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(Politico)   "Where are people spending their food stamps?" Obama administration: That's none of your farking business   (politico.com) divider line 244
    More: Fail, food stamps, Obama administration, Chief Judge, payment processor, secrecy, aficionados, Argus Leader, appeals courts  
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2441 clicks; posted to Politics » on 01 Feb 2014 at 3:54 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-02 01:31:40 AM  

rewind2846: If you're naive enough to believe that this publication has such altruistic motives above and beyond their profit margin... have I got a bridge for you. If that were this newspaper's real goal, then why not get the information and hand it to the relevant authorities... without publishing it?


You understand they are suing to get the information, right?  Are you really that dense?
 
2014-02-02 01:42:42 AM  

SCUBA_Archer: I'll happily bash the Republican Party too.


img.gawkerassets.com
 
2014-02-02 01:56:22 AM  
So, now the right wingers want to add the Farm Lobby to the people who are pissed off at them? Cool!
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
 
2014-02-02 02:03:48 AM  

vpb: Well, we already know that it's at the places that sell fillet minion and lobster.


Are these tasty?

www.toysrus.com
 
2014-02-02 02:09:12 AM  

El Pachuco: vpb: places that sell fillet minion

[encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com image 102x102]


Damn, beat me by 10 hours.
 
2014-02-02 02:27:39 AM  

DogBlack: I'd like to see soda pop off the allowable list.


THIS.  Soda and candy should be ineligible.  I don't remotely mind people being about to buy "lobster" (note that this doesn't actually happen LOL) with food stamps(or as they call in in IL - Link cards), but I would prefer it was limited to items which can at least be technically qualified as food.  It should have SOME nutritional value.

I don't want anyone to starve or even go slightly hungry.  If I had my way, people would have more money to spend in FS.  This would allow people not only to buy everything they need, but to buy healthier - often more expensive - food.  I'd also like basic multivitamins (up to certain standards) to be included as well.

But I think the junk (at least the worst of it) needs to be cut off.  Not primarily for financial savings reasons, but for health.  It makes no sense for taxpayers to subsidize the ruination of poor people's health and then we get to pay for their (now much more costly thanks to junk food/soda) medical care.

People on food stamps would probably still buy soda here and there, but far less of it.  Let them buy bottled water, fruit juice, tea, etc.

No way in hell this would ever pass - companies like Soda and Candy companies have far too much money to throw at politicians to make sure they keep their subsidies.
 
2014-02-02 02:28:43 AM  
Fark why no edit function?  I wanted to add

/former food stamp user
/haven't had a soda in over 2 years
 
2014-02-02 02:40:20 AM  

bk3k: I don't remotely mind people being about to buy "lobster" (note that this doesn't actually happen LOL) with food stamps


I'm sure it does up in Maine, but during boon years you can get a lobster for less than $2 a pound, which makes it about equivalent to lunch meat in cost once shelled.  And I'd rather have the lobster if I was on SNAP.

bk3k: I'd also like basic multivitamins (up to certain standards) to be included as well.


Multivitamins are a scam, which is why there should be rigorous review of what is eligible for SNAP assistance.  You're just trading money that goes to soda companies for money that would go to bullshiat vitamin vendors.

This also shows why it's a good farking idea to make the purchasing statistics public, so you can head off bullshiat at the pass.
 
2014-02-02 02:44:22 AM  

BravadoGT: Obama doesn't give a a damn what they spend the money on.   He just wants them to remember who sends it to them when it's time to vote.


This will totally ensure that his third term will be a landslide.
 
2014-02-02 02:50:27 AM  

BMulligan: Liberals worry that somewhere people are enduring suffering they don't deserve. Conservatives worry that somewhere people someone not white, male, straight, and Christian are enjoying comfort they didn't earn.


Using food stamps to buy lobster? What a useless parasite!

Destroy the economy by running shady lending deals? Those fearless job creators deserve a $5 million bonus!
 
