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Food stamps

Original post made by Ted Rudow III, MA, Palo Alto High School, on Jun 22, 2012

Too many Americans are still out of work to justify cuts to the food stamp program. Democrats and Republicans banded together in the Senate to defeat an amendment by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to slash spending on the program nearly in half.

Still, a version of the 2012 Farm Bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee and being debated by the Senate floor contains a $4.5 billion reduction over the next decade to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program budget. The cuts aren’t as steep as Paul’s proposal and they represent a fraction of the federal program’s $80 billion a year spending. But it would nonetheless be a devastating blow to poor families. An amendment restoring cuts, offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is the best solution. Her amendment would not add to the deficit. Restoring cuts to the food stamp program would be paid for by capping subsidies to the highly profitable crop insurance companies

They even made the poor people fight these wars for them, when all the poor really wanted was peace and enough to eat and wear and a place to sleep.They refuse to fight these wars and rebelled against letting the rich rob them.

Ted Rudow III, MA

Comments (21)

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Posted by what would he do?
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Cutting food aid in the midst of bad economic times, while continuing tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, along with billions in subsidies for the most profitable companies in history (big oil.)

So much for the claim that we're a Christian nation.

Maybe in theory, but clearly not in practice.

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 24, 2012 at 6:03 am

Wow..they "made" the poor people fight their wars for them? In an all volunteer military where the average education level is higher than the average in the general population?

As far as cutting "food stamps" and "food subsidy"..something is very wrong when the people on "food subsidies" are the fattest in our nation (Web Link).

Clearly some reform is necessary, and it has been my experience that if we decrease dollars for anything, the unnecessary leaves. In other words, the same kind of rationing of food aid would happen as is happening in health care in government programs around the world and here ( Medicare cuts of 1/2 trillion for each of the last 3 don't think that forces some "trimming" of services, so that those on the line don't get what they used to?)

Food aid needs to be reformed. Only a few personal anecdotes, but these all happened in the last 2 years,and opened my eyes to the problem with our current food stamps AKA EBT cards.

1) Woman got her eyebrows plucked,handed over $20,then went next door to Trader Joe's, used her EBT card to load up her cart, then loaded the groceries into a much newer car than mine. I paid for all my OWN stuff, she didn't. BTW, she was quite large. BTW, I am not. Nor do I have nearly the expendable income she apparently has on our dollar. (Example: I pluck my own eyebrows).

2) Walgreens: I went to pay for a perfume that finally was half-off ( (as I had been waiting for), and saw that EBT had been added to the list of cards taken. I asked the cashier if the EBT could buy anything in the store, and the answer was yes. Another cashier came over, and a discussion ensued of anger over what they saw their tax money being used for when they work all day and pay for their OWN cigarettes and makeup, perfumes, and toys etc. They have to see it day in and day out and are appalled. Especially because they see no attempt to save money by buying what is on SALE, vs not.

3) Liquor store: Went to get cash out of their ATM, and saw the EBT card listed as one available to remove cash. A discussion ensued with the liquor store cashier, who said how angry he was at the number of people who withdrew cash using EBT, then bought booze and cigarettes..He flat out said "a revolution is coming."

4) Went to pay for my take-out Pizza..and saw that dang EBT card there. Same story, the number of people using their EBT card to buy expensive pizza appalled those working there. To meet our current budget, we cut our weekly pizza down to monthly.

Maybe the best thing that ever happened is that EBT card to wake up the masses.

The days of believing that the food subsidies are necessary in their current form are long past. All the evidence points to a need for reform, including lessening the dollars.

A food stamp store, perhaps, with only healthful foods in place, with no ability to 'cash out', might be an answer, and in fact one I would prefer. Add back in the "everybody knows I use this store" embarrassment so that only those who NEED the help use it, and stop the abuse of our dollars. We are waking up. The days of my naive belief that only people who would be hungry are given EBT/FoodStamps/Food subsidy are long gone.

Or, if that is too unpalatable ( no, I typed it THEN saw the play on words), at least an inability to use the EBT cards to cash out ( aka ATMs), buy pre-prepared food or restaurant food, or anything not "healthful" and basic to nutrition. In other words, how people live who work full-time on minimum wage.When folks live better NOT working than working, we are in big trouble.

