Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dems may use food-stamp money to pay for Michelle Obama's nutrition initiative

Dems may use food-stamp money to pay for Michelle Obama's nutrition initiative

By Russell Berman - 08/14/10 06:00 AM ET
Democrats who reluctantly slashed a food-stamp program to fund a state-aid bill may have to do so again to pay for a top priority of first lady Michelle Obama.
The House will soon consider an $8 billion child-nutrition bill that’s at the center of the first lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. Before leaving for the summer recess, the Senate passed a smaller version of the legislation that is paid for by trimming the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as the food-stamp program.
The proposed cuts would come on top of a 13.6 percent food-stamp reduction in the $26 billion Medicaid and education state-funding bill that President Obama signed this week.
Food stamps have made multiple appearances on the fiscal chopping block because Democrats have few other places to turn to offset the cost of legislation.
Party leaders raided the budget to find off-setting tax increases and spending cuts to pay for their top legislative priorities, including the roughly $900 billion healthcare law. Congressional pay-as-you-go rules require lawmakers to offset all non-emergency spending.
Democrats have turned to the food-stamp program because funding increases enacted in the stimulus package last year were already scheduled to phase out over time. The changes proposed in the state-aid and nutrition bills would simply cut off that increase early, in March 2014. Because the cuts would not take effect for more than three years, Democratic leaders have voiced the hope that they will be able to stop the cuts in future legislation.
But House liberals are balking now, saying that while they swallowed the food-stamp cuts to pay for urgent funding for Medicaid and teachers, they will not vote for more cuts in the child-nutrition bill. In a letter sent this week to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), 106 House Democrats urged the Speaker to take the House version of the child-nutrition bill, which does not slash food stamps, rather than the Senate version.
“This is one of the more egregious cases of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is a vote we do not take lightly,” the lawmakers, led by Reps. James McGovern (D-Mass.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said of their vote on the state-aid bill.
The House version of the child-nutrition bill, authored by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), passed the Education and Labor Committee earlier this year, but lawmakers must find a way to pay for it before it comes to the floor for a vote. “Chairman Miller is working to find other ways to pay for this bill,” a spokeswoman said when asked if cuts to the food stamp program would be used.
A House leadership aide noted that the food-stamp decrease approved in the state-aid bill will not take effect right away and will leave the program at the same funding level it was at before the stimulus law was signed. “That doesn’t mean many Democrats are not concerned about the issue, but this is a process which gives us time to deal with immediate issues (like jobs) and helping the economy grow, while giving you time to deal with the food-stamp issue,” the aide said.
The nutrition bill is clearly a priority for Michelle Obama, who has made a push for healthy eating — one of her signature policy issues at White House. When the House version of the nutrition bill won committee approval in July, it marked the first time she weighed in publicly on pending legislation.
The Obama administration has not directly addressed the debate over the food-stamp cuts, but it is backing the Senate bill. “We strongly supported the Senate action and look forward to working with the House to get a final bill onto the president’s desk,” an administration official told The Hill.
The $4.5 billion Senate bill would expand eligibility for school meal programs, establish nutrition standards for all food sold in schools and provide a 6-cent increase for each school lunch to help cafeterias serve healthier meals. The $8 billion House version includes more money for expanding access to school lunches for children in low-income households.
The deeper food-stamp reductions in the Senate version would set an earlier date — in November 2013 — for eliminating the increased benefits passed last year. A family of four would see their benefits reduced by $59 a month, or about 9 percent. The bill would also cut funding for nutrition-education programs aimed at low-income neighborhoods and households.
“It’s very sad. I think it’s just illustrating what dire straits our federal government budget is in,” said Sheila Zedlewski, director of the Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center. “It’s unprecedented to raid one safety net program to feed another.”
—This story was updated at 1:40 p.m.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/114271-dems-consider-more-food-stamp-cuts-to-fund-child-nutrition-bill#ixzz2dtFxEjFa
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SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013

SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013

Revised August 2, 2013
The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is scheduled to end on November 1, 2013, resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household.  For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014.[2]   That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits.  Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits will average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014.  (See Table 2 for estimates of the size of the SNAP cut in each state in fiscal year 2014.)  Nationally, the total cut is estimated to be $5 billion in fiscal year 2014.
It seems unlikely that Congress will enact legislation to remedy this problem, as President Obama and some members of Congress have proposed.  Consequently, states need to prepare for the benefit cuts — including determining how they will provide information about the upcoming benefit reduction to participating households and other stakeholders as well as how to manage increased client inquiries when the cut takes effect.