2014-02-02 02:54:11 AM  
If I make an FOIA request to find out how much the government spends on FOIA requests, does the entire government explode?

And is that a good thing or a bad thing?
 
2014-02-02 02:57:37 AM  

Lsherm: rewind2846: If you're naive enough to believe that this publication has such altruistic motives above and beyond their profit margin... have I got a bridge for you. If that were this newspaper's real goal, then why not get the information and hand it to the relevant authorities... without publishing it?

You understand they are suing to get the information, right?  Are you really that dense?


You're the one who seems to be dense. Why are they suing to get the information? So they can publish it. That is why those that have the information do not want to give it to them. The only reason they want the information is so they can use it to write pieces on how "wasteful" these programs are, and to give those who wish to destroy them ammunition to do so.

There are no altruists here, and frankly once the people who need and qualify for the assistance under the current rules don't have to answer to anyone about what they choose to buy. Those that want these people to account for every farking grain of rice or sip of water have only one motive - to punish people for being poor just because they accept food paid for with taxes. Being poor is a sin in this society, and being poor while accepting help from others in the form of repurposed tax money is even worse. Stories like the ones this rag and others seek to write with the information they're suing for only deepens that hatred and perpetuates the stereotypes associated with it.

Consider what FoxNoiseChannel did with the oft-used statistic/meme here on FARK about the poor and refrigerators. This is what happens when information is in the wrong hands.
 
2014-02-02 03:02:41 AM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: If I make an FOIA request to find out how much the government spends on FOIA requests, does the entire government explode?

And is that a good thing or a bad thing?


files.sharenator.com
 
2014-02-02 03:44:16 AM  

Lsherm: Dancin_In_Anson: Nadie_AZ: We don't care how billions are spent for the departments of war and defense

Yeah I remember how stories about $600 toilet seats were spiked by the White House.

Ever see the West Wing episode when Christian Slater explained why a glass ashtray had to cost $400?  It actually made sense.

I'm not sure what the $600 toilet seats do, but I want one.


http://www.kohler.com/numi/ 

I'll see that and raise you a 6,000 toilet.
 
2014-02-02 05:36:14 AM  

Lsherm: Multivitamins are a scam, which is why there should be rigorous review of what is eligible for SNAP assistance. You're just trading money that goes to soda companies for money that would go to bullshiat vitamin vendors.


I am more than a little skeptical about that.  There is plenty of research to the contrary of that - such as AREDS (which is just one off the top of my head).  That was a government funded study BTW - so they don't actually have an agenda nor need to make newspaper headlines.  Those USELESS vitamins where proven to have an affect to the tune of a 25% reduction in Macular Degeneration.

There is a ridiculous amount of vitamin research over so many decades out there that these guys are saying we should throw out in favor of their studies - studies that followed a very particular type of person.

Plus your own link clearly states that the studies where of people who ate a good balanced diet - which I can't help but notice does not describe the majority of Americans let alone poor Americans.  Yes the majority of the benefit of vitamins is to those who do not intake a sufficient and balanced quantity from their diet.  Stuff like antioxidants though should be pretty apparent in how they can be beneficial(even to an armchair chemist) and of course are quite well proven.  I stand by saying that providing a multivitamin to all people will have a net-benefit to the health of the populace and a net-savings to our overall health care spending.

Proper nutrition - through whatever means - plays an important role in the prevention of many preventable diseases.  Also I might add that multivitamins are mostly very, very cheap... buying them retail.  But a program like that would do better with a standardized formulation mailed out by the government to all who sign up for it - to make it all the more cheaper by eliminating the need for retail markup etc let alone brand name premiums.  See this is what happens when you read something and instantly believe it without applying a healthy dose suspicion and critical thinking.

