Revised June 29, 2005

Savings Cannot be Achieved by Targeting "Waste, Fraud, and Abuse"
By Dorothy Rosenbaum

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Some in Congress have suggested that the Food Stamp Program can be cut this year by targeting “waste, fraud, and abuse.”  In fact,

Figure 1

Figure 1

The Food Stamp Error Rate has Reached All-time Lows


Savings Could Come Only From Harmful Benefit Cuts


Food Stamps are not Overly Generous

End Notes:

[1] Internal Revenue Service, New IRS Study Provides Preliminary Tax Gap Estimate (IR-2005-38, March 29, 2005), available at:,,id=137247,00.html.

[2] This calculation compares the change in food stamp spending over the 2000 to 2005 period as a share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the change in the surplus/deficits as a share of GDP over the same period.  See CBPP: Cuts to Low-income Programs May Far Exceed the Contribution of These Programs to Deficit’s Return, available at,