I am all for helping the truly poor, but the current food stamp program is out of control and being systematically abused. It is hard to conceive how much the program has grown under Obama, and we all know it would be a 24×7 news item if it occurred under a Republican administration.
The cards are basically treated like cash and can easily be converted to buy tobacco, alcohol, drugs — anything! It was originally a program to help the truly needy but is now a thinly disguised vote-buying scheme.
We’ve all got examples of abuse. My most recent one was a shoe salesman describing how his ex-girlfriend had literally thousands of dollars of tattoos while being on these programs.
The government could easily track the spending of these cards, but chooses not to.
The Kenyan hospital we visited on many mission trips has a worthwhile “food stamp” program. Women walked long distances to get basic commodities and carried them back themselves. Yet unlike most U.S. recipients, these women were extremely grateful and would dance and sing when they got the food.
The U.S. should go back to giving real food instead of cards. Then the truly needy would get food and the fakers would skip the process entirely. And the food would be healthier and less expensive: oatmeal, bread, apples, bananas, rice, pasta, butter, milk, OJ, peanut butter & jelly, corn flakes, sugar, flour, etc.
Oh, you don’t want those? Tough! That is proof that you don’t really need them.
And there should be drug and/or polygraph tests. Have you gotten a tattoo or been on drugs while on food stamps? Then you are cut off.
Enabling people to abuse the system harms the abusers, their children and those forced to pay for them.