Minnesota millionaire tells lawmakers he got food stamps to make a point

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by TBO, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Millionaire Rob Undersander sat at a Minnesota House witness stand saying he received food stamps for 19 months to prove a point: Not everyone who gets the aid needs it.

    Democratic legislators did not like his Wednesday testimony, particularly Rep. John Considine, DFL-Mankato.

    “You knew this was wrong and you did it anyway,” Considine said while staring at Undersander. “I find it pretty despicable. … I am just sorry there is no way we can prosecute you.”

    Gasps filled the nearly packed room, especially from the Republican side of the committee table.

    Undersander said that he got the food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, legally because he and his wife had little income for the 19 months they took food stamps.

    He had plenty of assets, which he said qualifies him to be a millionaire, but assets such as property and bank accounts are not used to determine whether someone qualifies for food stamps. Only income is.

    Undersander was on the witness stand to support legislation by Rep. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville, that would include assets when approving food stamps. The Howe bill has further steps before reaching a full House vote.

    The Waite Park millionaire, the focus of most of the Wednesday discussion, said that while he received about $300 a month in food stamps some people in his area who really need the help got just $14.

    Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL-Eagan, joined others in her party to criticize Undersander.

    “I am finding it incredibly offensive that $6,000 in benefits were taken,” Halvorson said.

    Added Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth: “I think it is inappropriate to apply for these benefits.”

    In a Forum News Service interview, Undersander said that he signed up for food stamps to “audit” the program. He and his wife accepted food stamps from the middle of 2016 to early this year. He said receiving the food stamps would do more to prove that some people get food stamps when they do not need them than if he just said it without the experience.

    He said that he donated the equivalent of the food stamps to charities, his church and the needy.

    Undersander said he accomplished his goal.

    “I have obviously gotten your attention,” he told lawmakers.

    Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, praised the Waite Park man.

    “I am really sorry about the line of questioning that has been put forth, and the accusations,” she said. “You should be able to come to a committee without being accused of being a thief.”

    The food stamp program uses federal money, but is state- and county-administered. Howe’s bill would require assets to be included in deciding who is eligible for food stamps. However, he said, he wants to talk to other lawmakers to decide on an asset limit.

    Howe said he does not want to cut off aid to anyone who needs it.

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  2. catman71

    catman71 Spewer of TROOF

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    Where they outraged when select politicians made SBRs in protest or brought illegal guns to D.C. To make a point in session?

    Everyone is offended at everything
     
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  3. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    It's Minnesota. This is where a welfare crime is exposing the crime, not the crime itself. Liberals made the rules.
     
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  4. sciolist

    sciolist

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    It's just cheese, man.
     
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  5. starfish86

    starfish86

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    So he hit them over their proverbial heads with the reality that:

    a. The standards used to determine eligibility are in need of revision.

    b. Whoever oversees the program needs to be interviewed to find out why audits didn’t reveal this.

    Their response is, We are shocked and disgusted by your actions and wish we could prosecute you.?

    Maybe their friends and/or family run the program and they are covering for them. Somebody needs to be fired and changes made to program requirements and that’s just to start.
     
  6. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    “If citizens cannot trust that laws will be enforced in an evenhanded and honest fashion, they cannot be said to live under the rule of law. Instead, they live under the rule of men corrupted by the law.” ― Dale Carpenter, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Tex

    “We have a problem when the same people who make the law get to decide whether or not they themselves have broken the law.” ― Michelle Templet

    “Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence”
    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark - Mapp vs. Ohio
     
  7. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    My dad had to go into one of the welfare offices once. (I forget reason). They pressured him to sign up for assistance. Food/fuel, electric.. He declined.
    They asked questions, said he might qualify...
     
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  8. CAcop

    CAcop

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    The audit wouldn't find the information because they did not collect it.

    Sent from my SM-T330NU using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Random

    Random Anti-Midas

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    If exposure was his true intention, and it seems as if it was, he went about it in a very clear and convincing way. Looks like he stayed within the rules. If they disapprove of his actions it sounds like they disapprove of the rules. Change them. Legislation isn't set in stone for a reason.

    Oh, and he shouldn't have to give the $5,700 back. He qualified. That's a cheap price for illustrating the gaps in their policies.
     
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  10. thewitt

    thewitt

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    Remember the progressive Obama administration took CREDIT for having delivered the HIGHEST level of federal aid - welfare and food stamps - of ANY government in the HISTORY of the US. Even more than during the Great Depression!

    They were PROUD of this, and LAUDED by the MSM.
     
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  11. Z71bill

    Z71bill

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    All welfare - including social security and Medicare should be means tested -
     
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  12. refugeepj

    refugeepj

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    ever see the movie "CINDERELLA MAN?" true story.
    taking these "benefits" was once, seen (and still should be) as a personal failure.
    worked for 51 years. received unemployment twice, no fault of my own.
    total was about 200 a week and about eight weeks. were it not for feeding my children, would not have ever taken any "benefits."
    never food stamps, and took whatever job i could get to GTF back to work.
    once went back to work for half of what i had been earning just because it meant earning my own way.
    the example was not lost on my children.
     
