The most important strategy to protect government corruption is keeping the details hidden. There is no way to hide the fact or corruption, but as long as the nation’s lords of corruption can keep the details hidden, they will always have some level of plausible deniability. They will almost always be able to escape real consequences from accountability if they can keep specifics out of public awareness.
Thus, the AllGov website reported yesterday:
“Unlike those in charge of other federal programs that spend billions of taxpayer dollars each year helping Americans, officials overseeing food stamps have refused to release details on who benefits financially from this assistance. Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not make public how much money individual retailers make from food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nor does the USDA disclose which products are purchased with SNAP dollars or how much is spent on each product.”
First of all, let’s think about how crazy that is from a liberal/socialist/welfare/totalitarian perspective. Our nation is filled with social science researcher out there trying to justify their existence in the industrial-education complex. Plus there are loads of grad students who need dissertations to write. Wouldn’t that information be worth studying to see if SNAP can be improved or amended in some way? If there are problems to be fixed, they will never be
So it is not just some kind of anti-welfare ruse to point out that it is insane for the SNAP overlords to be a law unto themselves.
Of course, the real reason for the secret is that the point of SNAP is not to help the people who are poor and in need of food. Some of those people may benefit, but the real point is to provide food price inflation. Thus:
“In 2011, Tulsa World found that nearly half ($506 million out of $1.2 billion) of all food stamp expenditures between July 2009 and March 2011 went to Walmart Stores, according to data supplied by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.”
I know Walmart is a big company, but if Oklahoma is representative of all the other states where the retail giant operates, that adds up. What would happen if Walmart didn’t have those customers? They would have to lower their prices. They would have to.
It isn’t just grocery stores and take-out restaurants (!) that benefit from tax payer money coming back to them as food stamps. Even J. P. Morgan has a piece of the bipartisan action, making money off the government’s switch to Electronic Balance Transfer cards.
If we are going to have an “open” government and a welfare state, then the data needs to be readily available. Unaccountable bureaucrats giving away free money so that all of us pay higher food prices is not acceptable.