Monday, February 13, 2012

SNAP

When I first wrote about the trend toward de-stigmatizing food stamps, I was a little shocked.  I hadn't been paying attention to the various forms government aid took since...well, since I managed to get off of government aid.  Not long after that first post, I wrote a second, about the swelling numbers on food stamps--at that time, there were a bit over 40 million people dependent upon the government for their daily bread (or daily arugula, as the case may be).  After An Ordinary American wrote about his run-in with a couple of pigs wallowing in the slop, I got curious and looked up a current number.

In a year and a half, we have added over six million to that roll.*  The Huffington Post doesn't speculate about why, but says "The past three fiscal years have show a tremendous growth of SNAP usage. In 2008, about 28.2 million people used food stamps compared to about 33.5 million in 2009 and 40.3 million in 2010."

I can tell you why: Barack Obama and his merry band of morons have been systematically destroying industry (and, by extension, jobs) since they took office from Bush.  Add to that how much SNAP covers that it didn't when my family was dependent on it in my childhood, and it's just so easy, so comfortable, and doncha know, we're all entitled to sit back and let Big Brother take care of us!  If pizza places, convenience stores, and some McDonalds will take SNAP EBT cards, why not? 

How do we fix this?

Easy: get rid of the EBT cards.  Bring back the thick envelopes with stapled packets of Monopoly money--ones, fives, tens, and a few twenties.  Reduce the amount of crap that food stamp "cash" can buy, and how much "change" you can get from overpaying for something like a pack of gum.

No processed foods (except for canned fruit, veggies, and juice).  No hot meals, not even from the deli at Wal-Mart.  No take-and-bake pizzas from Papa Murphy's.  No ice cream, no soda, no candy, no chips, no snack-cakes, no bakery goods.

Better yet, take food stamps, and turn it into a WIC-style rationing system--staples only: beans, rice, hamburger, whole chickens, flour, sugar, salt, etc.--complete with a free cook book, and/or cooking lessons for those too stupid to read a cookbook and figure out instructions.  Don't laugh--they're out there, in college (Ricki has had a few in her labs, and I always have several every semester), and they vote.

Which brings me to the last, but most of all: remove the ability to vote from those who are satisfied to sit back and let the rest of us haul their weight. 

If and when they pull their head out of their @$$es, get off their @$$es, and start paying their own way, then, and only then, should they be allowed to vote.

*Last year's total spending on this was 71.8 billion dollars.  So far this fiscal year--October and November of last year is all they had figures for, for this, Big Brother has spent 12.4 billion.  That projects out to, at minimum 74.4 billion dollars.  Where do they think this is going to come from, with so many people taking from this program, and more losing their jobs every day? 

32 comments:

  1. I'd name this issue a STONE WALL ISSUE.

    You are damed if you do and damned if you don't.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charity_(practice)

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  2. Attempting to swear a pauper's oath when one has a $300 smartphone in their swap-meet Louis purse should result in the forswearer being struck by lightning.

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  3. OCM--I never said that this would be possible to enact. Too much political capital.

    Tam--nah...just confiscate and sell everything they own, hand them a budget, the money, and tell them to spend wiser in the future because they've just permanently made themselves ineligible for public charity.

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  4. Make all food stamp office doors eighteen inches wide.

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  5. *snicker*

    Unfortunately, staghounds, I doubt that would work--the college kids wouldn't likely be fat, and the morbidly obese would likely have a kid or two to send in after the paperwork.

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  6. A citiczen must prove they can be self sufficient before they can vote?

    Sacrilege!

    The Department of Education SWAT teams are surrounding your house now!

    Troublemaker!

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  7. can tell you why: Barack Obama and his merry band of morons have been systematically destroying industry (and, by extension, jobs) since they took office from Bush.


    Yeah, yeah, yeah. :-(

    Life stupid legislation allowing free trade with and outsourcing to fascist countries that exploit enviroment, their own citizens and about anything they can get autocratic hands on hasn't been a bi-partisan effort of the last thirty years!