 Your statement "You're just trading money that goes to soda companies for money that would go to bullshiat vitamin vendors. " is all the more laughable even if I accepted your premise about multivitamins being completely useless.  The soda people buy is in far greater quantities and so cost FAR more than if we provided them vitamins instead.  Think about the amount of soda an average person drinks in 2 months and compare that cost to a 60 day supply of vitamins (Retail cost about the same as a single 12pk of Pepsi - and in the stores these things are buy 1 get 1 free about every other week).  Do the math.

Plus that soda is extremely unhealthy - especially in those quantities.  Might as well hand the money over to Philip Morris.  You can't seriously make that claim about Vitamin manufacturers.  So I repeat myself at how laughable that statement really is.
 
2014-02-02 08:46:43 AM  

rewind2846: If you're naive enough to believe that this publication has such altruistic motives above and beyond their profit margin... have I got a bridge for you. If that were this newspaper's real goal, then why not get the information and hand it to the relevant authorities... without publishing it?


Because it is a newspaper and it is it's purpose to publish stories to the public instead of keeping information secret.

rewind2846: It's not their readers who can do anything about fraud, waste and abuse in the system... but they sure can buy some farking newspapers.


Right, media coverage has never forced the government to address an issue that they would have otherwise have ignored.

rewind2846: Let the people whose responsibility it is to run the program deal with it.


No, the people have a right to know what it going on whether you like it or not.
 
2014-02-02 09:02:01 AM  

Generation_D: So the program works, polices itself, and is not a significant part of the over all Federal budget.

And yet, the Republicans want to oversight it, so they all can have some poors to point at and make fun of for the next election.

I swear, these f-for-brains 1%'ers don't quite realize its their own white poor people using most of the food stamps. Not that bogus racist 80s "Welfare Queen" from Chicago they all love to still straw man the crap out of.


You're behind on the talking points.  Now it's the "Welfare Hipster" who uses the government dime to buy steak and lobster while waiting for his shoegaze band to take off.
 
2014-02-02 09:19:27 AM  

rewind2846: Lsherm: rewind2846: If you're naive enough to believe that this publication has such altruistic motives above and beyond their profit margin... have I got a bridge for you. If that were this newspaper's real goal, then why not get the information and hand it to the relevant authorities... without publishing it?

You understand they are suing to get the information, right?  Are you really that dense?

You're the one who seems to be dense. Why are they suing to get the information? So they can publish it. That is why those that have the information do not want to give it to them. The only reason they want the information is so they can use it to write pieces on how "wasteful" these programs are, and to give those who wish to destroy them ammunition to do so.

There are no altruists here, and frankly once the people who need and qualify for the assistance under the current rules don't have to answer to anyone about what they choose to buy. Those that want these people to account for every farking grain of rice or sip of water have only one motive - to punish people for being poor just because they accept food paid for with taxes. Being poor is a sin in this society, and being poor while accepting help from others in the form of repurposed tax money is even worse. Stories like the ones this rag and others seek to write with the information they're suing for only deepens that hatred and perpetuates the stereotypes associated with it.

Consider what FoxNoiseChannel did with the oft-used statistic/meme here on FARK about the poor and refrigerators. This is what happens when information is in the wrong hands.


Maybe the newspapers should only run information approved by a government agency. Maybe a Ministry of Information or something. That way, government officials who know what is best for people can decide what the public should know, lest they form ideas of their own.
 
2014-02-02 09:27:07 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Generation_D: You know grocery stores and what not probably already know, to great detail.

and watch, most of it'll be on food.

Um, it looks like the information desired was just how much income each individual business/chain gets from food stamps.

So... they do know.  And frankly it's not even entirely clear why they wanted to keep it secret, since that's pretty harmless information.


The info they are asking for is Dollars paid out to individual businesses. From the businesses prospective they don't want to have "Walmart made $xx million dollars from food stamps", put on their heads.
 
2014-02-02 11:09:01 AM  

Nabb1: cman: I really cant see why someone would need that kind of information.

Yes, I understand its statistics and no personal information, but really, what would releasing this info change? Nothing at all.

Are a more informed public and transparency in government not ends in themselves? Clearly the newspaper seeking the information see some value.


