Advertisements

My Time at Walmart: Why We Need Serious Welfare Reform

During the 2010 and 2011 summers, I was a cashier at Wal-Mart #1788 in Scarborough, Maine. I spent hours upon hours toiling away at a register, scanning, bagging, and dealing with questionable clientele. These were all expected parts of the job, and I was okay with it. What I didn’t expect to be part of my job at Wal-Mart was to witness massive amounts of welfare fraud and abuse.

I understand that sometimes, people are destitute. They need help, and they accept help from the state in order to feed their families. This is fine. It happens. I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it. What I saw at Wal-Mart, however, was not temporary aid. I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items.  I literally witnessed small children asking their mothers if they could borrow their EBT cards. I once had a man show me his welfare card for an ID to buy alcohol. The man was from Massachusetts. Governor Michael Dukakis’ signature was on his welfare card. Dukakis’ last gubernatorial term ended in January of 1991. I was born in June of 1991. The man had been on welfare my entire life. That’s not how welfare was intended, but sadly, it is what it has become.

Other things witnessed while working as a cashier included:

a) People ignoring me on their iPhones while the state paid for their food. (For those of you keeping score at home, an iPhone is at least $200, and requires a data package of at least $25 a month. If a person can spend $25+ a month so they can watch YouTube 24/7, I don’t see why they can’t spend that money on food.)

b) People using TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) money to buy such necessities such as earrings, kitkat bars, beer, WWE figurines, and, my personal favorite, a slip n’ slide. TANF money does not have restrictions like food stamps on what can be bought with it.

c) Extravagant purchases made with food stamps; including, but not limited to: steaks, lobsters, and giant birthday cakes.

d) A man who ran a hotdog stand on the pier in Portland, Maine used to come through my line. He would always discuss his hotdog stand and encourage me to “come visit him for lunch some day.” What would he buy? Hotdogs, buns, mustard, ketchup, etc. How would he pay for it? Food stamps. Either that man really likes hotdogs, or the state is paying for his business. Not okay.

The thing that disturbed me more than simple cases of fraud/abuse was the entitled nature of many of my customers. One time, a package of bell peppers did not ring up as food in the computer. After the woman swiped her EBT card, it showed a balance that equaled the cost of the peppers. The woman asked what the charge was, and a quick glance at the register screen showed that the peppers did not ring up as food. (Food items had the letter ‘F’ next to their description.) The woman immediately began yelling at me, saying that, “It’s food! You eat it!”

This wasn’t the only time things like this happened: if a person’s EBT balance was less than they thought it would be, or if their cards were declined, it was somehow my fault. I understand the situation is stressful, but a person should be knowledgeable about how much money is in their account prior to going grocery shopping. EBT totals are printed on receipts, and every cell phone has a calculator function. There’s no excuse, and there’s no reason to yell at the cashier for it.

The worst thing I ever saw at Wal-Mart Scarborough was two women and their children. These women each had multiple carts full of items, and each began loading them at the same time (this should have been a tip-off to their intelligence levels). The first woman, henceforth known as Welfare Queen #1, paid for about $400 worth of food with food stamps. The majority of her food was void of any nutritional value. She then pulled out an entire month’s worth of WIC (Women, Infants, and Children program) checks. I do not mind people paying with WIC, but the woman had virtually none of the correct items. WIC gives each participating mother a book containing actual images of items for which a person can and cannot redeem the voucher. This woman literally failed at image comprehension.

After redeeming 10+ WIC checks, Welfare Queen #1 had me adjust the prices of several items she was buying (Wal-Mart’s policy is to adjust the price of the item without question if it’s within a dollar or two). She then pulled out a vacuum cleaner, and informed me that the cost of the vacuum was $3.48 because, “that’s what the label says.” The vacuum cleaner was next to a stack of crates that were $3.48. Somehow, every other customer was able to discern that the vacuum cleaner was not $3.48, but Welfare Queen #1 and her friend Welfare Queen #2 were fooled. Welfare Queen #2 informed me that she used to work for Wal-Mart, and that the “laws of Wal-Mart legally said” that I would have to sell her the vacuum for $3.48. After contacting my manager, who went off to find the proper vacuum price, Welfare Queen #1 remarked that it must be tough to stand on a mat all day and be a cashier. I looked at her, smiled, shrugged, and said, “Well, it’s a job.” She was speechless. After they finally admitted defeat, (not before Welfare Queen #2 realizing she didn’t have enough money to buy all of the food she had picked out, resulting in the waste of about $200 worth of products) the two women left about an hour and a half after they arrived at my register. The next man in line said that the two women reminded him of buying steel drums and cement. I said I was reminded why I vote Republican.

Maine has a problem with welfare spending. Maine has some of the highest rates in the nation for food stamp enrollment, Medicaid, and TANF. Nearly 30% of the state is on some form of welfare. Maine is the only state in the nation to rank in the top two for all three categories. This is peculiar, as Maine’s poverty rate isn’t even close to being the highest in the nation. The system in Maine is far easier to get into than in other states, and it encourages dependency. When a person makes over the limit for benefits, they lose all benefits completely. There is no time limit and no motivation to actually get back to work. Furthermore, spending on welfare has increased dramatically, but there has been no reduction of the poverty rate. Something is going terribly wrong, and the things I saw at work were indicators of a much larger problem. Something must change before the state runs out of money funding welfare programs.

Christine Rousselle // Providence College // @Crousselle

Advertisements

Comments

  1. I j ust wanted 2 say this doesnt go far enough. THis doesnt go far enough. U wanna buy porterhouse stakes? you want to be buy a cake witth all the trimmings?? work for it. work at walmart. i dont want to tell MY kids that theyre future will be payi ng 4 LOOSERS 2 eat Sara Lee. I WANT THEM 2 BE WORKING 4 A LIVEING LIKE THIS YOUNG LADY, AT WALMART OR ANY OTHER BUISINESS IN TOWN!!!!!!!!

  2. This needs to be shared with every Senator and Congressman – and to All State Attorney Generals – Something has to change to elimate this fraud

  3. This needs to be shared with all Senators and Congressmen and State Attorney Generals – it is time to expose this fraud

  4. My daughter experienced the exact same thing while working at a grocery store. Rude, entitled moochers working the system in every imaginable way possible.

    Somehow my daughter was able to work 30 hours a week checking groceries, wait tables 4 nights a week and take 3 college classes, but the grown men and women who paraded through her checkout line each and every day with their welfare funds could not be bothered with such a thing as work.

  5. I say it all the time. I am all for giving someone a hand up but I am sick of all the people exploiting that system and holding the rest of us hostage with it. Oh they’ll get theirs but I’m going to get mine too, and if you try to take it away from me I am going to get everyone to hate on you because you don’t care about the poor. Charity should be through a church and not through everyone’s paycheck before they are even allowed to cash it!

  6. Heidi schabziger says:

    Excellent article.

  7. My brother worked for a Walmart in Connecticut, he could have written this same commentary. He was disgusted by what he saw and had to go along with(store policy).

  8. I really appreciate the attitude that you showed throughout this post. It is actually nearly perfectly in line with how I see things. I understand that there are folks who truly need assistance, but the way that welfare and food stamps are set up, basically allow folks to USE the programs whether they need them or not.

    Excellent post though, and I can’t wait to see more in the future.

  9. Glad to see glimmers of Hope in the rising generation.

  10. I knew this was happening. I see it writ large every time I go to Walmart at the beginning of the month. Thanks for documenting it so eloquently. My guess is that you will now be visited by federal authorities accusing you of a hate crime. If so, be sure to let us know.

  11. Excellent! I worked my way through high school in grocery stores, and through part of college at Wal-Mart. Those jobs are part of the reason I chose to vote Republican. I have been on assistance. I had my son at 16, worked 2 jobs and went to school. He was on WIC because after I quit nursing he needed very specialized formula. Even with 2 jobs I couldn’t afford it. When in college I worked at WM and went to school full time. It was really expensive! I got food stamps to help make ends meet. I was very frugal with them and always had money left at the end of the month. When on WIC and Stamps, I got off of them as soon as I could. There was once a great stigma attached to using assistance programs, and honestly, there still ought to be. Excellent article.

  12. Not every person who receives food stamps is on welfare. Some people receive food stamps because they’re receiving unemployment payments. I live in NY state and unfortunately that’s the situation we’re in right now. I *LOVE* getting dirty looks and being demonized like I’m a “Welfare Queen” even though my boyfriend and I are both looking for jobs in a tough market. We don’t have EBT cash. We only pay for food with food stamps, but that’s ALL food. So if I pick up a birthday cake for my boyfriend (which hasn’t happened cause I usually bake it myself, but hypothetically…), I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for it with food stamps. That’s what they’re there for — to buy food.
    I used to have the same attitude that you do about this issue but the funny thing is that when you actually walk a mile in the same shoes you so easily criticized, it can change your perspective. I’d rather be working, but I swallowed my pride so my boyfriend and I wouldn’t end up on the street when we lost our jobs. The next time you want to pass judgment on people for stuff like this, really consider the fact that you don’t personally know their situation and ten to one says you don’t know if they’re buying porterhouse steaks, shrimp, and birthday cakes every week.

  13. Having been on FS before I just want to say we were very thankful that we could get birthday cakes as the toys on it were the kids b-day presents. It filled a void. I was frustrated as FS do pay for seeds and plants for gardens but Walmart never priced them as food items. It would have been a much better use of the money. We are off the system now and we are very frugal. Knowing what we had coming in and what I budget now I see why some people stay on it. It is sad that people don’t see it as a temporary program

  14. Wonderfully written! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Joe Gentil says:

    It’s not hard to put restrictions on welfare and food stamps. Why won’t the government do it? This is all in their grand scheme of things to overthrow our constitution and usher in the new world order. The government especially obama preys on the uneducated. If the new world order should ever happen these people are going to be in for a rude awakening and not be able to purchase 1/4 of the things they (taxpayers) buy.

  16. While I agree with most of the qualms the writer has with people misusing aid from the state, I disagree that certain food considered “extravagant purchases” should be stopped as well. If a person wants to buy a steak, lobster, candy, what is wrong with that? Steak is good and considered FOOD and everyonre deserves to have the foods they enjoy. Should they buy it everyday and leave out essentials like fruit, water and vegetables? No. But don’t treat people who really do need the aid less than and feel you can limit their freedom in what they choose to eat.

  17. When I was in college (35 years ago) my wife and I were just scraping by on mac & cheese and oatmeal. I worked in a grocery store, and one night 4 other college students came in. They were renting a house together and they combined their food stamps and bought 2 cart-loads of groceries with steaks, roasts, all primo groceries. I have been very suspect of our welfare system ever since.

  18. Like most, I don’t have a problem with a hand up for those who need it – by the Grace of God as they say.

    But this kind of abuse is what is destroying our Country. I too have seen it back when I worked retail in high school and college.

    Instead of the Government paying farmers not to farm, how about they grow commodities that can then be sold in Government Commodity stores or in certain sections of the regular grocery store? Then, those on public assistance can get all of the rice, beans, meat, vegetables, flour, milk, cheese, eggs, etc. that they need to feed their families.

    If you want more than that, well then, there’s your incentive to get off public assistance.

  19. Absolutely fabulous job young lady. Your insight gives me hope for the future :-)

  20. Joyce Bant says:

    I witnessed something like this at a Goodwill checkout. Apparently people who qualify for our tax dollars are also given a discount there and I would think it would be for warm clothing and necessities. The woman ahead of me used her card to pay for jewelry.

    Another time in a Wal Mart line a woman ahead of me sorted out her groceries from her pile of CDs & movies and I wondered why until she paid for her groceries with food stamps.

  21. I am very proud to know that there are young people with working brains out there. I also think you are very brave to report this, and it should be shared until (if) the nonsense stops.

  22. I do understand what you are saying, but are you saying that just because they are on food stamps they shouldn’t be able to eat a steak once in a while. I too have worked in a grocery store and have seen the abuse that happens. You are correct that once you get on the system its almost impossible to get off, but some of that is the governments fault. They start trying to get on their feet by getting a job and the government pulls the floor out from under them, taking everything from them all at once. They won’t let you get things going before they take everything so its easier just to stay on welfare and not worry that you won’t be able to eat cos you make just enough money to have benefits denied. I to am a republician, but I have seen first hand through people I know that if you try to help yourself at all the government cuts you off at your knees. Reform is neede, but it has to be done in the right way.

  23. If you try to limit which items they can purchase you are distorting the markets.

    There will always be fraud in systems. Be it Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Assistance, Government Contracting, Tax Returns. You’ll get over it once you grow up and get a real job out in the real world.

  24. Welfare queens are people voting themselves money, that is usually the point when a democracy starts on the path to implosion. Once voting yourself money catches on, every politician joins the game to exchange entitlement for votes, from there its about 100 years before the democracy dismantles because money is gone, honest taxpayers decline dramatically, every one tries to either leave the system or hide their incomes or failing that starts stealing from the system.

  25. Just excellent, we need many, many more people of your age to start to think as you do.

  26. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here in Detroit while I was still employed with my company’s stamping plant on Detroit’s east side, I would skip out for lunch and pick up a couple things at the then existing party stores and wait in line behind the food stamp champs as they purchased their tobacco and alcohol products from the knowing store owner who would charge them dollars on the pennies for the products that weren’t approved under the welfare program. Food stamp conversions are a major source of income for inner city party stores and they are getting busted regularly in Detroit/

  27. The Old Coach says:

    Inventory databases being what they are, it would be trivial to restrict WIC and EBT purchases to staple items such as milk, bread, low-cost cuts of meat, etc. Just one field in the database and you eliminate all purchases of luxury items. Why is this not a hot button issue in Maine and everywhere else?

  28. Yes we need to stop the corporate welfare that goes on with this country. Who benefits more from this abuse, the people on welfare or Wall mart? It’s disgusting that people have to work two jobs just to afford to go to school and the only place that really reaps the benefits is that corporation, while it destroys local economies and gets job creation tax breaks as well.

