A few points here:
1. I think that these programs are useful - but I think that not for profits would likely do a better job of administration at a *far* lower overhead. By any rational measure, as a whole, these programs have failed - what's worse is that the economic policies of this Administration (and also the domestic policies under the Bush Administration as well) have been making things worse. With Obamacare, it's even more likely now that companies will only hire part time - and fire full time workers to ensure this is the case if they have more than 50 full time employees.
It's useful that west77 points to the fact that 1 in 15 Americans are considered the poorest - this article points out 1 in 6.5 get food stamps - which again, is far too many but given that poverty rates have increased under this administration, at some point you begin to realize that this is in fact in part a reflection of the current Administration's policies.
2. I believe it's stunning that 1 in 6.5 people get these benefits. When I said how much is enough, I was referring to the massive industry behind the supposed "war on poverty" - which like the "war on drugs" has been a dismal failure. I didn't say, nor was it my meaning, that those who need help shouldn't get it, but what the government has been providing, isn't help by any conventional meaning of the word.
3. The relationship between poverty and crime rates is a tenuous one (and no, watching les Mis, however entertaining, is not "proof") - not to mention a rather repulsive and denigrating one - just because you're poor doesn't mean you're going to be a criminal. It has been pointed out repeatedly by papers and criminologists that despite the recent and longstanding economic downturns, crime has actually continued to go down.
4. I am glad west77 brought up JP Morgan which Obama said in May 2012 “JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2 billion and counting". Of course, who can therefore blame Obama for having somewhere between half a million to a million dollars in a JP Morgan Chase account? Oh let's not forget about the massive bailout they got. It must also be a coincidence that Jamie Dimon is a Democrat and was one of Obama's highest profile friends.http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76304.html
Dimon spent several years in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, where he ran Bank One after a nasty breakup with his one-time mentor. He got to know Rahm Emanuel. He hired Bill Daley as a top executive before Daley became Obama’s second chief of staff. He gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democrats.
Obama returned all the love, at least at first. Dimon made at least 16 trips to the White House and met at least three times with Obama — a bond that allowed the president to appear business-friendly. The New York Times in 2009 called Dimon Obama’s “favorite banker.”
This being said, while the funds spent while it's easy to look at the face value of the funds being administered by JP Morgan, the actual revenues they collect is a fraction of it. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/01/jp-morgan-s-food-stamp-empire.html
These contracts are transactional contracts, meaning they are amendable based on changes in program participation. Each month, the three companies that administer EBT receive a small fee that can range from $.31 to $2.30 (or higher depending upon the number of welfare services on an EBT card and state contractual requirements) for each SNAP recipient.
EBT processors charge for other services as well. For example, any time TANF recipients withdraw their cash benefits or make balance inquiries through out-of-network ATM machines, the user may incur ATM transaction fees generally ranging from $.75 to $1.50. In addition, most states allow EBT processors to charge card replacement fees. Arizona cardholders, for example, are permitted one free replacement a year, after which a $5 per card fee is imposed. The same goes for customer service calls: After an EBT cardholder exceeds the state’s maximum number of free calls, EBT processors typically tack on a $.25 per call fee.
It is however a bit troubling that the Administration has mandated the use of EBT however given the small number of firms who handle it.
5. And the rich who profit from this program? Let's be a little more specific here that it's the *favored* few who support this Administration which doles out funds back to their cronies (Solyndra anyone?). Crony capitalism isn't in fact a reflection of markets.
Still glad I read it meninlove you unthinking, and so lacking in critical-thinking fool? You seem to think I'm an advocate of all business - but no, markets != to business or specific businesses - particularly where this Administration has been so brazen in awarding contracts, loans that don't end up being repaid, etc.