What they likely see is money in conservative outrage.  Whether you're a part of it or an outside observer, you do have to admit that there's gold in dem dere derpers.
 
2014-02-02 11:22:25 AM  

friday13: Nabb1: cman: I really cant see why someone would need that kind of information.

Yes, I understand its statistics and no personal information, but really, what would releasing this info change? Nothing at all.

Are a more informed public and transparency in government not ends in themselves? Clearly the newspaper seeking the information see some value.

What they likely see is money in conservative outrage.  Whether you're a part of it or an outside observer, you do have to admit that there's gold in dem dere derpers.


Okay, but that's not really much of a legal basis to deny a FOIA request.
 
2014-02-02 12:40:53 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: Hobodeluxe: I think we should do this with everyone who gets paid by the taxpayers.
it's our money right? we should be able to decide what they can and can't buy with it
maybe I don't want some congressman's whore daughter buying birth control
we need to know this stuff people.

You aren't paying money for people to buy things, you are paying them to do a job. You pay teachers to teach your kids, and you do have a right to have input on how they teach your kids.


You are paying taxes (maybe), not for them to do a job so you have no point or input as far as gov jobs go.

/see, others can play your asinine semantic games.
 
2014-02-02 12:59:13 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: /see, others can play your asinine semantic games.


Just because you are unable to understand something does not mean it is semantic games. Why don't you try to take a stab at it again?
 
2014-02-02 01:19:42 PM  
autozone
 
2014-02-02 02:09:37 PM  
DrewCurtisJr:
rewind2846: It's not their readers who can do anything about fraud, waste and abuse in the system... but they sure can buy some farking newspapers.

Right, media coverage has never forced the government to address an issue that they would have otherwise have ignored.


There's waste, fraud and abuse in any system, public or private. As long as humans run that system, it will always be so. But the question is this - of what value is the knowledge that Jane Doublewide uses her EBT to buy corn chips at the 7-11 rather than corn on the cob at whole foods? It's not the information or the dissemination thereof I question... it's the motive behind such actions.

Watergate was a story because we expect our elections to be as fair as humanly possible. Iran-Contra was a story because selling arms to our enemies and cocaine and crap to fund wars is not what we expect our federal officials to do. Bridgegate (NJ) is a story because we should not expect our politicians to run state government like a bad episode of the Sopranos. All good things to know.

So what will be gained with Jane's info?


rewind2846: Let the people whose responsibility it is to run the program deal with it.

No, the people have a right to know what it going on whether you like it or not.


Rights come with responsibilities, and those responsibilities must be weighed against those rights when making decisions. Just because one can do a thing does not mean that thing should be done. If the genuine purpose of using this knowledge is to change policy to make the system better, then I am all for it. However, knowing human nature, the media business, and conservative leaning outlets like the one making this information request I would wager this is not the case.

As stated before, it is their motives I question, and not the the idea of citizens knowing what their government is doing. In this case the information requested is about the shopping habits of the people most vulnerable in this whole scenario... those receiving public assistance, a scenario in which governments and the rest of the citizenry should have the least amount of input. "The government" is not the entity "doing", but those receiving assistance.

If we as a nation choose to give these people assistance, fine. Leave them alone to use it as they will, and do not harass, belittle or denigrate them for that use, which I believe is the motive behind this whole fiasco. Fuel for the fire.
 
2014-02-02 02:16:28 PM  
My buddy at water treatment says he can still read the writing on vitamins.

I eat really healthy so I stopped buying vitamins.
 
2014-02-02 02:20:12 PM  

Lsherm: Empty Matchbook: xanadian: Lsherm: Dancin_In_Anson: Nadie_AZ: We don't care how billions are spent for the departments of war and defense

Yeah I remember how stories about $600 toilet seats were spiked by the White House.

Ever see the West Wing episode when Christian Slater explained why a glass ashtray had to cost $400?  It actually made sense.

