9:17 AM, Jun 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published a month ago but just publicly released on Monday found that while the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken steps to see that ineligible beneficiaries do not receive reduced-price or free school meals, oversight still needs to be improved. An analysis of a small, "nongeneralizable" sample of twenty-five approved applications found that eleven of them were in fact ineligible.
The sample included two categories of applications: those which automatically qualify due to "categorical eligibility (by participating in certain public-assistance programs or meeting an approved designation, such as foster children)," and those which qualify based on self-reported household size and income.
Of the six applications that indicated categorical eligibility, half were either completely ineligible (2) or qualified for reduced-price meals instead of free. These type of applications are not even subject to standard verification. The GAO recommended that the USDA conduct sample verification such as the one conducted by the GAO to help prevent this problem.
Of the remaining nineteen applications, the GAO found that nine were ineligible, and only two of the nine could have been verified as ineligible under standard USDA procedures. The GAO suggests that using computer matching with external income data (state payroll records) could help in weeding out participants who do not qualify despite the self-reported information that resulted in the initial approval.
A chart included in the report illustrates the relatively small window of income variation ($1,200) from the established thresholds that subjects an application to standard verification:
The report noted that "[t]he Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has designated the NSLP [National School Lunch Program] as 1 of 13 federal 'high-error' programs due to its large estimated improper payments—approximately $1.8 billion in fiscal year 2013," for an error rate of 15.7 percent. The School Breakfast Program (SBP) error rate was even higher at 25.3 percent for an estimated $831 million in improper payments in fiscal 2013.
As of this date, the USDA has not responded to the GAO regarding the recommendations made in the report.
9:39 AM, Oct 23, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last 5 years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare. Here's a chart, showing that spending versus transportation, education, and NASA spending:
Hosted by Michael Graham4:36 PM, Aug 16, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with R Street Institute's Lori Sanders on her recent story: Why the GOP needs a reform agenda for anti-poverty programs -- reforms that emphasize work, family, and economic freedom.
The poverty of the GOP’s antipoverty agenda.Aug 26, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 47 • By LORI SANDERS AND ELI LEHRER
After five decades of liberal antipoverty programs that have produced only failure and futility, it is more than time for a conservative response to the problem of poverty—one that emphasizes work, family, and economic freedom.
Nearly a quarter of the people living in Washington, D.C. are on the program.9:13 AM, Mar 11, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
On Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture quietly released new statistics related to the food stamps program, officially known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The numbers reveal, in 2012, the food stamps program was the biggest it's ever been, with an average of 46,609,072 people on the program every month of last year. 47,791,996 people were on the program in the month of December 2012.
8:27 AM, Jan 15, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Federal welfare spending will skyrocket 80 percent over the next decade, according to new analysis by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. Here's a chart, provided by the committee, detailing the growth in spending:
Properly understood Jan 14, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 17 • By GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB
Defeat, like death, concentrates the mind wonderfully. It also liberates the mind. People venture to think the unthinkable, or at least, the impermissible. A new generation of conservatives may be moved to reconsider some ideas that have fallen into disuse or even disrepute. Compassion is one such idea.
11:13 AM, Dec 7, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The amount of money spent on welfare programs equals, when converted to cash payments, about "$168 per day for every household in poverty," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds. Here's a chart detailing the committee's findings:
9:39 AM, Nov 2, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that "Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth [Is] 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation," according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. "For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People Added To Food Stamp Rolls."
3:27 PM, Oct 26, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
New data compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee shows that, last year, the United States spent over $60,000 to support welfare programs per each household that is in poverty. The calculations are based on data from the Census, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congressional Research Services.
4:11 PM, Oct 18, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
A report from the Congressional Research Service released today finds that welfare spending is now the largest federal budget item. Presently, the federal government spends $745.84 billion to support 83 of these welfare programs.
The costs are astronomically high--and they are likely only to continue to rise.
8:45 AM, Oct 18, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service finds that the largest federal budget item is spending on welfare programs. To support the 83 programs that CRS identified as welfare programs, the federal government spends $745.84 billion.
That dollar amount exceeds the $725 billion spent by the federal government on Social Security, $480 billion on Medicare, and $540 billion on non-war defense.
12:51 PM, Oct 16, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Food stamps enrollment has hit a new record high. 46,681,833 are now enrolled in the social welfare program, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the federal department that runs the program.