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The Need For Reformation Essay

1419 words - 6 pages

Millions of Americans receive benefits to provide food for their families through social welfare programs. Poor people are saved from starvation every day by a card that arrives in their mailbox. Such cards can carry more than one thousand dollars and function like debit cards. Although these cards can be a life ring to those drowning in debt and poverty, some Americans view the food stamp system as ineffective; the food stamp system should be reformed because much of the assistance is wasted, causes dependency on the government, and costs too much for taxpayers.
The first food stamp program was instituted on May 19th, 1939, but before six months had passed, the first case of fraud had already occurred (Short History). The main cause for thoughts of doing away with food stamps is the waste of American money that goes into producing and distributing them. Although the regulations regarding eligibility of reception of stamps are specific, the outdated system is often inaccurate. In fact, sending payments to prisoners and the deceased accounts for more than one billion wasted tax dollars (Fraud). Similarly, waste can exist on the receiver’s end. In New York, a majority of children in families that participate in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program are overweight or obese because their parents spend benefits on junk food that have few positive effects (Buchanan). On the other end of the spectrum, a different wasting occurs. Since the program has moved from physical stamps to plastic that functions as a debit card, some recipients of the welfare have found it simple to use automated teller machines to withdraw cash. Transactions for the SNAP cards have been traced to ATMs in strip clubs and liquor stores where they are legally forbidden (Huston). Most Americans are willing to support fellow citizens who have difficult times earning money, but many would be shocked to learn where a large portion of their tax contributions to the food stamp program goes.
Dependency is the loss of self-reliance. When one loses the ability to provide for himself, it is natural to seek help; however, if he believes that he need not try to carry his own weight, the government that provides for him will be weakened. It is hard to believe that one in seven Americans cannot feed themselves (Buchanan). The ability to use government assistance for essentially anything through the utilization of loopholes can be tempting for some unlucky citizens. Although it is illegal, the ability to do nothing and get paid is enticing. Actions of these believers cause some Americans to believe that “our tax dollars are being spent to encourage economic immobility” (Cefaratti). Since word has spread that earning money can be as simple as asking for it, roughly ten percent of food stamp recipients are able-bodied adults between the ages of eighteen and fifty. In one instance, a surfer in California was interviewed by reporters. He told them that he uses his government handouts to...

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