Background on the Benefit Cut

In response to the economic downturn, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits across the board as a way of delivering high “bang-for-the-buck” economic stimulus and easing hardship.  ARRA increased SNAP maximummonthly benefits by 13.6 percent beginning in April 2009.[3]   Benefits increased for all participating households and by the same amount by household size (except for those households that qualified for the minimum benefit) in 2009.  For example, for a one-person household, the added benefit was $24 a month; for two persons, it was $44 a month; for three persons, it was $63 a month; and for four persons, it was $80 a month.  The minimum benefit (which is available to eligible one- and two-person households that otherwise qualify for a small benefit or no benefit) rose from $14 to $16.  Because households that receive less than the maximum benefit received the same fixed dollar increase, the increase to average benefits was larger in percentage terms:  about 20 percent.
ARRA provided that SNAP benefit levels would continue at the new higher amount until the program’s regular annual inflation adjustments to the maximum SNAP benefit exceeded those set by ARRA.  The maximum SNAP benefit levels for each household size, which are set each October 1, are equal to the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) from the preceding June scaled to each household size.  The TFP is the cost of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food plan for a family of four to purchase and prepare a bare-bones diet at home.[4]   At the time ARRA was enacted, food price inflation was expected to be high and the TFP cost was expected to exceed the ARRA level in fiscal year 2014.  Food price inflation, however, turned out to be lower than expected over the 2009 to 2013 period, resulting in the pushing out of the date that the TFP was expected to exceed the ARRA level.[5]
In August 2010, Congress passed and the President signed P.L. 111-226, which accelerated the sunset of the ARRA benefit increase to April 2014 and used the estimated savings for state fiscal relief through additional federal funding for school districts to maintain teachers’ jobs and maintaining a higher federal match for Medicaid costs.  Four months later, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (P.L. 111-296), which reauthorized Child Nutrition programs, further accelerated the sunset date of ARRA to October 31, 2013, to offset the cost of the legislation.  As a result, beginning on November 1, 2013, SNAP benefit levels will be based on the cost of the June 2013 TFP, which is lower than the ARRA levels.
On August 1, 2013 USDA published the June 2013 TFP — $632 — a $36 decrease from the current maximum monthly benefit for a family of four under ARRA.  (See Table 1 for an estimate of the benefit cut by household size.) [6]   This significant benefit cut will likely cause hardship for many households.[7]   The total size of the cut will be approximately $5 billion in fiscal year 2014 and, based on the Congressional Budget Office’s May 2013 projections for food inflation in coming years, an additional $6 billion across fiscal years 2015 and 2016. 

Table 1
SNAP Cut by Household Size Beginning November 2013
  ARRA Maximum Benefits Through Oct. 2013 Maximum Benefits Beginning Nov. 2013 Monthly Cut Total Cut FY 2014
Household of 1 $200 $189 -$11 -$121
Household of 2 $367 $347 -$20 -$220
Household of 3 $526 $497 -$29 -$319
Household of 4 $668 $632 -$36 -$396
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, “SNAP – Fiscal Year 2014 Cost-of-Living Adjustments and ARRA Sunset Impact on Allotments,” August 1, 2013.
The cuts are especially painful in light of the inadequacy of existing benefit levels.  In a report issued by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, nutrition experts identified several shortcomings with the current SNAP benefit allotment; noted that most household benefit levels are based on unrealistic assumptions about the cost of food, time preparation, and access to grocery stores; and recommended evaluating ways of changing the benefit calculation to better ensure that households have enough resources to purchase an adequate diet.[8]
SNAP has never experienced a reduction in benefit levels that affected all participants.[9]   There have been some cuts in specific states, but these cuts have not typically been as large or affected as many people as what will occur this November.[10]

Benefit Cuts Will Increase Hardship and Food Insecurity

These cuts will likely cause hardship for some SNAP participants, who will include 22 million children in 2014 (10 million of whom live in “deep poverty,” with family incomes below half of the poverty line) and 9 million people who are elderly or have a serious disability.  Cutting these households’ benefits will reduce their ability to purchase food.  This cut will be the equivalent of taking away 21 meals per month for a family of four, or 16 meals for a family of three, based on calculations using the $1.70 to $2 per meal provided for in the Thrifty Food Plan.  USDA research has found that the Recovery Act’s benefit boost cut the number of households in which one or more persons had to skip meals or otherwise eat less because they lacked money — what USDA calls “very low food security” — by about 500,000 households in 2009.[11]
More recent research finds that boosting SNAP benefits during the summer for households with school-aged children who don’t have access to USDA’s summer food program cut very low food security among these households by nearly 20 percent.[12]
Given this research and the growing awareness of the inadequacy of the current SNAP benefit allotments, we can reasonably assume that a reduction in SNAP benefit levels of this size will significantly increase the number of poor households that have difficulty affording adequate food this fall.

