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FOOD STAMP FRAUD RUNS WILDLY OUT OF CONTROL

accept_ebt
Fraud in plain view: Food stamps sold online for art, housing,…
Food stamp recipients were selling their benefits online in exchange for money, housing or…
Repeat after me: there is no such thing as big, honest government. Corruption is intrinsic to every Big Government endeavor. Sometimes it’s officials lining their own pockets, or sluicing millions of taxpayer dollars to their cronies. Sometimes it’s administrative “overhead” so bloated that it’s indistinguishable from the way a parasite feeds on its host organism. And sometimes it’s just good old-fashioned abuse by the recipients of government lollipops.

The Washington Times reports on the staggering levels of fraud in our titanic food stamp program, which has grown faster than just about any productive industry over the past six years:
Repeat after me: there is no such thing as big, honest government. Corruption is intrinsic to every Big Government endeavor. Sometimes it’s officials lining their own pockets, or sluicing millions of taxpayer dollars to their cronies. Sometimes it’s administrative “overhead” so bloated that it’s indistinguishable from the way a parasite feeds on its host organism. And sometimes it’s just good old-fashioned abuse by the recipients of government lollipops.

The Washington Times reports on the staggering levels of fraud in our titanic food stamp program, which has grown faster than just about any productive industry over the past six years:Food stamp recipients were selling their benefits online in exchange for money, housing or even art, according to a report federal investigators released Thursday that showed states manage to catch just a fraction of potential fraud in the sprawling program.

Use of the food stamps, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has skyrocketed under President Obama, reaching 47 million recipients at a cost of $76 billion last year. But states recovered just $74 million in fraudulent payments the previous year, according to the Government Accountability Office.

GAO investigators reviewed records from 11 states and found they lacked sufficient staff and tools to catch fraud in the ballooning program.

“Such rapid program growth can increase the potential for fraud unless appropriate agency controls are in place to help minimize these risks,” the investigators said in their report.

I would change that to say “such rapid program growth will inevitably increase the potential for fraud.” This report explicitly argues that the number of beneficiaries grew so rapidly that overwhelmed officials couldn’t possibly ensure the benefits were being dispensed properly. For example, Massachusetts had 37 investigators patrolling half a million residents of Food Stamp Nation.

Of course, it did not even briefly occur to anyone that the money spigot should be shut off until proper controls were in place. Who cares if the taxpaying suckers of the American middle class get ripped off? It’s not as if the billions ($3 billion per year, to be exact) lost to corruption in this program were going to compromise any other part of the Big Government agenda. The Leviathan State does not need to miss a meal because it drops too many crumbs from its flabby jaws as it feeds. Worst case scenario: print more money, run up the deficit, and then lecture the suckers about the urgent need to pay higher taxes in the name of “deficit reduction.”

It doesn’t sound like a great deal of manpower would have been needed to detect food-stamp fraud. Much of it was painfully obvious:

In one online posting from Jacksonville, Florida, someone was asking for $100 cash in exchange for $228 in food stamps. One ad from Raleigh, North Carolina, offered 10 days of cooking and cleaning services in exchange for food stamps. A Charlotte, North Carolina, poster said he would trade food stamps for beer, and a Houston ad proposed exchanging food stamps for a catalytic converter.

Then there was the Worcester, Massachusetts, advertisement proposing up to $3,000 in electronic benefit food stamp transfers in exchange for art.

[…] “Interesting proposal: I am looking for a place to sleep. [I]f you can help me out (Oh I MAY have some cash to contribute as well as food stamps ),” one post read.

The USDA’s fraud controls are ridiculously weak. The GAO found far more violations with half an hour per day of manual searches than the USDA’s automatic systems could detect. But that’s no surprise, as Cato Institute budget analyst Nicole Kaeding pointed out, because the system is essentially rigged to penalize state agencies for preventing food stamp fraud:

“Food stamp benefits are paid for by the federal government. If the state stops it before it starts, by say denying a claim, it does not receive money from the federal government, nor does it save the state any money. But states do bear a cost for investigation and administration,” Ms. Kaeding said. “If the state catches the fraud after it occurs, it keeps 35 percent of the overpayment. That incentive structure is backwards.”

State officials acknowledged that fraud-related incentive is focused on collecting overpayments, even though the GAO found that preventive measures stymie fraud more effectively by barring ineligible people from receiving benefits that may not be recovered.

Ms. Kaeding said states and the federal government continue to blame each other as the problem gets worse.

“As more levels of government are involved, each level of government can blame the other. USDA can say it is the responsibility of the states and states can say they don’t run the food stamp program. The more governments that are involved, the less they are accountable.”