I'm not sure what the $600 toilet seats do, but I want one.

Imagine sitting in the head, making an entry to the captain's log, when suddenly the ship is under fire.  DO YOU WANT THAT THING TO SPLINTER AND GO INTO YOUR ASS!??  I think NOT

.....you know what? If they ACTUALLY wanted to make this the argument (as opposed to denying it in the face of reality), I'd actually get behind it. Is it a terribly LIKELY scenario? No, but ya know what? I'd ACCEPT it.

Well I don't know who "they" are, but someone must have floated that idea.  It's not like The West Wing was known for making up stories to protect the military industrial complex.


I was referring to whoever was tasked with answering the accusation.
 
2014-02-02 02:46:09 PM  

rewind2846: There's waste, fraud and abuse in any system, public or private. As long as humans run that system, it will always be so.


Yes, and you do what you reasonably can to keep it at a minimum.


rewind2846: So what will be gained with Jane's info?


They may uncover fraud, they may not.

rewind2846: Rights come with responsibilities, and those responsibilities must be weighed against those rights when making decisions. Just because one can do a thing does not mean that thing should be done. If the genuine purpose of using this knowledge is to change policy to make the system better, then I am all for it. However, knowing human nature, the media business, and conservative leaning outlets like the one making this information request I would wager this is not the case.


You and the government may not like the way this information may be potentially used, even if it is used in a way the accurately reflects the facts. That doesn't matter and it is the foundation of freedom of the press.

rewind2846: If we as a nation choose to give these people assistance, fine. Leave them alone to use it as they will, and do not harass, belittle or denigrate them for that use, which I believe is the motive behind this whole fiasco. Fuel for the fire.


We as a nation choose to give people assistance under certain conditions. Just like if the government gives a town $100k for counter-terrorism initiatives and the town uses it to build a swimming pool. I'm not trying to scrap all counter-terrorism funding, but I want to stop abuse.
 
2014-02-02 04:13:27 PM  
DrewCurtisJr:

We as a nation choose to give people assistance under certain conditions. Just like if the government gives a town $100k for counter-terrorism initiatives and the town uses it to build a swimming pool. I'm not trying to scrap all counter-terrorism funding, but I want to stop abuse.

It's called a MOAT!  Worked great when the Sardinians tried to overrun the Gauls.
 
2014-02-02 04:39:44 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: rewind2846: So what will be gained with Jane's info?

They may uncover fraud, they may not.


So let me get this... the $300 or less a month Jane may get for food is so important that we need to examine, investigate and inform the general public of the ground breaking, earth shattering revelation that she buys Doritos instead of generic corn chips? Of that she bought them at Joe's liquor down the street instead of the supermarket?

Seriously?

And of course stories about the real fraudsters, corporations that get sweetheart deals for millions of our tax dollars, might go on page... 2... of section D, the business section?

DrewCurtisJr: We as a nation choose to give people assistance under certain conditions.


When dealing with something as basic as food assistance, the only conditions should be income and need. If your income is low enough, you qualify. If your need is great enough, you qualify. After that, hands off.
 
2014-02-02 05:21:01 PM  

bunner: WhoGAS: Hmmm...but, then again, we have to consider the amount of money we'd be constantly spending to have someone maintain that database, troubleshoot the software, update the servers, help desk, audits, qa...I guess I can also see there's no cost-benefit in it

ASCII is amazingly non intensive as data goes.  You put the whole year on a couple of Dell blades and a small Glyph array.  There's enough people sitting on their asses in the bureaucracy who could be doing actual work for the same money to cover the management costs.


That's great for gathering the data, no trouble there, but who's going to build the site for public consumption or whatever method of dissemination to the public they choose?  Who will organize that department to oversee the data being shared is in a readable format?  The UX designers who will (should) be called in to oversee the creation of any web media (if that's the route they choose), poject managers, etc.

You think someone in the government's going to volunteer and go, "Hey, my kid runs a site.  We can just tag along on his"?

