More Illegals Means Big Money for JPMorgan: Fancy EBT Cards Cost Taxpayers Big Millions

How did we miss this one (maybe you didn’t)? A Government Accountability Institute report dated September 2012 shows the more illegals we bring in and give food stamps to the more transactions fees, cha ching, rack up for JP Morgan. But let’s not leave it at just illegals, profits stack up from every EBT card processed.

Oh so pretty and costly EBT Cards

Oh so pretty and costly EBT Cards

When the U.S. went from traditional food stamps, SNAP and FNS “coupons” or whatever they were, to the fancy plastic in what we once described as four-color, so as not to stigmatize – so no one would know Surfer-Boy is using taxpayer dollars to lobster, but Surfer-Boy is loud and proud. Some entity has to do the processing:

As you will read about below, JP Morgan has made at least 560 million dollars processing Electronic Benefits Transfer cards.  Each month, JP Morgan makes between $.31 and $2.30 for every single person on food stamps (and that does not even include things like ATM fees, etc). Source: The Economic Collapse Blog 

JP Morgan isn’t the only curator of big bucks from poverty (snippets from the GAI report):

A second major modification to the program was the mandate, included in PRWORA, that all
states transition the distribution of benefits away from paper stamps to electronic benefit transfer

(EBT) cards by October 1, 2002. As it happened, nearly all states hired private companies to manage the distribution of benefits. States undoubtedly did so to comply with the mandate at the lowest cost possible, but as will become clear, this relationship opened the door for cronyism in the EBT services market.

In 2000, the USDA expanded the scope of eligibility rules yet again. The expanded list included any person participating in a welfare program funded through TANF or a state-level welfare program, including both cash and non-cash assistance programs. It also gave states the option to include on its rolls persons who are under 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line and who are “authorized” to receive aid, which means that they do not need to receive TANF aid to be categorically eligible through TANF for food stamps.

… The participation rate in 1996 was 25.5 million. By 2000, that had dropped to 17 million. But by 2004, the trend was reversed as 23.8 million Americans were back on food stamps…

The Obama Administration made two important changes to USDA food stamp policy. First, it increased the amount of money each household received in food stamps by 13.6 percent.

According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, “The original rationale for increasing
SNAP benefits as a part of [the stimulus program] was that SNAP benefits are spent quickly and have a multiplicative effect on total economic activity.” Second, the USDA took an active role in encouraging states to adopt a variation of categorical eligibility called “broad based categorical eligibility.”…

The Players

The current EBT card industry is dominated by three main players: J.P. Morgan Electronic Financial Services, Affiliated Computer Services, and eFunds.

JP Morgan made $560 Million, yet isn’t the only processor.

From CraigsList August 11, 2012 (Page 13):

Yes are you looking for that new deep freezer this month folks

Well now it here for free folks if you eat choice cut steaks gourmet chicken choice cut pork packs and seafood

Its time to get it all now

We are having a big blow out sale folks For augs 2012 back to school time folks

So if you want a deal now time to get it all folks

please call me at 910-508-5838 for deatils folks

We do take Cash credit cards and ebt food stamps as well folks.

Richmond CraigsList Page 14:

I have cash and need to trade for EBT credit. I am looking for 100-200 of EBT credit

The USDA has recently allowed states to investigate households reporting more than 4 lost cards annually but…

…federal rules currently prevent states from taking the same kinds of measures as commercial card companies in preventing fraudulent transactions. For example, a state may not place a hold on an EBT account when it suspects fraudulent purchases are being made. The state instead allows fraudulent activity to continue until a team of investigators is able to follow up on that case.

In Florida’s case, investigators are tasked with policing over three million EBT users.

Did you know that SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) was “originally conceived as a way to maintain high agricultural commodity prices?” Me neither.

As such, the House and Senate Agricultural
Committees have jurisdiction over all food assistance and distribution programs, includingSNAP, and the Department of Agriculture oversees the execution of such programs.

[Our] analysis “uncovered a clear trend of increasing contributions to Agriculture Committee members of both the House and Senate on the part of JPMorgan that appears to coincide with their entry into the EBT market.”

Donations jumped from an $83,000 average in the 1998 – 2002 per election cycle to an average of $215,000 per election cycle after their EBT babies were birthed.

Right now maybe you are saying, but…illegals don’t get food stamps:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released documents detailing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program.

The promotion of the food stamp program, now known as “SNAP” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA with a statement advising Mexicans in the U.S. that they do not need to declare their immigration status in order to receive financial assistance.  Emphasized in bold and underlined, the statement reads, “You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”

The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to USDA on July 20, 2012.  The FOIA request sought: “Any and all records of communication relating to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals, and migrant communities, including but not limited to, communications with the Mexican government.” Read more at Judicial Watch

In 2012, we spent “$80.4 BILLION on food stamps – 46 MILLION and growing get free groceries from Uncle Sam.” PTG

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