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According to The Times, it was discovered that nearly $5 million in cash benefits were spent or withdrawn from ATMs at casinos and poker rooms between January 2007 and May 2010.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.....................
Otherwise all those groceries (which have to be those specifically allowed by USDA ~ apparently electronically enforced) are going to be charged to the state or local welfare cash account that is also accessible on the EBT card.
Some sophisticated systems should allow you to get your food stamp purchases charged separately while you use your welfare cash to buy your cigarettes ~ SIMULTANEOUSLY and invisibly to other people standing in line.
All things are possible with electronics!
That's what they do ~ chickens are the best though because a poor man can slaughter and eat the chicken in one meal with little waste. Cows are a problem ~ which is why the Sumerians invented those little clay 'bulls", and then invented "press in bulls', and finally went from their accounting system for bulls to the world's first written language.
If they'd stuck to gold and silver you'd be illiterate!
I once stayed in a Holiday Inn but they were out of cinammon rolls.
Get rid of all EBT cards, food stamps, WIC vouchers and every other program and go back to commodities. Stand in line for your cheese, flour and eggs and be damn happy that you can get that.
We live in an age where machines do most of the work now and create most of our wealth. Automation is only going to increase. A percentage of the population cannot compete with machine labor. These people are essentially human pets and their numbers are going to continue to grow and so will EBT. We can't permanently deny cigarettes and alcohol to them, and maybe we don't want them all living to age 110 anyway. Democrats would make better pets though if Obamacare removed their opposable thumbs so they couldn't open a feed bag of Doritos without supervision, and had them spayed.
From what I understand, the sale won’t go through if its alcohol or cigs. Could be wrong though.
I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY I am constantly bombarded with “Sign up for food stamps” commercials on the radio. Two little old ladies discovering they both use food stamps and how great they are to stretch budgets. People are being asked to guess which of 10 people in their life is going hungry. It’s like the government is BEGGING people to get on the dole.
Can anyone explain this to me? You’d think the government would want to make it at least a little challenging to become a dependent.
They are better served by McDonalds than their own junky mothers.
Here's what you can do though. Get involved with one of those interdenominational missions in the inner city ~ just anywhere. You go there you'll find Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists and so on. They work together ~ these are REAL CHRISTIAN MISSIONS ~ in this modern time in the world's most powerful nation. Imagine how tough this job is some where else.
Teach a child or two how to cook hamburger ~ and potatoes. Teach another child how to use this asian instant noodle packs.
That's the easy part. Now, find some cheap pans ~ so cheap their mothers can't sell them for crack ~ so cheap it can stay around their one room apartment.
Find someone else to help you finance this because the need is deep. Oh, and spoons ~ forks ~ something to cut with. A plate. A bowl.
I think you get the idea. Get the children up to speed. Now, teach them how to stand in line for those commodities. There are such places in these neighborhoods.
That's how you do charity ~ a step at a time. Eventually we'll get this thing beat.
At the same time America will once again become the world's lowest cost competitor.
Since she was fired, she'll find out that in the Obamaconomy that's much, MUCH easier said than done.
The 'free junk food' could be associated with blacks. Black guilt is a no-no. It's white guilt that pays off - pays off big and in big ways...
How are the EBT cash benefits any different than they were under Bush? In fact, some states are clamping down now.
Got this off another forum.
We should get it out there everywhere.
The Ten Planks of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto (and How Democrats Implement Them)
Abolition of private property rights (via eminent domain, zoning laws and UN Agenda 21)
Institution of a heavily graduated income tax (by calling it “taxing the rich”)
Abolition of all rights of inheritance (through a confiscatory estate tax on “the rich”)
Confiscation of the property of enemies of the state (through lawless application of asset forfeiture)
Centralization of credit into the hands of the state (Federal Reserve, bailouts of crony-capitalists, FTC, etc.)
Centralization of the means of communications and transportation into the hands of the state (FCC, DOT, FEMA, etc.).
Consolidation and subjugation of all major industries to central government control (EPA, OSHA, ICC, etc.)
Mandatory labor union membership (public-sector unions, automatic withholding of union dues, “card check,” etc.)
