Pennsylvania Food Stamp Changes Demand You Drain Your Assets First

Pennsylvania’s struggling citizens are about to learn how much they are worth to the government — about $5,500 to $9000. The state is preparing to institute their new “asset-based” food stamp criteria, which will force those who are too “rich” for government assistance to sell off most of their possessions if they want to eat.

According to CBS, “[T]he administration says it wants to make sure people turn to their own resources before seeking assistance.”  Which is an absolutely lovely thought, but in reality is destined primarily to ensure that those who are poor never get out of a cycle of poverty.  While those who are elderly or disabled are allowed up to $9000 in assets to still qualify for assistance, those who fall in neither bracket can have only $5,500.

Asking a person to drain his or her bank account in order to receive government assistance — especially in a time when it is so difficult to find work or retain insurance coverage — is leaving most people just one step from disaster.  $5,500 is a few months rent or mortgage should unemployment benefits run out, or one emergency room visit with a broken arm if your COBRA lapses.    Shouldn’t we be encouraging people to plan for a fiscal emergency rather than making complete destitution mandatory?

The state of Michigan already asked that question when it discussed its own potential change to an asset-based assistance program. Their decision? People should sell off all of their assets first, then struggle to repurchase their basic needs once they are employed — hopefully with earnings large enough to make up for their losses.

CBS reports that the state claims less than one percent of applicants will be affected by the new rules.  Which a very polite way of saying most of the people who are applying already ran out of money long ago.

Photo credit: thinkstock


Stanley Rampersad
Stanley Balgobin4 years ago

Drain your resources and become homeless with food stamps.

Huber F.
Huber F.4 years ago

Surrender to your wants but not out of your wits.


Robert K.
Robert K.4 years ago

for the good of the consumer. Only then could profit be a concern.

If these policies were in place, all our economic problems would be solved, along with associated ones like the high divorce rate, spousal abuse, hunger and other problems associated with unfair distribution of wealth. When 400 people own more than the bottom 150,000,000 we have a major problem.

Never vote conservative unless you hate freedom and America, or just everyone else in general. Conservatism makes horrendous government and no conservative government in history has had the good of the people as a governing concern.

Robert K.
Robert K.4 years ago

It's a shame conservatism has become so ignorant and hateful. There used to be good conservatives, but now they all act like victims of fetal alcohol syndrome or worse.

Too bad those Obama concentration camps don't exist, it would have been the perfect place for them to live out their days.

Facts, things like food stamps and unemployment insurance cause gains above expenses, in the case of unemployment it causes $1.79 for the economy for every dollar spent. Tax cuts for the rich returns 33 cents for every dollar spent on the cuts.

Reagan's cut in the top marginal rate caused an immediate recession which he paid for by 11 increases in taxes on the poor and middle class. When he started that the average CEO made 25-30 times the income of the average person working for him, now it's 370-500 times as much.

What's needed is a return to the pre-Reagan tax standards, tariffs which make it more expensive to produce goods overseas, quit pretending that companies overseas belonging to American multinationals are separate companies thereby ending the loophole that allows them to deduct their own profits and a multimillion dollar fine for each outsourced job.

Also, any capital gains received from paper shuffling should be taxed at the highest rate. Only capital gains realized from backing start up businesses should qualify for the low rate.

In addition the founders of the country demanded of corporations that their first requirement was to deal for the good of the c

Pat B.
Pat B.4 years ago

Janice said "They'll fight this fight until their last dollar is squeezed from between their trembling fingers, making them finally realize that we were right all along."

I wish that was true, but they won't realize that. They'll go down blaming the socialist/communists/unions/welfare queens/left wing crazies/feminazis and anybody else who's left of Ronald Reagan. (despite their claims to worship Reagan and his philosophies, the truth is he would be seen as way too leftist for the tea party crackpots) It's sad, that despite all the proof to the contrary, that they continue to believe the GOP and tea partiers will save the country.

Don H.
Don H.4 years ago

Janice M said: "Don H. Sorry, they'll never abandon FOX. They're just too darn stupid!"

I know, Janice. It's very discouraging. One would think they would want to grow and learn but such is not the case. I guess it's easier to go through life being told what to think and what to believe.

Janice M.
Janice Ma4 years ago

I have a cousin who is going to be receiving food stamps soon--thankfully in the state of Ill. Still, if she were in Penn, I wonder what they'd want her to sell? She lives in a Trailer home 15 miles from anything, has a 10 year old car, some furniture and food in her freezer, a small dog and 2 parakeets. She'd be glad to get rid of the parakeets. She only has a thousand or so in her bank account. Food stamps never give people enough food to get by on so I guess people like her would have to.....empty their bank accounts, sell any excess furniture they might have, sell her car even though she'd then lack any kind of transportation? Yeah, our government's fixing up for a massive die off in our population, isn't it?

Janice M.
Janice Ma4 years ago

@Don H. Sorry, they'll never abandon FOX. They're just too darn stupid! They'll fight this fight until their last dollar is squeezed from between their trembling fingers, making them finally realize that we were right all along. They're all idiots and there's just no way you'll change their minds. The only thing that has a chance of doing that is life.

Janice M.
Janice Ma4 years ago

Excuse me! It's hard to find a job these days! Have some of you IDIOTS missed this fact? My brother has a Ph.D. and is 56 years old and can only find part time work--age discrimination in case some of you jackasses never heard of it. My son has 3 degrees, one of them a MA in Elem Ed and yet he works part time at REI. He's looked at 3 far flung economically good areas of the country, after first obtaining teaching licenses there and could obtain a job in none of them. This is, of course, due to the Bush tax cuts which caused 400,000 teachers to either lose jobs or cause positions to not be filled. The elite are stripping this economy to the bone and the assault talked about in this column is just their latest attempt to fill their pockets and empty ours. When will some you fools wake up? When it's too late? When they've reduced this country to a copy of Haiti? It's coming!

Pat B.
Pat B.4 years ago

Excuse me? Why don't they get a job? Whatever you're taking I want some. To be able to look at America right now and think that people aren't working because they want to live on welfare and food stamps is quite a
feat. For most jobs posted, there are hundreds, sometimes thousands who apply. If you keep people on welfare, treat them like
crap and don't offer them real training for real
jobs do you really think an employee with 500
applicants is going to choose the untrained
welfare mom? It would be nice if they did, but businesses don't operate to be good.