    Grow a brain, pls.
    Republicans and Democrats are both parties of the 5%. They can put on a helluva show for the 95% so there is the illusion choice, but nothing ever really changes. What was the 2004 election about?

    Moral fucking values while the bubble grew and Wall Street had it's head stuck up so high it's own arse that it eventually imploded and needed a fucking bailout..

    There is also that uncomfortable fact that the future doesn't need blue collar people, or at least not much of them. With CNC machining and other neat automation, you can have the same output as a 1960's factory but with one quarter of the workforce, maybe less..

    Later on it won't need white collar people either. Hasn't computing gutted clerical professions? Sure, it created a new industry, but the number of people who are needed to run IT systems is less than the number of people those system replaced..

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  8. Even as rude as he was, I agree with the points Lanius made. This country is being run by a class of political elites who don't give a flying fig about anyone but themselves no matter if they have an R or a D behind their name. We need to send the whole stinking bunch back home.

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  9. Lanius-

    You have good points about the lack of difference in direction between the two major political parties as constituted. I might argue some major differences between the speed of what has been done, but then we start talking about doing culinary things to frogs.

    My point of disagreement is any time I here people start dividing the country by percentages, it makes me hear a strong subtext of: "I struck out my 1st, 2nd, or even 5th time at bat so I'm deciding the whole game is rigged and there's no way I'll ever be any good.

    One of the greatest lies of the progressive income tax is that it actually redistributes wealth, when the people who already have wealth aren't counting on extra income to add meaningfully to it. What the high marginal tax rates do is prevent new people from acquiring wealth though their own efforts aka income.

    What the "safety net" seems to do from my perspective is keep people comfortable in their current situation. Those workers rendered redundant less often retrain to new skills or find new productive ways to expand the pie still farther.

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  10. HH - [T]ake food stamps, and turn it into a WIC-style rationing system--staples only: beans, rice, hamburger, whole chickens, flour, sugar, salt, etc.

    IIRC, Bill Buckley suggested something similar years ago. Seems like a good idea to me.

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  11. Sorry for being blunt. I was kind of PO'd.Now I've had a nice videochat with a very fine young lady I fancy very much and I'm suddenly feeling much more mellow..

    I see nothing wrong with a flat tax. And nothing wrong with top 20% paying 90% of income taxes if they own 90% of all wealth. That'đ just like.. natural, innit?

    In fact, the simpler the tax, the better it is.

    IMO, a flat income tax(say, 10%) should be combined with a progressive tax on financial transactions. T

    he more someone keeps shuttling their money around, the more of it is lost to taxes. A company that'd just take it's revenues, move them to one national account would pay 1% for the move. A company that'd export all it's revenue to some shell corporation somewhere else would pay 3% for exporting, and then re-importing money from a tax haven would shave off say.. 3% more from the money.

    There is no good reason why money should spend it's time chasing around the world.

    Those should be as simple as possible. Tax code should discourage the various Double-dutch-irish what the fuck google does to have a 3% effective income tax rate...

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  12. Also, progressive tax is useless.

    When Ike was prez (my favorite US president), effective tax rate for the wealthiest ones was 90%.

    Percentage of GDP extracted in taxes was the same as it is now....

    I know slash and burning the tax code would put lots of tax advisors out of work.. but that's tough luck I guess... why should they keep their jobs and machinist and steel-workers not theirs?

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  13. What do you do for a living, Lanius? Care to offer a quick resume?

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  14. A lot of boisterous rhetoric......

    The NAZI'S had a solution to a certain segment of their population........sounds like some folks would prefer Nazi way??

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  15. Kick back and listen......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGzqbEeVWhs

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  16. M Sgt B--I don't doubt it. I've been teaching my students to think for themselves for nearly ten years, now.

    Lanius--bit rude in delivery, but with several points attached. However, consider this: with the added layers of bureaucracy and regulations, as well as taxes killing growth, how are the industries that are being killed supposed to be replaced? Who's going to come up with new industry when the government won't let it come into being or grow without regulating it into helplessness and taxing it into being unable to turn a profit?

    Swampdog--Yeah, we do need to send 'em all home. Maybe with charges.