Maybe.  I doubt it, but maybe you're right.

Either way, there are so many checks and balances on the way the stamps are spent, I'm leaning toward there not being a good ROI on the idea.  Not excluding it altogether; just with the information I have right now.

The ones who use food stamps to buy drugs, cash, etc. don't care about any silly laws or data collection so I don't see how we could get any results except "Food Stamp Recipient #2,003: Milk, Eggs, Bread, etc.".  Maybe I'm naive because it's been a long time since I've been on food stamps.

What would you expect to see from a report like that?
 
2014-02-02 05:41:03 PM  
More likely scenario:

Most of the money is spent in convenience stores and other junk food dispensing outlets, not grocery stores that sells produce and fruit, Obama doesn't want to deal with it because junk food makers would raise a shiatstorm if someone points it out.
 
2014-02-02 05:47:54 PM  

rewind2846: So let me get this... the $300 or less a month Jane may get for food is so important that we need to examine, investigate and inform the general public of the ground breaking, earth shattering revelation that she buys Doritos instead of generic corn chips? Of that she bought them at Joe's liquor down the street instead of the supermarket?


I guess it depends on how many Jane's there are.  Multiply by 30 million and you're talking real money.
 
2014-02-02 06:01:35 PM  

rewind2846: So let me get this... the $300 or less a month Jane may get for food is so important that we need to examine, investigate and inform the general public of the ground breaking, earth shattering revelation that she buys Doritos instead of generic corn chips? Of that she bought them at Joe's liquor down the street instead of the supermarket?

Seriously?


Or if Jane, and many, many others are engaging in something like this.

Or this

Or this


And can't we have a discussion about whether corn-chips of any kind should be eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits? Do you know what the N in SNAP stands for, it's not for Nachos it is nutrition.


rewind2846: When dealing with something as basic as food assistance, the only conditions should be income and need. If your income is low enough, you qualify. If your need is great enough, you qualify. After that, hands off.


If the government can be concerned about fraud so can everyone else.
 
2014-02-02 06:14:46 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: rewind2846: So let me get this... the $300 or less a month Jane may get for food is so important that we need to examine, investigate and inform the general public of the ground breaking, earth shattering revelation that she buys Doritos instead of generic corn chips? Of that she bought them at Joe's liquor down the street instead of the supermarket?

Seriously?

Or if Jane, and many, many others are engaging in something like this.

Or this

Or this


And can't we have a discussion about whether corn-chips of any kind should be eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits? Do you know what the N in SNAP stands for, it's not for Nachos it is nutrition.


rewind2846: When dealing with something as basic as food assistance, the only conditions should be income and need. If your income is low enough, you qualify. If your need is great enough, you qualify. After that, hands off.

If the government can be concerned about fraud so can everyone else.


My solution: use the money we spend paying farmers not to grow food or to subsidize food to buy said food and just give it to teh poorz. No more food deserts, no more junk food for meals, no more subsidizing obesity.

It's not even about saving money by this point, I just want to spite the cottage industry around EBT that sells people crap.
 
2014-02-02 06:35:49 PM  

super_grass: DrewCurtisJr: rewind2846: So let me get this... the $300 or less a month Jane may get for food is so important that we need to examine, investigate and inform the general public of the ground breaking, earth shattering revelation that she buys Doritos instead of generic corn chips? Of that she bought them at Joe's liquor down the street instead of the supermarket?

Seriously?

Or if Jane, and many, many others are engaging in something like this.

Or this

Or this


And can't we have a discussion about whether corn-chips of any kind should be eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits? Do you know what the N in SNAP stands for, it's not for Nachos it is nutrition.


rewind2846: When dealing with something as basic as food assistance, the only conditions should be income and need. If your income is low enough, you qualify. If your need is great enough, you qualify. After that, hands off.

If the government can be concerned about fraud so can everyone else.

