tv Headline News RT March 1, 2013 4:00pm-4:28pm EST
today on our t.v. since the bottom fell out of the u.s. economy millions of americans have turned to food stamps in order to eat what is the program actually being abused or to investigate. and to the surprise of almost no one congress in the white house couldn't reach a deal to avoid the drug it's a quest or what will the forced budget cuts actually live up to the endless media and political hype or is this fear mongering attempts just one to avoid doing congress's job. and happy birthday to the d.h. yes that's right ten years ago today the department of homeland security became an american reality so in the decade since what has the government agency actually accomplished and hasn't made us any safer will question more. it's friday march first four pm in washington d.c. i'm meghan lopez and you're watching r.t.
. well it's a problem no family should ever have to face when is our next where is our next meal going to come from and will i have enough food for my family a growing number of american families rely on federal supplemental nutrition assistance program each year to earn food security over the past thirty years those numbers have increased dramatically in fact the number of americans receiving assistance has doubled between two thousand and six in two thousand and eleven today that number has reached forty six million americans now this issue is so widespread that over eighty percent of the money that goes to from the one trillion dollars farm bill of two thousand and twelve was actually spent on food stamps but new allegations have emerged that food stamp fraud isn't only possible it's prevalent archie correspondent liz wahl tells us how the not so needy americans are tricking the system. since president obama took office the country has seen the largest rise of people on food stamps ever were. d.c.
just real. an estimated forty seven million people now depend on the supplemental nutrition assistance program to put food on the table that's one in five adults and larger than the population of spain if you don't have the support that they ever have good jobs go to big farms that are around to support so they have to go out there to get they have to feed here's what they call an easy since two thousand and eight food stamp use has spiked over fifty percent and so have instances of fraud and abuse one example of food stamp fraud selling your card for cash and washington d.c. has one of the highest percentages of recipients applying for four or more cards so once a person claims that they lost a card they go to an office like the one across the street and apply for a new one the day of using food stamps angers people like tina who has health
problems that made getting a job difficult if there would be people like we didn't really need food is the battle. as the largest program in the u.s.d.a. food stamp benefits cost a record seventy eight billion dollars in two thousand and eleven alone and critics worry that as the food stamp program expands it creates more opportunity for fraud as the program gets larger and more people participate there are certainly more opportunities for fraudulent behavior the spike in food stamp use is due in part to the ailing economy but the real reason for growth critics say is due to eligibility more people are eligible now than they were prior to two thousand and nine and that has accounted for a great deal of the increase in the number of people now eligible for food stamps it has not been because of the economy for now the number of. people that are on food stamps is only expected to grow but some that depend on the program have hope
that better economic times are ahead i'm not a politician but i would tell you this. that i think that a greater force you know. in washington liz wall r.t. so is food stamp fraud really about big of a problem and what should we do to weed out the people who are abusing the system the resident dot net host laurie harshness takes that question to the big. according to the u.s. government more than forty seven million people now use the food stamp program are americans abusing the system this week let's talk about that one of the largest consumers of food stamps is actually wal-mart is they under pay their employees so
we're concerned about people getting food stamps we should probably look in the direction of companies like wal-mart et cetera refuse to pay a living wage so it's not the consumers fault who are on the food stamps the corporations who are not providing the benefits they need i think that's a large part of it says it's clear i don't know but it sounds like me or does that bother you know why not well it should probably bother me because i'm a taxpayer right yeah ok but it doesn't not really no why do you just assume that people are going to abuse the system i think everybody abuses a system one way or another so how do you abuse that oh you're trying to throw this back at me or you said everyone to take the fifth on it was the stock exchange the abuse in everybody's every use and everything so is it just this the attitude of go get here is the at the expense of whom ever at any cost when i look at the government. of the country is now taking over the resources so it doesn't bother