Preparing for the Benefit Cuts

Because this cut will affect all households that participate in SNAP and because of the size of the cut, states may wish to begin planning for how they will implement the reductions in November.  The primary considerations for such planning are:
  1. Informing SNAP participants, advocates, and service providers who work with SNAP participants and other key stakeholders about the scheduled benefit cut so that they can plan and prepare;
  2. Managing the influx of client inquiries and appeals in November related to the benefit reduction;
  3. Implementing the benefit reduction, i.e. staff training, programming, and other systems requirements; and
  4. Educating federal policymakers about the anticipated impacts of the cut in the state.
This paper focuses on items 1 and 2, which are primarily about engaging and informing stakeholders in developing a plan for the upcoming benefit cut.
As a first step, states may wish to work with local service providers, client advocate groups, and other stakeholders to inform them of the upcoming benefit reduction and to solicit their assistance in preparing for the cut.  States will want to ensure these groups are aware of the issue — particularly its non-discretionary nature and its timing.  Interested parties will likely include key state legislators, the retailer community, human services staff, advocates, legal aid groups, the emergency food network, the state’s SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendor, other parts of state government that serve the same population (such as representatives from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and child care programs), and key municipal authorities.
Clients may turn to these entities for information about the cut as well as seek financial or other assistance from them when the SNAP cut takes effect.  Moreover, representatives from these organizations can help SNAP state agencies anticipate the consequences of such a large-scale benefit cut and take action to prepare.  For example, some clients may complain to their state legislators about the benefit reduction.  In different circumstances, state legislative staff might bring these complaints to the state agency and expect swift resolution.  Given the non-discretionary nature of this change, however, state legislative staff might be interested in working with the agency to consider an alternative response to constituent complaints such as providing constituents with information regarding other resources to meet their food needs. 
The earlier that states begin to engage and work with key stakeholders on the upcoming benefit cut, the more prepared organizations who work with SNAP clients will be for its impact.  Advance planning will also give some organizations the ability to document the impact of the cuts on clients with the goal of sharing that information with federal policymakers.

Informing SNAP Participants

The benefit cut in November will affect approximately 23 million low-income households.  It likely will cause hardship for many households, so SNAP participants will be better prepared for the change if they know about it in advance.  With clear information about the upcoming change, SNAP participants can assess and attempt to plan for the cut’s impact on their food and family budget.  Some may seek assistance from other programs or service providers.  Others may use this opportunity to ask the state agency to reevaluate their income and circumstances for SNAP in the hopes that they may qualify for additional assistance.  While these actions will not mitigate the full effects of the cuts, they may help some vulnerable individuals and families.  In addition, if state agencies can inform program participants about the change early, there is likely to be less confusion among participants.  Less confusion may reduce client inquires and appeal requests to the state agency.
Federal SNAP rules require state agencies to publicize changes that affect a significant portion of the caseload, known as a “mass change.”[13]   At a minimum, states must publicize mass changes through “the news media; posters in certification offices…or other sites frequented by certified households; or general notices mailed to households.”[14]
While a mailed notice to each affected household is not required under federal rules, states would be wise to consider such an approach.  General messaging about the benefit cut will be an important aspect of each state’s plan to get the word out about the upcoming change; many participants will want and seek out more detail about the nature of the cut and its impact on their household.  States may be able to avoid many of these inquiries by delivering detailed information about the change through a mailed notice.  Clients are less likely to call or visit the state SNAP agency to ask about the cut if they have been sent detailed information about the change.  Moreover, households have the right to appeal the benefit reduction.[15]   While this appeal will only be successful if the state applies the reduction incorrectly, states will have to process these appeal requests, which could drain administrative resources.  Many households are less likely to request a fair hearing on the benefit cut if they understand it is a change mandated by federal law and that the state has no discretion in the matter.
In addition to sending clients notices of the change, states may want to consider other means to convey that a significant change is coming that affects all households.  State agencies have many means of conveying information to SNAP households.  These include:
  • Traditional mail.  States may opt to send a special mass mailing, postcard mailing, or combine information about the November cut with another scheduled client mailing such as notices of eligibility, periodic reporting forms, and recertification applications.
  • In-person transactions.  Millions of households will come in contact with state human services agency staff in the next several months, prior to the benefit cut.  They may call in to report a change, visit a local office, or complete a telephone interview.  This is an important opportunity for the state to inform clients of the upcoming scheduled cut. 
  • Electronic communication.  Many states collect e-mail and client cell phone numbers and are able to communicate with clients electronically.  Some use social media such as Facebook and Twitter feeds to communicate with clients and stakeholders.
  • Telephone recordings.  States can play recorded messages about the change for individuals who are waiting to speak with a human services employee on the telephone.  Some states also have the ability to call clients with automated recorded calls.
  • Agency websites.  States can post alerts with time sensitive information on their websites.
  • Agency newsletters.
  • Flyers and posters in local offices.
  • Media.  Media outlets such as newspapers, television, and radio may be interested in covering this change as a news story. 
  • EBT receipts and customer service call centers.  Some states are able to print special messages on households’ receipts from EBT transactions.  And, some states may have the ability to work with their EBT vendor to play messages about the change for clients who are waiting to speak with a customer service representative.
State agencies can amplify their own messaging by coordinating their communication efforts with community-based organizations, retailers, and other organizations that work directly with low-income communities that participate in SNAP.  State agencies, local service providers, and client advocate groups each have extensive experience conveying important information to low-income communities and SNAP participants.  Working together, they can create materials that convey the key facts and anticipate likely questions from program participants.  Key messages that are important to consider are:
  • Federal law requires a cut in maximum SNAP benefits in November.  This change means that your household’s SNAP monthly allotment will also fall at that time.
  • The cut will be about $10 per person per month.  For example, the benefit cut to monthly benefits for a household of three will be $29.  For households that receive the $16 minimum benefit, the new minimum benefit level will be $15 per month. 
  • We know that shopping and eating with reduced benefits will be difficult, but this change is required by federal law and we cannot stop it. 
  • Where you can get more information:  The state agency will send you a notice with more details about this change and how it will impact your benefits in [insert month of notice].  You can also call [insert the state’s toll-free number] if you have questions.
In any effort, it will be important to ensure that the messages are accurate and that the organization conveying the information is prepared with how to handle questions, either by training its staff about the change or knowing where to refer clients who seek more information.