  29. Wow… What an enlightened and sage experienced opinion you have developed as a seasoned observer and veteran cashier at Walmart… I will pray that you nor any of your friends and/or loved ones ever fall on hard times… I am more concerned with your lack of kindness than the welfare status issues in Maine… I am confident you will regret some of your judgments recorded here, once you have actually experienced some actual ‘living’…

  30. Pardon me, but is the “benefit” the fault of Walmart? The decision is made by those with the ENTIRE card to spend there. Lastly would you like to provide sources on how Walmart has devalued local economies? My local Walmart has done no such thing if not having promoted expansion.

  31. Pardon me, but is the “benefit” the fault of Walmart? The decision is made by those with the EBT card to spend there. Lastly would you like to provide sources on how Walmart has devalued local economies? My local Walmart has done no such thing if not having promoted expansion.

  32. Very well written, the only item I would not be too concerned about someone one FS buying would be the birthday cake.
    The reason is because a few years ago, a lady wrote the local paper here, and they pubished the letter she wrote it was really sad. She said she had always worked, but because of her daughters diagnoses of cancer she could no longer hold a full time job, because of all the appointments and things she had to go to. Then at the last appointment not long before her daughter’s birthday, she was told her daughter was not going to be here much longer, if I remember right it was less than a year of life expectancy left.
    She was very upset, and wanted to do something nice for what would be her daughters last birthday, so she purchased one of the fancy birthday cakes at the grocery store on fs. She stated she didnt have any money left after paying for all of her daughters care, and that her family had only recently qualified for foodstamps, (she said she’d never used them before, and that it was embarrassing to her)
    Anyway, she bought the cake, and then overheard someone making a rude comment about how she should not have done that, which is what led her to write the paper, if I remember right her daughter died not long after that, and it was right after her daughters death that she wrote the paper.
    Sometimes I think things are not quite what they seem. However, most of the time it seems like more people than not are abusing the system, and that is sad because it makes it so that people who need help either can’t get help, or won’t apply because of being afraid that someone will think that they are abusing the system.
    Anyway, I think that there is a lot more abuse goes on than is even noticed, by people who have become dependant and who have now obtained the mindset that they are entitled to whatever that can be obtained by applying for welfare.

  33. We need to abolish Welfare COMPLETELY. Get rid of ALL entitlement programs- Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security- ANY program that forceably removes money from the worker and gives back to the worker or to ANYONE else. It should NEVER have been taken without the workers permission…PERIOD. It is pure, legalized theft. No exceptions.

  34. @ME Smith- Why is it a “lack of kindness” for someone to keep the money they earned, but NOT a lack of kindness for the government to steal money from others? You are such a hypocrite. I would bet $1,000 that if someone came up to you in the street and demanded your money, you would fight them tooth and nail- even if the reason they were taking your money was to give it to the homeless. You’re full of crap.

  35. One thing that needs to be done is cashiers need to quit allowing the abuse at the register and a lot of this would stop.

  36. Excellent article which illustrates why all welfare programs should be turned over to states and/or counties and municipalities. A short distance between the source (who writes the checks) to the recipients might discourage this type of behavior. Somehow, hardworking taxpayers need to be able to hold welfare cheats accountable…..even using that old-fashioned method — Shame!

  37. My first sentence should have said “I would not be too concerned about someone on fs using foodstamps to purchase a birthday cake, there really could be a valid reason”

  38. i went to a pick n save store here in wisconsin a week ago….and unfortunatly i too have a story to share with you regarding the abuse of EBT funds,,,,,this woman had cases of soda at least 8 to 10 steaks and countless other junk food items in her cart…..i looked at her shaking my head in utter amazement and she had the nerve to tell me to mind my own business….i said lady im paying taxes for you to abuse freely so dont give me any lip about your careless shopping habits….the cashier smiled at me and said she was proud that someone had the guts to tell the person something she wishes she were allowed to do….some ppl truly need the help but a ton of ppl freely abuse it and brag about it on youtube and sadly theres even ebt videos posted flaunting its abuse….lets hope something can be done about it but im not counting on it

  39. In the early 80’s I worked for the Township version of Welfare. Some of the files I worked on were begun in the early 1940’s & they showed up every month for the Township to pay their rent & utilities. They showed up driving Cadillacs, dressed to the teeth some wearing furs! One man was pimped out & healthy. I asked why he was on relief & was told “because he “volunteered” as a dj at a radio station & didn’t have time to work! The job was a temp job. They offered me full time. I turned them down.

  40. mommy of 2 special needs says:

    I am a person using medicaid and foodstamps, why? Because we can not afford it, I was working I worked for as long as possible til my daughter’s illness had gotten worse.
    I have 2 children with special needs, and I can not work due to 4/5 appointments a week, and traveling 6hours to one appointment 3 times a month!
    I do agree that those who ABUSE the foodstamps and ADC should be introuble.
    but DON’T give everyone on them a bad rep.
    I am ONLY On it because I NEED to be!

  41. Wish there was *thumbs up* icon for this article and many, many of the comments. She’s right. Put restrictions and time limits on social programs, and stop stealing from the tax payer’s. It will be better for the people on the programs; having limits and goals, and it will make the general public happier to help.

  42. Carl Tarajkowski says:

    Extremely well written. my wife works for a grocery chain and could have written this letter. The storys she tells me are neverending wonders. sometime she sees over $3000.00 left on a food stamp card. There is MASSIVE fraud here and you are allowed to buy soda and lobster with your card. I’m all for assistance, but the way this Govt is set up, there is no incentive to do any better for yourself and get off assistance. And UNFORTUNATELY, Pres Obama wants all of us dependent on the Govt. A double whammy. My question to all the dogooders in DC, where is your never ending number of taxpaying, hardworking Americans going to come from??There is only a limited number of WORKING people. The rest are unemployed, looking for work, over 99 weeks looking for work or retired.

  43. Really Old Guy says:

    Since when is Social Security an entitlement Mr. CDog? I paid into it for over forty years. My employers paid into it for over 40 years. I think I’m entitled to drawing a bit of it out now that I’m old…I’m sure you’ll feel the same when you reach my age.

    I also pay my medicare payments even though I’m not sick. What do I receive from Medicare? Nothing. As soon as I reached 65 the Govt starts taking it out of my SS check, even though I don’t use that benefit. Kind of like insurance, isn’t it?

    Get informed before you post so people won’t think you’re such an ignoramus. Thanks.

  44. Alain Carpentier says:

    Well said. Excellent article. I agree that Welfare should be a temporary crutch, not a life-time entitlement that some people think they deserve.

  45. I have to say something about this tho… I do know of people who abuse the system… But, there are people who do need help. The young lady writing this story… tell me do you make enough at walmart to support yourself with no help from credit cards or your parents? I look at the whole situation this way. If you fit into the criteria of being able to qualify then you deserve them. Not having a job right now is the norm for many. If you cant make enough even if you do have a job then that says something about how the system is messed up with the pay rate. But when you live outside of your means by using credit cards… that says something about you. You are not really making it yourself. The stuff you charge on your card is like welfare until it is paid off. You are doing no less than borrowing something that isnt yours. Tell me how many people go bankrupt to avoid paying for living outside their means… You cant REPO food you eat that you paid for with a credit card. Everyone… should have to pay with cash!!! Lets see how well you live then!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Judgmental cashiers who have been blessed enough to not be on welfare are the reason many of us choose the self-checkout line. Especially those of us who are the majority of people on food stamps and simply found ourselves in hard circumstances, needing to use the system for a while. We don’t want to be judged for what we purchase, as we won’t judge you. We don’t want to be judged for our clothing or our iPhones — perhaps that was a gift; perhaps we are stuck in a 2-year contract. The system was created for people like us, but it is people like you who make it so humiliating.

  47. Thank you for your observation. This permanent welfare is not helping this country.

    As a previous poster said, being on public assistance used to have a stigna associated with it. I concur that it would be nice if it still had the stigma, but it doesn’t. When I was a child, my mom (single mom) had to get food stamps. She was mortified, but we needed it. She had lost her job. However, I believe we only on it for maybe a month or two. She found a job and got off the assistance immediately. There was nothing worse than paying for groceries with food stamps. It was embarassing to say the least. She never wasted that money on stupid items either. She made it last so we could eat and not be HUNGRY. She did NOT have a birthday party with a cake from the bakery department.

    As for the people buying lobster and steak…that is ridiculous. I have heard several people, some on this comment section, say they deserve to have a nice meal. I say “really?” Did they work for that meal? I don’t have food stamps. I work every day and I have had some rough times where I have had to go for 2 weeks with $10 in my pocket and barely had enough gas. I am not on food stamps, I won’t go on it unless it was absolutely necessary. I don’t get lobster or steak, because I cannot afford it. If you are food stamps, then you can’t afford the lobster or steak either. You are using someone else’s money to buy extravagent items and that is NOT right. To me, this attitude that they “deserve” this is getting out of hand. Why does one deserve something expensive when they haven’t worked for it?

  48. Wonderful article. Thank you for your excellent and well written/thought out perspective!

    I am a couponer/price matching queen at “The Wal-Mart.” I am always amazed at how hard I work to save a dollar for our family and yet I see so many wasting tax dollars.
    Makes me so sad.

    Thank you again!

  49. This young lady needs to understand life from a few more views than that of her own privilige and narrowminded view ( republican) in this case.
    This country was founded on some very basic and humane principles,
    i.e.
    All men are created equal,not to be confused with what or whom we are born into!!!

  50. I understand that people suck, but so does walmart. What were you expecting?

  51. LOL is someone unearthing the old Reagan lie about Cadillac-driving welfare queens?! I think anyone who takes a tax credit or deduction should be drug tested.

  52. And let us not forget that Maine is a welfare state. They get more money from the Federal Government than they give in taxes.

  53. Lori,
    You said it all!!

  54. How much larger do you want government to grow in order to enforce your personal opinions on what types of food SNAP recipients do and do not deserve to buy?

    will the list be updated annually? will it be a whitelist or blacklist? how much government money will be wasted on administrative hearings contesting incorrectly classified food items, how much government money will be spent defending lawsuits from manufacurers who’s products have been excluded?

    what would be the criteria for inclusion or exclusion? what would be the criteria for evaluating the performance of the criteria for inclusion or exclusion?

  55. Wow! Very well written article! Thank you for showing us that there is hope for the younger generation of Americans!

    I have been on both sides of this issue- as a young mother with young children we were abandoned by my husband. He packed up, left with his girlfriend and never came back, never paid a penny of child support and hid on the reservation so they couldn’t come after him. We applied for foodstamps and health care for the kids. We were on for about 9 months. I was always careful to buy as much good healthy food as possible, but when birthdays or holidays came it was a blessing to be able to get them a cake and some candy because they wouldn’t be getting anything else. I was constantly disgusted when at the welfare office by the people there in brand new clothes, driving nice cars, talking on their cell phones and bragging about how much they were sucking off the government and giving each other tips to get more and how to stay on as long as possible. Even though I had paid my taxes for years it hurt my pride big time to get on foodstamps and get the health care for the kids, but I had no option. The second we were able to get off we did. I also told them NO to the cash option- I was working two jobs and I didn’t want anything more from them than we had to take. It’s embarrassing to be on welfare.

    During that same time I also worked as a grocery store cashier and was absolutely appalled at the fraud going on. People would have a cart of junk foods and convienence foods to use their foodstamps on and then a cart of clothes, jewelry, games, toys, shoes, etc. they paid cash for. I personally know a woman who has been on welfare, every single program available (and yes, earlier poster, foodstamps ARE welfare) since 1997!! In her state you are supposed to be limited to 5 years max. for welfare, but she is still on it to this day. She brags to everyone how she works the system like a pro. She has a nice house she pays less than $100 a month in rent for after assistance, her utilities are paid for, her phone is paid for, her food is paid for, her daycare is paid for, her car and gas are subsidized, she has a dozen different churches provide them with Christmas and another 6 agencies/charities doing the same. Her kids (all different father’s) have 10 times the gifts my kids ever had or will ever have! She refuses to work although she is in great health. She is now going to college, again, for FREE, along with cash to live on while attending. She already has 2 AA degrees, never has worked with them one single day, is taking another AA course and a bunch of fun classes for different arts and crafts and exercise. I have turned her into the foodstamp fraud line, the welfare fraud liine, the FAFSA fraud line and made calls to the various charities and churches providing for her and she STILL is getting everything FREE!!!! It makes me sick!! Her oldest daughter is now doing the same thing- they live together and lie and say she has to pay the mom rent so the daughter gets foodstamps and cash assistance now along with FREE college for her second degree too!! She never worked one day with her first degree (which I paid for). It is generational because that is what they teach their children, these leeches on the system.

    It is most definitely BROKEN and in NEED of HUGE amounts of change!!! BHO is not going to do anything about it- his goal is socialism and making us as dependent upon the government as possible is a huge help to him.

  56. Wow you’re judgey

  57. I want to say one other thing, don’t give this young lady are hard time. She is absolutely right. She is not judgemental. She is just being honest and if you are not abusing the system, you should completely understand the point of this article. This is about abuse of the system and those that use it permanently. Not the people truly in need, who uses it as a hand up, not a hand out.

    If you are getting lobster with your food stamps, you are abusing the system. If you are buying your supplies for your hot dog cart, you are abusing the system. If you are going to the bakery to buy a fully decorated cake that is 10 times more expensive than getting a mix and frosting, you are abusing the system. If you are on your iPhone and buying lobster at the same time…you are abusing the system. But I guess it is ok, it isn’t their money right? Why be frugal?

    I have been on food stamps, so don’t give me the “walk a mile in their shoes.” If I were to get on food stamps due to bad circumstances, I would buy inexpensive items and stock up. I would not waste other people’s hard earned money on lobster for one meal instead of buying 3-4 meals worth of food. I would instead be a good steward with that money and buy as much as I could so I felt good that I didn’t waste their money and made it last. Remember, this money is not the government’s money, it is the money from tax paying citizens of this great country. Everytime someone abuses the system, it puts this country deeper in debt and thus requiring the hard working citizens to fork over more cash. This assistance doesn’t come off the government money tree. Sometimes, I think that people don’t realize where this money comes from. It comes from your neighbor, the woman at the check out line, the bank teller, the plumber, etc. It shouldn’t be abused…ever. Even if you think you “deserve” a lobster dinner.

