Posts Tagged ‘SNAP’

MAKING LIFE EASIER MAKES LIFE HARDER

December 2, 2019

The block letters above may seem like a total contradiction. In fact, they best illustrate what happens when people with supposedly good intentions wantonly interfere with normal progression and interaction of life.

There’s no place to start that is better than our current K-12 education system. Across this great nation over the past 2-3 decades there has been a trend to lower the standards in order to allow greater graduation rates (ego is more important than education). Emphasis on what were once core subjects (English, math, science, history, geography, economics, politics [objectively] and civics) has been replaced by softer (social, gender and racial) matters. In doing so, students of higher intellect and more capable learners suffer a lack of education in the basics required for a successful independent life. They do, however, gain an in-depth knowledge of the ethereal. High school graduates, in many cases, can barely read their own diploma or count the change received from a purchase without the aid of a virtual assistant smart phone app.

To avoid causing problems with fragile sensitivities through exposure to contrasting thoughts, conflicting or alternative ideas are prohibited from “safe spaces” where students congregate with only like-minded peers. This detachment does not work outside of select and controlled environs such as schools and only makes life in the real world near impossible for those who have relinquished acceptance of others and their individual thought processes to the unnecessary and harmful protection.

Making life easier/harder most often happens through government intervention, aka, entitlement programs. Meant to assist the temporarily disadvantaged through rough times, government intervention via subsidies and stipends actually coerce a majority of recipients into extended dependency. Those who do transition back to employment, earnings and independence are generally grateful for the stopgap assistance. Others, complain that they do not receive enough but remain unwilling to extend themselves for self betterment.

It happened with mortgage loans in the first decade of the current millennium. Mortgage interest rate structuring was changed supposedly to benefit people of lower income. Loans were made available to people with questionable credit and work history to allow ownership so that they, too, could take advantage of a rapidly appreciating housing market. Many loans were devised with low or no down payment and low monthly payment for the first few months to years. The concept was great in principle…on paper. However, the unrealistic qualification requirements caused tens of thousands of first time buyers to lose their entire investment when the loans reset, per original loan contract, to realistic terms in 2, 3, 5 or 7 years.

When they were unable to meet the new payments, many simply packed their furniture and other belongings into a trailer and drove off, later filing personal bankruptcy to relieve themselves of the obligation. With a collapsed and devastated housing market, banks and other lenders inventoried a glut of worthless and unmarketable homes. Many long established financial institutions were also driven into bankruptcy thanks to the pressures Chris Dodd and Barney Frank put on the Fannie Mae Corporation in 1999 such that parameters of lending standards were revised to include unworthy borrowers.

More recently it has happened by making student loans more easily accessible. Same principle, just a different clientele. Low interest government backed or government direct student loans tend to entice unqualified students to enter colleges and accept unreasonable debt. Many young people expecting the high school experience (e.g. show up for class and pass) to continue into higher education soon learn that they must actually study, learn and pass tests designed to measure knowledge. The recognition comes after signing in obligation for the government to pay tuition and some stipend costs while attending. Many of the under educated entrants (those graduated from high school despite a lack of academic achievement, knowledge or learning ability) soon drop out owing more than they can willingly repay. Thus, without a degree and mounds of debt they are caused to accept lower-paying positions and frustration with the process.

It happens through science. Vaccines, pills, capsules and immunizations meant to mitigate a particular malady or disorder frequently treat only the exposed symptoms and not the underlying problems. The negative side effects of these laboratory synthesized remedies often create more problems than they mask and require other medications to allay the symptoms of the previous application.

The American (and to a certain extent, world) society is being compromised by our government. Making life easier is actually making life harder in many ways. The current crop of presidential candidates are pushing socialism and ultimately communism as the answer to individual economic challenges. The federal government is looking for ways to totally control our lives by reducing personal responsibility and ownership. So, if you’re raking in money from the likes of Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Electronic Benefits Payment (EBT), Medicaid, etc., you may be causing your own dependency. If you’re looking forward to receiving $1,000 per month Universal Basic Income (UBI), you are prostituting yourself to government sponsored indentured servitude.

