What’s in it for the government to take wealth from those who earned it and give to those who didn’t? Power, of course. The money isn’t given for nothing; it buys votes. But also, Big Government takes a cut of the loot — a fat cut:
Not only does the government spend a breathtaking $70 billion a year to give a record number of people food stamps, it wastes billions more to administer the bloated welfare program. Some states spend a lot more than others to distribute the free food vouchers and the discrepancies are downright outrageous. The government dedicates $3.6 billion annually just to administer food stamps (renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—SNAP to eliminate stigma), according to a federal audit that includes mind-boggling figures.
For instance, California, the state with by far the largest food-stamp roll, spends a lot more than the national average to execute the federal nutrition program. The Golden State doles out an average of $34.06 a month for each of its 2 million food stamp cases while other states, like Ohio, spend only $9.55. Some California counties are off the charts with administration costs. For instance, San Francisco County spends a whopping $73 a month administering each food stamp case. To put this in perspective, New York City spends $23 per case. The huge gap suggests “possible waste and operational inefficiencies,” according to the audit conducted by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency that dispenses food stamps. That seems to be putting it mildly.
They used to say war is the health of the state. Those days are behind us now. Now welfare is the health of the state.
The food stamp program has been increasingly characterized by massive fraud. But there is no reason for Big Government to care.
On a tip from Rob E.