    Odysseus--exactly.

    docjim505--yeah, too bad it won't happen. Maybe the people abusing the system would get upset, and start working to get off of food stamps.

    Lanius (again)--I don't know about the rest, but I like the idea of a flat tax (especially if the first $20 grand for families is exempt). Add to that an equally low flat corporate tax rate, and we might see the economy start recovering.

    OCM--the Nazis discouraged political discourse. I don't know that you'd call the discussion here "discouraged," so the Nazi comparison doesn't fly.

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  17. Think about it again.......

    The comparison is HOW TO GET RID OF FOLKS YOU DON'T WANT!

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  18. @Tamara


    What do you do for a living, Lanius? Care to offer a quick resume?


    Hmm.. because my two maternal great-grandfathers were both entrepreneurs and self-made men, I've been lucky enough to come into possession of a little real estate, namely a nice apartment where I live and part of which I rent.

    That about covers housing, energy, groceries and health insurance.

    I possess undeservedly good looks* so I earn beer & boomstick & ammunition money by doing softcore gay porn (- still wondering from whom I've inherited that einundzwanzig centimeter werkzeug. Ridiculous, I know :D ) and when I feel like it by odd and temp jobs.

    Translation work, webpages, sometimes temp jobs, preferably in factories. (least assholish and control-freaky foremen)

    Apart from that, I've dropped out from two (technical) universities, first time after completing 2, second time 3,5 semesters, because I found them boring and could not concentrate well enough. Oh, and I've been fired from a half-dead end corporate IT job for being cheeky to a stupid cunt of a middle manager..

    *at least, gays like them. Shame I don't really swing that way...


    @Heroditus

    Lanius--bit rude in delivery, but with several points attached. However, consider this: with the added layers of bureaucracy and regulations, as well as taxes killing growth, how are the industries that are being killed supposed to be replaced? Who's going to come up with new industry when the government won't let it come into being or grow without regulating it into helplessness and taxing it into being unable to turn a profit?

    I think the only regulations that should be kept are the enviromental ones. Health & safety should be left to employees, and perhaps companies ought to be fined for each fatality or serious injury.


    That'd give incentive for them to prevent injuries, and would require little bureaucracy.

    Tax code should be as simple as possible. Flat income taxes for corporations, lesser ones for non-corporate businesses.

    And a tax on financial transactions with foreign locales, so tax-havens would lose their appeal.

    @OLDCATMAN

    Where do I say I want to kill off some population?

    Nowhere. I just want to live in a society where the wealthy & powerful are not sucking out everyone's money by buying legislators in fucking job lots!

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  19. Lanius,

    Thank you for your answer.

    Your therefore a trust fund baby who has never had to deal with making payroll, dealing with corporate taxation, or worrying about where her income came from. In other words, you are less equipped to deal with the fiscal realities of grownup life than the POTUS.

    I will now know better than to respond to any of your opinions on this topic. You might as well tender your opinions on the biochemistry of life on Barnard's Star.

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  20. Your therefore a trust fund baby who has never had to deal with making payroll, dealing with corporate taxation, or worrying about where her income came from. In other words, you are less equipped to deal with the fiscal realities of grownup life than the POTUS.

    So? Unlike the prez, I'm not a narcisstic, crypto-commie politician-lawyer who one worked for Goldman Sachs.

    I keep reading and trying to understand stuff. And when I know that for example, the German tax-code is the biggest in the world and they are itching for reform, it's bloody obvious it should be smaller.

    Like I haven't read two dozen articles outlining various tax-dodging strategies employed by the top 1% in my native land.


    And you wouldn't know a clue if it hit you on the back of the head... You can snark though.
    Which is to be expected from someone who thinks Atlas Shrugged is a book that's good for more than starting a fire.

    Also.. a trust-fund? I probably have a trust fund in the alternative universe where US had like guts and resolve(completely improbable.. it's a wimpy republic with no stomach for mass slaughter) and instead of nuking Japan did what Patton wanted.. kicked the Red Army out of Europe.

    So, it's a 'very small' trust fund, as in, my grocery budget for day is $5.. which makes for adequate but not very meaty diet.

