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Food Bank CEO Responds to a Fox News Attack on Food Stamps

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Fox News - The Great Food Stamp Binge
Fox News
Screen grab from "Fox News Reporting: The Great Food Stamp Binge."

Given the Republican rumblings in Congress, Celia Cole, the CEO of the Texas Food Bank Network, figured it was only a matter of time before Fox News launched an attack on SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program better known as food stamps.

This summer, House Republicans held up a bipartisan Senate Farm Bill with demands for $40 billion in cuts to the food stamps program, as well as work and drug testing requirements for beneficiaries. (A previous bill with only $20 billion in cuts failed in June because they were deemed not deep enough.) The ethos espoused by House bill backers is that the best way to help the poor and hungry is to let them help themselves. Legislators also cited misuse and fraud as pressing concerns.

Then, on Friday, Fox News aired a special report titled “The Great Food Stamp Binge.” The network inferred that the dramatic rise in food stamp recipients, from 28 million to 47 million since 2008, was a result of the Obama administration’s welfare society and an affront to American self-reliance and mettle. The surge in people on food stamps, the special argued, has nothing to do with our crappy economy and the working poor who need help buying food for their families. Instead Fox posited that it could be a conspiracy to grow the size of government.

Fox interviewed an unemployed beach bum and aspiring rock star in La Jolla, California who bought a lobster with a SNAP card. The special also pointed to a social worker acting on behalf of the USDA who’s allegedly tearing down “mountain pride” in Appalachia—the mindset that families should tighten their belt straps (literally) before relying on government help—by getting residents in Ashe County, North Carolina to use SNAP funds on seeds for their gardens, a sort of gateway drug to wider food stamp usage. The Fox special was catnip for conservative bloggers and live bait for other media outlets.

“Normally we don’t justify these kinds of reports with a response,” Cole told the Observer. But in this case, Cole said, the Texas Food Bank Network felt compelled to address the misinformation. “Too many people judge the poor without ever walking in their shoes,” she said. The Fox special, she added, failed to interview anyone suffering from poverty and lack of access to nutritious food.

“The truth is that one in seven Americans do receive SNAP because one in seven Americans live at or below the poverty level,” Cole stated in a press release on Monday. “SNAP is also one of the most efficient and effective government programs with program error and fraud at historic lows. Less than four percent of benefits are issued in error.”

Moreover, the food stamps program doesn’t serve as a long-term form of dependency for most recipients, Cole said in a follow-up interview. The average participant receives benefits for 19 months, and new applicants typically receive benefits for just nine months. Cole said the program is correlative to people’s income—when it drops, they go on food stamps, and when it rises again, they go off the program.

In the Fox special, libertarian political scientist Charles Murray (of Bell Curve fame) argues that the stigma surrounding food stamps is a good thing—or at least a necessarily evil. People should feel self-conscious about going on the dole. But, said Cole, “Having access to nutritious food should be no more stigmatized than Medicaid or Social Security. SNAP participants are taxpayers, too. They’ve paid into the program.”

While states can waive the requirement that participants are either employed or seeking employment, Texas does no such thing. All able-bodied Texas food stamp recipients between 18 and 59 must either work, be looking for work, or be engaged in job training for thirty hours each week. And adults without dependents are barred from the program if they work less than twenty hours a week for longer than three months in any three-year period.

Cole said that the more pressing issue is that the application process is complicated and daunting. One-third of those who qualify don’t seek help from the food stamps program. The Texas Food Bank Network’s partners don’t put money toward marketing food stamps—they’re not allowed to, by law—but, said Cole, “Our partners do try to reach the people who most need assistance, but don’t know how to get it.”

  • Dicky Neely

    I am ill and disabled. I live on a small stipend from Social Security and each month struggle to pay bills and rent. I have a Texas Lone Star Card and participate in the SNAP program. Currently I have a monthly allocation of $45.00 per month. A few years ago my allocation was $96.00. It went down when my Social Security went up with a coast of living increase which was the first one in three years. When I see the wealthy, pompous, holier than thou politicians in Texas, or elsewhere, attack food stamps it just burns me! I am not gaming the system and I know many of those stigmatizing food stamps and other types of public assistance are living high on the corporate and public trough.

    • mrtapeguy

      No one is begrudging benefits to the truly needy such as yourself – but if we don’t stop the abuse and wasteful spending here and in other areas, we won’t be able to continue to afford to help people such as yourself. It is not an attack on food stamps – it is an attack on people who don’t need them or use them in lieu of working.

      • 2headed

        The Fox report DID attack the “truly needy.” It portrayed SNAP recipients as undeserving. Giving the poor a bad reputation as lobster-guzzling surfer moochers and exaggerating the amount of fraud in the program is the same as begrudging them benefits. Since “less than four percent of benefits are issued in error” the Fox report is a deceptive, sleazy effort to support legislation that would reduce SNAP’s budget.

        • Craig Berlin

          I see the middle ground is as unfamiliar territory to you as it is to Fox. Which truly needy people did it attack? One might infer there is a higher percentage of bums than there are but no one, including Jeff Sessions, said those who need help shouldn’t receive it.

          I know of people who don’t receive benefits “in error;” they simply work the system. Reducing SNAP’s budget might very well be a mistake only because money should be spent on weeding out the abuse. Better yet, bring back the WPA.

          • Mike Balleaux

            You know people that “work the system” huh… lol.. your whole argument weighs on the fact that you may or may not consort with criminals.. Either you’re a fucktard who argues for the sake of arguing or you’re a spineless shit stain that won’t report the people he knows that are working the system. Which is it?

