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“Sold At TheTop” is the snarky pseudonym for the organic blogger that maintains the reasonably popular and, dare I say, possibly even slightly influential web log PaperEconomy ( “Sold”, as he prefers to be called (especially by his wife under certain saucy circumstances…... More
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  • A Policy Junkie Food Stamps Extravaganza! 3 comments
    Oct 14, 2010 10:08 AM
    First, I’d like to preface this post by citing the most recent statistics for the federal food stamps program.

    Currently, there are over 41 million food stamps recipients coming from over 19.4 million households resulting in a monthly cost of over $5.6 billion or just over $67 billion annually.

    As many longtime Paper Economy readers know, I have been tracking these numbers since the summer of 2008 and in that time the rolls for both individual participants and households have nearly doubled!

    NPR’s “On Point” segment yesterday was dedicated to the food stamps program and a recent initiative by NYC Mayor Bloomberg and NY Governor Paterson to petition the DOA in an effort to ban access to sugary soft drink items for area food stamps recipients.

    Though this is a very comical NPR segment … nothing short of a melee of policy junkies lost in a vicious circle of cyclical logic and do-gooder nonsense... it should leave one with the sense that America’s future is far less then bright.

    At one point, Ellen Vollinger (the Legal Director at the Washington DC based Food Research and Action Center… whatever that is), a policy junkie against the proposed ban on junk foods, suggested that there is a paradox in America, “many of the people that are hungry [in this country] are also people who have trouble with obesity”.

    While I realize she could probably have added a bit more color to shore up her sentiment, that statement was truly a CLASSIC! ... Fantastic!

    Meanwhile, no one on the panel was actually against the food stamps program in general, all being policy junkies of one ilk or another, they simply disagreed on the implementation and debated the merits of limiting access to junk foods or providing more education to recipients.

    Even in the face of multiple callers offering eye witness testimony of food stamps being traded for cash, gasoline and even booze and drugs, the policy junkies didn’t waiver from their devotion to their religion.

    Of course, NYC area recipients are mad… even furious… that they would be limited to using their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP the fancy Washington name for the food stamps program) credits on actual nutrition... to them this is an issue of rights!

    Readers, I can only think that we are nearing an end of sorts… something big is brewing and it can’t simply be a larger incarnation of the status quo.

    No… I fear we are pushing ever closer to a critical breaking point.

    The federal government is a disaster and the fact that in its largess it has spawned an industry of policy research institutions teeming with imbeciles just salivating at the chance to fritter away generations of wealth on wasteful illogical boondoggles while breeding immense classes of needy recipients (for one program or another) is a disgrace.

    In the end this whole game will come down to simple math and crude economics…
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  • TeresaE
    , contributor
    Comments (3041) | Send Message
    Nicely done and thanks for the information on the numbers on the food dole.


    I'm not even going to jump into the debate about controlling "sugary" while still allowing chemical-laden to flow and the relative insanity as to which is least destructive to actual health, but I will say this:


    With, "...over 41 million food stamps recipients coming from over 19.4 million households resulting in a monthly cost of over $5.6 billion or just over $67 billion annually..." as our current reality, is ANYONE in Washington looking at the total blow out of these numbers (and food inflation) that is going to happen if China does what Congress is badgering them to?


    Or am I the only person in America that has made the calls to the food companies to find out WHERE our "food" comes from?


    Almost ALL the WalMart branded food is from CHINA! Mott's Apple Juice - China, Banquet frozen foods - China, the list goes on and on.


    Anyone else wonder how we are going to support 19.1 million households when the cost of food doubles? Nah, we just keep pretending that the food we put in our kids mouths is made down at the local farm.


    Thanks again, nice article.
    14 Oct 2010, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • Sold At The Top
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Teresa,


    Thanks for the good words and thanks for the info about China food... Yuck!... I don't want apple sauce proccessed in China.... This is the country of Johnny Appleseed for petes sake!


    I shop at Whole Foods... Any China processed stuff there? I hope I'm not buying a marketing gimmick. Maybe I will have to go all locally grown.
    15 Oct 2010, 07:59 AM Reply Like
  • sheri2names
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    My nephew's school has such a high percentage of free-lunch eligible children that it's cheaper for the school to just serve lunch for free rather than file all the paperwork to get subsidies. It's also a great place to buy excess money on EBT cards; the going rate is around 50 cents for $1 worth of food stamps. The big business is buying an EBT, using the balance to buy candy bars for 50-60 cents, then resell the candy bars at school for $1 - to the very kids who are supposedly too poor to afford food. The saddest thing is that because of our nation's out-of-control spending, these same kids will be forced to pay for their own upbringing in the form of future taxes.
    18 Apr 2011, 03:52 PM Reply Like
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