April 15, 2018

Fox News attacks Food Stamp Fraud. Here’s the Truth.

Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, other—we all agree that partisanship is the problem.

But it’s their problem.

It’s never our problem.

In reality, partisanship—even if you or I happen to be right about something—is always a problem.

Sherlock Holmes, when asked how he was such a genius, replied: I’m not a genius. I just go into a situation with an open mind, gather clues, and put them together. Whatever they tell me is what is, no matter how unlikely. Others do the opposite. They go in with a fixed idea of what is, and arrange the clues to fit their preconception.

That ways lies madness. That way lies fake news. That way lies hate, and prejudice (pre-judging), and even (uncivil) war.

Take fracking. We liberals here in Boulder love to hate it. But we also love our natural gas stoves, we swear by ’em. Where does natural gas come from? Much of it (not all), from fracking.

Take voter or food stamp fraud. Neither really exists (especially voter fraud). Military fraud is far higher, but Fox News doesn’t call for the end of military funding, or outsourcing military work to private contractors, now do they?


Recently, Fox News blamed American citizens for Food Stamp fraud. Here’s the truth (and Fox won’t like it):

Fox News, President Trump, and a certain portion of our fellow citizens—have a tendency to blame the weak, the poor, the vulnerable—and give a pass to corruption from the high and mighty, the powerful and already-wealthy. Why is that?

When we look at good-old-fashioned facts, the truth is that, while there is always room for improvement, the way we can work together to fix these problems, and others, isn’t in lying or being lied to. It’s not in broad strokes, blaming millions, when dozens are at fault. And, much of the blame lies in our own cherished idols—fraud in the military, fraud in big business, fraud in politicians taking money via Citizens United and fraud in media, no longer bound by the Fairness Doctrine.


Discussion and links below via Reddit: “While the wealthy cheat the system to the tune of trillions. Get ready for more of this bullshit once the deficit starts hurting. “

From the Washington Post article https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/28/fox-news-wonders-if-we-should-cancel-food-stamps-since-0-09-percent-of-spending-is-fraudulent:

Another example. On Wednesday, we reported about a long-running scam operated by Leonard Francis, a Navy contractor who, over the course of several years, defrauded the government to the tune of $35 million.

As of writing, Fox News has not questioned whether we should disband the Navy.

Because of how much fraud and waste is in the military?

” SNAP benefits cost $70.9 billion in fiscal year 2016 and supplied roughly 44.2 million Americans (14% of the population) with an average of $125.51 for each person per month in food assistance.”


If you know Fox is wrong but want data.



The Navy is currently investigating one of the largest corruption scandals in U.S. history.


Fat Leonard bribed and entrapped dozens of senior officers in the 7th fleet to provide for information on ship movements.

Work the government to give food stamps for the poor: criminal.

Work the government to give the rich a $1.5 trillion tax cut: smart

Are tax cuts like what we just did needed or smart?

Buffett acknowledged that Berkshire Hathaway made billions from the tax cut:

“A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire,” Buffett, 87, wrote. Of the $65 billion the company made last year, $36 billion was from its operations.

I.e. $29 billion was from the tax cut.

He was also clear that he thought the tax cut was a bad idea long before it was passed:

“We have a lot of businesses… I don’t think any of them are non-competitive in the world because of the corporate tax rate,” Buffett told CNBC in October.

Fox News really is a scourge in our country. The Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated and Citizen’s United decision should be over ruled. These two are literally societal viruses.

Instead of media educating the public it brainwashed them. Without effective education no democracy can thrive.


When the world feels hopeless:

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Alina Bailey Apr 17, 2018 5:53pm

Honestly food stamp and welfare fraud is a very real thing. I’ve seen the offenders themselves write blog posts on why they do it-to be lazy for free! They don’t need much more than a roof over their head and are good just sitting back collecting a check while honest people don’t get their benefits and work. And guess what these fraudulents do? Sit back smoke pot and god knows what else. So I’m sorry how is asking for a drug test a republican thing? Don’t make this about politics. Any mother who is honestly unable to feedback her family sure as hell isnt smoking weed or crack but trying to make ends meet.

