My Welfare Rant
Posted by K. D. (+362) 11 years ago
Sorry if I offend anyone here.

A few weeks ago, I was in a local grocery, and a lady in front of me bought $320 worth of T-bones, rib-eyes, and babyback ribs (mostly rib-eyes and T-bones). I thought she was buying all this meat for a BBQ or something. When I got up to the checkout, her total wasn't cleared out yet, and it said "Food Stamps".

Who do I complain to to report this? I believe that everyone is entitled to a luxury every once in a while, but this was way beyond that.

I guess I am p#ssed off, because when I was laid off, I could not get any help because I "made to much" from the local welfare dept. But, this woman (who looks like she hasn't missed a meal in decades, 350 lbs+) can get food stamps to live better than most of us.

Just got to thinking $320/350 lbs almost equals $1/lb. Maybe they get paid by the pound.

[This message has been edited by K. D. (3/19/2010)]
Top
Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
Would you have been happier if she had purchased $350 in potatoes and broccoli? I am guessing she was finding a good sale and stocking her freezer. What should she have purchased? Soda and chips?
Top
Posted by Josh Rath (+2305) 11 years ago
I fully agree. I know people who are 1. Huge and 2. On food stamps, and eat like kings and queens. When my mom and I were in need of food, we didnt have food stamps. We went to the food bank to get food. Those kind people helped us through the hard years. What did we eat most of the time? Mac & Cheese. The occasional good meat product was mixed in. It still bugs me seeing people that do that, use the state.
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 11 years ago
To Polar Bear:

Why, you a welfare case to? Trying to defend your own?

My point was, yes, potatoes and broccoli would have been CHEAPER. Hamburger would have been CHEAPER. Pork chops would have been CHEAPER. Petite serloins would have been CHEAPER.

Why buy the most expensive cuts of meat? If you can't afford food, why should I be paying my taxes so you can eat better than me?

I once seen a bumper sticker that said "Work Harder, Millions On Welfare Are Depnding On You". I guess that rings more true every day.

[This message has been edited by K. D. (3/19/2010)]
Top
Posted by prospector86 (+78) 11 years ago
I agree with K.D. Why is it that people who have no job, no willingness to work, you always see them around town throughing goverment money around like it's nothing because the goverment will always be there to help those who refuse to help themselv's.
Top
Posted by B. Hunter (+104) 11 years ago
My family was/is/and no doubt will be in the spot that Josh's was... we end up at food banks when we can't afford enough food. All because "I make too much." Those that actually work and just need a little assistance fall through the cracks while these type of abusers cyphon hundreds of dollars from a program that is suppose to be about assisting those in need not all out supporting them.
Top
supporter
Posted by TamiLY (+233) 11 years ago
Often things aren't as simple as they appear and I'll illustrate this by sharing my little experience. A number of years ago I suddenly found myself as a single mom with only a part-time job. So I swallowed my pride and applied for food stamps. Maybe there's a secret to getting the government to hand over large sums of food stamps, but what I found is that you don't get much to work with at all and you have to be creative in planning your menus for the month. So all that summer, in anticipation of the upcoming school year, I shopped very conservatively and saved what food stamps I could until right before school began. I went into one of our local grocery stores and purchased what my kids would need for school lunches--juice boxes, snack-sized bags of chips, go-gurts, cheese, and some lunch meat. I found a couple of good sales on these items so I splurged and also picked up a few boxes of cereal--and not the plain stuff like Cheerios. I figured that since we scrimped all summer I'd buy some of the sugary not-so-good-for you cereal like Cookie Crisp and Apple Jacks. When I got up to the check-out the asst. manager was helping bag the groceries and he said to the checker, "yep, this is what we call blowing the 'ol food stamps, isn't it?" She nodded and said, "Yeah, I had one in here a little while ago that bought 4 cases of pop". I wanted to crawl under a rock and die of embarrassment! For the next few months, until I was finally on my feet and not needing assistance anymore, I would only shop late at night when very few other people were in the stores. And it was several more years before I could bring myself to step foot into that store again. I look back and think of how I should have told those jerks to go to hell because I have paid taxes for the privelege of receiving the temporary assistance. I also look at those who are in the check-out lines ahead of me with their food stamps and have empathy for their situations. Things aren't always as simple as they appear from the outside.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
I call bullpoop on K.D. "story". I suppose she drove off in a brand new Cadillac as well?

And even if it was true, so what? Show me a program that isn't being abused by somebody - the vast majority of people in the food stamp program are following the rules and receiving appropriate aid.

Is this going to segue into the annual "EITC is for welfare cheats" thread? If so, I must congratulate K.D. on his/her ingenuity on bringing us our yearly helping of stupid.

Morans.
Top
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 11 years ago
I call bullpoop.......I suppose she drove off in a brand new Cadillac as well?


Why is this bullpoop Bridgier? If it's something she's witnessed explain the bullpoop part? I've seen this more times than I care to admit and a great majority of them were cruising around in SUV's, Cadillac's & cars more tricked out than an episode of Pimp My Ride.

