See? This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things!

Abuse of the Welfare System, an Eyewitness Report

Let me first say that I think that helping someone when they are down is a very, very noble thing.  To that end, as a concept, I don’t have a problem with the basic premise of Welfare. Any of you that know Linda and I personally will know that we help our friends and family whenever we are able.  Sometimes this means letting someone take a free grocery trip through Douglas-Mart, and sometimes that means fixing a car or computer for nothing more than the parts cost.

I get it; I’ve been there. I’ve been the guy who needs a little extra food, or needs some help with a project because it’s too big for me to handle on my own.

However, let the government take anything and bureaucratize it, and you wind up with our Welfare System.  Yay.

My Tax Dollars at Work

So, here I am getting a Big Gulp at my local gas station.  I’m third in line waiting to pay for my drink, all the while consuming it.  Hell, I figure, if I wait long enough, I’ll just refill the dang thing, right? In front of me in line is a younger white woman, maybe in her late twenties.  She’s waiting to purchase two 40-oz bottles of Colt 45 Malt Liquor. At the head of the line is this much older black lady, stooped over and obviously having a hard time staying upright.  She’s buying four Monster Energy drinks.

I chuckle to myself about how this seems so incongruous. Then, the younger woman says “Yeah, they’re classified as food now.  They are no longer a supplement, so you can get them on food stamps.”

The guy behind me in line says “What?  Monster on food stamps? I’m from Kentucky and you can’t get squat like that on food stamps!”

“Yeah,” Says the young lady, “they used to be listed as a supplement, but they changed it to food by putting the nutrition information on there.  I work over at Wal-mart, and we haven’t switched it in the system there, but you can buy them here on food stamps.”

This entire time, the old woman at the cash register is fumbling about with her 4 Monsters and her food stamp card.  She finally finishes her transaction and starts walking toward the door.

“I should have just minded my own business,” says the young lady to the cashier. “She gets to talking about my kids and I’m just a sucker then.”  She pays for her beer with cash and heads outside.

My Big Gulp half gone, I walk up to the register and pay.  The whole time, I was thinking about what I had just seen.

My Tax Dollars At Work

As I said before, I don’t have a problem with giving a guy a hand when he’s down.  That’s just part of being a good person.  However, I think that the rules for food stamps are so screwed up that they must’ve been created by politicians.  Oh, wait.  They were.

If I’m going to subsidize a person so they can have food, why on Earth would I want them to buy Monster Energy drinks? Food stamps should be used only for real food.  I’m not talking about prepared and prepackaged stuff.  I’m talking about bags of potatoes, fresh veggies and whole chickens.  This money would go much, much farther if the recipients were encouraged required to purchase meal components rather than the prepackaged junk that’s on the shelves.  If they want to clog their arteries and eat junk food, they can go get a job somewhere.  If I’m paying for it, by God, they need to use the money I’m giving them sensibly!

The food stamp rules are so screwed up.  I’ve known some people that have been on food stamps and welfare.  There are certain necessities that are non-food that should be included in the list of allowed purchases.  Toiletries, for one.  How can I expect someone to go out and get a job if they smell like dirty socks and butt-crack sweat?  Let these people buy feminine products, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.

Isn’t the goal of Welfare supposed to be to help these people get back onto their feet so they become productive taxpayers again? From what I’ve seen, that’s not the case.

How About a Logical Approach to Welfare?

Welfare is a trap. You are given a stipend to live on that is insufficient.  They give you food stamps that let you buy junk food rather than the less expensive items. They penalize you for getting a job.  The amount of assistance they give you is not enough to live on and they shrink your benefits by the amount that you’re paid.  That keeps the recipient at the same income level regardless of how much they work. This gives the recipient absolutely no incentive to work or to get off of Welfare.

(Please note that the figures I present here are not actual, I’m just pulling them out of the air for an example)

If someone, say, gets $1000 per month of assistance and then goes and gets a part time job at Wal-Mart and makes $250 per month, the welfare system will lower their benefits to $750 per month, keeping their total income at $1000 per month. I understand the reasoning behind this, but the execution is stupid!  I know that they are trying to make sure that they don’t have somebody getting $1000 per month in assistance and out at a full time job making $1800 per month.  I get that.

But when the base level of assistance is lower than the poverty line, you can’t just do this via simple math!  How about this.  Let’s say that the poverty line is at $1500 per month, and the system is only giving them $1000.  The recipient should be allowed to go out and make up to $500 per month before the benefits diminish.  This gives the recipient an incentive to go work, since they could be making $500 more a month.  Then, once they are working, they may be able to advance at the job and make more money, and slowly wean themselves off the system.

With the system the way it is now, there’s no reason to go out to work!  Hell, I wouldn’t!  If I can get paid $1000 per month to sit on my ass or make $1000 per month to work, what the hell do you think I’m gonna pick?

