In response to:

Food Stamp Fraud and Twinkies

SpaceVegetable Wrote: Apr 22, 2013 3:19 PM
I wonder about how much data we the taxpayers - who pay for all these programs - are allowed to see? I keep hearing from my state officials here in MA that the problem is small and fraud is just "anecdotes", yet when citizens try to get access to data to investigate, they are turned away or threatened. Last year, some citizens wanted to see parking records to validate that legislators were actually present on days they claimed parking fee allowances, yet they were denied by the governor and threatened by police when they set up cameras outside said garage for verification. DO we not have the right to see how *our* money is being spent?

The federal food stamp program—now called SNAP—is attracting a lot of media coverage. One reason for this is that the program’s costs have exploded—spending more than quadrupled during the Bush-Obama years to $82 billion in 2013 (see here and here p. 16). The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations all took steps to loosen the purse strings on food stamp eligibility, and those changes have led to the ballooning costs of recent years during the stagnant economy.

Aside from the rising costs, two other...