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(Atlanta Journal Constitution)   How secure is the WIC food stamp program? Let's set up a pretend grocery store and find out   (ajc.com) divider line 179
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12963 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jun 2014 at 11:30 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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vpb [TotalFark]
2014-06-13 09:11:47 AM  
That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.
 
2014-06-13 09:27:51 AM  

vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.


Which actually makes it even worse. If the federal government hadn't created a program to entice states with all this WIC money, then what appears to be an entire industry of crime centered around the state's distribution system of that WIC money would never have developed. Instead, there are now dozens of state citizens under investigation by the Federal government and we can only guess at their potential fates. The Federal government has basically set up the WIC program as a sting operation, which makes it no less than entrapment. There's a sinister malfeasance at work here, a long con of some sort by the feds. I haven't figured it all out yet...perhaps we may be looking at the early stages of an attempt to get states hooked on the sweet ambrosia of WIC money, then prove in court that they cannot help but succumb to its darker side, and use that as an excuse to march troops to the state capital and declare martial law and complete federal authority. Is the map of WIC distribution rates the Federal blueprint for finally eliminating the Tenth Amendment? It may not be too much longer that we are even able to ask that question, I'm afraid.
 
2014-06-13 09:36:53 AM  
If there's even the smallest potential for fraud and abuse then the program should be shut down and replaced with a Republican plan that's doesn't allow for such shenanigans.
 
2014-06-13 09:53:19 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: If there's even the smallest potential for fraud and abuse then the program should be shut down and replaced with a Republican plan that's doesn't allow for such shenanigans tax cuts for the rich.


FIFY
 
2014-06-13 10:14:31 AM  
"A federal review found that WIC was paying up to $7 for a gallon of milk in Georgia because the state isn't doing enough to keep costs down at stores approved to accept WIC."

That's disgusting.
 
2014-06-13 10:23:43 AM  

Pocket Ninja: vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.

Which actually makes it even worse. If the federal government hadn't created a program to entice states with all this WIC money, then what appears to be an entire industry of crime centered around the state's distribution system of that WIC money would never have developed. Instead, there are now dozens of state citizens under investigation by the Federal government and we can only guess at their potential fates. The Federal government has basically set up the WIC program as a sting operation, which makes it no less than entrapment. There's a sinister malfeasance at work here, a long con of some sort by the feds. I haven't figured it all out yet...perhaps we may be looking at the early stages of an attempt to get states hooked on the sweet ambrosia of WIC money, then prove in court that they cannot help but succumb to its darker side, and use that as an excuse to march troops to the state capital and declare martial law and complete federal authority. Is the map of WIC distribution rates the Federal blueprint for finally eliminating the Tenth Amendment? It may not be too much longer that we are even able to ask that question, I'm afraid.


My God....it's beautiful
 
2014-06-13 11:35:00 AM  
WIC and Welfare fraud is common here in Florida, no surprise it passed into georgia. You are not suppose to buy hot and ready food with foodstamps, yet nobody cares.
 
2014-06-13 11:35:11 AM  

ginandbacon: "A federal review found that WIC was paying up to $7 for a gallon of milk in Georgia because the state isn't doing enough to keep costs down at stores approved to accept WIC."

That's disgusting.


If we could just get rid of that pesky regulation the free market would take over.
 
2014-06-13 11:36:09 AM  
But, I've learned on Fark that welfare is everybody's FSM given right and that any talk of fraud or abuse is simply racist and right wing gobbledegook.....These are just people who need a hand up, not a hand out, regardless of whether they need their hands held for generations....This is all obviously just a misunderstanding.  The poor people should be given another couple hundred dollars of food stamps a month to atone for the mistake.  That will fix it.
 
2014-06-13 11:36:20 AM  
Thanks Obama
 
2014-06-13 11:37:27 AM  
"Just savin' the world" - Kelvin
 
2014-06-13 11:38:03 AM  
How many posts from the Atlanta Constipation and Urinal do we need green-lit in one morning?
 
2014-06-13 11:38:37 AM  

chevydeuce: But, I've learned on Fark that welfare is everybody's FSM given right and that any talk of fraud or abuse is simply racist and right wing gobbledegook.....These are just people who need a hand up, not a hand out, regardless of whether they need their hands held for generations....This is all obviously just a misunderstanding.  The poor people should be given another couple hundred dollars of food stamps a month to atone for the mistake.  That will fix it.


