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View Full Version : GOP bill blocks food stamp users from buying junk food



Lanie
09-11-2013, 11:31 PM
Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday proposed legislation that would require people using federal food stamps to buy only healthy food.

The Healthy Food Choices Act, H.R. 3073, reflects a long-standing criticism that the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allows people to buy billions of dollars worth of junk food.
A 2012 study found that food stamps enable about $2 billion worth of junk food purchases each year, and that more than half of all SNAP benefits are used to buy sugary drinks.
Efforts to curb these purchases have been opposed by anti-hunger groups. But Roe said some states are already exploring ways to curb junk food purchases through the SNAP program, and argued that the federal government needs to take steps as well.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/321569-gop-bill-blocks-food-stamp-users-from-buying-junk-food#ixzz2edpfcTFd
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I agree with this because we don't need junk food. Anti-hunger groups? Really? I think this can help cut down the amount used on food stamps or at least encourage healthier choices with the use of our tax dollars.

I think it will also motivate those who are truly just "lazy" into gaining employment or better employment. It's not so much that people feel they can't live without junk (although you would think it). People have a pride issue with being told what to do too much.

Being a cashier in the past, I've seen SNAP really be abused at times. I once rang up about nine dollars worth of individual snack cakes. Somebody argued the family might have been traveling. Okay, but there was Wal-Mart and Food Lion up the street. They didn't need to get anything from a convenience store. The problem isn't just buying junk food. It's sometimes purchasing the most expensive options. I think we should also have a rule that says no convenience store purchases outside of bread, lunch meat, and milk. No candy or soda.

Novaheart
09-12-2013, 12:34 AM
Food Stamps has changed dramatically over time and for some reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with meeting the survival needs of the poorest Americans.

Food Stamps went to the EBT card both to curb the waste and discount sale of food stamps to unscrupulous merchants and traders, but also to "end the stigma" because people supposedly shouldn't be put in a position for others to look upon them as shameful for being needy. But food stamps ceased to be merely for the needy a long time ago. My older sister's first real job was as a food stamp eligibility worker. Way back when, she could come home proud of her work and with moving stories about her clients. Back then, food stamps were used to get seasonal workers through the winter. We didn't see it as a subsidy to the farmers and seafood industry, which of course it was, we saw it as a way to ensure that people who would only find work half the year, and who did necessary work (now done by illegals) could make it through the winter. These people didn't live in public housing units or trailers with air conditioning, cable, and flat screen televisions. They lived in those houses you see in rural Maryland set back on the farm or too close to the road that you aren't sure are occupied for fit for habitation. They lived in shacks which sometimes had the electricity go out costing them what little food they had. They bought food at those country stores that sell soup at a mark up over retail and what my mother calls "selling baloney by the slice".


And now we have Walmart Syndrome and Santa Monica suburban bums going to premium grocers and buying sushi.

Food Stamps is no longer a subsidy for the poor, it's a subsidy for the working class, the nonworking class, and chain stores like Walmart who collect a huge share in SNAP benefits as well as employing many people who are on SNAP.

Every dollar of welfare ends up in a millionaire's pocket.... but that doesn't mean that SNAP shouldn't try to direct how those benefits are spent.

I am disgusted that Publix and other supermarkets are brazenly aiming for the SNAP "dollar" when they place hot-deli items in the "cold case" so that they are food stamp eligible. I am disgusted that food stamps can be used for candy, Lunchables, soda, and anything else that has nothing to do with good nutrition.

I am angered when I am shopping for thrift, and I see Welfare Queen tossing $16/lb crab legs in her basket. When grapes or apples go over $2 a pound I don't buy them.... but she does. And the pure garbage she buys can't possibly fall under the label of "nutrition". But the real killer is when you get to check out, the total is $260 and she swipes the ebt card the cashier it will be $47.50 for the other items (household, clothes, etc....) and she pulls the wad of cash out of the Chanel bag with the fingernails and the $100 hair.

No, of course it isn't everyone on food stamps, but it happens so frequently that every one of you has stood in line behind this woman with the $100 worth of groceries you carefully shopped for price, value, and health.

RobJohnson
09-12-2013, 04:48 AM
Food Stamps has changed dramatically over time and for some reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with meeting the survival needs of the poorest Americans.

[snip]




I agree.

RobJohnson
09-12-2013, 05:19 AM
I would think if they just cut out simple items like carbonated soda that would a great start. But the funds are still going to get spent, unless they cut the benefits there will be no savings to the tax payers.

RobJohnson
09-12-2013, 05:36 AM
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/321569-gop-bill-blocks-food-stamp-users-from-buying-junk-food#ixzz2edpfcTFd
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

I agree with this because we don't need junk food. Anti-hunger groups? Really? I think this can help cut down the amount used on food stamps or at least encourage healthier choices with the use of our tax dollars.

I think it will also motivate those who are truly just "lazy" into gaining employment or better employment. It's not so much that people feel they can't live without junk (although you would think it). People have a pride issue with being told what to do too much.

Being a cashier in the past, I've seen SNAP really be abused at times. I once rang up about nine dollars worth of individual snack cakes. Somebody argued the family might have been traveling. Okay, but there was Wal-Mart and Food Lion up the street. They didn't need to get anything from a convenience store. The problem isn't just buying junk food. It's sometimes purchasing the most expensive options. I think we should also have a rule that says no convenience store purchases outside of bread, lunch meat, and milk. No candy or soda.

