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Factor investigation segment tonight food stamps right now the federal government is spending a record 75 billion dollars a year.
On supplemental nutrition assistance food stamps.
And Roman and that program now stands at about 48 million Americans another record.
That's a 50% increase 50%.
As president Obama's taken office edition it's estimated that 750 million dollars a year stole.
From the food stamp program to and is now from Washington Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute do you think it's a much higher theft -- get to that in a moment.
But first why do you think so many Americans are getting food stamps is a purely because of the Dicey economy.
It's partly the economy but both presidents bush and then -- -- my -- usually expanded eligibility and benefit levels for the food stamp program.
To give you one example President Bush.
Change the -- and allowed immigrants they get food stamps immigrants -- to be barred from food stamps.
Sort of -- one number on this in the last five years the number of Americans in poverty.
Has gone up ten million but the number on food stamps has gone up twenty million so you can see it's not just the poverty problem it's this expansion and eligibility.
Under the last few administrations that is a real problem here.
Now the government what.
Expands because they wanna be humane though you say it's a problem isn't it a humane thing to do to get people who don't have a lot of money the ability to buy better food.
Look food stamps is an old fashioned welfare program.
The whole point of the wolf -- Foreman 96 it was to not give these unconditional.
Benefits to people who don't work.
Food stamps has been a massive expansion -- old fashioned welfare where people get the benefits.
For not working and as you touched on there's a huge amount of fraud and waste in this program as well.
We were supposed to have reform and stuff and got to go to Washington.
And -- grown worse under both Republicans and Democrats.
All right now and the Department of Agriculture estimates about 750 million stolen food stamps you say about three billion.
-- it's almost impossible to calibrated but what's this scam how to people steal food stamps.
-- food stamp says he said -- fifty about 59 people on it there's 200000.
Retail stores in America.
Where people can redeem their food stamps so the basic -- is people -- -- with their electronic food stamp card.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gives a -- bucks cash to the individual wall.
Who's cheating the system -- and he -- -- -- -- you know alcohol or drugs or whatever he wants and so the retailer you see pockets of 200 dollars from a government.
Andy did and now that these cards are electronic these scans can be really widespread.
And they are really widespread and you know I don't believe the government's fraud numbers the government says only about 1% fraud.
I don't believe that most of these federal subsidy program is 10% fraud I think the fraud and abuse in food stamps is in the billions and billions of dollar.
-- yeah I mean if that's the case if people can swipe a card showing a certain amount that's been paid and then -- not.
That doesn't go for food goes for drugs or alcohol and then pocket you know obviously that's so simple you can do that transaction and -- 35 seconds.
And -- you gotta figure these there's a bunch of guys have figured this out and that's what they're doing very troubling I I think and there's nobody really watching any of this right.
That's right ended the basic problem here is that the feds pay in the eighty billion for the food stamp program that states administer it all the states have no incentive to crack down on -- fraud.
They have every incentive to maximize the amount of people on the program.
And -- and to not worry about the fraud because the feds are paying for this is why Ronald Reagan wanted to get food stamps.
Give it back to state governments where they can administer it better than the federal government and I -- nobody keeping track of it now that's for sure -- and even a manpower into.
-- -- -- we appreciate it plenty more ahead it's about.
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