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

The reason we have food stamp abuse, and a host of other social problems is because we allow those who do not pay taxes to vote, and vote money out of the pockets of taxpayers and into their own pockets.

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

OO: yup, agreed. I would like to our voting rules changed, but it will never happen. The original ones allowed to vote were those with LAND (males) who decided what to do with their money for the country. They pledged all their wealth and lives to overthrowing the monarchy oppression, fought the Revolution, then framed the Constitution and Bill of Rights to address the grievances ( read the Declaration of Independence and the list of why they were going ahead with a revolution, then compare with the Bill of Rights.

They then used common sense, and knew that if people could vote money out of their pockets, they would, so the only ones who were allowed to vote were those with land, in other words the "payers".

I would like to see us return to some of that sense in our voting. I would like to see that nobody on welfare or food stamps for some time prior to an election can vote. Ok, people use education they haven't paid for their kids, that is our system. They use roads and infrastructure they haven't paid for etc. But a simple test would be no welfare/food stamps for a period of time. That alone would help clean up our government.

At some point, and it might be now, we reach the time of the dependent kids outvoting the working parents on what the family will spend/borrow money for, collapsing the family into bankruptcy.

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

And now for the name calling and accusations to begin.

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Posted by what would He do?
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

Name calling? Huh, what? Getting a little paranoid?

Please continue with your rants about who should be allowed to vote - good stuff. This Supreme Court probably thinks you are both correct - only money should make the decisions, not mere people.

Keep tilting at that one!

As to your anecdotal evidence of "massive" food stamp fraud, get a life.

"All the evidence points to a need for reform, including lessening the dollars." Where is your evidence, other than your anecdotal fables? Sure sounds a lot like the mythical Reagan welfare queen, to me.

It's very difficult for an unemployed poor man to get on stamps these days, with all the cuts. As far as women and children, how much do they get a month - a couple hundred for food? I'd personally rather err on the side of feeding kids, than suggest cutting a program like this in times of recession.

But we obviously see thinks different. Some of us were brought up with the good Book.

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

Anecdotal is all I have from my personal life. As for food stamp/EBT fraud, far too many sites to list. Search it out.

As for Supreme Court and "money" making decisions: Good one. People don't make the money they donate I guess.

As for What would He do?

2 Thessalonians: In response to reports that there were many in the community who had quit working, depending on the "brotherly love" of the workers in the community to feed and clothe them, Paul writes of his visit to the community:

8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you,
9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
13 But [as for] you, brethren, do not grow weary [in] doing good

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Yes, we help those who NEED help, but on the other hand, we all pull our weight the best we can. It is destructive to the human spirit to be made dependent. Even our most disabled adults work to whatever capacity they are able for the dignity and pride of doing something useful every day, earning their own money, no matter how little, and buying their own coke or whatever. It is wrong to enslave anyone to learned dependence. Our job as adults is to help people, grow to their best potential and care for those who CAN NOT care for themselves.

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Posted by what would He do?
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Working awfully hard there to rationalize, Perspective, when all you needed was Mathew - "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in"

Oops, my bad, that's Him on judgement day: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ "

Do you really want to try to convince folks that He doesn't value feeding the hungry above most else? You are something, that's for sure. Good luck with that. You'll need it if your particular faith puts you in front of Him.

re: "As for food stamp/EBT fraud, far too many sites to list." Just list a couple then, that have factual data, without the 'Reagan-Welfare-Queen-in-Chicago' style anecdotes. Or myths. Or lies.

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Posted by 3rd Generation
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

This nation subsidizes too much. I have known people who leech off the government, and it's because they are LAZY. They are not incapable or truly disabled - they simply refuse to be responsible and the nation enables them. They refuse to take lower-level jobs for which they qualify, because it's easier to accept money from the government. We have immigrants coming here, speaking no English, finding jobs and earning money. America needs to quit spoiling these people!

Veterans who need help - give THEM help - they served our country.

Clearly, the rich have worked hard for their money, and most donate if they can. Everyone wants to help others, but we can't keep enabling the people who can work but choose not to.

