Food stamps create dependency says Rep. Bob Gibbs

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Yesterday, The Columbus Dispatch published a story about a significant cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.  The cut will mean about $193 million less in food stamps during the next nine months for Ohioans.  According to the Children’s Hunger Alliance, about one out of six kids are already going hungry in Ohio.

Here’s how Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, views the situation: “How long do you keep doing these things?  If you keep doing these things, it becomes part of the culture and part of the dependency and you’re actually not helping these people anymore. You’re hurting them?”

I wonder if Mr. Gibbs’ statement is based on research and data or speculation. I wonder how many hungry people he’s talked to about food stamps. It’s easy to deny others when you have a full stomach.

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  1. johndesando  November 14, 2013

    J–Your last line says it all. These guys are all exercised about abuse, but, hell, every effort of such impact in the history of civilization has abuse built into those damn guns, it’s a price we pay for an open, caring society. I’ll take the corruption anytime so a few kids can go to bed with full stomachs. J

    • Paul Bohlman  November 14, 2013

      While no-one (at least I hope that’s the case) wants children to go hungry, there are major problems with the current food stamp program and there is consideable abuse. That’s not to say that the vast majority aren’t using them properly, but when we here stories about SNAP cards being sold to get cash for drugs, or extravagant purchases being made (expensive cuts of meat, etc.), we realize there is a problem. The question is “What can be done to tighten up the program so that the full impact of taxpayer money can be realized?” And at the same time, what can be done to minimize dependency on government programs? They are needed, but they are intended to be bridge programs not lifestyles.

  2. James Dixon  January 2, 2014

    There is no doubt that food stamps and all other handout tend to create dependency. The Great Society has the same percentage of people living in poverty now as it did when it was begun. Even LBJ said it was a hand up not a handout. It is a handout. Welfare reform was successful when Clinton and Kasich and Gingrich collaborated on it. We need to reduce handouts and expect people to earn their daily bread. We need to allow them to provide for their own families. 50 years of handouts have reduced a large number of Americans to dependency.

  3. Perry Fisher  January 2, 2014

    This Nation is still in the grips of a stubborn recession, especially for the folks who were intended to benefit from the provisions of the Stimulus Act in 2009. A tool for cushioning the financial impact of widespread unemployment was the increase the the financial level of eligibility based on family income for SNAP benefits (successor to “food stamps”) This allowed great numbers of laid off workers, many of whom are still without jobs, to alleviate their own hardship as well as to pump missing dollars into business that still employ many others in this category such as Krogers, Walmart, Macys and Penney.

    Quoting from Mr. Rank’s article:
    “Contrary to popular belief, the percentage of the population that directly encounters poverty is exceedingly high. My research indicates that nearly 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience at least one year below the official poverty line during that period ($23,492 for a family of four), and 54 percent will spend a year in poverty or near poverty (below 150 percent of the poverty line).

    Even more astounding, if we add in related conditions like welfare use, near-poverty and unemployment, four out of five Americans will encounter one or more of these events. In addition, half of all American children will at some point during their childhood reside in a household that uses food stamps for a period of time.Put simply, poverty is a mainstream event experienced by a majority of Americans. For most of us, the question is not whether we will experience poverty, but when.

    Events like losing a job, having work hours cut back, experiencing a family split or developing a serious medical problem all have the potential to throw households into poverty. Along with the image of inner-city poverty, there is also a widespread perception that most individuals in poverty are nonwhite. This is another myth: According to the latest Census Bureau numbers, two-thirds of those below the poverty line identified themselves as white — a number that has held rather steady over the past several decades.

    What about the generous assistance we provide to the poor? Contrary to political rhetoric, the American social safety net is extremely weak and filled with gaping holes. Furthermore, it has become even weaker over the past 40 years because of various welfare reform and budget cutting measures.
    We currently expend among the fewest resources within the industrialized countries in terms of pulling families out of poverty and protecting them from falling into it. And the United States is one of the few developed nations that does not provide universal health care, affordable child care, or reasonably priced low-income housing. As a result, our poverty rate is approximately twice the European average.

  4. Yabacushyanei Ibulah Bennett  January 2, 2014

    The poor will be with us always because the mind is the most difficult element of a human being to change…so the gifted…the fortunate…and the blessed soldier on…while the rest stay crippled…and imprisoned by their own minds…unwilling to do what others have done to be successfull…


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