There is no such thing as big, honest government. Tired of getting ripped off? Then you need to burn this system to the ground. You’ll never reform it in any meaningful sense, because strands of corruption are part of the welfare state’s DNA. So is blame-shifting

Guess What Group is Getting Food Stamps at an Alarming Rate

obama-soup-line-e1340713849725-500x350-220x120Food stamp rolls have been growing rapidly. But what many may not realize is that participation among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) has been skyrocketing compared to the total number of participants. That’s just one reason Congress should reform the food stamp program in the farm bill now under consideration. In just four years, the number of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) on the food stamp rolls skyrocketed by over 2 million. While overall food stamp use grew by 53 percent between Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal Year 2010 (from about 26 million to nearly 40 million), it more than doubled among able-bodied adults without dependents during this time–from 1.7 million to 3.9 million–an increase of roughly 127 percent. Food stamp spending today is roughly $80 billion, double what it was in Fiscal Year 2008.

Going forward, food stamp policy should ensure that resources are going to those most in need — particularly at a time when budgets are tight for so many Americans Able-bodied recipients should be encouraged to work. This way, help is available to those who truly need it, while at the same time individuals are encouraged to do what they can to help themselves.

Congress has the opportunity now to reform food stamps as policymakers debate the farm bill. The House’s current proposal makes some steps towards encouraging work, but it is yet to be seen whether the House will maintain the work component of their proposal, or if they will fold on this important matter.
While the recession no doubt plays into the increases in food stamp participation, policy loopholes have opened the doors to boost growth as well In his 2009 stimulus bill, Obama allowed states to waive the modest ABAWD work provision (which says that after 3 months ABAWDs must work or perform some type of work activity for 20 hours per week to remain on food stamps).
With the work waivers in place, ABAWDs can stay on food stamps for an unlimited amount of time without working or preparing for work. Without a work requirement it is difficult to ensure food stamps are not going to those who could otherwise work. A work requirement acts as a gatekeeper: those who really need assistance can still get it, while those who may not really need it will be deterred, thus targeting resources to the truly needy. It also encourages individuals to move towards work, and it can provide job training and other employment help.
Self-sufficiency for able-bodied adults should be the goal of any sound welfare policy. Unfortunately, most of the government’s 80-plus welfare programs–including food stamps–aren’t focused in this direction.
Helping those in need means helping them rise above government dependence. Unfortunately, self-sufficiency seems to be kicked to the bottom of the list all too often when it comes to reforming the nation’s broken welfare system. It’s time for Congress to realize that helping individuals means a hand-up, not merely a handout.

More On The Growing Food Stamp Army

by Bob Livingston snap

In the past dozen years, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — also known as food stamps — has grown from a $17 billion a year Federal expenditure to $78 billion a year.
Food stamp recruiters have sign-up quotas of 150 per month. The program’s advertising budget exceeds $41 million per year. Advertising extends across the border into Mexico explaining how illegal aliens can sign up for the system.
There are now almost 48 million people in America (including illegal aliens) receiving food stamps. Senior Cato Institute Fellow Michael Tanner writes that the increase in enrollment far exceeds what would be expected based on the depth of the recession. The increase, according to Tanner, is largely because eligibility requirements have been eased and the government has been on an aggressive campaign to grow the rolls of dependents.
Henry Kissinger, the war criminal, Bilderberg member and promoter of the new world order once said: “When government controls food, it controls the people.” That control was on full display over the weekend when a “glitch” in the SNAP electronic benefits transfer system left stores in 17 States without the ability to confirm EBT account balances. This prompted some stores to stop accepting EBT for payment — sparking near riots — or accepting EBT cards as if they contained unlimited balances — sparking near riots.
That was a trial run to learn what would happen when the SNAP system collapses, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture warned was possible in a letter it sent out Oct. 11. The Administration of President Barack Obama used the possibility of withholding funds to SNAP to create fear among the people and produce Obama’s desired outcome in the government shutdown battle with Congress — just as he used the threat of cutting off Social Security payments and payments to the military.
The psychopathic elected class and their bureaucratic enablers are doing all they can to create a majority dependent class in the United States and in order to usher in totalitarianism under the guise of benevolence.

If the Walmart ‘Situation’ Made You Mad, Wait Until You See This Woman Tell About Her EBT Card

Almost 100% of our listeners were incensed at the actions of EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card holders this weekend at Walmarts in Mansfield and Springhill. In fact, one went so far as to call it, ‘legalized looting!’

So after everything you’ve seen in the past few days, you won’t be surprised to learn there are folks ‘working’ the system, a system designed to help folks going through hard times, to their advantage…as this woman explains.

Watch: They Will Clear The Shelves Within Hours: “Like a Tornado”

ebt-frenzy2
This weekend the nation’s Electronic Benefits Transfer crashed, leaving millions of Americans around the country wondering where they would get their next meal.

One woman, interviewed just minutes after she learned the system was no longer functioning, complained that she was unable to put food on the table. “How am I going to feed my family,” she asked, noting that she has six kids to feed.

