The following information was released by Steve Foley for U.S. Congress.
Let it never be said that State Senator Alan Lowenthal is a slouch. He’s got political posturing, scare tactics and the rhetoric of dependency down to a science. It’s obvious, however, that he’s more interested in making the poor and the taxpayer alike victims of government waste than he is in solving real problems.
In an April 24th press release, Lowenthal attacked the House Committee on Agriculture’s recent recommendation to cut $33 billion over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), this federal food stamp program is, by the agency’s own admission, rampant with fraud. In fact, a March 2011 USDA summary report acknowledged that trafficking alone, defined as the sale of benefits to food retailers for cash, diverted $330 million between 2006 and 2008. That figure doesn’t include additional fraud perpetrated by program beneficiaries, who sell their benefits to others for a profit. Recent investigative reporting by David Goldstein at CBS 2 in Los Angeles suggests that abuses of this latter type are also widespread.