Food Stamp Fraud
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The national section of the Times carries a news article about food stamp fraud. It's nice to see the Times tackle this subject, but from the article, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the reporter or editors involved in carrying out the assignment did so with considerable reluctance.
The Times reports: "In fact, the black market accounts for just over 1 percent of the total food stamp program, which is far less than fraud in other government programs like Medicare and Medicaid."
Lower down in the article, the Times concedes, "Include erroneous payments to recipients because of errors on the part of the government or outright lying on applications, and the overall loss to the food stamp program is about 4.7 percent, according to the Department of Agriculture."
Well, why wouldn't one include "outright lying on applications" as part of an estimate of fraud?
The Times then rushes, defensively, to minimize the problem, "Although the sheer size of the program means that more than $3 billion is lost to trafficking, fraud and overpayments each year, the rate is less than other government programs, according to federal audits."
I don't trust these audits to accurately measure the amount of fraud in the program. Isn't it possible that some fraud escapes the notice of the auditors? The Times doesn't seem to have considered the possibility.
The Times article ends like this:
Leaving this as the closing thought of the article conveys the impression that Times editors or the reporter agree with it, and can't wait to get away from this food stamp fraud topic and go back to writing about evil bankers.
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