          • mrtapeguy

            What I am, Mike isn’t a brainless coward who engages in mindless drivel and calls other people names online without provocation. I don’t “consort” with anyone, Einstein. When I know of someone who is working the system, I report them. So the fucktard would be you, for making absurd assumptions based on ideology and partisan talking points rather than fact. My “whole argument” is nothing of the kind.

            Aside from that, it takes a “man” of great integrity to hide behind his computer and call someone else names. What a shame your momma didn’t raise you properly.

          • Mike Balleaux

            I was not even addressing your comment, how much of a paranoid delusional douchebag are you exactly? You see that arrow, next to my name, that points to Craig Berlin.. maybe learn how to examine and research something before making asinine comments… No one is hiding, this is my REAL name “mrtapeguy” and I stand up for the poor of this country along with our constitutional rights. Have you ever marched on Capitol Hill for anything in your life.. doubtful. Does the phrase “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” mean anything to you?? Of course not, you’re just a bumbling fucktard that regergitates everything he hears on FoX news or the like. Where are these stats of people “abusing” the food stamp system.. please show me these numbers that support your delusions. You hear one story about something and all of a sudden everyone is doing it?? lol.. Their are criminal elements in every aspect of life.. is this something you are just now learning?? Now looking at YOUR comment, if you consider assisting the indigent as “wasteful spending” then you are an even bigger douche then I could have ever imagined. Go read a book or something…

          • mrtapeguy

            Mike, what a sad little person you are. I AM Craig Berlin. Your comment was directed DIRECTLY toward me – and my name isn’t hard to figure out so what exactly is your complaint?

            You are a clueless bomb-thrower who knows nothing about me. I don’t watch Fox News nor what is likely YOUR favorite channel, MSNBC. I have written hundreds of published articles which are more even-handed than you could ever dream of and I have made multiple visits to legislators in the hopes of changing their useless policies.

            If you had any grasp of reading comprehension, you could easily see that I wholeheartedly endorse a safety net for those truly in need. What loudmouth leftist loons like you don’t realize is that if we continue spending the way we do, whether on the military or entitlements for those who don’t need them, THERE WON’T BE ANY LEFT FOR THOSE WHO REALLY NEED HELP.

            I’ll be happy to read a book – you might want to read some documented facts about the good AND bad of our entitlement systems and stop attacking anyone who threatens your myopic view of the world.

          • Mike Balleaux

            Oh.. so you are one of those guys that hides behind many names on many forums… What kind of lifeless loser are you exactly.. Moving on, and I quote.. “but if we don’t stop the abuse and wasteful spending here (we won’t be able to continue to afford to help people such as yourself)” So are you for it? Or does your claim to be against the so-called “abuse” involved with it and somehow criminalizes the poor.. hmm. Where are these stats by the way? Moving on. and I quote.. “it is an attack on people who don’t need them or use them in lieu of working.” Who is using these programs that doesn’t need it? Where are you getting your data from? Your claims are not based on facts.. they are based on YOUR falsified opinions.. Moving on.. and I quote “Reducing SNAP’s budget might very well be a mistake ONLY because money should be spent on weeding out the abuse”.. The spouting folly towards poor people in this country continues. This is not a “wholehearted endorsement” of the SNAP program, this is an underhanded attack on it and the people who live by it..

            So who is the, what did you call it, “bomb thrower”? lol.. I don’t watch mainstream media and I am not a “leftist”. I get my facts based on my own research, isn’t the information age great? No one threatens my “myopic” view of the world, I actually see everything quite clearly and I take everything in to account INCLUDING the facts when stating my opinions. It is people like you that lack the actual research and facts behind falsified opinions, that spread their nonsense that they inherited from mass media outlets like FoX as if it’s “truth.” that I find irritating.. I do not suffer fools well or those that would use sympathy as a mask when diminishing the positive effects that programs like SNAP has on our impoverished communities, CURRENT military employ and war vets . Your axe is apparent.. your backbone is not. Coward. YOU need to do some research on the.. what did you call it.. “entitlement systems” of this country and the people who collect it. Fucktard.

          • mrtapeguy

            Let me get this straight.

            YOU come onto a forum and interrupt civil discussion by calling people “fucktards” and “losers” and “shit stains” without ANY provocation and your big complaint is that I have more than one screen name? And *I* am the “lifeless loser??” LOLOL Yo momma must be SO proud of you.

            You don’t have a SINGLE fact to support a thing you’ve said so instead you resort to name-calling right from the start.

            Then you literally make shit up – like claiming I want to criminalize the poor. Does it make you feel better to portray someone whom you can’t keep up with intellectually as a “Fox News.”

            You are a leftist and a statist who clearly believes that no govt program (except the military, I’m sure) can ever be scrutinized because any appropriate controls that would be standard in a private company are an “attack on the poor.” No Mikey, they aren’t. SNAP is meant for people who needed it, not for say, people who trade food stamps for drugs and yes, I actually know someone who does. Do you have any idea how much fraud and abuse there is in govt accounting, most notably the military, Medicare and Medicaid and other programs? I’d guess not, because the govt can’t do anything wrong (other than the military) and if it’s a program for poor people it much be run PERFECTLY, right? #FAIL

            I’ve likely written more articles 100% backed up by facts and done more research than you’ll likely do your entire life. The SNAP program and other entitlements don’t need to be eliminated and they don’t need to be indiscriminately cut by GOP Congressmen who preserve farm subsidies for themselves. That doesn’t mean there isn’t massive fraud and abuse. There is a solution and it isn’t ignoring the problem. Read it and weep:

            http://www.examiner.com/article/promote-the-general-welfare-bring-back-the-wpa

            As far as your whiny bitch coward insults, you’ve got no place talking about MY backbone when you’re hiding behind your computer thousands of miles away and start a conversation by calling names without any provocation whatsoever. Come say it to my face and see where it gets you…what a sniveling hypocritical immature excuse for “man” pretending to be a principled concerned citizen. You make me laugh and yet, you make me sad. I’d call you a hyperpartisan hack but you don’t even qualify for that. You’d have to have made some arguments of substance and “fucktard” doesn’t qualify. You’re just a small, pathetic excuse for a man who didn’t learn any manners growing up. What a waste.

