Panic In California As Thousands Of Food Stamps Cards Suffer Brief Outage

Tyler Durden's picture

This past weekend, as part of a system update to the CalWIN software of California's Social Services department, HP accidentally cancelled EBT cards for some 37,000 Californians. We can only imagine the resulting panic and the scramble by all these Californians who suddenly could not live within their means to print trillion, and other denomination, coins, in the shining example of their government. The OC Register reports that eighteen counties were affected in the CalFresh chaos (the 'friendly' name given to California's food stamp program - also formerly known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP). While we worry for the strippers and liquor stores, CalWIN and Xerox (the state's primary contractor for administering CalFresh) developed a process to reactivate the cards by Tuesday morning. While this must have been a tough day or two for many, we wonder if Geithner's 'extraordinary' efforts to extend the debt ceiling deadline have perhaps gone a little too far?

Finally, instead of minting coins, perhaps Hewlett Packard can remotely update its software in the Fed printers, which can then proceed to print a few cool extra trillion unsupervised, and voila: all of America's problems are gone.

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Yen Cross's picture

 Buzz and Sudden Debt / Fight Club

 I'm long Buzz. I like ya S/D. Buzz has the edge though.

americanspirit's picture

This was a test. This was only a test. If there had been a real emergency the National Guard would have been directing you to the camps for your three hots and a cot.

Shoplifting in supermarkets did spike, but there were no riots or molotov cocktails. So far, so good. Next we're gonna shut down a whole state and see what happens. And then ... heh heh. We're gonna get that old budget deficit under control. No problemo.

Mr. Magniloquent's picture

My immediate impression was identical. It certainly elucidates the effort to enroll people to the SNAP. Considering that there is heresay about deliberate and purposeful implosion of the US economy for bridled chaos to justify emergency authority...I would say we are prompt and on schedule.

Bohm Squad's picture

So......Obama for a third term then?

Rainman's picture

This is a flash crash experiment to enact Moochele's initiative to make fat people skinny. Winning. 

Unprepared's picture

Or a test experiment for the sheeple reaction when the cards are permanently canceled.

CheapBastard's picture

Bad flu season worsens as Boston declares emergency


Why owrry about out-of-control flu when we can distract the masses with gun control issues.

Weyland_Yutani's picture

The government should ban the flu or put flu control in place.


You can't spell DEBT without EBT. 

Vashta Nerada's picture

If you don't put that on a T shirt and sell it, I'm stealing it.

kito's picture

@sheepfukker---not for the holders of the ebt cards...they got it ALL GOIN ON...who needs to borrow when you can get a phat 4 bedroom pad compliments of section 8......full medical coverage......plenty of food to stock the cell service.......

SgtSchultz's picture

Is that it? No cable TV, no car (with driver), no laundry service, no domestic help, no cook, no vacations?  The hardships!!  We should add some more programs! 

wee-weed up's picture

Coming in The One's 2nd term. Be patient!

PaperBear's picture

What will these people do when the outage goes on for days, weeks or months ?

Say What Again's picture

Can you buy guns & ammo with these cards?

donsluck's picture

Only indirectly, wink wink. So, "these cards" makes it sound like you have one. I am considering lowering my income next year to qualify.

Osmium's picture

With inflation, you may not need to lower your income, it will happen for you.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Even if incomes rise, taxation is never properly indexed to inflation (Tax brackets, and AMT). Heads they win, tails you lose.

MachoMan's picture

It will happen, but changes to the poverty level won't keep up (nor will benefits derived therefrom)...  welcome to the grinder.

otto skorzeny's picture

good luck getting any ammo-you just wonder if .gov is turning all of the shipments of Russian made ammo back to Russia or just confiscating it all.

urbanelf's picture

CalFresh, bitchez!!!

Sudden Debt's picture

I bet some of them even thought: SHIT! I'M GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK FOR A JOB NOW!!

Now that's bad... what a crisis we live in...
sun, beach and free welfare cards.

Reminds me of my college days :)

sessinpo's picture



Those few that even can think, even if erroneously said: "Damn you Bush!"

donsluck's picture

Another comment by a person who equates low income with stupidity. The few that think insinuates a minority. The poor that DON'T apply are the ones who don't think.

Vashta Nerada's picture

The best thing we could do for the poor would be to cut them off and let them learn to swim on their own.  At the current rate of growth, the takers will drown all of us.

goldfish1's picture

Wake up.

What is being provided for the "poor" is a small fraction of what the 1% ers are stealing.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Who do you think EBT was setup to benefit? The poor? LMAO.

MachoMan's picture

They'll drown us either way...

Yen Cross's picture

 One good tembler, and "Clive Barker" will be writing {HellRaisers} prequels/

Dr. Engali's picture

Obama better gather up those guns quick. The swirl is going faster.

monad's picture

I'd like to thank someone at HP. You know who you are. Great job! Keep up the good work. 