I'm glad you posted this.

noonwitch
09-12-2013, 09:43 AM
I've seen people who were very frugal with food stamps/EBT cards and people who aren't.

Odysseus
09-12-2013, 09:53 AM
Can we audit the end users and keep them from buying $400 purses and $200 wallets?


Every dollar of welfare ends up in a millionaire's pocket.... but that doesn't mean that SNAP shouldn't try to direct how those benefits are spent.

You had me until this line, which is only half right. Yes, the money does end up going to subsidized businesses, but remember that in the pocket of the millionaire, it goes back into putting food on the shelves. It's how it gets there that's the problem. SNAP takes money from productive people who pay taxes and funnels it through the federal bureaucracy until a small percentage of it goes back into direct benefits. That money pays for a massive federal workforce that seeks to increase dependency and perpetuate itself accordingly. The end result is higher prices for basic foods (subsidies to consumers actually drive up costs by increasing demand), a larger federal bureaucracy and less control over our own wallets. That's the problem.

Novaheart
09-12-2013, 01:47 PM
Can we audit the end users and keep them from buying $400 purses and $200 wallets?



You had me until this line, which is only half right. Yes, the money does end up going to subsidized businesses, but remember that in the pocket of the millionaire, it goes back into putting food on the shelves. It's how it gets there that's the problem. SNAP takes money from productive people who pay taxes and funnels it through the federal bureaucracy until a small percentage of it goes back into direct benefits. That money pays for a massive federal workforce that seeks to increase dependency and perpetuate itself accordingly. The end result is higher prices for basic foods (subsidies to consumers actually drive up costs by increasing demand), a larger federal bureaucracy and less control over our own wallets. That's the problem.

Every tweek to the system has multiple concerns. We can't ban all beverage purchases, because then SNAP couldn't be used for Ensure. We also have to consider that any tweek is going to put General Mills and Coke into workaround mode. So it may come down to listing specific brands, thousands of them, which can't be covered by SNAP.

You can't say "No frozen dinners" because some old people live off frozen dinners and their microwave ovens. It's all they can manage. My mother would live off Stouffers and Lean Cuisine if I was not in the picture.

If you ban all foods over a given price per pound then surely you render some essential off limits.

It really has to be done food by food. Even then look at what you run into. If you ban fish over $8 per pound, then you are pushing dependency on imported Chinese fish. If you ban rice over $1.50 a pound, then you are pushing American and Indian rice out of the market.

I think a good first step would be to ban all carbonated beverages containing sugar or aspartame.
Ban anything containing hfcs.
Ban candy.
Ban chips and doodles but not pretzels.
Ban anything made by Hostess, Little Debbie, or Hormel.
Ban real mayonnaise and fake cheese.

Lanie
09-12-2013, 02:30 PM
Every tweek to the system has multiple concerns. We can't ban all beverage purchases, because then SNAP couldn't be used for Ensure. We also have to consider that any tweek is going to put General Mills and Coke into workaround mode. So it may come down to listing specific brands, thousands of them, which can't be covered by SNAP.

You can't say "No frozen dinners" because some old people live off frozen dinners and their microwave ovens. It's all they can manage. My mother would live off Stouffers and Lean Cuisine if I was not in the picture.

If you ban all foods over a given price per pound then surely you render some essential off limits.

It really has to be done food by food. Even then look at what you run into. If you ban fish over $8 per pound, then you are pushing dependency on imported Chinese fish. If you ban rice over $1.50 a pound, then you are pushing American and Indian rice out of the market.

I think a good first step would be to ban all carbonated beverages containing sugar or aspartame.
Ban anything containing hfcs.
Ban candy.
Ban chips and doodles but not pretzels.
Ban anything made by Hostess, Little Debbie, or Hormel.
Ban real mayonnaise and fake cheese.

You have to be careful about "ban anything from x company" because they don't always make just one thing. Some companies make unhealthy stuff and healthy stuff. I think it would be better to be specific. You can't purchase drinks that doesn't have any nutritional value, ditto with food.

What is fake cheese? Are you talking about processed cheese? That's still real cheese and it cheaper than real cheese.

Odysseus
09-12-2013, 03:49 PM
Every tweek to the system has multiple concerns. We can't ban all beverage purchases, because then SNAP couldn't be used for Ensure. We also have to consider that any tweek is going to put General Mills and Coke into workaround mode. So it may come down to listing specific brands, thousands of them, which can't be covered by SNAP.

You can't say "No frozen dinners" because some old people live off frozen dinners and their microwave ovens. It's all they can manage. My mother would live off Stouffers and Lean Cuisine if I was not in the picture.

If you ban all foods over a given price per pound then surely you render some essential off limits.

It really has to be done food by food. Even then look at what you run into. If you ban fish over $8 per pound, then you are pushing dependency on imported Chinese fish. If you ban rice over $1.50 a pound, then you are pushing American and Indian rice out of the market.

I think a good first step would be to ban all carbonated beverages containing sugar or aspartame.
Ban anything containing hfcs.
Ban candy.
Ban chips and doodles but not pretzels.
Ban anything made by Hostess, Little Debbie, or Hormel.
Ban real mayonnaise and fake cheese.