There is a long-held theory that we are just nine meals from anarchy and that within 72 hours of any significant crisis which takes down our ability to conduct commerce we’d see a total destabilization of our society and way of life.

The events of this weekend have proven this theory wrong.

Should a serious crisis strike we won’t have three days.

It’ll be more like three hours, which is about how long it took panicked food stamp recipients with non-functioning benefits cards to completely raze the shelves of their local Walmarts.

Watch the following video and you’ll get an idea of exactly what to expect if and when the worst happens.
http://youtu.be/oG-PsqWxikgWell known survival expert James Rawles has discussed this thin veneer of civilization on numerous occasions:

What is underneath is not pretty, and it does take much to peel away that veneer. You take your average urbanite or suburbanite and get him excessively cold, wet, tired, hungry and/or thirsty and take away his television, beer, drugs, and other pacifiers, and you will soon seen the savage within.

It will happen fast, as noted by Tess Pennington in Anatomy of a Breakdown:

As preppers are well aware, when the needs of the population cannot be met in an allotted time frame, a phenomena occurs and the mindset shifts in people. They begin to act without thinking and respond to changes in their environment in an emotionally-based manner, thus leading to chaos, instability and a breakdown in our social paradigm.

When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.

This weekend a single system serving nearly 50 million Americans crashed, leading to panic across the country.

Now consider what would happen if the financial system was hit with a “glitch” or a cyber attack that restricted access to the bank accounts and ATM machines of 300 million Americans.

For those who think this is not a possibility, consider the words of outgoing head of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:

Outgoing Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano issued an ‘open letter’ to her successor warning that a cyber or physical event that knocks out the power grid will occur – and it is not a question of “if” but “when.”

When that day comes the EBT crash will look like a walk in the park.

It is for this reason that we urge Americans who have not yet done so to develop a long-term preparedness plan that includes food storage for when grocery stores are emptied, water in case utility plants are taken offline, silver and gold as a mechanism of exchange when commerce systems fail, and self defense armaments and home defense strategies for when the looters come knocking.

Failure to prepare will be nothing short of horrific

THE ANIMALS ARE OUT - EBT card food stamp recipients ransack Wal-Mart stores, stealing carts full of food during federal computer glitch

by Mike Adams
(NaturalNews) When the federal EBT food stamp system suffered a critical failure on Saturday, local retailers were disconnected from the federal food stamp database that keeps track of how much credit is left on each individual EBT card. Seizing the opportunity provided by the glitch, EBT card holders in Louisiana ransacked their local Wal-Mart stores, stuffing their shopping carts full of groceries and “paying” for them with near-empty EBT cards that essentially had unlimited account balances because all accounting was offline.
EBT-cards-walmart-ransacked-300
When the EBT database came back online and card purchase limits were suddenly restored, EBT card holders abandoned their full carts and just walked away, probably miffed that they missed out on participating in the felony theft of groceries.
(NaturalNews) When the federal EBT food stamp system suffered a critical failure on Saturday, local retailers were disconnected from the federal food stamp database that keeps track of how much credit is left on each individual EBT card. Seizing the opportunity provided by the glitch, EBT card holders in Louisiana ransacked their local Wal-Mart stores, stuffing their shopping carts full of groceries and “paying” for them with near-empty EBT cards that essentially had unlimited account balances because all accounting was offline.

When the EBT database came back online and card purchase limits were suddenly restored, EBT card holders abandoned their full carts and just walked away, probably miffed that they missed out on participating in the felony theft of groceries.

This happened at Wal-Mart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA. As local news station KSLA reports:

Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.

The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.

The story goes on to report that one woman who racked up $700 worth of groceries had only 49 cents on her card. That’s $699.51 in theft.

But that’s the mindset of many (but not all) EBT card holders, you see: it’s all about how much they can get away with stealing without getting caught. As it is virtually impossible to retrieve all these stolen items from EBT cardholders, these losses are going to have to be absorbed by either Wal-Mart or the federal government. In either case, other people must burden the cost of the theft.

For the record, not everyone on EBT cards is a social parasite. Some are truly hard-working moms and dads and others who really need a short-term safety net, and I’m all for supporting those who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. If someone is working, trying to make ends meet and needs some short-term assistance, we must have the compassion to help them. But far too many people today are simply unwilling to work, and their entire economic plan is to suck off the system and collect as much as they can off everyone else while refusing to contribute to society themselves. That’s the mindset of a great many EBT card holders who engage in widespread abuse and fraud. Some even sell their EBT cards to crooked shop owners who pay them cash. That cash is often used to buy crack or other street drugs.

This is now what characterizes the EBT program in America: massive fraud and abuse.

An important lesson in the twisted morality of those who engage in “proxy theft” of food and money

In analyzing this behavior, what I’m about to share with you here is hugely important for anyone who wants to survive the coming social chaos and urban death traps that will unfold when a real crisis hits. Please help me get this story posted at SurvivalBlog.com, DailyPaul.com and other liberty / preparedness sites where it may be of use.