Equitable redistribution of all wealth (TANF, SSI, EITC, SNAP, etc.)
Free public education (and food and health care and cell phones and Internet access, etc.
The ClowardPiven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward (19262001) and Frances Fox Piven (b. 1932) that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of "a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty".
Food stamps, SSI disability and underfunding of Social Security via Obama's tax cuts are all ways to break the bank.
Obama's handlers are not inept, they are evil. They care not the suffering that will befall our nation as long as they are the ones calling the shots.
Many people would rather have the power to distribute the last loaf of bread in a starving kingdom than grant freedom in a wealthy one.
I want to know why we are TAXED on the money we EARN, then TAXED AGAIN on the things we buy , and TAXED AGAIN on the money we don't spend?
The latest addition to the mix is that we will now be taxed on services (healthcare) whether we want them or use them.
LOL! Where have you been!
We worked our butts off to ‘reform’ welfare and finally made some positive changes when Newt was in power. We put time limits on people receiving welfare claiming welfare was a boost in a hard time, not a bed for life. Liberals just undid what we fixed in the dark and made it worse. That is the way life swings in the US.
Right now they are undoing what we put in place to keep criminals off the streets. The revolving door is back.
Dumb people are easily ruled, easily (mis)led, and good commie slaves, as long as they get fed.
The next 'revolution' is three missed meals away.
Enough free whiskey and cigarettes we can all get sick and get obamaKKKare!
Human pets? Even pets can be taught tricks to do. I'm sorry if certain jobs are "beneath" these people. I've noticed most construction jobs - that used to have the same amount of blacks and whites performing - are now mostly hispanic. Same with bussers in restaurants.
We can't permanently deny cigarettes and alcohol to them...
Huh? They can't be "denied"?? If they cannot afford to buy their own cigs and alcohol....by working at SOME type of job...then they can do without. I do!
I remember distinctly...hey...they had to purchase "necessities", didn't they? /s
That was long ago. Nothing whatsoever to crow about now.
Liberals just undid what we fixed in the dark and made it worse. That is the way life swings in the US.
That sounds awfully complacent, exactly the attitude I was talking about.
Working within the system, nominating Romney for example; voting for some new congressman same as the old; "just you wait 'til November!" and all that. It isn't helping save the Republic.
What are you doing to change the world...
Rest assured I’m doing my part to change the part we’re in. I’m not here to respond to ad hominem arguments, and I don’t.
We feed “poor” school children breakfast and lunch here in Indiana.
Also when school is on vacation, the schools are still open to feed “poor” children breakfast and lunch.
I’ve always wondered if the amount offered in EBT even considers this as part of the calculation?
A major fundamental problem—far more fundamental than the fact that money is fungible—is the fact that far too many people have lost sight of the fact that getting government handouts should not be pleasant. There is societal value in having a ‘safety net’ sufficient to ensure that temporary setbacks do not become permanent (e.g. in an extreme case, people without jobs becoming so malnourished that they can’t usefully work), but only if using the safety net is sufficiently unpleasant that anyone who can avoid it will do so or, at minimum, become free of it as soon as possible. Feeding people’s addiction to handouts is not compassionate.
I’m glad you are active. I am in Texas and busy, too.
ROFLOL!! You apparently think you know everything.....
Good luck with that.
That was simply through the application of mechanization, automation, computerization, robotics and improved work methods.
That doesn't happen to be that astounding, but the US government has had just about the same number of working bureaucrats since 1960.
That has happened as a consequence of some really serious computerization.
Recently we changed our battle posture substantially through development and application of what we call DRONES. They are little more than computerized aircraft ~ and speaking of automating unusual things, much of the plowing and seed drilling in the Midwest ~ one of Earth's premiere agricultural regions ~ is now done by automated systems.
Happened right under your nose I am sure.
What do you think happened to the pilots who used to fly the planes to do the same job the drones do? And farmers ~ who's driving the tractor.
We used to have secretaries where I worked. When I retired we'd gotten rid of secretaries ~ there were no more secretaries and every employee could type.
Unless you intend to die early you should be able to see most jobs just disappear. You already saw well over 10% of existing jobs disappear permanently.
Why should we not expect this??
Are you still killing your unborn?