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Reblogged from: http://www.capitalisminstitute.org
Food stamps cover steak, lobster, and caviar.
Yesterday, I made an image to post on Facebook explaining this, and it went viral. As of right now, almost 2,000 people have shared it, and plenty of people have reacted in anger, explaining that I hate the poor. I’ve deleted several comments telling me to go to Hell, telling me I’m a Nazi, and telling me I hate babies.
This is, of course, absurd. But let’s ignore the angry rhetoric and look at what’s actually going on when it comes to food stamps. People are horrified to talk about this, because they’ll instantly be labeled bad words, and theft has become a way of life in a post-bailout America.
But this is Capitalism Institute — the goal is to speak the truth no matter whose toes are stepped on.
Unbelievable Statistics About Food Stamps
This isn’t just a fringe problem. Food stamps are becoming an inherent part of American life as almost every grocery line has someone using a debit card filled with other peoples’ money to spend on whatever they choose. In fact:
- Over 45,000,000 Americans are on food stamps. That means 1 in 7. To visualize this, that means every pew in every church is filled with someone who is living — literally — off the money of everyone else sitting on that pew. Not family members, not kids living off parents — adults living off of other adults.
- Food stamps cover luxury items like lobster and filet mignon. An image circulated a few days ago of a receipt in which someone had $200+ worth of lobster tail and Mountain Dew and paid for it with a food stamp card. The grocery store confirmed it was true. When I was poor, I ate rice and beans and worried about paying my bills on time. For those on food stamps, eating cheaply isn’t necessary. This is disgusting, and is a backwards incentive. When I was poor I had a friend who began smoking pot an living off of welfare, bragging at how easy it was. Lives are ruined when you have broken policy.
- A family of five gets $700+ for food alone. However, people who are on food stamps get at least $100 per person, on average alone. That means people who are actually poor receive well over this per person. From the federal government alone, a family of five can receive $793 per month, not including the 180 free meals also offered at public school for the school-aged kids.
This is just food stamps alone. This isn’t about housing welfare, free college payments, infant assistance, free public schooling, or actual cash from the government. This is the food program alone. For many people, it makes far more sense to eat salmon on food stamps than to accept a part time job and risk losing the “free” money.
People on welfare eat better than many people in the middle class who don’t qualify. That is wrong. And no, this isn’t just an occasional bit of fraud. This is what the system is supposed to do. Someone told me yesterday that he worked in a grocery store, told a lady that food stamps didn’t cover the dog food she picked, so she went back and got t-bones.
That should upset you.
If you support welfare existing to stop starvation from being possible, then that’s one thing. I get it. Babies dying of malnutrition isn’t exactly what the goal is. But there’s no way around the fact that welfare should be reformed, cut, and that we should focus on giving tax cuts to the middle class to make it easier to leave poverty in the first place.
Why Welfare Reform Matters
Why does this matter? Because 1 in 7 Americans are on food stamps. Average it out, and almost every house in America has a welfare recipient in food stamps alone — not counting Social Security, disability, or the billions in other programs.
This is insane. And to the libertarians reading this — this should upset you just as much as corporate welfare, if not more, because these people are voters. At some point, that number is going to be so high that it won’t matter anymore, because defeating a socialist when half the voters are getting checks will be impossible.
This isn’t about being anti-poor. This is about saving the republic and saving capitalism. Poor people not getting free lobsters at the cost of the middle class is just basic common sense — but if you dare say this in public, you’ll be demonized.