You're missing the point. The problem is not that certain foods ought to be banned or not from SNAP card purchases, it's that the whole system is corrupt and ungovernable. Let's start with your assumptions about banning certain foods: It won't work, not because the foods are good or bad, but because the decision is based on politics. Imagine the fun your congressman will have trying to deal with the various business lobbies when your ban hits the committees. The bans won't go through, but the members will have forced campaign contributions from a whole bunch of new interests, who will now continue to lobby in order to protect the "rights" that the government has granted them to continue to sell their products. Second, the list expresses your disdain for certain foods and the people that you perceive as your social inferiors, but doesn't reflect sound policy, just your prejudices. You'll get the kind of backlash that Bloomberg got when he tried to ban sodas above a certain size from being sold in the city, and while there is a difference between a ban on sales and a ban on using a particular means of purchase, it ultimately doesn't matter, because the subsidy that you are paying indigents for groceries will end up either allowing them to buy foods that they don't want, but which they can sell in return for stuff that they do want (which is how a lot of drugs are also purchased by SNAP card holders), or simply free up other money from other sources that will go towards the offending products. Either way, your attempts to regulate their behavior will fail, because they don't want to be regulated.

The whole system is based on a flawed assumption, which is that the problem with America's poor is malnutrition, when in fact, obesity is a far more pervasive condition. In fact, the problem is that the poor tend to make decisions which keep them poor, including poor dietary decisions. Throwing money at the problem doesn't solve it, it just opens the door for more "reforms" whose claimed purpose is to clean up the problems created by earlier attempts at reform, but whose real purpose is to distract the taxpayers while the program takes further root.

If you really want to solve the problem of hunger in America, then get the federal government out of the business of subsidizing it.

txradioguy
09-12-2013, 03:56 PM
Here's an idea. Let's just get rid of the whole bloated program.

RobJohnson
09-12-2013, 06:40 PM
Every tweek to the system has multiple concerns. We can't ban all beverage purchases, because then SNAP couldn't be used for Ensure..

Ensure is a nutritional supplement and is not covered by SNAP.

Lanie
09-12-2013, 06:45 PM
Ensure is a nutritional supplement and is not covered by SNAP.

But junk food is?

Adam Wood
09-12-2013, 07:14 PM
But junk food is?Yep. I've been complaining about this for years. It really frosts me to see someone going through the line at Kroger or Wal-Mart or where ever with a boatload of Doritos, Ho-Hos, Little Debbies, and a ton of soft drinks, and then when it's time to pay, out comes the SNAP card.

This (restrictions on SNAP) should have been the case long, long ago. It should be much more like WIC: you get certain named staple items, and that's that. You can have certain lean meats (in limited quantities), various fruits and vegetables (again in limited quantities), milk, real juice, rice, day-old white and wheat bread, a limited number of cans of soup, a limited number of actually nutritious heat-and-eat dinners (real meals, not pizza pockets), nutritious cereals, a very limited amount of raw sugar, a limited amount of raw flour, a limited amount of eggs, a limited amount of pasta (inexpensive pasta like spaghetti, not ready-made ravioli or whatever), vegetable prep (tomato paste, crushed garlic, etc.), a limited amount of peanut butter, a limited amount of jelly/jam/preserves (basic generic, not the expensive "gourmet" kind), and that's IT. No potato chips. No ice cream. No cookies or cookie dough. No cokes. No Kool-Aid or other such crap. None of it. An absolute minimum of processed anything.

If you're going to eat on my nickel, then you'll eat what I tell you to and like it. I'm happy to make sure you don't starve, but you're going to eat reasonable meals with reasonable portions and it's going to be healthy for you. And you're DAMN well going to cook it for yourself and not get ready-made junk food. Don't like it? Go buy your own damn food.

Novaheart
09-12-2013, 08:52 PM
The whole system is based on a flawed assumption, which is that the problem with America's poor is malnutrition, when in fact, obesity is a far more pervasive condition.

The two are not mutually exclusive. There is considerable support for the idea that obesity is a form of malnutrition.

Rockntractor
09-12-2013, 09:02 PM
The two are not mutually exclusive. There is considerable support for the idea that obesity is a form of malnutrition.

Are you sure you're not refering to mall nutrition?

Novaheart
09-12-2013, 09:05 PM
a limited amount of peanut butter, a limited amount of jelly/jam/preserves (basic generic, not the expensive "gourmet" kind), and that's IT. No potato chips. No ice cream. No cookies or cookie dough. No cokes. No Kool-Aid or other such crap. None of it. An absolute minimum of processed anything.

Not to be difficult but the inexpensive jellies and jams are all made with HFCS and chemicals. Organic grape jelly is probably the cheapest healthier choice and runs $2.29 for a small jar (not the tiny jar, the small one) . The good news is that all natural peanut butter and ketchup now cost the same as crap.

A huge part of the problem with poverty, obesity, and food stamps is that saving money can pack on the pounds and make you unhealthy. Those Ramen packets are 15˘ for 480 calories of fat, starch, and sodium. The Jiffy cornbread mix feeds a lot of people cheaply, and doses them heavily with fat , starch, and HFCS ... especially when you add a slab of butter or margarine. The one dollar frozen dinners actually aren't that bad a use of your SNAP dollar, but they also aren't really enough for an active youth as a meal.

I really have seen a huge shift in the last couple of years in the target community. I really do see a lot of people making better choices and I hear what they say to each other in the store and it's encouraging. I hear "good for you" and "serving" and things which suggest a medical approach to eating. I also hear a lot more of "I can only have one of those." or "I can't eat that any more." All of which suggests greater awareness of heart, blood pressure, or other medical issues.

Novaheart
09-12-2013, 09:06 PM
Are you sure you're not refering to mall nutrition?

