Rendell Visits Harrisburg To Ask Corbett To Change Food Stamp Policy

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A year after leaving office, former Governor Ed Rendell returned to the state capitol to take his successor to task over a pending change in policy on food stamp benefits.

Rendell says there’s already a means test, to verify low-income, to qualify for food stamps, so Rendell says there’s no reason to also re-instate the policy of studying a family’s assets as well.

“So governor, you are a decent and honorable man. You care about the welfare of individual Pennsylvanians. There is no reason to hurt 36,000 Pennsylvania households.”

Governor Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley replied.

“Governor Rendell is an expert on food stamps because the number of Pennsylvanians on food stamps more than doubled during his administration.”

Rendell argues that re-imposing an asset test will only increase costs to the state and notes that the program is entirely funded by federal dollars. Harley says there is waste and fraud to be eliminated and says they’re all tax dollars, whether they are state or federal.

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  • the truffe

    It’s Obvious Rendell is getting some nice kickbacks from the Pa. Obama groups to paint Gov Corbett as another “evil” republican. Class warfare is in full effect and now with Pa’s delegates up for grabs in the election, Rendell and the Demos are trying to make the crooks who take advantage of a corrupt food stamp system get all angry because their scam is being investigated. Typical Democratic nonsense. Can’t wait to see the black panthers with night-sticks back at the polling places in November.

  • Philly Born

    Why won’t this useless liberal go away? Please Ed, retire to Florida.

  • hungry older folks

    How many $20 bills does Corbett leave as a tip when he dines with his “buddies” at swanky center city restaurants, while many older folks are running out of money with this horrible economy. Let him eat stale bread like us!!

  • Cleanup Philly

    I think people have to realize your not helping people by allowing people to misuse benefits, or overuse benefits. There have to be boundaries that are enforced. Asset testing is just a rule that should be taken seriously.

    People who have a house, two cars, provided one is not worth more than $4650 (so they claim), and thousands in the bank are eligible for food stamps. That is not the purpose of the program. People are paying more for the taxes to pay for these programs who don’t even have such good fortune! That’s absurd.

    Hurting people to favor others is not what food stamps is intended to do, and asset testing corrects these unintended consequences.

  • Susan

    Thank you Gov Rendell–First of all, the asset testing will not save PA any money since the Feds pay for the stamps but PA pays for the administration of the program. This will definitely cost PA more to administer both in programming the intake process and in time of the caseworkers. . Secondly, a recent audit by the feds found less than one percent fraud in PA’s food stamp system. Thirdly, approximately 1/2 of the people eligible for food stamps in PA do not apply. It is one of the most underused benefits under current procedures. Most states have or are moving towards eliminating the assets test. I think this is just mean spirited on the part of this administration. Shame on you!

    • Cleanup Philly

      Susan, that is partially incorrect. The costs to PA are in administering the program, and those costs are significant. DPW is a larger line item in the state budget than education. Asset testing reduces the rosters, reduces the amount of people being processed.

      A recent audit by the state AG found PA food stamps used in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Now either PA’s poor are travel more than the wealthy, or this is a clear indication that these benefits are traded in a nationwide illegal market of benefits misuse in PA.

      We have to have controls. This is just basic good fiscal management.

      • Sick of Philly

        @Cleanup Philly

        Do you understand why we have this problem to begin with? It’s not “good fiscal management”, it’s the nightmare created by Ed Rendell and liberal socialist policies he set up!! Corbett isn’t the problem, Rendell has crippled PA and he’s been doing it for years and years all while he does his football analysis on comcast and rambles on and on about how great PA is. Rendell has literally crushed PA with his policies.

  • Cleanup Philly

    Rendell is not making sense. The DPW now only verifies income, not assets. No system should operate this way.

    You can win the lottery and still get food stamps in PA if you put it in a trust that does not pay declared income. You can inherit a mansion and get food stamps in PA.

    You can win a Mercedes and get food stamps in PA. People are abusing the public trust by immediately putting any income into assets. DPW doesn’t go back far as to what they look at — they’re not the IRS.

    What is Rendell afraid of? Clearly the system is so abused that these are vote stamps, not food stamps.

  • joanna segal

    yes need more food stamps. See if they could live on what is given out. Stop giving most of our food to other countries we need what we plant. No one helps us but they take and take

    • cp

      Joanna, Rendell is not calling for more food stamps, or more money for food stamps.

  • Cleanup Philly

    The asset test rules are made at the federal level. If Rendell wants those rules changed, he has to go to the federal level to change them. Corbett is just following the rules that are outlined by Congress.

    Remember that people are paying for benefits who don’t own a house, don’t own two cars, and don’t have thousands in the bank. Is that fair?

    Let’s have a policy that is fair to everyone, and recognize that we are in a recession, and that there have to be limits. These are still more than reasonable limits.

  • Dave in Doylestown

    So if you’re retired and have a million $ is savings but no income, you should still be able to get food stamps? Where do I sign up?

  • Being taken advantage of

    Food stamps (EBT) is a complete scam. These people buy luxury items. My daughter is a cashier at a grocery store. When she sees a conveyor full of name brand, organic and other expensive items she simply asks, “will this be EBT?” She knows people with jobs never waste money like that. ELIMINATE IT NOW.

  • Tax Payer at fed & state levels

    Drug test, Asset Test and Blood test also please. They also need to us the FOOD STAMP only lines at supermarkets. They should only be able to purchase Flour, Rice, Beans, Raw Meats. NOT BACON,PIZZA,FRIED CHICKEN,CANDY.

    From the WIC line to the Medicare Line. CYCLE MUST END.

  • geoff

    Food stamps are BS. People are taking advantage of the system. I see people using food stamps while updating their facebook status on their iphones then taking their food the govt bought to eat in front of their direct tv. talk about taking advantage of all americans.

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