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Food Stamps used for Hawaiian Vacations?

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posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 04:54 PM
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(Searched, did not find a similar thread posted, apologies if I missed it)

This seems like a bit of a stretch. In a speech in which he calls Obama "the best food stamp president in history," Newt Gingrich claims that:


You don’t get food stamps. You get a credit card and the credit card can be used for anything. We’ve had people take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii.

abcnews.go.com...

Sounds false to me. A few years back, I was in a rough patch and went on the "food stamp" program for a few months. Didn't help my pride at all, but it helped me to get back on my feet. I was given an EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card, and the only thing it could be used for was purchasing food. There was nothing else I could buy with it, certainly not plane tickets to tropical locations.

Like I said, this was years ago, so maybe things have changed now?


The Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, contracts with a computer firm to analyze food stamp purchases to root out fraud, for which it has received kudos from the Government Accountability Office. USDA says it uses an electronic anti-fraud system to monitor electronic transaction activity and identify suspicious stores for analysis and investigation, which has helped it catch more fraud cases.

The USDA estimates that payment accuracy is at a record high of 96 percent.

The agency “has taken advantage of electronic benefit transfer to reduce fraud, and in response to prior GAO recommendations, has implemented new technology and categorized stores based on risk to improve its ability to detect trafficking and disqualify retailers who traffic,” stated a July 2010 report by the GAO.


Guess not.

I've bought any number of tickets to and from Hawaii and the mainland, and the average price is around $900 to $1,000. That would represent several months worth of benefits, assuming that you were able to buy the tickets with them. But what would you eat once you got to Hawaii (not to mention after you got home)? Food in Hawaii, at least in the "tourist" areas, is incredibly expensive. This claim just does not make any sense.


It is true that the number of Americans who rely on food stamps is at a record high. Nearly 46 million Americans received benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — better known as food stamps — this year, the highest number in recorded history.


There may be a record number of people on the food stamp program right now, but I have a hard time believing that they are living the high life and taking trips to tropical islands with them. If so, I sure haven't seen any.

abcnews.go.com...


Gingrich himself took a trip to Hawaii in August, ostensibly to campaign (in the most Democratic state in the nation).

thinkprogress.org...




posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:00 PM
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Newt Gingrich (if he even spoke on the subject)....is wrong.....food credit is on an EBT card (at least in Washington State) and it can only be used for food ...nothing else...it is set up that way.




edit on 3-12-2011 by caladonea because: add more



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by caladonea
Newt Gingrich....is wrong.....food credit is on an EBT card (at least in Washington State) and it can only be used for food ...nothing else...it is set up that way.


Unless you sold it for a discount to someone. A $100 card sold to someone for $80 and there ya go. Someone gains a little more food and another gets cash in hand.

If I could buy $100 of food for $80, I'd do it all day long.

Maybe.



edit on 3-12-2011 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by jude11

Originally posted by caladonea
Newt Gingrich....is wrong.....food credit is on an EBT card (at least in Washington State) and it can only be used for food ...nothing else...it is set up that way.


Unless you sold it for a discount to someone. A $100 card sold to someone for $80 and there ya go.

Maybe.


I suppose that's possible. But you would have to sell an awful lot of cards to buy a ticket to Hawai'i, a whole lot more to pay for your food and lodging, and twice that many if you didn't plan on going alone. Probably more than a year's worth, I would think.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by jude11

Originally posted by caladonea
Newt Gingrich....is wrong.....food credit is on an EBT card (at least in Washington State) and it can only be used for food ...nothing else...it is set up that way.


Unless you sold it for a discount to someone. A $100 card sold to someone for $80 and there ya go.

Maybe.


Ya...well...I know that went on...in fact in the (China town) section of the city where I live....a woman ran an operation (like you stated above) and she got caught by an (undercover) and now she is doing several years in prison.

I know someone who works for DSHS....and in all of the states....they have undercover law enforcement...ready to bust people who are misusing food credit and or funds...and they intend to prosecute all of them.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:23 PM
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It's possible he was mis-quoted or, misunderstands himself.

The complaint could be about families who (possibly) lie and are on food stamps, then take a vacation to Hawaii (or where ever) and use their food stamp card there.

This is possible, I think, in most states. Because it is government issued it comes and goes from the same place, so if you live in Wyoming and have a food stamp card, using it in Niagra Falls wouldn't seemingly make a difference to the government. Right?