Oh great! Now I want a fried Snickers bar.

Adam Wood
09-12-2013, 09:16 PM
Not to be difficult but the inexpensive jellies and jams are all made with HFCS and chemicals. Organic grape jelly is probably the cheapest healthier choice and runs $2.29 for a small jar (not the tiny jar, the small one) . The good news is that all natural peanut butter and ketchup now cost the same as crap.

A huge part of the problem with poverty, obesity, and food stamps is that saving money can pack on the pounds and make you unhealthy. Those Ramen packets are 15˘ for 480 calories of fat, starch, and sodium. The Jiffy cornbread mix feeds a lot of people cheaply, and doses them heavily with fat , starch, and HFCS ... especially when you add a slab of butter or margarine. The one dollar frozen dinners actually aren't that bad a use of your SNAP dollar, but they also aren't really enough for an active youth as a meal.Pardon my callousness, but I really don't give a shit. These people are allegedly soooo poor they can't afford to feed themselves. Well, fine, I'm perfectly willing to help out someone who is actually so poor that they cannot afford to feed themselves (and their associated rug-rats). What I'm not willing to do is spend a bunch of excess money on organic fair-trade arugula and gourmet ketchup. If a little bit of jelly or some ketchup has some HFCS in it, then that's fine by me. It's a minimal amount when compared to cokes and Ding-Dongs. I'm not interested in marginally-better-for-you, very expensive food; I'm interested in getting them three solid, square meals a day so that they're not starving. Getting rid of processed foods will go a million miles toward that goal; worrying about HFCS in a few grams of jelly goes a few feet.

Being poor sucks. I know: I've been poor more than once. Part of that suckiness is that you don't get to have your choice of stuff. Don't like it? Stop doing the stuff that makes you poor.

Novaheart
09-12-2013, 09:22 PM
Second, the list expresses your disdain for certain foods and the people that you perceive as your social inferiors, but doesn't reflect sound policy, just your prejudices.

How do you get "social inferiors" out of this list?

I think a good first step would be to ban all carbonated beverages containing sugar or aspartame.
Ban anything containing hfcs.
Ban candy.
Ban chips and doodles but not pretzels.
Ban anything made by Hostess, Little Debbie, or Hormel.
Ban real mayonnaise and fake cheese.

There isn't a thing on that list which I haven't eaten in excess in the past. It has nothing to do with social status, it has to do with coming around to the realization that if you want to live and be healthy you have to make good choices about what you eat. The same goes for smoking. It's not "low class" to smoke, it's just a terrible risk that doesn't really bring much in the way of reward.

I and other members of my family have also noticed that there is a considerable amount of conditioning to our tastes. Many of the things we thought were delicious treats 30 years ago are much less appealing now. Oysters and oyster sandwiches, ham, steaks, fry bread, greasy pizza, scrapple, and a host of stuff my grandmother cooked aren't nearly as good as we remember them being.

You stop eating meat for a couple of months and then walk into a grocery store sometime when the AC isn't running. It smells like something died.

Novaheart
09-12-2013, 09:42 PM
What I'm not willing to do is spend a bunch of excess money on organic fair-trade arugula and gourmet ketchup.
Being poor sucks. I know: I've been poor more than once. Part of that suckiness is that you don't get to have your choice of stuff. Don't like it? Stop doing the stuff that makes you poor.

I thought the topic was making the SNAP dollars go to healthier choices. A family of four gets about $125 per week. Sitting here just now I did a shopping list for a family of four for one week and came up with $114.

PB
Jelly
bread
margarine
celery
apples
tomatoes
grapes
pineapple
jello
yogurt
oatmeal
sugar
flour
rice
tuna
mayo
chicken
hot dogs
beans
froz fries
limas
mustard
7 bags froz veg
bananas
oj
milk
cereal

Adam Wood
09-13-2013, 12:07 AM
I thought the topic was making the SNAP dollars go to healthier choices.The greater goal is to cut waste in SNAP, to separate the needy from the greedy. Healthy choices are one way to do that. No matter how few people are willing to admit it, people will stop using SNAP when they can't get a gravy train of junk food out of it. Ultimately, my goal (and I suspect Roe's, but I wouldn't make that an affirmative statement) is to make being poor suck again. A lot fewer people would be on food stamps if that meant that life really sucked for them.

Yes, that sounds really harsh. Sorry. Get over it, those of you who have gotten bent out of shape over the notion that it would do a societal good to make being poor suck. The simple, undeniable reality is that if it really sucks to be on food stamps, if it is embarrassing and demeaning, if you will do pretty much anything to not have to deal with crappy, monotonous, bland food choices, the embarrassment, and the shame of being on food stamps, then you will do something to change that, like get off your ass and go get a fucking JOB! People will flee from food stamps and other such government assistance so long as it sucks bad enough to be on them.

No, that's not happy or fun. But it most definitely is motivation to get people to stop resting in what was a safety net, but is now a safety hammock (h/t Boog).


A family of four gets about $125 per week. Sitting here just now I did a shopping list for a family of four for one week and came up with $114.