you that the numbers are increasing. no it just shows you that the there are more poor people that's what it shows is that poverty is increasing in this country amidst all this wealth and do you think it's the government's responsibility to take up that slack absolutely well i think it's the flu social situation so i think that we taxpayers have to realize that people do need help and we need to as a country support our own people where we're putting all this money overseas it needs to be more here you know with the sequester that are coming in all that kind of stuff that's where the money is going just as it makes our politicians do to get in or feel like it's good to be american because you can depend on the government so i mean i guess. he is kind of you know him but that's ok is that the american way to make it on your own and not depend on the government or others were used exactly true but it's a case by case basis. either way it's good to be american of course we're number one number one whether or not you think people are abusing the food stamp system
the bottom line is that your american your buying groceries for a lot more people than just your family. all right i will get ready for some economic calamity folks the doomsday doomsday clock is ticking perilously close to sequester armageddon and by all accounts except for maybe congress says we are going to go past it now we've heard so much about the sequester for the past couple of months and yet today just hours before these cuts are set to kick in president obama has finally invited top lawmakers from both parties to the white house to hammer out a last minute deal meanwhile the rest of congress has headed home for a four day weekend so if they're not worried about the sequester should we really be well joining me now is comedian allison yano she's here to answer that question
and more alison is this the end of the world as we own it. i think so maggie and i think anybody who has watched the news recently who has read their twitter feed who saw the academy awards last weekend is pretty clear that the world is coming to an end just this morning i went to pour a bowl of cereal went to get milk and i had no milk and i'm pretty sure that's the fault of the sequester and tomorrow they're probably going to be delays to all of our flights. that sounds like a pretty serious thing i mean the military is how we're going to disappear overnight you can't ride over spilled milk if you don't have any milk to cry over that i want to play a quick clip from you from the media may have kind of surrounding this issue and then i'll get your hand in. the so-called sequester the sequester sequester of the sequester. the sequester was something that was meant to be so stupid that it would
it with pride congress we have been told by the attorney general our country will be less safe because of it's starting this weekend. will the consequences be dire or is the obama administration crying wolf doctors and hospitals say the sequester is medicare cuts will lead to the loss of more than two hundred thousand jobs now alison obviously we spliced in some silly end of the world clips in there but the conversation does make it feel like we're heading toward calamity right yeah absolutely totally. i don't know who hired to bruce willis to write all of the copy for the news this week but it definitely seems like it's an army get into situation or die hard six through ten and i mean i feel like the last time the news made us fear something this severely was covering the war on christmas in december of two thousand twelve i think
that it seems like this terrible situation so let me ask you why do you think the politicians insist on playing chicken with the economy. i think it's the easier route to take i think this is a classic situation of a scrawny boy being picked on and a bully and it's hard to stand up to the bully they might take your lunch money or you might be in your pants and have to cry to your mom or you might lose some of your constituents taking a stance that your platform might not agree with who is the scrawny kid and who's the bully in this case. well i think that the u.s. government is not taking the full responsibility of actually coming to a decision and making it a choice and i think the tax cuts has been a huge problem here. and i think that we need everybody to kind of be willing to come to to take the necessary. cuts and to come to an agreement tonight so if you had to cut one program to save the u.s.
cash what will what would it be how about the politicians paychecks. well the politicians paychecks or we could just cut all of homeland security or i think like now that we have homeland the t.v. show maybe that'll do. now little point of the sequester was to force congress into facing these debilitating deadlines so to say to come to real financial reform terms is it ironic that we aren't going to meet this so-called debilitating deadline or is it just a fact of life that people won't always agree. i think it's just a fact of life right now between the debt ceiling crisis the financial crisis we're so accustomed to hearing the word crisis i would be much more surprised if the headline read government comes to an agreement never but he's ok with it and things are great i think that this boy who cried wolf crisis situation is something that we've become so accustomed to and it's been so ingrained in our heads that it's just a way of life well it does make for good t.v.
