tv Headline News RT March 1, 2013 5:00pm-5:28pm EST
today on r t since the bottom fell out of the u.s. economy in two thousand and eight millions of americans have turned to food stamps to eat but is the program being abused r.c. investigate. and to the surprise of almost no one congress in the white house couldn't reach a deal to avoid the dreaded supply store but will the forced budget cuts actually live up to the endless media and political hype or is this just another fear mongering attempt by washington. and happy birthday to the d.h.s.s. that's right folks ten years ago today the department of homeland security became an american reality so in the decades since what has the government agency actually accomplished and has it actually made the us any safer it will question more. it's friday march first five pm in washington d.c. lopez and you're watching r.t.
well it's a problem that no family should ever have to face where is our next meal going to come from and will i have enough food to feed my entire family a growing number of americans rely on the 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 food stamp assistance doubled between two thousand and six and two thousand and eleven today that number has reached forty six million now the issue is so widespread that over eighty percent of the money from the one trillion dollars farm spill of two thousand and twelve was spent on food stamps but new allegations have emerged that food stamp fraud is not only possible its prevalence archie correspondent liz wahl tells us how the not so needy american some of them anyway 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 you have to go out there to give every says 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 of the ways of using food stamps angers people like tina who has health
problems that make getting a job difficult if there were people like me did me really need food is that 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 did tell you this. that i think did a little maybe greater for us you know. in washington liz wall r.t. so is food stamp fraud really that big of a problem and what should we do to weed out the people that are abusing the system the resident dot net host laurie harshness took that question to the big apple. 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 because they underpay 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 they are 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 can try to throw this back at me or you get everyone to take the fifth on the stock exchange views and everybody's every use and everything so is it just this the attitude of go get here is the at the expense of whomever at any cost when i look at the government now there are the countries 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 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 a 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 or at least 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 doesn't make 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 hits again but that's ok is that the american way to make it on your own and not depend on the government or others are 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. get ready for economic calamity folks the doomsday clock is ticking perilously close to the 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 in the past couple of months and yet today just hours before these cuts are set to take place 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 are not worried about the sequester should we really be comedian alison. joined me earlier from our new york studio and i asked her if
this is really the end of the world as we own it i think anybody who has watched the news recently who has read their twitter feed who saw the academy awards last week and it 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 happily going to disappear overnight you can't cry over spilt milk if you don't have any milk to cry over but i want to play a quick clip from you from the medium a hand kind of surrounding this issue and then i'll get your hand in to our so-called sequester the sequester sequester the sequester and. the sequester was something that was meant to be so stupid and bad that it would it would prod
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 it's an obviously we sliced in some silly end of the world clips and there but the conversation does make it feel like we're heading toward calamity right yeah absolutely totally. i don't know who hired 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 and 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 pay 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 so who is who is the 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 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 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 would it be and how about the politicians paychecks. well the politicians
paychecks or we could just cut all of homeland security and i think like now that we have homeland the t.v. show maybe that'll do. the little point of the sequester was to force congress into facing these debilitating deadlines so to say and 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 everybody is ok with it and things are great i think that this like 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 well ten years ago today the department of homeland security officially opened its stores here in washington d.c. marking the biggest consolidation of government departments since the department of defense was established all the way back in one nine hundred forty seven now when the impact has this mega agency actually had on the country over the past decade well arty's racial currency a sin vesa gates. a devastating attack on the homeland prompted a bureaucratic response right after the september eleventh attacks i stablish the office of homeland security the white house and gave it a critical mission to produce a national strategy for homeland security d.h.s.s. 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 question 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 you haven't any you're pretty much the man. influential mangy and yet they. were immigration. i. guard service and so did gain a famine 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 it is based on right now the whole right that it is using political activity and political ideology even if you maybe need a controversial or unpopular and no witness or any recognition and. 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 government agency effective but one area in effect now. improper hiring i your your i not in the other with your resource and it's all violation of can you write it level from the t.s.a. to border patrol the department has been accused of targeting racial ethnic and religious minority communities we sing taxpayer money in the process with the next decade be different we now reach our next era d.h.s.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 curteous r.t. early arced i spoke with artie's erectile kurz the us about what the department of homeland security has accomplished in the past ten years the d.h.s.s. was created to increase the flow of information between departments after all so i
started off by asking rachel if this actually happened. center of 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 sort of 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 all 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 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 this information 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 that 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 the homeland security are a lot of department actually receive this money i guess you could say for homeland security the problem is that they all kind of define homeland security as as different things there's always different definitions for it so i mean is this all just some antics 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 season 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 that is going to the so that it is going to places like social security administration so the question is is homeland security just kind of catch phrase
little immediately get congress opening their purse strings out of fear of of. being tough enough on homeland security and then and that congressional research service is 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 without the stuff in action and also without the law 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 and in the government the question is is there not enough going on to connect these different things do they all have different priorities and and you know we haven't had an attack on the homeland since september eleventh
the question is is that because of the h.s. or does that happen to be a coincidence and and i think that the h.s. certainly in order to continue to legitimize its existence and its sixty six ordinarily 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 do you expect on 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 d.h.s.s. 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.
