On the dole: “A hand up or a hammock?” Let’s get back to basics

by Skip

Welfare, that is.  Used to be called “charity” from private sources, and sometimes, folks stayed at the county “poor house”.  Nowadays, the dole (heck, even “welfare”)  is dressed up in smooth bureaucratise so as not to “cause undue stigmatism towards those that need assistance”.  Payments go directly from Government “dole-er outers” to those that supply the services or goods like Section 8 housing or EBT cards.

coca-cola-2-liter-botleAh yes, EBT cards – groceries, drug stores,….vacation hot spots, casinos, and strip clubs!  Money is money and fungible if you are a well-flushed non-profit (Planned Parenthood moving abortion money as well as any crafty hedge fund operator), well-connected politician, or welfare “client”.  From an efficiency standpoint, an EBT card is just as easy as technology can make it inexpensive for Government to allocate taxpayer monies – and for those on the dole to purchase a lot of things that they normally can’t.  Oh, not necessarily directly with the card, but how often have you been behind someone in the grocery store buying groceries that are sometimes more expensive than what you can afford – even as you are dinged for higher taxes for these “most vulnerable”?  Well, it has been my mindset that while a safety-net does need to be provided, why does it have to purchase filet mignon (and yes, I did see that purchased with an EBT card)? It shouldn’t – and given technology, it should easily be possible, using a longer term benefit / cost ratio, to limit EBT transactions to less variety and less costly food products (and locations).

One California legislature is willing to make a first swipes:

The money California taxpayers pay that funds CalFresh, the food stamps program, may be earmarked so that the recipients of government largesse cannot use the food stamps to buy sugary sodas and other beverages that have more than 10 calories per cup.

Out of concern for the “diabetes and obesity epidemic in the central valley and the rest of California,” according to State Sen. Michael J. Rubio (D-East Bakersfield), who is proposing the legislation, SB 134, the list of items eligible for purchase with the food stamps will not include the calorie-rich beverages.

“With the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the Central Valley and throughout California, SB 134 is simply the first step in trying to reverse this alarming trend, particularly among children,” Rubio said, adding that according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “… over 20% of Californians are obese, but could well exceed 45% if trends continue.”

Who knew that poverty meant obesity (and it seems to be that way)?  Now, he’s using the meme of “obesity epidemic” to act Nanny Stater (Democrat – go figure!) and “take away” tonic (the old Yankee way of saying “soda” or “pop”) from those he can actually control – those from whom their food does come Government – those on the dole.  This will get me in trouble with a lot of the “Poverty-Industrial Complex advocates” who will scream “freedom!” – but if one is on the dole, one should ONLY be able purchase the minimums to support life at a basic level (i.e., Basic Cable TV tier payments, as we caught our town’s welfare supervisor giving out, is not “basic dole”).  He wants to do it for obesity reasons?  Fine – if it saves those that are pulling the wagon – all so much the better.

CalFresh is paid through the federal government. The California Department of Social Services has to get clearance from Washington before it proceeds.

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