Preparing State Operations to Handle Client Questions

Even with a robust communications strategy, many households may not understand why their November SNAP amount is lower than the previous month.  These clients may visit or call their local SNAP office to find out why their benefits were cut and where they can get food to help fill the shortfall caused by the benefit cuts.  Others clients who do not understand that federal law mandated this change may request a fair hearing for the reduction.  State and local SNAP staff will need to be prepared for this influx of inquiries and the resulting workload.  It is important to note that this fall is already likely to be an extremely busy time for state health and human services agencies as they will begin taking applications for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
States will need to educate all of their staff who engage with program participants and the public, such as eligibility workers and call center staff, about the benefit reduction.  Staff will need information about the decrease, state plans for announcing it, and how to handle client inquiries about the reduction.  In some cases, clients may call the private vendor that provides customer service for the state’s SNAP debit card.  As noted above, states may wish to review their contracts with their EBT vendors to explore whether the vendor can provide information about the November reduction and what it might mean for SNAP households.
Part of staff training about the change could be to remind workers about the importance of making sure that participants are getting the full amount of benefits for which they qualify.  In particular, many households who are eligible for deductions that could lower their net income and result in increased benefits do not always take advantage of them.  This is particularly true of the excess medical and the child care deductions.  States could use this period leading up to November to place special emphasis on ensuring households are claiming all available deductions.  This is important at any time, but it could be particularly helpful now in reducing the hardship that results from the cut.


