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Freeloading on the Taxpayer's Dime
15 December 2003 | Andy Obermann

Posted on 12/19/2003 7:29:22 AM PST by AndyObermann

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1 posted on 12/19/2003 7:29:22 AM PST by AndyObermann
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To: AndyObermann
Are you advocating that our Federal Government dictate the dietary selections of the population?

Or do you just want it to be dictatd by the State Govenment?

Food Stamp guidelines are much as you would think. The four basic food groups are certainly covered in depth. While there are abuses of the system, it is not the governments role to dictate to anyone what they can and cannot consume.

Personally, I have seen good times and hard times. There have been times when I have had to get some help from the government. I know that there have been onlookers who would say..."look at that fine strapping young man....he is just taking advantage of the system". But nothing could be further from the truth.

The bottom line is this...

Don't judge a person by the shoes he wears....
Walk a mile in his shoes and then think about his situation..

2 posted on 12/19/2003 7:39:57 AM PST by vannrox (The Preamble to the Bill of Rights - without it, our Bill of Rights is meaningless!)
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To: AndyObermann
Just end it. It's unconstitutional. It's absurd. It's full of fraud.
3 posted on 12/19/2003 7:40:56 AM PST by Jack Black
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: vannrox
it is not the governments role to dictate to anyone what they can and cannot consume.

Is that what the author is argueing? Or is it that the government can and should dictate what the benefit recipient can purchase? Or, more specifically, what they can purchase with taxpayer dollars.
5 posted on 12/19/2003 7:46:36 AM PST by babyface00
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To: AndyObermann
Neal Boortz refers to these Electronic Benefit Cards as "Push Button Plunder." I think he has it nailed.
6 posted on 12/19/2003 7:46:46 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Distributor of Pain, Your Loss Becomes My Gain)
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To: AndyObermann
I'm under the impression that there are limits to what can be bought with food stamps. Hard liquor comes to mind as one of the no-no's, but there must be others.
7 posted on 12/19/2003 7:48:49 AM PST by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: AndyObermann
I don’t think that those who are on these programs indefinitely should be allowed to partake in voting.

I'll go one better, I think that people who don't pay taxes shouldn't be allowed to vote.

8 posted on 12/19/2003 7:50:58 AM PST by Paradox (Cogito ergo boom.)
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To: AndyObermann
I used to work as a check out clerk.

The items "purchased" with food stamps amazed me.

High priced items like steak, filet mignon and salmon. Most bought very expensive processed frozen dinners. Many times I had arguments that cigarettes and beer could not be bought with the tax payer food stamps.

Very few bought the basics (milk, sugar, flour) to make their own food cheaply.

I know how to eat cheap, I did it in college for $100/month.
9 posted on 12/19/2003 7:53:07 AM PST by 2banana
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To: Paradox
I think that people who don't pay taxes shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Property ownership wouldn't be a bad prerequisite either.
10 posted on 12/19/2003 7:53:15 AM PST by babyface00
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To: vannrox
NO. I don't want the govt dictating what people eat. If my money is being taken from me in the name of feeding poor people, then I want the say as to what poor people eat. No gum, no soda.
11 posted on 12/19/2003 7:58:14 AM PST by ampat (to)
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To: babyface00
Property ownership wouldn't be a bad prerequisite either.

That would be a horrible idea. And if it did ever come to be, what would constitute property ownership? If you have a mortgage on your home, the bank owns it technically. Would only those who own their home free and clear be allowed to vote?

In NC and some other states you have to pay property tax on automobiles. If I am paying property taxes on my car, then I clearly own property. But what if there is a loan on it?

And why should a person who prefers to rent an apartment be denied the ability to vote?

What about a situation my wife and I were in, and many many Americans find themselves in. Renting an apartment after the sale of a home while the construction on the new home is being finished? The day before closing on the sale I could vote, but today I can't?

12 posted on 12/19/2003 7:59:47 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Distributor of Pain, Your Loss Becomes My Gain)
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To: Jack Black
Andy,

I used to think exactly like you. If there was an internet at that time, I would have posted like you. But no more ...

