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The tragedy of America's great food stamp binge

Let me put it this way, my jaw hit the floor. Earlier this week I was able to screen a portion of this Friday’s Fox News documentary “The Great Food Stamp Binge,” hosted by Bret Baier. It airs Friday at 10 p.m. and Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. This investigation focuses on a federal program called SNAP, or "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program." 

Once upon a time this was called food stamps, but the modern world is all about branding and image, not accuracy or substance.  Thus, a snappy new name was needed. 

All this change is a direct result of the Obama administration's surreptitious undermining of the law in the Stimulus Act in 2009 and the disingenuous gutting of President Clinton's overwhelmingly successful Welfare Reform law. This was achieved by administrative fiat in 2010.

As I watched the rough cut with Fox Editor-at-Large Peter Boyer, I found myself at a loss for words.  

I don’t know whether I was more saddened, or angered by the interview John Roberts did with an apparently healthy “surfer” who happily lives a life of leisure in Southern California subsidized by the taxpayer.  

It was simply mindboggling to listen to this grown man explain the logic he uses to justify taking food aid -- and thus free food -- rather than working and paying for it himself. 

This great government giveaway is being undertaken and I can’t help but believe those that truly need help are still going hungry.

 

As we continued to watch I began to see what was behind the SNAP program. It is about changing the mentality of the nation, of Americans.  

Take this example, from "The Great Food Stamp Binge," of what is nothing short of social engineering or reeducation. In North Carolina social workers actually got an award for breaking down the “Mountain Pride” that makes some from that state reluctant or unwilling to take handouts.  They actively fought the tradition of tightening your belt and taking care of yourself when times get tough. 

There is much more in this excellent program -- it is a thought provoking, well told story and I urge you to watch it. 

Certainly, there are many in this country, who need the help.  The idea that Americans go to bed hungry or get sick due to malnutrition is one that should appall any morally sound man or woman.And that is what makes the SNAP initiative utterly foul. 

After watching I realized why I was angered by those who take, but don’t need, and frustrated for those who are given, but don’t want. This great giveaway is being undertaken and I can’t help but believe that those that truly need help are still going hungry. Millions of tax dollars are going to people who aren’t our neediest, it is a disgrace.

Many of you have probably heard the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The SNAP program is one big fish giveaway that leaves people reliant rather than reliable.  The government is on a mission to sign people up – one in seven in this country already receive food stamps -- and the taxpayer is footing the bill for, what I believe, is a tragically misguided plan.

Patrick Caddell is a Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor. He served as pollster for  President Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, Joe Biden and others. He is a Fox News political analyst and co-host of "Political Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel and Mondays at 10:30 am ET on "FoxNews.com Live."