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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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To: MineralMan
Where I live, a lot of hispanic families get food stamps. Not illegals, but actual citizens. I was behind one such family in the checkout line last weekend. What do you suppose was in their cart?

I see the same thing ---- tons of hispanic families --- most who don't speak a word of English filling several carts of all kinds of food --- but usually they have plenty of cokes, cookies, candies, store decorated cakes and the rest. They not only have a food stamp card but plenty of WIC coupons too ---- plus those kids are getting free meals in Head Start and public school. They're usually obese with lots of obese children. Interestingly enough it's the hispanic families who speak English who don't use the food stamps.

101 posted on 12/20/2003 9:19:03 AM PST by FITZ
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To: Stephen Ritter
"So, stepehen, is your internet service free as well? Do you own your own computer???"

Do you have a need to know? Or does your taxpayers status give the right to know, to invade my privacy?

No, just wondering, because it put holes in your story how you are so down and out and need government assistance if you can still afford internet service and still have a computer.

I've been down and out too, for longer than you have. But instead of going on the government dole I sacrificed and sold everything I had that wasn't vital, got rid of phone, cable, and other luxuries, and started over. I guess sacrifice is a four letter word these days.

Happy web browsing. Be sure to enjoy the food the money that they are taking from me and my family is paying for.
102 posted on 12/20/2003 9:35:38 AM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: AndyObermann
I don't necessarily disagree, but I'd like to point out a simple fact in order to put things in perspective. The federal government spends about $20 billion or so on the food stamp program. The same government spends about $200 billion, or ten times as much, on Medicare.

The average wealth of the food stamp beneficiary is well below the national mean, even accounting for fraud. The average wealth of the Medicare beneficiary is well above the national mean.

So, while it may be right to criticize social welfare such as food stamps, it seems ludicrous not to also criticize the real deadbeats in our society -- the millions of seniors who suck from the public teat while living in luxurious digs in places like Myrtle Beach, Sun City and Tampa Bay. Some 60 percent of the federal budget goes toward benefits to seniors, who are the richest demographic group in the US. Contrast this with about 17 percent of the budget that goes to the poor.

The biggest welfare chiselers are senior citizens and their AARP lobbyists. In a few short years, I will be one of them, and it makes me sick to think that my bills will be paid by the generations that come after me. But that's what our democracy has wrought: welfare for the old and rich.

103 posted on 12/20/2003 9:50:31 AM PST by massadvj
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To: 1john2 3and4
Thank you!
104 posted on 12/20/2003 10:35:32 AM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: douglas1
Thank you!
105 posted on 12/20/2003 10:36:23 AM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: FITZ
Thanks for what you've said. Ability to work is the key, isn't it? Thank God, I'll have that ability once again no later than March.

However, I am living independently. I have my own home on two acres of land in the countryside (bought and paid for in the years in which I worked). I could sell, and live off of the money from the proceeds. However, if I did that, I would lose all "benefits", and rightfully so. Our resoruces would then last a mathematical limit of 2 1/2 years. At the end of that time, we would be homeless .. read that public housing, foodstamps, public healthcare, and so on. It would be the end of our independence.

And so, we live in our home, and make ends meet with whatever resources are available to us. That has been the way of my life, and shall continue to be so.
106 posted on 12/20/2003 10:44:32 AM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: 2banana
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.

High-priced foods are a natural for food-stamp recipients. They can be most easily sold for cash to buy whatever.

The card itself can even be "rented" to others for cash

107 posted on 12/20/2003 10:46:15 AM PST by SauronOfMordor (This space for rent)
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To: republicofdavis
"You've clouded the situation somewhat in my mind by taking your wife out of the discussion. Either she's got a legitimate disability, in which case see above, or she's got a bogus disability"

I took my wife out of the discussion because I wish to protect her privacy. However, she is not an alcoholic or a drug addict. Her condition has been diagnosed by a recognized medical authority, and she received a decision of "disabled" by the state disability determination board, after a period of only two months from her application. More than that I will not say, except to remember with fondness her hard work for twenty years as an RN, and note her desire to return to that work as soon as possible.

"It would be easy enough to program cash registers with foods that are Food Stamp eligible or ineligible."

Instead of that, designate grocery stores that recipients can shop in. In our area, there's a Kroger's, Save-a-lot, Aldi's, and Eagle's. By shooping at Save-a-lot or Aldi's, we pay only a thrid of what we would pay at Kroger's or Eagle's for the same items. In my state, this restriction would save millions of dollars.
108 posted on 12/20/2003 10:52:53 AM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: SauronOfMordor
"The card itself can even be "rented" to others for cash"

Then the perpetrator should be arrested and charged with his or her fraud.
109 posted on 12/20/2003 10:58:31 AM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: flashbunny
"No, just wondering, because it put holes in your story how you are so down and out and need government assistance if you can still afford internet service and still have a computer."

