500,000+ Food Stamp Recipient Drop in Single Month: Economy Gaining Steam, Welfare Declining
Hundreds of thousands of people are dropping off the welfare rolls as the economy improves and the White House threatens to take benefits away from abusive applicants.
According to the USDA, over 587,000 people discontinued their application for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, between December 2017 and January 2018.
There was a brief uptick of users after hurricane season, but the number swelled and fell showing that the millions of people taking SNAP had mostly all discontinued their usage by November.
In 2016, SNAP benefits were given to more than 44 million Americans or 14% of the population at a total cost of $70.9 billion.
As of January 2018, there are:
- 40,739,084 people on SNAP
- 20,379,606 households on SNAP
As for costs,
- Each person receives on average $122.62 each
- Each household receives on average $245.12 each
In total, the cost for SNAP in January 2018 was almost five billion dollars. Even if the trend of fewer people using SNAP doesn’t continue, it’s likely that the cost of SNAP for the whole year will be around $60 billion, assuming that there are no other major situations like what happened with last year’s terrible hurricane season.
And if Trump continues to refine the system to make sure that everyone using SNAP gets their money’s worth, and to make sure that SNAP is only being used by legitimate people and not abusers, then the savings will continue to climb.
Trump Focusing On Welfare, SNAP Reform
In December of last year, we reported that Trump would be focusing next on welfare reform after taking care of the tax reform issue.
Since then, we’ve followed the recent wave of proposed changes to welfare and food stamps along with some major victories by law enforcement.
At an event in Missouri a few weeks before the signing of the Tax Cut and Reform Bill, Trump introduced the topic of welfare reform:
“Then we will have done tax cuts, the biggest in history, health care, phenomenal health care. I know you don’t want this — welfare reform. Does anyone want welfare reform? I’ve talked to people. I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all. And the person who’s not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than the person that’s working his and her a** off. And it’s not going to happen. Not going to happen.”
Florida’s ‘Operation Stampede’
Near the end of 2017, Florida announced the success of their ‘Operation Stampede’ which ended with 22 people being charged with $13 million worth of food stamp fraud. The fraudsters were located in Palm Beach County flea markets, where people holding EBT cards would spend lots of money but only ‘rarely’ was anyone seen leaving the area with any products. In all, thousands of SNAP users were abusing their cards in this way.
Switch To Food Deliveries?
In February of this year, Trump’s White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney floated an idea that caused panic among liberals who realized that their days of signing up for SNAP in order to abuse it as a way to get fancier food might be coming to an end. With cries on social media about the plight of the poor gluten-free vegans, Mulvaney announced that they were considering saving the federal government $129 billion over the next ten years by partly switching SNAP over to non-perishable food deliveries.
There’s certainly a reason to re-think what people are able to spend their SNAP on, because ‘soft drinks’ are the number one purchased item. Over $350 million is spent on soft drinks every year with SNAP cards, followed by milk which only costs taxpayers $250 million.
I don’t know many people who would hold back milk from someone on assistance, but the soda pop has got to go.
Florida’s ‘Operation Half-Back’
In the middle of March, we reported on the success of ‘Operation Half-Back’ where local and federal officers were able to crack down on shady businesses that were swiping EBT cards for cash payouts, keeping half for themselves and giving the other half back to their users. The businesses were mostly mobile in nature, like food trucks selling seafood. Of the almost 200 arrests that were made, 21 of the people were considered to be recruiters in the business. Recruiters would find people who would qualify for food stamps, and convince them to sign up and then start spending their monthly allotment at these ‘Half-back’ businesses.
Investigation was made easier because the businesses seemed to go through very little product compares to the amount of income they made. Several of the businesses had clocked thousands of fraudulent transactions worth millions of dollars in total.
Sources: Breitbart, Wikipedia