  58. crousselle says:

    @Sheri-I don’t have a credit card! Nor would my parents let me get one. My family is not rich, nor are we poor. We’re a typical middle-class family. We don’t vacation every year. We don’t have a massive plasma TV. My parents worked extremely hard to put themselves through college (my father working 2+ jobs) so that they would be able to provide the best for my brother and I. My brother has been working each summer (and into the fall) at a seafood restaurant since he was 14 years old. He’s got thousands of dollars saved in his bank account. My brother and I understand the value of hard work thanks to the good example provided by our parents. I’m thankful for all that I have been blessed with.

  59. My question is what did you do about it?

  60. I agree 100% with this young woman. I worked for the Dept. of Social Services in the 70’s and saw firsthand the waste, fraud & abuse that runs rampant in the system. It’s passed on from generation to generation and they don’t know what it is to earn something from the sweat of their own brow…..just given to them without earning it in some way. Enough is enough! I’m sick of it. I see it in the stores when I check out. Paying with food stamps and WIC but they have blinged out cell phones, gold teeth, designer basketball jerseys, nail manicured, hair extensions, and 3 or 4 kids in the cart under the age of 5. Sickening!

  61. Therealnintyninepercent says:

    @Lori… Perhaps that humiliation will provide you with incentive to get your hands out of my pockets :)
    This was very well written and I did not see it as directed at those that need short term help. There does need to be a safety net that allows people time to get back on their feet. There is however some confusion about accountability in our country these days. Neither I nor any other working class person is responsible for helping others evade the consequences of their bad decisions. Long term welfare needs to go away.

  62. I have to say that although I agree partly with what you’re saying, I have seen the ‘other side’ of someone who had to have food stamps. One of my best friends and her family had to live off of food stamps for 6 months. They didn’t want to. I actually encouraged them to get some financial help. Her husband lost his business and lost all their income. He looked and looked for jobs. She did as well. They didn’t get anything for months. If they didn’t get food stamps, they wouldn’t of been able to eat. Some families have been on food stamps for years and it’s hard to get out of that type of life. Think of the people who live in some of the poorest areas in Appalachia. I have heard that if you are born there, it’s hard to get out of there. Not to be mean to you and what you said, but if someone is on food stamps, are they not allowed to have some of the advantages as the middle class? Can they not be able to eat a steak and have an ice cream cake? They should be able to have some of the same luxuries as the rest of the people who can afford them. They shouldn’t have to just eat mac and cheese and other high starch foods because that’s all they can afford. It’s just sad all around. The person that had the i phone maybe had just lost his job and had to go on food stamps and didn’t get a chance to cancel his phone. I’m not saying that people don’t ‘milk’ the system, because not everyone is honest and eventually it will catch up to them. But, I know many families who have filed Chapter 7 just this year. Many families who have been able to live a ‘normal’ life and it changed in the blink of an eye. It’s unfortunate that the families on welfare have generational apathy. But not everyone on welfare is considered ‘lazy’. Some people just have unfortunate events that take place in their lives. I stood in line before when I could barely feed my family when my boys were young and watched people with food stamps purchase all kinds of wonderful foods, while I had to stick to a budget of less than $100 per week for groceries.When my husband was in the Navy and we were a young married couple with a baby, we made $500 too much a year in order to qualify for WIC which would have provided milk, butter, eggs and cheese for us. We lived in an attic and were below poverty level. Even through our hardships and never getting assistance, it didn’t make me bitter. Over the years, my views have changed to where I can see where people need assistance. Our country is very fortunate. We have the best country in the world but yet there are poor people who live here and their lives may never change for the better.They may never get out of their struggles. I think if someone tries to find a job, works diligently at searching but yet can’t find one, it’s okay if they have to rely on food stamps. They shouldn’t be judged. They may not have the opportunities in their lives to change their destiny. None of us know what their true lives are like. We can’t judge them whether we are a cashier at a grocery store watching their purchases or in line behind them scanning what they buy. No one really knows except for God and the rest of us can’t determine their true hardships or lives unless we walk a mile in their shoes.

  63. One mistake: That IS how welfare was intended – for aid until the children grew up. It was intended for widows who had lost the breadwinner of their families – or at any rate was expanded out of this relief for widowed coal miners. The worst mistake made was making welfare available to never married mothers and denying benefits to married women. Husbands abandoned their wives because it made economic sense to do so – and even to never marry at all.

  64. Mary Ann Cruz says:

    Wow! How judgemental can you be. To believe all who receive Food Stamps do not work!!
    I hope you no longer work in the public sector. No I do not receive Food Stamps and Yes! I work.

  65. Your time at Walmart taught you that using the proof by example logical fallacy is okay. You need more college.

  66. “Judgmental cashiers who have been blessed enough to not be on welfare are the reason many of us choose the self-checkout line. Especially those of us who are the majority of people on food stamps and simply found ourselves in hard circumstances, needing to use the system for a while. We don’t want to be judged for what we purchase, as we won’t judge you. We don’t want to be judged for our clothing or our iPhones — perhaps that was a gift; perhaps we are stuck in a 2-year contract. The system was created for people like us, but it is people like you who make it so humiliating.”

    You are one of the many that did not read this. Her issue is not with those that need help. It is for those that take advantage of the system. If I lost my job – the “toys” would be the first to go. A lot of hard working people view this the same. I grew up in a working family that worked HARD and needed help from time to time. The kind of help as above. It was used for a short time – when needed – and that was it. We got through it. The iPhone, I am sure, is just one of many examples that she could of chosen to use. Another being $200 jeans, lux cars, name brand hand bags. This is what has upset people – including the writer. Nice clothes as a gift? Come on, we all know the rarity of that.

  67. I also work for Wal-Mart in Maine, and its the same thing day in and day out. What I find even more comical is when the welfare moochers bring in piles and piles of coupons, to save money on the money that the state gives them every month? Its one thing if you are financially unstable and are unable to afford groceries upon all your other finances. I’m actually excited that Paul LePage is going to do something about this (first time I’ve ever agreed with him), but something seriously needs to be done.

  68. I work for a collection agency, collecting on medical bills, and Medicare & Medicaide are our too major payers. Some ppl I talk to think they are intittled to healthcare, and scream at me telling me “Mediare will pay for that I don’t pay a thing” that idea of no responsibility is scary.

  69. Thank you for writing this article. These real-life examples help to make your points clearly and definitively.

  70. PISSED OFF at Judgemental Children says:

    Wow! Must really be nice to be a kid making judgements on something you clearly no nothing about. My kids are on Food Stamps. I buy them steaks and birthday cakes too. You know why they get Food stamps?? Their deadbeat father refuses to pay child support and refuses to get a job. He sits around all day selling drugs. I take care of them with that food stamp money. If I didn’t have it they wouldn’t get enough to eat. I don’t make enough to afford the food for 3 children along with clothes, shoes, school supplies, doctors, rent and everything else they need to live.

    I am the Father to these children. The sperm donor walked out on their mother when the smallest was 3 years old to get milk and never came back. So next time you wanna start judging why don’t you try walking a mile in our shoes. You worked one summer. I have been working since I was 15!! I run a REAL business I am a Sign Maker & Printer. My taxes pay for your Education. When you were born I was already holding two full time jobs and going to school. My wife has been able to find work in 3 years after being laid off as a Clerk of the Courts. A real JOB not some clerk at a Wal-Mart. So, yes my kids are entitled to those benefits. I pay for them with my Corporate Taxes!! Which are a lot more in one month then you have ever paid into the system.

    The Republicans & the Democrats are both at Fault for our lousy economy!

  71. Brilliant young Lady!

  72. I gotta say using food stamps to buy hotdogs and then selling them is freaking brilliant. Wrong, but brilliant.

  73. The simple fact of the matter is, public assistance or not, you do not buy steak and lobster with your food stamps. I am not on public assistance at all. I work 55 hours a week, bust my butt to provide for my family, my husband works nights. I went to school, got my education while working nights and paid for school by myself. I did what I had to do to get ahead, all while doing it without state assistance. There is nothing wrong with individuals who need some TEMPORARY help, this is the major problem, the system is abused. This topic makes me so angry. People have a sense of entitlement, these benefits are not owed to anyone. The person that wrote about credit cards, there is a big difference. If you do not pay your bill, there are consequences; what are the consequences for state assistance fraud? There are none, this being another problem. I do not buy steak for my family, we drive an 11 year old vehicle, I do not have internet on my phone and have a free phone that I received. Yes we may have the luxury of some items, but when I go out and work 55 hours in a week, I think I should be able to have a luxury item once in a while. I try to coupon for my family to save money, most individuals on food stamps don’t care, it is not their money.

    My thoughts are all over the place, but this topic makes me so angry. I se it all too often. This young lady did a fabulous job and in my opinion did not judge anyone. It is not working individuals that humiliate those on state benefits, individuals that make such purchases and flaunt their state benefits do that and unfortunately it does hurt those that truly need the TEMPORARY benefits. I deal with unemployed individuals on a daily basis, jobs are few and far between, but there are jobs out there, especially during the holidays, but again people don’t want to work at McDonalds, etc. A job is a job-contributing member of society.

    I could go on and on on this topic, I SERIOUSLY hope someone stops this horrible welfare system!

  74. Not quite getting by. says:

    @Carl – So there was $3000 left on the card. How does that indicate abuse? That tells me they qualified for more help than they used. We need more people like that.

    I lost my job unexpectedly. I qualified for food assistance for eight months before I even applied for it. Some people really don’t want to “use” the system but for their own reasons, which are none of your business, they do need the help. Churches, not the government, should provide this help. But they don’t, or can’t. Maybe because the people are taxed so much they have nothing left to give the church.

  75. There has and will always be fraud in systems. Be it Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Assistance, Government Contracting, Tax Returns. Lets find law makers that know or care enough to fix it before it takes us all down! You’d be amazed at how much beverage alcohol and drugs etc. are purchased by selling food stamps at a discount to others or exchanging your purchase for an in store credit to take to the liquor dept..

  76. What this comes down to is a complete imbalance between rights and responsibilities. I have certain rights because I fulfill certain responsibilities. Others demand these same rights, but refuse the responsibilities.
    If all men are created equal, why do I bear the burden of work, taxes, paying for my own food, mortgage, clothing and children, while others don’t bear these responsibilities equally?
    Welfare is wrong. I would feel more benevolent, more generous, if the government wasn’t forcibly taking my money and giving it to others who demand it.
    There are people who need help in this world. It shouldn’t be the government who provides the help. It should come from family, church and community. Everyone I know would open their cupboards to a neighbor in need. Likewise, everyone I know is resentful that the government takes from our cupboards and supports many who demand it because thy feel it is their right to take from others.

  77. Kenneth Ryland says:

    They are not relying on the “State.” They are relying on the sweat and toil of their neighbors and the store owner in their home town.

  78. AND Just an FYI, unemployment benefits as well as state assistance are not benefits nor determined by what you pay in and is not an “entitlement”. Unemployment benefits consist of taxes, pd for by the employer you worked for…not by the individuals’ working

  79. Well written. Nicely done!

  80. Great write up! This info is sadly no surprise, but must be shared nonetheless.

  81. “PISSED OFF at Judgemental Children” you need to just pipe down. If you took the time to read the article which clearly you didn’t then you would’ve seen she was “passing judgement” on those who abuse the system and do nothing to get off of it. So for all your accusations of people being judgmental you’re clearly the judgmental one here cause I doubt you even read the article or else you would’ve known that. An somehow my mother was in a similar situation as yours worked 3 shitty jobs and went to school full time an still managed to support me and my brother making sure we never went without anything that we needed. Me and my brother had no clue the sacrifices my mother made and all while NEVER GOING ON SOCIAL SERVICES, so by the sounds of things you and your “family” don’t really need it much cause I doubt you’re making less then an paying more in taxes and bills then my mother did seeing as how we live in NY one of the most taxed states. So really quit being a hypocrite cause I doubt you need social services near as much as you’re making it out to be or else you wouldn’t be getting fucking steaks an amazing birthday cakes for your children. People like you make me fucking sick you really do cause there are people who make sacrifices for their family an not going on social services when they don’t need it oh and are also not feeling like they’re entitled to anything in life like clearly you do, cause let me tell you something the only thing you’re entitled in life to is breathing and basic civil rights. Feeling entitled to money that isn’t fucking yours isn’t something you’re fucking entitled to. So please just shut up cause people like you honestly do make me sick an we need drastic reform to make sure shit like that stated in this article NEVER happens.

  82. Clearly some people here did not get the JIST of what you were saying. Those of us with half a brain understood completely. ABUSE folks. If your on welfare it’s NOT OK for you to have an Iphone and it’s NOT ok that you get to buy lobster tails, or hold up a line and be rude to the cashier because you think you are entitled to that vacuum for $3.48.. Give me a break! When I went through hard times, I scaled back.. it’s called sacrificing and I sure didn’t have a $300 phone with a $100 a month cell phone bill and purchase Lobster! Your not entitled to what I earn! Great Article hon, you nailed it!!

  83. Isn’t spending Food stamps, putting money into Americans pocket helping the USA out, any? Plus, why do people on FS should be made to eat low grade meats, and the cheep stuff that’s loaded with sodium and preservatives? Geesh, I guess us po folks will never win.

  84. Awesome article! Thank you so much for summing it all up! I agree with you 110 percent :)

  85. I HAVE walked a mile in the shoes of some of the people who are on welfare and assistance. The difference is, I worked my tail off to get OFF of it as soon as possible, because I know how easy it makes a person decide it is smarter NOT to work and ride the system. I also did not want my daughter growing up thinking it was a viable option in anything other than absolutely necessary circumstances. Face it, people are hurting. Many more right now are on assistance than has been for many many years. They need it to feed their families, and pay their bills. But I can say there are many who abuse the system and ruin it for others. Lobster and Steak on food stamps? I would never have even thought about it. Do I understand needing to use what you are given to keep things at a “normal” for your kids’ birthday? Yes. But purchasing a cart every month of junk food and stuff that is not necessary all because you have the money, when the hard-working people I know can not afford to sit down at a steak dinner more than once every six months, just makes me sick. Short term assistance should be completely available to anyone who needs it. Long-term…no way.

