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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

shutterstock_136125821

Change is essential because we have witnessed an unprecedented swelling of the ranks of people whose grocery bills are being paid by the federal government. True, most of the rise in the aid rolls is due to the economic downturn, but a significant portion is due to the fact that the Obama administration is eager to increase the number of people receiving assistance.

Nobody would deny assistance to people who truly need it; virtually anyone can fall on hard times, and private charity cannot help in every case. Still, it is downright perverse for a government to create conditions that deliberately foster dependency. Some might say this transfer of wealth from the haves to the have-nots “levels the playing field” of society, but whom does it really help? Certainly not the taxpayers, who have less money for their own needs or for creating jobs. And not the poor, whose drive to self-reliance and independence is sabotaged by government largess.

The Daily Caller recently reported that 23,116,411 American households receive an average benefit of $274.30 apiece per month in Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Another 47,727,052 individuals are on SNAP, with each receiving an average monthly benefit of $132.86.

But that’s only part of the story. These numbers do not include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), whose baseline budget is another $16 billion a year.

Altogether, the federal government disburses $6.3 billion every month — $76.1 billion a year — in welfare payments for just the SNAP program. Adding in TANF brings the totals to $7.6 billion per month and $92 billion per year. 

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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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?
1 year ago
1 year 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
1 year ago
1 year 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!
1 year ago
1 year 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?
1 year ago
1 year 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?

1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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