When Barack Obama took office in January 2009, 31.9 million Americans were receiving food stamps. Currently, there are 47.7 million Americans receiving food stamps. That’s an increase of 15.8 million people, 49.5% in less than 5 years. It is the largest increase for any president in US history.
In comparison, the average monthly increase in the number of people receiving food stamps under President Bush was 304,000 per month. Under Obama, the monthly average reached a peak of over 475,000 people being added to the food stamp rolls per month.
Many may believe that the huge increase in the number of food stamp recipients under Barack Obama has been the problems with the economy and the millions of lost jobs. However, part the reason is that the government has been actively recruiting people to sign up for food stamps. Earlier this year, I reported on Dillie Nerios of Florida whose job it is to sign up a minimum of 150 senior citizens per month for food stamps. Dillie is one of many workers who work 40 hours a week just getting more people to sign up for food stamps.
But who is really profiting from food stamps, the people receiving them or the big business behind them?
Most people think that food stamps really benefit people that have a low income and in fact they do. But they may be surprised to learn that companies such as JP Morgan are making millions of dollars off the food stamp program.
The nation’s largest food stamp service provider is JP Morgan Electronic Financial Services. They handle food stamp EBT contracts in 24 states. According to the Government Accountability Institute, JP Morgan is paid by the federal government for every person enrolled in the food stamp programs under their contracts. Last year, Breitbart reported that JP Morgan had earned a minimum of $560,492,596 off of those contracts since 2004.
Corporations like JP Morgan are also part of the reason that the food stamp rolls have been steadily increasing, as pointed out by Rachel Sheffield, a policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation. She recently commented:
“As welfare grows, it influences more and more people, corporations and sectors of society. Special interests become connected to the growth of the welfare state.”
“Food stamps are one part of the entire welfare system, which is now made up of over 80 federal programs providing social services.”
“Today, poverty rates have remained stagnant, while self-sufficiency has decreased.”
Angelo Codevilla, Professor Emeritus at Boston University and author says that there is an incestuous relationship between the politicians who make the food stamp policies and the companies that process them. The companies are large financial donors to the campaigns of the politicians who award the food stamp EBT contracts. He recently told WND:
“Many on the right bewail redistribution of income to the poor.”
“But they miss a crucial point, namely that while the poor each get a pittance out of each scheme of redistribution, the benefits flow in a concentrated manner to the non-poor but well-connected folks who administer the programs.”
“[The] ruling class are the real beneficiaries.”
“They don’t act out of concern for the poor, but rather massively to feather their own nests.”
Codevilla’s description of the incestuous relationship is somewhat verified by the Government Accountability Institute’s figures. They point out that JP Morgan’s total election campaign donations averaged $82,897 per election cycle for the years of 1998 through 2002. Once they obtained the food stamp EBT contracts through 2010, JP Morgan’s election donations increased to $215,120 per election cycle.
Food stamp EBT programs are administered by the Department of Agriculture. JP Morgan’s campaign donations went to those members of Congress that sit on the committee that oversees the Department of Agriculture. JP Morgan helps finance the campaigns of the politicians that award them the EBT contracts, thus making JP Morgan richer and keeping the poor poorer.
So I ask, what is the real purpose of the food stamp EBT program?