Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Failure to Get Food Stamps to Those in Need Hurts the Economy

While people are bemoaning the idea of a 'jobless recovery' from the worst recession since the Great Depression (again, 'horrors'! After 10 months in office the current administration hasn't corrected excesses at least 8 years in the making!), the last thing governments should be doing is making it harder on jobless households.

Take Texas for example: inefficiencies, poor management and clerical work, and, ultimately the outsourcing of one of the most vital safety nets for poor citizens is resulting in thousands of Texans unable to schedule an interview for months. For months!

I love Texas. I can scarcely think of anyplace else I'd want to live. But, honestly, with more of this stuff, we can stop this embarrassingly silly talk of secession. The U.S. could revoke our charter of statehood for sheer inanity!

Failure to continue to meet the 30 day deadline for deciding food stamp cases could result in the $173 million to cover half the cost of the federal programs overhead.

So let me get this straight, we've rejected stimulus related unemployment dollars in order to save the tax payers because 'strings' were attached and to save small business owners money. So by rejecting the unemployment stimulus money, it saddles business with $ 294 million in unemployment expenses it wouldn't have had to pay otherwise. And now inefficiency that comes from a strategy to save money, could cost us another $173 million?!

I'm totally baffled by 'tough fiscal conservatism' and the capacity of some its adherents to shoulder the misery of others with such poise.

In the meantime Central Dallas Ministries has provided 1 million pounds of food from January through September of this year. That's more than twice the number all of last year!

Now - for the 'die hard-fiscal-let's-fix-the-economy-first conservatives: that's 1 million pounds of food that was not bought in a grocery store - with food stamps!

Let's just say a pound of food costs 90 cents. A million pounds of food at 90 cents is $900,000. That's how much money the Dallas' economy missed because people didn't have, had trouble reapplying for, or couldn't get an interview to get food stamps. That's what it cost the economy to give away food at Central Dallas Ministries.

There are 1100 food pantries in Dallas.

Every time a person has to go to a food pantry for free food because they can't get food stamps, it takes money out of the economy.

This is just Dallas.

So, how does the state deal with this fiasco?

[Governor Rick] Perry spokesman Chris Cutrone responded: "Our office is closely monitoring this issue, and we expect [the commission] to handle it in an efficient and timely manner."

One should only hope!

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