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Getty Images By: Tim Boyle

Are you ready for this one?

A report commissioned and written by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), asked the question if it is time to ditch the in-person interview for those who apply for food stamps via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  By the way SNAP is our largest food-assistance program, according to an article in the Daily Caller.

Sound like a good process to research?

In the report we find the following:

“Regulations require that states conduct face-to-face interviews, unless the state determines that a telephone interview is acceptable due to a hardship on the client”

And

“However, over the last decade, most states applied for and received waivers that allow for telephone interviews in all cases, without the need to document a hardship”

The USDA was concerned about the time requirements and administrative cost due to the explosion of the number of people on the program during the Obama Administration.

The USDA report notes the number of Food Stamp recipients grew from 17 million in 2000 to nearly 47 million recipients in 2014.

Hmmm, I wonder if we should work on getting these people off of food stamps and working or creating higher paying jobs?

According to a report from the Libertarian Cato Institute: “The evidence suggests that much of the increase was due not to the economy, but to deliberate policy choices by both federal and state governments, which loosened eligibility standards and actively sought new participants,” and the CATO report went on to say “at the same time, evidence that the expansion of SNAP has significantly reduced hunger or improved nutrition among low-income Americans is scant at best.”

According to the report the results of the USDA study were mixed.  The study did however note some clear benefits that may result from eliminating in-person interviews.

The study found the following: “Interviews may improve application timeliness and increase the likelihood that applicants will report earnings, however, the interview does not necessarily improve approval or denial rates or accuracy of benefit payments. In fact, eliminating the interview may reduce error rates and decrease program churning.”

Does this sound like a good idea to you?

Should we dispense of this silly idea of interviewing people in person to determine if they should receive thousands and thousands of taxpayers’ dollars in welfare?

If the interview is no longer needed, does that mean we can layoff some people in the USDA?

That would save money.

As a listener of mine once said on air, get rid of the entire Food Stamp Program and just set up warehouses of red beans and rice and let anyone who wants it to come and get it with no paperwork.  His thought was we do owe our fellow man subsistence but not necessarily a plethora of food to achieve that good goal of subsistence. To the idea I said we would need to give them access to dairy products.

What are your thoughts?

Let’s discuss this today on my show The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section