Fox News did a good job last night with an hour-long special, “The great food stamp binge.” Bret Baier narrated a story with segments on North Carolina mountaineers and Florida Hispanics urged to become dependent on government, and resenting it. If you missed it, the program airs again Sunday night at 9 p.m. EDT.
The program also starred Jason “Rat” Greenslate (see a video clip at the Fox News site), a 29-year-old California who plays his guitar, hangs around beaches, doesn’t want to work, and happily buys sushi and lobster with a monthly $200 in food stamps (officially, benefits from signing up for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
His is an extreme case—for some, SNAP is the difference between eating and not eating, and many in the federal program are the working poor—but when asked if he feels guilty, Greenslate gives a priceless response: “Thank you taxpayers.”
The number of SNAP recipients has jumped from roughly 27 million to 47 million in the past five years, yet Democrats say Republicans in the House of Representatives are cruel because they dare to suggest that the number could be 2 million fewer.
If you want to understand more about the selling of dependency, see WORLD’s Nov. 19, 2011, cover story, “Food stamps surge,” where we show that most of the huge jump in SNAP users over the past five years is more about selling the program than feeding the needy.
Fox News showed well how “The USDA has come to see its mission as pushing food stamps on people reluctant to take them.” One example: a government-paid, Spanish-language, 10-episode radio novella designed to knock down arguments against signing up. One character, “Diana,” asks, “Isn’t this like welfare?”—and her friend says, “No … just do it.”
The pressure increases, episode after episode: “Ay, girl, when are you going to learn?” In episode seven, when Diana worries about being seen with food stamps, a friend shows her, “There’s no stamps. SNAP looks like a card.” Episode nine brings the climax: Diana realizes SNAP is her very best friend.
Your taxes at work.