That was a stupid oversimplification of the problem. Congratulations, you have just earned your clown shoes.
 
2014-06-13 11:41:16 AM  
These guys got caught, and nobody caught the giant credit default swap system.

**Punches straw hat**
 
2014-06-13 11:41:21 AM  

Pocket Ninja: vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.

Which actually makes it even worse. If the federal government hadn't created a program to entice states with all this WIC money, then what appears to be an entire industry of crime centered around the state's distribution system of that WIC money would never have developed. Instead, there are now dozens of state citizens under investigation by the Federal government and we can only guess at their potential fates. The Federal government has basically set up the WIC program as a sting operation, which makes it no less than entrapment. There's a sinister malfeasance at work here, a long con of some sort by the feds. I haven't figured it all out yet...perhaps we may be looking at the early stages of an attempt to get states hooked on the sweet ambrosia of WIC money, then prove in court that they cannot help but succumb to its darker side, and use that as an excuse to march troops to the state capital and declare martial law and complete federal authority. Is the map of WIC distribution rates the Federal blueprint for finally eliminating the Tenth Amendment? It may not be too much longer that we are even able to ask that question, I'm afraid.


This is how it's done, folks.
 
2014-06-13 11:41:45 AM  
Georgia is such a shiathole.

Couldn't get out of there fast enough.
 
2014-06-13 11:41:59 AM  
You know, we used to have something called police and a court system to "prosecute" "crimes" like this when they happened.
 
2014-06-13 11:42:09 AM  

Misconduc: WIC and Welfare fraud is common here in Florida, no surprise it passed into georgia. You are not suppose to buy hot and ready food with foodstamps, yet nobody cares.


Which is one of the stupider rules imposed by WIC.   You can buy the exact same prepared food cold, but if it is hot it is disallowed.  The whole thing comes from a puritantical impulse to not let those "lazy" food stamp recipients  get away with not cooking (though the average food stamp recipeint works MORE than 40 hours a week)   but it effectively hurts a lot of homeless or near homelss food stamp recipients who have no access to a way to heat food.
 
2014-06-13 11:42:16 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: If there's even the smallest potential for fraud and abuse then the program should be shut down and replaced with a Republican plan that's doesn't allow for such shenanigans.


We plan to shut down WIC.
Can't have any shenanigans if it doesn't exist.
 
2014-06-13 11:42:38 AM  

Pocket Ninja: vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.

Which actually makes it even worse. If the federal government hadn't created a program to entice states with all this WIC money, then what appears to be an entire industry of crime centered around the state's distribution system of that WIC money would never have developed. Instead, there are now dozens of state citizens under investigation by the Federal government and we can only guess at their potential fates. The Federal government has basically set up the WIC program as a sting operation, which makes it no less than entrapment. There's a sinister malfeasance at work here, a long con of some sort by the feds. I haven't figured it all out yet...perhaps we may be looking at the early stages of an attempt to get states hooked on the sweet ambrosia of WIC money, then prove in court that they cannot help but succumb to its darker side, and use that as an excuse to march troops to the state capital and declare martial law and complete federal authority. Is the map of WIC distribution rates the Federal blueprint for finally eliminating the Tenth Amendment? It may not be too much longer that we are even able to ask that question, I'm afraid.


Isn't that blaming the victim?  Like saying "The Federal Government shouldn't have gone out dressed like that."
 
2014-06-13 11:43:07 AM  
Still worth it.

No program will be free of fraud.

$18 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the $80 billion we spend on a program that has the highest return on investment of any direct aid programs.
 
2014-06-13 11:43:14 AM  
pennies on the dollar? Any self-respecting welfare recipient knows it's fifty cents at least! Sheesh.
 
2014-06-13 11:43:16 AM  
Much of the fraud was possible because of problems the U.S. Department of Agriculture found with Georgia's program. Earlier this year, the state and the USDA reached a settlement regarding how to fix the problems, mostly cause[d] by an antiquated computer system.

So an underfunded state program with an antiquated system (probably from around 1999) is vulnerable to abuse?  Color me shocked.
 
2014-06-13 11:43:24 AM  

vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.


Done in one, Pocket Ninja's prose notwithstanding.

I'm unsure how this is an indictment of WIC, as opposed to, say, Georgia's complete unwillingness to spend money on updating the computer systems that allowed this, and earlier, fraud to happen despite being told to do so. It's almost as if Georgia legislators deliberately left this issue unresolved, so that they could then point to the assholes who exploit it and say, "See, this is what I mean! Give the poor an inch, and they'll take a mile!"

