Boomtown 2: Corporations 'Incentivized' to Maximize Food Stamps Transactions
Appearing on the "Boomtown 2: The Business of Food Stamps" special on Fox News' "Hannity" on Friday, Government Accountability Institute (GAI) president Peter Schweizer and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon exposed how companies that administer EBT cards like J.P. Morgan and Xerox are incentivized to get as many people on the program as possible.
Schweizer noted J.P. Morgan has contracted with 26 states and has taken advantage of the "loosened requirements concerning food stamps" after the stimulus program.
"As food stamp rolls expand, so do corporate profits," Schweizer said, noting that is why corporations like J.P. Morgan lobby the Senate Banking and Agriculture Committees, which have oversight over the food stamp program.
On the show, a J.P. Morgan official was quoted as saying the company saw a "huge increase in volume over the past year or two" when it came to EBT transactions.
Schweizer said even as the unemployment rate drops, people are continuing to go on food stamps disproportionately because the government, working with corporations, continues to aggressively market food stamps.
He said the food stamps industry is "encouraging more people to sign up and use your money" and noted J.P. Morgan makes as much as $2.20 per person, per month for each EBT participant in some states.
"As food stamp rolls expand, so do corporate profits," Schweizer said.
Schweizer spoke about how the federal government has made it easier for Americans to get on food stamps by instituting "categorical eligibility," which means if an American signs up for one social welfare program, that person gets automatically signed up for others.
Bannon noted these incentives are why corporations refuse to take measures against food stamps fraud even though they have the technology to do so.
"They are incentivized to have as many transactions as possible," Bannon said, noting companies that administer EBT cards have the anti-fraud technology and "infrastructure" that they could more aggressively use.
He said the government should vet vendors and ensure they are efficient and effective.
Both Bannon and Schweizer noted none of these companies like J.P. Morgan are engaging in illicit activities, but they have every incentive to put more people on the program to ensure as many EBT cards as possible are swiped.