Appearing Saturday on the Fox program “Cavuto on Business,” Charles Payne said his observations were based on personal experience.
“There’s this idea that between the food stamps and the welfare and the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit and the local programs, you know, it gets a little comfortable to be in poverty,” Payne said during a discussion on food stamp usage. “Listen, I’ve lived it first hand. I’ve seen when people don’t go to work because they get everything paid for them. The incentive is not there.”
Although one of the panelists cut in to warn Payne against "beat[ing] up on poor people taking food stamps," host Neil Cavuto asked whether too many people were on food stamps and suggested some beneficiaries may not need the help.
According to government figures from March 8, 2013, more than 47 million Americans currently receive help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (better known as food stamps).
Payne's poverty comments come on the heels of a similar interview he gave March 28 on Fox News' America's Newsroom. During that appearance Payne said "there is never a push to get people off food stamps."
"I know there's a big thing trying to de-stigmatize food stamps," Payne told host Martha MacCallum. "But the good part about the stigma is actually does serve as an impetus to get people off of it."
Raw Story notes that Payne seems to be "repeating a common meme among many conservatives who believe that helping poor people keeps them poor and only fosters dependence and the growth of state benefit payments."
This opinion, however, contrasts with other reports that conclude food stamps have led to a decline in poverty during the first decade of the 21st century.