Under Paul Ryan’s fiscal road-map which we lovingly refer to as the “Path to Poverty” in mockery of its actual name “Path to Prosperity,” virtually no social program would escape the drive toward privatization and obsolescence.
One such program is SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is also known as Food Stamps. Under Ryan’s plan, SNAP would be converted into a block-grant system given to the states much in the same way that Medicaid would be. After the granted funds dry up, the states would be left on their own.
To make the case for such a radical change to a program with a proven track record, Paul Ryan accused the SNAP program of being “rife with fraud,” and claimed that the program isn’t helping the people who really need it during a question and answer session with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.
Look at SNAP for example. You know we get all these reports. We get hearings and GAO and reports about how the SNAP program is rife with fraud, how it’s not getting the assistance to the people who need it, how there’s no incentive to – we’ve got a guy who won a lottery that’s on the program you know. Help us figure out how to reform these programs so that they can work better.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, errors in the system only account for roughly 3% of the current budget.
In fiscal year 2009, even as caseloads were rising, states set new record lows for error rates. The net loss due to errors equaled only 2.7 percent of program costs in 2009. There is no evidence that program errors are driving up SNAP spending.
Which is the more fraudulent? A social program which is 97% effective in reaching the right people, or a politician who wants to place the right people out of its reach?