  86. I completely agree with everything you have said! I work in a grocery store, although smaller than Wal-Mart, we see this kind of thing everyday. Someone will come up to pay for their “groceries” with their EBT card. Then after this transaction is all said and done, they pull out a wad of cash and want to buy cigarettes, lottery tickets, and alcohol. If you have the kind of money to be supporting your addictions, then you don’t need the assistance that so many others are denied!

  87. I for one am against government welfare programs. If there is a desire of the public to help the destitute, let the public do so at their own discretion. Private charities are far more efficient and would receive more donations if people weren’t bound to giving 30% or more of their incomes to an inefficient state involved in acts of charity they have no constitutional mandate to undertake.

  88. Robert Lewand says:

    Thank you, Christine. Providence should be proud to have a student as intelligent, insightful, and articulate as you.

  89. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
    Give him a fishing pole and you feed him for life.

    The State is not the savior of mankind.

    The entitlement mentality runs so deep here in Maine. Watch how long it takes for one to cross the street, or fist fight over the closest possible parking spot for a large person to conserve each and every calorie, ride an expensive little scooter, and then demand to have beer, cigarettes and tattoos paid for by my tax dollars.

    I am so sick of it.

  90. I have to say that abusing the system is wrong. But you do not know the stories behind the people that go through your line. And to judge them, or to eqaute them all as “losers” or “moochers” is also wrong. My mother used foodstamps to put food on our table, without it we would have gone hungry. My parents are both hard working people but just don’t make enough to cover the basics. We often didn’t have a phone, and we never had cable or internet growing up or any other extras. I’m all for reform and fixing the holes in the system, but there is a real need for Welfare.

    You made some good points but your one sided understanding of this problem frustrates me. You can’t make a fair and equal agrument without understanding both sides.

  91. Good start, but it doesn’t tell me much that I don’t know from being behind the entitled man who was upset he couldn’t buy a half-gallon of milk (rather than a full gallon, much more economical per unit) with the WIC benefits his presence in the household was probably hidden to receive.

    Tell me something that actually surprises me:

    – The guy from Massachusetts was using benefits from his state in yours, yes? I travel a lot for work but it had never occurred to me that one state’s EBT cards could be used elsewhere. Did you have anyone come from farther away? Maybe they were on a long vacation from not working, and not exactly traveling coach? Maybe they relocated from a high-cost-of-living, high-benefit state without sending in a change of address and are abusing the use-it-anywhere part of electronic benefits transfer?

    – The ‘S’ in SNAP stands for “supplemental,” and money is fungible. What were some of the bennies supplementing?

    The article is good writing, but the outright examples of abuse are thin. For two summers of your life I suspect you can dig in and find better.

  92. By the way, the State of Maine also pays for this class of people to not only shop at Walmart all day, but to go online day and night. They own the internet and can flood posts like there is no tomorrow. The rest of us have to go to work so we can stay up all night and post.

    “What, young man, do you do for a living?”
    Answer: TANF

    24 year old able bodied men playing video games all day because the doctor signed on saying “Attention Deficit Disorder” and now they are “disabled” and go about breeding. They do not feel like a man, so they must prove it. Each breeding means another welfare recipient for the working class.

    I don’t care what the story is: you don’t work, you don’t eat.

  93. Great post. And my boss is an alum of Providence.

  94. When someone on welfare has a bill it is added to their check, this is why they can have a cell phone and cable TV.

  95. Lynn, I was one of 10 kids and my mother and father worked as many hours as they could and refused food stamps. They had their dignity.

    You could have done without the oreos.

    Where is your self respect?

  96. First of all, I agree with JenB. The first time I saw responses about getting a cake for a birthday, I thought ‘Do you know how much a cake from the baker costs? I could get mix and frosting and make about 4 for the price of that 1 cake!’ Too lazy to actually make a cake, I guess. Secondly, no, if you are on FS or WIC or whatever, than you can’t eat like you did when you were working. Microwave ‘convenience’ foods shouldn’t be allowed on those programs. What happened to buying flour and bread, ground beef, vegetables and noodles and actually ‘cooking’ a meal?

    I used to have a good job, but got laid off. Looked for work for over a year to no avail. I collected unemployment. My wife also lost her job in that year and we looked into FS. But our unemployment was higher than income limit by $60 a month and since we don’t have children we couldn’t qualify. I eventually found a job for 40% of my previous income and took it. It paid less than unemployment. That company lost its contract and I am now unemployed again. My wife is still unemployed. The bank just filed a notice of foreclosure on our house.

    Now, do I feel like I should be entitled? No. Do I eat the food I used to? No. Our budget for groceries is $25 a week. We have never gone hungry. We cook all our meals, don’t go out or order in. To feel that you are ‘entitled’ to steak, lobster, store made cake or the like is just plain wrong. I understand the occasional ‘hand-up’ but even then, it should be used way more responsibly. We cancelled her cell, dropped the land line and cable, do our clothes shopping at thrift stores. I have no sense of ‘entitlement’ or anyone oweing me anything despite our situation.

    Crousselle – very well written and visionary article. We need more of you in this world.

  97. Since we have to have a government license to have a dog, why not start licensing cats? Then we can use the money to give to the walmart deadbeats who keep making babies?

  98. Just be thankful Allen’s Coffee Brandy is one of the five food groups for Mainers.

    This, along with Marlboro, Wild Turkey, and Diet Pepsi can be ingested with Ice Cream to make up a healthy balance for my food stamps.

  99. I agree our system is messed up but I want to show both sides of the coin. My husband and I were doing fantastic, bills paid, little extra in the bank, etc. Then our lives took a nosedive in 3 months. My husband was diagnosed with a cancer that most don’t survive. Then to top it off, I got laid off during the recession. We had to go on state insurance and thank God we did. If we hadn’t gone on Badgercare, we would have lost everything. Evantually I did get back to work, but only 28 hrs a week. “Yes, I would prefer to work full-time but I can’t work more than that. The reason is because even though he survived the chemo treatments, the chemo treatment was so severe, it did the worst things imaginable to him. 1. Toxic Neuropathy. He can no longer grip a hammer, hold a drill or do anything basic for what he used to do. Somedays I have to hold his hand so he can sign papers. How can someone like that work? He has to use a walker and has had 3 surgeries. 2. Heart damage. He has had a heart attack and due to the neuropathy, he can’t feel heart attacks. He can’t exert too much and will be having bypass soon since the chemo messed up the bottom of his heart.
    My point? We went on food stamps and state insurance to live. We have a young daughter and would it have been better to lose our home due to massive medical bills and should she go hungry because we needed help? I cried when we went on assistance because I was ashamed that we needed to stoop to that, they were the ones to tell me to not be ashamed and that everyone needs help at some point in their lives.
    If someone wants to buy some soda, a cake or even a steak, it’s money they were given to use. But here’s the thing, they are only given so much to spend in a month and if they choose to blow it in one shopping trip, it’s there problem. There were times my daughter wanted gummy worms or some cookies. Is it her fault her daddy was dealt a raw deal and she should go without? I admit, there was a time or two I would buy my daughter a Disney movie so what, that was my hard-earned cash from my job and if we chose to do that instead of taking her to expensive fast food joints or to the movies. A movie is something to watch more than once at home and it’s thrifty. Buying a CD is cheaper than a live concert. I watch people mismanage money in all walks of life, I watch people drink up their paychecks in a weekend and ask mommy and daddy to pay their bills, isn’t that welfare? We are no longer on the state insurance because my husband is now on Medicare for the rest of his life. Do you think a 51-yr old is happy sitting on his butt at home, absolutely not, he would give anything to work. Sometimes in life, choices are made for you. I always laugh listening to people I know who will party every weekend or go on extravagant shopping trips to Mall of America or expensive vacations and then cry about not having money and family will bail them out. It’s just a different form of assistance. It’s all gross mis-management. I can tell you we only got $350 a month to eat on. We had a garden and canned a lot ourselves and bought our meat in big bulk to save lots. I would use the money to buy noodles, potatoes, milk, bread, the staples needed. I remember feeling so ashamed because I could see eyes scanning my cart to see what I had and I got to the point I would shop out of town so if I did get judged at least it wasn’t anyone I knew. We don’t know what goes in some homes so please don’t lump all in one category. There are 3-4 generational welfare manipulators out there, but there are some of us that just needed to live. We are now off the insurance and EBT card, we still struggle, but we manage. This article just confirmed what I always felt, people are looking in the carts and judging. No one bats an eye watching a mother who has their baby in the cart who has 3 cases of beer and 10 bottles of booze and 6 cartons of cigs with nothing but junk food as long as it’s paid with their money. Is that any better? I couldn’t buy anything but food with my card and I made plenty of good choices, but there were times I would get my husband ice cream because it was the only thing he could stomach after chemo, was that wrong? If my daughter wanted chocolate syrup in her milk once in a while, is that wrong? Look, I’m all for people being responsible, but if you start telling people what they can and cant buy to put in their mouth, that’s ridiculous. My parents would come visit to help out when I needed to spend time with my husband at the hospital and they would eat the food in my fridge, it was EBT food, was it ok for them to consume it while I was at my husband’s side? Just try to not jump to conclusions until you know all circumstances in every situation.

  100. I really agree with what this young lady is saying. Why is my college graduate daughter paying in half of her earnings as taxes? Since she has worked hard to get her degree, and works hard at her job, she has to pay for those teenage unwed moms. I am not saying that there are not people who truly need help but so many abuse the system. If you have one child, get welfare, and then have another one, YOU should have to pay for the second child out of your own pocket. One of my other daughters who went to school and works, needed dental work done….no help for her but she was told “well if you had a child” you would qualify for help….our government programs are designed to keep you on government aid instead of giving a hand up they give hand outs…

  101. I agree with most of this, but I do have a few comments to make. My husband and I receive food stamps and Mainecare. I am a full time student and mother. I worked and paid into the system, and my husband always has and continues to. I pay for my groceries with food stamps and I have an iPhone. I had an iPhone long before the need arose for me to be on state aid. I am pretty sure that the $25 that I pay for my data package would no relieve me from needing assistance, and I claim with the state what my true earnings and expenses are. Also, I have purchased steaks with my food stamps. The lobster and enormous birthday cakes, I can semi understand the critism, but how can somebody be judged for buying steak? I just finished my first semester with a 4.0. For me welfare is not a way of life but a way to make ends meet until I can do better for myself and my family. I do not really appreciate judgement about my iPhone and steak purchases.

  102. Karen Henson says:

    And there are people like myself that started working at the age of 14 and in 1998 I became disbled and I live on a very fixed income and I do have a EBT card and the state helps me with my medical, because I worked most of my life and mim. wage. And people that have retired that there income, does not pay the bills and they have to go on EBT card and medcaid. And we paid into these programs when we were working.and now we have to sign over our life insurance and all our belonging to be sold by the state when we die.

  103. I am on welfare. Screw you people. I have 4 kids and don’t want no stranger raising them. I have 4 baby daddies who don’t pay no child support to me. The thing is that the other kids in school all have nice cell phones to text each other.

    I demand cell phones for my kids.

    I have four kids.

    Why should my kids be looked down upon by your kids?
    I demand a cell phone for each of my chlldren so they can call 911. Skool should not be demanding homework but give out iPads to help my kids.
    This Christmas, their Skool gave me an iPad and I said that I got three other kids what do you expect them to do share? It is not fair.
    If I had a job and was a tax payer I would be so mad right now.

  104. To NIKKI: The reason why we all have a problem with them buying steak and lobster is that those of us footing the bill and paying for those food stamps CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY THE SAME THINGS because we are paying for these people’s food stamps.

    To the gal who said we should walk in her shoes: I HAVE walked in your shoes, been on food stamps briefly when my daughter had a heart condition before her surgery and I had to shut my daycare business down and stay home with her because she couldn’t be around other kids in a daycare. I still didn’t abuse the system – didn’t buy the expensive stuff, but continued to buy as I always had, keeping in mind that just because I was getting some help from the taxpayers temporarily, it didn’t give me the right to buy a bunch of expensive extravagant food. I was very careful what I spent it on (this is back when they actually had paper stamps). Because of my careful spending, I ended up with extra at the end of every month and when I went off of food stamps, I actually had enough to pay for a full extra month of groceries. I KNOW what it’s like, and it doesn’t give those on it the right to abuse it by buying food the rest of us can’t afford to buy. There should be strict limits on what types of food you can buy with it – no junk food or only a small amount of it, basics like beans, veggies, fruits, meat, dairy, stuff so you can make your own meals – which is what many of us do now in order to survive and eat. They should NOT be able to purchase soda, candy, or other crap like that.

  105. Karen, since you are “disabled” and do not have a job, how do you even pay for online service to post here?

  106. P*ssed off at judgmental children,

    Was your wife holding out for a management position for the last three years a la “cousin Eddie” from Christmas Vacation? Maybe if she had lowered herself to working at WalMart you wouldn’t be collecting welfare to feed her children.

  107. Kristen, you know damned well that you don’t pay $25 per month for iPhone service, but closer to $100 a month.

    You get my tax dollars to pay for your food while you have a $200 iPhone.

    It is wrong. You are stealing.

  108. You’re a smart young lady… I’m glad you saw the reality of what has become of our country. It’s up to all of you young to spread the word and make others realize what the liberal left have done.. This once great country has turned into a hand out entitlement society. And those of us, and now including you, that would dare want to take these entitlements from these poor destitute people are evil.

    Sad time for most of us!!!!

  109. Well written!! I experienced the same feelings when I worked at a pharmacy for nine years. We had a drive thru and people would pull up in their brand new cars, one time even a Lexus, pull out their Medicaid card for their prescriptions. Or they would come to the counter with a handful of candy and soda and pull out their food stamps. If a medication was not covered by medicaid, it could’ve been $5.00, most would not pay for it, “it should be free, that’s why I have insurance”. Insurance??? I thought you paid for insurance. I was a single mom, lived in an apartment, that I paid for, had insurance from my job and drove the same car I had since I was sixteen until I was 24. While I still worked and was raising my son, I decided to go to school to better myself. I now have a wonderful husband and we both work and sometimes we still struggle. But it humbles us and we do not have a sense of entitlement, as I saw from many of my welfare customers.

