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BALTIMORE (WMAR) - Food stamps represent one of the fastest growing federal programs in the U.S., 46 million Americans now receive assistance, but, it's a program ripe for abuse.
Although the feds bust hundreds of retailers each year for food stamp fraud, some disqualified store owners still accept food stamps.
Cases of beer, cartons of cigarettes, even cold hard cash to buy big-ticket times, is how hundreds of your tax dollars are spent each year in a slick food stamp scheme.
Since 2008, the food stamp program has doubled in size, now hosting 49 million Americans for benefits on a monthly basis. The cost associated with the program has risen dramatically, with the federal government now spending $75 billion per year on food stamps in comparison to $36 billion in 2008 based on information from a recent Department of Agriculture report focused on the issue of trafficking.
The report claims that this ‘trafficking’ occurs when SNAP recipients choose to sell their benefits for cash to various food retailers, usually at a discount. Although the report didn’t determine that the problem was growing in proportional terms, the growth of the program itself can mean that the small ratios of fraud occurring are also producing noteworthy losses for the government in terms of funding. The value of trafficked food stamp cards was estimated to be at $858 million a year in the study, which is risen from the $330 million that was listed annually during the 2006-2008 study.
The report also found that 10.5 percent of participating stores had engaged in this form of trafficking and that 85 percent of those were small outlet stores, which are much more difficult for the government to police.
Posted by kovalev6
So the fraud is retailer-based. Kinda like how businesses hire undocumented workers, but the right wingers only want to punish those without documentation. Businesses breaking the law is okay in right wing world, but people escaping starvation are criminals.
So since we now understand that businesses have to break the law for the fraud to occur, tell us how you'd rectify that, Kov? Because the republican plan to reduce fraud now is to eliminate the food stamp program altogether. And if you don't believe me, look at the Farm Bill the neopigs passed in July that left out food stamp funding totally.