Abusers like that should be kicked off in a New York Minute.

And even if it was true, so what?


You really don't give a poop about where your money goes or how it's being used (abused) Bridgier?

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (3/19/2010)]
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 11 years ago
TamiLY, you said a thousand words with ten: "So I swallowed my pride and applied for food stamps". Like you, it seems that the people that need the most help, can't get it because of the pride they carry with them.

I was in need of assistance twice, and denied both times. Once when I was laid off, and the second time I was was laid up with back surgery for 5 months. Both times I "made to much", but yet didn't have a dime to my name. I guess I fail to see where the "system" is helping those in need, and not the needy.
Top
Posted by K. D. (+362) 11 years ago
No Bridgier, she drove off in some 1990's POS Chevy car with a smile on her face.

And as far as the story being "bullpoop", who are you that I have to prove it to? I seen it with my own eyes.

[This message has been edited by K. D. (3/20/2010)]
Top
Posted by hat_3275 (+77) 11 years ago
I've seen that happen, too. It does kind of irritate me in a way because I work hard for my money and there are a lot of things I have to do without simply because I can't afford them and then I see someone who is supposedly "needy" loading up on the most expensive items. On the other hand, I try not to judge them because I don't know their situation and I stop to wonder what I would do if I was in their shoes.

[This message has been edited by hat_3275 (3/20/2010)]
Top
Posted by Josh Rath (+2305) 11 years ago
Here's the thing. If you buy some soda, or sugary cereal with your stamps, so what. It isn't buying the most expensive thing in the store. If they had said that to me, everyone on this forum knows what I would have said back. You just don't say that to a person, no matter what. I see people everytime I go to Albertsons who have food stamps eating better than that, and weighing in at 350+ LBS, but I keep it shut. I also would have reported both checkers to the store manager.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
If they're "loading up on the most expensive items", then they're not eating for the other three weeks of the month. As TamiLY said, you don't get much and there is a border area where you start to make too much to qualify for food assistance but aren't really making enough to feed your family, and it sucks to be in that situation.

But holy hell, you all sound like a bunch of peasants pissed because another peasant got more cheese. If you didn't qualify, then perhaps you had assets you hadn't tapped into (401k, an extra car, a house, etc). People on food stamps, in general, don't have assets. They might have some possessions that give them the veneer of profligacy (cell phones can be had for mighty cheap), but beyond that, they don't have much. It's too bad they can't sell scorn though, because there's no limits to how much of that they can receive per month.

Of course, if it HAD been easy for you to get stamps, just think how much MORE fraud there would be? I bet the peasants would be plenty fired up then.

Oh but they're just so fat. And as everyone knows, if you're fat and poor, then you must be a welfare cheat. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the cheapest foods are also, in general, the least healthy foods.
Top
Posted by jessiker (+291) 11 years ago
Why is it that people who have no job, no willingness to work, you always see them around town throughing goverment money around like it's nothing because the goverment will always be there to help those who refuse to help themselv's.


Oh. My. Goodness.

Are you aware that there is a VERY limited amount of time that you can even get food stamps if you're not working? And even then, you HAVE to be registered with Job Service and looking for work? Incredibly part-time work doesn't cut it, either - you must be working at least 20 hours a week or that same very limited time frame applies.

Just because someone gets food stamps doesn't mean they're lazy, have no job, have no willingness to work, none of that. And sure, it may look like ONE person shopping for food is getting a ton of food on their food stamps, but how do you know they don't live with several other people? Honestly, you're throwing a fit because someone could have what, found a sale? Honestly, it's none of your business how their food stamps are spent. You -choose- to be an American citizen, pay taxes, and trust the government to appropriately figure out the correct amount of food stamps for a household. You don't like it? Move to another country. Sheesh.
Top
supporter
Posted by Denise Selk (+1671) 11 years ago
In case anyone is interested, SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly "Food Stamps") program guidelines as they appear on the DPHHS website:

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
People who live together and buy food and prepare meals together are grouped as a "household" for SNAP. Husbands and wives, and children under age 22 living with their natural, adoptive or stepparents must be considered as one household.
Household members that wish to be included must be U.S. citizens or legal aliens.
Household members that wish to be included must furnish or apply for a social security number.
Income and resource guidelines listed in this overview must be met.
Able-bodied household members who are age 16 through 59 must register for work, and may be required to participate in a SNAP Employment and Training Program unless a specified exemption is met.
WHERE DO HOUSEHOLDS GO TO APPLY FOR SNAP BENEFITS?
To apply for SNAP or for more information about SNAP, call or visit your local Office of Public Assistance.

EXPEDITED SERVICES
The intent of expedited services is to make food benefits available within seven calendar days of the application date to eligible households who meet the following criteria:
Households with less than $150 in monthly gross income and $100 or less in liquid resources; OR

Migrant or seasonal farm worker households with $100 or less in liquid resources; OR

Households with a combined monthly gross income and liquid resources less than the household's monthly rent (or mortgage) and utilities.
FINANCIAL CRITERIA
INCOME

Households who meet the gross and net income standards listed below may participate in SNAP.