You see, both my wife and I, after decades of hard work and paying taxes (I was in mangement, and she was a nurse), came down with a legal disability in the same year. I developed a seizure disorder in which I would have 50-70 seizures per day. My wife is entitled to her privacy, in this forum.

And so, with no income between us, we took every bit of assistance we could get, including food stamps. Friends, family, and church helped, but that only goes so far. The government programs allowed us to live independently.

Now, we're working to get back our health and our lives, and there's hope over the horizon (probably early next year).

The whole time I've been "on the dole", I maintained my conservative values and principles. I agree that there's questions about the "constitutionality" of entitlement programs. I agree that there's rampant abuse and corruption in the system. I don't agree that it's absurd. And if it was "just ended", my wife and I BOTH would likely have died.

Instead of dying, however, we stand a good chance of becoming taxpayers again, in the very near future. It was these programs that saved us, and it's our determination to get ahead in life that will get us off of the programs.

You should know that the disenfranchisement of me WOULD be un-Constitutional. And NO ONE the H*** is going to tell me what to eat.

How's your health, Andy?
13 posted on 12/19/2003 8:00:40 AM PST by Stephen Ritter
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To: Stephen Ritter
I don't find these programs to be unconstitutional, but I would prefer that the federal government not be involved in it at all and the states themselves determine the benefit levels that will be provided.

I have no problem with some people getting some assistance. But I would firmly support the eligible food stuffs being very restricted in scope.

14 posted on 12/19/2003 8:05:18 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Distributor of Pain, Your Loss Becomes My Gain)
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To: babyface00
Property ownership wouldn't be a bad prerequisite either.

Ooooh, you evil capitalist scum! You sound like, well, like, uh, the Founding Fathers...

15 posted on 12/19/2003 8:06:21 AM PST by Paradox (Cogito ergo boom.)
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To: Phantom Lord
You have good points. But the tax assessors don't seem to have a problem with determining who owns property.

IMHO, anyone not paying property taxes shouldn't have a say in spending the money, or setting the rates.
16 posted on 12/19/2003 8:07:34 AM PST by babyface00
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To: Phantom Lord
1. You do own a mortgaged house. The bank just has a lien on it, but you have title.

2. The property-owner requirement would not be new -- it was used in the past, here and in England.

17 posted on 12/19/2003 8:07:50 AM PST by expatpat
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To: Paradox
Ooooh, you evil capitalist scum! You sound like, well, like, uh, the Founding Fathers

I seem to get accused of that a lot lately...
18 posted on 12/19/2003 8:09:20 AM PST by babyface00
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To: Stephen Ritter
I sympathize with your situation, but I think its clouded your judgement, IMHO.

Do you really think that those on government assistance should be indulging in luxurious foodstuffs? Do you also think those who are on heating assistance, for example, should leave their windows open since they are no longer paying for it?

Government benefits are charity. Forced charity, but charity nonetheless. If you're on charity, you ought to have the courtesy to spend that money frugally, even moreso than if it was your own.

If it becomes obvious (as it has been for years) that many are spending their benefits in ways that are considered wasteful, or for items that were not indended, than the government certainly should be placing restrictions on it. After all, as a recipient, its not your money, its everyone else's.
19 posted on 12/19/2003 8:14:46 AM PST by babyface00
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To: Stephen Ritter
You should know that the disenfranchisement of me WOULD be un-Constitutional. And NO ONE the H*** is going to tell me what to eat.


The as long as people who feel like don't stick their hands into my pockets to fund their freedom of food, there should be no trouble with disenfranchisement or food fights.
20 posted on 12/19/2003 8:14:48 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Police officials view armed citizens like teachers union bosses view homeschoolers.)
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To: AndyObermann
Since all of these credit card purchases should show up on some list somewhere - can we force the discloser of these bills by a FOIA ?

