Skip to comments.EBT Abuse: The Cash-for-Drunkards Program
Posted on 01/12/2013 5:17:44 AM PST by IbJensen
From New York to New Mexico and across the dependent plains, welfare recipients are getting sauced on the public dime. Drunk, besotted, bombed. But while politicians pay lip service to cutting government waste, fraud and abuse, they're doing very little in practice to stop the EBT party excesses. Where's the compassion for taxpayers?
You see the signs everywhere: "We accept EBT." Fast-food restaurants do. Clothing retailers do. Auto repair shops, liquor stores and even sushi joints are joining the club. "EBT" stands for the federal government's electronic benefits transfer card, which is intended to provide poor people with food stamps and cash assistance for basic necessities. The two separate programs were combined into one ATM-like card designed to reduce the "stigma" attached to Nanny State dependency, and -- voila! -- an entirely new method of mooching was born.
If the idea was to eliminate the embarrassment of life on the dole, the social justice crowd succeeded phenomenally. Last weekend, the New York Post blew the lid off scammers who brazenly swiped their EBT cards "inside Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn; the Blue Door Video porn shop in the East Village; The Anchor, a sleek SoHo lounge; the Patriot Saloon in TriBeCa; and Drinks Galore, a liquor distributor in The Bronx." Out: Cash for clunkers. In: Cash for drunkards!
My home state of Colorado has seen similar abuse. Last year, local TV station 9NEWS reported that more than $40,000 was withdrawn from ATMs in metro-area liquor stores despite prohibitions against such spending. Colorado EBT users also splurged at Denver's Elitch Gardens amusement part, Disneyland, Universal Studios in Los Angeles and on the Las Vegas strip.
In New Mexico, Jim Scarantino of Watchdog.org reported that in just a three-month period, EBT cards were used at multiple liquor stores, girly bars, smoke shops and casinos both inside and outside the state. Californians are notorious EBT fraud artists; some $70 million in EBT funds were withdrawn from outside the state's borders over the past several years, including nearly $12 million taken out in Las Vegas. Watchdog.org kept tabs on government workers in Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin nabbed in EBT fraud rings and schemes.
Several state legislatures have barred EBT spending on these vices, along with tattoo parlors, lottery tickets and cigarettes. Last February, President Obama signed GOP-backed welfare reform measures into law aimed at closing the so-called "strip club loophole" and preventing welfare recipients from blowing their cash benefits on booze, porn and gambling. But that law doesn't go into effect until next year. And many politicians are just shrugging their shoulders, muttering "Whaddya gonna do?"
Here's a radical idea: How about making taxpayer protection a priority for once and, yes, getting serious about strengthening the stigma on bottomless entitlement dependency and entitlement abuse?
According to the Department of Agriculture, illegal food stamp use costs the public upward of $750 million a year. A report by the Government Accountability Institute last fall revealed that "few security measures are in place to monitor EBT card fraud. ... Nationwide, the USDA has approximately 100 investigators policing over 200,000 authorized EBT retailers." In Florida, the report noted, 63 investigators carry the burden of policing more than three million EBT users.
Excuse-makers for the welfare-takers emphasize that both eligibility fraud and EBT card trafficking fraud are minuscule. But a bottle here, a case there, a pole dance here, a lap dance there, and soon it all starts to add up. With food stamp rolls exploding under both Republican and Democratic administrations while enforcement resources shrink nationwide, EBT has taken on a whole new meaning: Exploitation of Broke Taxpayers. Shame.
We lost control when we ceased the embarrasment of having to pay with food stamps. Now the social parasites flash their EBT cards like they are Donald Trump flashing a no-limit credit card, which in essence these turds have become and stink just as bad, backed by what we sill soon find are are NOT unlimited tax receipts.
Feed the poor but forget the cards. Make them go to the food warehouses in their gleaning, to get basic food substances. Anything over an above that they can pay out of their own pockets.