Here’s the life-or-death lesson in all this:

Most people who live off the government have no concept of private property. They literally do not believe that stealing large quantities of food from someone else is morally wrong. In fact, they believe that YOUR stored food actually belongs to THEM because they are “entitled” to live off you like parasites. This is the only life they know, and this is how they are born, raised and trained by the Democrats to remain wholly subservient to the government for their entire lives.

As proof of this, read some of the comments posted on this article. You will find, in astonishment, that nearly all the comments are from people who say there is nothing wrong from stealing food from Wal-Mart because it’s a “rich” corporation. Instead of condemning the people stealing shopping carts full of food from Wal-Mart, they are condemning me for daring to write about this issue. Apparently, I am bad for opposing the theft of food. In fact, according to some comments, I am engaged in a “hate crime” for even pointing out that stealing food is wrong.

These comments demonstrate exactly my point. We now live in a society that’s so pathetic and so twisted in its moral code that the ransacking of a retailer by EBT card holders is considered morally justifiable. Anyone who opposes it is accused of spewing “hate crimes.” Don’t put much weight into those attacking this story, by the way. Many of them are the very same people who will not survive the coming federal financial default. In their denial of reality, they can only resort to lashing out against those who are trying to save them by alerting them to the truth.

How will the federal government reach a state of default? The reversal of morals and ethics is precisely what drives the acceleration of the welfare state into ever larger handouts for the demanding masses until the whole system reaches a point of unsustainable default. Once individual morality is gone, the morality of the nation quickly falls. And today, we are witnessing a wholesale decline of morals in the minds of individual EBT recipients.

As this small EBT card glitch clearly demonstrates, if given half a chance, many EBT card holders will immediately engage in the mass looting of food and supplies as long as they can get away with it. This was not one or two isolated people; this involved masses of people who spontaneously transformed into a rampaging mob of looting maniacs that ransacked a private business and caused huge losses in stolen goods and displaced inventory.

To clarify, I am not saying that all EBT card holders are one trigger away from slipping into a raging mob of looters. But many of them are. Food stamps are just a “safe” way for them to mug you, indirectly, through the “proxy theft” of government. Every paycheck you earn is already being looted against your will, and a significant portion of that money is going to pay for the “benefits” of many people who flat-out refuse to work or to take any responsibility for their own lives.

(NaturalNews) When the federal EBT food stamp system suffered a critical failure on Saturday, local retailers were disconnected from the federal food stamp database that keeps track of how much credit is left on each individual EBT card. Seizing the opportunity provided by the glitch, EBT card holders in Louisiana ransacked their local Wal-Mart stores, stuffing their shopping carts full of groceries and “paying” for them with near-empty EBT cards that essentially had unlimited account balances because all accounting was offline.

When the EBT database came back online and card purchase limits were suddenly restored, EBT card holders abandoned their full carts and just walked away, probably miffed that they missed out on participating in the felony theft of groceries.

Click here to see video from CBS News.

This happened at Wal-Mart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA. As local news station KSLA reports:

Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.

The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.

The story goes on to report that one woman who racked up $700 worth of groceries had only 49 cents on her card. That’s $699.51 in theft.

But that’s the mindset of many (but not all) EBT card holders, you see: it’s all about how much they can get away with stealing without getting caught. As it is virtually impossible to retrieve all these stolen items from EBT cardholders, these losses are going to have to be absorbed by either Wal-Mart or the federal government. In either case, other people must burden the cost of the theft.

For the record, not everyone on EBT cards is a social parasite. Some are truly hard-working moms and dads and others who really need a short-term safety net, and I’m all for supporting those who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. If someone is working, trying to make ends meet and needs some short-term assistance, we must have the compassion to help them. But far too many people today are simply unwilling to work, and their entire economic plan is to suck off the system and collect as much as they can off everyone else while refusing to contribute to society themselves. That’s the mindset of a great many EBT card holders who engage in widespread abuse and fraud. Some even sell their EBT cards to crooked shop owners who pay them cash. That cash is often used to buy crack or other street drugs.

This is now what characterizes the EBT program in America: massive fraud and abuse.

An important lesson in the twisted morality of those who engage in “proxy theft” of food and money

In analyzing this behavior, what I’m about to share with you here is hugely important for anyone who wants to survive the coming social chaos and urban death traps that will unfold when a real crisis hits. Please help me get this story posted at SurvivalBlog.com, DailyPaul.com and other liberty / preparedness sites where it may be of use.

Here’s the life-or-death lesson in all this:

Most people who live off the government have no concept of private property. They literally do not believe that stealing large quantities of food from someone else is morally wrong. In fact, they believe that YOUR stored food actually belongs to THEM because they are “entitled” to live off you like parasites. This is the only life they know, and this is how they are born, raised and trained by the Democrats to remain wholly subservient to the government for their entire lives.