Households who meet the gross monthly income standard are then evaluated for the net monthly income standard after allowable deductions have been taken into consideration.SNAP INCOME LIMITS
October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010

http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/h...ndex.shtml

RESOURCES

Resources of individuals that meet the Expanded Categorical Eligibility criteria are excluded. If all members of your household meet Expanded Categorical Eligibility criteria all household resources will be excluded. In order to determine if members of your household meet this criteria please contact your local Office of Public Assistance.

If the household does not meet Expanded Categorical Eligibility criteria, countable household resources cannot exceed:
$3,000 for households that include a member age 60 or over, or include a disabled household member, and
$2000 for all other households.

The home you live in, vehicles, tax-preferred educational and retirement accounts, and combat-related military pay are excluded as resources.

Households in which all household members are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, tribal TANF cash assistance, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are not subject to a resource limit.

DEDUCTIONS
Allowable deductions for SNAP are listed below. The following deductions can be subtracted from countable income when determining a household's SNAP benefits:

Twenty percent (20%) of the total gross earned income for each household;

A standard deduction of the net income limit based on the household size;

Certain dependent-care costs;

Legally owed and paid child support;

A percentage of shelter costs; and

A medical expense deduction can be allowed for the portion of non-reimbursable medical expenses that exceed $35 per month per household. This deduction is allowed for elderly and disabled household members.

[This message has been edited by Denise Selk (3/20/2010)]
Top
supporter
Posted by Stone (+1596) 11 years ago
There for the grace of God go I.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
I knew of a doctor who constantly ordered redundant and unnecessary labs. Did it make me mad at all doctors? No.

I've known of cops that abused their status. Did it make me angry at all cops? No.

I've heard of ministers who have abused their position of authority, not only financially but in more sordid ways. Does that make all ministers bad? I don't think so.

I've known lazy nurses, bad teachers, bad lawyers, incompetent construction people, etc,etc,etc. Does that make all nurses, teachers, lawyers, construction workers bad?

I worked for the fed for many years. I know several God-fearin', flag-wavin', christian, patriotic veterans who could smell work from a mile away and would run the other direction to avoid it. When confronted, they would always pull the "I'm a veteran, you can't treat me like that" thing out of their ass to avoid responsibility. Would it be fair of me to judge every veteran in this way. Most people I know who are vets don't even bring it up unless they're asked about it.

Get the point? I doubt it.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
Also - what Stone said.
Top
supporter
Posted by howdy (+4944) 11 years ago
Anyone that would deny help to our less fortunate populace isn't someone that I want to know...that is far more disgusting than the steak buying person...to jump to conclusions without all the facts is just plain wrong...

Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 2010 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."

[This message has been edited by howdy (3/20/2010)]
Top
supporter
Posted by TamiLY (+233) 11 years ago
There's no denying there are a fair number of public assistance recipients abusing the system. I don't pretend to have the answers to this sad situation, but we've all seen it happening around us. In my opinion these people are in dire need of education. So many of them are 2nd and 3rd generation welfare recipients and really know no other way of life. They spend a lot of energy trying to find ways to cheat the system by not claiming certain incomes, or by not claiming the boyfriend that is in the home with them. The system penalizes people whenever they begin to get a little bit ahead by cutting their benefits. Its just easier to lie and cheat and not work and stay home with your kids than it is to be honest and get a job, lose your food stamps, daycare, and housing for a crappy minimum wage job that won't even begin to cover these expenses. Its really not fair to those moms who do choose to work full time or even 2 jobs and have keep their kids in daycare for long hours every day so that they're able to support their families independently. Something in our system is seriously wrong.
Many times we do see people drive off in nice cars after spending a boatload of foodstamps on junk food, but unfortunately, many of these individuals have never learned how to budget their money and often don't know how to plan ahead. I'll bet that if you looked a little closer, a good number of them have horrible credit because that nice car they're driving was purchased at a car lot offering "no credit checks" and the last 2 or 3 cars that person owned before this one have been repo-ed. That fancy cell phone they carry has probably been shut off a few times too for late payment.
Often times welfare recipients have been beaten down so many times they don't have the "umph" to try to dig themselves out of the rut they live in. I wish that along wtih the financial assistance they received there was mandatory workshops on money management, parenting skills, healthy meal planning, job skills training, and self-esteem building. But then that would cost us taxpayers even more money that our government doesnt have and there'd be other postings here from people bitching about having to pay taxes on programs to help get people off the system and become self-supporting.
Top
supporter
Posted by K.Duffy (+1807) 11 years ago
Well said, TamiLY
Top
Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
I wish I believed in karma where this thread is concerned. Those without understanding and compassion may have to get it through experience.
Top
Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+272) 11 years ago
i have to say that i prefer the use of the cards over the paper vouchers. when i was a clerk at a grocery store in missoula, a mother frequently had her children go through the line with dollar vouchers and purchase .25 gum. mom would collect the .75 change left over after her kiddo's all got their little pack of gum. mom would go over to the case of 'tall-boy' beers and use the change on beer. great use of my teenage tax-payer monies.
Top
Posted by Scott P (+108) 11 years ago
Mabye off the point. But, i was selling cars when the cash for clunkers program was out. A few of the people I sold to were pissed when I told them one requirement was that they had to finance the difference. As they were business owners who could pay the difference. Mad ,no. Another Government program abused Yes. Will it ever end no. Their has and always will be people who abuse programs. You may feel its stealing from you. but look in the mirror, what have you stolen from your employer(just being an oxygen theif and not putting in a full shift) your stealing from them. i am all for production If I don't work. I don't get paid! Now before you come back and say I have never took anything from anybody that I did not earn, Think long and hard. I will debate if you say no.
Top
moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17055) 11 years ago
Scott, I wasn't aware of any rule in the Cash for Clunkers program that mandated that the difference be financed. Are you sure about that rule? As far as I know it is (was) perfectly okay to pay the difference in cash. Here's the government website for the program: http://www.cars.gov
Top
Posted by Scott P (+108) 11 years ago
Dave,
I briefly looked through the law again. it states that a lease had to be for 5 years. I do recall seeing something at the dealership I was at that stated you had to have a 60 month note. I know some people left but then came back when they were told the same at other dealers in our area.I know that the office staff had to scan many pages in to the Gov't data base to get the rebate money. Including the finance paperwork. We also had to get copies of the loan paperwork if the customer went to their own bank. Montana does not have the CUDL Credit Union Direct Lending like Washington. The wording was that you had to sign up for a 60 month note. Who could control if it was paid off early. I believe the intent was to help bilout the banks. Scott
Top
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 11 years ago
Anyone that would deny help to our less fortunate populace isn't someone that I want to know...that is far more disgusting than the steak buying person.