The upcoming cuts to SNAP benefits will be significant and will have far-reaching impacts on low-income individuals and families.  They will likely increase hardship for the more than 47 million Americans who rely upon SNAP to meet their basic nutritional needs.  With Congress unlikely to act to mitigate the cuts, states need to begin planning for the reduction to ensure that clients and the many organizations and SNAP stakeholders who work with them are aware of the upcoming change and its effects.
Table 2
The SNAP ARRA Termination: Estimated State-by-State Impact in Fiscal Year 2014
  Total SNAP Benefit Cut to State
(in millions of dollars, from November 2013
through September 2014)
Number of SNAP Recipients in FY 2014
(all of whom are impacted by the cut)
Total Share of Total State Population
Alabama -$98 910,000 19%
Alaska -$12 95,000 13%
Arizona -$109 1,101,000 17%
Arkansas -$52 501,000 17%
California -$457 4,168,000 11%
Colorado -$55 511,000 10%
Connecticut -$44 424,000 12%
Delaware -$16 154,000 17%
District of Columbia -$15 144,000 22%
Florida -$379 3,552,000 18%
Georgia -$210 1,947,000 19%
Hawaii -$33 190,000 13%
Idaho -$24 230,000 14%
Illinois -$220 2,031,000 16%
Indiana -$98 925,000 14%
Iowa -$43 421,000 13%
Kansas -$33 317,000 11%
Kentucky -$94 875,000 20%
Louisiana -$98 920,000 20%
Maine -$26 251,000 19%
Maryland -$82 774,000 13%
Massachusetts -$95 889,000 13%
Michigan -$183 1,775,000 18%
Minnesota -$55 556,000 10%
Mississippi -$70 664,000 22%
Missouri -$96 933,000 15%
Montana -$13 131,000 13%
Nebraska -$18 180,000 10%
Nevada -$37 359,000 13%
New Hampshire -$12 117,000 9%
New Jersey -$90 873,000 10%
New Mexico -$47 442,000 21%
New York -$332 3,185,000 16%
North Carolina -$166 1,708,000 17%
North Dakota -$6 57,000 8%
Ohio -$193 1,847,000 16%
Oklahoma -$66 615,000 16%
Oregon -$84 819,000 21%
Pennsylvania -$183 1,779,000 14%
Rhode Island -$20 181,000 17%
South Carolina -$93 875,000 18%
South Dakota -$11 104,000 12%
Tennessee -$141 1,345,000 20%
Texas -$411 3,997,000 15%
Utah -$26 253,000 9%
Vermont -$10 101,000 16%
Virginia -$99 941,000 11%
Washington -$114 1,113,000 16%
West Virginia -$36 350,000 19%
Wisconsin -$89 861,000 15%
Wyoming -$4 39,000 7%
Guam -$7 45,000 N/A
Virgin Islands -$4 27,000 N/A
Puerto Rico Block Grant  $0 N/A N/A
Total -$5,000 47,600,000 15%
Source: CBPP estimates based on USDA’s June 2013 Thrifty Food Plan, CBO May 2013 baseline, 2011 USDA data on SNAP Household Characteristics, recent USDA administrative data on the number of SNAP participants, and U.S. Census Bureau data on state populations.
Notes: The number of SNAP recipients shown is for a typical, or average month in fiscal year 2014.  In addition to the cuts shown in this table, an additional $6 billion in cuts are expected to occur in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 under CBO’s May 2013 food inflation projections.
End notes:
[1] Art Foley, a consultant to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, assisted with the preparation of this paper.
[2] The cut is larger than we estimated in the May 2013 version of this paper.  The earlier estimate (of about $20 to $25 a month for a family of 3) was based on the Congressional Budget Office food inflation forecast of 2.5 percent.  Food inflation turned out to be lower over the last year, at 0.7 percent, which results in a larger cut.
[3] SNAP benefits are based on the cost of the most economical U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) food plan (known as the Thrifty Food Plan) for a four-person family with a couple aged 19-50 years and two children aged 6-8 and 9-11 years.  The cost of the June plan is used for maximum benefits during the following fiscal year.  Maximum benefits for other household sizes are adjusted for economies of scale.
[4] USDA posts the Thrifty Food Plan costs each month at:  http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodCost-Home.htm.
[5] The TFP declined slightly in June 2009 in and June 2010 compared to the prior year (-0.8 percent in June 2009 and -0.1 percent in June 2010) before growing by 5.0 percent and 2.6 percent in the following two years and by 0.7 percent in the most recent year.
[6] On August 1, 2013, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service published the SNAP maximum benefit levels for each household size to go into effect in November. Cost of living adjustments for certain other SNAP benefit rules will go into effect at the beginning of fiscal year 2014 in October. The USDA memo can be found here: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/government/cola.htm
[7] A small number of households with three or more members that receive small SNAP benefits will lose benefits altogether.
[8] IOM (Institute of Medicine) and NRC (National Research Council), 2013, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Examining the Evidence to Define Benefit Adequacy, The National Academy Press, http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2013/Supplemental-Nutrition-Assistance-Program-Examining-the-Evidence-to-Define-Benefit-Adequacy.aspx.
[9] The 1996 welfare reform law lowered the maximum benefit from 103 percent to 100 percent of the TFP and froze the level of the standard and shelter deductions, which could have resulted in a nationwide across-the-board benefits cut.  Because food inflation was almost 4 percent that year, the level of maximum benefits still rose slightly and SNAP recipients did not see a cut in their nominal benefits.  Benefits could have fallen in fiscal year 1993 because of a drop in food prices, but Congress intervened to hold benefits level at fiscal year 1992 levels.
[10] Annual cost of living adjustments to other SNAP program rules, such as income thresholds, standard deduction, and cap on the excess shelter deduction will occur on October 1, 2014.  These will be small because the inflation indices to which these levels are tied were also relatively low over the past year.  As a result, many households will see a small benefit increase in October (of $1 to $5), prior to the deeper cut in November.
[11] Mark Nord and Mark Prell.  “Food Security of SNAP Recipients Improved Following the 2009 Stimulus Package,” Amber Waves, 9(2), June 2011, p.6, http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/227714/foodsecuritysnap_1_.pdf.
[12] Evaluation of the Impact of Enhancement Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP):  FY 2011; FNS, USDA, November 2012, http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/menu/Published/CNP/FILES/SEBTC_Year1Findings.pdf.
[13] 7 C.F.R. 273.12(e).
[14] 7 C.F.R. 273.12(e)(ii).
[15] 7 C.F.R. § 273.12(e)(5).  Households contesting an improper computation of the benefit reduction can continue to receive benefits at the former level.  See 7 C.F.R. § 273.12(e)(6).

72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered “Potential Terrorists” In Official Government Documents

72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered “Potential Terrorists” In Official Government Documents

