Food Stamps

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We here at Food Stamps try to present a fair, balanced picture of the SNAP program. We readily admit it’s not a program entirely without flaws, as even its 1% fraud rate means millions of wasted dollars that could have been better spent. We also don’t deny that every day, dozens or hundreds or thousands of Americans take advantage of the program, using food stamps to buy luxury foods instead of feeding families. Sometimes the facts work in favor of food stamps, and sometimes they don’t. It’s just how life is. However, we’re also onto a trend put forth by Republicans is their deliberate misuse of facts, with the latest brouhaha coming from Arkansas Senate candidate Rep. Tom Cotton (R), up against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

According to Cotton, Food Stamps Program Full of “Long-Term Addicts or Recidivists”

Tom Cotton is a 37-year-old politician who’s part of the House of Representatives, heading to politics after having served in the U.S. Army. It only took him three years to be promoted to Captain, and he received a Bronze Star Medal in 2009 from his efforts in Afghanistan. Later that year, he was honorably discharged from the Army, turned to law for a bit, and then started his politics career in 2012.

To say Cotton is a bright button is an understatement; he was named the Republican “most likely to succeed” by Politico, and many have pegged him as a rising star in the GOP. Further backing his reputation is Senator Marc Rubio backing him for his run to the Senate, giving him more credibility than other candidates.

But none of this can explain how Cotton stuck his foot way inside his mouth on July 8 during a tele-town hall meeting. In his own words, he said (all bolding has been done by us):

I don’t think that we should be using farmers as a way to pack more welfare spending into Barack Obama’s government. Nor should be have a food stamp program that isn’t reformed, that doesn’t have job training and work requirements, that doesn’t have drug testing requirements, so we can get people who are addicted the help they need. Or make sure that long-term addicts and recidivists are not abusing taxpayer dollars.

A History of Criticism Against Food Stamps

This isn’t the first time Cotton’s made critical and unfounded remarks against food stamps. In a statement made last year regarding the then-passed Farm Bill, Cotton had this to say: “President Obama’s failed policies have turned what should be a Farm Bill into the Food Stamp Bill, expanding by $300 billion a food-stamp program riddled with fraud and abuse.”

We’re really quite curious as to where Cotton gets his information because according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, more than 99 percent of SNAP benefits are issued to eligible households. Further, the CBPP has studied that “SNAP error rates declined nearly every year from 1998 to 2008 and have continued to improve since then…”

It’s one thing to criticize a program, as any program in America that starts up and uses taxpayers’ dollars should be open to criticism. Food stamps is like art: once you put it out into the public, it’s there for people to form whatever opinions they’d like about it. But like art, just because someone has an opinion on something doesn’t mean it’s the definitive truth. And what really sets Cotton apart from other opinion-utterers in this case is he’s a public figure, using his platform to sway citizens toward him in an effort to effect change.

While we understand the need to make your position as definitive and attractive to the widest demographic possible when you’re in politics, we draw a sharp line in the sand when it comes to sheer fabrication of facts. Cotton’s a bright boy, which is why we don’t’ understand why he couldn’t have used the disadvantages of food stamps to his favor in a more truthful way.

Comments

Trista Rodriguez
# Trista Rodriguez
Monday, July 21, 2014 9:32 AM
The statement couldn't be any better in my opinion the program is getting worse and someone has got to step up and do something! I have been denied after another person fraudulently called up and pretended to be me and shut off my daughter and I s card but kept my husband and the our youngest child with stamps! So in short a husband having affair was able to have the other woman call up and lie then when confronting "case worker" I was first off accused of doing such a stupid thing to myself amd child then told that there was nothing she could do other than block the information meaning if iM lucky enough to even get ahold of her this being the only way to make changes. So this woman goes unpunished for COMMITTING FRAUD?!? A week later after fighting to get MY food back i get a call from this case worker stating after 8 years of having a record and receiving benefits thati nees to come drop a ua? Why not the last 8 years isy question? Just now? Knowing my medical also went with that fraud and I was now scraping change to stay in my soberiety program I had been actively in for 3 years at that time! So u take my doctor counsiler and now going for my food!? Ok then! So i went in and dropped, dropped with my PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION i have been on for 3 years and just so happens is my LIFE and sobriety clean for a long stretch finally and, what happens? Well now I have barely anytime whatsoever to get my doctor to write a letter that mind you without insurance would have cost me 100s of dollars to get and now my food was gone.....so food and medical check....sobriety program check at this point i did ask myself what more could someone do well bad question because social services came in and took my kids!!! I could not provide food being one of the reasons of negligence!? This may I add is BS and for someone who gives their shirt off their own back I cannot believe that I am still standing today, this is just from the side of foodshare and medical nothing close to everything I had suffered through in 4 short months... NOTHING CLOSE! FRAUD needs to be taken seriously and if someone is truly trying to better their past HELP THEM NOT KICK US IN THE FACE AND do anything you can so we cant get the help! Sad thing is my case worker personally knows the other party who was able to take my entire life away within such a short time due to spite and jealously. I have never in my life felt more emotional and mental damage then goimg through someone elses game playing fire with my life yet being truthful and watching my life and kills fall apart under the account of LIES! again this post above was well written and now i know im not the only one who has been abused by the wolves in sheep's clothing! Very sad and words of wisdom. .. protect yourselves people because its true that not all people are whom you think amd fraud is real and liars are pros at the stories they give! And YES EVERYTHING can be taken from your life with lies! Thanks for reading!

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