I don't think anybody's talking about denying the less fortunate on this thread Howdy. For those who need food coupons & welfare I'm glad it's there to help them.

I think what KD was talking about are those that abuse the system and blatently give their finger to the taxpayer in one fell swoop.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
Anyone that would deny help to our less fortunate populace isn't someone that I want to know...that is far more disgusting than the steak buying person


I don't know of anyone who wants to deny help to the truly needy. But it ought to be a hand up to a self-sustaining position, not a hand-out. Those who are able-bodied and yet choose to exploit the system should go hungry.
Top
supporter
Posted by howdy (+4944) 11 years ago
You cannot make an assumption that someone is abusing the system simply by observing them in a store...You need all the facts first IMO...
Top
supporter
Posted by TamiLY (+233) 11 years ago
Those who are able-bodied and yet choose to exploit the system should go hungry.

I agree,however, do the children of that able-bodied mooch deserve to go hungry too?
Top
Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
Some of the able bodied don't have able minds (mental health is a HUGE cause of unemployment).
Top
Posted by poisonspaghetti (+281) 11 years ago
Very good polar bear...the real picture is not always what you see in line at the grocery store. And really, KD - apart from the tired old "my tax money, yada, yada" whine, how did what that person bought with food stamps effect you in any way? Did you she get the steak you had your eye on?

For the record, those food stamps were paid for with MY tax dollars and I don't mind a bit. Eat hearty, sister! I'm pretty sure all YOUR tax dollars were spent on the salaries of Congressmen fighting healthcare reform. That should make you happy.

One more thing...it's "too" much money.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Stone said it best (well, actually someone a LONG time ago said it, but Stone repeated it at the perfect moment):

There but for the grace of God go I.

I used to be a carry-out and then a checker at a grocery store. I was amazed at how many nicely dressed people with nice cars would pay with food stamps. Oftem the customers would tell me something about their situations, and I always came away thinking "Never judge someone until you've walked in their shoes." I heard about suicides, tax problems, health bills (yep, even back then people were going bankrupt due to catastrophic illnesses), and more than once about husbands who had run out on their wives and children leaving them suddenly penniless.

One other lesson I learned was never to envy someone just because they lived in a nice house, drove a fancy car, or had material possessions - cuz you never knew what kind of pain those people might be hiding under the surface.

I'm glad I learned those lessons in my youth. I am mystified that there are so many folks who never do. I guess some folks just have small hearts and others have thick skulls -- I suppose some even have both!

And Tamily - the creepy employees at that grocery store that said those mean things to you --- they would have been fired at the store I worked at. We were taught (required!) to respect all of our customers. What they did exposed their shallowness, but it gave you an opportunity to show your strength - or at least to become stronger than you were before that experience.
Top
Posted by Tolby Lehner (+68) 11 years ago
ya that kinda pisses me off to, i feel that the program is there for people who need it too, and that it is bullcrap such as someone getting laid off or laid up, and cant get the money for temporary assistance.. that is dumb.. it would have been much different if this lady did not buy the store up of steaks and such, maybe if she bought a couple T-bones with it for her bday or somethin but enough for a bbq jesus christ what is this country coming to.. and as for the food stamps going for a single mother to buy an occassional box of sugary cereal or a snickers bar, i feel that is fine, unless the lady was gonna host a bbq for everyone in the town with the food stamp boughten steaks to give back to the community! i highly doubt that was in her plans....... good conversation to bring up this really needs to be addressed, and at about the perfect time with healthcare reform!!!!!!
Top
Posted by reno (+18) 11 years ago
Tamily, you should report the people who said that to the corporate office, depending on how long ago it was, as they would be fired for those actions.

