Is USDA Deliberately Sucking Everyone Possible into the Food Stamp Trap?

The US Department of Agriculture has been running a food stamps outreach program in partnership with the government of Mexico. The question being asked by at least one member of Congress is who and how many people are receiving the nutritional assistance program aid and what are the goals of the USDA.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) tried to lead an effort to define the USDA food stamp partnership with Mexico. Unfortunately that effort died in committee, but that hasn’t kept Sessions from asking questions about the program.

This past year, Sessions has been engaged in an exchange of communications with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Secretary Vilsack disclosed in a letter last month to Sessions that 3.5%-4% of the total caseload for the food stamp program, more formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is going to legal non-citizens. Curiously, Vilsack defined, under the public charge statute, that those non-citizens that were enrolled in SNAP, are not considered to be reliant on the government.

Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, has tried to clarify the public charge determinations in conjunction with snap benefits:

“USCIS agency guidance clearly stipulates that certain public benefits are not subject to public charge determinations, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (snap) benefits. The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) as long supported USCIS’ policy on public charge and encourages States administering snap benefits to make the policy well-known in the immigrant communities in your State.”

Sessions is continued to press Vilsack for more information on the assistance to immigrants by asking him:

“You emphasized that food stamp eligibility ‘has never been extended’ to illegal aliens. However, as you know, illegal immigrants can apply for food stamp benefits on behalf of eligible members of their households. To the extent that the illegal immigrants do not have to expand their own resources to purchase food on behalf of others, the obviously benefit from taxpayer-funded assistance. Does your Department have any estimates of total SNAP benefits provided to households headed by an illegal immigrant on behalf of eligible dependents?”

Vilsack’s response I find troubling, as does Senator Sessions:

“With respect to SNAP participation rates, the most recent available data shows that in 2010, an average of 51 million individuals were eligible for benefits each month, and 38 million receive them, resulting in a participation rate of 75% among all snap-eligible individuals in that year.”

“USDA’s strategic plan includes a goal to reach 75% of the SNAP -eligible population by 2015 — the same rate reached in 2010.”

Senator Sessions responded asking Vilsack:

“You stated that 75% of snap-eligible individuals received the benefits in 2010. With almost one in six Americans currently receiving food stamps, you estimate the participation rate is roughly 75%? In other words, are one in four Americans currently eligible for food stamp benefits?”

Last year Secretary Vilsack had assured Senator Sessions that the USDA was not trying to pressure eligible people to enroll in the SNAP program just to increase their numbers. Yet Sessions provided the example of a promotional guide used by USDA recruiters to help them learn how to overcome people saying no to the assistance program and to overcome their ’mountain pride’ and sense of self-reliance. In February, Vilsack did not address whether he would curtail such programs of recruitment or not.

What I want to know is why are we recruiting citizens and non-citizens for government assistance? Is the USDA actively engaged in sucking everybody they can into receiving government aid? Are they purposely trying to get as many Americans as possible, and non-Americans, to become dependent upon the government for their livelihood?

This is another reason why middle class America has been shrinking while those living at or below the poverty line are increasing at an alarming rate. If you look at history you will find that many countries that were taken over by socialist leaders eliminated the middle class. Most socialist and communist countries have two classes of people, the poor and the elite. This seems to be the direction our current government is taking us and one can only conclude that we’re headed down the same historical path as those other countries that flew a hammer and sickle instead of a flag of freedom.

We need to stop trying to suck people in to being reliant on the government. Instead we need to help them to become self-reliant. Let’s stop spending the millions of dollars on benefits for illegals and use that money to help Americans who so desperately need it. Charity begins at home and not to those who illegally break into our home! Deport illegals and use the money saved to help Americans learn to help themselves!

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