Prison Camp
Are you a conservative, a libertarian, a Christian or a gun owner?  Are you opposed to abortion, globalism, Communism, illegal immigration, the United Nations or the New World Order?  Do you believe in conspiracy theories, do you believe that we are living in the “end times” or do you ever visit alternative news websites (such as this one)?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are a “potential terrorist” according to official U.S. government documents.  At one time, the term “terrorist” was used very narrowly.  The government applied that label to people like Osama bin Laden and other Islamic jihadists.  But now the Obama administration is removing all references to Islam from terror training materials, and instead the term “terrorist” is being applied to large groups of American citizens.  And if you are a “terrorist”, that means that you have no rights and the government can treat you just like it treats the terrorists that are being held at Guantanamo Bay.  So if you belong to a group of people that is now being referred to as “potential terrorists”, please don’t take it as a joke.  The first step to persecuting any group of people is to demonize them.  And right now large groups of peaceful, law-abiding citizens are being ruthlessly demonized.
Below is a list of 72 types of Americans that are considered to be “extremists” and “potential terrorists” in official U.S. government documents.  To see the original source document for each point, just click on the link.  As you can see, this list covers most of the country…
1. Those that talk about “individual liberties”
2. Those that advocate for states’ rights
3. Those that want “to make the world a better place”
4. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule”
5. Those that are interested in “defeating the Communists”
6. Those that believe “that the interests of one’s own nation are separate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations”
7. Anyone that holds a “political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful,or undesirable”
8. Anyone that possesses an “intolerance toward other religions”
9. Those that “take action to fight against the exploitation of the environment and/or animals”
10. “Anti-Gay”
11. “Anti-Immigrant”
12. “Anti-Muslim”
13. “The Patriot Movement”
14. “Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians”
15. Members of the Family Research Council
16. Members of the American Family Association
17. Those that believe that Mexico, Canada and the United States “are secretly planning to merge into a European Union-like entity that will be known as the ‘North American Union’”
18. Members of the American Border Patrol/American Patrol
19. Members of the Federation for American Immigration Reform
20. Members of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition
21. Members of the Christian Action Network
22. Anyone that is “opposed to the New World Order”
23. Anyone that is engaged in “conspiracy theorizing”
24. Anyone that is opposed to Agenda 21
25. Anyone that is concerned about FEMA camps
26. Anyone that “fears impending gun control or weapons confiscations”
27. The militia movement
28. The sovereign citizen movement
29. Those that “don’t think they should have to pay taxes”
30. Anyone that “complains about bias”
31. Anyone that “believes in government conspiracies to the point of paranoia”
32. Anyone that “is frustrated with mainstream ideologies”
33. Anyone that “visits extremist websites/blogs”
34. Anyone that “establishes website/blog to display extremist views”
35. Anyone that “attends rallies for extremist causes”
36. Anyone that “exhibits extreme religious intolerance”
37. Anyone that “is personally connected with a grievance”
38. Anyone that “suddenly acquires weapons”
39. Anyone that “organizes protests inspired by extremist ideology”
40. “Militia or unorganized militia”
41. “General right-wing extremist”
42. Citizens that have “bumper stickers” that are patriotic or anti-U.N.
43. Those that refer to an “Army of God”
44. Those that are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”
45. Those that are “anti-global”
46. Those that are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”
47. Those that are “reverent of individual liberty”
48. Those that “believe in conspiracy theories”
49. Those that have “a belief that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack”
50. Those that possess “a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism”
51. Those that would “impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”
52. Those that would “insert religion into the political sphere”
53. Anyone that would “seek to politicize religion”
54. Those that have “supported political movements for autonomy”
55. Anyone that is “anti-abortion”
56. Anyone that is “anti-Catholic”
57. Anyone that is “anti-nuclear”
58. “Rightwing extremists”
59. “Returning veterans”
60. Those concerned about “illegal immigration”
61. Those that “believe in the right to bear arms”
62. Anyone that is engaged in “ammunition stockpiling”
63. Anyone that exhibits “fear of Communist regimes”
64. “Anti-abortion activists”
65. Those that are against illegal immigration
66. Those that talk about “the New World Order” in a “derogatory” manner
67. Those that have a negative view of the United Nations
68. Those that are opposed “to the collection of federal income taxes”
69. Those that supported former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr
70. Those that display the Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”)
71. Those that believe in “end times” prophecies
72. Evangelical Christians
The groups of people in the list above are considered “problems” that need to be dealt with.  In some of the documents referenced above, members of the military are specifically warned not to have anything to do with such groups.
We are moving into a very dangerous time in American history.  You can now be considered a “potential terrorist” just because of your religious or political beliefs.  Free speech is becoming a thing of the past, and we are rapidly becoming an Orwellian society that is the exact opposite of what our founding fathers intended.
Please pray for the United States of America.  We definitely need it.
About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth.  His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

Biden: We’ll Target Congressmen Who Oppose Gun Control Efforts

Biden: We’ll Target Congressmen Who Oppose Gun Control Efforts

Joe biden 8 SC Biden: Well Target Congressmen Who Oppose Gun Control Efforts
The White House will continue its push to strengthen gun control laws, even if it means targeting members of Congress who oppose its agenda, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday.
“If Congress doesn’t act, we’ll fight for a new Congress,” Biden said in the Roosevelt Room of the White House as he swore in B. Todd Jones as the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “It’s that simple. But we’re going to get this done.”
In April, a bipartisan gun-control plan that would have expanded background checks and banned assault weapons failed to garner support in the Senate and was killed off, despite polls that showed massive public support in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school massacre last Dec..
Now, Biden and President Barack Obama are pushing two new measures that they say should curb gun violence and keep weapons from those who shouldn’t have them. The orders are executive actions, which don’t require congressional approval.
Read More at Newsmax.com . By Alexandra Ward.
Photo Credit: Floyd Brown Creative Commons

