Skip to comments.Free ObamaDollars: The EBT Card for Cigarettes and Alcohol
Posted on 07/03/2012 6:00:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
My son called me, furious.
I was just in line at the grocery store, and the girl in front of me had all this food and paid for it with an EBT card, he told me.
Okay, I said, trying to calm him down. Youve lived here all your life--you know thats normal in L.A.
Yeah, but her boyfriend was in line right behind her and he had beer and all kinds of alcohol and then he got cigarettes and they paid for it with their EBT cash card after they got all their food! he yelled. I saved all week to buy my stupid groceries. I clipped coupons to save a few bucks, bought off-brand things and then I ended up paying for all of their food and their party stuff, too!
I didnt know what to say because basically he was right.
The public relations makeover for the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card is not only changing the entire system, its also taking away the last bit of good shame (the type you feel when youd rather not be doing something) previously associated with using food stamps.
The EBT card looks like any other ATM or credit card:
And in California, youre not only allowed to use your EBT cards at almost any fast-food restaurant, they actually seem to encourage it with large signs in their windows, billboards and advertisements. Its simply no big deal anymore. You just swipe your card and theres your food.
(By the way, why isnt Michelle Obama all over this free junk food thing? But I digress )
The easy-to-use EBT card has, of course, already had its share of abuses.
In a 2010 Los Angeles Times report, EBT cards were being used in places like Indian casinos and strip clubs.
According to The Times, it was discovered that nearly $5 million in cash benefits were spent or withdrawn from ATMs at casinos and poker rooms between January 2007 and May 2010.
The cards, which provide recipients access to federal as well as state cash, were also used in tourist destinations, including the Las Vegas Strip, a remote Hawaiian island that is home to two Four Seasons resorts and on cruise ships leaving from ports around the globe, The Times reported.
To try to combat the abuses, a bill was introduced last year by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee which bars welfare recipients nationwide from using their EBT cards in casinos, strip clubs, liquor stores, massage parlors, medical marijuana dispensaries, bars and even cruise ships.
California liberals immediately called the bill discriminatory.
Jessica Bartholow, a spokeswoman for the Western Center on Law and Poverty said, "These measures come from a place of wanting to smear the names of low-income people who are looking toward the [welfare] program to help end hunger and homelessness."
In then-California governor Arnold Schwarzeneggers defense, he fought to combat welfare fraud--including the use of fingerprinting food stamp recipients-- but he was shot down every step of the way.
Its not just California-- EBT abuse is happening nationwide. In Washington, Republican Senator Mike Carrell tried to pass a bill that would ban the use of EBTs in tattoo parlors, bars and gun shops.
In Washington State EBT cards and their PINs are sometimes sold on sites like Craigslist. Then the sellers report them stolen and get new ones, Carrell said in Spokesman.com. The report says that approximately 37,000 cards a year are reported lost or stolen and are replaced.
The good news is that a phenomenon is happening throughout the United States in which regular citizens are starting to take a stand.
In Peterborough, New Hampshire, 65-year old store clerk Jackie Whiton refused to sell cigarettes to someone using an EBT cash card.
Whiton claimed she initially didnt realize that there were two different types of EBT cards: one used strictly for food and one that can be used as a debit card for any items, including cigarettes and alcohol. However after being reprimanded, Whiton told her manager that she still wouldn't sell to EBT users because she didn't think it was right.
"I made the statement, 'Do you think myself, that lady and that gentlemen should pay for your cigarettes?' Whiton told the New Hampshire Sentinel Source. "And he responded 'yes.' He was very capable of working, so I told him to get a J-O-B."
She was fired soon after.
Yes, Ms. Whiton was wrong since the rules in her state say it is okay to use EBT cards for the purchase of cigarettes and alcoholbut our question nationwide should be why is this even possible? How can free alcohol and cigarettes help poor people?
Maybe the only good thing about this EBT bonanza is that it is making a lot of struggling 20-somethings like my son and his friends very angry.
Kids who were previously Democrats are now seeing the difference between what Obama and his regime are promoting in Americacomplete government dependenceand the Conservative/Republican stance, which is self-sufficiency.
For a political party that is always whining about leveling the playing field, its not looking very level to people like my son and his friends, who actually have to work hard for a living and are realizing first-hand that they are the ones paying for someone elses food--alcohol and cigarettes.
It can be used to buy gasoline too.
Could lead to a reduction in participants.
< /SARC >
The entire Obama$$/EBT card situation infuriates me, too. We scrimp and save and do without so that those who sit on their collective arses ALL DAY can go out - without any guilt or shame - and buy non-essentials/luxury brands and items...on OUR dime!
We are becoming a country with no sense of pride as well as becoming morally bankrupt.
At the same time the professional welfare crowd (poverty pimps) in California aren't making it any better and are probably still distressed that EBT did cut the costs of food stamps and welfare.
Sweden is actually getting rid of cash transactions through the use of EBT. They say this will eliminate bank robberies, and will dramatically reduce incidences of street theft but probably not home invasions or rape.
Somewhere somebody's defense lawyer is already working up the criticism of the EBT system that will get his client out of jail on a murder charge.
The world is changing right under our feet.
This has been going on for a few years now. This is a funny video about it. Most people don’t even know about it.
EBT ...the soma of our age.....................
So maybe “Peggy the moocher” was right after all-
“I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car...”
Anyone remember the $2K debit cards that were given to the “victims” of Hurricane Katrina? Reports were that many of them were used to purchase Louis Vuitton handbags and lap dances at strip clubs.
EBT cards can also be used at ATMs, thus getting around any ban on using them at particular places.
There was a time in the not-too-distant past in this country where it was shameful to accept charity. I would hardly call it “charity” today but vote-buying graft.
EBT is nothing more than wealth transfer incarnate...... or in plasticate.......................
I agree with everything you say, except the use of the word "becoming".
Now, let's say you are on the Mississippi Gulf coast after Katrina and about the only thing left is a casino/boat up on the shore. Coast Guard makes them use metal superstructure ~
Should the emergency cards be prohibited from use in the casino?
Actually, the question is preposterous since no one had electricity ~ so those cards aren't going to work.
I hope you realize we have some Freepers who think alcohol and tobacco should be sold free of charge or taxes ~ as a sort of birthright.
People who say they’re angry, or furious, about such practices, yet do nothing — truly disgust me. They’re generally cowardly, complacent moocher-enablers, too comfortable to rock the boat or make the slightest change in their own lives, for the sake of their country. In the Revolutionary era they’d have been the ones remaining loyal to the Crown.
Wasn’t it in the 60’s that they used to say, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem?”
Whining and suffering in silence is no part of the solution.
I've seen other people who refused to allow their impoverished neighbors go without basics.
What part of "shame" was it you were involved in?
There is a HUGE difference between charity and forced wealth transfer.
Everything is taxable.
It has always been so.
John Roberts just put it in writing.....................