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According to The Times, it was discovered that nearly $5 million in cash benefits were spent or withdrawn from ATMs at casinos and poker rooms between January 2007 and May 2010.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.
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?
OMG!!! THAT is the reason why we are in this state of affairs....women KILLING their children, and HAPPY about it....CELEBRATING IT!!
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/07/06/thats-no-baloney-lobster-cheaper-than-deli-meat ~ yup, lobster is down to $4.00 a pound and that beats most every kind of deli meat ~ and is close to SPAM. Dem Welfare folks gwin’ be eatin’ good, en high on die ol’ hawg.
WTF are you batting about? Did you even read that?