PB
Jelly
bread
margarine
celery
apples
tomatoes
grapes
pineapple
jello
yogurt
oatmeal
sugar
flour
rice
tuna
mayo
chicken
hot dogs
beans
froz fries
limas
mustard
7 bags froz veg
bananas
oj
milk
cereal
I'll take your word for it on the dollar amount. The one I hear batted around most is $134/month, which is for a single person getting the maximum benefit, and then that is somehow transmuted into their entire grocery bill. Here's a big hint: the "S" in SNAP stands for "supplemental;" SNAP was never intended to pay for all or even most of someone's food needs. It was always meant to fill in the gaps. That's why I would prefer to see SNAP go away and instead tell people that if they go on food stamps, that is their only source of food, but that's just me and my larger plan for world domination.

I would knock out jello and yogurt immediately, as well as frozen fries. I don't see volumes involved here, so I may well be inclined to knock out some other things. Seven bags of frozen vegetables seems an awful lot, but again I don't know how big these bags are.

Novaheart
09-13-2013, 12:15 AM
The greater goal is to cut waste in SNAP, to separate the needy from the greedy. Healthy choices are one way to do that. No matter how few people are willing to admit it, people will stop using SNAP when they can't get a gravy train of junk food out of it. Ultimately, my goal (and I suspect Roe's, but I wouldn't make that an affirmative statement) is to make being poor suck again. A lot fewer people would be on food stamps if that meant that life really sucked for them.

Yes, that sounds really harsh. Sorry. Get over it, those of you who have gotten bent out of shape over the notion that it would do a societal good to make being poor suck. The simple, undeniable reality is that if it really sucks to be on food stamps, if it is embarrassing and demeaning, if you will do pretty much anything to not have to deal with crappy, monotonous, bland food choices, the embarrassment, and the shame of being on food stamps, then you will do something to change that, like get off your ass and go get a fucking JOB! People will flee from food stamps and other such government assistance so long as it sucks bad enough to be on them.

No, that's not happy or fun. But it most definitely is motivation to get people to stop resting in what was a safety net, but is now a safety hammock (h/t Boog).


I'll take your word for it on the dollar amount. The one I hear batted around most is $134/month, which is for a single person getting the maximum benefit, and then that is somehow transmuted into their entire grocery bill. Here's a big hint: the "S" in SNAP stands for "supplemental;" SNAP was never intended to pay for all or even most of someone's food needs. It was always meant to fill in the gaps. That's why I would prefer to see SNAP go away and instead tell people that if they go on food stamps, that is their only source of food, but that's just me and my larger plan for world domination.

I would knock out jello and yogurt immediately, as well as frozen fries. I don't see volumes involved here, so I may well be inclined to knock out some other things. Seven bags of frozen vegetables seems an awful lot, but again I don't know how big these bags are.

I was shopping for a family of four in my scenario. I got the benefit amount from some website. The prices I used are from memory and even now I would add a couple of dozen eggs and some cornbread to the list. You'll note that there is very little meat. The frozen fries are actually cheaper than raw potatoes and kids like them. Kids are kids. Seven two pound bags of frozen vegetables mixed with rice is a lot of good food for a cheap price. If the Chinese can live on it, our poor can too.

The Simpsons I'm with Cupid
00:05:47 - What's in it? - Chickpeas, lentils and rice.

Time - Phrase
00:05:38 Good rice, good curry, good Gandhi, let's hurry.

00:05:44 Mmm! This is delicious.

00:05:47 - What's in it? - Chickpeas, lentils and rice.

00:05:49 - And what's in this? - Chickpeas and lentils.

00:05:51 - Try it with rice. - I'm so glad we were able to get together.

Lanie
09-13-2013, 12:15 AM
The greater goal is to cut waste in SNAP, to separate the needy from the greedy. Healthy choices are one way to do that. No matter how few people are willing to admit it, people will stop using SNAP when they can't get a gravy train of junk food out of it. Ultimately, my goal (and I suspect Roe's, but I wouldn't make that an affirmative statement) is to make being poor suck again. A lot fewer people would be on food stamps if that meant that life really sucked for them.

Yes, that sounds really harsh. Sorry. Get over it, those of you who have gotten bent out of shape over the notion that it would do a societal good to make being poor suck. The simple, undeniable reality is that if it really sucks to be on food stamps, if it is embarrassing and demeaning, if you will do pretty much anything to not have to deal with crappy, monotonous, bland food choices, the embarrassment, and the shame of being on food stamps, then you will do something to change that, like get off your ass and go get a fucking JOB! People will flee from food stamps and other such government assistance so long as it sucks bad enough to be on them.

No, that's not happy or fun. But it most definitely is motivation to get people to stop resting in what was a safety net, but is now a safety hammock (h/t Boog).


I'll take your word for it on the dollar amount. The one I hear batted around most is $134/month, which is for a single person getting the maximum benefit, and then that is somehow transmuted into their entire grocery bill. Here's a big hint: the "S" in SNAP stands for "supplemental;" SNAP was never intended to pay for all or even most of someone's food needs. It was always meant to fill in the gaps. That's why I would prefer to see SNAP go away and instead tell people that if they go on food stamps, that is their only source of food, but that's just me and my larger plan for world domination.

I would knock out jello and yogurt immediately, as well as frozen fries. I don't see volumes involved here, so I may well be inclined to knock out some other things. Seven bags of frozen vegetables seems an awful lot, but again I don't know how big these bags are.

If SNAP is only meant to be supplemental (for those who don't have enough), then it doesn't seem right to say that's all they can eat. I think we can make being poor suck without making them go hungry with a rule like that. I think getting a lot stricter in what can be purchased would help out in making people get prideful/pissed off enough to want to get off of SNAP.