  110. Carl Tarajkowski says:

    Exactly….. there must be limits to what you can purchase. The basics, bread, milk, beans, etc. No lobster, crablegs, sodas, etc. Heck, I cant even afford lobster!!!

  111. This whole system is so screwy. If you can afford to buy a cell phone and a huge TV and drive a newer vehicle and buy cigarettes and booze, then you can afford to buy your OWN FOOD. I drive a 20-year-old car, have a small TV, don’t smoke, don’t drink, and I struggle every month to make ends meet. I work 60+ hours a week and I RESENT the fact that those who live off welfare have all of those things that I don’t have – the big TV, the new car, etc. Something is seriously wrong with our system when those who are supposedly poor and need help have nicer and newer stuff than those who are supporting their butts. People who call themselves poor in this country have No CLUE what poor really is. Poor is people living in huts or tin shacks in Africa or South America with dirt floors who wonder where their next meal is. Very rarely are people in this country POOR.

    That being said, for the person above who was disabled, the system was meant to help YOU, the disabled, the person who truly can’t work. I have NO problem helping somebody who truly cannot take care of themselves due to no fault of their own. That’s what we as a moral people SHOULD do. I do have a problem helping those who just plain don’t want to work and just want to enjoy life while the rest of us work our tails off and have no life in order to support these lazy butts.

  112. Andrew Stefan says:

    Defining problems are easy, lets come up with solutions!

  113. Yes amazing article, instead of cutting corners in education and increasing taxes on the more fortunate so that the less fortunate can continue to spend careless money.

    good read!

  114. Ronnie James DIode says:

    1. Lock in the (democrat) votes through dependency on welfare programs.
    2. Promote fraud, waste, abuse. Burn through those tax dollars.
    3. Demand “the rich” pay more to support the welfare state.
    4. Take down a once successful freedom loving capitalistic society.
    5. Totalitarianism!

  115. Christine, you’ll be able to write another great article just based on the many ridiculous comments you are getting here. Great job. You hit the nail right on the head.

  116. If you research the Colward-Piven strategy from back in the 1960’s, this is all by design. It was claimed that Cloward-Piven failed, but in reality is was just delayed.

  117. Going to college isn’t a “right.”. If you can’t afford to go to college and feed your family at the same time, you decide which is more important. It isn’t up to the government to feed you or your children.
    When I worked in social services I used to ask expectant parents how they were going to support their child. The vast majority said “TANF” as if it was a career choice. Maybe if people had to worry about how to support their kids, and didn’t feel so entitled to welfare, they would act a little more cautiously in regard to procreating.

  118. Good piece! I’m looking forward to more from you. Thanks!

  119. keepinitreal says:

    It is a well thought out and intelligent article. No one article (this is not a full documentary it is a singular article) is designed to or has the capacity to explore every crevice of every perspective of the issue being discussed.

    Those of you ranting about how not everyone abuses the system or accusing the author of being judgmental clearly do not have a firm grip on the English language or are reading from such a biased perspective you could not see her repeated comments of understanding that there is a legitimate need.

    The article acknowledged the legitimate need and also indicates clearly that it is in response to abuses to the system, not legitimate need. And you also show your liberal venom through launching personal attacks against someone who has a differing opinion.

    Try to pull your head out of your own ass, gather the courage to look honestly at yourself and your life and implement a plan to turn it around. That does require a bit of personal responsibility, if you can handle it. And before you tell me to walk a mile in those shoes, I have and well more than a mile.

  120. True Mainer says:

    I love my job.

    Let me explain.

    My job does not pay much but it pays:
    The rent and utilities
    Food
    Medical is covered fully
    Free college tuition (though I don’t go)
    Internet access
    Cell phone
    Cable TV
    Xbox games and connection
    There is a little left over for beer each month.

    I don’t have a boss, I make my own hours, meaning I sleep until 11 or 12 noon each day.

    I take breaks whenever I want.

    I go wherever I want and most places give me a discount.

    Some days I don’t have to get up if I don’t want to.

    Most days I just play video games, watch movies and relax.

    I am not up for any promotions and do not push myself.

    Every day is stress free; no boss, no struggles, nothing.

    I am a welfare Maine recipient.

    I get paid for keeping a pulse. This I have been able to do for more than 38 years, and have been paid for almost 20 years to do so.

    I suspect that I will keep this pulse going a long time since I don’t wear out with stress of a job like you have.

    As long as you will keep the politicians worried about my well being, the longer I will live my stress free, work free, care free life.

    THANK YOU hippies of Maine! Thank you for your compassion for me.

  121. do you know the circumstances of these people? The iPhone may have been a gift. Last I knew lobsters were food. You make all these judgements without knowing the circumstances behind them. Sort of a typical conservative shoot from the hip kind of comments. The guy running the hot dog stand may not make enough money to live off so he may qualify for food stamps. I hope you never find yourself in the position of some of these people that are use food stamps and welfare and noone subjects you to the same attutude that you have.

  122. when they allowed the use of EBT (credit cards) it took away the humility people once had about being on assistance. its easier now to be on foodstamps and nobody knows..i am not saying those on assistance should be dirty, or that they can’t buy their child the coolest cake at wal mart..but having to rip out those paper dollars was alot harder than swiping a card..probably easier to track the spending and what its spent on though if using a card. I agree, they need to taper people off if they get a job. me and my fiance both work 40 hrs a week and my kids and i have health insurance, but our fridge is bare three days a week, and we rarely can afford fruits or veggies…it would be easier to not work and get help.

  123. Working Man Blues says:

    jaycee,

    clearly the iphones are all gifts, and the $100 per month is paid for by someone else, and Lobster is an essential food group.

    Typical liberal nonsense.

    I can’t afford Lobster and I can’t afford an iPhone because I work at a job.

    If you want to pay more of your paycheck to the Walmarters, do so on your own free will and stop judging us!

  124. Kim Kardashian says:

    Why can’t I buy deoderant with my TANF? You know I be stinkin

  125. i have to agree with this post in some ways even though i am a single mother and receiving foodstamps and maine care. i dont recive much but every little bit helps i do feel embarrassed that i have to lean on public assistance to help feed my son and pay for medical attention. i have tried in the past to file for child support but they told me my sons father was on tanf and not resposible to pay for child support even though his partener was working full time. his father passed away last year and i found out my son is not eligble for survivors benifits because his father did not work enough (you dont pay in they dont pay out) understandable. But the woman over the phone told me to call my local welfare office i was offended i receive as much help from them as i can get i work full time and pay taxes i couldnt imagine purposly relying on tanf. i have been on tanf in the past for a few months and i tell you what 350$ a month doesnt go far. so please tell me this am i a welfare queen?

  126. My thoughts are simple; we cannot condemn everyone because they buy cake or steak with foodstamps. Welfare isn’t the only area in which fraud and waste exist; all classes in our society has cheated the government (if you please) Therefore when we try and come up with a solution; our focus should not simply be EBT, Medicaid or TANF and ignore the other causes.
    This problem is bigger that all of us.
    NAMJ

  127. @Crousselle – I do not want to enter this heated debate. I just wanted to say to you that you beautifully put into words the way that I feel. So many times I think, “My goodness, must be nice to have your bills paid for you” especially when I see homeless people in Maine who do not qualify for benefits because they don’t have a physical address. No one should be homeless or hungry in any state; when you deny people of the two basic needs that human beings need I think it is sickening. We need to reign in our spending so that the people that need assistance can get it. A friend of mine worked most of her life as a hair dresser and was diagnosed with brain cancer. She spent her savings on the chemo and went to apply for assistance; she was denied because she had “made too much in her working career”. Apparently, the state doesn’t give a damn if you’ve worked hard your entire life and your life savings went to pay for your medicine. She died 7 months after her diagnosis receiving hand outs from family and friends and putting off bill collectors because, what the hell? She was dying anyways, right? Makes me want to continue working…real motivation. I’m a firm believer of helping those who help themselves, and I believe that when used correctly welfare is a good system, but I also believe it needs severe reform with a 2 yr time frame. Two years is plenty of time to find and secure a job and a realistic time frame to make the necessary living changes you need to make for your family. We need to seriously re-evaluate how we view members of our society especially when you will service an individual with food stamps, but you will not do the same for a homeless begger who just needs some pocket change to get a cup of coffee to warm up on a cold winter day.

  128. Dear Capehart:

    If you have “4 baby daddies” maybe you should consider permanent birth control. God knows I don’t want to pay for any more of your kids!

  129. I agree – the money is not managed well. We as a NATION have developed an entire “gimme” generation.
    I am a single mother with a young son. I have no extended family. I bust my butt every day on the job and it is still not enough to pay all of the bills.
    I don’t have a fancy phone but I do have one – I don’t own any credit cards but I do have an EBT card.
    My side of the story – I think it sucks to be judged by the cashier checking me out – she has not walked in MY shoes – she doesn’t know my story. I pay taxes too so I do not feel I should be degraded because I don’t want to eat bread and water with the aid provided by the state.
    I know all about the people related in this story. We have to adjust attitudes and not just take away benefits. How many dependent people do well going cold turkey? Massive reform and knowledge on how NOT to be addicted to the system.
    Instant gratification…it is a deadly disease. If I teach my young child anything it will be to stand on his own two feet.

  130. Maybe some people DO work. FULL TIME jobs and just fall short. Does that mean their kids should go WITHOUT birthday cakes ,etc? Maybe people shouldn’t be so quick to judge, and try walking a mile in their shoes ….

  131. I’m glad some one is paying attention. Great article, I hope this makes it into the hands of lawmakers who have the ability to change this gross form of capitalism!

  132. Kim Kardashian says:

    I can save billions of dollars:

    Take down all the walls and remove all immigration laws.

    One thing, though:

    If you come to this county, you cannot get any welfare benefits whatsoever, until you have paid taxes for 10 years.

    Immigration would come to an abrupt end.

  133. I took my neighbor to Wal-Mart on Sunday. She and her husband are taxpayers who nearly lost their lives (and their children) in a car accident, when their sedan was t-boned. They are not financially on their feet yet, and their car won’t be ready for a few more weeks. She has EBT and it’s a godsend. I saw only wholesome food going into her cart. She is slightly afraid to leave her children to go back to her mid-level executive job and she’s the major breadwinner, but she’s making up her mind to go back soon. Her husband works a loading dock and his money goes to rent and utilities. I am glad there is somewhat of a safety net. Think of people who have it worse than my neighbors! We will all have a peaceful Christmas, with three children and a mother who could have been killed.

  134. Deb in Tex says:

    We had a low-class patient at the doctor’s office I worked at who started not paying her $10. co-pay. Once her amount due reached $100. she started becoming very belligerent every time we told her she had a balance and needed to make a payment on it. Yet she still expected a same day appointment when she got sick. The arrogance of these people is astounding. I then went through her drive-thru at Wendy’s and I should have told her to bill me later. After all I needed to eat, right? And why should I pay for something I “need”.

  135. mommytot,

    you can make a cake instead of using my tax dollars to buy one at a bakery.

    I make my kids cakes and dont do welfare.

  136. I see this daily in the medical field- it is never ending……

  137. I can make as many babies as I want as long as I love them.

    You can and will pay for them.

    How dare you judge me for judging you when you judged me and my babies!

    Free iPhones is a RIGHT of the poor like me and my babies!

  138. Mel,
    Maybe if the government didnt take money from your paycheck to support its programs, you wouldn’t need to extra help with food stamps.

  139. I think everyone on welfare needs to be drug tested monthly in order to get there welfare..half the ppl are crack heads who can work but don’t. It’s disgusting.

  140. welfare was never intended to be a permanent way of life, but a TEMPORARY helping hand.

  141. Excellent article Christine!
    I worked for Arby’s for more than five years. I’d see people pull up in brand new vehicles and ask to use their EBT cards! But what got to me even worse was a few of my employees… One example was this young woman, who made a pretty good living off the government cheese. In fact, everyday she’d tell me about some new program she was exploiting. Meanwhile, I’m slaving away, working 50+ hours a week, for a meager salary(well below the cost of living). I know what some are thinking right now – “Arby’s doesn’t pay enough to make a living.” Well, truth is, she could have worked full-time hours, if she wanted to. She could have even moved into management, if she wanted to. As she could do her job very well, when she wanted to. But if she worked too many hours, she wouldn’t qualify for as much assistance! And Arby’s would even cater to her! That meant her hours were capped at 30 per week. If she was gonna go over, I’d have to let her go home, and run short-handed. Nothing I could do, while keeping my own job. By the way, her wage from Arby’s, plus cash assistance, was about 50% more than mine, as a manager. She lived with her parents, and two kids. Her mom was making like $16/hr watching her own grandkids as a ‘PCA’. And her dad was likely collecting enough pension to pay for the whole lot of them. I didn’t get a number off her for that, but I know railroad pensions have a reputation for generosity.
    I feel your anguish, Christine.
    To those of you who believe the author is being judgmental – Take a good look at yourself. You see a picture of a young, pretty, white woman, and automatically you assume she has not known hardship or strife. That she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, never having lived a real life of the underprivileged. Do you know her? Have you met this woman? Do you know anything of her story that you haven’t read here? Who are you to judge? At least she has given examples, and related observations from her own experiences! She didn’t say they had no right to buy a cake. She asked why they needed a ‘big’ cake! Didn’t here a peep about the good old buck and a quarter box of cake. Steak and lobster? Quite frankly, I wouldn’t care if someone spent their entire EBT on one meal. But guess what, while I think the whole program is too generous; I’m quite sure they’re not getting enough to pay for lobster a few nights, and eating like college student the rest of the month. I’d doubt they’re doing that anyway. Chances are they’re making up for it at the local food shelf.
    Perhaps the author is a little too kind.
    Ok, so I was about to wrap this up when I happened to scroll up to see a comment that I’d previously skipped. I’m all for a lively exchange of opinions, and perhaps a tiny bit of attacks, but this post has indeed struck a nerve with me. And I shall respond to it exclusively in my next comment.