          • Mike Balleaux

            “You don’t have a SINGLE fact to support a thing you’ve said” What have I posted that needed fact support?

            So me QUOTING you saying that poor people abuse the SNAP program OVER and OVER again is me “making shit up”? If you don’t see the correlation between saying they abuse the system and calling them criminals then your a bigger idiot than I ever imagined.

            I am not a leftist or “statist”.. I have many issues with our government and its programs. What.. because I scrutinize your opinions on the SNAP program I must be a libertard or statist? Talk about “myopic”

            Thank you for posting something that YOU have written.

            First. Your blog in on one of the most biased websites when it comes political views in the nation. (Ever wonder why you have ZERO comments on your “NONPARTISAN” post?)

            Second. You use “stats” from another idiots blog on an even MORE biased website (The Weekly Standard for Right Wing Fucktards) and furthermore the stats are non-factual sensationalized bullshit lol…Trafficking was basically at ALL TIME LOWS when the fucktard blogged this “disaster facing the nation” and you decided to blog about it in a NEGATIVE light off of one simple number.. 30%. Laughable.. sheep.

            Third. I love how you basically blame everyone BUT Dubya for our current economic situation. (cognitive dissonance much?)

            Fourth. Your blog is just another extension of your opinion based non-factual crap that dulls on about some ancient program that has no actual REAL WORLD application to the current times. Where are the jobs coming from to satisfy these requirements? Out of thin air?? Do you realize the economic expansions that were taking place in the 1940′s and 1990′s?? Apparently not..

            I was however going to commend you for writing your thoughts and opinions freely with possibilities of backlash until I read your last paragraph in this reply… It is QUITE apparent that you use the “internet bully” angles in both manners when confronted with someone who is stomping your beliefs and uninformed opinions. You will never be as politically free, intelligent or as manly as me… deal with it. You know what I find sad AND funny.. is how you boasted about your blog.. as if any idiot can’t write one.. in a “chest pounding” fashion none the less, “read it and weep” you exclaimed.. I did weep.. people tend to shed tears when laughing for prolonged periods. The only waste of time has been the time I have spent reading that uniformed opinionated shit you call a blog and the time I have spent replying to this nonsense.

          • mrtapeguy

            Apparently your “unconditional love” and “unarmed truth” is horse manure too. I guess when you start off calling people names like “fucktard” your lack of character is pretty much clear from that point on.

            You really aren’t very bright.

            I don’t write a blog. i write for Examiner.com, a news site. Opinions are allowed but they must be factually supported.

            You conveniently point out when I used a right-wing source but ignore when I quote the Huffington Post (LOL) or criticize Fox News for not revealing the positive impact of the SNAP program. Sounds like a liberal loon and statist to me. Stop pretending you’re in the middle Mike. You’re not – you’re just a loudmouth and a liar.

            All journalists are biased. I am nonpartisan. Look it up – you clearly don’t know what it means. I’ve got lots of comments where I promote my articles and I’ve gotten kudos from No Labels so nobody agrees with you. I have many friends with views different than mine, both on the left and the right and the one thing they all agree on is that I’m even handed. So who gives a rat’s ass what some immature loudmouth little bitch thinks? Not me.

            I never called you a “libertard [sic]” so yes, stop making shit up.

            Why would I bring up “Dubya” – another name NOT used by centrists or people “in the middle,” you lying liar LOL. Keep digging Mikey.

            The WPA has plenty of application in modern times. People receiving extended benefits who are able bodied CAN work. My most liberal and conservative friends largely love this idea. Who hates it? Mikey Ballseaux. Oh damn, I’d better rethink it.

            You must be REALLY upset you got caught with your pants down, spewing hyper-partisan talking points to someone who has a real understanding of the issues and facts to back them up. SOOOO the only thing you can do is engage in ad hominems and name-calling and whine about the one right-wing source I used specifically to HIGHLIGHT what the RIGHT WING was saying. LOLOL.

            I’m tired of schooling your ass. You are more interested in being an asshole than having a conversation discussing the issues. If you had any grasp of actual facts or the policies you pathetically attempt to discuss, you might get somewhere. As it is, you’re left with calling people “fucktards” as if that shows anything other than what an ignorant classless lowlife you are. I couldn’t care less what someone like YOU thinks of me or my writing – my concern is reserved for people who have a grasp of the issues and an ounce of integrity and you are a monumental #FAIL on both counts.

          • Mike Balleaux

            Lets break down this reply.. shall we?