Obama Charged With War Crimes

Obama Charged With War Crimes

In 2008, the Left embraced the embodiment of the anti-war movement, Barack Hussein Obama. Obama’s anti-war shock troops put away their “Bush is a War Criminal” signs and replaced them with “Change You Can Believe In.” The Pied Piper blew into his flute, and his glassy-eyed supporters followed him into oblivion.
The result of a zombie nation voting for “Change You Can Believe In?”  The Middle East is seething with the Muslim Brotherhood vying with al-Qaeda for power. Our economy is about to collapse with an unsustainable $17 trillion national debt. Inflation is rampant. The Fed’s endless pumping is making the dollar worthless, and millions of people are out of work or have quit looking.
Obama is now embroiled in a huge coverup over Benghazi. He created a Tea Party enemies list through the IRS that makes Nixon look like a amateur. And last but not least, Obama’s chief apologist (the Associated Press) has discovered that their Pied Piper Obama used his magic flute not to charm them but to spy on them.
No problem. We’re just talking about failing to rescue Americans under attack, using Chicago thug tactics to silence your critics, and nullifying the First Amendment. It’s not that bad, is it?
Oh, but that’s not the half of it.
Obama has gone on a rampage by remote control, using drones to take out so-called “high-value” al-Qaeda targets. The only problem is that for every al-Qaeda target he takes out, scores of civiliansmostly women and children—are killed as “collateral damage.”
There are estimates as high as 98% of drone strike casualties being civilians (50 for every one “suspected terrorist”). The Bureau of Investigative Journalism issued a report detailing how the CIA is deliberately targeting those who show up after the sight of an attack, rescuers, and mourners at funerals as a part of a “double-tap” strategy eerily reminiscent of methods used by terrorist groups like Hamas.
Obama has killed thousands of civilians in order to prove to the American people that “al-Qaeda is on the run,” a fantasy only Obama and his minions believe.
Jeremy Scahill’s just-published blockbuster book, Dirty Wars, gives a laundry list of the “anti-war” Obama’s real record as a war-monger.
Just six months into his presidency, on June 23, 2009, Obama authorized the use of a drone to fire multiple hellfire missiles to take out a single high value target on a funeral procession!  According to Dirty Wars:
Scores of civilians— estimates ranged between eighteen and forty-five— were killed. “After the prayers ended people were asking each other to leave the area as drones were hovering,” said a man who lost his leg in the attack. “First two drones fired two missiles, it created a havoc, there was smoke and dust everywhere. Injured people were crying and asking for help…they fired the third missile after a minute, and I fell on the ground.”
According to Dirty Wars, this was simply one of the dozens of attacks on civilians in order to take out a single or handful of al-Qaeda suspects. The thousands of civilians that Barack Hussein Obama has murdered amounts to genocide.
Oh, but that’s not the half of it.
A nonpartisan group, The Constitution Project, in their mammoth 600-page report, has concluded that Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States, should be indicted for war crimes in the authorization or coverup of the use of torture during interrogation on detainees at Guantánamo and CIA “black sites.”
Buried in the mainstream media amid the Boston Marathon terror attack the day before, on April 16, the Constitution Project’s mammoth study, “Task Force on Detainee Treatment“, has come to the conclusion that Barack Hussein Obama, under international law, is guilty of crimes against humanity.
In countless court cases and testimony, former and current detainees and witnesses report extensive use of torture.
According to the Constitution Project report, page 369, describing the court case Abdah v. Obama, Barack Hussein Obama secretly authorized the use of torture that included the prisoner being:
  • Suspended from the ceiling
  • Repeatedly drugged
  • Whipped with electric cables
  • Kept awake for days while being interrogated
  • Shackled for days in complete darkness
This was only one of hundreds of instances of torture that Barack Hussein Obama either authorized or covered up.
Former naval captain and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Dr. Steve Pieczenik, along with countless others, have called for an internationally-led Nuremberg-style trial to begin immediately in order to indict and try Barack Hussein Obama for war crimes.
Step-by-step, America. First, we must impeach Obama for abandoning our brave Americans in Benghazi. First, we must impeach him for using the IRS to punish his enemies. First, we must impeach him for nullifying the First Amendment by spying on the press. And then the world can get on with finding Barack Hussein Obama guilty of war crimes.