But here is a story and sorry if it is long, but it goes along with the welfare subject.

My wife was diagnosed with a mental disorder. She was given two different medications to take to help her with it. A month later she was airlifted from Reno to San Francisco because she had an allergic reaction to the medication (1 in a 100 million chance for this reaction) She just switched jobs and had no insurance at the time. To get a liver transplant, we had to apply for welfare (medicaid) for insurance and luckly the company she used to work for (walmart) picked her back up on their insurance plan as we used all of our deductable from our child earlier that year. The only reason we got welfare is we both had no income at the time, that is the only reason why. Because of welfare and walmart, she was able to get a liver transplant. (she was stat 1A meaning the next liver available was hers, she coded the morning of the transplant and would have died the next day if she did not get one) After we got back, I went back to work and my income for a family of 4 was 5 dollars over the limit to recieve help. My insurance at my work would not take her cause of her pre exisiting condition. The welfare office said to get divorced and she could get help, and we did. She got denied after that too because she made too much from social security and my child support. Now, her medication cost $2500 a month with no insurance, and her labs cost $1000 a month, and that was more than what we brought home. So to keep her living we had to beg from family members to help. We finally got some help from a charity, and now she is on medicare and has insurance after two years of struggling. So does the welfare system suck, yes it does. They said if it was a kidney and not a liver she would qualify for welfare, and the reason was you need a kidney to live, and I was irate and asked "you don't need a liver to live???" I was escorted out of the welfare office as I said loudly, ok i screamed "I bet if I was a mexican who just jumped the border I would get all the help I need!" So long story short, I did not want to use the welfare system, but had no other choice. And when we really needed it to keep her alive and keep a roof over our head, they pretty much told us to screw off. Oh, to qualify for medicaid here in nevada, after 6 months of being on medicaid, a family of three only can make $435, so how can you live on that?

Now, if you feel that someone is abusing the system by buying steaks or not claiming people or income in their house and you can prove it, then report it to the fraud division. But like someone said, who cares what they buy. Would you rather them be living on the street?? Also, until you know the situation, do not judge.

Also, how bad is the unemployment rate in MC? Not a lot of job opportunities there, that is why I moved.
Top
Posted by dudemeister (+85) 11 years ago
I think that the day that woman was buying those steaks, must have been that really good sale. Ya know- buy1 get 1. those rock. I hit em up all the time. Food stamps, been there done that. I work to support my fam but sometimes wish I still had that help. I'm not ashamed cuz I know I needed that help & I in a way earned it. Just cuz that woman in the 1st post was "FAT" doesn't mean squat. My older brother weighs double what I do & I can out eat him.