My solution: use the money we spend paying farmers not to grow food or to subsidize food to buy said food and just give it to teh poorz. No more food deserts, no more junk food for meals, no more subsidizing obesity.

It's not even about saving money by this point, I just want to spite the cottage industry around EBT that sells people crap.


Yeah, we should force people on SNAP to only be able to buy rice, corn and beans with it. That will show them!
 
2014-02-02 07:14:33 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: If the government can be concerned about fraud so can everyone else.


Fraud = not being financially qualified under current guidelines for assistance.
Example: Bill Gates using an EBT card.

Fraud /= buying corn chips vs whole corn.
Example: Qualified poor person using EBT at the 7-11

to buy lunch instead of buying the ingredients at Food 4 Less.

super_grass: It's not even about saving money by this point, I just want to spite the cottage industry around EBT that sells people crap.


Why does what other people choose to purchase bother you so much? Is it because TAX MUNEEZ?


DrewCurtisJr: Or if Jane, and many, many others are engaging in something like this.

Or this

Or this



The problem with those like yourself is that you somehow have already come to the conclusion that Jane is already doing this simply because she is on public assistance, and therefore needs to be investigated... when out of the millions on the programs the fraud you linked to is perpetrated by organized criminals and others who don't need the assistance in the first place.

This is precisely what I and others in this and other threads have been posting about. When newspapers and websites report on criminal activity like the ones you posted, they are doing their job, so long as they do not editorialize in such a way as to paint all public assistance recipients with the same brush. Reporting on criminal activity is fine, shaming those who use public assistance is not. Period.
 
2014-02-02 08:14:21 PM  

rewind2846: Fraud /= buying corn chips vs whole corn.


I didn't say it was fraud did I. But maybe it would be smart policy to not allow empty calories like corn-chips to be purchased with fund for a nutritional program.

 

rewind2846: This is precisely what I and others in this and other threads have been posting about. When newspapers and websites report on criminal activity like the ones you posted, they are doing their job, so long as they do not editorialize in such a way as to paint all public assistance recipients with the same brush. Reporting on criminal activity is fine, shaming those who use public assistance is not. Period.


No your objections come from the fact that you have claimed you know what the motives are for people requesting this information, and you do not. Because YOU are unable to think of any other reason why someone would need this information other than to "shame" people on the SNAP program it must mean nobody else may know something you don't or be able to think of something that you cannot

For instance:

rewind2846: The only reason they want the information is so they can use it to write pieces on how "wasteful" these programs are, and to give those who wish to destroy them ammunition to do so.


It is not up to you to decide what is the proper use of information obtained by the press because you claim you know their motives.
 
2014-02-02 08:51:15 PM  

rewind2846: super_grass: It's not even about saving money by this point, I just want to spite the cottage industry around EBT that sells people crap.

Why does what other people choose to purchase bother you so much? Is it because TAX MUNEEZ?


Because people keep conflating food stamps with access to food.

A diet fueled by food stamps is making South Texans obese but leaving them hungry
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/11/09/too-much-of-too -l ittle/

And because I don't want to pay for more diabeetus meds and bypass surgeries. I'm concerned, very concerned.
 
2014-02-02 09:01:06 PM  
Please allow me to use this graphic to explain how America works, from the bottom up.


 i10.photobucket.com 

                    "I HAVE THE MONEY!  I GET TO SAY!"
 
2014-02-02 09:06:10 PM  
DrewCurtisJr:
Or if Jane, and many, many others are engaging in something like this.

Or this

Or this


Verifying that fraud isn't occurring with a government spending program is racist!  Republicans might demand that this sort of behavior stop once they find out about it.
 
2014-02-03 12:27:15 AM  

DrewCurtisJr: But maybe it would be smart policy to not allow empty calories like corn-chips to be purchased with fund for a nutritional program.


