food dollars.
Totally agree....feds are stepping into roles they shouldn't be. It's a blatant trend that's happing in WAY TOO many areas. State sovernty is definately a big concern right now......and the bad part is that a lot of them are too broke to tell the feds to f off.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 10:09 AM   #11
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We subsidize millionaire factory farms and big oil too, so what's the point?
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 10:18 AM   #12
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We subsidize millionaire factory farms and big oil too, so what's the point?
x2

We gave billions to save the mortgage industry and all they did in return is throw people out on the street that wanted help.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 07:33 PM   #13
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fuck food stamps. I see the system abused way to much at school. Saw some fucker an hour ago pay for a fifth and pay for his chaser/mixers with his EBT.

I do not agree with food stamps one bit but if they are going to continue to do this they need to research the recipient more and limit what can be purchased underneath the program.

Ive been tossing around the idea with my roommate (film student) to get a food stamp card and document how easy it is to live off of 200 dollars of food a month. Then document how long it would take for us to track down someone working for the state of Michigan to pay them back.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 09:26 PM   #14
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Don’t know what its like now but food is EXPENSIVE in Hawaii. I was there about 7 years ago for 2 weeks and just a gallon of milk was $5! We hit the dollar menu a lot.

I have been unemployed for 16 months now. I have been using the EBT for a while. It really helps out. It covers about 70% of our average monthly bill. We volunteer at food banks; sometimes the donated “food” is not really food. The truck holds 20 pallets; we got one whole pallet of taco seasoning packets. There was enough taco seasoning to give every family about 50 packets (WTF).
I worked for 32 years before my career went overseas, I have a 4-year old son and I don’t feel the least bit upset taking money out of your pocket to feed my son. I paid in for 32 years, I am dam glad its available to me now.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 09:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreezy View Post
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101022/...us_food_stamps


I understand this is for Hawaii and the cost of living is a bit higher there, but making almost $60k a year and you qualify for food stamps? Thats above the national averge for a families income. Qualifying more people to get aid is no way to get the leaches off of it.
I do not make any were near that more like 24000 and I do not qualify. I am raising my stepson with me and I shit you not the women said i do not know what to do we do not have have a box for that sorry. I had it for 3 months then got dropped can not find out why. I have reapplied and get denied and just says "did not make interview process" WTF and I can not get a returned phone call!!!

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Originally Posted by howell_jeep View Post
x2

We gave billions to save the mortgage industry and all they did in return is throw people out on the street that wanted help.

BIG TIME

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Originally Posted by fflinstone View Post
Don’t know what its like now but food is EXPENSIVE in Hawaii. I was there about 7 years ago for 2 weeks and just a gallon of milk was $5! We hit the dollar menu a lot.

I have been unemployed for 16 months now. I have been using the EBT for a while. It really helps out. It covers about 70% of our average monthly bill. We volunteer at food banks; sometimes the donated “food” is not really food. The truck holds 20 pallets; we got one whole pallet of taco seasoning packets. There was enough taco seasoning to give every family about 50 packets (WTF).
I worked for 32 years before my career went overseas, I have a 4-year old son and I don’t feel the least bit upset taking money out of your pocket to feed my son. I paid in for 32 years, I am dam glad its available to me now.
Yes we all need help from time to time. It is the ones who do not WANT to get off of it that bother me!!
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 10:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by upchuck View Post
We subsidize millionaire factory farms and big oil too, so what's the point?
I don't agree with those subsidies either, but please explain the oil subsidies further. I would submit the following excerpt for consideration. The text comes from the Tax Foundation, but note that the supporting data is compiled from the IRS and SEC required income and earnings filings which are publicly available (for 4th quarter 2008)..

"Before taxes, Exxon had income of $20 billion on total world-wide revenue of $116 billion. Its earnings statement shows that the company paid $9.3 billion in income taxes to governments here and abroad. This amounts to an effective tax rate of more than 46 percent, 10 percentage points higher than the U.S. statutory rate of 35 percent.

In addition to income taxes, the table below shows that Exxon paid or remitted $20 billion in various sales taxes, excise taxes, severance taxes, and property taxes. This brings the total amount of taxes the company paid or remitted to $29.3 billion, nearly three times the net profits it earned for shareholders.


With an effective rate of 46%, does an offset or credit equate to a subsidy or just a lower effective tax rate?

Last edited by JonCash; October 23rd, 2010 at 10:30 PM.
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