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Well there is controversy growing tonight over the farm bill.
At stake billions in savings from cuts to food stamps the country's ever expanding entitlement program.
It's meant to help the neediest to get enough to eat but today one in seven Americans is on the food stamp -- joining me now Stephen Hayes senior writer for the weekly standard.
And then -- CNN what do you that you're one in seven Americans is that too many.
But certainly too many and it took extraordinary growth since the 1970s when I was one in fifty Americans who are part of the food stamp program.
The problem is you've had both a lowering of eligibility with this policy called categorical eligibility which makes.
For food stamps and at the same time we've had aggressive recruitment.
Or at least advertisement.
To people who might be eligible for food stamps -- you combine those two in some cases have.
Rich Lowry reported -- today that the United States are offering fifty million dollars in incentives.
To sign people up for -- that's gonna that's gonna.
Successful you know you have about eligibility requirements sometimes it just taking a brochure that makes you eligible for food stamps.
A lot of Americans are are avid they're frustrated with the program they know the last year we spent some.
Sixteen point five billion at least the federal government dead and congress is continuing to bid to -- this here.
And what do you think the broader impacts of this and what is the take away for the election.
Why don't think they'll be a lot of -- -- for the election Franklin and I think that the big picture effectiveness of the -- you knew it was expected that we're gonna have some increases in food stamps.
Given that the difficulty at the country's gone through economically over the past three have four years.
Understandable the problem is this this surge in food stamp eligibility and -- station.
Pre dates the recession so you've got you you have this expansion in the Bush Administration -- -- you continue.
At an excel at a pace under President Obama.
-- it's no surprise me I have to do -- listen to the advertising let me play US snippet from our radio.
Would you look at Margie she looks amazing yeah she sure parents I wonder how she's staying so fit.
What's his secret window she told -- pet food stamp benefits help her eat right and she stays active too.
So that's your taxpayer dollars promoting food stamps as if it was a little weight loss seminar what do you make -- -- A fitness program don't let Mike Bloomberg here about -- have the entire.
Citigroup who are kind of food stamps look at me.
You know I would argue that's it grossly inappropriate for the federal government be doing something like that and advertising that -- doing.
Food stamps were meant to be place of last resort some place that is it sort of it the ultimate safety network people who really were destitute.
To put food and their mountains of the food in the -- and their children.
Could go as a last resort.
Support from the from the government support for the society.
Now you're seeing it advertised as sort of the newest trend if you wanna look great go to -- -- get food stamps doesn't make any sense and.
All doesn't make any sense -- your earlier point about how the spending went up even before the recession check out the comparison of Medicaid.
And food stamp increases and spending during the recession Medicaid only went up 27% that's for health care services for the port.
But food stamps went up a 119%.
That's really telling I think it tells you something about our minds it is is our federal government trying to get as -- -- did.
To these federal dollars.
Well I did you know that it certainly seems that way I think that really speaks to eligibility when you have such.
A low threshold for food stamp eligibility it's no doubt no doubt are no surprise.
That people seek to take advantage of that -- -- there were telling them it's there we're -- with Natalie there.
But it's good for them and so it's no quilt question no surprise that people would seek to take advantage of that and eligibility requirements for Medicaid are much much harsher.
All right yeah.
There's been a big debate about whether people should use food stamps to buy liquor to go to a strip club more and more states are saying no.
Effect and there's something like fourteen states that are considering making those kinds of things illegal there's even a federal lot it's gonna enforce that in 2014.
You know it is sad and shocking I mean for goodness -- should there be limits somewhere.
I mean food stamps to go to strip out that -- would think there wouldn't be much of a debate about what tax appropriate or not.
Seems to me clear that that's not appropriate -- look there are some I think didn't including some.
Who are who you know more libertarian who would make an argument that if you're gonna have.
An effective very fell more efficient program and cut the layers of bureaucracy what you wanna -- -- in fact make it a more cash friendly program and have fewer limits.
There's some very to research to support that argument but the problem is what we're seeing some great expansion of of food stamp eligibility in a dramatic way as use as you've shown and also looser rules about what food stamps can actually purchase.
You can't have a combination of the to -- I think it's possible that if you were going to.
Lower eligibility requirements make it more difficult for people to be on food stamps you could broaden.
Or at least be free hear about what people could choose to buy with food stamps but he can't do it both the same time.
While -- a long way to go on that topic -- See -- thanks for helping us out today appreciate.
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