Yesterday’s Cashin’ In was another thinly veiled effort to make poor people look like welfare queens – and to make the Obama administration look like welfare-queen enablers. The vehicle this time was some government advertisements for food stamps. As a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times noted, more than 1/3 of those eligible for SNAP (food stamps) benefits are not receiving them. Furthermore, the program was originally pushed for by the grocery industry because it bolstered household consumption and shored up the retail economy. But none of that information was provided by “objective” host Cheryl Casone. She announced, “The government is now marketing entitlements.”
Not surprisingly, regular panelist Tracy Byrnes hated it. She got the first comment. “This is such an awful state of affairs,” she said. “We’ve seen almost a 46% increase in food stamp participation since President Obama has taken office. It is awful that we are promoting this notion of continual handouts. Why not promote, I don’t know, get out there, get a job and pay for it yourself. And let’s not forget, just ‘cause you have food stamps, doesn’t mean you’re going to make good food choices. You can go out and buy candy, even birthday cakes with these things, too, you know.”
Regular Wayne Rogers sneered, “I looked it up on the internet, what food stamps are, and when I looked up SNAP – that’s this program, you know, for nutrition… and what you see is SNAP has to do with rescuing dogs and cats in Houston, Texas. It makes about as much sense. So, I’m not sure where all these catchy phrases come from and why they are promoting it… The most outrageous point is, they’re taking taxpayer money and spending it to advertise – spending it to advertise - a program where they’re giving away taxpayer money… That’s the government gone berserk.”
Christian Dorsey was one of only two supporters on the panel. As usual, he was terrific. “Hopefully, this is destigmitizing something that doesn’t need to be stigmatized at all,” he said. He also pointed out, “In order to get food stamp benefits, you have to be working or looking for work, you have to be a dependent child, or you’re elderly, or disabled. None of those are shameful circumstances. The reason we’ve spent so much more on food stamps is because we had a really big recession where we increased poverty… This is a really efficient program. Low administrative costs, and money goes to people in need. They spend the money at private businesses, and that spending multiplies by at least 50% in economic activity.”
Instead of emphasizing the stimulative effect, host Casone turned to Jonathan Hoenig, who would almost certainly do away with food stamps altogether if he could. In a scary voice, she said, “Jonathan, this is a $75.3 billion program… It’s huge.”
Hoenig said that the fact that food stamps goes to people in need is “inherently the problem.” He added, “Government is not a charity. We’re talking… an average of $140 a month per recipient. That is essentially found money. To Wayne’s point, it gets taken from some citizens who’ve earned it, and given it to other citizens who’ve not… The ads really irk me, Cheryl, because they essentially legitimize the welfare state. They say… it’s OK for the government not only just to buy you food, but to tell you what to eat. It’s pathetic.”
John Layfield spoke up. “I certainly hope not… You can’t spend this for sugary drinks… These people have nothing else to eat if you don’t give them this. The problem is, that many people are in poverty.”
Hoenig said, “Look at Mississippi. One in five people there are on food stamps. It’s the fattest state in the nation 6 years running.”
”It’s also one of the poorest,” Layfield shot back.
Hoenig said, “Don’t tell me that we need food stamps to alleviate poverty when we have an obesity problem in this country.”
Obesity is linked to poverty, not wealth, as even the conservative Wall Street Journal noted. Also, it’s more difficult for the poor to eat healthfully. That was something else Casone either didn’t seem to know or didn’t bother to mention. She did, however question whether enough is being done to prevent fraud. “Do we need to kind of right the ship now” to reduce food stamps, she mused.
Byrnes got another chance to whine about the poor soaking the rich. “Under the Obama administration, …they’ve made it easier to qualify… The rules have lessened so more people fall into the welfare net. That is what’s so awful about this.”
Almost all the panel, especially Hoenig and Byrnes, are whiny ass 1%-defending morons. More phony tricks for their joke of a “business” block on Saturdays, which might be THE worst aspect of Fixed Noise.