DUH!

Yeah, and this is only Part 1 of the story from the gas station that day.

But Wait, There’s More!

As if it weren’t ass-chapping enough to discover that people can purchase “legal speed” with food stamps, the real kicker was just about to unfold. As I exited the gas station with my Big Gulp, I noticed that the two ladies in front of me in line were standing next to each other and chatting.  Then I noticed.

They traded.  

The old, barely-able-to-stand drunk lady exchanged the four monster energy drinks for the two ice-cold 40-ounce bottles of Colt 45.  I rewound the scene at the cash register in my head, and suddenly, it all snapped into focus.

The drunk old black lady knew that she could not buy beer with food stamps, and it’s all the money she had left out of her check.  I’m presuming that she bought beer and drank it all up with the cash portion of her assistance check, given how she could barely stand.  She likely waited outside the gas station until someone she knew approached.

She then propositioned them.  I imagine that went something like this: (DL=Drunk Lady, PSx=Poor Sap #x)

8:05am

DL: Hey mithtur. Y’goin in there?

PS1: Yes, Ma’am, I am.  Can I help you?

DL: I wan t’get thum more beer, but all I gots is food thampth. If you buys th’ beer, ill buy you whucha want from food thampth.

PS1: Um..  Isn’t that illegal?

DL: Fuk you, you fucking fuck! Yu fucking athhole!

8:13am

DL: Hey mithtur. Y’goin in there?

PS2: Um…yeah, I guess.

DL: I wan t’get thum more beer, but all I gots is food thampth. If you buys th’ beer, ill buy you whucha want from food thampth.

PS2: Oh, I’m sorry, Ma’am.  I’m just going in to pay for my gas. I don’t need antthing else.

MAN ENTERS STORE
DL: Fuking worphlissss honky jakazz.
8:39AM
DL: Hey! Hey you!  I know you! 
PS3: Oh, hey!  How are you doing today Ms. DrunkLady?
DL: Oh, pritty good, mosssssly. I’m just over here to git thum beer.  How’th your little baby…um..Stephen?
PS3: It’s Cassandra.  She’s doing well.  Just finally getting her front teeth.
DL: Aw, Cuthondruh.  Yeah.  When ya get old, yer memory fades. She’s a real darlin! And that pretty blond hair. She’s prethusth.
PS3: Um. Her hair is black, but yes, she is precious.
DL: Hey, what you goin in there for?
PS3: Oh, I’m just going to get a Monster Energy to help me wake up before I head to work.
DL: Hey, I gotth an idea………
This part really, really chaps my ass.  If the lady were trying to circumvent the system because she needed sanitary napkins, then I could understand it.  There are certain necessities that can’t be bought with food stamps.  But BEER?  Are you serious?  
I was half tempted to write down the license plate number of the girl who had bought the beer for the drunk lady.  I even had started committing it to memory and decided against it.  Had the drunk lady gotten into a car, I would have recorded her plate and reported her.  I decided that in involving Poor Sap #3 would just bring the law down on the lady who HAS a job, not the one who is drunk and scheming the system.
This is why I dislike welfare.  I’m not a hater.  But it only takes a small number of abusers to poision the entire thing.

About Chad Douglas

My wife and I are planning to go off-grid and move to the Texas High Desert. We intend to "lose" the rat race.
This entry was posted in FML, government, rants. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to See? This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things!

  1. I used to be on unemployment, and I have to say, you are SPOT ON about being able to get back on your feet.

    I applied for a job at WalMart over by Bridgewater, and they wanted to pay be $7/hr. Which is FINE and I was completely okay with it. But they told me that for the first month, they would only give me 14 hours a week. Let's do the math here:

    $98/week minus taxes
    OR
    $380 bi-weekly on unemployment?

    Hm. Well, I tell ya what I didn't do. I would have loved to be able to work and supplement my income until I was full-time, but I wasn't really given a choice. I couldn't have even paid my rent if I worked at WalMart for that first month. Why? Because the government would have cut me off and I wouldn't have made enough to cover my electric bill, let alone rent, food, gas… Of course gas wouldn't have been an issue, as I COULD have walked, I suppose.

    But, yes, government “aid” stinks to high-heaven.

    Also; DL's grammar is impeccable.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is part of a strategy devised by some academic leftists back in the '60's. Overwhelm the system! This is the basic premise of the Cloward-Piven strategy. Break the back of Welfare by adding so many people and services to it that it can't survive. When things start getting cut off or cut back, the ones who were receiving the benefits get angry and rebel, causing the need for reform. Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven got the idea from watching the Watts Riots in 1965. I see massive evidence that our president is a big fan of this plan. Look it up; it's quite fascinating, in a scary kind of way.

    Like

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