Rooting out food-stamp fraud is worth it

As Simon Waxman makes the case against photo IDs for EBT cards (“SNAP Decisions,” Op-ed, July 5), he brings me along slowly. No one can know for sure how great the fraud is (though the anecdotal evidence is concerning); why spend $5 million to defeat it?

But then he loses me when he writes, “Purchasing limitations and surveillance may be justified if you see” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “as a taxpayer-funded charity.” What else could it be if not that?


Even if, as Waxman writes, SNAP “is a mechanism for chipping away at structural inequalities that deny poor people opportunities to prosper,” what’s wrong with purchasing limitations and surveillance on potential fraud? Aren’t poor people benefited when allocated money comes to them and not to criminals?

Josh Passell


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