As proof of this, read some of the comments posted on this article. You will find, in astonishment, that nearly all the comments are from people who say there is nothing wrong from stealing food from Wal-Mart because it’s a “rich” corporation. Instead of condemning the people stealing shopping carts full of food from Wal-Mart, they are condemning me for daring to write about this issue. Apparently, I am bad for opposing the theft of food. In fact, according to some comments, I am engaged in a “hate crime” for even pointing out that stealing food is wrong.

These comments demonstrate exactly my point. We now live in a society that’s so pathetic and so twisted in its moral code that the ransacking of a retailer by EBT card holders is considered morally justifiable. Anyone who opposes it is accused of spewing “hate crimes.” Don’t put much weight into those attacking this story, by the way. Many of them are the very same people who will not survive the coming federal financial default. In their denial of reality, they can only resort to lashing out against those who are trying to save them by alerting them to the truth.

How will the federal government reach a state of default? The reversal of morals and ethics is precisely what drives the acceleration of the welfare state into ever larger handouts for the demanding masses until the whole system reaches a point of unsustainable default. Once individual morality is gone, the morality of the nation quickly falls. And today, we are witnessing a wholesale decline of morals in the minds of individual EBT recipients.

As this small EBT card glitch clearly demonstrates, if given half a chance, many EBT card holders will immediately engage in the mass looting of food and supplies as long as they can get away with it. This was not one or two isolated people; this involved masses of people who spontaneously transformed into a rampaging mob of looting maniacs that ransacked a private business and caused huge losses in stolen goods and displaced inventory.

To clarify, I am not saying that all EBT card holders are one trigger away from slipping into a raging mob of looters. But many of them are. Food stamps are just a “safe” way for them to mug you, indirectly, through the “proxy theft” of government. Every paycheck you earn is already being looted against your will, and a significant portion of that money is going to pay for the “benefits” of many people who flat-out refuse to work or to take any responsibility for their own lives.

Why does any of this matter? Because this is exactly the same way these people will behave when the federal government goes into default and nearly 50 million EBT cards stop working nationwide.

Fifty million. Consider that for a moment. Most of those 50 million people live in high-density cities. Many are proud owners of Obama phones, Obama food stamps, Obama unemployment checks and Obama subsidized housing. They have absolutely no clue that the government upon which they wholly depend to put food on the table is teetering on the verge of permanent collapse. (Seriously, they cannot conceive of the idea of government “running out of money” because they do not understand where money comes from.) Because of this distorted belief, they do not prepare for any future events other than more Obama handouts. Their entire “preparedness” plan is to vote for Democrats, because that’s who they know will give them the most handouts. And they will always win the popular vote, too, because any politician promising to restore responsible fiscal spending to the government by cutting programs will be viciously accused of being “mean” or involved in “hating poor people.” So the government handouts will only ratchet higher and higher, ensnaring more and more people, until the entire system is unsustainable and collapses under its own weight.

When that system of dependence fails, those who depend on it will panic in mere hours. As proof of this, consider the fact that this mass looting of Wal-Mart stores happened in less than three hours after the Saturday EBT card glitch struck. Police had to be called in to prevent the situation from getting completely out of control, and it was offline for only part of one day.

Now imagine what will happen when EBT cards go offline for 24, 48 or even 72 hours. And imagine it happening in every U.S. city simultaneously.

When that scenario goes down, you are going to have a 50-million-person EBT panic happening nationwide. The panicked masses will quickly become mobs, and the mobs will, within 72 hours or so, become murderous gangs willing to do absolutely anything to get food. After all, YOUR food already belongs to THEM, so they are simply claiming their “share” of your “collective” stash. In their minds, their total lack of preparedness in no way means they have any less of a claim on your food. After all, they already have a claim on your income (via taxes redirected as entitlement programs), so why not your food, too?

Remember: They already justify stealing from Wal-Mart by claiming it is a “rich corporation.” By the same logic, they will steal from you by labeling you as a “rich person” because you have stored food thanks to your preparedness efforts.

You probably already realize this, but any household or family in the path of these mobs will be utterly ransacked just like Wal-Mart was on Saturday.

Violence is inevitable

It goes without saying that violence will quickly erupt. Once EBT card holders realize the local police are wildly out-numbered (which they are in every large U.S. city), the guns will come out and hungry mobs will become armed gangs of violent looters going house to house, apartment to apartment, ransacking everything in sight, stealing jewelry, cash, food, guns and anything else they believe to be portable and valuable. (How do I know this? Because I used to volunteer with the police department of a large U.S. city, and I’ve seen firsthand what happens to society when a local police presence is unavailable…)

Those few families who can protect themselves through the combustion-assisted rapid acceleration of small, high density projectiles directed at intended targets will be in a unique position to survive the onslaught of desperate murderous looters. The outcome of this crisis, in other words, will ultimately be determined by the laws of physics. Those who possess modern-day hardware that best harnesses the laws of physics to stop aggressors will obviously be far more likely to survive than those who do not. And no, I’m not referring to slingshots.