When a thief steals a bucket from the Salvation Army, we don't blame the bucket.
 
2014-06-13 11:44:24 AM  

Misconduc: WIC and Welfare fraud is common here in Florida, no surprise it passed into georgia. You are not suppose to buy hot and ready food with foodstamps, yet nobody cares.


Safeway strictly enforces this rule.
 
2014-06-13 11:44:27 AM  

stonicus: Pocket Ninja: vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.

Which actually makes it even worse. If the federal government hadn't created a program to entice states with all this WIC money, then what appears to be an entire industry of crime centered around the state's distribution system of that WIC money would never have developed. Instead, there are now dozens of state citizens under investigation by the Federal government and we can only guess at their potential fates. The Federal government has basically set up the WIC program as a sting operation, which makes it no less than entrapment. There's a sinister malfeasance at work here, a long con of some sort by the feds. I haven't figured it all out yet...perhaps we may be looking at the early stages of an attempt to get states hooked on the sweet ambrosia of WIC money, then prove in court that they cannot help but succumb to its darker side, and use that as an excuse to march troops to the state capital and declare martial law and complete federal authority. Is the map of WIC distribution rates the Federal blueprint for finally eliminating the Tenth Amendment? It may not be too much longer that we are even able to ask that question, I'm afraid.

Isn't that blaming the victim?  Like saying "The Federal Government shouldn't have gone out dressed like that."


thatsthejoke.jpg
 
2014-06-13 11:45:15 AM  
FTA: A federal review found that WIC was paying up to $7 for a gallon of milk in Georgia because the state isn't doing enough to keep costs down at stores approved to accept WIC.


Whomever is/was responsible for administering this program needs to be shot in the head at point blank range.  Cost overruns like this just don't...happen.  There has to be some collective willful negligence involved.  Of course blaming it on an antiquated computer system is convenient.

And would any Fark Economists™ care to tell me how a store that normally charges (we'll use an arbitrary price point) $5 for a gallon of milk manages to cost the state $7 for that same gallon, even though the individual on WIC is paying $5 for the product at time of sale?
 
2014-06-13 11:45:19 AM  

Pocket Ninja: vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.

Which actually makes it even worse. If the federal government hadn't created a program to entice states with all this WIC money, then what appears to be an entire industry of crime centered around the state's distribution system of that WIC money would never have developed. Instead, there are now dozens of state citizens under investigation by the Federal government and we can only guess at their potential fates. The Federal government has basically set up the WIC program as a sting operation, which makes it no less than entrapment. There's a sinister malfeasance at work here, a long con of some sort by the feds. I haven't figured it all out yet...perhaps we may be looking at the early stages of an attempt to get states hooked on the sweet ambrosia of WIC money, then prove in court that they cannot help but succumb to its darker side, and use that as an excuse to march troops to the state capital and declare martial law and complete federal authority. Is the map of WIC distribution rates the Federal blueprint for finally eliminating the Tenth Amendment? It may not be too much longer that we are even able to ask that question, I'm afraid.


i'd try, but I just know I'd miss some of em
 
2014-06-13 11:46:24 AM  
Until we get omnibenevolent computer overlords, you're going to fall into one of two camps on this issue:

Would you rather
a) Try to make sure people get what they need, and know some people abuse the system/get what they don't 'deserve'

or

b) Try to make sure people don't get what they don't 'deserve', and know some people with legitimate need will be prevented from getting what they need?

Because that's really what any solution is going to boil down to.
 
2014-06-13 11:46:51 AM  

ginandbacon: "A federal review found that WIC was paying up to $7 for a gallon of milk in Georgia because the state isn't doing enough to keep costs down at stores approved to accept WIC."

That's disgusting.


The issue in Georgia is 3 fold, few real grocery stores in poor areas, lack of public transportation to areas with real grocery stores, and little to no oversight of the the convenience stores that accept WIC and EBT.

The convenience stores only sell the high cost name brand milk because that is the only brand they can buy at Sams Club or Costco and resell, they pay cash for EBT and WIC cards often 20 cents on the dollar or less, then use those cards to go to Sams or Costco  and buy inventory that they mark up 100% of retail.  Supposedly there is oversight for the stores accepting EBT and WIC but there really isn't.
 
