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Thumbs Up to a Tech Solution for EBT Fraud

Far too many politicians fear even the simplest measures to combat welfare scammers.

by
Timothy Imholt, Ph.D. and David Forsmark

Bio

June 18, 2013 - 3:00 pm
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we-accept-ebt

We’ve been seeing a lot of breaking news about scandals lately, and they all seem to have one thing in common: The people at the top apparently didn’t want to know the truth behind the sordid stories.

Was the IRS harassing and suppressing President Obama’s political opponents? Nobody wanted to know. Why wasn’t a rescue operation mounted for our ambassador to Libya and the brave Americans who disobeyed orders to try to help him? People actively tried not to know. And what about the possibly illegal invasion of privacy into the lives of investigative reporters who inform the public about the government? Attorney General Eric Holder pretended not to know.

Since we began writing about welfare fraud and how to stop it, some have leveled the accusations that we are using scare tactics and demonizing the poor. That’s because those who depend on expanding government for their benefit don’t want to know, don’t want to stop it, and sure as heck don’t want you to know.

But while taxpayers are the ones fleeced by welfare fraud, the poor are also put at risk by a program that has no safeguards to ensure that the people who get the money are the ones it intended to help.

The good news is this problem can be solved easily and cheaply without unduly prying into the lives of recipients or treating them like suspects. We have the technology and skills to rebuild the system into one we can trust.

The bad news? Politicians, eager to develop constituents dependent on the government, aren’t particularly interested in reforming a defective system.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
EBT cards to the "poor" is a Democrat Gratis Program to their Urban constituancy...That fraud is RAMPANT in the program is a FEATURE not a bug.

And, every swipe card systems I've seen in the Philadelphia that accepts EBT cards, also are offers "Cash Back" when EBT users checkout, just like "regular" debit card holders...you buy a 1 dollar item, you "take" the maximum cash the store allows (usually $20, but Target and other large store chains allow up to $50)

The EBT system is NOT for food purchases, it is a CASH REWARD program with a minor inconvenience (the 1 dollar purchase) created to serve as a fig leaf.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "Politicians, eager to develop constituents dependent on the government, aren’t particularly interested in reforming a defective system." (Read Democrats) don't want welfare reform for the same reason they don't want immigration reform. They want armys of people totally dependent on government for their survival. These people can be trusted to always vote for the party that gives them free stuff. Its either illegal alien women telling reporters how to get govenment assistance or welfare mothers raving over free phones, or its minority "political activists" voting 16 times in the same election. We have a whole sub-cuilture of completly dishonest, self-serving entitlement dependent freeloaders. And we have a political party that cares nothing about what is good for the country. They put party ahead of country and they receive cover and support from the media. Damn them all, they are destroying the most noble and benign country in the history of the world.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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I'm not interested in eliminating welfare fraud.


I'm interested in obeying the letter and intent of the Constitution, which means eliminating all federal welfare programs completely.

That pretty well takes care of the fraud problem, now, doesn't it?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Either the math or the reporting are wrong. SNAP-Families(23Mx$274): $76B, SNAP-individuals(48Mx$133): Also $76B, plus TANF: $16B equals $168B total paid out annually not $92B.

Just sayin
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
1984 again! Why do we have to continually resort to more intrusive identification systems when we have plenty of choices already to track fraud.

For example, in thinking about fairness, wage slaves get their W2 and independent contractors (if they're still working in this economy) get their 1099-MISC. EVERY government entity issues these IRS forms already. Should recipients of 'income, redistributed' get their 1099-GOV?

Facts are friendly!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
FTA: ..."private charity cannot help in every case."

Why? Somebody please explain why private charity cannot do a better job of helping the truly poor and needy. Why is this idiotic statement an accepted premise?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have Named the Unspoken! You shall be punished!


In fact, private charity used to do a pretty good job, but whether it can or NOT, how did this become a government issue?

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Govt. fraud & abuse of Medicare, SSI, SSID, EBT, E-Verify can be solved immediately with the charge card companies managing these & other programs.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
EBT cards to the "poor" is a Democrat Gratis Program to their Urban constituancy...That fraud is RAMPANT in the program is a FEATURE not a bug.

And, every swipe card systems I've seen in the Philadelphia that accepts EBT cards, also are offers "Cash Back" when EBT users checkout, just like "regular" debit card holders...you buy a 1 dollar item, you "take" the maximum cash the store allows (usually $20, but Target and other large store chains allow up to $50)

The EBT system is NOT for food purchases, it is a CASH REWARD program with a minor inconvenience (the 1 dollar purchase) created to serve as a fig leaf.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But while taxpayers are the ones fleeced by welfare fraud, the poor are also put at risk by a program that has no safeguards to ensure that the people who get the money are the ones it intended to help."

Never fear, the ones the programs are really intended to help, the bureaucracies that administer them, get most of the money.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "Politicians, eager to develop constituents dependent on the government, aren’t particularly interested in reforming a defective system." (Read Democrats) don't want welfare reform for the same reason they don't want immigration reform. They want armys of people totally dependent on government for their survival. These people can be trusted to always vote for the party that gives them free stuff. Its either illegal alien women telling reporters how to get govenment assistance or welfare mothers raving over free phones, or its minority "political activists" voting 16 times in the same election. We have a whole sub-cuilture of completly dishonest, self-serving entitlement dependent freeloaders. And we have a political party that cares nothing about what is good for the country. They put party ahead of country and they receive cover and support from the media. Damn them all, they are destroying the most noble and benign country in the history of the world.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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