Photos on Food Stamp Cards: $7.7 Million Plus

The AP is reporting that adding photos to food stamp cards in Georgia will cost more than $7.7 million next year.

Republican State Sen. Don Balfour from Snellville says the cost is reasonable. Critics of the food stamp legislation say it will not fix larger-scale fraud.

The part of the law requiring drug testing of applicants suspected of using drugs has been put on hold.


  1. The cost to remove Sen. Balfour was reasonable.

    This little quirk is just adding hassle to satisfy the need for those clinching their pearls over anecdotal “waste”. $7.7 Million plus? Sounds like money we could be using for reasonable things, not making hay.

    This gives republicans a bad rap.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      “I guarantee you we’ll see more than that in savings,” Balfour said.

      That’s reassuring, since Don Balfour is so much more an authority in matters of fraud than actually estimating implementation and operating costs and fraud prevention benefits concurrent with the preparation of the legislation.

      Tell me again what the GaGOP is always saying about throwing money at problems?

  2. Harry says:

    I’m sure there’s a lot of fraud involved, but these days the “food stamp” is in the form of a debit card which is swiped through a point of sale device just like any other debit/credit card and is never checked for facial recognition. I therefore wonder how much benefit there is to having a photo on the card. It’s feelgood legislation. The drug testing would be much more effective because most recipients who sell or loan their cards are likely doing so to buy drugs.

    • No evidence to support that claim, except for white people looking down their noses at those who are on food stamps.

      But let’s say folks sell their EBT $$… could it be that they need… medicine, abortions, pay day loan help, child care, gas, cell phones, or aarons rental payments for their 4K tvs?

    • Will Durant says:

      You call it “feelgood legislation” now, but rejected my assertion back when the legislature was still in session that it is nothing more than election year pandering that no one who actually considers their self a fiscal conservative could support. Thank goodness they aren’t going to even try to enforce the drug testing portion as they knew that violated a clause in the federal Farm Bill from whence the money comes. This would have just cost more money for the bureaucrat attorneys to argue over in court. Of course the fiscal conservative in me should also note that so far the states that have implemented drug testing for welfare outside of food stamps are spending more for the testing than they are saving in denying benefits.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    Much of the fraud involves some of the small retailers accepting the cards. $7.7M spent on investigators looking for fraud may well be more cost-effective. That however would require competent state government management, an oxymoron for many in the GaGOP.

  4. John Konop says:

    This idea looks like grandstanding over solving anything…..You really think the person taking the card is going get confrontational about a photo ID on the macro?Like they really want to loose the sales….looks like we are throwing away dollars to save pennies….Does not look like this was well thought out….

  5. Michael Silver says:

    Great …. now i can use my EBT card for identification to vote.

    Inevitably, the race pimps file suit against a deep pocket retailer claiming profiling, get their Dane gold, and then scare every other retailer from challenging EBT people based on photos.

    Money would be better spent on fingerprint technology, which is not race based and is specific to a person.

  6. Three Jack says:

    Easiest way to avoid the cost of photos on freeloader cards, end freeloader programs. Let em move to Bama, it will have the added benefit of lowering the unemployment rate.

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