Food Stamp Riots: A Looming Domestic Threat?

One in six Americans are now on food stamps, amounting to 20 percent of all American households and 47.6 million individuals.

A record $80 billion was spent on the food subsidy program last year, but an across-the-board cut is scheduled to go into effect on November 1. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), food stamp payments will decrease by $36 per month for a family of four (currently each household receives an average of $272 per month).

Could the decrease in funding lead to riots?

On Fox Business, anchor Neil Cavuto reported that the US government will spend $80 million preparing for possible violence as a result of the food stamp decrease. This money will go towards protecting the IRS and other government buildings from American citizens.

“This could be all Hell breaks loose day,” Cavuto said.

Cavuto’s guest, Chief Strategist Niger Innis, said that people often act out when entitlements are threatened. He compared the situation to what previously happened in Greece.

“This is really frightening. We are on a slow march to becoming Greece,” Innis said. “When 50 million people are on food stamps then you have a situation where it’s obvious that what government can give to you, government can take away.”

Innis later pointed out that cutting food stamps may increase chances of violence in the short term, but in the long term people will likely find themselves in a better situation if they get off food stamps.

Food stamp “rioting” too place on October 14 in two Louisiana Wal-Mart stores when food stamps were temporarily down due to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) outages.

During this outage, the spending limit on EBT cards was removed but Wal-Mart allowed individuals with EBT cards to buy food anyways. Not surprisingly, the shelves were left totally empty. Some food stamp recipients exited the stores with $700 worth of food and merchandise.

Should the government be concerned about possible food stamp rioting as a result of November’s decrease in funding? Or is the government reacting and overspending?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.