The New York Times editorial board said on Sunday that Republican efforts to curb the explosive growth in food stamp spending were “cruel” and an example of “blaming the victim.”
In an editorial titled “Mindlessly Gutting Food Stamps,” The Times said GOP plans to reduce food stamp spending by $40 billion over ten years “would force an estimated four to six million people to lose the food stamps that now sustain them.”
The Times dismissed reports of widespread food stamp abuse, like the $700,000 food stamp fraud ring busted last week in Arizona, as efforts by Republicans to “play up a few abusers of the program.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture only has 100 federal employees in charge of merchant fraud prevention yet claims its food stamp fraud rate is 1%. However, according to the USDA’s own website, that figure predates the explosive growth of food stamps of the last several years and was based on data from 2006-2008.
Since January 2009, the number of individuals on food stamps has skyrocketed from 31.9 million to 47,760,285.