Calling 911 will, of course, be utterly useless, as will being unarmed. To make matters worse, the federal government — if it still stands at all — will likely declare Martial Law and order the National Guard to go door to door, disarming responsible preppers and leaving them utterly defenseless against the violent mobs that return each night to continue looting those left defenseless by the government. This is exactly what happened in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

How to survive the permanent crash of the EBT system

There is really only way one to ensure you don’t get caught up in all this: Don’t be there. Don’t be in the path of the mobs nor the path of the National Guard.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to relocate your butt to the countryside prior to the federal failure of the EBT card system. There, your odds of survival are vastly increased, and you are unlikely to encounter any door-to-door gun confiscation patrols as those soldiers will be completely tied up trying to prevent the cities from crashing into total chaos.

In the countryside, you have a real shot at reestablishing trade and barter within your local community. Only through trade and barter can you survive long-term, because specialization of skills leads to efficiencies of production. Barter and trade allow those efficiencies to be mutually and voluntarily multiplied across all those who participate in open commerce. Practically stated, if you grow tomatoes and you’re really good at growing tomatoes but you suck at welding, you’ll do much better overall by focusing on growing tomatoes and trading them for welding services with the welder (who probably sucks at growing tomatoes). Expert specialization + free trade = abundance. This is a foundation principle of civilization.

But you’ll need to specialize in something that has value in desperate times. During a collapse, nobody cares about your 3D animation skills and your long resume working for Disney. Or maybe you were one of those programmers who screwed up Healthcare.gov. None of those skills matter anymore. To survive, you’ll need real-world skills like clothing repair, tools repair, medical skills, farming, seed saving, tactical defense, food ingredient processing and more.

No matter what your skills or specialty, you’ll also need to be able to defend your production from those former EBT card holders who still can’t understand why they have to produce anything on their own. Many of these people will, of course, die in the weeks or months following the failure of the EBT system, but those who don’t will always be hard-wired to steal from you because that’s the only paradigm of existence they truly grasp. They probably won’t last long in an honest economy, of course. In the real world, they will either need to change or die.

Ultimately, this is what America needs to get back to: an economy where people are rewarded for contributing to society, not feeding off others like social parasites. Imagine a world where people actually earn what they receive and pay their debts on time. It’s an alien concept to today’s government, and that’s exactly why it is now on the verge of financial collapse.

Sooner or later, people who actually produce something and contribute to society can no longer be guilt-tripped into carrying the burden of all those who refuse to produce but who vote politicians into office who confiscate wealth for them. This “proxy theft” system of government entitlements we are witnessing today will soon crash, and when it does, natural selection will quickly sort out those best adapted to survive.

EBT cards will go down in history as a grotesque symbol of a failed welfare society built on a financial house of cards.

Make the Able Bodied Work for Food Stamps

Food Stamps 2The AP reported, “The House is poised to vote on cutting $4 billion a year from food stamp assistance, now used by one in seven Americans.” To that, Nancy Pelosi said, “Maybe I’m just hoping for divine intervention, but I really do believe that there are enough Republicans that will not identify themselves with such a brutal cut in feeding the American people.” Well Nancy, I’m sure you’re right. There will most likely be plenty of squishy, scared of their own shadow Republicans to kill or seriously watered-down the proposed bill. And as for the “brutal cut” as you describe it; proposing a one-dollar cut would be considered brutal for money-grubbing statists such as you. And another thing: what would Pelosi know about “divine” intervention? Always remember the progressive creed: government can never do with less … ever.
What the Democrats and RINOs won’t tell us is that the cuts are targeted. They are targeted at those recipients who are able-bodied and without dependents. The bill will actually have work requirements similar to the welfare reform act of 1996 that forced those who were able, back to work. Shocking! How mean-spirited. But worry not all you bleeding heart liberals and big government progressives. Regardless of what happens in the House, the bill will die in the Senate. Harry Reid has assured us of this. But what of us who don’t think the House reforms go far enough? Is there any model, any state that is trying to do something about the well-known waste and abuse of the entitlement system? Funny you should ask. The state of Michigan, of all places, is attempting just that. The Michigan Senate recently passed a bill that will make those on public assistance do, at minimum, volunteer work. The Michigan House has upped the ante. Their bill will require benefit recipients to be drug tested.
Those testing positive will have their benefits revoked and new applicants, or those current recipients who refuse testing will be denied benefits. State Senator Joe Hune, the work-bill sponsor said: “The whole intention is to make some folks have some skin in the game, and I don’t feel there’s any problem with making folks go out and do some kind of community service in order to receive their cash assistance.” There was of course the typical Democrat response saying that the bill was intrusive and mean.
Vincent Gregory, a Senate Democrat, explained that, “a lot of people are embarrassed to even be there (asking for benefits) and they have this put on them. It’s this feeling that this is what the public wants, but the public doesn’t want to see people beaten down.” You’re absolutely correct Senator. Speaking for myself, I don’t want to see anyone beaten down, but when an applicant for employment at my company tells me, “I make more in benefits than I could working for you,” where is the incentive to work?! I agree with Sen. Hune.
Everyone needs a little “skin in the game.” What’s wrong with drug testing them and having them go out and clean up a park or something? Once again we can count on one of the founders to provide us guidance. Ben Franklin’s famously wrote in “On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor” in 1766 in The London Chronicle:
“For my own part, I am not so well satisfied of the goodness of this thing. I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. — I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.
“In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
“There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor.
“Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? — On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent.”

Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/09/make-able-bodied-work-food-stamps/#hB0ub1J8GYvYjuFJ.99

More Americans selling their food stamps for cash

food_stamps4
The percentage of Americans selling their food stamps back to stores for cash has increased by 30 percent over the past several years, according to a new Agriculture Department study.
The study on food stamps trafficking — which the agency said included “covert investigation” in stores — compared the periods of 2006 -2008 to 2009 -2011.
Despite the increase, trafficking has declined since the 1990s, when the rate was nearly 4 percent of food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs benefits.
The total amount of SNAP benefits is now at roughly $858 million, compared to $330 million annually in the 2006-2008 period.
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The increase reflects the overall growth in SNAP participation and benefits, the agency said in the August 2013 report.
Recipients typically sell back their benefits at a discount, according to the agency, which said its undercover investigations and research into electronic SNAP transactions focused on stores that showed “suspicious activities.”
However, the numbers were later adjusted to reflect activity within the entire program.
While the trafficking doesn’t directly increase costs for the federal government, it diverts taxpayer money intended to help low-income families get access to a nutritious diet.
About 10.5 percent of all authorized SNAP stores engaged in trafficking, the study found, compared 8.2 percent in the 2006-2008 review.
The study also found the likelihood of trafficking varied by store characteristics and settings.
Small grocery or convenience stores, for example, accounted for about 15 percent of all redemptions but 85 percent of trafficking redemptions.
In addition, trafficking was more likely to occur in privately owned stores compared to publicly owned shops and was more likely among retailers in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/18/feds-more-americans-selling-their-food-stamps-for-cash/#ixzz2ccD8wES2

With farm bill defeat, Americans on hook for $147M a year to Brazilian cotton farmers

By Barnini Chakrabortybrazil_cotton

American taxpayers remain on the hook for millions of dollars to pay off Brazilian cotton farmers — one of the more bizarre, and costly, consequences of the House of Representatives’ failure to pass a massive farm bill on Thursday.
In a surprise defeat, the House on Thursday rejected the dense, 600-plus page bill. The bulk of the bill would have funded food stamps as well as a bundle of farm aid programs. But lawmakers were also hoping to use the legislation to resolve a long-running dispute between the United States and Brazil that is draining U.S. taxpayer dollars every year.
Specifically, the U.S. is paying the South American country $147 million annually. America has shelled out more than $4 billion to date to Brazil.
“I think the average taxpayer would be astounded if they knew how much we’re paying Brazil in bribe money,” said Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., who is trying to end what he describes as the “blackmail payments.”
The money being sent to Brazil is part of the international fallout stemming from U.S. government subsidies for domestic cotton farmers. The U.S. is one of the world’s largest cotton exporters and hands out $3 billion a year in subsidies.
About a decade ago, Brazil sued the U.S. before the World Trade Organization. In its complaint, Brazil claimed the U.S. government had subsidized American cotton farmers so much it would make it impossible for other countries to compete. The WTO sided with Brazil in 2004 and said the country had a right to impose punishing trade measures against America.
Under an interim settlement, the Brazilian government agreed to withhold additional retaliatory tariffs on non-agriculture products, in exchange for the payments, until a new farm bill that contains measures to modify the country’s current cotton program is passed and enacted.
That’s where Kind’s amendment came into play. While the farm bill would have changed the U.S. cotton program, Kind’s amendment would in turn end the payments to Brazil. But the amendment was not included, and the bill did not pass.
“We have to keep it up because of our inability to reform our own cotton subsidy program,” Kind told FoxNews.com.
While dropping the interim settlement is an option, many say that the retaliation could be worse. Brazil won the right to impose more than $800 million in retaliatory import taxes against U.S. industries including financial services and automobiles.
On Thursday, House lawmakers’ rejection of the farm bill in turn delayed efforts to see the cotton dispute come to a close.
For Kind — who has publicly criticized the WTO settlement — continuing to pay Brazil isn’t a viable option.
“This is crazy, this is nuts,” he said during a committee hearing in June, while promoting his push to “change our domestic cotton program so we do come into compliance with WTO so we can end $150 million of basically blackmail payments to Brazil so they don’t level sanctions against us because of that WTO case.”
Even if the House resurrects the farm bill, and the provision addressing the Brazil case, the entire Congress would have to pass a unified bill and have it signed into law.
The Senate side has had more success. Last week, lawmakers passed its version of the bill which would spend $955 billion over the next decade. The price tag in the House version was lower due mostly to variations in food-stamp spending.
Tamara Hinton, the communications director for the House Agriculture Committee, said that the House bill is intended to eliminate the agreement between Brazil and the U.S., and end the payments.
“Our bill was written to resolve the issue with Brazil,” she told FoxNews.com.
When the House might return to the bill is anyone’s guess. The last time the House approved a farm bill was back in 2008. They failed to come to an agreement on its reauthorization last year, too.
For now, lawmakers will have to either start over on the farm bill or go to conference without a bill and try to negotiate with the Senate. If Congress fails to pass any type of farm bill by the end of the year, the country would go back to when the last permanent farm bill was enacted – in 1949.
Christine Harbin, a federal policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity, faulted Congress for taking so long to address the issue. She told FoxNews.com that instead of fixing the problem, “the U.S. decided to pay off Brazil.”
“Little programs like this fly completely under the radar,” she said. “We’ve subsidized the cotton industry so much that we are become anti-competitive.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/21/americans-forced-to-pay-brazil-147-million-year-after-house-farm-bill-failure/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2X9mNiTDH

