Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Food Stamp Scam

For two weeks now some local politicians have been playing a game with food stamps. Here’s how it goes: a person on food stamps supposedly gets on average $3.57 a day. The challenge for the politicians is to live on that amount of food for a week. They are all moaning how hungry and tired they have been. Read one story here.

Here’s the problem with the scam. First of all, food stamps are a supplement. They aren’t designed to cover everything. Second, most recipients are in a family and it is cheaper to fix meals for several people than just one.

When you get down to it, their objective with this media stunt is to try to make us feel sorry for the poor food stamp recipients. They are pushing for an increase in the monthly allotment.

Here are my reasons for opposing this. I am usually amazed at the contents of the shopping carts of food stamp users. Back in the old days, you could spot them because they had to pull out actual stamps. Now, here in Colorado they have a nice plastic card that they swipe. If you didn’t pay attention you would think they were using a credit card. Anyway, from what I see, most of them are not scrimping and scraping. There are nice packs of steaks, etc. Some weeks ago, I was behind a very nicely dressed lady. She had the fancy nails, designer purse and spent most of the time talking on her cute cell phone. When the time came to pay, out came the food stamp card. The poor poverty-stricken woman, how does she afford such a nice nail job and cell phone? It’s because you and I are paying for her groceries. I wished I could have seen the car she got into.

One of my favorite experiences was seeing a “bum” buying cooking wine with his food stamp card. The checker told me it happened all the time. And no, he was not a gourmet cook. Thanks to the taxpayers, he gets a little buzz.

Now I do know there are a few people who really need some help and I don’t oppose that. But, the truth be known, I wonder if they would even make up a single digit percentage of those who get welfare.

Another reason I don’t feel sorry for the food stamp user is because I know how much my wife spends on food a week. We have a large family and she has done an excellent job through the years on both groceries and all the other household items she buys. Most of the food is cooked from scratch; there is not much prepared food. She watches for sales and plans out meals and the weekly shopping trip. As I calculated it out, we spend about as much as the politicians are whining about. It can be done and we do it without government help.

So there you have it; another political scam exposed.


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