Actually, it isn't any of your business, and so I refuse to asnwer it.

"I've been down and out too, for longer than you have. But instead of going on the government dole I sacrificed and sold everything I had that wasn't vital, got rid of phone, cable, and other luxuries, and started over. I guess sacrifice is a four letter word these days."

So did I. How and why I have computer or internet isn't yoour business, but the phone and other luxuries went, including my prize AR15a2. And sacrifice IS a four-letter word, these days. It's called "Iraq", and thank God for the young men and women who serve there.

"Happy web browsing. Be sure to enjoy the food the money that they are taking from me and my family is paying for."

Thank you. I will. When you were down and out, I'm sure you took as much from me.
110 posted on 12/20/2003 11:05:06 AM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: Jack Black
**Just end it. It's unconstitutional. It's absurd. It's full of fraud.**

I agree. We were in a grocery store lineup last year when they still used the 'food stamps' and not the card. Right in front of us were two hispanic women arguing with the cashier. Finally, the cashier started stamping something and we saw that they were food stamps. We were behind them, and on the way out, we saw them putting their groceries into a brand new Ford Eddie Bauer Expedition SUV. I'm fed up with feeding people who don't need it. They are milking the system, and we have to pay for them.

111 posted on 12/20/2003 11:23:39 AM PST by Jennikins (It matters not what we want, as we are being ruled, not governed.)
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To: Stephen Ritter
**How's your health, Andy?**

Sarcasm will get you nowhere. We are not talking about people who really need it. Don't be such a crybaby. The world owes you nothing.

112 posted on 12/20/2003 11:28:12 AM PST by Jennikins (It matters not what we want, as we are being ruled, not governed.)
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I just read all the comments on this thread and saw that no one stated the true facts. Those being that since 1996 were major changes in the Food Stamp program. One of those being that single people can only get them for three months in any three year period of time, that the amount is based on income, including assets with your car being counted, with set limitations. That those that are married or with children are also held to stringent standards. There is a mandatory employment and training requirement, and other rules, It is not like people just go and decide to get on food stamps and never pay for their own food again. There are many more requirements, but no one is listing them here. The program was set up to help people get back on track, not give them hand outs to live off when they are capable f making it on their own.

Please note that not until October of 2002 were more immigrants allowed food stamps and they are encouraged to apply. www.lawhelp.org/.../itopicID/467/iProblemCodeID/1731200/ iChannelID/76/isubtopicid/1/iproblemcodeid/1731200

113 posted on 12/20/2003 11:30:38 AM PST by Danielle
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To: Stephen Ritter
AFTER YOU AND YOUR WIFE WORKED FOR 30 YEARS, YOU HAD NO SAVINGS TO GET BY ON?

I use my own money to get by.
114 posted on 12/20/2003 11:31:41 AM PST by At _War_With_Liberals
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To: Stephen Ritter
I didn't take jack diddly squat from you. And your 'its none of your business' speaks volumes about you. You still have a pc and internet service yet you wish the government to take money from my family and others so you can 'afford' food.

I smell a DU disruptor....throwing in references to his AR15 and a 'shout out' to the troops in iraq out of the blue...this stinks to high heaven, especially your attitude that the people who are working owe you something.
115 posted on 12/20/2003 11:33:20 AM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: Stephen Ritter
OMG - I just saw your tag line for the constitution party. That is a freaking pathetic joke. If you believe in what the constitution party does there is no way you'd have your attitude that people 'owed' you food stamps.

I call shenanigans.
116 posted on 12/20/2003 11:36:55 AM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: vannrox
While there are abuses of the system, it is not the governments role to dictate to anyone what they can and cannot consume.

Unreal. The purpose of the food stamps system is to provide assistance to people who for some reason cannot feed themselves.

Would you approve of more money being taken out of your paycheck so people can buy cigarettes and booze?

117 posted on 12/20/2003 11:42:43 AM PST by Bob J (www.freerepublic.net www.radiofreerepublic.com...check them out!)
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To: massadvj
"The average wealth of the food stamp beneficiary is well below the national mean, even accounting for fraud. The average wealth of the Medicare beneficiary is well above the national mean.......Some 60 percent of the federal budget goes toward benefits to seniors, who are the richest demographic group in the US. Contrast this with about 17 percent of the budget that goes to the poor."

You're comparing apples to oranges. Food stamps are only made available to the poor, so of course the average income of food stamp beneficiaries is going to be below the national average.

As for seniors being the richest demographic group in the U.S., these people have 40+ years of work behind them.......along with 40+ years of retirement savings. That "wealth" that they have accumulated is what they have to live on for the rest of their days. Would you prefer that they didn't have retirement savings, in which case we would be having to support all of their needs?

