How many of our problems are caused by government, and by which kind of government? Take a little quiz…. (More)

President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

What Reagan didn’t say is which party in government is the problem. His line is so familiar that it has come to be seen as ‘the truth’ by many of “We the People.” This game is designed to help you decide, based on information and facts, if you’d like to be more specific about which party is your problem.

For the sake of this game, you agree as a player that telling the truth matters and that facts matter. A good story may feel good but if it is lie, you’ve been conned. The real question is, “If facts matter, can you change your mind?”

1. UNICEF issues an annual report on child poverty in the developed world. Put a check beside those countries you think have higher rates of child poverty than the United States:

____ Greece

____ Spain

____ Romania

____ Ireland

____ Italy

Click here to see how you did.

2. The US has one of the highest child poverty rates in the developed world. Food stamps reduced the number of US children living in extreme poverty by half in 2011. SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is the new name for food stamps.

Paul Ryan and the TGOP voted to slash SNAP by how much?

____ $900 Million

____ $2 Billion

____ $8 Billion

____ $36 Billion

Every Democrat in the House voted against this.

3. The Republican rationale for taking food out of the mouths of children included which of the following: check all that apply.

____ to prevent a 10% cut in military spending

____ the need to grow the economy

____ to further family values

Click here for the answers.

4. Both Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Darryl Issa (R-CA) have accused the SNAP program of being “rife with fraud” and having “skyrocketing fraud.” The USDA reports on the “error rate” of SNAP payments which includes both overpayments and underpayments. Mark each statement as T (true) or F (false).

____ Fraud in the food stamp program is incredibly low, at a rate of 1 percent.

____ Overall error rates in the food stamp program have absolutely plunged in recent years, hitting an all-time low in 2010.

____ The combined error rated is 3.81%

____ Most errors are honest mistakes rather than fraud.

Click here for the answers.

Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in his opening statement, “while the need for the SNAP program is at an historic high, fraud within the program is at an all-time low…. Given this strong track record, I am concerned that the true purpose of this hearing may be to discredit the entire program in order to justify draconian cuts.”

The next time someone says to me that government is the problem, I think I’ll say, “Well you’re right if you are a hungry child living in poverty and thinking that Republican government is the problem.”