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Oct 15 2015

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OH S.N.A.P.- Food stamp fraud in the Valley

By STEVEN RAY HERNANDEZ
EDITOR
[email protected]

You can’t have your cake and eat it too……..Or so we thought.

When the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) first kicked off, the idea was to help provide food-purchasing assistance to families with little to no-income here in the U.S.  And it did.

However, now, it seems to be providing much more than that, especially here in the Rio Grande Valley, where roughly half a million people receive benefits from the program every month.

We’re talking about Food Stamp Fraud. It’s an issue at the top of almost all taxpayers’ frustration list, not only locally, but nationwide as well.  Heck, if I had a dollar for every time I heard someone talk about someone with a new house or car, but meanwhile they are on food stamps, I could probably buy a year’s worth of groceries (excuse the sarcasm). And we’ve all heard the infamous, “I’ll give you 2 for 1,” deal, which refers to the now “customary” trade of double the food stamps for half the cash.

I, myself (and probably you too) have witnessed people sell food stamps for cash, only to go off and use that same money for drugs, alcohol, and other non-essential items.  On the flipside (kind-of), I’ve also seen people sell their food stamps, then go off and pay their water bill, electrical bill, phone bill, etc. Which brings us to the question on everybody’s mind: Where do we draw the line?

Unfortunately, we may never have an answer to that question and here’s why:

You see, the truth is that many families, especially here in the Valley, depend on SNAP monthly on a level that many of us more-fortunate people could never fathom.  Without it, many local families would essentially starve. Yes, many do abuse it, and abuse it bad. But if a few extra tax dollars out of my check means that a child less-fortunate than me gets a good, hot meal every night, I can live with that.  I’d rather have one rotten apple out of five, then no apples at all.

There is, however, somewhat of a solution, but it comes with a price.  We can make stricter requirements and restrictions on SNAP, as well as fund a program that helps target and monitor food stamp fraud more accurately.  However, who do you thinks going to end up footing that bill?  That’s right, you the taxpayer.  Either way, you’re gonna pay!

The sad part in all this is that at the end of the day, the only one suffering is the children. You see, adults can lose or waste their food stamp benefits and still have the option to go find work or make money to put food on the table. But children don’t. So if a parent wastes the food stamps or loses their benefits, and doesn’t find a way to put food on the table, the children are left hopeless and hungry.  That’s the sad reality, which brings us to another topic that has been brought up recently concerning the food stamp program: drug testing recipients.

I fully understand the motive behind this, but here’s the problem.  It’s not a child’s fault if their parent is a drug addict. Why should they suffer even more by taking away one of their only sources of food?  I’ll say this: I don’t think a drug addict should be allowed to receive government benefits, but if it means the children don’t starve, I can live with that as well.

Look, here’s the bottom line:  It doesn’t matter what the program is, if it’s taxpayer-based and beneficial to someone, people are going to abuse it, plain and simple.  We see the same thing every day with Medicaid fraud cases across the U.S.  As I said before, we can try and crack down and target these individuals as much as possible, but doing that is going to raise taxes, so be prepared- Either way, you’re gonna pay!

Permanent link to this article: http://sbnewspaper.com/2015/10/15/oh-s-n-a-p-food-stamp-fraud-in-the-valley/

7 comments

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  1. JJG

    http://www.usherald.com/ben-carson-welfare-causes-dependence-and-poverty-and-is-used-by-democrats-to-buy-votes/

    Hope this does not get blocked again, is it because i use blacks in my writings? Hispanic community can learn a lot from how government has used poverty for votes in the past. This time it will be illegals. Those how forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

  2. Jennifer

    I work with CPS. Ask any CPS worker, they will tell you as well, If you are caught with drugs, you will have your kid(s) taken away to be placed in CPS custody and/or Foster Care. If you test dirty after you birth your child you will have your rights involuntarily terminated and every kid you birth thereafter will be taken away as well. So the “Kids will suffer” excuse is not a valid one. If anything, the kids that get taken away from their druggie parents get the better deal. I get it though, stuff happens, people lose jobs, medical emergencies happen. Lot of people need the help, but I’m quite sure Government/State assistance was created with the hopes that it would be temporary is would HELP people get back on their feet not a long term life style. Plain and simple, Government assistance is just that, ASSISTANCE not support!

    1. Theoneandonly

      That’s not true whatsoever I happen to know of many people in the valley personally who have had problems with CPS… they have been reported and tested dirty, however when it comes time to remove the children from the situation the CPS just slaps the parent a mandatory class. A few random home visits if you can call them random and thats it… honestly someone that I heard of and is within close proximity to me has been in trouble twice with them and they still have there children

  3. JJG

    Has anyone looked into how many recipients are illegal aliens? Our tax dollars should not be going to illegals, that will more and likely be voting for the democratic party. The party that is debating each other to give everyone free goodies. Everyone like these people that scam the system!

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/10/06/bill-oreilly-talking-points-memo-bernie-sanders-and-hillary-clinton-are-promising-free

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Caliornia-illegal-immigrants-health-insurance/2015/06/02/id/648297/

    http://www.allenbwest.com/2015/01/california-now-giving-illegal-immigrants-drivers-licenses-wanna-bet-voting-cards-next/

    1. truthandjusticeforall

      To JJG,
      Why would it be that illegals would probably vote Democrat?
      How is it that illegals would be able to vote given the new voting regulations initiated and passed by Republicans in the State of Texas? Now, you should know or be aware that the voting laws passed will come under review by the U.S. Supreme Court in the very near future. So, until a decision is made on this, and Republicans make another effort to keep people from voting, your comments are at best unfounded.

    2. DE

      Wait they vote. i say everyone should have a drivers lic. or proof of citizenship before they get any benefits, and voting is a benefit of the US.

      1. JJG

        I agree with you DE, but this administration are pushing for illegals to have the right to vote in our country. They know they lean one way and want their votes. Its sad that these people flee tyranny, and come here and vote for more of it! Shameful
        Read this….if this does not make your blood boil, I don’t know what would

        http://www.vdare.com/posts/obama-plans-fast-track-voting-for-illegal-aliens-in-2016

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