2014-06-13 11:47:17 AM  

TheEdibleSnuggie: FTA: A federal review found that WIC was paying up to $7 for a gallon of milk in Georgia because the state isn't doing enough to keep costs down at stores approved to accept WIC.


Whomever is/was responsible for administering this program needs to be shot in the head at point blank range.  Cost overruns like this just don't...happen.  There has to be some collective willful negligence involved.  Of course blaming it on an antiquated computer system is convenient.

And would any Fark Economists™ care to tell me how a store that normally charges (we'll use an arbitrary price point) $5 for a gallon of milk manages to cost the state $7 for that same gallon, even though the individual on WIC is paying $5 for the product at time of sale?


Hospitals do it all the time... the price of something depends on who is buying it.  The price shown to the patient is not the price that is passed on to the insurance company.  This is business as usual in the U.S.
 
2014-06-13 11:47:34 AM  

meat0918: Still worth it.

No program will be free of fraud.

$18 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the $80 billion we spend on a program that has the highest return on investment of any direct aid programs.


Yeah, but we could end up giving the poor more food than we intended to. And that would be terrible.
 
2014-06-13 11:47:53 AM  
Dear Subby,

There is no such thing as a "WIC food stamp program." There is WIC and there is SNAP. Two different programs. If you're going to bash poor people, at least get it right.
 
2014-06-13 11:48:09 AM  
From what I remember as a grocery clerk, the vouchers are processed the *same* as a personal check.  Then the merchant would then deposit these checks along with everyone else to the bank for payment.  Probably the only thing validating the reimbursement was being on the approved list of merchants.  Other than that, it's up to the cashier/clerk to validate that the customer got the approved items.  Loads of opportunity for fraud at this level too.  I suppose transactions could be audited, but it would be a mess for the GA WIC program to initiate since they have zero visibility into this.

Also, you could redeem the vouchers and then try to sell the formula (shelf life, pricey) 3rd party for cash as well.  It was always funny watching the [insert racial minority] coming in trying to return 12 cans of Infamil with no receipt...
 
2014-06-13 11:49:05 AM  
I'm sure Nathan Deal will find a way to blame this on the poors (and Obama) rather than the greedy merchants.

I really hope that crooked SOB is kicked to the curb soon.
 
2014-06-13 11:49:15 AM  
Northrup Grumann laughs at your $18 Million.
 
2014-06-13 11:50:02 AM  

freetomato: I'm sure Nathan Deal will find a way to blame this on the poors (and Obama) rather than the greedy merchants.

I really hope that crooked SOB is kicked to the curb soon.


According to the polling, it is coming.
 
2014-06-13 11:51:49 AM  

Tom_Slick: freetomato: I'm sure Nathan Deal will find a way to blame this on the poors (and Obama) rather than the greedy merchants.

I really hope that crooked SOB is kicked to the curb soon.

According to the polling, it is coming.


Good.
 
2014-06-13 11:52:33 AM  

Magorn: Misconduc: WIC and Welfare fraud is common here in Florida, no surprise it passed into georgia. You are not suppose to buy hot and ready food with foodstamps, yet nobody cares.

Which is one of the stupider rules imposed by WIC.   You can buy the exact same prepared food cold, but if it is hot it is disallowed.  The whole thing comes from a puritantical impulse to not let those "lazy" food stamp recipients  get away with not cooking (though the average food stamp recipeint works MORE than 40 hours a week)   but it effectively hurts a lot of homeless or near homelss food stamp recipients who have no access to a way to heat food.


I have no problem with people buying hot/cold food from a grocery store, the only problem is when you can use them at fast food joints, most gas stations don't care either - the only thing I wonder is why WIC is so abused in Central FL, I see people buying 5-6 gallons of milk at a time, I had no clue that some people were selling them just like foodstamps. I don't know if WIC has a simple pin like Stamps uses, its pretty common here to give someone a pin and just pay 50 cents on a dollar (probably more then that now a days).

Average foodstamps here is $175 a month that I know of, can't remember the WIC prices.
 
2014-06-13 11:52:36 AM  
Name me any government program (or pretty much any organization), and I guarantee that there's already someone who can exploit the living shiat out of it, or is already doing that.
 
2014-06-13 11:52:42 AM  
Winter is Coming has a food stamp program?
 