  13. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk Isaiah 53:4-9

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    They are. You have to provide proof. They just don't take someone's word for it.
     
  14. thewitt

    thewitt

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    Means tested and filling out the assistance form are two different things. Maybe that's too hard to comprehend, but clearly a millionaire has the means to provide for his own food and doesn't need government assistance.

    Anyone who owns their own home doesn't need food stamps.

    Anyone with a 401K doesn't need federal assistance feeding his kids.

    Anyone who can afford a new car and a flat panel TV doesn't need ME to buy his groceries.
     
  15. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk Isaiah 53:4-9

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    You are confusing SSI with SSD. Further, he had all his assets in the bank, and simply filled out a form with the liberal MN that showed he had no income, like most drug and alien smugglers do, as they don't file Federal Income taxes. So the State of MN which is uber liberal went for it. So, this is a State Failure, not a Federal Failure. I guarantee you, if you got jacked up and had to file for SSD, they want a very detailed form filled out, along with proof of your disability, labs, doctor's notes, the whole 9. Then they will interview you in person or on the phone. It is a little easier when OPM declares you are fully disabled, as they are a Government entity and they do send information back and forth to each other.
     
  16. Z71bill

    Z71bill

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  17. Robgmn

    Robgmn

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    a. The standards are always being revised. Based on the economy, states are allowed to get a waiver for the asset test for SNAP. They feel it makes more sense to help someone short-term with SNAP than to have them lose their home, etc. As the economy improves (reduced unemployment, etc.) the waiver goes away and it's back to an asset test, plus a three-month cap on receiving food.

    b. There is no audit that would reveal people who receive benefits that ARE eligible to receive them. This man was eligible. You might compare him to the movie star who gets their meal comped at a high-end restaurant simply because they are famous. Does the movie star NEED a freebie? Nope. But they can get it. And they do.
    Did this guy NEED the SNAP? Nope, but he can get it (legally), and he did.

    Yes, they SHOULD be shocked and disgusted if he had done this just to get the free SNAP. They should be disgusted by people who accept a handout when it's not needed (such as the movie star accepting a comped meal, or the politicians who get their palms greased by certain entities, or the ).
    They should be similarly disgusted when companies like WalMart essentially get a government subsidy by underpaying their employees, who need/get welfare and then spend the welfare in WalMart stores.

    What this guy did was essentially try to prove that the rules need to be changed because we can't trust millionaires to be honest and not sign up for benefits they don't need.

    'Sounds kind of similar to the argument that we should ban ALL guns because we can't trust SOME people to use them properly, doesn't it?
     
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  18. Z71bill

    Z71bill

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    The movie star getting a free meal - because the guy that owns the restaurant thinks having famous people eat there will boost his business - is not taxpayer funded.

    These things are not comparable -AT ALL.

    If places like WM couldn't accept SNAP payments then how would the people buy food?

    You think the government should set up retail stores just so people can use their food stamps?

    You have to understand that WM (and all the other grocery stores) are 10x more efficient than the government ever will be in managing the distribution of food. WM, Kroger and the rest save the government money compared to what it would cost the government to distribute food to all these people.


    What this guy proved is there are virtually no controls in place in Minnesota that prevents people who do not need food stamps from getting them. If even a guy will millions in the bank can legally get free government money there is something really wrong with the system.

    To compare this to gun control is totally off base.

    I almost think you are just making a joke. Are you?
     
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  19. starfish86

    starfish86

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    In general I like and agree with your post.

    But the Movie star/Restaurant analogy is flawed in my opinion because Restaurants are not subsidized by the American Tax payer and so as a private business they are free to “comp” anyone they like and take the hit to their bottom line.

    I doubt the lawmakers intentions when they created the SNAP program was to allow millionares with no income to participate. That said, I have no problem with the method he used to draw attention to an obvious flaw in the program.


    The last sentence in your post “sounds like the argument we should ban all Guns” is not the same. SNAP or other entitlement programs are not contained in the Bill of Rights. So this is not similar.
     
  20. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    While I don't ever intend to get government assistance like this.
    Owning a home should NOT be a disqualification. . There are many older folks who worked hard, didn't go into debt, raised families... Who in senior yrs now find the " nest egg" for retirement is running out.
    Why should they be punished for owning their home? Is it better if they get free rent in apt? (Government assistance)

    So we punish anyone who TRIED to take care of themselves. Who were NOT a burden on society their entire life?
    Last 5 yrs of my moms life she lived in a nice apt, drove a nice car. She also got half off her rent. She paid taxes her entire life, worked many jobs.

    She paid her dues. At full rent, no assistance she would have been broke in two yrs. With assistance she was doing fine.