Newt Gingrich: Pay for Your Next Vacation with Food Stamps

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If you are too poor to buy food but have always dreamed of visiting the South Pacific, don't worry: You can pay for your groceries -- and your next Hawaiian vacation -- with food stamps.

Actually, that's not true -- not even close to being true -- but Newt Gingrich, who wants to rep the GOP in the 2012 presidential election, certainly thinks so.

"You don't get food stamps," the former House speaker told reporters Wednesday. "You get a credit card and the credit card can be used for anything. We've had people take their food-stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii."

He goes on, telling ABC: "And you know, they give food stamps now to millionaires. Because after all, don't you want to be compassionate?You know the Obama model: Isn't there somebody you'd like to give money to this week?"

Unfortunately for Gingrich, this doesn't jibe with the facts: You can't pay for plane tickets or booze with food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You also can't receive them if you make a lot of money, so there goes the millionaire myth, as PolitiFact has reported.

(Oregon's SNAP setup might allow people to buy Starbucks -- but the very recent news reports still seem a bit dicey, as the investigation originally came from a Fox affiliate.)

So, there you have it: Another well-heeled politician incorrectly assumes that the nation's poor can't be trusted to buy their own food.


For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV.



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48 comments
FormALine
FormALine

I am unemployed and receive $200 dollars per month on an EBT card. Once you reach an income of more than $1800 per month, the amount you get scales downward depending on how much more you make above that amount. Having children usually raises that amount, but I think different states might have slightly different rules.

 

They do have a cash-aid type assistance debit card (welfare), but you are pretty closely monitored and have to be constantly applying for work (with proof) in my state to receive that. Regular food EBT cards like mine can only purchase food, and the food can't be prepared like in the deli section. 

 

Saying "vacation in hawaii with food stamps" pretty much means you have no idea what you are talking about and if you are a politician saying it, I'm not even sure how you got your job or have any respect from your colleagues unless you're all laughing behind the scenes because you're not really that ignorant.

KERRY
KERRY

talk about food stamp and welfare drug testing ,how about drug testing for student loan/grant receipients????? talk about starting a revolution!!!!!!!

liliandc
liliandc

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liliandc
liliandc

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TRUTH 101
TRUTH 101

Newt Gingrich is an sad exaggerated comedy! He is like a pile of dried white dog feces that has managed to mantain it stench. In my 60 years on this earth, Newt Gingrich is about as heartless ass  as Nazism. For that matter the whole republiccan party has the same satanic mind set. Let them eat cake. They all claim to profess and avow that they are Chistians. But they forget what Christ said about what one doe's or doe's not do to or for the lest of his brothern. They are pure satanic hypocrites. Virtuous, pious jokes. They would not know compassion if GOD, CHRIST, and the HOLY SPIRIT spit compassion in thier selfserving faces. this man is evil.,cool hearted, selfserving, and will tell any one what ever he thinks they want to hear, for his ouw gain. Just ask his first 2 wives. People like Newt Gingrich are not fit ti be dog catcher in a third world country. Make children janitors. May there be a really special and extraordinary place in hell for this foul morally corrupt monster. He wants to bring back child slave labor. What next, bring back crucifixion, the Circus Maximus built by children, for thier parents to be act 3 of the Maximus show. Fiddle on Newt (notoriously cruel, and depraved Nero) Gingrich. Per inferno presso vostro spirito, ubbidiente ufficiale di diavolo!

Bignified
Bignified

Just another example of conservatives who would rather distract or brainwash sheeple into believing we would be better off checking for loose change in a poor persons ratty couch cushion, rather than going after bigger cuts by eliminating corporate welfare, outrageously expensive wars, and corporate handouts.

Michael Flatt
Michael Flatt

Newt is a smart man, given, but has little common sense. He lives as an intellectual and doesn't know how life is to mainstream America and the lower middle class. These people live below the poverty level and need food-stamps. People I know have lost or is losing the food stamp benefit they need for survival. We can help one another by visualization techniques to aid in people's ability to create good in their life. Republicans protect the elitists, millionairess and billionaires with disregard to the majority of people...PEACE

Michael Flatt
Michael Flatt

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Allaun Silverfox
Allaun Silverfox

Food stamp user here. 1. Screw that noise. Screw it with a high powered torch wrench. 2. I look at the last week with mild contempt because I'm already skipping breakfast and lunch. Now I'm stuck eating 2 packets of ramen noodles for the rest of the week. That and spaghetti noodles. There is nothing more annoying than eating what amounts to flavored water and flexible carbohydrates. I WISH I had the money to pay a vacation. But it is a happy day when I have enough money to put a few dollars into my car. I only have internet because there was a 6 month special of 15 dollars a month. I wash clothes MAYBE every 1 and half weeks and shower about 2 times a week to keep my water under 40 dollars. If ANYONE, ANYONE wants to attempt this lifestyle and tell me that I'm selling my stamps for a trip to Reno or whatever? *shrugs* Your welcome to try, but honestly I'd prefer having a bowl of cereal once in a while.

