I was in the grocery store the other day. Low and behold, the obese 20-year-old male standing in front of me bought five liters of coke — not Diet Coke — and six bags of candy on his Iowa food stamp debit card. I asked the clerk if that was legal, and he said yes. Yet, the government wants to control the taxpayers of this country and tell them what to eat. I guess if the Democrats crack down on food stamps, nobody would vote for them.

Daniel Nicholson

Davenport

(25) comments

Comment deleted.
Laylah
Laylah

Well, what do ya know. The agreement between the USDA and Mexico was signed waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2004 and "...not meant for illegal immigrants...", under your boy's watch! LOL!

"USDA has an agreement with Mexico to promote American food assistance programs, including food stamps, among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America.

“USDA and the government of Mexico have entered into a partnership to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” the USDA explains in a brief paragraph on their “Reaching Low-Income Hispanics With Nutrition Assistance” web page. “Mexico will help disseminate this information through its embassy and network of approximately 50 consular offices.”

The partnership — which was signed by former USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista in 2004 — sees to it that the Mexican Embassy and Mexican consulates in America provide USDA nutrition assistance program information to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals working in America and migrant communities in America. The information is specifically focused on eligibility criteria and access." http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?tag=food-stamps

rightthinker

There CANNOT be any fraud in the food stamp program, I know this because Obama and Vilsack said that it is part of the stimulus program.

banned123

Whats even more annoying is the couple I saw at Wal Mart the other day, who bought 120 dollars worth of food on their EBT card. Then the husband, or baby daddy, I didn't ask pulls out a wad of cash and buys two cases of beer, and a bottle of Crown Royal. You have no money for food, but can find 60 dollars for liquor. Way to keep your priorities straight. Not to mention he went and bought lottery tickets too. People like that give honest welfare recipients a bad name.

allisonandmarty

Funny you would run into them again at a place that sells lottery tickets.

banned123

I see so many bums abusing the system it's hard to keep track of which store I see them at.

allisonandmarty

I dislike reading stories such as Daniel's but yet it seems to be the norm rather than the exception regarding what he witnessed with food stamps. I also think usage should be regulated and I am a former food stamp recipient. After several years of trying to feed our family on one income and unemployment benefits, I realized that macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles and $1 boxes of Little Debbie's desserts was doing us a great disservice. The simple fact was that yes, without the help, I was able to provide healthy meals but all too often, buying the cheap, unhealthy things allowed us to keep our lights on and a roof over our head. I am proud to say that for the 6 months we used them, I didn't buy a single 2 liter of soda, $15 steaks or what I consider to be junk food. Those "luxuries" could be paid for with my money. Very irritating to see someone pull out that card to buy junk.

I am more than willing to lobby my congressperson for reform, if I thought it would do any good. I just think its a problem that our government has neither the desire or energy to spend on.

Oh and Alligator, I vote in every election.

gil_barrett

I agree with your letter, allisonandmarty. I, too, make it a habit of voting in every election. I've also been an election judge. I consider it an honor, and a privilege, as a citizen.

jclang

In the news recently, 1 in 7 Americans are on food stamps and so if we make any cuts in the program, we're hurting 1 in 7 of our brothers and sisters. Instead, let's support President Obama in working towards putting 99% of us in the Food Stamp Program, paid for by the 1%. Then we'd all be helping each other and live happily ever after. Social Justice to the Max!!!

gil_barrett

jclang, how do you think he's doing that? By proposing jobs bills, that get stalled in congress? By pushing for Wall Street reform, and setting up a citizen protection agency-blocked all the way by republicans? Since when is having the top 2% go back to paying what they did under Bill Clinton, who righties now seem to love, even though they tried to impeach him? The top rate would be 4% higher than it is now, and we all know how much job growth, and wealth creation, during the Clinton years, right?

Salamogens

I notice on my cell phone and land line phone bills, a charge of 41 and 95 cent . (USF) I understand this is to pay for the free phones. The Reagan administration didn't have cell phones back then, but I bet some liberals made it so qualified persons get a cell phone also. A news reporter out east interviewed a gal that had 36 free cell phones. Asked what she did with them - I sell them to drug dealers. Also, July 1st, 1985, Iowa put sales tax on soda and candy because it was not a food item. I don't know about other states, but I think Iowa is right about soda and candy not being a food. Also, my mother had to raise me and my 6 brothers and sisters in the 60's on welfare and food commodities. We are thankful today for the help. We are all tax paying people today. But the abuse that is happening with the programs today is shameful.

babsfredcent

Soft drinks and candy are considered food items and are therefore eligible items. Since current definition of food is a specific part of the Act, any change to this definition would require action of a member of Congress. Several times in the history of SNAP, Congress had considered placing limits on the types of food that could be purchased with the program benefits. However, they concluded that designation foods as luxury or non-nutritious would be administratively costly and burdensome.