When you are poor enough to qualify for public assistance, the luxury of "eating healthy" is just one thing you cannot afford. Lean meat costs more than fatty, starch and sugar costs more than whole grains, and so on. Storage (dry? refrigerated? how long does it last?), prep and shopping time, and energy used in all three must also be taken into account. All those things cost money, and if your electricity has been turned off there is no refrigeration or cooking. If there is no money for gas or a car there is no shopping in many places. Then there's the actual amount of food that can be purchased with a given (set) amount of money, and whether that amount will actually fill you up until the next meal, if there is one. You get what you can, you eat what you can.

But I'm not telling you anything you (hopefully) do not already know. Those of us who can sit at home on our computers and type on FARK are a fortunate few, and usually don't need to empty the penny jar to buy our next meal. I have been to that place, coming within days of applying for EBT during one of the times I was between jobs, losing 21 pounds in the process. One meal a day, living on oatmeal and peanut butter on day old bread for weeks at a time, not being able to sleep because my stomach was knotted up in emptiness.

This is not something I would wish on anyone, and was fortunate that four days before I applied I was hired as a temp by a company with a free kitchen (bagels every morning, catered lunch on fridays) and all the coffee you could drink. Some of the other employees knew what I was going through and left me some extra so I could take it home and not go hungry over the weekends until I got paid.

Point is that no one, NO ONE should EVER have to be ashamed of being poor, least of all by some asshole profit seeking "newspaper" looking to make a buck off their skinny backs by conjuring up stereotypes and pointing fingers to make their already smug readers feel even more smug about not being one of "those people".

LEAVE THEM ALONE to buy what they want, and mind your own goddamn business. If they don't qualify for assistance, don't give it to them. If they qualify, then give it to them and STFU.
 
2014-02-03 01:15:21 AM  

rewind2846: DrewCurtisJr: But maybe it would be smart policy to not allow empty calories like corn-chips to be purchased with fund for a nutritional program.

When you are poor enough to qualify for public assistance, the luxury of "eating healthy" is just one thing you cannot afford. Lean meat costs more than fatty, starch and sugar costs more than whole grains, and so on. Storage (dry? refrigerated? how long does it last?), prep and shopping time, and energy used in all three must also be taken into account. All those things cost money, and if your electricity has been turned off there is no refrigeration or cooking. If there is no money for gas or a car there is no shopping in many places. Then there's the actual amount of food that can be purchased with a given (set) amount of money, and whether that amount will actually fill you up until the next meal, if there is one. You get what you can, you eat what you can.

But I'm not telling you anything you (hopefully) do not already know. Those of us who can sit at home on our computers and type on FARK are a fortunate few, and usually don't need to empty the penny jar to buy our next meal. I have been to that place, coming within days of applying for EBT during one of the times I was between jobs, losing 21 pounds in the process. One meal a day, living on oatmeal and peanut butter on day old bread for weeks at a time, not being able to sleep because my stomach was knotted up in emptiness.

This is not something I would wish on anyone, and was fortunate that four days before I applied I was hired as a temp by a company with a free kitchen (bagels every morning, catered lunch on fridays) and all the coffee you could drink. Some of the other employees knew what I was going through and left me some extra so I could take it home and not go hungry over the weekends until I got paid.

Point is that no one, NO ONE should EVER have to be ashamed of being poor, least of all by some asshole profit seeking "newspaper" looking to make a buck ...


As someone who stretched every penny to make sure you didn't have to resort to government benefits, doesn't it bother you to know that some of the taxes you are paying out (and could be using to buy more food) could be going to those that are abusing the system or committing outright fraud?  No one is looking to use this information to crucify the single mother who rewarded her kids with a bag of Doritos instead of a head of broccoli one night.  But we would like to know if there's a systemic use to buy certain categories of unhealthy food, or funnelling SNAP funds to shady endeavors.  Naturally though, seeking out this simple information is racist and demeaning to those who have to wait for their government cheese so we can't do it.  We need to spare the poors feelings.
 
2014-02-03 01:28:25 AM  
GOP: A few people on food stamps bought lobster and wine so let all the poor children starve.
 
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