Moreover, if you qualify for food stamps, it can be a gateway to other programs, such as the incorrectly named Obamaphone. Note also that qualification for other programs means that you may qualify for food stamps. It becomes a web of interacting welfare programs - rather than one single program - and the costs are skyrocketing.
But breaking the rules? That doesn't strike me as right - even if a State Agency is doing it. Who gave the authority to these States to send out "heating assistance" checks to people who pay no utility bills? It is breaking the law plain and simple.
And as a result, how much food stamp assistance you qualify for, depends on what State you live in. If you live in one of the 15 States where they send you $1 checks for non-existent heating bills, you get more. But then again, the qualification terms of the program vary from State to State as well - for no apparent reason.
Those mean old Republicans are proposing to eliminate this "Heat and Eat" loophole in the law. Well, they aren't going to eliminate it, actually, but increase the amount of the bogus checks (in order to qualify) to $20 a year. Now, the States, instead of spending a paltry $1 per welfare recipient, per year, need to spend $20.
The thinking is, most States won't be able to afford this, and thus drop the bogus heating check program entirely (in States like Maine, these bogus checks are part of a State Law!) and thus stop the practice. However, States may up the ante by just paying the food stamp recipients the $20 (a nice yearly bonus for them) and then keeping the "loophole" in place.
What is the point of all this? And why do 15 States do it? The reasoning is simple: Get as much money from Uncle Sam as you can. The Federal Government taxes us as individuals, and then sends money to the States - usually with strings attached. The more Federal Swag you can get for your State, the better off your State is. You'll get new roads, bridges, fatter poor people, whatever. It means more business, more sales, and more stuff. And if you don't take advantage of all this Federal Swag, someone else surely will.
So our system of taxation quickly becomes a race to the bottom, where each State vies for its slice of Federal Largess, and like puppies, fight for a place at the mother teat of Uncle Sugar.
It is, in a word, quite appalling.