The toughest state for getting food stamps
Turns out it's not one of the GOP-led, conservative ones. Liberal California has the lowest participation rate in the country.
In the political debate over soaring food-stamp usage, one state stands apart from the rest: liberal California, which ranks as the most efficient U.S. state at keeping residents off the rolls.
Only 55% of eligible Californians received food stamp benefits in 2010, the lowest participation rate of any U.S. state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nationally, about three-quarters of eligible Americans sign up for the food aid program.
How does California discourage residents from signing up? Unfriendly offices, tough requirements and confusing applications, according to the Los Angeles Times.
That may please some conservatives who criticize the program as bloated and prone to fraud, but it also may be hindering California's economy, the Times notes. Because the program is funded mainly by the federal government, California is missing out on about $6 billion in potential federal aid that its residents could spend at local food stores.
Even at 55% participation, California is the biggest food-stamp state, on a dollar basis. About $6.48 billion in food aid was distributed to residents in fiscal year 2011, more than any other state, according to the USDA.
The paradox of food-stamp usage is shown in stark relief by looking at Texas, helmed by a Republican governor and known for its right-leaning population.
The Lone Star State had nearly 4 million residents claiming food aid in fiscal 2011, more than California's 3.67 million participants. Texas' food-stamp bill of about $6 billion was lower than California's because Texans get smaller per-person benefits. But about 65% of eligible Lone Star State residents receive the benefit, according to the USDA.
Despite Texas Gov. Rick Perry's vow to slash government spending, the state has eliminated the requirement that food stamp participants get fingerprinted, the Times noted. (California's Gov. Jerry Brown later signed a bill to do away with that requirement.)
Indeed, the reality of food stamp usage doesn't always jibe with political leanings. For instance, 213 of the 254 counties where food stamp usage doubled from 2007 to 2011 voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a Bloomberg estimate.
To be sure, several liberal-leaning states have the highest participation of eligible residents. Maine and Oregon, for instance, top the list at 100% participation. But Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky -- whose voters supported Romney in 2012 -- were among those right-leaning states with higher-than average participation rates.
The food stamp program is also coming under fire from some mayors who want to ban the the benefit's use to buy sodas such as Coca-Cola (KO), while health advocacy groups are urging the government to restrict junk-food purchases.
The bottom line, however, is that it's not always in a state's best interest to stem food stamp enrollment because of the benefit to local spending.
Or as senior research fellow Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation told the L.A. Times: "It would bring them political controversy and no financial gain for their state. It is like asking them to jump into a buzz saw and to bring their governor along."
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
I can't even talk the way these people talk:
Why you ain't,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be...
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
And then I heard the father talk.
Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth
In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.
The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
$500 sneakers for what?
And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.
I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
People putting their clothes on backward:
Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?
People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something?
Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
What part of Africa did this come from??
We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa .....
I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don't have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, or the Netherlands. The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa So stop, already! ! !
Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem.
We have got to take the neighborhood back.
People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' -- or men or whatever you call them now.
We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job...
Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
We cannot blame the white people any longer.'
Dr.. William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr., Ed..D.
WELL SAID, BILL
It's NOT about color...
It's about behavior!!!
For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
Not fair to make judgment of this, until you see what the Fire Chief says!!!!
In South Los Angeles , a 4-plex home was destroyed by a fire.
A Mexican family of six, all welfare recipients and gang members,
Lived on the first floor, they died.
An Islamic group of seven welfare cheats,
All illegally in the countryfrom Kenya , lived on the second floor,
And they, too, all perished in thefire.
6 LA, Hispanic, ****ers, & ex-cons,
Lived on the 3rd floor and they, too, died.
A lone, white couple lived on the top floor.
The couple survived the fire.
Jesse Jackson, John Burris and Al Sharpton were furious!!
They flew into LA and met with the fire chief, on camera.
They loudly demanded to know,
Why the Blacks, Black Muslims and Hispanics,
All died in the fire and why only the White couple lived?
The Fire Chief said,
"They were at work"
"How does California discourage residents from signing up? "
The application is in English,
I went to college in Kentucky. 80% of the food stamp recipients live in the city of Louisville. Within the city limits of Louisville, it is 75% black. Blacks voted 96% for Obama. It's the same situation in Mississippi which has the highest black population percentage in the US. So the food stamp freeloaders are people who are ultra-liberals and always vote democrat. Funny how the ultra-liberal reporter does not tell us this.
Have you seen the number of shootings in Chicago over the weekend.
I went to college in Kentucky. 80% of the food stamp recipients live in the city of Louisville. Within the city limits of Louisville, it is 75% black."
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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