            First.. you are not paid by The Examiner to be a writer, you are a blogger that MAY or MAY NOT be paid (minimally) by advertisements. They do not pay you because your journalistic views are accurate, truthful or unbiased.. they pay you because inaccurate biased based bloggers pay the light bills… which judging by the material you write, I assume your blog couldn’t pay yours…
            Second.. I pointed out the right wing nut job blogger you referenced because that is where you got your stats for your “opinion” about the “abuse” of our “entitlement programs”. I skipped past your Huffmoregas reference because disability rates are going up. Do you want praise for finally having a stat correct?
            Third…Apparently when someone uses “quotation marks”.. you lack the comprehension to see the “implied sarcasm”. Your “column” is about as “nonpartisan” as Clint Eastwood or Nancy Pelosi. Catching on?
            Fourth.. No aspect of the WPA has anything to offer to current times no matter how many paragraphs you write in a blog. And who is agreeing with you? Not people on your own blog site that’s for sure.. not one comment lol.. Also, there you go again.. referring to “people you know” and trying to make a point out of it.. Is this what you call “journalism”? “my friends agree with me bro and they’re liberal AND conservative, so it MUST be right.”,,, It is fucking beyond laughable and down right pathetic.
            Fifth.. The next 2 paragraphs speak for themselves. You have no intelligence or integrity left to stand on so now you are hashtagging and simply repeating things you’ve already said over and over again, blah blah blah bully blah blah blah lowlife blah blah you’re not smart.

            What grasp do you have of the issues.. You say that “abuse is a major issue in regards to SNAP” and you quote a blogger that posts “abuse” stats that are basically at all time lows. You then babble on about an idea that “fixes the problem of abuse” that doesn’t even exist. Of course the able bodied individuals can work (how long did it take you to come to that conclusion) But WHERE ARE THE JOBS that these able bodied individuals can work at to meet YOUR opinion of requirements to collect from SNAP? You’re not offering solutions.. WPA is not a fucking solution here or is its idea. Have you even met the Unions and the Politicians of this country? Have you even met the corporate and industrial lobbyist that run congress? Apparently not.. Your grasp of what you call “issues” in this country is about as firm as a 90 year old buttocks.. maybe you should find one and discuss the “good ole days of the WPA.”

          • mrtapeguy

            I’m just wondering on what planet ANY classless boor who begins a discussion by calling someone a “Fucktard” and “shit stain” is entitled to any credibility? Perhaps the sewer you were raised in? Sorry, no dice.

            You don’t know anything about journalism, that is clear. But regardless, your entire diatribe is nothing but a giant ad hominem. Since you’re clearly too wrapped up in your own egotistical rhetoric to understand what that means, let me explain it to you: it means all you do is attack the source without providing any substantive argument or facts to address the actual issues. It DOES NOT MATTER where I write, how they pay me, WHY they pay me or what you think of me (as if anyone cares) – what matters is the facts and you ignore them in favor of your ad hominems.

            Example: Rush Limbaugh says “the sky is blue.”

            Mikey replies: “Rush Limbaugh is a fucktard and a shit stain.”

            That may be true but the sky is still blue. Understand? And until you prove the sky is NOT blue, all the name-calling in the world doesn’t make you any less of a moron; in fact, it’s pretty clear the more I illustrate what an immature idiot you are, the more you double down.

            There’s an old saying Mikey: it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Your problem is, you’ve got diarrhea of the mouth and you can’t shut up!

            You have not refuted a single thing I’ve said and EVERYTHING I’ve said is backed up by actual data, whether from Fox News, Huffington Post or any other source – OTHERWISE I wouldn’t use them. You can attack the messenger all you want but that doesn’t make the message untrue.

            So you keep listing more and more reasons why I’m wrong and you don’t even understand what the WPA was. The WPA was a massive work program for the unemployed. Again, Clinton tried the welfare-to-work program but Obama relaxed the requirements. Most Americans would be happy to see people receiving benefits to contribute something rather than sitting around. Apparently that doesn’t include you because you think you know SO much about government. It is exactly what is needed to get around the corrupt unions and industrial lobbyists and encourages people to get back to work in the private sector WITHOUT cutting benefits to the truly needy.

            There ARE issues to be faced, such as administration – but you don’t bother to have an intelligent discussion because you’re too busy calling me names like a middle school bully. Well I’m sorry someone beat you up and took your lunch money Mikey but it isn’t my fault and it’s time for you to grow a pair and start behaving like an adult; otherwise you don’t get to play with the big boys.

          • Mike Balleaux

            Lets address these “facts” and “stats” of your BLOG in regards to the WPA…

            “In addition, spending on social programs is far and away the largest part of our budget, consuming almost 3 times as many federal dollars as even the military budget.”
            -FALSE.. this is out right stupidity at its finest… We do not even spend HALF of what we spend on Military in regards to Government Welfare and over the next 4 years we will continue to pull money from Government Welfare programs. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/budget_pie_gs.php

            “In 2001-2002, recipients of food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were at lows not seen since the late 70’s but during the Bush administration”
            -FALSE AGAIN.. They were at these lows UNDER Clinton.. Bush had NOTHING to do with these lows as you are trying to claim here. lol.. In FACT, from 2001-2008 UNDER BUSH the amount of people on SNAP programs had nearly TRIPLED from 16 Million to 45 Million.. (http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/BuildingHealthyAmerica.pdf page 4) Not to mention Education and Technology advancement fell to all time lows in regards to national and global standings. Combined that with Bush’s administration saying and demonstrating “Outsourcing jobs to other countries is considered a good thing” (2.2 million jobs lost in his first 3 years) and WA-LA… here we are.

            That is ALL you offered in regards to “stats” and “facts”.. The rest is basically YOUR OPINIONS and quotes of other people that say unemployment and disability is rising. “Journalism.”

            “all you do is attack the source without providing any substantive argument or facts to address the actual issues”
            -So you’re saying I should waste MY time gathering facts and stats to shoot down YOUR “idea” of a new WPA simply because you SAY it is a great idea with NO data, NO stats and NO facts that support YOUR baseless claims? Oh.. because YOUR “liberal and conservative friends” said so huh… lol. I waste enough time responding to this drivel you call “big boy” replies.. but I digress…

            I am going to just go with what I know off the top of my head….