2014-06-13 11:52:55 AM  
WIC, Shmick. Get your fat, breeding asses down to the food pick up once a week and receive in person your milk, and grains, and fruits and veggies. You receive enough to create a balanced meal every day for the family, and instructions on how to do so. No money. You can't pick it up? You go hungry. We have a local distribution port and a van that hits your neighborhood once a week. Stop froppin' babbies, and get a farking job, while you are at it.
 
2014-06-13 11:53:14 AM  
This is why we can't have nice things.
 
2014-06-13 11:54:15 AM  

meat0918: Still worth it.

No program will be free of fraud.

$18 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the $80 billion we spend on a program that has the highest return on investment of any direct aid programs.


just to drive home this point: Cutting taxes for the top brackets generates about $0.30 in economic activity for every dollar in cuts

Increasing food stamps generates about $1.50 for every dollar spent (mostly because recipients tend to spend all the money given and since they are at the store anyway but a few non-food items as well)

As one farker broke it down so brilliantly one time.  There are two kinds of errors that can crop up in an aid program, one is that people who are entitled to the aid and need it don;t get it, and the other is that people who don;t deserve it do,  Lets call them Alpha and Beta Errors respectively.    Generally the more liberal you are the more intolerant of Alpha errors you are even to the point of allowing a large number of Beta errors.   Conservative tend to little or no tolerance for Beta errors even after the point where further reduction of Beta errors causes large numbers of Alpha errors to crop up.

This fundamental difference virtually ensures the two sides will never see eye to eye on this
 
2014-06-13 11:55:21 AM  
Much of the fraud was possible because of problems the U.S. Department of Agriculture found with Georgia's program. Earlier this year, the state and the USDA reached a settlement regarding how to fix the problems, mostly cause by an antiquated computer system.

I wonder how many GA politicians stump on fighting "waste, fraud and abuse"? They somehow can't address it until the Feds make them.
 
2014-06-13 11:56:01 AM  
In Michigan the cash registers make the determination for the clerk. If the item isn't covered by the program, the card is declined. Simple.

The only place there is wiggle room is at gas stations that sell wrapped sandwiches. There's no difference in the UPC code between the ones that are sitting under the heat lamps, and the ones that are in the deli case, and customers can grab a warmed-up sandwich which is technically "prepared food" or "hot food", but really, that's nitpicking in a major way. What's the difference if they buy one that's already hot in the wrapper, or if they buy the same sandwich that's cold and then microwave it themselves in the store right after purchase?
 
2014-06-13 11:56:44 AM  

Misconduc: the only problem is when you can use them at fast food joints, most gas stations don't care either


I have never seen this happen...and I'd be shocked if it was even possible, but hey, you've obviously seen it. I mean, you HAVE seen it, right?
 
2014-06-13 11:56:51 AM  

vudukungfu: WIC, Shmick. Get your fat, breeding asses down to the food pick up once a week and receive in person your milk, and grains, and fruits and veggies. You receive enough to create a balanced meal every day for the family, and instructions on how to do so. No money. You can't pick it up? You go hungry. We have a local distribution port and a van that hits your neighborhood once a week. Stop froppin' babbies, and get a farking job, while you are at it.


Not sure where you live, but I don't know of anything like that in Michigan.
 
2014-06-13 11:56:58 AM  

Pocket Ninja: vpb: That doesn't sound like security hole, it sounds more like fraud by merchants.

Which actually makes it even worse. If the federal government hadn't created a program to entice states with all this WIC money, then what appears to be an entire industry of crime centered around the state's distribution system of that WIC money would never have developed. Instead, there are now dozens of state citizens under investigation by the Federal government and we can only guess at their potential fates. The Federal government has basically set up the WIC program as a sting operation, which makes it no less than entrapment. There's a sinister malfeasance at work here, a long con of some sort by the feds. I haven't figured it all out yet...perhaps we may be looking at the early stages of an attempt to get states hooked on the sweet ambrosia of WIC money, then prove in court that they cannot help but succumb to its darker side, and use that as an excuse to march troops to the state capital and declare martial law and complete federal authority. Is the map of WIC distribution rates the Federal blueprint for finally eliminating the Tenth Amendment? It may not be too much longer that we are even able to ask that question, I'm afraid.


You are a genious.   I don't know why you waste our time with us.  You need a larger audience
 
2014-06-13 11:58:00 AM  
I am shocked, shocked, that there is corruption in Atlanta.
 
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