Rockntractor
09-13-2013, 12:21 AM
If SNAP is only meant to be supplemental (for those who don't have enough), then it doesn't seem right to say that's all they can eat. I think we can make being poor suck without making them go hungry with a rule like that. I think getting a lot stricter in what can be purchased would help out in making people get prideful/pissed off enough to want to get off of SNAP.
You get stuck between channels sometimes , don't you?http://www.smiley-lol.com/smiley/expressifs/pensif/embaar.gif

Adam Wood
09-13-2013, 10:12 AM
If SNAP is only meant to be supplemental (for those who don't have enough), then it doesn't seem right to say that's all they can eat. I think we can make being poor suck without making them go hungry with a rule like that. I think getting a lot stricter in what can be purchased would help out in making people get prideful/pissed off enough to want to get off of SNAP.Apparently I'm typing in some special invisible typeface again.



Yep. I've been complaining about this for years. It really frosts me to see someone going through the line at Kroger or Wal-Mart or where ever with a boatload of Doritos, Ho-Hos, Little Debbies, and a ton of soft drinks, and then when it's time to pay, out comes the SNAP card.

This (restrictions on SNAP) should have been the case long, long ago. It should be much more like WIC: you get certain named staple items, and that's that. You can have certain lean meats (in limited quantities), various fruits and vegetables (again in limited quantities), milk, real juice, rice, day-old white and wheat bread, a limited number of cans of soup, a limited number of actually nutritious heat-and-eat dinners (real meals, not pizza pockets), nutritious cereals, a very limited amount of raw sugar, a limited amount of raw flour, a limited amount of eggs, a limited amount of pasta (inexpensive pasta like spaghetti, not ready-made ravioli or whatever), vegetable prep (tomato paste, crushed garlic, etc.), a limited amount of peanut butter, a limited amount of jelly/jam/preserves (basic generic, not the expensive "gourmet" kind), and that's IT. No potato chips. No ice cream. No cookies or cookie dough. No cokes. No Kool-Aid or other such crap. None of it. An absolute minimum of processed anything.

If you're going to eat on my nickel, then you'll eat what I tell you to and like it. I'm happy to make sure you don't starve, but you're going to eat reasonable meals with reasonable portions and it's going to be healthy for you. And you're DAMN well going to cook it for yourself and not get ready-made junk food. Don't like it? Go buy your own damn food.


Pardon my callousness, but I really don't give a shit. These people are allegedly soooo poor they can't afford to feed themselves. Well, fine, I'm perfectly willing to help out someone who is actually so poor that they cannot afford to feed themselves (and their associated rug-rats). What I'm not willing to do is spend a bunch of excess money on organic fair-trade arugula and gourmet ketchup. If a little bit of jelly or some ketchup has some HFCS in it, then that's fine by me. It's a minimal amount when compared to cokes and Ding-Dongs. I'm not interested in marginally-better-for-you, very expensive food; I'm interested in getting them three solid, square meals a day so that they're not starving. Getting rid of processed foods will go a million miles toward that goal; worrying about HFCS in a few grams of jelly goes a few feet.

Being poor sucks. I know: I've been poor more than once. Part of that suckiness is that you don't get to have your choice of stuff. Don't like it? Stop doing the stuff that makes you poor.

Rockntractor
09-13-2013, 11:18 AM
Apparently I'm typing in some special invisible typeface again.

Her tuner is always just a little bit off from being on the right station, lot's of static.

Odysseus
09-13-2013, 01:02 PM
Yep. I've been complaining about this for years. It really frosts me to see someone going through the line at Kroger or Wal-Mart or where ever with a boatload of Doritos, Ho-Hos, Little Debbies, and a ton of soft drinks, and then when it's time to pay, out comes the SNAP card.

This (restrictions on SNAP) should have been the case long, long ago. It should be much more like WIC: you get certain named staple items, and that's that. You can have certain lean meats (in limited quantities), various fruits and vegetables (again in limited quantities), milk, real juice, rice, day-old white and wheat bread, a limited number of cans of soup, a limited number of actually nutritious heat-and-eat dinners (real meals, not pizza pockets), nutritious cereals, a very limited amount of raw sugar, a limited amount of raw flour, a limited amount of eggs, a limited amount of pasta (inexpensive pasta like spaghetti, not ready-made ravioli or whatever), vegetable prep (tomato paste, crushed garlic, etc.), a limited amount of peanut butter, a limited amount of jelly/jam/preserves (basic generic, not the expensive "gourmet" kind), and that's IT. No potato chips. No ice cream. No cookies or cookie dough. No cokes. No Kool-Aid or other such crap. None of it. An absolute minimum of processed anything.

If you're going to eat on my nickel, then you'll eat what I tell you to and like it. I'm happy to make sure you don't starve, but you're going to eat reasonable meals with reasonable portions and it's going to be healthy for you. And you're DAMN well going to cook it for yourself and not get ready-made junk food. Don't like it? Go buy your own damn food.

WIC wasn't much better in terms of fraud, though. The NY Post discovered a bunch of bodegas that would by WIC coupons for 50 cents on the dollar and then turn them in for the full value. The stores were empty, at least in terms of food, but drugs were readily available, if not on the premises, then nearby. Today, the cards are worked the same way, with fake purchases rung up in exchange for cash. A recent expose (again, by the Post), (http://nypost.com/2012/12/30/could-you-spend-500-on-food-at-this-bodega-a-welfare-recipient-claimed-to/)shows how the scam works and identified a number of stores where it was common.