            First. SNAP ALREADY has an Able-bodied clause. (Fucking retard)
            Second. Unemployment is at a 5 year low.
            Third. Without the productivity growth of the 1930′s and 1940′s and without a nation of uneducated yet DRIVEN young men looking to do anything for work and/or money the WPA would have been an absolute failure. During its existence, the WPA constructed something like 500,000 miles of roads and built and/or repaired more than 100,000 bridges, 125,000 public buildings, 8,000 parks, and 850 airport runways. How are we going to produce this much work again without taking from those that ALREADY do it?… where are the resources coming from?.. where is the money coming from?.. Thin fucking air? Have we made our way through OZ to have our wishes granted by the great and powerful Wizard? Have you met the youth of today?
            Fourth. Were there some good things about the WPA.. yeah.. and they are STILL in existence to this day.
            Fifth. It is not so much your IDEA that bothers me (even though you present NO facts as to why it would work)… it is your OPINION on WHY we need the program that does… As much as you would love to believe that everyone in this country is “abusing the system” and are “lazy sitting at home not looking for work bums” this is simply not true you ignorant wretch.. the stats speak for themselves.. Abuse in regards to SNAP and other government assistance is near all time lows (Based on stats YOU presented) AND unemployment being at 5 year lows (google if you like), shows that people are looking for work and are working when they can find it, the problem IS finding it.. not laziness. WPA will not “fix” this.. You can’t just start building shit everywhere without rhyme or reason or money or resources.. are you new here? Do you know how economics works? And again.. have you MET our crooked politicians, lobbyist and union leaders that would outright abuse a system like this…. Apparently NOT. Your “grasp” on the issues and how to make them worse is quite astute…

            “It DOES NOT MATTER where I write, how they pay me, WHY they pay me or what you think of me (as if anyone cares) – what matters is the facts and you ignore them”
            -You’re absolutely right.. it does NOT matter where you write.. in fact.. why did you bring it up? What facts did you present exactly for me to refute.. your “30%” claims were addressed and refuted and other than that it is basically a bunch of “quotes” and “statements” of programs that took place in the 1940′s and 1990′s that have no relevance as to what is happening today. You presented NO real world applications, stats or data for me to respond to and/or refute…

            “You have not refuted a single thing I’ve said and EVERYTHING I’ve said is backed up by actual data”
            -AGAIN. I destroyed your “SNAP abuse” theory/stats and you have presented NO stats or FACTS otherwise. And could you be more repetitive?… Every post has been the same words just different arrangements..

            You offer ZERO facts and ZERO data to support YOUR theories yet you instantly criminalize and demoralize the poor and out of work and demand of other people during debate to show YOU why it’s different after YOU make the false accusations. You’re a grown ass man without a life or a clue that uses hash tags and worships a thesaurus only to use the words inappropriately… You’re not a writer.. You’re not a “nonpartisan” blogger, your ax is apparent and the grind is real. You’re fucking pathetic. You’re a forum hound that has nothing better to do in life then to blog, pet your cat and/or dog and pray that people to reply to your posts… I will be removing myself from the latter never to return… Babble on idiot.

          • mrtapeguy

            Wow Mike, glad you can take time away from your Casio Keyboard making
            mindless noise you call music to try and argue.
            Once again, why does someone who BEGINS a conversation by calling
            someone else a “FUCKTARD” and “SHIT STAIN” deserve ANY credibility or the time
            of day. AND you CONTINUE IT HERE! LOL

            I wish I had your mother’s phone number so I could call her and ask her to wash
            your mouth out with soap. You’re a
            classless, tasteless BOOR with no manners and no social skills. You also have no talent for music or audio
            production, btw.

            You say:

            “In
            addition, spending on social programs is far and away the largest part of our
            budget, consuming almost 3 times as many federal dollars as even the military
            budget.

            -FALSE.. this is out right stupidity at its finest… ”

            Here goes the reading comprehension again.
            I’m not sure what the source of info for your link since THEIR link says
            “source not found.” Not surprising since
            it’s WRONG.

            First of all, I am a major proponent of cutting the military budget. You are probably not even aware that even
            WITHIN the budget, the Pentagon is missing $8.5 trillion in funds that are
            unaccounted for. Maybe you should learn
            about that instead of posting sources with links that go nowhere.

            That doesn’t change the fact that based on numbers from the CBO, not some
            unsourced BLOG you’re used, the defense department consumed 18% of our budget
            in 2012 while Medicare and Medicaid alone are 25%. That doesn’t include Social Security and
            others. And before you claim that SS is
            something we paid for, let me educate you that Social Security doesn’t reside
            in the trust fund, which is insolvent.
            The funds are spent and we are left with Treasurey notes for future
            generations. So we weren’t talking about
            one program or another – we were talking about all entitlements. Then again, you apparently don’t understand
            English unless it’s a four-letter word.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Federal_Spending_-_FY_2011.png

            You say:

            “In 2001-2002, recipients of food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition
            Assistance Program (SNAP) were at lows not seen since the late 70’s but during
            the Bush administration

            -FALSE AGAIN.. They were at these lows UNDER Clinton.. Bush had NOTHING to do
            with these lows ”

            Here again, you can’t read and can’t comprehend what I said. Talk about STUPIDITY. Let’s look at the ENTIRE QUOTE:

            I said:

            “In
            2001-2002, recipients of food stamps from the Supplemental
            Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were
            at lows not seen since the late 70’s but during the Bush
            administration, participation increased steadily from 18 million to around 28
            million.”