Dunno.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:23 PM
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okay so being someone with EBT benefits i think i should chime in. the foodstamps piece is strictly food...hell energy drinks aren't even covered anymore.
now if you get cash assistance that could be a different story.
i can't find a source with a general guideline to how much you get depending on the amount of children and stuff but seeing as EBT benefits (food stamps and cash alike) can only be stored for 3 months consecutively i would say you would need alot of kids to take a big ol trip.
just propaganda in my opinion.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by ElizaAshdene
It's possible he was mis-quoted or, misunderstands himself.

The complaint could be about families who (possibly) lie and are on food stamps, then take a vacation to Hawaii (or where ever) and use their food stamp card there.

This is possible, I think, in most states. Because it is government issued it comes and goes from the same place, so if you live in Wyoming and have a food stamp card, using it in Niagra Falls wouldn't seemingly make a difference to the government. Right?


Dunno.


I think maybe the cards could be used in different states, but I'm not sure. But read this quote again:


You get a credit card and the credit card can be used for anything. We’ve had people take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii.


Sounds like he is saying that the actual EBT card can be used to buy plane tickets. This, I believe, is completely false. But you could be right, perhaps he just misunderstands. But why talk about something you don't understand, in a speech no less? And who gets enough money on their food stamp card to buy plane tickets to Hawai'i?



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by VariableConstant
 

they can be used in states that participate in the EBT program.
it all just depends on where you are.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by jude11

Originally posted by caladonea
Newt Gingrich....is wrong.....food credit is on an EBT card (at least in Washington State) and it can only be used for food ...nothing else...it is set up that way.


Unless you sold it for a discount to someone. A $100 card sold to someone for $80 and there ya go. Someone gains a little more food and another gets cash in hand.

If I could buy $100 of food for $80, I'd do it all day long.

Maybe.



edit on 3-12-2011 by jude11 because: (no reason given)


Only a moron would do that. The card refills like a debit account. You could sell your entire food source for the next who-knows-how-long for 80 bucks? The simple fact is it is just more positioning from fat rich old men who want to appeal to man's pride and gain some imaginary right to look down on people less fortunate.

Lies, positioning, and hegemony. Newt is smart but he's still just a fat old rich guy with a fan club to cater to.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 05:48 PM
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Foodstamps are 50 cents on the dollar. So 100 in stamps is only wrth 50..

It cant be used like a credit card. And cash has to be withdrawn at the grocery store (if you get tanf)



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 06:12 PM
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they don't got facts to back up their ideology so they make them up. and like another person said, the average going rate is $50 per $100. that comes to $150 per month usual MAX, good luck getting to hawaii with that.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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I think some people may have taken their EBT card with them on vacation to "Hawaii" or where ever, and THEY can see that....Joe Blow from New Jersey just bought $100 worth of food in Hawaii.

There's no way the actual vacations were funded with food stamps.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by MidnightSunshine
 



That was my thought, too. Someone could take their food stamp card to Hawaii and use it there. Then again, if they're on food stamps, how do they have the money to go to Hawaii in the first place? I think Newt is just blowing a lot of hot air.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by cuervo

Originally posted by jude11

Originally posted by caladonea
Newt Gingrich....is wrong.....food credit is on an EBT card (at least in Washington State) and it can only be used for food ...nothing else...it is set up that way.


Unless you sold it for a discount to someone. A $100 card sold to someone for $80 and there ya go. Someone gains a little more food and another gets cash in hand.

If I could buy $100 of food for $80, I'd do it all day long.

Maybe.



edit on 3-12-2011 by jude11 because: (no reason given)


Only a moron would do that. The card refills like a debit account. You could sell your entire food source for the next who-knows-how-long for 80 bucks? The simple fact is it is just more positioning from fat rich old men who want to appeal to man's pride and gain some imaginary right to look down on people less fortunate.

Lies, positioning, and hegemony. Newt is smart but he's still just a fat old rich guy with a fan club to cater to.

This is the correct answer.

If you have any sense of history, the stories of "Welfare Queens" go back probably to the '60s (you could Google it). There are people who have fallen upon hard times, and are on food stamps right now, who themselves probably believed such falsehoods only a short time ago. The well-to-do *like* to believe--and to repeat--such stories, even though there is no basis to them. These (completely untrue) anecdotes have been around for so long and are so deeply buried in the national psyche that no one even bothers to dispute them anymore.

This goes directly to the beliefs of the upper classes that it's the "poor" who are robbing them, through welfare and entitlement programs--and not the rich, who are the ones who are actually robbing them through their own welfare-for-the-rich programs....

edit on 12/3/2011 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 09:42 PM
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Blatant, dishonest, exaggeration.

If Newt becomes president in 2012, the Mayans would be right as the world would end to me. I thought Obama and Bush were bad, Newt is on another level.



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