Even if you believe in entitlements and social welfare programs, $1 worth of food stamps sent to 250,000 people seems like a total waste of money:
The state of Washington sent out $1 checks to the 250,000 food stamp recipients in the state. The director of the Community Services Division for the Department of Social and Health Services, Leo Ribas, says the checks mailed Feb. 17 trigger an additional $43 million in federal food benefits. They also connect recipients to an energy assistance program. Ribas says the $1 check is a one-time move to leverage the federal money [Emph Added].
Was there no way to send $250K of foodstamps to say, 5000 people, so the recipients could have bought something besides a pack of gum, and still “triggered” the additional federal entitlement money? When talking about trillion dollar budgets, special calculators are likely needed to measure the impact of 250,000 dollars. But when governments waste a taxpayer-funded entitlement in a manner that does not help the people it is intended for, solely for the purpose of obtaining more entitlement money, it causes taxpayers to question the entitlement in the first place. And the governments administering them.
Update: Speaking of questioning government and entitlements, House Dems are preparing to unveil a brand new $410 billion dollar spending bill
to keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year, setting up the second political struggle over federal funds in less than a month with Republicans. The measure includes thousands of earmarks, the pet projects favored by lawmakers but often criticized by the public in opinion polls. There was no official total of the bill’s earmarks, which accounted for at least $3.8 billion.Democrats defended the spending increases, saying they were needed to make up for cuts enacted in recent years or proposed a year ago by then-President George W. Bush in health, education, energy and other programs. Republicans countered that the spending in the bill far outpaced inflation, and amounted to much higher increases when combined with spending in the stimulus legislation that President Barack Obama signed last week. . . Congressional expenses are included. The bill provides $500,000 for what is described as a Senate “pilot program” that will defray the cost of mass mail postcards to households notifying them of a nearby town meeting to be attended by any senator [Emph added].