Richard P Tulkiams Apr 17, 2018 4:19pm

Sharon Yarmolinsky end all entitlements and correct military corruption ... it’s this simple ... let people work like the rest of the people in this world 2 , 3 jobs ...and family is all one needs , if one is found to truly need any type of assistance they lose the right to vote and they have to be up at 5 o’clock in the morning to pick their money up at the end of the day and they do free labor for anyone who pays taxes and get paid at the end of each day

Karen Shields Apr 16, 2018 2:48pm

Sad to say that your commentary simply fuels the problem you seem to feel you are above, or against, or want to fix... or, what really is your motive here? How easy it becomes for us to throw stones when our primary focus is to find fault rather than to perhaps consider the 'other side' wants for the best overall, just as we do?! I love your site, pondering many of your personal thoughts and views, but this extreme berating of what is most likely of good intention really does a nice job of perpetuating partisanship. Way to go.

Art Haberland Apr 16, 2018 1:58pm

Sharon Yarmolinsky There is nothing wrong with our food stamp program (SNAP benefits) aside from the fact that it does not cover enough for those that need it. You mention how much the SNAP benefits were up under Obama, you do remember the "Great Recession" we came out of under his Administration? Of course There were more people using it than ever before, there were more people out of work since the great Depression. I still live and work in one of the hardest hit areas of the country. Atlantic County, NJ. many of the homes around here are empty, abandoned to the banks when half of the casinos in Atlantic City closed. We are slowly recovering as two of the closed properties are getting ready to reopen. The past 8 years were no picnic for my neighbors and they deserved all the help they could get without being judged for it. Nobody wants to be on Assistance, we all want to survive on our two feet. If one looks at the numbers, a great many people using SNAP actually work, but do not make enough to make ends meet without a little help. There is only one thing worse than being poor, and that is working and still being poor. Nobody wants to run themselves into the ground and still need help with the bills at the end of the month.

Sharon Yarmolinsky Apr 16, 2018 2:52am

Waylon, none of your counter arguments justify your critisizm of Trump or Fox and while you state there is always room for impovement, you have not offered one single recommendation that helps the life-time poor, unemployed to rise from out 'n under. All you did is demonize the President who was democratically elected to run your country and to solve the problems that the previous administration failed to do. In fact, during the previous administration, food stamp enrollment was up substantially (50-70%) . Funny how you don't complain about that. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/28/food-stamp-president-enrollment-70-percent-under-o/ http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jul/19/tom-cole/rep-tom-cole-says-food-stamp-spending-doubled-unde/ From the aggressive title down throughout the unrelated list of examples in the article, like navy fraud and Buffett, this very line you wrote but want to deny; "Fox News, President Trump, and a certain portion of our fellow citizens—have a tendency to blame the weak, the poor, the vulnerable—and give a pass to corruption from the high and mighty, the powerful and already-wealthy." is nothing more than deminizing those who think differently from you politically. If you still do not understand the meaning of demonizing, I suggest you check your on-line dictionary. As I said before, you are clearly bullying your readers against your leadership and you are doing it on the backs of people who need help. A responsible leader is one who seeks long term solutions, finding ways-out of poor arrangements that only serve as immediate bandaids on serious, decade old issues. If you are a true patriot, then trust and support your leadership. If you want to practice your democratic right; use this space to offer a better food stamp management program.

Elephant Journal Apr 16, 2018 12:00am

From Waylon, who can't log in to Facebook comments: 1. I didn't mention CNN. 2. There are comments on this post where it was shared on FB. There are usually fewer comments on actually source articles (welcome to Facebook owning everything). 3. I literally write about how partisanship, whether liberal or conservative, is a problem. I in no place demonize (your word). 4. Don't you dare tell me to move, I love this country, and democracy is founded on true patriotism--which is the right to criticize its government. Shame on you for suggesting those who might disagree with you should move, ma'am. 5. I don't think President Trump cares about the poor, given his track record. ~ Waylon Lewis

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.