  142. Those who accuse & judge this young woman for being “judgemental” against those who abuse the system are hypocrites! You chastise her but yet make assumptions. Those on welfare & food stamps need to be held accountable, just as I’m accountable to my employer. I believe they need to keep receipts for every dime spent & if after one month, things don’t jive, then good bye assistance. They should only be allowed to purchase food where an electronic receipt is issued & those receipts are entered into a database, where calculations are easily made at the end of every month. It doesn’t compute = ZERO money! I doubt most people who have nice nails, iphones, nice clothes, etc were given those items as gifts. We live in an entitlement society. Try talking to people who actually have to issue Welfare to a good deal of people who are only out to abuse the system. I realize that some people absolutely have no choice and for that, please apply! Soda, candy, chips, etc should not be items that those on Welfare should be able to purchase…only healthy items. I’d like to see stores giving free vouchers of fruits & veggies to folks because at the end of the day, a lot of it goes bad & to waste. Losbster & luxury items should be a “no no” but sometimes,steak can be purchased at a great price. I’d rather see a child eat steak, fruit, & veggies than candy or sugary cereal. Perhaps buying a birthday cake, every once in awhile,could be approved by the Welfare worker. I know someone, whose partner was a Welfare worker & she would try to hold people accountable, cut them off after the five year limit, but they called the governor’s office (who was a Dem at the time) and get approval to remain on assistance. It seems to me that’s keeping people down so they’d vote for you. These two are Democrats too, but the truth is the truth. If you’ve ever read Ruby Payne’s book about people in generational poverty (not situational poverty, there is a difference), she talks about what is important to people in poverty & a big one is entertainment. That’s why you will see 15 satelite dishes in front of a shack of a home or a brand new car, huge tv, etc. Her book isn’t to judge people, but I do take issue with it at times. Again, where is the accountability? There are some people who are too physically or mentally ill to ever work & I’m glad there is a safety net, a very tiny one, but one nonetheless.

  143. Angel Kymer says:

    mommy of 2 special needs…. Did you read the article completely? Most people understand that hard times happen but Welfare and entitlement programs were not supposed to replace a job, self-reliance, and personal responsibility, they were meant to help when circumstances beyond your control put you in a situation in which you needed help. What the article was pointing out is that there are far too many able bodied people taking advantage of a system designed to help those down on their luck. Abusing it to the point that those of us working and paying taxes are becoming angry and resentful. As a poster put, “if a person wants to buy a steak, lobster, candy, what is wrong with that?” Here is what is wrong; I buy my own groceries and can’t afford to buy steak, lobster, and candy most of the time so why should I be OK with someone who is depending on the fruits of MY labor to buy their food buy something I myself can’t afford? Poverty should be uncomfortable so people want to get out of it. Our current system has allowed way too many people to live comfortable lives at the taxpayers expense, and I am tired of being told I am mean and greedy when I get angry at people who are perfectly able to work that refuse because they can live well off MY work.

  144. While it is a viscous cycle I would agree, you’re missing another fine point. WHO GOT THE MONEY? Wal-Mart! Who lobbys congress to NOT make the changes. Wal-Mart. You see what you fail to miss is that Wal-Mart owns one of the top 10 fastest computers in the world. They won’t publicize it, but that computer system tracks every SINGLE purchase in every store in the country down to the item, store location and register number that it was purchased at. They KNOW this fraud goes on but not only want it to continue but the lobby to keep exactly what you describe happening. They dont want the flow or the loopholes to stop on any of that. That billions in lost revenue. So again it is a viscous circle.

  145. Voting Republican will NOT fix this!

  146. it’s not the people who recieve helps fault it’s a faulty system. We have received food stamps in the past and I bought steak and Lobster, but the Lobster I bought was only 4 dollars. It doesn’t matter what they buy with the stamps. You only get a certain amount every month so if they want to buy lobster and caviar who cares. they’ll go hungry the rest of the month.

  147. I agree with the majority of what you said. I myself and my family are currently on food stamps at this time. My husband was laid off from his job in June and has still not found a job that fits his line of work. He has been on unemployment since July and as of January we will have no income because his benefits will end. I am a stay at home mother of 2. There are alot of people who abuse the system. I just wanted you to know that not everyone does. Thank you for your article.

  148. Well, Well, It’s not only the lowly south that has this problem!!! Some people work two and three jobs while these freeloaders are enjoying the fruits of everyone else’s labor!!!

  149. This is why you vote “Republican”? Maine is a Republican run State deary…they have no one to blame but themselves.

  150. Vassie Fowler says:

    A very well written article… most of us agree that the misuse of food stamps and state aided funds is wrong… that is simply a no brainer… the rub comes in who determines what is just and unjust…. we all can see… prime rib & lobster seems a bit over the top for all of us budget conscience people… I own my own business and work a gazillion hours a week, I eat lobster once a year for my birthday and steak a few times a year…. It would not be my place to tell people what they can purchase…. but with only X amount of dollars… it only goes as far as you are smartly buying…
    Living on state/federal funding your whole life is OBVIOUSLY another no brainer… I am against it, GET A JOB!! That said… thru my own work within my community, I will say that some people can not work, can not hold a job…. do not be confused…. I am not talking about those making a career of working the system… but the few, the real people that suffer from real issues…I have been up front and personal with soup kitchens and neighborhood centers…. not everyone is trying to “get one by” the system…. those people deserve our help… the true question and issue is… how do we help the deserving, the people who really need the help… some of which will ALWAYS need the help…. they should not be penalized for the ones that abuse the system…. It is NOT about making a judgement against others… but about using good judgement!!

  151. Well, the only thing I can say about this situation is that people on FS are allowed a certain dollar amount per month, if I’m not mistaken. If they choose to blow it early on expensive food, then later in the month, they will be suffering…the only thing I feel bad about is the children who may not benefit from their parent’s poor decision making with the food choices. The total dollar amount can be spend more wisely, but if it’s their choice to buy steaks,etc…they will suffer in the long run (or maybe they don’t need the benefits to begin with)…and I don’t agree with the people who are on public assistance and have Iphones or the equivalent….even if the phone is free, the monthly plan and data plan are more that I can afford, and I don’t qualify for this kind of assistance…

  152. Missy, when I was growing up BEFORE THERE WAS WELFARE, people worked 2-3 jobs in order to take care of their families, even if it meant slinging burgers in a burger joint. You do what you have to in order to take care of your family, and NOT depend on others to do it for you. You said, “My husband was laid off from his job in June and has still not found a job that fits his line of work.” Why isn’t he working 2-3 jobs in the meantime while he is looking for work in his line of work and not taking unemployment? I don’t mean to come across as a mean ogre, but seriously, why isn’t he just working other types of jobs in order to pay the bills…and why aren’t you working? Why should we the taxpayers pay for you both who are clearly able bodied from the sounds of it because he can’t find a job “that fits his line of work” and you are home? I totally get the wanting to be home with the kids, I really do, and I commend you for that, but why not get a job while he is home and can watch the kids so you can afford to live?

    I work 60+ hours a week and until recently worked 80 hours a week for most of my adult life. My job field has been lost thanks to gov’t mandates destroying my work field. I now work 60+ hours a week having taken a 25% pay cut and don’t something that isn’t quite the same as my previous field that is more difficult to do physically. I barely scrape by and am praying my car doesn’t die at 20 years old because I can’t afford a payment, BUT I live w/o gov’t assistance. Even if I qualified, which I suspect I do for energy assistance anyway, I wouldn’t take it because I was raised that you take care of yourself and don’t expect others to do it for you (unless you are unable to work due to a disability, then that’s a whole ‘nother ball game).

    Food for thought………….

  153. Wavey Davey says:

    I witnessed the exact same thing at two different registers at TARGET on the same date. I had to leave one register because the person in front of me was arguing with the cashier. From what I overheard, she had almost $200.00 of groceries in her cart and was upset because she had to pay $1.68 out of her own pocket. BTW, she was not at all malnourished. At the registered I retreated to, a man was arguing with the cashier because he could not use his food stamp voucher card to purchase a blender. If you think this fraud is bad, just wait until Obamacare kicks into full gear!

  154. TheySoldMyJobAndINeededFoodstampsAmIEVIL? says:

    I personally don’t listen to college kids. Got too much of their parent’s and their professor’s brains going for them and not enough understanding about how far this country has collapsed. God, she is from Maine! There’s a 1% state for you if there ever was one. No jobs, inbred politicians…unfortunately for Maine it won’t get any better until somebody folds NAFTA and starts penalizing and overtaxing companies that sell American jobs overseas or over the border. She strikes a chord, definitely, but a blind, one-sided version of it considering where she is from. Stand up for your own instead of the few who are REALLY killing this country.

  155. so if your on food stamps your kids are not aloud to have a birthday cake??? and if you try to get walmart to go good on a mistake that they priced wrong than that makes you a welfare queen?? i for 1 made them go good on a computer they priced 1000 bucks cheaper than the real price. and guess what they had to when i showed them i had taken a cell pic and was going to report them to the bbb. the thought of a person buying a slip n slide for their kids as being a bad thing doesnt ring right to me. so because the parents are going through hard times the children shouldnt be aloud to have fun??? i think you are a stuck up over privileged snoot that should be less worried about who you wait on as a cashier and more worried about what will happen to you or your grandmother if your money is suddenly gone one day and there is no system to help you. not everyone abuses the system and to generalize people like you do without knowing them or there stories frankly makes you and ignorant self absorbed brat!

  156. I don’t know. I actually don’t see as much of a problem with that. It at least shows a sign of some economic thinking. Ifbthey can get more for less then there is less of a chance of them complaining like the real moochers out there. It shows a possible push to step out of the position their in, which is the actual purpose of food stamps, temporary assistance to get you on your feet.

  157. BTW one more point, Name me one single solitary republic governor who has eradicated welfare in his state? I’d gladly show you statistics for every state. Also one other thing to remember “There but by the grace of God go I.”. Point a few less fingers, judge a little less and support your local food bank. You can get the items pretty cheap at Wal-Mart.

  158. People abuse systems of government, people abuse animals, people abuse their own children, people abuse other people. Instead of standing in judgment try and put yourselves in their shoes. There are many issues that that cause people to be temporarily on some sorts of welfare as well as situations that cause people to be on long term welfare. Why don’t we think of socially responsible ways of dealing with this that provide relationship, education, graciousness.. you get the idea. Unfortunately, people don’t want to get their hands dirty, give up the their time, energy or worldly goods. I have been on food stamps now for 4 years, and I am scared to death to lose them next year. We eat food that is thrown away. Yes, I eat and prepare food that the stores will not sell and would otherwise be thrown in the garbage. I am a governmental healthcare recipient. I tithe to my church. I help my neighbors. I am sick of these welfare conversations. I know to many that hoard and are unwilling to help those in need.

  159. MT, the point is WHY SHOULD THE TAXPAYERS PAY FOR IT? If they want to have their kid have a birthday cake, they can buy a $1 box of cake mix and MAKE ONE THEMSELVES. If they want the kids to have the extras, GET A JOB. It’s NOT the taxpayer’s responsibility to make sure their kids have something fun in their lives – we didn’t have the fun of making the kids – it’s THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to take care of them and get them what they need…NOT OURS.

  160. I know a lot of people on Tanf and food stamps I’m disabled so I recieve food stamps but there are people who lie to the state to keep there benefits so they don’t have to work

  161. Although I agree with many points in the article I just want you to know that the EBT cash isn’t always welfare. I know that where I live a lot of times the EBT cash is child support that is being paid. It frustrates me when people abuse and take advantage of charity instead of trying to support themselves. But while I am currently on foodstamps my husband and I are trying to get to a point where we can feed our family without them. I have been able to get off WIC but it is a work in process. So be kind as you consider the poor idiots that abuse the system because not all of us are that way.

  162. This is not true to everyone on food stamps!! I work, go to college, required to have an internship, which was unpaid and have a toddler who needs to eat, as I do not have support that can help anywhere else. I believe just because I can’t afford the decorated cake because I am doing too much, my son still deserves to have it!! Before fighting everyone on FS, spend one day in their shoes and see what it is like. I am not saying there aren’t people out there who do abuse it, however when you have eaten basically nothing worth awhile forever, because you can’t afford it, what is the problem with one Porter House Steak?? Absolutely nothing. It would be nice if people would step back and investigate the situation before assuming!!!

  163. Well no, they are not meant to eat “lower quality” meals, only within their means.

    Putting other people’s money into the socket of others doea not necessarily help the rest of the country. Eventually you run out of everyone elses’ money. It doesn’t create jobs only maintains a few.

  164. beachharry says:

    Christine R, you are too pretty and smart to be working at Walmart. ;)

  165. Bite your tongue young lady. Karma is a bitch and hits hard. Someday you’ll be unemployed and hungry and will do anything to feed your family… You’ll feel like a fool for writing this when you’re on Food Stamps Assistance.

  166. As a parent who is currently receiving food stamps, I partly agree with this article. There are people who use and abuse the system. The buy other people’s food stamp cards, sell their own etc, However, to judge the people you see with the cards, is different. Their “toys” could’ve been a gift, or they could’ve gotten their “toys” or nice clothes before they lost their job. I work almost 35 hours a week, have a Bachelor’s Degree (although I am unable to find a job in my field at the current time), support my daughter all on my own, I pay my bills (and have a nice cell phone but got it on a deal at my cell phone company and am on a family member’s plan so I pay considerably less than if I had my own plan) and take care of my daughter all on my own. I receive food stamps, but use them as they are meant. Not everyone that receives food stamps are “welfare queens” or abuse the system.

  167. Timothy Golden says:

    this girl had my attention until she said “this is why i vote republican.” there are lots of instances where welfare is abused, no doubt. i’d say the percentage of people who do it is just about the same as the percentage of white, republican businessmen i see with their black amex cards taking “clients” (aka prostitutes, other people’s wives, escorts, underage girls, family members, friends) out to dinner and writing it off as a tax deduction because it somehow qualifies as a business dinner. in other words: it doesn’t matter if you’re poor, rich, dumb, smart, whatever. chances are, somewhere someone is taking advantage of a system that’s put in place to help the people who really need it.