Let's stick to the facts here. Unless you want Congress to make an amendment to food stamps then you have to be willing to pay millions of dollars to change the law. Maybe it is worth it and maybe not. Talk to your congressman!

common sense59

Really, coffee cup...!! Food stamps is a corp. conspiracy......Really........!!?? Please tell me you are kidding! If these "dependent" folks had JOBS, they would take their earnings and spend them at Walmart (or wherever). Corp Retail is NOT promoting Govt handouts (that's the Democrats job).

gil_barrett

If the big corporations weren't still getting huge tax breaks to ship jobs overseas, and big oil companies weren't still getting a 4 billion dollars in tax payer funds, even though they have BILLIONS in profits,which, by the way IS an example of Corporate Welfare, then maybe the jobs would still be here, instead of over in places like Chins, which is one place where Bain Capital sent jobs. If you were railing against corporate welfare as much as you seem to be about poor poeple, then maybe you wouldn't feel so self-righteous!

coffee cup
coffee cup

Most of that food stamp money is going to stores like Wal-Mart, HyVee and Jewel. If you think they're going to let DC reform the program with out a fight you're crazy. It's just more corporate welfare even if it is indirect.

LauraK26

I agreed with what most of what Dan said regarding his opinion of the abuse of foodstamps. I have seen people buying candy, steaks, seafood, pop AND the deposit is even covered under the foodstamps. It has gotten out of hand, but where he lost me was his remark about Democrats. Really? Welfare abuse has been going on for YEARS - no party seems to be able to control it. I am certaintly not against offering help to those who truly need it & not everyone who receives food stamps abuses them or are too lazy to work. I know the stores can split foods that can be bought w/WIC coupons from other foods, so there is no reason why the food stamp system can not be overhauled and have certain foods covered w/food stamps and others not. The deposit on cans should have to be paid by the purchaser - that one bothers me. But I just wanted to share my thoughts - not offend anyone.

Comment deleted.
twiggy
twiggy

Advertising in Mexico? You still telling that one ALF?

Laylah
Laylah

The haters will always hate AND lie. They spew this particular talking point without EVER citing what/who, exactly, got us into the the current mess, in the first place.

Alligator
Alligator

I think there is abuse too and the government should crackdown. But this letter writer makes the annoying and ignorant assumption that all lazy people and freeloaders are democrats. Most people on food stamps probably don't vote at all.

senor citizen

I suggest the Nanny State has the right, in fact the duty, to control what people on food stamps eat at government expense. If pop is being taken out of school system it should also be on the verboten list for food stamps. People should not have the right of choice when the government is footing the bill. A healthy diet might save the government money on healthcare as well, due to many food stamp recipients being on other forms of government aid.

freesenior

Junk food has no place in the public school diet cirriculum.

Contemptio

Free, your blowing smoke up Dan's anal cavity.

The fact is we have the fattest poor people in the world. Complete with cell phone, internet and cable/ satellite TV.

I too have witnessed such abuse of the welfare system.

freesenior

What would you think of a return to the surplus commodity stores? Food Stamps with 70-80B being spent now is impacting the supply and demand for everyone. Mostly in a bad way because it is serving as its own currency. A currency the taxpayer is providing and a currency that competes against commerce created income. When things are "free" to some and purchased by others in market environment, price competition between retailers is impacted and to a certain extent, instead of competing with each other, retailers now compete against their own customers. Surplus commodities most certainly are going not going to include "junk food" and do not enter the retail market. Just a thought.

bailaw
bailaw

Another "fact" from the far right fringe, which forgets, among many other things, that free phones for the poor were introduced during the regime of that notorious liberal Ronald Reagan. http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/cellphone.asp

gil_barrett

I see, so you think that only poor people are fat? really? Do you really believe that poor people would be able to pay for programs like Jenny Craig, and NutriSystem? Marie Osmond and Kirstie Alley aren't exactly poor. Stop generalizing!

freesenior

Dan, this the fastest way I know to get a dialog on the entire issue of food stamps off on the wrong foot. Linking those that are overweight to this issue and drawing a comparrison to the nanny state argument is a frustrated over reach. The only connection between those dots is the element of a government that has overstepped its charge in what some would argue is imposed compassion contervailed by the eternal elements of politics, incompetency, waste, fraud, and abuse. The complexties of both issues are rooted in opposing fundamental philosophies that have seemingly comparative concerns but vastly different approaches in achieving them. Put on some body armor as you are going to catch a lot of arrows on this one.

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