    I blame guns. And DSLR's. Expensive toys.

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  21. The FOOD STAMP train fell off the tracks several comments ago.

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  22. @Mr.Huxley

    OCM--I think you're right.


    Obvious. But are you convinced the ideas I present are completely useless even theoretically. (practically they are, the 1% is never going to voluntarily give up the game they rigged)

    Also, I'd like to see representatives (congressmen, senators) chosen randomly. (you know, like lottery numbers) So they'd be a truly 'representative' sample. Stupid people would be disqualified though.

    I do believe the makeup of the senate and congress is such, that any random group of people would be more than 95% likely to be less crooked.

    Also, no second terms.

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  23. Lanius--actually, it's Ms. Huxley, but I won't hold it against you.

    When I told Oldcatman that I thought he was right, I was referring to his assertion that the comment train had gone off the topic rails.

    As for your ideas, some of them are practical and practicable (but disqualifying people for being stupid would disqualify about 90% of the population); however, your mention of "one percent" betrays your biases. If you hate that perceived "one percent" so much, work your ass off and get into it, then change it from the inside. And don't tell me you can't--if I can get off of welfare, my biological materials donor's child support payments, medicaid, and food stamps, anyone can work and fight their way out of any socioeconomic standing, and into whatever one they want.

    If I hear one "but I can't--they won't let me" from you, I won't consider your complaints any more seriously than I consider my mother's complaints about the little town she lives in being out to get her.

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  24. I don't 'hate them'. I don' even hate nazis, though I'd like to have hunting permits issued on them.

    1%.. I'm sure there are a some honest 1%ters. Just like there are honest congressmen. (who apart from Ron Paul? I'm Not very knowledgable about the current batch)
    Me, I don't want to spend my life worrying too much about money, spending time with people with 'MBA' in their name, or people who think Gordon Gecko is a role model.

    Ideally, I want to live somewhere with a small government, a lot of wilderness, and earn money either by programming computer games or being a gunsmith.
    And be able to go bowhunting a lot.

    I just don't like the fact, and it is a fact, that legislators are mostly amoral lawyer scum that will write whatever the highest bidder will pay for.

    That's true in my native land, and probably true in the US.

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  25. "Native land," Lanius? Where are you from?

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  26. Was born in 1987 in Czechoslovakia...

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  27. Yeesh...that explains some of your views. I hope life is better for you than it was for most behind the iron curtain.

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  28. I'm well off. Tam's description of me as a 'trust fund baby' isn't entirely inaccurate.

    My family are professionals who save roughly 50% of their monthly income. Father has been buying stock of the bank where he's chained to the mainframe, and that pays him more than the average wage.

    I never ask any money from them. Right now, I'm considering travelling to Canada for the summer, and to fund that, I'm selling all my guns (NC 226, Makarov, Mosin 1943, Walther 1250, Crossman 3576w). I chose them badly anyway, now I'm wiser and will do it again better.

    I'm gonna miss the Mosin. Nice bore, I lightened the trigger to 2.5 lbs, and after cleaning and lubing it thoroughly, the action is wonderfully smooth. And I love the nature of the gun: rugged, rough, but effective. Very simple, but deadly. Everything on it is deadly. There's the stock that can be used for beating people to death with, the bayonet, and the gun itself.

    And I bet breaking some effete randroid's narcy, deluded skull with a Mosin wouldn't even make the gun lose it's zero..


    Still it's worth €180 I can use to win some poker games.. and buy a Finnish one next time!

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  29. Don't sell the Mosin. It's worth more to you than it would be to a buyer. Not to mention, it's hard to find one without a corroded bore and barrel--too many knuckleheads shooting corrosive ammo without knowing how to care for the gun afterward.

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  30. Born in 1987? Lordy! It'll be another fifteen years before Lanius has enough miles behind him to justify his opinions. :-)

    Just my opinion after having voted in thirteen presidential elections, you understand...

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  31. Desertrat--does that mean my opinion doesn't count for another...seven years? I'm only eight years older than Lanius, after all.

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