  168. Dawn, I commend you for going to school to better the situation for your child. You obviously have the goal of trying to get off of welfare eventually. GOOD! You should be proud of yourself.

    That being said, however, I HAVE been in your shoes before, going to college and raising 2 kids. I worked full-time, paid daycare out of my own pocket, and took 18 credits a semester (a full load was considered 12 credits). I didn’t depend on any gov’t benefits at all. My daughter is raising her son, working full-time, going to college full load, and the only benefit she gets is Medicaid/title 19, which she would prefer to get off of and will be off as soon as she finishes school.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of those on welfare know how to WORK THE SYSTEM. I have seen my ex-hubby’s family talk about all the stuff they can get and do with welfare – get food stamps, medicaid, housing assistance, energy assistance, also frequent the food bank as often as they allow, go to community action and get huge bags loaded (over a year’s supply) with free shampoo, conditioner, other bathroom needs, kitchen needs – dish soap, garbage bags, even free bread, potatoes, etc, and get their trailer fixed up for free…basically they don’t spend a dime of their own money taking care of themselves. When there are free food giveaways, free hair cuts, free meals, they are there. They KNOW how to milk the system – and this happens all over the country. In the meantime, they have new computers, huge screen televisions, internet access and spend all day playing games on Facebook. They DON”T WANT TO WORK and why should they? Everything is handed to them. There isn’t a lick of responsibility they have to put forth to take care of themselves.

    Those who work hard and still don’t make quite enough to make ends me, I don’t have a problem with helping them – PROVIDED THEY AREN’T SPENDING THEIR MONEY ON BOOZE AND CIGARETTES AND DRUGS and expect us to cover the shortfall because of their wasteful expenditures. Your freedom to imbibe in stuff should not infringe on our freedom to enjoy the fruits of OUR labors because you take all of our money.

  169. I am a state help recipient in the state of Maine, and I too agree that there is a lot of abuse in the system. Then there are those, like me, who shop around for the best prices, so that I can feed my daughter a well-balanced diet, necessary for her health. That being said, you can rest easily knowing that when I have 8 or 10 steaks in my cart, it’s because they are london broil cuts, on sale for $1.89 a pound, because it is a big grilling holiday weekend (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc). That specific week, it is cheaper for me to buy steaks, than it is to buy chicken. My family will have a steak dinner that night, using 2 of the steaks, then the rest will go in the freezer for another time. We don’t purchase meats at full-price, always when it’s the butcher’s choice for the week. If you saw me with 8 or 10 steaks this week, you just might see me with 4 or 5 packages of chicken next week, if it’s what’s on sale. It means that there is always food in my house, purchased below regular price, so that my daughter doesn’t go hungry.

  170. @MT, nice name calling! Again, you make assumptions. What about making a bday cake? Much cheaper! Lobster & steak aren’t rights. Those who say, “who cares how they spend their food money?” Really? Do yo not realize they have to go to food banks or use other resources that could go to people who receive nothing per month? What about children, which is my biggest concern, who get nothing nutritionally? With all that being said, I have a much bigger issue with welfare for rich rock stars!

  171. I never meant to imply that everyone on the system was a “welfare queen.” These two women were every bad stereotype of a welfare user–overweight, obnoxious, not intelligent, surrounded by children, bossy, arrogant, and rude. Plenty of people used foodstamps at work who were nice people, and I wouldn’t classify them as “queens.” If a person is actively working hard to get off the system, they’re not a queen. If a person is receiving benefits due to severe illness or disability (legitimate disability), they’re not a queen. If a person and her friend show absolutely no shame using no less than three welfare programs, lies about prices of other items (most people don’t request a price change before it’s scanned; she did), and attempts to get a 40 dollar vacuum for three dollars…well that elevates that person to queen status.

  172. Okay Paul – really $25 bucks a week for two people to eat? That’s crazy. That’s $12.50 per person per week – that is $1.78 a day for each of you. I would like to know where you shop, what you eat, and whether or not you hunt.

    I lost my job when the company I worked for decided that a 22 year old that wore low cut spandex and didn’t need health insurance (she had medicaid for her son) was a better bet than a 50+ year old breast cancer survivor (who had her own medical insurance through her husbands job. Unemployment helped while I tried to find another job – but it ran out and I still had not been able to find another job.

    3 Years later my husband lost his job. Unemployment insurance kept us afloat – we both had to take our SS early. No one wanted to hire a 65 year old man in his field, and any other.

    My health insurance costs just went up from $538 to $617 a month – I’m not 65 yet – my SS check is $676 a month. Our net income a month is about $1200. We live in a 35′ 15 year old motorhome that we bought with the last of our 401k.

    I gather from many many of the comments here that we should give up all the comforts that we had before our lives fell apart and should live an austere life of deprivation. It’s easy to say that when you’re young, employed, and have never faced adversity. It’s easy to judge – and I am guilty when I see someone in a store with a basket full of junk – but you and I do NOT have the information or the right to cast stones. I look askance at a basket full of junk from a nutritional basis – not because I begrudge them the food.

    if you are on foodstamps you shouldn’t be able to use coupons to stretch the money you do get? If you are on foodstamps you should only be allowed to buy cheap cuts of meat (chicken feet and turkey necks???), and low quality products that you wouldn’t eat? Yeah, we’ve given up a lot of the things we love. We can’t afford good wine anymore, we don’t buy steak unless it’s in the 50% off bin. There is no expensive cheese in our fridge, no well stocked bar. We gave up our Blackberries and went back to our old cell phones – we’d like to give one of them up but the cancellation fee is too high. We don’t travel, we don’t go to movies. We’re thinking of giving up our pets – three of which we’ve had for over 8 years because we can’t afford to care for them like we always have.

    Yeah – I know, none of you young judges of humanity will read this through. You will all be sitting there trying to figure out how the hell to tell me I should or could cut my expenses and give up even more. But let me tell you – I’ve worked hard, given up stuff (including a half a breast!), raised 2 kids, donated $20 a month to St Jude’s for 8 years, done all the right and good things that my heart dictated, helped friends, and now . . . if I need assistance to live you don’t think I deserve it??? You don’t think I should have SS or Medicare??? You don’t think I’m “entitled” (by paying my own bill) to have cell phones, internet, or any comforts in life??? You have the nerve to judge people! Walk a mile in their shoes. You don’t mention if you have a cell phone, an Ipad, flat screen TV, good health, a nice car (ours is old), nice clothes. Do you go on vacations, out to night clubs, out to dinner???? Cross your fingers and hope to God that adversity never touches you!

  173. Kathryn Plaster says:

    Firstly: When you mentioned your month and year of birth, I suddenly felt quite old. So, shame on you for that. ;)

    Secondly: Years upon years ago, I worked as a cashier at a national grocery store located in a small college city in Texas. While employed, I was disgusted to see customers purchase “snack” items with their Lone Star Card (the Texas version of EBT). It wasn’t at all uncommon for one to buy a bag of chips and 20 oz. of Coke as their snack. I was disheartened.

  174. This is a very thoughtful, thought-provoking column. Thank you so much.

    It reminds me of the time I spent working as a bank teller in 1982 — I had to cash welfare checks for people driving late-model Lincoln Town Cars and Cadillacs.

    Congratulations on being a college conservative, and good luck. I know from experience that it’s not easy.

  175. frustrated in maine says:

    I have sat here and read the majority of the comments. I have been told fs is not welfare. Anyway. Scatterbrain here so bare with me. You do need to walk a mile in “our shoes” to know what it is like..if we want to buy steak we will buy steak…I happen to look for the cheap steak and dollars off coupons on it etc. And Brandon what is wrong with using coupons to save your foodstamp money, especially if you do not get much per month and it has to last for a family of 3. Learn the circumstances of that person BEFORE you judge. Stop being so judgemental!!! I am not gonna go all bible here but God created all ppl equally. Now yes I am on fs but I am disabled and not able to work at this time. And I get a check on the 3rd of every month and I get Meicare/Medicaid. So does this make me a welfare queen as some of you have put it? Some of you really have no idea how hard it is. You can’t buy healthy foods because they are too expensive, so maybe that is why you see junk food. Food I use to buy 6 months ago, I can’t buy now because prices have gone up and trust me I noticed. We struggle to put food on our plates daily!! You really need to not judge it hurts, kind of like bullying it is what my son is learning in school right now that bullying is not cool and is wrong. Being judgemental like this is also wrong, giving those dirty looks without knowing the whole story is wrong. Do you think ppl on fs like coming in to buy food? Personally if I could I would rather do it over the internet. And yes I have a cellphone but I have a straight talk cellphone…no bells and whistles just plain jane cell phone. And obviously I have internet, but I have kids too that need to do research and homework too. And I own my own house too, and no…no one helped me with that.

  176. Im sorry, while there are abuses this is a one sided view. First of all most of the money she would see (some 99%) would be FOOD STAMPS, which is limited to FOOD items, and most pre-made foods dont count either. Second, Walmart , who was first “made in America” then “made in China” is responsible for the loss of tons of jobs and small businesses all in the name of profit putting tons of people out of work. Some 40 million PLUS people are on food stamps now. If you eliminate the minors and those in nursing homes that is one helluva percentage of the population.Why dont you try comparing the cost of the food stamp program to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or better yet to the costs of the bailouts of corporate america. It is easy to put people down without knowing their lives. Next… People can be on unemployment and receive foodstamps, or even have a relative pay for their phone as a gift.

  177. “I never meant to imply that everyone on the system was a “welfare queen.” These two women were every bad stereotype of a welfare user–overweight, obnoxious, not intelligent, surrounded by children, bossy, arrogant, and rude.”

    Gee I’ve met lots of people who were overweight, obnoxious, not intelligent, surrounded by children, bossy, arrogant, and rude who had plenty of money and thought that that entitled them to all of the above!

  178. I work 20-25 hours a week, it’s all I have been able to find so far. I bring home on a good week maybe $230.00. My rent is $325.00, lights around $90.00 most of the time but last summer went up to over $200.00, water is included in my rent. I do not have cable. I use a friend’s internet. I do have a car, it’s paid for, gas is about $30 a week, insurance is $60 a month. I have no credit cards, no other bills. I only qualify for $64 a month from EBT. I have no health insurance but I do have health problems. I get my medicine from the Wal Mart pharmacy, all 3 that I have to take every day are on the $ 4 list there. When I get sick and go to a doctor I have to insist that any prescriptions have to be on that $4 list. If it’s not, I can’t afford it.
    I have no family that could help and I live alone. It’s not a good way to live but it’s all I have. I used to get $165 a month EBT but I was able to get a few more hours at work and that was reduced to the $64 that I get now. I used to be able to get a steak that was reduced for quick sale, can’t do that anymore. Think about going to the grocery store and only having $64 to spend for a month’s worth of groceries. Most people could get by on that for awhile because they would have things in their cabinets already, but those won’t last long. What then? Well, you just plain do without. Think about everything that you eat and drink everyday. Why do you deserve those things and other don’t? Everyone deserves to get something extra every once in a while even if they a poor.

    By the way, I graduated from high school and have several certificates of continuing education from a major university. I have always tried to better myself and have worked almost solid for the last 23 years.

    There will always be some people that abuse the system, but please don’t make the ones that don’t suffer because of the ones that do.

  179. I agree with a lot of this article, but I have issues with some of it. I worked at the same Walmart in Scarborough from 1996- 1998, and then the Auburn store from 2003 until 2010. My husband and I owned our home, were raising 5 children, and owned a store while I worked in Auburn. While working there full time, I also put myself through nursing school. We had a situation of hiring the wrong person to run the store, and that left us losing the store, our home, and our safety net. We got foodstamps (no cash). I bought my childrens birthday cakes with it, and I don’t feel bad about it. They deserved it. I am working in a better job, but still cannot afford everything like I did before. We still get stamps, and yes, I buy steak on occasion. I bust my butt, and work hard and we deserve to splurge sometimes. We don’t get enough to eat for the month, I supplement it. But I am grateful, and not ashamed. I WORK.. I pay taxes. I am not sitting home being lazy. Not everyone that gets help is mooching. You don’t have to be unemployed to get them. Disabled people get them. Granted, far too many claim disability that shouldn’t.

    This was a great article, I just wanted to clarify that you can have a job and still get help. Nothing frustrated me more working with the public than to have them not speak a word of English except “food stamp” as they swiped their card. We will always see misuse. It is unfortunate.

  180. “You don’t mention if you have a cell phone, an Ipad, flat screen TV, good health, a nice car (ours is old), nice clothes. Do you go on vacations, out to night clubs, out to dinner???? ”

    Cell phone? Yes, because my job requires me to be on call and have it on me at all times. Unfortunately, I have to pay for it.
    Ipad? NOPE
    Flatscreen TV? nope…a small 23-inch old TV that has half a picture now
    Good health? Not really – am partially disabled, but able to work from home with my job
    Nice car? It’s 20 years old, has a bad oil leak that would cost too much to fix, and is rusty
    Nice clothes? I get my sister’s hand-me-downs. The only things I buy myself are underclothing.
    Vacations? What’s that? I haven’t had one in over 16 years.
    Night clubs? Not into that at all, work too many hours to even consider doing much of anything outside of the home other than church and occasional meeting with an organization I’m involved in and on the board.
    Go out for dinner? Very rarely….Can’t afford it.
    Have a life? Not much of one outside of work. My life consists of spending time with my critters and my kids and my occasional meetings.

    Do I hate my life? NOPE..love my life. I have the satisfaction that I”m taking care of MYSELF and nobody else is doing it for me. Other than my health problems, I have a good life. Do I want to work less hours? Absolutely!! But…this is what you do in order to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

    Remember from scripture ” Those who do not work, shall not eat.” Laziness should NOT be rewarded. Obviously the disabled do not fit under this category because it’s through no fault of their own that they can’t work.

  181. youre a friggin walmart cashier and yet you sit here in judgment of others…. who is really the stupid one here? you sound like a whiny liberal, not a conservative. i LOVE how you people always say “i dont mind if some really NEEDS welfare” well of course you mind, thats why you call them welfare queens. you people complain if they buy junk food, but then as soon as they buy GOOD food, you complain that they are eating better than you are.