if nothing else to have a looming financial crisis i do want to thank you for coming on the show and comedian allison viggiano thank you so much thank you. i will ten years ago today the department of homeland security officially opened its doors right here in washington d.c. marking the biggest consolidation of government departments since the department of defense was established back in nineteen forty seven what impact has this mega agency had on the country over the past decade well arty's rachel curteous investigates. a devastating attack on the homeland prompted a bureaucratic response right after the september eleventh attacks or established the office of homeland security or whether i should gave it a critical mission to produce a national strategy for homeland security do you chest was elevated to a cabinet level position formed from twenty two different government agencies and departments to become what it is today but what is it on the tenth anniversary of
the d.h.s.s. opening its doors this quest. in is more relevant than ever a recent report from the congressional research service found that there is no one definition for homeland security this lack of consistency doesn't concern the secretary of the department janet napolitano well probably not you know nice but does it really matter in practice well it actually might matter to the thirty other government departments who receive taxpayer funds for homeland security taxpayers spent sixty seven point nine eight billion on homeland security in two thousand and twelve alone the competition is apparent within the department as well there is a term of art you need in the chair again that and mean you're pretty much. influential not me and yet they. were immigration. i. guard service and the net gain of seven is notorious for
impeding the. resources aren't but perhaps more than interagency rivalries the d.h.s.s. has come to be known for some controversial programs employees are finding that like you could be a doctor and now the whole right than it is using clinical activity and political ideology even if you may be a new controversial or unpopular and or in reykjavik and nine years of arriving. in late two thousand and twelve it was discovered that the d.h.s.s. had been surveilling members of occupy wall street but is this just the price we must pay to stay safe what is the balance between liberty and security the most fundamental responsibility of any government is the protection of the lives of our citizens so i'm in much of this is about balance but much of this is also about effectiveness which leads to the question is the department of homeland security
the third largest. from an agency affective one area in effect. the improper firing i. did the other week your resource and it's all. right. from the t.s.a. to border patrol the department has been accused of targeting racial ethnic and religious minority communities we see taxpayer money in the process will the next decade be different we now reach our next era d.h. s three point zero if you will will this new era address some of the major concerns that have riddled the department during its first decade only those in the building behind me know the answer in washington rachel courteous r.t. and joining me now to talk about want to the department of homeland security has accomplished in the past ten years it is our to producer rachel carson a so yes all
right there rachel thanks so much for joining me so one of the big reasons that the d.h. us was created in the first place was to create to increase the flow of information between departments has not happened sure so essentially the nine eleven report that came out after the september eleventh attacks said that the reason why the government didn't know what was going on was because these agencies were so separate from one another that there was no flow going on and since then even as you heard so far in in the story we just saw. within that agency it's still very much separated there are a lot of departments within the larger department of homeland security often fighting for resources and as such they don't necessarily have the same policies of the time they're not always on the same page and this is in addition to the fact that other agencies that claim that they're also interested in homeland security take the cia the f.b.i. department of defense they aren't part of homeland security so that information sharing is as we would like it to be i think still has a long way to go another another question with this in regards to information
sharing is once information this. is collected and much of it is collected on citizens than themselves how is that information being collected what is it being used for and who gets to see it these are questions i know that a bit alarmed a lot of civil liberty advocates who don't have the answers sure now one of the big departments that receives all this money for this homeland security are a lot of departments actually receive this money i guess you could say for homeland security the problem is that they all kind of define homeland security as different things there's always different definitions for it so i mean is this all just some antics are or is a policy that's a great question meghan so in addition to all of the different injured departments like the t.s.a. social and secret service coast guard those are all parts of the department of homeland security but nearly half of the money spent on homeland security by taxpayers actually goes to the department of defense even department of education some of it is going to the some of it is going to places like social security
administration so the question is. is homeland security just a kind of catch phrase little immediately get congress opening their purse strings out of fear of not being tough enough on homeland security and then and that congressional research service report showed that the fact that. there is no one unifying idea as to what homeland security is makes it difficult to determine what the priorities should be for creating homeland security the question is you know what what can we do to make the homeland more secure and secure from whom and without a clear idea of what homeland security is it's really difficult to determine the answers to those questions well what about the. increased flow of information i have to ask is the dia just too big for its own good. will some would certainly say so i think that with any large large government institution as with the d.h.s.s. the third largest agency in the government. the question is is there not enough
going on to connect these different things do they all have different priorities in and you know we haven't had an attack on the homeland since september eleventh the question is is that because of v.h.s. or does that happen to be a coincidence and and i think that v.h.s. certainly in order to continue to legitimize its existence and its extraordinarily large budget is going to say that a lot of things they do from fusion centers to border patrol to coast guard that these are all things that keep us safe the question that a lot of people ask is is it more security theater is it to make us feel good about about you know our country and our security rather than meaningfully make changes to make it a safer place and finally rachel what should we expect from the d.h.s.s. in the next decade or i mean obviously it's very hard to determine but is there anything that we know concretely sure when i went to secretary napolitano speech earlier this week one thing that she stressed quite clearly was that they're very much interested now in cyber security she said that when the started ten years ago