            So actually I said NOT that Bush was responsible for the lows but that the
            program INCREASED under Bush, not what you claim I said. DERP

            Want to see a moron? Look in the mirror. You can’t even see when I’m supporting what
            you apparently already think. DERP

            “First. SNAP ALREADY has an Able-bodied clause. (Fucking retard)”

            Here we go again with the name-calling.
            Your parents must be SO proud.

            You list reasons why the WPA can’t work – and all the good things it did. Then you make up a bunch of reasons why a
            smaller version CAN’T work, even though Clinton had a welfare-to-work program.

            You say:

            “where is the money coming from?.. Thin fucking air? Have we made our way
            through OZ to have our wishes granted by the great and powerful Wizard? “

            GEE MIKE – do ya think entitlements
            don’t cost anything? They aren’t part of
            the budget? DERP

            I never said we had to do it on the same scale.
            CLEARLY, the amount of available labor will be based on the number of
            unemployed. DERP

            You say:

            “ It is not so much your IDEA that bothers me (even though you present NO facts
            as to why it would work)… it is your OPINION on WHY we need the program that
            does…”

            Yes, because as some kind of zealot you ASSUME that I am trying to demonize the
            poor. There is not ONE THING I have said
            that ostracizes anyone truly in need. In
            fact, what have you done for the poor Mike?
            Have you volunteered at a soup kitchen?
            Have you ever provided a homeless person with work and a place to leave
            for nearly 20 years? Because I
            HAVE. So I put my money where my mouth
            is. YOU?
            I doubt it. But prove me wrong. Or just call me a fucktard – that’s what you
            do best.

            I suspect we could agree on more things than we disagree because I
            wholeheartedly agree that ANY program is ripe for abuse from crooked “our
            crooked politicians, lobbyist and union leaders.” The problem is, you’re so convinced that I
            hate the poor that all you can do is call me names and you are apparently too
            busy playing with your Casio and calling me “fucktard” and “shit stain” to have
            a civil discussion of how this idea might work or might not. That’s how ADULTS behave but apparently you’d
            rather behave like a schoolyard bully

            You offer
            ZERO facts and ZERO data to support YOUR theories yet you instantly criminalize
            and demoralize the poor and out of work and demand of other people during
            debate to show YOU why it’s different after YOU make the false accusations.

            This is completely false. I have criminalized no one and criticized no one other than those who may wor the system, nor suggested any such criminalization. Why must you lie Mike? Nor have I made any attempt to demoralize anyone; in face, anypsychological study will show you that there is more pride in work than not doing any. Not that you care for facts – hell, you can’t even read them and understand them when I spell them out for you.

            You then add a final paragraph about how I can’t write or use words
            appropriately. Hilarious, coming from a “man”
            who uses four-letter words to attack someone he doesn’t even know for views he
            doesn’t even hold. I’m not sure if you
            even went to college Mikey but I can assure you my writing credentials, as well
            as my grasp of grammar are well ahead of yours, not only based on an advanced
            liberal arts degree from a Tier I university but also from years of writing
            television and radio scripts as well as hundreds of articles. YOU?
            You play a toy keyboard and attempt to make music.

            I suppose somewhere in your twisted
            little pebble of a brain you might actually have some legitimate things to
            contribute to a conversation but since you’re too busy being a nasty little
            bitch, we’ll never know, will we?

            Go back to making your electronic noise Mike – it’s all your mature enough to
            do. Or you could man up and apologize
            for the way you’ve behaved in this forum.
            I don’t think you’ve got enough class or common decency to do that. But then again, I could be wrong.

          • Mike Balleaux

            Lets address these “facts” and “stats” of your BLOG in regards to the WPA…

            “In addition, spending on social programs is far and away the largest part of our budget, consuming almost 3 times as many federal dollars as even the military budget.”
            -FALSE.. this is out right stupidity at its finest… We do not even spend HALF of what we spend on Military in regards to Government Welfare and over the next 4 years we will continue to pull money from Government Welfare programs.http://www.usgovernmentspendin

            “In 2001-2002, recipients of food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were at lows not seen since the late 70’s but during the Bush administration, participation increased steadily from 18 million to around 28 million. But by far the largest increase has been under President Obama, growing from 28 million in to 47 million or nearly twice as much in half the time.”
            -FALSE AGAIN.. They were at these lows UNDER Clinton.. Bush had NOTHING to do with these lows as you are trying to claim here. lol.. In FACT, from 2002-2008 UNDER BUSH the amount of people on SNAP programs nearly DOUBLED from 17 Million to 31.7 Million..an 85% in crease in 7 years.. What was it you said.. “twice as much in half the time…”? You ready for some math? The 33 Million to 47 Million increase from 2009-2013 is a 30% increase over 5 years… Under BUSH from 2002-2006 it went from 17.3 Million to 25.5 Million.. a 33% increase over THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME… Anything else wonder boy? All stats can be found here. (http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/… page 4) and
            (http://frac.org/reports-and-re… and (http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/sna… Not to mention the spike from 2008-2010 can almost entirely be attributed to BUSH POLICY. Not to mention his administrations approach towards Education and Technology advancement, both falling to all time lows in regards to national and global standings from 2001-2008. Combined that with Bush’s administration saying and demonstrating “Outsourcing jobs to other countries is considered a good thing” (2.2 million jobs lost in his first 3 years and who knows the ACTUAL repercussions to this day) and WA-LA… here we are.

            That is ALL you offered in regards to “stats” and “facts”.. The rest is basically YOUR OPINIONS and quotes of other people that say unemployment and disability is rising. “Journalism.”