Ya I'm a lil slow to the topic here & could've said this a while ago but 1st time reading it.
Top
Posted by jlyn (+19) 11 years ago
Maybe she has a deep freezer and spans it out...are ya really going to worry that much about it?
Taxes have to be paid regardless of how it's distributed. There are far worse things in life than being upset about something as silly as what part of a cow someone is eating. The world is in chaos with war, earthquakes, tragedies, sickness, murders, etc. Maybe the focus should be on helping others less fortunate than ourselves.
You know, sometimes it's hard to count your blessings when you're too busy looking/worrying at what others have. Give thanks to what you have because there are so very many that have so much less.
Top
supporter
Posted by Jeff Denton (+763) 11 years ago
When I lived in Charleston I had neighbors who used food stamps as currency. He was a drug dealer and she was a hooker. They gladly accepted food stamps for their goods and services. And traded them for things they needed. It gets to be such a way of life that it must feel like normal behavior after a while.
Top
Posted by Heath H (+641) 11 years ago
In the late 80's I was in a dice game in a bad neighborhood. There was cash going out and in and plenty of action. One guy threw down a bill I didn't recognize. The game stopped, all the chatter softened and all at once a collective roar of laughter went up when we realized what the bill was. A $10 food stamp. It played. Ah yes, those were good times.
Top
Posted by Chris Peterson (+161) 11 years ago
it sure is easy to tell the ones financially set and those who have had to rely on the system. being in the latter stages of parkinsons myself, i understand about the shortfalls of the current system. i have also been on both sides of most fences and looking back have learned that unless i know the whole story, i am probably not going to. Like when something is stolen. unless you see the act, you really do not know who no matter what the circumstantial evidence says. now if i can just remember my own [email protected][email protected]@[email protected][email protected]!
Top
Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+272) 11 years ago
i overheard a conversation had via cellphone (loudly and quite in public) the lady said, 'you need a sack? how much food stamps you got? yeah, yeah i'll take that. you take me to groceries and you get the sack.'
Top
supporter
Posted by Tori (+197) 11 years ago
I always believed welfare, food stamps and such were supposed to be used as a stepping stone not as a way of life. I don't think the majority believe in that anymore.
Top
supporter
Posted by Jeff Denton (+763) 11 years ago
EXACTLY, Tori. But, when is government gonna start pushing a return to good old American values and morals?
I don't know. Maybe when we start caring enough to discuss it and take a stand?
Vote responsibly. Encourage others to do likewise.
Top
supporter
Posted by Denise Selk (+1671) 11 years ago
Unfortunately, these days, voting responsibly means staying home.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
Peasants get the government they deserve.
Top
supporter
Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17333) 11 years ago
Top
supporter
Posted by spacekace (+896) 11 years ago
Sorry to bring this thread back to life, but I had an interesting encounter with a lady using food stamps. I had to get a few things at Wal-Mart, after collecting what I wanted to purchase in a basket, I headed for the nearest checkout. I got behind a lady that had a full basket, and she put her items on the belt and swiped a card. The checker then tells her the balance that she owes, which was something like $63. She looked up at the checker, with a completely puzzled look and said in broken english, I don't understand, I have over $200 left in food stamps. The checker then had to explain to the lady that she couldn't purchase non food items with food stamps, and the lady pulled a pre-paid cell phone and phone card out of the bags and handed it back to the checker. Which brought her total of non-food items to $20, which she paid for with a debit card...
As an observer, I thought for a good hour about this situation...
Do you feel sorry for the lady, because she did not know she couldn't buy a cell phone with food stamps?
Was she just trying to sneak these items by in hopes that the food stamp card would just pay for them?
Are you glad that at least the government has a system now, that will not allow them to purchase non-food items with the card?
Top
Posted by Josh Rath (+2305) 11 years ago
I honestly don't care how stupid she may be, because it is obvious. If you get FOOD stamps from the government, doncha think they are for FOOD only? You can't fix stupid....

[This message has been edited by Josh Rath (3/31/2010)]
Top
Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
A phone is a required to get most jobs. She may not have a land line. Homeless people also need cells as a form of safety. I think that until you have lived in the same conditions, there is an awful lot about survival that you take for granted.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
You may not be able to fix stupid, but perhaps you can learn empathy.
Top
supporter
sponsor
Posted by souix (+301) 11 years ago
Like Steve, my husband had a similar experience when he was working with a civic group taking Christmas food baskets to families. They went to a very nice home to deliver a basket. One of the people asked why the occupants would need a food basket and was told that the husband had wiped out the family's bank account and left the week before Christmas. I find it heartbreaking that people judge what a mother puts in her cart, just because she is down on her luck. Perhaps she should feed her family starches.then then you could complain how fat her children are.

You have no idea how she was going to serve the meat; perhaps she used it in stir fry with plenty of vegetables. I have often found that purchasing a steak is cheaper than purchasing the "stir fry" meat. I love how everyone rags on welfare mothers, but give the big corporations a break on the corporate welfare they receive. I would venture a guess that we all reap the benefits of some government program.think of flood insurance program, the farms subsidies, business that use the interstate highway system, ect.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
I love how everyone rags on welfare mothers, but give the big corporations a break on the corporate welfare they receive.


It's the Christian thing to do.
Top
Posted by tax payer (+344) 11 years ago
What happened to people looking for work when there were no cells phones? Maybe they had to check in once a week to see if a job was available. So if they had no car, they had to walk and were a lot healthier than the welfare people now. Then being in shape and healthy they needed healthcare less. See where this is all going. I hear the governement is furnishing the pre-paid cell phones for welfare people.
Top
supporter
sponsor
Posted by souix (+301) 11 years ago
Taxpayer,

Perhaps we should require them to wear a scarlet "W" around their necks.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
What happened to people looking for work when there were no cells phones? Maybe they had to check in once a week to see if a job was available.


I think the point is that this isn't the way the world works anymore.

If you want to become gainfully employed, you need some way of being contacted on the employer's timetable, not when it's convienient for the job seeker.

Since most of the jobs that we're talking about are the kind with flexible scheduling, once the job's been secured, the employer still expects to be able to contact the employee even when they're not actually at work.

So yeah, a cell phone isn't something only welfare queens in cadillacs full of t-bone steaks are going to have.

As for the rest... Yeah, maybe you can walk from one end of Miles City to the other in 15 minutes, but that doesn't really work even in Billings, although you might have a shot if you take the bus.