118 posted on 12/20/2003 12:20:35 PM PST by freedox
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To: Stephen Ritter
Anyhow I think your situation is different than the vast majority of recipients of government assistance. There are some cases that make the exception --- I know of a family who were farmers, a large Protestant family --- good moral hard-working people --- the father was killed in a tractor accident, his widow with young children sold off most of the farm, had to resort to food stamps even though she still had a large garden and canned a lot of food --- there were young children and day care would have been expensive --- more than she would have brought in by working. It's not like the majority you see around here were the women and girls intentionally have many children without fathers just so they can live a life of mooching off the taxpayers.
119 posted on 12/20/2003 12:23:11 PM PST by FITZ
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To: Bob J
The purpose of the food stamps system is to provide assistance to people who for some reason cannot feed themselves.

Exactly. I remember the embarrassment of a friend of my mother back in the 70s. Her husband had been laid off from his job and took a job in Canada. They had 5 kids that had to be fed, even though the dad, the breadwinner, was only getting paid once a month. The mom applied for foodstamps so that the kids could be fed. Luckily for them it only lasted 6 months and the dad was able to get a job back close to home.

Would you approve of more money being taken out of your paycheck so people can buy cigarettes and booze?

I am both a smoker and a beer drinker, as is my husband - those items have always been among the first to go when money gets tight in our household.

120 posted on 12/20/2003 12:25:23 PM PST by Gabz (Smoke gnatzies - small minds buzzing in your business - swat'em!!!)
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To: freedox
Would you prefer that they didn't have retirement savings, in which case we would be having to support all of their needs?

I'd prefer constitutionally limited government that didn't pander to groups based on their proclivity to vote.

Remember when that was the bedrock of conservative thought?

121 posted on 12/20/2003 12:38:47 PM PST by massadvj
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To: freedox
You're comparing apples to oranges. Food stamps are only made available to the poor, so of course the average income of food stamp beneficiaries is going to be below the national average.

So I assume you think food stamps would be a good idea so long as everybody qualified for them?

122 posted on 12/20/2003 12:40:52 PM PST by massadvj
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To: flashbunny
"I call shenanigans."

What's his phone number? I've been wanting to call him for some time, now.
123 posted on 12/20/2003 12:41:28 PM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: Danielle
That those that are married or with children are also held to stringent standards.

The standards are not stringent. You can go into stores around here and see more people using food stamps than are using cash, they are allowed to purchase nothing but junk foods, there is often a working man living in the household who stands right in line with the family and buys the beer and cigarettes and lottery tickets with cash. "Common-law marriages" also are very convenient for this --- the parents never legally marry --- the mother can get more food stamps for every baby she produces --- and as long as the babies keep coming, she never will be expected to work.

124 posted on 12/20/2003 12:41:29 PM PST by FITZ
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To: vannrox
Most of the folks that I've seen using food stamps have feet too bulbous and swollen because they are fat, so their shoes would be too big for me.

What we call 'poor' in the U.S. is absurd. Perhaps if these folks actually did learn to walk a mile in their own shoes, they would get some get up and go get a job.
125 posted on 12/20/2003 12:48:16 PM PST by Neever
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To: flashbunny
So, you smell a DU disruptor? I smell something, too, but's it not from DU (though they smell evil enough).

Flashbunny, I came into this thread for one purpose: to show how the system, as poor as it is, helps people who have hit the bottom of American society, through no fault of their own. Rather than do away with it entirely, what I propose is actually rather simple, if hard to implement.

First- The feds get out of the welfare business, permanently,

Second- Welfare is left up to the states, where it rightfully belongs,

Third- Unless profoundly disabled, any person has a 2-year maximum of benefits in any twenty-year period. This provides them with an incentive to find training and work.

Now, if the above marks me as a "lefty", or a "DU Disruptor", so be it. I can't help what people think of me, no matter what the level of their ignorance. No one has addressed a simple issue that I've raised: Why am I am commie, a pinko, a lefty, or a Du Disruptor simply because I disagree on ONE issue? I expect this treatment from the Left. But I though our side was more tolerant of the exercise of free speech.

It IS called Free Republic, isn't it?

And so, on my computer given me by my brother, and through the cable service (including cable modem) which I pay for, I will continue to press on, as it were ...

... though no longer in this thread.
126 posted on 12/20/2003 12:55:11 PM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: massadvj
There are still some jobs that have a mandatory retirement age. Most of the middle class can only afford the high health insurance premiums while they have an income --- retirement is certainly a different situation than some 20-30 year old "poor" person demanding handouts because they don't wish to work.
127 posted on 12/20/2003 12:56:58 PM PST by FITZ
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To: flashbunny
See post 126.
128 posted on 12/20/2003 12:59:54 PM PST by Stephen Ritter (Constitution Party: The RIGHT party at the RIGHT time!!)
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To: Stephen Ritter
I thought you were no longer on this thread...