            “all you do is attack the source without providing any substantive argument or facts to address the actual issues”
            -So you’re saying I should waste MY time gathering facts and stats to shoot down YOUR “idea” of a new WPA simply because you SAY it is a great idea with NO data, NO stats and NO facts that support YOUR baseless claims? Oh.. because YOUR “liberal and conservative friends” said so huh… lol. I waste enough time responding to this drivel you call “big boy” replies.. but I digress…

            I am going to just go with what I know off the top of my head….

            First. SNAP ALREADY has an Able-bodied clause. (Fucking retard)
            Second. Unemployment is at a 5 year low.
            Third. Without the productivity growth of the 1930′s and 1940′s and without a nation of uneducated yet DRIVEN young men looking to do anything for work and/or money the WPA would have been an absolute failure. During its existence, the WPA constructed something like 500,000 miles of roads and built and/or repaired more than 100,000 bridges, 125,000 public buildings, 8,000 parks, and 850 airport runways. How are we going to produce this much work again without taking from those that ALREADY do it?… where are the resources coming from?.. where is the money coming from?.. Thin fucking air? Have we made our way through OZ to have our wishes granted by the great and powerful Wizard? Have you met the youth of today?
            Fourth. Were there some good things about the WPA.. yeah.. and they are STILL in existence to this day.
            Fifth. It is not so much your IDEA that bothers me (even though you present NO facts as to why it would work)… it is your OPINION on WHY we need the program that does… As much as you would love to believe that everyone in this country is “abusing the system” and are “lazy sitting at home not looking for work bums” this is simply not true you ignorant wretch.. the stats speak for themselves.. Abuse in regards to SNAP and other government assistance is near all time lows (Based on stats YOU presented) AND unemployment being at 5 year lows (google if you like), shows that people are looking for work and are working when they can find it, the problem IS finding it.. not laziness. WPA will not “fix” this.. You can’t just start building shit everywhere without rhyme or reason or money or resources.. are you new here? Do you know how economics works? And again.. have you MET our crooked politicians, lobbyist and union leaders that would outright abuse a system like this…. Apparently NOT. Your “grasp” on the issues and how to make them worse is quite astute…

            “It DOES NOT MATTER where I write, how they pay me, WHY they pay me or what you think of me (as if anyone cares) – what matters is the facts and you ignore them”
            -You’re absolutely right.. it does NOT matter where you write.. in fact.. why did you bring it up? What facts did you present exactly for me to refute.. your “30%” claims were addressed and refuted and other than that it is basically a bunch of “quotes” and “statements” of programs that took place in the 1940′s and 1990′s that have no relevance as to what is happening today. You presented NO real world applications, stats or data for me to respond to and/or refute…

            “You have not refuted a single thing I’ve said and EVERYTHING I’ve said is backed up by actual data”
            -AGAIN. I destroyed your “SNAP abuse” theory/stats and you have presented NO stats or FACTS otherwise. And could you be more repetitive?… Every post has been the same words just different arrangements..

            You offer ZERO facts and ZERO data to support YOUR theories yet you instantly criminalize and demoralize the poor and out of work and demand of other people during debate to show YOU why it’s different after YOU make the false accusations. You’re a grown ass man without a life or a clue that uses hash tags and worships a thesaurus only to use the words inappropriately… You’re not a writer.. You’re not a “nonpartisan” blogger, your ax is apparent and the grind is real. You’re fucking pathetic. You’re a forum hound that has nothing better to do in life then to blog, pet your cat and/or dog and pray that people to reply to your posts… I will be removing myself from the latter never to return… Babble on idiot.

          • mrtapeguy

            Hey, by the way Below…them’s some rockin’ tunes you’re sportin’ there. Did somebody give you a toy synthesizer for Christmas? LOL! You attack my writing cred and yet somehow believe you’re some sort of music producer? OMG, best laugh I’ve had this week. Don’t quit your day job as an unpaid potty-mouth troll…although admittedly, if I had to listen to a single tune you’ve “produced” I’d pay you to turn it off! ROFLMAO

      • islandtelecom96

        “corporate welfare” costs American
        taxpayers more than ALL “social welfare” programs combined.

        http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-corporatewelfare.htm

        • Craig Berlin

          While I am no supporter of corporate welfare, the reality is that anything a corporation pays – or doesn’t pay – is passed on to the consumer. Corporations don’t really pay taxes; their customers do. I firmly believe we should end corporate welfare but make no mistake: prices will rise.

          • NOLA_Darling

            Sorry, but the tax credit benefits corporations receive trickle up to their shareholders, not down to their customers.

          • mrtapeguy

            You’re confused – perhaps a little study into how business works would help.

            In any business, there are various costs associated with running it. Rent, labor, cost of goods sold would usually be the biggest. Taxes are also an expense. These costs of doing business are all factored in to how goods and services are priced.

            Many on the left seem to believe that corporations should simply pay more taxes as they can exist on less profit. Same idea for subsidies, etc. Possible? Maybe, for some business models. For most others, probably not and if any expenses go up significantly then prices have to be adjusted accordingly. It would be the SAME if rent or anything else went up.

            Pricing is based on what is needed to maintain a certain level of net profit once expenses are deducted from gross profit. This is business 101. So unless a tax credit comes along unexpectedly like a big surprise bonus, it’s not “trickling up to the shareholders,” sorry.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jess-McClure/1667752176 Jess McClure

      we are in the same boat my wife is disabled and i am her caregiver , if we did not get our SNAP we would starve to death. we feel for you and others as a few bad people are ruining this program. Bless your family sir ““““““““““““““““““`

  • SoberMoney

    To show us how stupid the Republican Party Fox News channel is, consider this: The national food stamp program is nothing more than a massive corporate welfare program – directly enhancing the profits of the ALEC members.