Bill337711
Bill337711

I dare someone that doesn't need Food Stamps to suffer through the humiliation and bureaucracy of the Food Stamp Line/office everymonth for eighty bucks worth of food.

e1067
e1067

I'm not one of them, but republicans have a fair and accurate point when they mention the waste and fraud that our entitlement system allows. No one should waste their time refuting those points or personally attacking them, the real question is, what are you going to do about it? People that work at federal agencies are very smart, and there are already a lot of controls that ensure that these programs are administered as accurately as is efficiently (at a point we spend more to ensure accuracy than we lose by just paying out) as possible. If their answer is to eliminate the program, then we can call B.S. because that solution will cause more harm than good in most cases. And if it's not one of those cases, then good.

Thomas
Thomas

not a newt fan myself, but he does have a point here...

i lease a place out to a couple who receives food stamps. they recently told me that they had sold their food stamps--about $500 worth, if my memory's correct--for just under $200 in cash so they could buy a new electronic device. 

i also know a guy who works at a local quik trip. they accept food stamps, and you wouldn't believe what the people are allowed to buy with them, items that are, for some reason, deemed nutritional by our fda overlords. he said one of the hottest sellers are mega-sized redbulls and other energy drinks.

Jon
Jon

money is fungible.  saving money on food with food stamps to pay for your vacation would be a means of cheating the system.  thats probably what he meant.

Brian
Brian

It sucks that he sounds like a moron saying it but the fact is that people that should not receive food stamps do and we are paying for them.....

If you receive food stamps there is no reason that you should not be drug tested every time you get a benefit. I must be drug tested to work and pay taxes you should be drug tested to get benefits from my work.

steve
steve

how the fuck is this not class warfare?  

Bogie
Bogie

food stamp program exists for a reason- to help those in their time of need. help people who cannot support themselves bc they are physically or mentally not able to. the same goes for unemployment. there will always be honest people working hard in life making sacrifices who need some help and they should get it. at the same time there will always be smart lazy people who see a loophole and a way to get a free lunch. I have friends on unemployment for years. they are college educated smart people, but they cant get a job doing exactly what they want to do. they went to work, and work sucked! 2008 came along and now they're unemployed. they get unemployment. are they capabale of getting a different job, yes. do they want to. no. the new jobs don't pay as much and they aren't exactly what they want to do. so you theyve become master couponers. they could get a different job, move to a cheaper apartment, move back home with their parents in their 6000+ sq ft home...but they choose not to. this is what i disagree with. do all you can to support yourself, if you can't then take unemployment or foodstamps while you're getting back on your feet. there are surly other people out there that need hard working american's help more than the lazy 24 year old teaching his new to nyc friend how to scam his way onto the food stamp program. 

Sunshine1011
Sunshine1011

Why should someone who TAKES CARE OF THEMSELVES have to suffer through this "humiliation"??

Bizzarcfury
Bizzarcfury

then suffer thru the lines and bureaucracy of getting a JOB!! No one feels humiliation in a benefit line considering everyone standing there shud be hungry and thankful that there is atleast somewhere to go....

Bogie
Bogie

how about the items that are purchased are audited on a spot check basis and you have to verify your fingerprint or SSN to use the card.

Sunshine1011
Sunshine1011

You lost me when you said that people that work at federal agencies are very smart.

zeiche
zeiche

Thomas, resources exist to combat fraud. Why have you not brought this abuse to the attention of authorities? Could it be you are looking away because of your financial connection to the couple?

Naw, relax. I'm not really suggesting that. But I do sense a load of manure, as most "food stamp" recipients would rather buy actual food than a Kindle Fire or energy drinks. Some folks hardly bring in enough to cover normal expenses, and I'm sure they would appreciate it if people would stop insulting them when suggesting they throw their money away.

