Millionaire Rob Undersander of Waite Park, MN exposed just how broken the Minnesota welfare system is when he and his wife collected nearly $6,000 in food stamps under the Supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP).
Undersander set out to raise public awareness on the shortcomings of the Minnesota SNAP, urging lawmakers to implement asset testing for eligibility, a requirement also apart of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid programs in Minnesota.
“I believe you have no way of knowing the extent of the problem because you don’t test for assets,” Undersander told the Committee on Human Services Reform Finance and Policy on Mar 13. Undersander also cited statistics by the Foundation for Government Accountability that show an estimated $83.2 billion would be saved in Minnesota annually with the implementation of asset testing in this program.
Undersander also wanted to conduct a personal audit of SNAP and found that his own “expensive house with its high mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance” qualified them for “up to $341 per month.” Mr. Undersander then set out to discuss this issue with other members of the St. Cloud community finding that seniors “who are struggling financially only received a minimum of $15.” Implementing “asset testing with excess value determination would have prevented that disparity” Undersander affirms.
Undersander concluded his testimony by citing The Foundation for Government Accountability estimation “that administrative costs for asset testing are offset by lower caseloads” and pointing to Michigan and Maine for their success in implementing asset testing to ensure the right people are getting the help that they need in the most ethical way possible.
Watch the shocking testimony
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Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.