The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program helps feed more than 44 million hungry people in the United States. Many of the people who depend on food stamps are either children or the elderly. This part may surprise some folks, but many of the people who rely on SNAP benefits work and still don’t have enough money to feed their families.
Food stamps literally keep tens of millions of Americans from starving to death in the streets. However, Fox News thinks the program needs to be scrapped because of fraud. Surely, you say, this fraud problem must be dire if it warrants allowing children to die of starvation! Well, not exactly. Remember, this is Fox News we are talking about, after all.
So, 2016 had record high numbers of fraud in the SNAP program. How high? Less than a whopping one percent. Fox News made it sound very scary for their viewers when they announced that $70 million had been wasted this year thanks to food stamp fraud. But when you put that in perspective, you realize just how minuscule that number is in reality.
The Washington Post explained that “the amount of fraud reported in the SNAP system is a tiny fraction of overall spending. The cost of providing nutritional assistance to those 44 million people (on average each month) is $70.8 billion. In other words, the amount of fraud is about 0.09 percent of all of the money spent.”
They provided this nifty little visual aid to show what that looks like.
Yes, in case you are wondering, there most certainly is a slice of pie representing fraud, it’s just so small you can barely even see it.
The Post goes on to list various other ways that the United States could cut spending without starving children. If we want to pinch pennies, there are a thousand other ways to do it without taking away grandma’s food stamps. But saving money isn’t really the issue here. This kind of thing has never been about being “fiscally responsible.” It’s about contempt for the very people who need compassion the most.
Featured image via John Moore/Getty Images
April has studied political science, psychology, and philosophy. Back in the good old days she was a reporter for “old fashioned” print newspapers. In addition to news and politics, she also blogs about service dogs and disability advocacy. As a black woman with a disability, she is fed up with the right-wingers who would prefer that she and others like her didn’t exist.