A listing of the thousands of bags of Doretos and cases of Jolt Cola bought by our welfare food money might shake some folks up.
21 posted on 12/19/2003 8:17:19 AM PST by RS
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To: Stephen Ritter
You should know that the disenfranchisement of me WOULD be un-Constitutional. And NO ONE the H*** is going to tell me what to eat.

Disenfranchiesment? How can you say that while you're pointing a government gun in our face so you can (via the government) stick your hands into our collective pockets?
22 posted on 12/19/2003 8:18:47 AM PST by babyface00
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To: AndyObermann
"Is it really that intrusive to say, “Ok, since you’re getting taxpayer money from the government, we’re going to determine what you’re allowed to buy with it and monitor those purchases?” "

Our local public scools have been federalized by this same line of logic. And just look at the vast improvement in education scince 1950.

23 posted on 12/19/2003 8:22:29 AM PST by fella
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To: Phantom Lord
"I would prefer that the federal government not be involved in it at all and the states themselves determine the benefit levels that will be provided."

I've got no problems with that.

"But I would firmly support the eligible food stuffs being very restricted in scope."

Once again, make that a decision for the individual states.

In my own case, I decided that 30 years of being a taxpayer entitled to get the occasional "treat". A good 95% of what we purchase are solid, nutritious foodstuffs. We made the decision to be good stewards of the taxpayer's money.

Being a conservative, I realize that the dominant view of the Food Stamp program among conservatives is of Welfare Wilma and her ten kids buying out the candy, cookie, and ice cream aisles in the local grocery. But I've also come to know other people, since the disaster of disability hit me. Most of these people are grateful for hand up, and have attitudes toward food purchases like mine. (They would also be grateful if the Feds would stop the wholesale desertion of America by industry ... jobs DO help, you know.)

Also, I've given speeches to welfare recipients on the local level, and encouraged them to purchase and eat wisely. I'm still a conservative, after all.

Man, do I find myself in unusual territory this morning!
24 posted on 12/19/2003 8:25:31 AM PST by Stephen Ritter
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To: ampat
If my money is being taken from me in the name of feeding poor people, then I want the say as to what poor people eat.

It wasn't that long ago that people receiving aid picked up government approved foodstuffs at the welfare office.

25 posted on 12/19/2003 8:26:55 AM PST by sistergoldenhair
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To: randog
I dont think you can buy candy or certain snack/junk foods as well....
26 posted on 12/19/2003 8:30:11 AM PST by FeliciaCat
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To: Phantom Lord
Where I live, roughly 20% of the people are getting some form of assistance. The Welfare office is the busiest place in town, and along the bus routes of the city.

On any given day, the parking lot of the building housing the office is packed with cars, and many a time, people are in line outside waiting to get in there.

Alas, within this bulky of a system, there is fraud and corruption. I know (and have known) people who are on the programs who shouldn't be on it, and those who truly need it. But I also think that there should be a way to limit the items in question that can be purchsed, such as soda drinks, chips, candy, cookies, etc.

Secondly, many of the people who are buying the high dollar items with their taxpayer-given cards, are turning around and bartering they for illegal narcotics. This happened to my mom at the local store. I had to explain to her why we would not have used the crack-"lady"'s card and give her $$$. She was in shock! (And I knew about this from a previous article on FR!)

I think lastly that the goobermint people don't want to try and fix the system, because they get a kickback for getting all their friends on it when they shouldn't.

27 posted on 12/19/2003 8:30:31 AM PST by Maigrey (Gregory, this year, don't take the Silverwear.)
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To: AndyObermann
Bump for later read.
28 posted on 12/19/2003 8:30:45 AM PST by wjcsux
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To: babyface00
"How can you say that while you're pointing a government gun in our face so you can (via the government) stick your hands into our collective pockets?"

I PAID INTO THE SYSTEM for thirty years as a taxpayer. I'm getting some of MY money back, not sticking my hand into your pocket (I don't know what my hand would get into, there). I estimate that I've paid over a quarter of a million dollars into the federal dole through taxation. Are YOU saying I don't have any right to get some back when I need it?
29 posted on 12/19/2003 8:30:51 AM PST by Stephen Ritter
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To: Stephen Ritter
Man, do I find myself in unusual territory this morning!