The program is rife with fraud, waste and abuse. It should be shut down.


The two are not mutually exclusive. There is considerable support for the idea that obesity is a form of malnutrition.

There is considerable support for a lot of wrong ideas. It doesn't make them valid.

Obesity is caused by, in most cases, over-indulgence in food and lack of exercise, and it is epidemic among the poor. Supplementing food purchases for overweight people is like corporate welfare for fatcats, except that in this case, the fat is literal, rather than a metaphor.


How do you get "social inferiors" out of this list?

I think a good first step would be to ban all carbonated beverages containing sugar or aspartame.
Ban anything containing hfcs.
Ban candy.
Ban chips and doodles but not pretzels.
Ban anything made by Hostess, Little Debbie, or Hormel.
Ban real mayonnaise and fake cheese.

There isn't a thing on that list which I haven't eaten in excess in the past. It has nothing to do with social status, it has to do with coming around to the realization that if you want to live and be healthy you have to make good choices about what you eat. The same goes for smoking. It's not "low class" to smoke, it's just a terrible risk that doesn't really bring much in the way of reward.

I and other members of my family have also noticed that there is a considerable amount of conditioning to our tastes. Many of the things we thought were delicious treats 30 years ago are much less appealing now. Oysters and oyster sandwiches, ham, steaks, fry bread, greasy pizza, scrapple, and a host of stuff my grandmother cooked aren't nearly as good as we remember them being.

You stop eating meat for a couple of months and then walk into a grocery store sometime when the AC isn't running. It smells like something died.

Sorry, but the list sounded elitist to me. Generally, when someone talks about banning something that does them no harm, my social engineering filter goes into overdrive. I apologize. However, you must admit that there is a certain amount of prejudice against certain foods among elite opinion makers (note Bloomberg's soda bans). Regardless, my point is that banning certain purchases will not only not prevent them from being made, but given the nature of SNAP fraud, won't even make a dent in the scope of the programs. People are making straw purchases for cash in order to buy drugs or alcohol. Do you really believe that banning products with corn syrup is going to make any difference?


If SNAP is only meant to be supplemental (for those who don't have enough), then it doesn't seem right to say that's all they can eat. I think we can make being poor suck without making them go hungry with a rule like that. I think getting a lot stricter in what can be purchased would help out in making people get prideful/pissed off enough to want to get off of SNAP.

Being poor sucks already, but again, the issue is not whether we should ban certain food items on a list, but whether the program should exist at all. Federal welfare programs are the worst administered in terms of fraud, waste and abuse, because the end recipients are too far away from the people who administer the program. Welfare needs to be a local/county issue, where people are known by their friends and neighbors, and con jobs and fraud are more likely to be found out before massive appropriations are made. If you want to help people, the worst thing that you can do is launch money bombs at them from across the country. Let their communities work with them and the help that they receive will be tailored to them by people who know and care for them, rather by faceless bureaucrats.

Novaheart
09-13-2013, 02:54 PM
The program is rife with fraud, waste and abuse. It should be shut down.

Surely the same can be said about the military, but we don't shut it down. I'm not trying to get under your skin, but you and I know that any program, government or private, is going to have some waste or fraud. While I think we can agree that the military is more essential than SNAP, you can't simply say that where there is fraud, waste, and abuse there is no success or redeeming quality.






Obesity is caused by, in most cases, over-indulgence in food and lack of exercise, and it is epidemic among the poor. Supplementing food purchases for overweight people is like corporate welfare for fatcats, except that in this case, the fat is literal, rather than a metaphor.



Sorry, but the list sounded elitist to me. Generally, when someone talks about banning something that does them no harm, my social engineering filter goes into overdrive. I apologize. However, you must admit that there is a certain amount of prejudice against certain foods among elite opinion makers (note Bloomberg's soda bans).

I think that there is considerable reason to believe that some foods are worse than others. High Fructose Corn Syrup is suspect for a host of problems. I find it interesting that my grand parents ate a ton of sugar and starchy stuff and never carried more than 10 pounds of excess weight. Now we have an entire generation of people fighting their weight. HFCS was invented in 1957 and ubiquitous by 1975.

Odysseus
09-13-2013, 04:00 PM
Surely the same can be said about the military, but we don't shut it down. I'm not trying to get under your skin, but you and I know that any program, government or private, is going to have some waste or fraud. While I think we can agree that the military is more essential than SNAP, you can't simply say that where there is fraud, waste, and abuse there is no success or redeeming quality.

Actually, in the case of SNAP, I can simply say it, because it is true. The military's fraud, waste and abuse is minute in comparison, and since I've been in, I've come to understand the many layers of controls that we have in place to try to prevent it. OTOH, SNAP and its predecessors were known for the lack of oversight and fraud mitigation. The very basis of the system encourages the abuses. In the previous NY Post series on WIC fraud in NYC, they determined that fully one-quarter of the grocery stores in Manhattan were fronts for the abuses cited. In another recent expose, the Post found that The program resists reform because the basic premise is flawed. Giving money directly to people who haven't earned it (or giving them vouchers that can be redeemed for cash or debit cards that can do cash advances) guarantees that the money will be spent without any oversight. A few examples:

NY Food Stamp Recipients Shipping Welfare-Funded Groceries to Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti
Posted 07/29/2013
New York Post -

Food stamps are paying for trans-Atlantic takeout — with New Yorkers using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.

The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.