Please take responsibility and vote wisely, not for what you can get for yourself today, but what is best for you and all others over a longer term.

EBT – SNAP

November 30, 2013

There are many reasons to explain why the country is constantly running deficits. All of which revert to reckless government spending. Spending without oversight or accountability is the norm within every agency, bureaucracy, and entity of the public service genre. Lavish retreats with thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on spoof videos, expensive wines, extravagant dinners in 5 star hotels is the proverbial drop-in-the-bucket spending.

Estimates of government waste run as high as 20% of the annual budget. Twenty percent, one fifth of the national economy, is unaccounted each year. A few hundred million here, a billion or so there…it’s not long before we’re talking real money. With current annual federal expenditures around $3.5 trillion, the waste, at a very conservative 15%, is about $5.5 billion. At 20% that figure would be around $7 billion or just shy of $200,000,000 for each man, woman and child in the United States…legal and illegal.

Frauds are perpetrated without repercussion. Sometimes it takes place by individuals within the offices funded by the taxpayer and sometimes it is by those receiving otherwise unearned remuneration from those taxpayers. When it occurs within the agencies, culpability is infrequently identified and thus no accountability is brought forth. Department heads claim ignorance of their charges’ actions and almost never held to answer for the wrongs.

As it is with congress and other governmental departments, if a person is identified as doing wrong, often they are reassigned or resign and draw their pension. If they are not eligible to receive a pension, a large departing gift deposited into the bank account of their choice becomes their mouth-shutting reward. In either case, we pay for their slothful work, then we pay for their departure and life beyond.

Welfare is one of the easiest targets for fraud. Overpaid government workers accept bribes, kickbacks and other compensation for neglecting to clearly identify who is and who is not eligible for services and stipends.

A few months ago, my wife and I went to an ATM at a bank in an upscale neighborhood just north of San Diego. There was one person using the one ATM offered at this location, so we stood somewhat back from the machine and discussed plans for the rest of the day. Avoiding any particular identification of the individual, I’ll simply say that she was not a round-eyed, white European.

Over my wife’s shoulder, I could see the woman take money out of the dispenser, put some of it into her purse, then change screens and insert the rest of the cash into the ATM, obtaining a receipt for the transaction. She then reached into her purse withdrew a different card which was inserted into the ATM. From my vantage point, twelve to fifteen feet away, I could see that the screen offered images of two cards. At first, I could not see the one on the left, but the one on the right clearly read SNAP. For those not in the know, SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a federal program. As she proceeded through her routine, she stepped slightly aside and I saw that the choice on the left of the screen said EBT. Electronic Benefits Transfer is the California assistance program for low income residents.

Now I was more attentive!

She continued to insert a card, touch an icon, enter a pass code, receive cash, deposit the cash into the machine, and then place the receipt in her purse. She then went through the process not less than three additional times. I have no idea how long she was using the ATM before we arrived or the total number of cards inserted.

One might derive a number of conclusions from what I observed all of which I believe might constitute fraud.

1. She had been saving her unused subsistence payments.

If she had unused benefits from prior months then she was not truly in need of assistance and was receiving it fraudulently.

2. She had possession of cards for multiple people.

Possession of cards belonging to others is illegal.

3. She had multiple identities under which she received payments.

Applying for assistance under multiple identities constitutes fraud.

It seems as though there is little cause for concern within the state or federal governments to investigate fraud of this type. Why? Could it possibly be that the public employees themselves are so engaged in fraud and theft that they don’t want to start rolling an uncontrollable snowball in which might turn on them at the bottom of the hill?

I’m sure it will all change for the better with immigration reform. Millions more people, now in the shadows, coming forth as responsible individuals surely will help stop those who illegally and fraudulently abuse the system.

*Just a note here: Please keep earning money and paying taxes. Many, many people depend on you. And, the government is able to spend your money far more wisely, diligently and efficiently than you. Give a little, give a lot.