I'd like to know the breakdown of ethnicities who live off the government. I'm guessing it's mostly those who grew up here in the U.S.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

3rd Generation - your post is interesting. How many people do you think leech off of the gov't vs. really need help? You're aware, right, that those on welfare - the majority - aren't on it for life? I've known 2 women, who after their loser spouses disappeared, went on welfare to make ends meet & improve their educations. One became a lawyer, the other a teacher. I know a number of kids who became successful in their single parent homes *because* their moms were able to get assistance, thus remaining housed & taking care of their kids. Maybe it's the people I know vs. the ones who abuse the system that I don't meet/work with, etc. - hard to say.

The people I see around me who use food stamps or have gotten food from the food closet are disabled, the elderly or both. I have one neighbor who's lazy/alcoholic. But he lives w/2 disabled people, one of whom is also elderly. They've used food closets before & the disabled are on SSI. They don't live high on the hog at all. But they do make sure they have cigarettes & beer. I think they buy the cheapest stuff & roll their own cigarettes. I have another neighbor who has just become disabled, after working hard his whole life. And I mean hard work. He is trying to find his way through all of the paperwork from his doctor and figure out what he can do/not do. He doesn't have a lazy bone in his body.

I don't get why you believe the rich have mostly worked hard for their money. Worked hard compared to whom? You? Me? Our parents? I know a lot of wealthy people. Some have worked hard, some haven't. Many of them, while working hard, have exploited & mistreated others, have greed driving them, don't care about anything but money. Just as we all feel entitled to analyze those who get government help, we are entitled to analyze the rich & how they got their money. They also get government assistance, in the form of bailouts, tax shelters, others helping them hide their $$.

I've never understood those who'd prefer to complain about the lazy getting help instead of the criminal rich who get help - the latter rips off the rest of us to the tune of billions. The former - it's not nice, it's not right, but it's petty. Sure, the petty amounts also add up, but not as much as the rich.

On the balance, having lived in EPA for a long time now, I see more people who really do need help either not getting enough or somehow making it work, vs. those ripping off the system. I'm certainly not privy to the criminal side of those ripping off the system, but after awhile, you get a sense of it. It truly doesn't stack up against those who really need the help.

A cool thing that is happening here now: our farmer's market accept "food stamps". There are also free healthy cooking classes, a place one can grow their own vegetables and a good health clinic for low income people.

And finally, I've known a number of seniors in Palo Alto on tightly fixed incomes. They coupon shop, are very careful w/their money, stay on budget, & utilize the amenities in the area - libraries, free concerts, shared computers, senior centers. But these are people who aren't wealthy, don't abuse any system & sometimes they get assistance from various programs, depending on their situation. And that's why we have these safety nets - to be used by those in need.

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Posted by what would He do?
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Are we all going to use anecdotal examples? Okay, here's mine.

I heard of this guy whose single mom was on WELFARE for a while.

Gotta tell ya, I hate to bring it up, but he's BLACK.

Of course.

Lazy, leeching, son of a foreigner was obviously going to live a LIFE ON THE GOVERNMENT DOLE, probably use the government school systems, student loans, the whole nine yards.

He's even admitted to SMOKING DOPE while leeching off some GOVERNMENT LOANS at school.

I'm sure you're not surprised to hear this son of a WELFARE RECIPIENT is STILL COLLECTING A GOVERNMENT CHECK EVERY MONTH, even though he actually authored some books and made a pile of money a few years ago, he at least did pay off his student loans after a decade.


Of course, this particular slacker, well, you also may have heard of him.

He is shameless, admits to having a couple black babies, in wedlock.

The PUBLIC HOUSING address is, let's see, I've got it somewhere, oh yeah - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.



re: "I'd like to know the breakdown of ethnicities who live off the government."

Try 'google'. You will find out that in 2010, a plurality of SNAP (foodstamps) households were white — almost 40 percent.

You'll also find that one of the largest beneficiary groups for Johnson's war on poverty were white Appalachians.

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Posted by 3rd Generation
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 26, 2012 at 12:38 am

@what would He do: Exactly. 40% of food stamp recipients grew up in America, spoke English, and did not encounter racial prejudice. How do you explain their behavior of leeching off the government? They had more breaks than immigrants or blacks.

And why do we have Social Security? Because Americans spend too much money and cannot save on their own. Why didn't the senior citizens on fixed incomes save money when they were younger? Don't people learn from the prior generation? Apparently not.