Well, I see you can afford cable internet service...glad to see our tax dollars help cover your food bills so you can enjoy the 'necessities' in life.
I really wouldn't have a problem with you being on food stamps or whatever the hell it's called now except for your attitude that it's owed to you. That it's none of the business of the people who pay for it to see the money is spent wisely and not on luxuries. If you suckle at the government teat, you don't have right to demand it produces chocolate milk. That's my problem with your position. You seem to think you should get chocolate, strawberry, banana cream and whatever the hell else you want and we should smile and pay for it - because hey, when you were working, you smiled and did the same thing, right?
129 posted on 12/20/2003 1:09:48 PM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: freedox
Private Disability Insurance........buy it today!

Excellent point. Poor planning doesn't entitle anyone to suckle at the government teat.

I have the insurance, I have paid for it myself in after tax dollars for many years. I hope I never use it, but I sure won't be putting a gun to anyones head to steal their property because I prioritized incorrectly.

I'm sorry he didn't plan, but not enough to deny my family whatever is left after I take care of the things that need takinbg care of to see that they are taken care of and I'm not the recipient of stolen property.

130 posted on 12/20/2003 1:29:50 PM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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To: Stephen Ritter
You are a liberal. Despite your wonderful credentials which only prove one thing, you are a self satisfied person who is convinced that some positions you took in your life excuse your support of socialism and crybaby antics.
131 posted on 12/20/2003 1:34:49 PM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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To: massadvj
"So I assume you think food stamps would be a good idea so long as everybody qualified for them?

No, I wasn't implying that at all. I was simply pointing out your faulty reasoning in comparing the average income of food stamp beneficiaries to that of Medicare recipients. One program is available only to the poor, whereas the other is available to all qualifying seniors regardless of income. It stands to reason that the average income of the more inclusive group would be higher.

132 posted on 12/20/2003 1:55:59 PM PST by freedox
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To: Stephen Ritter
Steve:
Interesting reparte' between you and others... Thanks..

One of those rare events, IMO. Everybody is right... because american socialism is a convoluted mess.. the conversation should rightfully be one also.. No silver bullet will ever kill american socialism, pandora is out of the box.

And the democrats are living in the box and the republicans are remodeling it... for FREE.. The libertarians are tok'ing across the street laughing about the crazy old lady living in the basement(but there is no basement)... Lady Liberty has been screwed so many times shes not a lady anymore and Uncle Sam is the PerP doing it..

Wonder if communism is the political system in hell !... Oh! well... 2nd cup of coffee... cheerio..

133 posted on 12/20/2003 2:31:07 PM PST by hosepipe
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To: babyface00
Property ownership wouldn't be a bad prerequisite either.
Ah, the way things, once upon a time, were...
134 posted on 12/20/2003 11:01:08 PM PST by philman_36
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To: Stephen Ritter
You seem to good at grousing and marginalizing other people.

When you take your hand out of my pocket, you can lecture me about grousing and marginalizing.

Think of me as one of those "radical individualists" that Al Gore loathes so much.
135 posted on 12/22/2003 6:00:11 AM PST by babyface00
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To: douglas1
This isn't all that difficult.

There are already several "tiers" of voting. You vote for federal representatives, state representatives, county representatives and local municipality representatives. It would be easy enough to determine if you were or were not on public assistance from any one of those localities, and then only prohibit you from voting on issues/representatives that are in whichever locality from which you are receiving assistance.

The only entities that utilize property taxes are counties and municipalities. Not owning property would mean you couldn't vote in those municipalities, but could vote in state and federal elections (if you weren't on public assistance).

Granted, it gets complicated if the local municipality or county collects income taxes and/or sales taxes. However, it might be a good thing for them to have a little more accountability as to what services are funded by what revenue base anyhow.

Even so, should you really be participating in longterm decisions (by voting) in those local areas if you aren't even committed enough to that area to actually own property? If the actions of the local government ruin the area, you can move without any penalty. The property owners are stuck with potentially distressed values - which is likely their major investment.

When I started writing this, I began to think this might be too complicated. But then I thought about my local income tax forms and realized that the local government doesn't seem to have a problem with complicated regulations when it involves taking my money, so keeping funding sources separate should be easy enough for them.
136 posted on 12/22/2003 6:12:58 AM PST by babyface00
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To: Protagoras
Yeah, but those are the only ones running for office.
137 posted on 12/22/2003 7:59:17 AM PST by ampat (to)
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To: ampat
Yeah, but those are the only ones running for office.

It's true in some cases but who's fault is that?

138 posted on 12/22/2003 8:20:22 AM PST by Protagoras (Hating Democrats doesn't make you a conservative.)
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