it makes 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 h s 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 well love it or hate it the department of homeland security is definitely with and with and all of our allies all of us are affected by it and whether that's good or bad we're out 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 as our producer thank you so much for your report well it's been over four years since the financial crash launched the u.s. into the great recession and still parts of the two thousand and ten dodd frank financial reform bill have not been put into effect more specifically the volcker rule that rule would reorient deposit taking banks toward safer or banking practices by prohibiting them from making speculative trades with their own money
but while three financial regulatory agencies argue over the finer details of the role members of the occupy the f.t.c. group are putting their money where their mouth is or their money where their lawsuit is in any case they are actually suing the f.c.c. saying that delaying the rule is actually putting their money at risk to explain the lawsuit and its chances of success i was joined earlier by eric taylor he's one of the places in the case and a member of occupy the f.c.c. first of all they're the last year or so to be implemented 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 gallagher's 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 that there was no no end in sight so that was the initial sort of impetus you know we need to get involved here. our
concern really was that if we didn't get involved in if there another thing that david gallagher go on to do was he wants to propose the rule so if the rule gets repo's and possibly you know gives the banking lobby more time to rewrite the rule sure i want to report of the 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 s.e.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 that 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 our 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 standard 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 eric 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 that we
haven't i don't think we really even 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 it 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 the agencies keep complaining about not having funding 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 our 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 these sort of guest discussions about. about you know the budget as he sees posts in fact you know be 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. if 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 that they 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 were appreciate if you report back to us erica is that member of the occupy the f.c.c. career thank you for your time 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 freedom work against us as much as they work for us today president obama made an exasperated appeal to the media as well as the public to help us understand why the sequester has not been
avoided yet he has he says that he has no power to force congress's hand let's listen to what he said i mean just. i am not. a dictator i'm the president so ultimately. mitch mcconnell or john boehner say we need to go to catch a plane i can't have secret service block the doorway well president obama went on to say that he can't jet i mind meld lawmakers into agreeing with his proposals which has science fiction fans reeling because my building is a characteristic of vulcans from star trek and not a star wars jet i they performed mind tricks. well he might not be able to get congress to work together but he should at least be able to get his science fiction straight that and look for a way to help us live long and prosper. in the quest to save government money nasa the shuttle program was one of the first to be put on the back burner as
a result the u.s. is increasingly reliant on commercial space companies to carry supplies to the international space station the private company space x. has been the go to group to rocket supplies into space as of late and they did it once again today. but it wasn't exactly a smooth ride shortly after the liftoff the company's unmanned dragon capsule seen there experienced a host of problems including losing power in several thrusters and ultimately missing its date to dock with the i s s space x. has since gotten four of the thrusters back on line and the rocket is preparing to enter its target orbit now this is the first major problem the company has faced having previously launched two capsules without any problems currently the company holds a one point six billion dollars contract with nasa and nasa officials say that this is actually saving the company money.