1/3 Population of Puerto Rico Gets Food Stamps from U.S. Gov’t

puerto-rico1The federal government spent more than $2 billion to provide food stamps to Puerto Rico in 2012, up to 25 percent of which is untraceable because it is distributed in cash and there is “no way to verify that funds are spent on food,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The funds are used to supply more than one-third of the population of Puerto Rico with food stamps.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) for Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States, received $2 billion in Nutrition Assistance Block Grants in fiscal year 2012.

Part of that total includes funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), popularly known as the “economic stimulus,” which passed in 2009 — $165 million in economic stimulus funds went to food stamps in Puerto Rico in FY 2012.

The $165 million in stimulus funding is on top of $494.3 million in food stamp grants to Puerto Rico from the ARRA in FY 2009 and 2010. Stimulus spending will continue towards the program this year, with an estimated $101.3 million in FY 2013.

A spokesman from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service told CNSNews.com that, on average, 1.37 million people received food stamps in Puerto Rico each month in FY 2012. Puerto Rico has a population of 3.7 million, meaning 37 percent of Puerto Ricans are on food stamps paid by the federal government.

Puerto Rico currently has an unemployment rate of 14.2 percent. The median household income is $19,122 per year.

In contrast, in the United States there are currently 47.7 million Americans on food stamps, representing 15.2 percent of the population of 313.9 million. There is, however, a record one-out-of-five households in the United States receiving food stamps.

Instead of operating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Puerto Rico administers block grants, among which 25 percent of a person’s benefit can be paid in cash, which means there is no way of tracking how the money is spent. (The average monthly benefit in FY 2009 was $240, meaning a recipient could receive up to $60 in cash, according to a 2010 feasibility report.)

A 2010 USDA report on the feasibility of implementing SNAP in Puerto Rico said that it is “widely acknowledged” that recipients of the current food assistance program in the country use the cash for items other than food.

(AP photo)

“Like SNAP, NAP distributes benefits on an EBT debit card,” the report said. “However, unlike SNAP, up to 25 percent of the monthly benefit may be redeemed for cash.”

“Although the cash is designated for eligible food items, it is widely acknowledged that participants use at least some of their allotted cash for non-food essentials, such as medicine and hygiene products,” the USDA said.

A USDA spokesman told CNSNews.com that there is “no way to verify the funds are spent on food.”

“When cash is withdrawn from an ATM, there is no way to verify that funds are spent on food, however, the 25 percent provided in cash is designated for food purchases,” the USDA said. “One of the main reasons that provisions of 25 percent of the benefits in cash was built into the program was to allow participants without access to certified retailers a way to purchase food.”

Funding from the stimulus law is also administered through cash grants, as an alternative to SNAP, to “improve diets of needy persons residing in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.”

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) began in Puerto Rico on Nov. 1, 1974. That program was replaced with the current system of block grants in 1982.

The eligibility requirements for NAP in Puerto Rico vary according to household size, ranging from a maximum income level of $2,796 per year for a one-person household, up to $12,708 per year for a seven-person household.

The USDA report, Implementing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico: A Feasibility Study, was prepared in response to a directive from Congress. The USDA said they are not aware of any plans to replace the food assistance program in Puerto Rico with SNAP, and such an action would require change in the law

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