Just go to any Casino in Oklahoma and see how many social parasites are gambling on YOUR money. When you pay for their food it just frees up their own money that should have been used to sustain themselves in dignity, but now thanks to government pre-determinators of human outcome, get diverted to their immediate gratification, and indignity of gambling, drinking and doing drugs with YOUR re-distributed money. Fungible money re-distributed to fungus like brains. Money never allowed to be invested in the American economy but consumed by President Parasite and his horde of vote purchased social leeches.
Doesn’t really matter who accepts it, anyway. They could buy what they need anyway, or else they should be institutionalized. All food stamps, etc. ever did was augment income. They could buy more now, for instance booze in addition to the cheetos, or whatever.
The democratic communist manefesto is to keep them federally funded, dumb, dependent, drunk and on drugs they will soon loose thier desire and ambition if they had any to begin with. Like zombies the masses will follow the next bottle, fix, food line free bee thrown to the throngs of human wreckage they have diabolically planned
But we can no longer afford to give all military retirees free health care. Oops, that ship has already sailed. I mean cheap health insurance.
Under no circumstances should EBT cards be used at ATM machines for cash. They should be used ONLY for goods.
I guess then nothing’s to prevent them from selling the goods for cash, but that would take some ingenuity and motivation and if they had that in the first place, they wouldn’t be needing EBT cards.
There’s vendor fraud, too - back in the paper scrip food stamp days, some convenience stores would pay 50cents on the dollar for them. I imagine they could do the same with false ringups (ring up 4 milks for a pack of ciggies, or whatever).
As far as ingenuity- they don’t need it - news about how to pull of these scams travels fast and mostly quietly. It was only the loudmouth Obamaphone lady that tipped off most of America that scam was well underway.
The real reason the government went to EBT is it’s much cheaper than printing and mailing food stamps and checks. Before EBT people got a check and cashed it, and spent it however they wanted anyway. Here in CA they banned EBTs from being accepted in bars, strip clubs, casinos, etc. So now they will just get the money and a regular ATM, then go to the bar, strip club or casino, but there will be no embarrassing electronic trail.
When failure is subsidized why are people surprised to have ever increasing amounts of it.
The left doesn’t care what the underclass does with its free money cards. All it cares about is that the money was forcibly taken from honest, hard-working people and given to people who faithfully vote democrat.
*Ahem* Point of order.
Some people are on food stamps for legit reasons. I work with a lot of single parents, parents of children with major health problems, etc., and the pay is not so great where we work. (Job is VERY steady, though, so a lot of us stick around for that reason)
We complain about all of our jobs going to China. However, my factory is still here despite a recent “leaving for China” scare.
The government subsidizes low-wage jobs with food stamps, welfare, medicaid, free school lunches and free text books. IMHO. The government also subsidizes grocery stores and food processors because if you are on EBT and manage right, you can go to any store and buy any name-brand product you want. Stores that have a high number of EBT customers have higher prices, IMHO, because no one is really shopping for sales.
I’m sure abuse goes on because anywhere there’s money people want to be able to get exactly what they want. And food stamps come in one big monthly lump sum to your account.
Anyway, think about whether all the “safety net” stuff might be government subsidizing low-wage jobs.
I thought that too, then I compared my monthly budget with theirs - (I have never used food stamps). They make about double what I do when you count all the benefits. Clearly working is for saps.
I can make budget and rather easily now as I make quite a bit more than I used to make. But it was an eye-opener for me.
There should be NO plastic moocher cards. To feed the poor, commodity stores should be available in ghettos that would dispense staples such as flour, sugar, fruit, vegetables, chicken, pork and ground beef. This would mean that actual food might get to the children of these families, instead of taxpayer money going to bars, prostitutes, drug dealers, and porn. Perhaps the lazy breeders would have to actually cook and feed their families instead of using their EBT cards for blond dye jobs and spangled nails.