Skip to comments.Freeloading on the Taxpayer's Dime
Posted on 12/19/2003 7:29:22 AM PST by AndyObermann
Freeloading on the Taxpayers Dime By: Andy Obermann 14 December 2003
The other day I was at the grocery store doing some shopping. I patiently waited in line to purchase a few miscellaneous items. In front of me, a woman, no older than forty, was buying two sodas, two packs of gum, and a personal size bag of potato chipstrivial purchases, a snack perhaps. She proceeded to pull out what appeared to be a credit or debit card to pay for the goods. An unnecessary step for such a menial purchase, I thought. Much to my surprise, however, she was paying for these goods with her Food Stamp benefit card. It struck me as odd, very odd, but nothing was said of it and she moved on.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson passed the first national Food Stamp Act. In it, he outlined a plan to provide adequate nourishment for all American citizens as part of his Great Society. In 1976, President Jimmy Carter approved a revision of the law eliminating purchase requirements and simplifying eligibility standards. Thanks to these reductions the present day Food Stamp Program touted a massive 6.5 million recipients and a payout of more than half a billion dollars, approximately $566,569,725, to be exact.
Now, I dont know or really want to understand what Carter was thinking, but Id be willing to bet that soda and gum werent the types of food good ole LBJ had in mind. Aside from the fact that the Constitution affords government no power to enact such a program, one would think that at the very least, the way these monies are spent would be monitored. Its likely that a significant portion of that half a billion could be used elsewhere if the reckless spending habits of recipients were scrutinized a bit more closely.
Normally, Im against government intrusion in the lives of everyday people, but for this Ill definitely make an exception. Why isnt there some sort of provision in Welfare programs as to how these precious government funds can be spent? Is it really that intrusive to say, Ok, since youre getting taxpayer money from the government, were going to determine what youre allowed to buy with it and monitor those purchases?
An honest proposal would be to restrict Food Stamp purchases to the four basic food groups; grains, meats/poultry, dairy, fruits/vegetables. If this were violated, privileges would be revoked and stores in breech would be reprimanded. Whats wrong with that? Superfluous purchases such as chips and soda dont provide adequate nourishment anyway, so why not?
A lot of you arent going to like this, but Ill go one further, once a citizen has been on the program for an extended period of time, they should start losing some of the privileges that taxpayers receive. I dont think that those who are on these programs indefinitely should be allowed to partake in voting. Maybe this would provide a little motivation to stop mooching off the hard-earned profits of others. Think about it, why should they have any say over how tax dollars are spent, when they foot none of the bill? Why should they be able to choose the leaders who shape Americas economic policies, when their earnings will not be used to fund these policies?
Now before all of you start berating me for being insensitive, let me qualify this theory. Im not talking about citizens receiving disability and unemployment or families that legitimately go on these programs out of need. Im referring to the chronic abusersthose who have been on these programs for years and years that have not attempted, and do not desire to get off. Im talking about those who give our social Welfare programs a black eye: the freeloaders.
Look, if a family is in need, if the primary bread-winner has lost his or her job, or something terribly unexpected occurs, these programs can be of great assistance. There is no shame in needing or receiving help when one falls on tough times. That is why these programs were created; they are warranted for these urgent situations. They arent, however, meant as a long-term solution.
The government needs to take a serious look at the abuses these sorts of programs incur, and soon. If politicians dont, perhaps the American taxpayer should look for leaders who will.
Taking property from one person and giving it to someone else to whom it does not rightfully belong, is immoral.
Is it your contention that those who have been struck by disability are no longer complete human beings?
Are you still beating your wife? Is it your contention that pedophilia is OK? These are the same despicable straw-men you just used on me. I take it you don't like it any more than I did.
If it is, and you are someday disabled yourself, I hope for your sake that we've grown as a people beyond such sentiments ...
This is pathetic.
Evil people aren't the right people.
Welfare programs are unconstitutional and immoral indeed. Unfortunately, the superficial legality of these programs makes it harder to recognize that they are nothing more than government-sanctioned theft. Frederic Bastiat explained it well:
"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve...
But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay...
No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic."
-- The Law, 1850
Sounds an awful lot like "Give me your money, and don't you dare question how I spend it!"
That my not be your intention, but in essence that's what your saying.
One of the multitude of problems with the government controlled welfare system is just this issue. If I give charity to someone personally, and then see him blowing it on cigarettes and junk food, I'm free not to give to him again. (This actually happened to me once.) When the government does it, I have to give no matter what they do.
So are you saying there are to be no restrictions on how you spend "your" money on food. Really? What about liquor? Cigarettes? That OK?
Now you're griping that you don't get ENOUGH of our money???.
You are unbelievable!
You have NOTHING to gripe about!
But your attitude sucks!
Just out of curiosity, are the taxpayers also paying for your health care?
And perhaps your inability to understand why your post to me was pathetic explains your attitudes and thoughts. Certainly your pitiful attempt to change the subject to my screen name is telling.
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