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Fox News Exaggerates Report On Food Stamp Fraud

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Fox News Exaggerates Report On Food Stamp Fraud

Graph: Media Matters

Graph: Media Matters

On Tuesday’s edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade exaggerated the slight rise in food stamp fraud, in yet another attempt to attack the program that provides food aid for millions of low-income individuals, the majority of whom are children.

“Thirty percent: That’s how many more Americans, according to a new study, are selling food stamps for cash illegally. No…that’s not legal. Nearly 48 million people receive food stamps. The program costs $80 billion a year,” Kilmeade ranted.

The study Kilmeade is referring to is one released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) on August 15. The new report on the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, found that benefit tracking, which occurs “when SNAP recipients sell their benefits for cash to food retailers, often at a discount,” had risen from 1.0 percent in 2006-2008 to only 1.3 percent in 2009-2011.

However, when referring to the study, Kilmeade – who is not first  Fox News representative to misrepresent social welfare programs — only referenced the general change in fraud levels, and neglected to mention how little fraud was actually found in the program and how great the “growth in the program” has been in recent years.

The program’s benefits increased from $36 billion in 2008 to $73 billion in 2011, following the economic crisis.

In fact, the USDA’s report proves that SNAP boasts one of the “lowest fraud rates of all federal programs,” and the .3 increase in fraud reflects “an increase in overall enrollment in food supplement initiatives” and “an increased number of small and medium-sized businesses which are authorized to accept SNAP benefits.” The report found that small retailers accounted for 85 percent of the trafficking identified.

The rate of SNAP benefit trafficking has steadily declined since 1993, and rose for the first time in 2009-2011. Even so, the 1.3 percent rate of trafficking remains a historic low.

SNAP has since taken steps to counter the benefit fraud found in the new study, including disqualifying retailers that engaged in trafficking, suspending retailers that are suspected of fraud, reviewing high-risk retailers, and even “cracking down on fraud online.”

H/t: Media Matters


  1. Lynda Groom August 19, 2013

    The word is lie.

  2. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh August 19, 2013

    And “Fox News Exaggerates…” is news how?

    1. Independent1 August 19, 2013

      Actually, if the FCC did its job and actually compared what Fox News broadcasts to what is the true news, Fox News would be stripped of the license that allows it to call itself a news station. Quinnipiac college did an extensive study this spring of people who listen and don’t listen to a news channels What they found was that Fox News listeners actually know less about the TRUE NEWS than people who don’t listen to any news.

  3. Sand_Cat August 19, 2013

    How much of the growth in this program is the result of soldiers’ families not having enough to live on? But of course, that part of “support our troops” somehow gets left out of all the pseudo-patriotic BS about “heroes” and how we all should be grateful. I guess we should be grateful that – in spite of the abuses like sending them to fight wars for politicians’ vanity – anyone is still willing to go into poverty to protect the country.

    1. Independent1 August 19, 2013

      Sand_Cat, there’s probably some of that, but one statistic that really stuck out to me when I was doing some research was this: of the 459 counties in America, where the use of food stamps more than doubled between 2007 and 2011, 421 of those counties voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 campaign. This more than hightlights the fact that of the 10 states which use food stamps the most, 6 of them are GOP run states and 4 are Dem states But the kicker is, that it’s the sparsely populated GOP run states who have the highest percentage of their residents using food stamps – such that, more than 75% of food stamps go to residents in GOP run states.

      1. Sand_Cat August 20, 2013

        Your points are excellent, but it seems to me the fact that those sent to die for often trivial reasons and who go willingly out of (an often misplaced, in my opinion) patriotism aren’t even paid enough to feed their families is one of the points that needs to be rammed home again and again and again, and rubbed in the faces of those who talk about “takers” and “freeloaders.”

  4. Kim Serrahn August 20, 2013

    OMG Fox is not telling us the truth. How will I ever, ever live the shame. So Fox News not telling the truth is news. Of course they don’t tell the truth , they had Glenn Beck.

  5. clarenceswinney August 20, 2013

    10,000 LIES IN 4000 HOURS
    A few years ago, Rush Limbaugh said “that media watch group FAIR(Fairness and accuracy in reporting) and found only 45 little errors.”
    I called FAIR and got the study. It was over 2 Lies per hour or over 10,000 Lies.
    You can label Rush As the 10,000 man.


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