AgAu_man's picture

You know what'd be ironic? If some of those affected were ex-HP guys, after their jobs moved offshore, having first taught their Asian successors how to design and make the HW. That happened a lot.

Like shoving others into gas ovens kept you out if them. Sad but true.

But, hey, the execs bonuses looked good as they were officially 'increasing Shareholder Value'.

I call that the American Boomerang: Gutting US design and manufacturing, so a few could max out while the rest were shipped out.

Who is gonna make your stuff when China and US have a parting of the ways? Your execs, your Shareholders? ;-/

monad's picture

The theft of intellectual property is almost as chilling as the weaponization of all new research. It is best not to share any new work until the bluntskulls have finished killing themselves off. Shouldn't be long.

busted by the bailout's picture

What percentage of the "food stamp" recipients really need assistance?

sessinpo's picture

And the fallacy continues - what is need? Is that a constitution right? And even disregarding the constitution, what is need and ability of some to take from others?

busted by the bailout's picture

So your answer is zero?  Surely there are some who are deserving.  Is it not our moral duty to take care of those truly in need? Should not the strong take care of the weak?  The young take of the old?  The rich take care of the poor?

Should we blame all the poor because some may be taking from the system more than they need, or the system itself that does not adequately discriminate between those truly in need and those who are not?

And more importantly, who hurts us more, those who take small dollars to buy food when they could maybe buy it themselves, or those on Wall Street and elsewhere who take big dollars by abusing the system at the small investors and taxpayers expense, and through lobbying for special tax treatments and bailouts when they already have more than enough to keep them in luxury for a lifetime?


 “From 2007-2011 spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the SNAP program, informally known as the food stamp program) increased 135 percent to reach a cost of $78 billion last year alone, the report reveals.”

And how much was TARP?

“TARP allows the United States Department of the Treasury to purchase or insure up to $700 billion of "troubled assets,".

And the value of specific industry and corporate tax loopholes purposefully added to our tax laws?  Untold $100s of billions over the years, I imagine.

And how much have Wall Streeters bilked the public for over the decades?  $Trillions?

While we focus our ire on an assumed undeserving poor and on each other, the truly undeserving PTB continue to rob us blind, imo. 

A Nanny Moose's picture

So two wrongs make a right? Got it.

nmewn's picture

What you do not see or care to understand is Wall Street bankers making millions off of EBT/SNAP "transfers" of taxpayer wealth at the behest of a complicit government.

You defend Wall Street banker practices everytime you defend "the poor" and EBT/SNAP or any other electronic "benefits".

And no, I am not my brothers keeper...I am in fact, their worst nightmare.

I define charity and welfare completely opposite, it never comes through the barrel of a gun or any law and is never given on the premise of financial systemic collapse.  

That is called theft and extortion.

krispkritter's picture

Heyyyy, what's a 1/2 billion dollars amongst thieves, er, friends? JPM=Just (other)Peoples Money

nmewn's picture

I'm gonna beat this nail in until every "progressive" understands...then I'm gonna counter sink it and stick a bung in it ;-)

Hobbleknee's picture

There is plenty of private charity to take care of people who really need help.  We don't need the government to do that job for us.  The government only excels at criminal activities like stealing and murdering.  Why would you put these criminals in charge of charity, retirement or health care?

Weyland_Yutani's picture

A lot of college students use food stamps to buy snacks and stuff for their frat parties.

goldfish1's picture

Good. Better than the trillions to Big AG, Big Pharm and Big Chem. Can't forget Big G.

pashley1411's picture

Ever wonder if there isn't some nice solar flare just bubbling away (in the super-hot-H-gas-sense-of-the-term) just waiting to reach and out, and wipe out those cards (and cars, planes, phones, other monetary units not denominated in sea shells and metal) and bring the world back to basics.

Like cave painting. 

Ookspay's picture

One can dream... 

I think David Byrne summed it up nicely:

Here we stand
Like an Adam and an Eve
The Garden of Eden
Two fools in love
So beautiful and strong
The birds in the trees
Are smiling upon them
From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?
Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
you got it, you got it

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner
we got it, we got it

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower
you've got it, you've got it

Years ago I was an angry young man
I'd pretend That I was a billboard
Standing tall By the side of the road
I fell in love With a beautiful highway

This used to be real estate Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over But I guess I was wrong

Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis
you got it, you got it

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies
you got it, you got it

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
you got it, you got it

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention
you got it, you got it

I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
you got it, you got it

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
you got it, you got it

This was a discount store,
Now it's turned into a cornfield
you got it, you got it

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle

virgilcaine's picture

Get a job loozers.

smiler03's picture

Are you sure there are 46 billion jobs looking for people?