You know... like a poor person.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (3/31/2010)]
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
The free cellphones rumor has been debunked countless times so stop panicking. And yes, how can an employer contact you if you have no phone? That has been an issue for many, many years, long before cell phones came into play. I remember discussing it in Bozeman back in the 80's, when, according to the new historians, the economy was wonderific.
Top
supporter
Posted by spacekace (+896) 11 years ago
The lady must have had some other form of income, she used her debit card to pay for the rest of the non-food items... So I would imagine that she could save up and be able to pay for her cell phone, or get a landline...they are fairly inexpensive, or at least less than a cell phone, if she was to just make local calls... She told the checker that she did not know she couldn't buy the cell phone with the food stamps... Shouldn't someone have told her that food stamps are for food...and when you go to the store, if you buy something that you can't with food stamps...the machine will tell you to pay the balance with another form of currancy?
Top
Posted by Mindy B (+81) 11 years ago
I don't know why everyone thinks cell phones are so expensive now. I got by for two years with a cheap pre-paid phone from Wal-Mart and I only put $100 on it for the whole year. At the same time my Mid-Rivers land line was $27/month which comes out to over $300/year. Now I have a regular cell plan because when we moved I dropped the land line.

Anyway I assumed that eveyone understood that food stamps meant food but in the last year I heard two non-welfare people who are educated say things about it. One was trying to get non-food items donated to the food bank and that was one of the things she told me. The other was a commericial on the radio that informed people that food stamp won't buy personal items. This was thanking the community for donating non-food items to some charity; I can't remember the name.
Top
supporter
Posted by Dan Mowry (+1438) 11 years ago
I'm afraid I don't understand - do food stamps have some kind of criteria that either the holder or the store itself have to follow when they get used or do they represent coupon-type value or just money as long as it's through a grocery store?
Top
Posted by Heath H (+641) 11 years ago
Any stores accepting food stamps are required by federal law to adhere to a list of approved food items. Non-food items (and alcohol, cigarettes, pre-paid cell phones, etc.) are not supposed to be conveyed in exchange for food stamps.

The system is not 100% efficient. There are numerous small grocery/convenience stores that accept food stamps. I know of 8 stores in the general vicinity where I work that allow the purchase of non-food items with food stamps as currency. The non-food items are simply run through as milk, bread, fruit, etc.

Not just that, but there are certain stores that will sell a paper bag filled with cash that the users of food stamps can purchase with food stamps. The exchange rate is 50% cash for stamps. The small grocery stores with gas pumps will sell you a gallon of gas for $6 worth of food stamps.

I have been approached by food stamp recipients that hang out in from of Walmart and hawk their food stamps to customers entering the grocery area.

In the days before food stamp debit cards, there were food stamp books. The books were often used as currency. The same neighborhood stores were offering cash for those stamp books at the same 50% discount. Fraud is rampant and not preventable. Law enforcement and prevention is practically non-existent.
Top
Posted by tax payer (+344) 11 years ago
I agree to disagree on the welfare program.

[This message has been edited by tax payer (3/31/2010)]
Top
supporter
Posted by Denise Selk (+1671) 11 years ago
Out at the Miles City "Pack", we have several people who save up their SNAP funds (food stamps) specifically to purchase a half of beef. I think this is wonderful, and I much prefer to see their monthly food dollars used for this purpose rather than the sugary stuff alluded to prior. At $2.50 per pound, you can get all of the cuts for less than the cost of most ground beef.

I agree with the prior posts about refraining from judgement, especially if you do not know all of the circumstances. For example, would it be okay for this welfare woman to buy the ribeyes, t-bones, etc., when she is getting it for less than the price of ground beef? What is the dollar per pound threshold that makes a purchase acceptable vs. unnacceptable?
Top
Posted by Chris Peterson (+161) 11 years ago
Responsibiltiy, accountability, integrity. we need these words back in mainstream America. We need to be able to quit picking on the other guy and start looking within. i am the only one i can really change, unless i want to shoot the other guy, but i am quite sure this is still illegal.
Top
Posted by KFC (+24) 11 years ago
Here's one to roll around and rationalize.We had an employee a few years ago that lived with his girlfriend for the first year while with us. Finally did the right thing in marrying the girl since they had 2 and one on the way. Shortly after that he came in the office and quit being a surprise we asked him what the problem was? He sheepishly looked at us and said they would loose all their welfare. Needless to say that went over like a match to a can of gas. My question would be is it the system or the person or both, My guess is both.
Top
Posted by TK (+1623) 11 years ago
Yeah, and unfortunately, it's people like that who make it IMPOSSIBLE for people like us to GET the help (temporarily) when we really need it!!! Which also means, not only are the "good people" unable to get the help because we "make too much", we also are supporting those dang people who are literally abusing the system! It sucks, but what do ya do? That's the LOVELY government for ya. And to make it worse, now we have this STUPID health reform thing. Yeah, never ending........
Top
supporter
Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
I thought that there had been a reduction in the length of time one could receive welfare benefits. People can't be on food stamps for years, can they?
Top
Posted by Crash (+122) 11 years ago
Yes, one could be on foodstamps for a lifetime as long as he/she qualifies.

