A traveling friend sent me an item clipped from a Georgia newspaper that reads, in its entirety:
A woman said she noticed her purse missing from her car just before 5 P.M. Sunday. The car was parked at her residence on Hornet Drive. The woman said the car had been locked, and the purse was in the back seat.
The purse was valued at $400, her wallet was valued at $200, and she said there was $800 cash in the purse, according to the police report. Also missing were the woman’s food stamp cards.
(Emphasis mine.) The sad part is that the food stamp cards were probably worth more than the purse, wallet, and cash.
It bears repeating, as both a critique and a warning of things to come, that the great project of the American Left involves teaching the middle class to think of itself as “poor.” That way, they’ll vote themselves into servitude. The impoverished mind has no use for talk of economic liberty. It values “hope,” which is passive and servile, over “opportunity.”
It has often been observed that the American definition of poverty is remarkably elastic. The most pervasive threat to the health of our poor is obesity. For many, the dollar value of welfare benefits far exceeds the income from an entry-level job – which has far-reaching harmful effects on the general economy, as it distorts the supply, and therefore value, of labor.
The value of welfare has actually exceeded more than just entry-level paychecks. The Heritage Foundation recently published a report showing “the average individual who relies on Washington could receive benefits valued at $32,748, more than the nation’s average disposable income of $32,446.” According to Heritage’s calculations, “government dependency jumped 8.1 percent in the past year, with the most assistance going toward housing, health and welfare, and retirement.”
The cost of the federal food stamp program more than tripled over the past decade, while the number of people participating in the program jumped from 17.2 million to 44.7 million. Each week brings a new jaw-dropping example of food stamp waste and fraud – from lottery millionaires who still enjoy benefits, to drug dealers using EBT cards to pay bail.
The government claims food stamp fraud is decreasing, even though Fox News kicked off a recent report by reminiscing about “a couple in Washington State living in a $1.2 million home, 30,000 college students on the food stamp rolls in Michigan and Wisconsin beneficiaries selling their cards on Facebook.”
The government bans about 1,000 retailers per year for food stamp fraud, but many of the barred retailers find it easy to re-enter the program and become repeat offenders. The ABC News affiliate in Maryland did a little digging in March, and found “nearly a third of the disbarred sites were approved to trade in food stamps again,” with some vendors “wrongly readmitted to the program as many as four times.” The report concluded that stores “could bring in a whopping $50,000 extra per month” by abusing the food stamp program.
Big Government is corrupt government – from crony capitalist deals at the top, to poverty piracy at the bottom. When everyone becomes “poor,” you find more than a few food stamp cards tucked into designer purses.