Amadi
Amadi

If it's what he meant, that's what he would've said. He said that food stamp users get a credit card, which they don't, and that it can be used for anything which it can't. You can't buy socks with a food stamp card. You can't buy toilet paper or soap with a food stamp card. You can't buy a hot rotisserie chicken or a prepared sandwich in a grocery store with a food stamp card even though they're most certainly food.

palinisamoron
palinisamoron

Oh yeah, we should look for what this douchebag "meant" by what he said. He's doing nothing more than trying to create the next in a long line of Republican myths about the poor (see Reagan's "welfare queen"). 

Amadi
Amadi

That you chose to take a job that requires drug testing is irrelevant. That was a choice that you made, and many employers (in most places the majority, in fact) do not require drug testing as a condition of employment.

And like it or not, the children of drug users still need to eat. That someone takes a few puffs on a joint that someone passes them at a weekend party should not deprive them of a job nor access to food assistance for the indigent.

palinisamoron
palinisamoron

Actually the rate of fraudpayments under SNAP is at an all time low, less than 4%.

Fred
Fred

Newt is wrong, the cards can only be used for food.  But they are traded everyday for cash and drugs. Anyone can use them, all you need is the pin number, no i.d. required.

Snowfoxx
Snowfoxx

Even those whom do have jobs are not making enough to cover the bills, and still have to go through the hoops.  Give people an actual living wage, then maybe they won't need the EBT cards to live.

defygravity
defygravity

You do realize that to even qualify for food stamps you have to be working at least 20 hours a week. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, the Government does not give free handouts. The entire point of welfare is to try and help people get back on their feet, but they have to do their share of work too. Please do your research before making ignorant blanketed statements. 

palinisamoron
palinisamoron

How many Federal employees have you worked with?

Joepublic
Joepublic

My mom was a school teacher in Washington Heights NY for 35 years.   She was curious and so asked the kids to raise their hands to see how many had color tv, stereo systems, x-box games, etc AND whose parents got Food Stamps.  Guess what?   Every year it was 100%.   So when you say "Reagan's Myth of the Welfare Queen", as far as I'm concerned that's what he was talking about.   And when you run around calling people "douchebag", you kind of discredit yourself, not the other person, by the way.  Just so you know.

brian
brian

Are you freaking kidding me what job do you know of that does not require a drug test?

Food
Food

there is no possible way to know how much fraud is actually occuring. this statistic is not at all relevant to this question.

Actually...
Actually...

In New York, at least, the cards have a photo on them.  So, no.

dave
dave

Define "yard apes" for us.

Factchecker
Factchecker

So if you get $20 worth of stamps and have a used 5 year old stereo system?

Brian
Brian

Yeah he made it up!!! There are no women shitting out yard apes every year and living off the government. Personally there are things that you should not be able to do if you are living off the government. If you are living off the government you should not be able to produce more offspring that will live of the government. you should not have cable.... you should not be able to smoke you should not own jewelry you should not be able to drink alcohol...These are luxuries not entitlements. I have 5 children and have never gotten government assistance for them. I have 5 children because I can afford them. Lastly for god sakes the people should have to be drug tested to get there benefits. The government needs to tighten up the requirements that people must meet to receive benefits.

palinisamoron
palinisamoron

Thanks, douchebag!

I love these "I know someone who" comments as proof that the commenter's  pre-conceived belief is true. BTW, there was no welfare queen, Reagan made it up.

brian
brian

Okay can't prove that either way however every job I have worked outside of construction has required a drug test and everyone I know has been drug tested for their employment unless working construction.

Amadi
Amadi

Um, well, mine, for starters, for one of the largest petroleum companies in the country. My mother's, at one of the largest (not bailed out) banks in the country. My brother's, for a doctor. My best friend's at a company that invented the first "PC." Should I continue?

palinisamoron
palinisamoron

Excuse me?

Brian indicated that people who shouldn't be receiving food stamps are getting them, implying that there's a lot of fraud in the program. I'm stating the fact that the fraud rate is low based on evaluations of the program. How is my comment not relevant to what he wrote?

I happen to know quite a bit about how these evaluations are conducted, maybe you could share how it is that you know that there's no way to know how much fraud is occuring, as measured by food stamps going to undeserving people?

I'll wait, but I'm not holding my breath.

Pope_phred
Pope_phred

So, if you see it "all the time" and do nothing to report this fraud, it would seem to me that in a way you are being complicit in said fraud...

Though, I could be wrong in that assumption.

Bizzarcfury
Bizzarcfury

U kno how many stores in ny exchange food stamps for straight cash? lol i see it all the time.... people goin to the deli with their benefit cards and the storeowners jus hand them cash and charge a lil extra on the card.... used to buy sneakers, clothes and VACATIONS!!

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