Here's how the economics of the scam work:

NYC welfare food is shipped in barrels to the Dominican Republic – then sold on the black market (http://nypost.com/2013/07/28/nyc-welfare-food-is-shipped-in-barrels-to-the-dominican-republic-then-sold-on-the-black-market/)By Isabel Vincent (http://nypost.com/author/isabel-vincent/)
July 28, 2013 | 4:00am



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http://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/28n_isle2_ipad-525x650.jpg?w=483

Photo: Food-stamp fraud in New York has turned into foreign aid — to black-market profiteers in the Dominican Republic.



Last week, The Post revealed how New Yorkers on welfare are buying food with their benefit cards and shipping it in blue barrels to poor relatives in the Caribbean.

But not everyone is giving the taxpayer-funded fare to starving children abroad. The Post last week found two people hawking barrels of American products for a profit on the streets of Santiago.

“It’s a really easy way to make money, and it doesn’t cost me anything,” a seller named Maria-Teresa said Friday.

The 47-year-old Bronx native told The Post she scalps barrels of Frosted Flakes and baby formula bought with welfare money in the United States.

Maria-Teresa said she gets new barrels every few weeks from her sister, who buys everything at a Western Beef on Prospect Avenue near East 165th Street in Foxhurst.

The scamming sibling pays $75 per barrel to transport the items to the DR through Mott Haven’s Luciano Shipping. Sometimes the family fraudsters take advantage of a special: three barrels for the price of two.

Maria-Teresa said she uses some of the products but vends the rest out of her Santiago home, providing markdowns of $1 to $2 compared to what her buyers would pay in local shops.

“I don’t know how much of a business it is, but I know a lot of people are doing it,” she said.





So, what you have is a case of people using the money that they get from the government to buy food that they obviously don't need and reselling it, and since the food was free to them in the first place, anything that they make is a profit, which can be spent on anything else. That's one kind of fraud. Here's another:


Brooklyn bodega clerk is slashed in the face after telling thug he couldn't use food stamps to buy beerManiac tells Mutahar Murshed Ali 'don't make me mad,' then slices Yemen man at Bushwick deli. 'His face almost fell off,' says witness.By Natalie Musumeci,rocco Parascandolaand Rich Schapiro (http://www.conservativeunderground.com/authors?author=Natalie Musumeci,rocco Parascandolaand Rich Schapiro) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWSFriday, August 17, 2012, 2:00 AM


http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1138175.1345162406!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/slash17n-2-web.jpgAaron Showalter for New York Daily News A knife-wielding maniac slashed Mutahar Murshed Ali at Express Deli at Broadway and Gates in Bushwick, Brooklyn, when the clerk refused to sell thug beer.


A drunken man viciously carved up a Brooklyn bodega clerk’s face Thursday after being told he couldn’t use food stamps to buy a $1.25 bottle of beer.
“Sell it to me,” the suspect barked at Mutahar Murshed Ali, 34, in the Express Deli in Bushwick about 7:35 a.m. “Don’t get me mad.”
Ali told the Daily News he held his ground, telling the enraged drunk he couldn’t buy the 22-ounce Colt 45 with a food stamp card. The suspect hurled a racial slur and then stormed out of the store, Ali said.
Minutes later, the man returned, dove across the counter and sliced open Ali’s face — opening up a gash from his upper lip to his left sideburn.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-bodega-clerk-slashed-face-telling-thug-couldn-food-stamps-buy-beer-article-1.1138177#ixzz2engpvXfd


In this case, you have a perp using violence to force a store owner to sell contraband. Most stores don't need the threat, they simply sell what the perp wants, and mark it up as something else. Beer can be sold as bottled water, just by using a different bar code. Ring up enough, and you've covered the cost and made a nice markup, since the perp isn't paying his own money, he doesn't care. And that doesn't include the fake purchases made from empty bodegas people rack up hundreds of dollars at a time in bogus sales. Of course, there are other ways to get money from the cards:


Welfare recipients take out cash at strip clubs, liquor stores and X-rated shops (http://nypost.com/2013/01/06/welfare-recipients-take-out-cash-at-strip-clubs-liquor-stores-and-x-rated-shops/)By Kate Briquelet (http://nypost.com/author/kate-briquelet/)
January 6, 2013 | 5:00am

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Photo: They’re on the dole — and watching the pole.



Welfare recipients took out cash at bars, liquor stores, X-rated video shops, hookah parlors and even strip clubs — where they presumably spent their taxpayer money on lap dances rather than diapers, a Post investigation found.

A database of 200 million Electronic Benefit Transfer records from January 2011 to July 2012, obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information request, showed welfare recipients using their EBT cards to make dozens of cash withdrawals at ATMs inside Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn; the Blue Door Video porn shop in the East Village; The Anchor, a sleek SoHo lounge; the Patriot Saloon in TriBeCa; and Drinks Galore, a liquor distributor in The Bronx.




The fraud in these systems is pervasive, and unlike the armed forces, serves no purpose. They need to go.


I think that there is considerable reason to believe that some foods are worse than others. High Fructose Corn Syrup is suspect for a host of problems. I find it interesting that my grand parents ate a ton of sugar and starchy stuff and never carried more than 10 pounds of excess weight. Now we have an entire generation of people fighting their weight. HFCS was invented in 1957 and ubiquitous by 1975.

There are lots of valid reasons to believe that some foods are unhealthier than others. However, there is no valid reason that we should be forced to pay for the food consumption of people who are capable of working but choose not to.