I realize there are people who truly are disabled, and people who truly need welfare temporarily to get back on their feet. But how many people are cheating the system? I'm guessing more are cheating than not. And yes, that is a guess based upon anecdotal experience. But this is a forum, not a place to read factual data. America is the land of opportunity and it's disgusting that people who grew up here are not taking advantage of the opportunities.

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Posted by facts, thought and logic need not apply
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 26, 2012 at 7:58 am

"But this is a forum, not a place to read factual data."


Noted without comment.

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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

"Tax and Spend Liberals" are anybody that wants to tax you so people with genetic suntans can spend it. [Portion removed by Palo Alto online staff]

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 27, 2012 at 6:31 am

What would He do: Please note the operative words in your quote, "gave" (me) something to eat and drink, "invited" me in.

In other words, think about it..not "let someone take from you to redistribute to me", but "gave" CHOSE freely to give. Not "tolerated my forcing my way into your home" but "invited", ie chose to invite in.

It has been my experience that truly kind people who are intending to do right in our churches get very mixed up , and move from advocating free will charity to supporting theft by government to "give" to others. Big difference between individual free will and government forcing. Witness the support for Communists in the "Liberation Theology" drive by the Catholics in South America. Think of it this way. I have 4 favorite charities. What if we had a "vote" and 51% of us said YOU, who voted against it, had to "give" $100/month to each of my favorite charities? Me thinks you would rather give to your favorites, not be forced to give to mine. I would oppose forcing you to give to my favorites. That is against free will.

The only way "voting" for charity works is if literally every person with skin in the game, ie: the taxpayers who would pay for it, actually vote "yes" so that not even one person is forced.

Can't help it, I really believe in free-will.

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Posted by hand
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2012 at 8:25 am

Debating that Jesus wouldn't support the poor in bad economic times.

Must be someone who never expects to explain it to the Man!!

God bless, and good luck!! You'll need it if you're ever standing in front of Him!!!!

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Posted by Perpsective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 27, 2012 at 8:53 am

Hand: Good luck defending your support of tyranny against free-will you stand in front of Him. By your definition of caring for the poor, the only way to do it is to go full-board communist..There, problem solved, everyone is equally poor.

I take "care for the poor" very seriously..from MY free will, to Agencies who REALLY HELP those who need help, in a way that really helps them, not simply makes them dependent.

In other words, I really take to heart "A hand up, not a hand out". Of course, the less disposable income I have post-tax, the less I can give to the GOOD agencies, the more go to silly government ones.

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Posted by hand
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

Not sure the Book talks about disposable income, taxes, etc. But good luck with your rationalizing.

We won't agree here, so I'll sign off with a "God bless"

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Another "anecdote" of EBT card abuse..I am SURE all the good hearted people in America believe their tax money is going to food for the hungry in the Food Stamp(EBT) program. I think more and more people are realizing what a scam it is. I am sure that somewhere in the Good Book there is evidence that He would want us to keep a program that gives cigarettes (booze, makeup, perfume, premade pizzas, etc) to the poor ( I think I read that somewhere about "when I needed a smoke, you gave me a cigarette).

Guy fired for refusing to take an EBT card from someone to pay for cigarettes.

Web Link

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Posted by what would He do?
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Search far and wide to find the EBT abuse case that fits your rationalization that Jesus doesn't want folks to help the poor.

Rationalize by saying that tough love will make the poor pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they don't need food.

You're trying so hard to talk yourself into it, that you sound like that bogus prosperity gospel, or wealth theology - "Amen brother! Jesus wants YOU to be RICH!"

I agree with 'hand' - you and I interpret the good Word differently. In your case, you are out of the mainstream, but that's your right. Certainly, you understand that from your posts in other threads.

Am reminded of that old joke from a certain Senator: if you took the New Testament, and cut out all the references of Jesus talking about helping the poor and the least among us, you'd have a perfect box to smuggle Rush Limbaugh's drugs in.

I'm done here... blessings.

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Posted by D Git
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Cutting food support in the middle of recession is morally corrupt.

To argue that cutting food support for children in theze perilous times as the moral thing? A sure sign of a far right fringe loon.


Funny Franken jab.

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

Well, now that our Federal government can tell us what products to buy, I guess the argument is over. Next, we will each be told how much broccoli, bread, cheese, meat, fruits we must buy each week.

Congratulations! We are at the utopian dream. Hunger is over.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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