Millionaire GOP Congressmen Are Trying to Cut $20 Billion In Food Stamps For the Poor

food-stamps-income As 26 House Democrats take the Food Stamp Challenge, prominent millionaire Republican congressmen are poised to pass a bill that would cut $20 billion from the food stamp program.
Twenty six House Democrats are trying feed themselves on $31.50 for an entire week. Most of them realized very quickly that $1.50 per meal doesn’t go very far.
Rep. Hank Johnson (R-GA) (D-GA) appeared on MSNBC’s Politics Nation to discuss his experience so far.
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Rep. Johnson explained how little $31.50 actually bought. He detailed his diet for the week. Johnson said that he would only be eating two meals a day. His meat for the day will be bacon. He got lucky, and found a buy one get one free sale. He also will subsist on oatmeal, Ramen noodles, hot dogs, waffles, syrup, bananas, and he “splurged” on some tea.
Rep. Johnson said that Republicans would never pass these cuts if they had to live on $31.50 a week, but, “The problem is that we have so many millionaires on the other side of the aisle that they will never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, or trying to stretch dollars so that they can eat for the period of time that they have the finances to pay for.”
According to the Fiscal Times, congressional Republicans are arguing that the food stamp program is corrupt, “But many congressional Republicans and conservative groups believe that food stamp spending is out of control and ripe with corruption – and that it needs to be reined in to reduce the deficit. These critics say a once relatively modest social safety net has grown into a costly grab bag for down-on-their-luck middle-class Americans, college students looking for free pizza and junk food and countless others who game the system.”
This isn’t even close to the truth.
Look at who is really on food stamps:
It not college students, but children who make up the largest group of food stamp recipients.
When Republicans want to talk about social safety net programs they always fall back on some version of Ronald Reagan’s rich, black, Chicago welfare queen, but the truth is white people are the largest racial group of food stamp recipients.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that two of the House Republicans who are pushing the hardest for these cuts are millionaires Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor. Over the course of the past year, both of these men have referred to cutting food for the poor as common sense.
Republicans like Cantor and Ryan claim to be opposed to these programs because they create a “culture of dependency,” but what they don’t tell you is that they support a different culture of dependency. The difference is that Republicans want the poor to be dependent on Wal-Mart for a job. They want to make sure that there is no safety net for anyone, so that the non-rich are serfs and servants who serve at the whim of the wealthy and corporations. Republicans aren’t opposed to dependency. Their problem is that programs like unemployment insurance and SNAP offer people help, so that they aren’t working for pennies a day while hoping a billionaire is generous and pays them enough to feed themselves.
There is a war on the poor happening right now, and the bad news is that the poor are losing.
(Note: All graphics from Politics Nation)

7 Maine Republican Officials Resign From The GOP Because John Boehner is a Coward

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boehner-face Seven Maine officials have resigned from the Republican Party after writing a scathing letter where they condemned John Boehner for cowardly leadership.
According to the Portland Press Herald:
One of Maine’s three voting members of the Republican National Committee and six other members of the Maine State Republican Committee have resigned and left the party, lambasting Gov. Paul LePage, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans for abandoning what they said are key principles for libertarians and conservatives.

They criticized Republican state lawmakers for supporting a budget containing tax increases, charged Boehner with “cowardly leadership” and said recent decisions by the LePage administration show that “the Republican Party has lost its way.”
“(We) can no longer allow ourselves to be called nor enrolled as Republicans; we can no longer associate ourselves with a political party that goes out of its way to continually restrict our freedoms and liberties as well as reaching deeper and deeper into our wallets,” reads the letter, signed by Maine Republican National Committeeman Mark Willis and 11 others. “We instead choose the path that focuses on ways to help our fellow Mainers outside of party politics.”
Their main gripe is that the Republican Party, John Boehner, and the state party are all too liberal. At this point it is important to point out that these seven Republicans are dissatisfied with a party that has in the last few months alone tried to abolish overtime pay, gut the food stamp program, and disqualify people from food stamps if they own a car. This is also a political party that is actively encouraging the uninsured not to sign up for health insurance.
Apparently, trying to starve the poor and voting to deny 30 million Americans healthcare 40 times is too liberal for these seven former Republicans who are so fed up that they had to walk away. It is ironic that Boehner would be accused of cowardly leadership, when it has been his constant caving to the tea party that has made the House completely irrelevant. The issue isn’t Boehner’s cowardly leadership, but that he is letting the tea party run the House of Representatives.
The seven extremists who quit the Maine Republican Party today are an example of why nothing can get done. The Republican fringe doesn’t realize that they have marginalized themselves right out of political relevancy. The Senate and the White House have been working around these fringe far righties for years now, but where they can exert any influence in state and federal government, the Republican mission is to block progress.
Anti-government libertarians aren’t saving the Republican Party. They’re destroying it, and setting the stage for years of Democratic victories to come.
Don’t tread me indeed!!!


christopher stevens told hillary that one of the poice that was guarding him was take in pictures

The weekend after 9/11, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, stated several times on multiple mainstream media outlets: There is no evidence the attacks were ‘pre-planned.’ The catalyst was a trailer for the movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” produced in the United States.

The weekend after 9/11, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, stated several times on multiple mainstream media outlets:
There is no evidence the attacks were ‘pre-planned.’ The catalyst was a trailer for the movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” produced in the United States.