Me in you are in pretty much total agreement.

30 posted on 12/19/2003 8:33:13 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Distributor of Pain, Your Loss Becomes My Gain)
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To: Stephen Ritter
Government needs to get out of the charity business and let the private sector handle it. Americans are the most generous people in the world. There is no reason (or constitutional authoriy) to forcibly extract money from citizens to fund a wasteful, inefficent, fraud-riddled government welfare machine. I certainly would contribute more to private charities if less of my paycheck was being vacuumed up by the government.
31 posted on 12/19/2003 8:34:14 AM PST by jrp
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To: AndyObermann; All
Read what Walter Williams says on this very subject this morning. http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams.html
32 posted on 12/19/2003 8:34:23 AM PST by wjcsux
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To: AndyObermann
Food is fungible.
33 posted on 12/19/2003 8:35:52 AM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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To: Stephen Ritter
Nothing wrong with that.

I have no problem with the people who truly need the assistance (the compassionate conservative) but I get infuriated at the people who are sitting on their collective (bleep) and demanding handouts.

For the people who can be educated, your efforts can be a benefit. But I tend to think (from experience) that most of the people who are in their situation have no concern for not wasting the money they receive, nor care to consume the things that would be healthy and benefitial.

Those who are ignorant can be taught. Those who remain stupid can't.

34 posted on 12/19/2003 8:35:53 AM PST by Maigrey (Gregory, this year, don't take the Silverwear.)
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To: ampat
"If my money is being taken from me in the name of feeding poor people, then I want the say as to what poor people eat"

Then vote for the right people, or run for office yourself and change the system. It's your right. Write letters to your local newspaper, get involved and exercise your blood-bought, Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms. This is what conservatism is all about.

But understand this: You - as a private citizen - will NEVER have the say as to what poor people eat. Grousing is your only option.

But if you get involved in your political system, you might have the opportunity to change things down the road.
35 posted on 12/19/2003 8:39:07 AM PST by Stephen Ritter
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To: Stephen Ritter
I PAID INTO THE SYSTEM for thirty years as a taxpayer. I'm getting some of MY money back, not sticking my hand into your pocket (I don't know what my hand would get into, there). I estimate that I've paid over a quarter of a million dollars into the federal dole through taxation. Are YOU saying I don't have any right to get some back when I need it?

I see where you are coming from but it all depends on how you phrase it or look at it. Here's a different way, an unpleasant way for most;

The government took your money by threat of force. They stole your money.

Now you use that as an excuse to join the plunder in order to make your self whole. It's entirely human to feel that way, but it plays right into their hands. That's what they want.

36 posted on 12/19/2003 8:40:30 AM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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To: jrp
"I certainly would contribute more to private charities if less of my paycheck was being vacuumed up by the government."

That's the whole problem, isn't it? EVERYONE has to help this Republic realize that the ONLY legitimate, Constitutional functions of the Federal government are national defense, foreign policy, and the regulation of interstate commerce. If this happened, you would keep about 90% of your federal taxes overnight.
37 posted on 12/19/2003 8:43:43 AM PST by Stephen Ritter
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To: Stephen Ritter; ampat
The argument shouldnt be "what poor people eat." They can eat whatever they damn want. The argument should be what can they purchase with tax payer money.

I am fairly confident that is what ampat means. He should have worded it that way though.

38 posted on 12/19/2003 8:44:42 AM PST by Phantom Lord (Distributor of Pain, Your Loss Becomes My Gain)
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To: AndyObermann
Abuse? An immigrant can bring relatives to the US - legally - if he/she can "provide" for the relative. That said - the relative arrives and the legal resident then declares he is unable to take care of the new arrival and the Social Security Admin. puts the new comer on the federal dole at over $700.00 a month. It's called SSI benifits??
39 posted on 12/19/2003 8:49:58 AM PST by sandydipper (Never quit - never surrender!)
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To: Stephen Ritter
I PAID INTO THE SYSTEM

What are you smoking? The government isn't a bank or an investment. You were screwed for 30 years. I'm sorry about that, but deal with it. Anything you get now is coming out of everyone else's pockets, and since we're running both a deficit and a debt, from all of our children too.