this wasn't even really something on anyone's radar but now they're seeing you know with all of these alleged theft of of corporate secrets things of that nature the fact that all of our infrastructure is actually on line that it makes you know cyber security however you may define it again it's another thing with a very nebulous definition that's become a huge priority for d.n.a. tests and they're trying to really recruit a lot of people whether they be hackers or other people very much in the know of cyber warfare to really focus on cyber security in the future while love it or hate it the department of homeland security is definitely with and within all of our lives all of us are affected by it and whether that's good or bad or i have to see what they do with the next decade and all of the billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars that they get so rachel carson is our to producer thank you so much for your report. well it's been almost four years since the financial crash launched the u.s. into a great recession and still parts of the two thousand and ten dollars frank financial reform bill have not yet been put into effect more specifically the
volcker rule now that rule will have real reason to reorient deposits taking banks toward safer banking practices by prohibiting them from making speculative trades with their own money but while three regular financial regulatory agencies argue over the finer details of this rule members of the occupy the f.c.c. group are putting their money where their mouth is or where their lawsuit is in this case they're actually suing the i.c.c. saying that delaying the rule could put their money at risk here explain the lawsuit and its chances of success eric taylor is one of the plaintiffs in the case and a member of occupy the f.c.c. taylor erik some thank you so much for joining us so what inspired you to to file this lawsuit well. first of all the lawsuit was so severely limited last july. and recently there has been signals coming out of the
various agencies that there's quote unquote no no end in sight in fact those are david gallagher's star daniel gallagher is words in january that the f.c.c. had taken sort of a back seat in a secondary role in the rule making process and there was no no end in sight so that was the initial sort of emphasis you know we need to get involved here our concern really was that if we didn't get involved in. if there is another thing that david gallagher go on to do was he wants to propose the rule so if the rule guess we propose and possibly you know gives the banking lobby more time to rewrite the rule sure i want to report of the briefing that your group actually put together it's said that despite the fact that the bank lobby has convince congress to dilute the volcker rule to practically nothing quote occupy the f.c.c. is a group of concerned citizens activists and financial report professionals with
decades of collective experience working at many of the largest financial firms in the industry it goes on to say that you even though it's watered down it's ok that we want something to be instituted is this watered down version really the best that we can do well it's not glass steagall you know but. the reason why we got involved was to make this rule the best it could possibly be and. as merkley put it it's supposed to be senator merkley put it in you know it's meant to be a fire wall and if along is the fire was built properly then i think it could be very effective yes ok so what do you think of the chances of one of your winning this lawsuit really are well that's complicated i mean i think the chances are pretty slim we have. the most complicated part really is the standing issue. who are we why do we care what standing do we have however. you know we're going to
we're going to we're going to we're going to you we can do so erick how far are you willing to take this well we'll have to see you know there's going to have to be a discovery process and it's going to have to be well to see what what comes out of the four we can really make a decision are you willing to take it all the way to the supreme court. i don't think we really thought about but certainly a possibility sure one of the problems with taking it to the supreme court potentially is that the lawyer that's actually the one who is really fighting against financial rules is a justice scalia's son so that could pose a lot of problems now this volcker rule was passed in two thousand and ten why do you think it hasn't been implemented yet well they just keep complaining about not having funding not having resources so that plays into it however they kind of made their own bed really when they wrote a very complex rule. in fact we advocate in their letter that they should make the
rule leaner and meaner and you know clearly from you know the signals they're giving out that's not something that's silly that they're in bent on doing so you know even while we're having this sort of guest discussions about. about you know the budget in fact you know the hit by the sequester. budgets are going to get you know smaller and well you know they're just going to what are they going to do. i think i think. when you go back to you know answer your question i think i think it really boils down to the fact that they made a complex rule of don't know how to how to fix and that's one of the problems they're trying to figure out is who is money really belongs to the bank and which money actually belongs to the people eric taylor we're going to be following your case and we are patient if you report back to us erica is that member of the occupy the as the secret thank you for your time yes. all right america well our
forefathers wanted democracy and boy did we get it with all the successes and snares that come along with it and it could be argued our fundamental rights of freedom work against the president and the american people as much as they work for us today president obama made an exasperated appeal to the media and the public to help us understand why the sequester has not yet been avoided he says he has no power to force congress's hand listen to this let me just go. i am not. a dictator i'm the president so ultimately if mitch mcconnell or job better say we need to go to catch a plane i can't have secret service block the doorway president obama went on to say that he can't judge i mind meld with lawmakers into agreeing with his proposals which had science fiction fans reeling because mine melding was a characteristic of the vulcans from star trak and not star wars jet eyes they of
course perform jet i mind tricks well he might not be able to get congress to work together but at least he should get his science fiction straight that and look for a way to help us live long and prosper and that's going to do it for now for more of the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash r t america and check out our website that's our dot com slash usa there you can find our latest and greatest interviews and a few stories that we just didn't have time to get on to the air today and you can also tweet me at meghan underscore lopez i want to know what you guys think of the stories that we've covered today and what you think we should be covering so tweet me at meghan underscore lopez i'll be right back here at five pm with more news that in-depth interviews including a story about the space x. in the snares that this us based company has faced and what it means for the u.s. space mission see back at five.