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?