    Think about it. All those tax dollars funding food stamps ultimately going right up to the end suppliers – the national supermarket chains like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, etc.

    So who ultimately would a massive cut back in the food stamp program severely hurt? Yes, all of the Wall Street companies that are part of the GMO / agribusiness industrial complex like Monsanto, Con-Agri, Tyson, etc. – and the big box supermarket chains named above.

    Any big budget cuts to the national food stamp program would financially damage 25% of the US economy. Is the Republican corporate welfare party going to let that happen? Do you think all that Wall Street lobby money is not going to be put to work to make sure the food stamp corporate welfare program money continues?

    • Rita M Nicholson

      One has to wonder, but the goal of Alec and the rest the corporations that go along with their line of thinking is to make America a third world country where there are no programs and where only the rich are “served.” These people have no conscience. They could care less about America. They have moved on. They have their eyes set on building up other third world countries because they can be free to do whatever it is that they want, i.e. pay low slave wages, pollute to their hearts content and have no ramifications.

      • SoberMoney

        I totally agree, Rita. My view is that the general food stamp program is the elite giving what’s left of the bone while they eat and control the entire economic steak. It’s a pacification program, pure and simple.

        And if the elite can pilfer what’s left of the middle class tax coffers by keeping that corporate welfare flowing to their Wall Street firms, so much the better. It is very cleverly disguised.

        Ironically, if the Tea Party madmen like Cruz and Paul succeed at trashing the food stamp program, it is only a matter of time before even the burgeoning poor right wingers are going to get very pissed off.

        Right wing rhetoric like “free markets” and “freedom” is slowly showing the ugly lie that it is.

    • trothaar

      That’s true. Food stamps are really welfare for farmers, grocery stores and (now) fast-food joints that serve poison.

      That’s probably the REAL issue the statists have with SNAP recipients growing their own fruits and vegetables: someone who grows their own food will eventually become self-sufficient to the point where they don’t even need to shop at a grocery store very much anymore, let alone have to collect any type of aid, public or private.

      • SoberMoney

        The best thing US citizens can do is grow their own food, consume less, buy smaller homes, and for those getting food stamps, stop using them at the corporate welfare Wall Street markets – as well as the fast food obesity dumps.

    • Carol Richter Rocha

      Too true.

  • trothaar

    —–The special also pointed to a social worker acting on behalf of the USDA who’s allegedly tearing down “mountain pride” in Appalachia—the mindset that families should tighten their belt straps (literally) before relying on government help—by getting residents in Ashe County, North Carolina to use SNAP funds on seeds for their gardens, a sort of gateway drug to wider food stamp usage.——-

    But wouldn’t using SNAP to purchase seeds, which are then used to grow healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables, be a GOOD thing? Isn’t that better than using SNAP to buy Cheetos, soda and poison from McDonald’s? Showing someone how to grow a garden is teaching that person to be self-sufficient. Someone who learns how to grow their own food eventually won’t need assistance from anyone.

    • SoberMoney

      I can’t think of any reason why food stamp users buying seeds to grow their own food is a bad idea.

      That old fishing allegory is totally applicable to food stamps.

    • Stenotrophomonas

      So, yes, make seeds eligible. But what if it doesn’t rain? And if one lives in an apartment (not every food stamp recipient has a big back yard -have you noticed how small a typical McMansion lot is?). And most home grown veggies are highly seasonal. And how about fertilizer, water, fencing, etc.? I’ve grown vegetables for 25+ years, but not because it’s cheaper.

      • SoberMoney

        I assume trothaar is talking about communities in poor areas pooling their resources to create shared gardens to support each other.

        But you make a good point that not everyone should use limited support for seeds. The food stamp programs need to allow their use at farmer’s markets – instead of the fast food GMO joints.

  • mrtapeguy

    The network doesn’t “infer;” if anything it “implies.” YOU infer. #journalism

  • gb93433

    My parents owned a dairy farm. They had come from one of the poorest parts of America in SD next to an Indian reservation. That area is still poor today. Their families moved in search of a better life and found it through hard work and sacrifice. Their families started by doing menial labor in the fields and eventually saved enough to buy a home and then a farm. When I was a kid I worked in the fields hoeing cotton and in the fields too. Later my parents rented a dairy farm and then purchased one. I grew up knowing sacrifice and hard work. Today most anyone I meet seems lazy because I know where I came from. Today all of my siblings and myself are in business and all of us are some of the most highly skilled in their work. Two of us have been published for the work we do. When one has to work hard it give a confidence others do not have who have not worked and have learned sacrifice. Many employers today are having a hard time finding workers who will do the first thing required–show up.

  • Rob Hys

    The whole self reliance concept is a fraud. I suppose 150 years ago one could claim to be self reliant.Today I don’t see how a majority of American could claim self reliant. We rely on the government to keep roads open, crime down, etc… We rely on corporations for jobs and pay. It’s not the wild west anymore. For better or worst we are rely on others every day. The problem as I see it is we don’t have much of a chance to be our own boss. The day of the mom and pop store/shop has been replaced my the multinational corporation, and the “gray” market whom we can not compete with. Do you think a mom and pop hardware store could compete with home-depot, or a yard service compete with illegals or the companies that higher them.Could one realistically start a grocery store. We used to protect American companies from foreign corporation that dumps cheap goods on our markets. Today we embrace this, it has forced us to rely on someone, and that someone could care less how we live. They drive wages down in order to make greater profits. Our government and Republicans in particular have been complicit in the wholesale fraud committed against the American people. This is what has forced us to live in a more socialist state. I would prefer to open my own shop but between the corporations and the illegals, there is not much left for an American.