YOU saying I don't have any right to get some back when I need it

In a word, YES. You have no, none, zero right to anyone else's money. (BTW, what you're asserting has a name - socialism) I'm sorry for your predicament, but frankly, its irrelevant.

I can't believe we're even having this conversation on a conservative forum.
40 posted on 12/19/2003 8:50:03 AM PST by babyface00
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To: Protagoras
"Now you use that as an excuse to join the plunder in order to make your self whole."

Plunder? In order to make myself whole?

If I was going to "plunder" someone, I'd make sure that my plunder was more than $155 per month (our ENTIRE monthly grocery budget). Can YOU live and eat on 155 bucks a month.

I'm already a "whole" person, friend. I've accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and I have the unconditional love of a good woman. Is it your contention that those who have been struck by disability are no longer complete human beings?

If it is, and you are someday disabled yourself, I hope for your sake that we've grown as a people beyond such sentiments ...
41 posted on 12/19/2003 8:52:10 AM PST by Stephen Ritter
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To: babyface00
"What are you smoking? "

Nothing. Never did. Never will. Don't even drink.

"You have no, none, zero right to anyone else's money. (BTW, what you're asserting has a name - socialism) I'm sorry for your predicament, but frankly, its irrelevant."

Sorry, fella, but until the laws are taken off the books, I DO have a right to this money. Soooo, change the laws. You seem to good at grousing and marginalizing other people. Are you equally good at public speaking and raising a campaign chest?

And as for me being a socialist ... well, them's fightin' words. I FOUGHT against socialism in the jungles of Vietnam, among other places. To imply that I'm a socialist is pure trash talk, and an insult.
42 posted on 12/19/2003 8:59:58 AM PST by Stephen Ritter
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To: AndyObermann
I'd rather she bought birth-control pills with it.
43 posted on 12/19/2003 9:02:02 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: Stephen Ritter
I despise politics and politicans more. I do vote for the right people, but they always seem to be the lesser of all evils.I do write my congressman--and both Senators. I do exercise my freedoms, such as posting on FR.
44 posted on 12/19/2003 9:03:56 AM PST by ampat (to)
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To: Stephen Ritter
You were complaining that you "contributed" to the system and were going to get back out what you could. I didn't make that up. I merely said you perceived it different than I.

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.

45 posted on 12/19/2003 9:04:21 AM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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To: ampat
I do vote for the right people, but they always seem to be the lesser of all evils.

Evil people aren't the right people.

46 posted on 12/19/2003 9:05:29 AM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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To: TonyRo76; Jack Black; babyface00; fella; jrp; wjcsux; Protagoras; sandydipper
>>>Welfare programs of any sort—i.e., government doling out benefits to those who haven't earned them—are unconstitutional, unfair and immmoral. Just end them!<<<

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

47 posted on 12/19/2003 9:18:36 AM PST by Lady Eileen
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To: vannrox
Would it be right for someone to take money at gunpoint from their neighbors to pay for the groceries they cannot afford? How is it right to employ the government as their agent to take money at virtual gunpoint to pay for their groceries?
48 posted on 12/19/2003 9:21:33 AM PST by Spiff (Have you committed one random act of thoughtcrime today?)
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To: vannrox
Reader's Digest one time wrote that with the money the U.S. has spent on welfare, they could have purchased all the Fortune 500 companies and every acre of farm land in America. Don't know if it's true, but it sounds plausible.

I'm for giving the folks that need help bags of flour, beans and powdered milk. It'll keep 'em fed until they're back on their feet, but not be so enticing that they'd like to stay that on the dole.
49 posted on 12/19/2003 9:29:36 AM PST by Dr. Zzyzx
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To: Lady Eileen
Spot on. You must be an anarchist.
50 posted on 12/19/2003 9:29:56 AM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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