However, there is a limit that a family can receive temporary assistance for needy families (aka TANF) in most counties in Montana and I think that is 60 months (in a lifetime)? I think the citizens in counties with reservations can get TANF forever (as long as they qualify) and aren't limited to the 60 months.
Top
supporter
Posted by skoh (+327) 11 years ago
My thoughts about food stamps would be to make it more along the lines of the WIC program. With WIC vouchers, only certain food items (healthy items) can be purchased. Maybe if there was a way to only allow certain types of food - healthy food instead of allowing the purchase of a bakery made birthday cake, sugary snack items, etc. then people wouldn't be so opposed to seeing people in line at the grocery store full of these items. Would it possibly make other people feel better if they were behind a person who was using food stamps if they had a cart full of carrots, lettuce, milk, oatmeal, orange juice, meats, bread, apples, etc... you get the idea. My other thought is that certain non food items should be allowed, such as toilet paper, dish soap, cleaning products and hygiene items. The system is flawed, just as so many government run systems are. I also agree that we should have empathy and try to put ourselves in their place. There will always be the people who abuse the system. These people will be judged one day. It is not for us to do. We can be thankful that we're not in their shoes.
Top
Posted by Crash (+122) 11 years ago
The system wouldn't be so flawed if the State of Montana (backed by the Feds) would follow up and actually prosecute people who scam the food stamp system. All most of the defrauders get now is a slap on the wrist and an opportunity to pay back any overpayments they have received in small monthly instalments without any monetary penalties or interest.

It would be nice if the current laws and requirements (like mandatory work registration) were actually enforced in the food stamp program, before a new laundry list of regulations were voted in.

If the state and the feds can't enforce the current rules I don't know how successful they would be policing all the SNAP grocery carts.

And if we know of any retailers out there abusing the system, we should be able to turn them into the state in exchange for monetary rewards.

I say increase the budget of the fraud division in the state's welfare department and enforce the rules that aren't enforced and investigate the questionable households that may be abusing the system and those that are guilty, throw the book at them.
Top
supporter
sponsor
Posted by souix (+301) 11 years ago
Wonder why this is anyone's business...or why they would need to inventory the grocery cart of someone who is down on their luck. The average welfare recipient is a young white woman with 1-2 children and she is on it for 18 months. Perhaps if we were less judgmental and more helpful she/he could get back on her/his feet sooner. If I recall how this thread started K.D. was angry because he/she did not qualify for this program (perhaps she has more than $3000 in assets). I am always amazed a lot of people want to limit a women's right to choose, yet are envious of the programs that help a single mother support her children. When you take into account the cost of child care, groceries, utilities, rent and other outlays, it is expensive to raise a child. All those who take the deduction for children are in a way having the government pay them back for having children.

No one would aspire to get welfare, because it is just not that much money or benefits and it is for a limited time (60 months total). Yes, like someone mentioned, there is always someone out there who has seen someone driving an expensive car, wearing a mink, with diamonds on each finger, purchasing groceries with food stamps. but I simply do not believe it. In my life time, I have stood in many a grocery lines and never seen anything like this. I Guess people who are down on their luck are easy targets for meddling people to attempt to intimidate.

I think I read in the Bible somewhere that we should all give 10% of our goods to feed the poor.guess Jesus had welfare people in his day.hope they did not eat the wrong food.
Top
Posted by Heath H (+641) 11 years ago
Can't escape that entitlement mentality, eh souix?
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
I always wonder why people think that life on welfare is so awesome that it's full of cheats.
Top
supporter
sponsor
Posted by souix (+301) 11 years ago
McAllen, Texas is one of the largest recipients of government subsidies from healthcare to farm subsidies so I am sure you are feeding at the government trough .in one way or the other. They say the thing that people do not like in others is the thing they do not like in themselves..perhaps it is time for some introspect, Heath.

[This message has been edited by souix (4/1/2010)]
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Z (+998) 11 years ago
I have learned that things are not always as they seem. Years ago I worked in a grocery store, IGA to be exact. I too was frustrated and still remember a couple that came in regularly in a late model Lincoln Town Car and bought their groceries on food stamps. Fact of the matter is that may well have been the only thing they owned. Appearences are decieving. Welfare, when used properly, is a good tool to get people back on their feet. When taken advantage of it is shameful. Lets not judge our fellow citizens on perceptions alone.
Top
supporter
Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
You're going to get kicked out of the club if you keep talking like that Steve...
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Z (+998) 11 years ago
Fine, I'll just take my ball and go home.
Top
Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
I like you Steve Z. Stick around. You have a good heart.
Top
supporter
Posted by Steve Z (+998) 11 years ago
Ahh, now you're making me blush.
Top
Posted by Leif Hope (+95) 11 years ago
I know a good many families that are just a paycheck or two away from having to go on welfare and some a paycheck or two away from being homeless.

A sad and tragic reality in these tough economic times.
Top
Posted by Heath H (+641) 11 years ago
in these tough economic times



Every time I hear these words my ears bleed.
Top
Posted by Leif Hope (+95) 11 years ago
What should I have said? I hate to be responsible for ear bleeding.
Top
moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17055) 11 years ago
"Tough economic times" are grand times for pawn shop owners, huh, Heath?
Top