I know, you're shocked.
Michelle Bachman recently claimed at the CPAC convention that 70% of all the money allocated to the food stamp program goes to government bureaucrats and only 30% to food stamp recipients. Too bad she forgot to check with the the people who actually manage the SNAP program and with the Government's proposed 2013 Budget. In fact, salaries all USDA Food and Nutrition Service employees (166 of whom work for SNAP) account for only "one-third of 1 percent of USDA’s budget for all of the food and nutrition programs for which it is responsible, including the Food Stamp Program.
Of the $82 Billion budgeted for federal food and nutrition assistance relief under the USDA for 2013, less than 6% (5.8%) is allocated to all administrative costs, which includes, by the way, state administrative costs that represent 81% of all administrative costs for the Food Stamp Program.
If, in fact, "Washington bureaucrats" received 70% of that $82 Billion pie each year, they would all be multi-millionaires. Hey, if that were true I'd sign up to work for the USDA in a heartbeat. However, the truth is that working for the USDA will not make you wealthy. As of 2011:
As of September 30, 2011, there were 1,325 full-time permanent employees in the agencies. There were 529 employees in the Washington headquarters office; and 796 elsewhere, including in seven regional offices; 55 field offices; four SNAP compliance offices in Illinois, California, New Jersey, and Tennessee; and a computer support center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.That number include the 166 government employees who work for SNAP. The average salary for USDA Food and Nutrition Service employes is around $61,000. The highest paid position is at the level of a GS 13, with salaries ranging from a little over $72,000 per year to a high of a little under $94,000 per year depending on various factors including geographic location. Nothing to sneeze at, but hardly a job that will move you into the top 10 percent of income.
Sadly, far too many people will believe Bachmann's absurd claim that food stamp recipients receive only 30% of the money budgeted for SNAP. The truth, that SNAP is on of the most efficient government programs in terms of the ratio of benefits provided to administrative costs (942:6) incurred will be ignored by most of the media, and the conservative talking point zombie lie that SNAP is a wasteful program that should be cut severely will be the default position of all "serious people" inside the Beltway, despite the reality.
Just how prevalent are food stamp abuse and waste? In 2010, SNAP’s payment accuracy rate averaged 96.2 percent nationwide. That’s an all-time high for the program and includes both under- and overpayment. The error rate drops below 3 percent for overpayment alone.
Egregious fraud happens so infrequently that stronger enforcement being proposed for SNAP isn’t even expected to result in meaningful savings to taxpayers, and it wasn’t scored by the Congressional Budget Office, notes Stacy Dean, of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
By the way, did you know that Food Stamp spending generates an average return of $1.73 in local communities for every dollar spent? It's a job creator for small and large businesses alike! Just don't expect to hear any "serious person" ever mention that fact. Nor any FOX New consumer, either.