  182. You are one smart cookie!!
    Let me just say, the funny thing is Medicare thinks they are fending off abuse by not allowing nurse practitioners to sign home health orders. Yet, we do nothing about the issues you have described!

  183. Dear Mr. ‘PISSED OFF…’

    Why must you insult this young lady and the millions of others out there who work at places such as Wal-Mart? A cashier is not a ‘real’ job? Get your head out of your enlarged rectum! Any job is better than no job at all! Have you no sense of respect for the hard working individuals in your community who put up with jerks, like yourself, all day for minimum wage? What would the world be without cashiers? All of your entitlement entourage would have no one to yell at. Yelling at a machine doesn’t offer the same level of satisfaction to a belligerent moron who’s blinded by their own ignorance. How would you feel if someone were to insult your profession in such a manner. For example: What does a sign maker do? Scratch some BS phrase on a sheet of cardboard and hold it up on the street corner? Were you the guy I gave a handful of change and a employment agency business card to the other day? See these sort of ad hominems work both ways. For example: Your entire comment shows a complete lack of understanding in regards to basic economics. Quite possibly this bleeds into your business savvy, or lack there of. If you can’t run your own business successfully, how can you claim any ground on issues of economy. Really? You don’t see there being more sense in not paying so much in taxes, so that you may put your own money into the mouths and on the feet of your children? Heck, I don’t even need to insult you. Truth is, you did that to yourself. You made your own argument against you. But as I said in my prior comment, you hit a nerve. And I know I shouldn’t argue with an idiot – The whole “drag you down to their level and beat you with experience” thing. But I’ve got plenty of experience in dealing with idiots via. my previous ‘not real’ occupation. So, I’m not going to hold back. I know that if I show compassion and respect to someone who doesn’t know the meaning of either; they will only use it against me, in some form or another, at some point in time. So, I’ll go ahead and deliver the final blow. Though I know you’re probably not going to read this before it is flagged, and pulled. Have you considered adoption? I mean there’s no reason your kids should suffer because you can’t afford to take care of them. And there’s no reason I should have to pay for your kids’ food because your wife can’t make good decisions. I’m sure there’s a decent family out there, that would love to help you out and take the kids off your hands. Giving them a decent life for which you’re not willing to work for. Perhaps if your wife would get a job at Wal-Mart, she’d make enough to at least be able to cloth and feed the kids. Heck, her employee discount would go along way in helping. But I guess she decided that dignity was more important than feeding her kids. I can’t believe we now live in a country where there is more shame in being a cashier than there is in living on the backs of other Americans. Now don’t try to divert the blame all to the dead-beat father. After-all, it takes two to make a baby. Perhaps, she should have exercised a bit more discretion in who she involved herself with. But she made a mistake, three times, but never the less it was a mistake. People need to learn to take responsibility for their own mistakes. Don’t raise the kids to be bums. Teach them that living off of others is never alright. Sometimes you are forced to, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ashamed, and doing everything you can to get out of the situation. But to say you are entitled. I do have compassion, but don’t think you can insult me then use it as my weakness.

  184. If you are on Welfare you SHOULD NOT HAVE A IPHONE. You should be ashamed of yourself stealing money from the Goverment. What a SHAME. I hate leaving the grocery store seeing someone get in a LEXUS after they just paid with a EBT card.

  185. Everyone deserves to get something extra every once in a while even if they a poor.

    Yes, that’s true, but THE TAXPAYERS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. What makes you think you deserve it and someone else should have to pay for it? Since when is it someone else’s responsibility to give someone something “extra” and fun? Before there was welfare, what do you think people did for something extra? Pooled resources with someone else, went without, etc. They didn’t expect someone else to give them something extra “because they deserve it.”

    I “deserve” a new car because mine is an old piece of junk, but I certainly don’t expect someone else to provide it for me. I “deserve” a vacation after 16 years of working 80 hours a week with NO vacation, but I certainly don’t expect someone to pay my way for one or cover my bills while I’m on vacation. This “I deserve it” attitude is the crux of the problem here with the welfare system.

  186. unfortunately “welfare cards” did not exist in 1991….although this is quite possibly spot on in certain instances….a good journalist will use only facts to ensure it doesnt lose credibility…thus lose readers….if u want to make a point u must stick to facts… and this was only flaw i picked up on in your article….but im sure u will get the point….

  187. GREAT POST, Alexander!

  188. What a bunch of pre-determined, conservative, judgemental bull crap. You see somebody once and figure you just know their situation. If you’re poor, you obviously aren’t working hard enough right? and you don’t deserve anything unless it’s been manufactured just for you. I have a droid, am on medicaid, and get EBT. I have an accounting degree, now I could be very close to landing a job that could help provide for my family so I can fit into your ideal world.

  189. @Lee, it wasn’t an EBT card, it was a paper card similar to a social security card that said something like MASSACHUSETTS WELFARE OFFICE on it or something. It was signed by Dukakis. (I don’t remember all the exact details; it was from the first summer I worked there.The Dukakis thing stuck out.)

  190. Angry Mobster says:

    Excellent article, you give me hope for our nation’s future. :)

    I visited Maine recently, and lobster was amazingly inexpensive at the grocery store – I had it every night. But I saved months for this trip.

    If the hot dog man is properly reporting his income and legitimately qualifies for food stamps, more power to him. But I’m cynical by nature.

  191. Here is my stance on it. I was in an excellent position as was my wife. We had the big 4000 square foot home, two new cars every year and lived well. I lost my job as did my wife. I did not receive one penny of government aid. I took a lower paying job trying to get by. I paid a huge sacrifice for it. I lost my home and all three cars, a big camper, and my boat. I have now gotten back on my feet due to HARDWORK not a handout. So i imagine some people on here will follow this with some cry me a river stories! But I got back on my feet due to hardwork and not sitting around crying about what someone has written. I really hope this gives those looking for nothing some inspiration to get off their ass and WORK, nothing more nothing less.

  192. I just wanted to point out, that while working in any service industry in Any demographic, people will be rude to clerks, yell at clerks, and ignore clerks. It is difficult working with the public, but weather or not someone has an Ebt card doesn’t make them more or less rude than everyone else. The fraud, is terrible, but then again, so is Wal Mart. why don’t you do an article on the atrocities of this particular corporation? Actually that would be a great piece do a side by side story of “Corporate Welfare vs. Personal Welfare”.
    Also, this is a good opinion piece, but in terms of journalism, not so much, phrases like “Welfare Queen” are offensive. But, hey you are young. Life perhaps hasn’t dealt you any hard knocks yet. And lastly, I have an I-phone, only cost me $49.00 everyone knows once your contract is up, you get a great deal on a phone, that is no secret.

  193. I am also a very hard worker and mother of 3 boys and i have 2 jobs and volunteer on the ambulance.. It is not fair to say what people can and can’t buy with there food money and to judge people because of the help they are getting. I agree not everyone that gets help uses it well, but you cannot critsize if you do not know the whole story ..

  194. Sorry for your difficulties, Ed, but I commend you for getting back on your feet by doing it all ON YOUR OWN and with your own hard work. THIS is the American way, and you represent it very well with your old pioneer spirit “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” attitude this country once had. Bravo! You should be very proud of yourself. : )

  195. Well said! You are wise beyond your years!! I too worked at Walmart many years ago as a THIRD job when my husband died without any life insurance. I had 3 kids a home and only accepted foodstamps and a medical card until their social secuity survivor benefits kicked in. Then I would only accept a medical card.While at Walmart I had two welfare queens try similar antics on Christmas Eve. I decided then and there I was going back to school. Proud to say I have been a nurse for 7 years now! I was so happy when I not only mad too much money for foodstamps, but my kids had real insurance!! I have put 3 kids through college as well as myself. All of my children are conservatives as am I. They are 20, 23 and 26 now. Not bad if I do say so myself!!!!

  196. I worked at a Shaw’s in Maine throughout high school and undergrad and saw many of the same things described above. There is no doubt in my mind that there are incredible levels of food stamp and welfare fraud in Maine but I think the real problems lie deeper. Maine is frequently mentioned as being one of the states with the greatest percent of our population reliant on food stamps. Maine is also known for our “Brain Drain” problem (young people move away to make money. I’m planning to make the same sort of escape as searching for a job in this state where I can make a decent salary has proved quite difficult) and Maine has been labeled as the worst state in the whole US to do business. So, long story short, I believe that along with combating welfare fraud Maine needs to become more business friendly and take serious measures to create entry-level jobs for the college graduates that the state is losing. Perhaps if there were more, higher paying jobs in the state there would be fewer people cheating the system.

  197. well said my dear…. well said. :)

  198. Oh, Gary, get off your high horse! Can’t you read what she is saying? I guess liberals are so open minded right? People accuse her of being judgemental and yet have no problem with judging her.

  199. Wow you can clearly tell what people on here are getting Goverment assistance and the ones who are actually working for their money. I’m tired of my tax money getting taken so you can have ribs every night for dinner.

  200. Tom Sullivan says:

    It;s no different in New York State either…..Standing in line at the local WM, my wife overheard a clerk coment to a WELFARE GAL, ” Having a big paey??, thats a lot of shrimp!!.”. WELFARE GAL responded ” Hell no”, that’s bait for my husband when he goes fishin'”… NUF SAID. Vote the Incumbents OUT and get the ship back on course..

  201. Nathan Faust says:

    That is absolutely right dems want more people like them so that they can “SAY” that they are compassionate and caring, but how is it compassionate is it to enslave someone into a system in where they will never be able to have any kind of wealth or earn a decent amount of money? They will be poor and will always be poor as long as they keep getting welfare and don’t work for their money. Welfare will keep them poor, if those people only knew that dems want them poor and to keep them poor so that they can keep voting dem as long as they live and after they die too. Dems are the only ones that keep voting for the same party after they die, people who vote republican their whole lives all of a sudden start voting for dems after they die.

  202. Well said, Erin (from two posts up). I agree with the writer’s sentiment that people shouldn’t abuse the system and it’s deplorable for those who do. HOWEVER, you cannot judge or control what someone buys with their EBT card. It is their business and not yours and they have every right to choose what they want to buy with their EBT card. There is nothing wrong with buying a steak. Just because you are in a bad situation, do you think that that person doesn’t deserve to have a healthy, lean cut of beef from time to time? it’s not unhealthy nor is it junk food. Or is this person not worthy enough and and are allowed to only buy chicken thighs or unhealthy hot dogs? I make it my business to buy healthy foods for my child and I and rarely if ever buy junk food. However, if on a Friday night, I choose to splurge and buy a pizza and an off-brand 2-liter soda for my family then I have every right as an American to do that. Don’t tell me that there’s kids out there in wealthy families who’ve never had soda or pizza. It’s my choice and my decision and not anybody else’s business what I buy with my EBT card. I am very responsible with my purchases and I believe it’s okay from time to time to splurge and get that occasional treat. Again, it my own business, not yours to judge me. I get your point and appreciate your point of view but you can’t criticize anyone for ever buying a steak with their EBT card. And frankly, my dear, I couldn’t care less if you do.

  203. Oh man, guys. really? She understands that most people really do need help. She’s talking about those who are not even trying to help themselves. My goodness, stop yelling at her! If you’re not guilty of abusing the welfare system, then you have no reason to be offended. As a single-income household, I know what it’s like to be poor and wonder where money will come from to pay bills, but my husband and I try live within our means. I worked at a local convenience store where I saw several people on a daily basis who had no intention of helping themselves. Several young families frequented the store with their WIC checks and food stamps, and that was okay by me. Starting a family while both husband and wife are finishing up their degree is financially challenging, I understand that. However, I had a problem with people using their food stamps on extravagant items, such as fifty or more dollars, on solely ice cream products or fancy specialized cheeses. I worked 40+ hours on minimum wage, and could not afford these items, yet those who were not working and freeloading were eating better than me. Don’t even tell me not to judge, or that I don’t know their situation. I already know that I don’t know your story or your neighbor’s story, or that there are some special occasions or situations. However, I know that if my taxes are funding somebody’s frivolous party, I am not going to happy, especially since I couldn’t even afford to throw a party for my family.

    Christine, I think this was a well written article, thank you!

  204. Good for you, Jamie! You should be very proud of yourself! My daughter is in college studying to become a nurse herself, raising her son by herself also, working full-time at the hospital, and w/o any assistance other than the medicaid card. It irks her to no end to be on it, but at this point, she has no choice as the father is required to have insurance, but doesn’t have any offered at his job, so he gets away with not having it on his son. My youngest daughter (21) lives on her own and works 2 jobs in order to take care of herself. She shops sales and is very, very good at using coupons for everything and shopping the best sales possible and buying clearance items. She amazes me with the deals she finds! She is disgusted with her friends who live off the gov’t and refuse to work. One friend has the attitude that even though her boyfriend makes dang good money and can support them in their own home that they own, she should get welfare anyway. She’s not paid into the system and thinks it’s her “right” to have it. She has 2 kids and doesn’t work and has no desire to work. That really irks my daughter to no end!

  205. Here’s my idea of welfare reform:
    (document presented in language of applicant)…..Public Assistance Implementation and Usage Contract.

    This contract, entered into on (date) and expiring on (18 months from implementation date) by the (state agency) and applicant(s) listed herein (must submit names of applicant and children born to her via birth records),allows for the provision of food,housing allowance,child care and education for the purposes of job placement during the contract period,and is understood by all parties concerned that the provision of aforementioned assistance is on a one-time basis,not to be repeated or reinstated at any time for any reason between the applicant(s) and the agency named herein,and is for the aforementioned time period only,and can only be implemented following presentation of documents proving legal citizenship status and a drug screening process,both of which are to be conducted by the agency.

    Once legal citizenship status and drug screen results are known by the agency and the applicant and found to be favorable,this contract can then be implemented.The following covenants hereby apply and are agreed upon by both the named agency herein and the applicant(s) seeking assistance (failure of any one of these covenants will be considered a contract breach on the part of the applicant,and will result in immediate termination of the contract;assistance will be terminated immediately and can never be reinstated at any time in the future for any reason:

    Applicant MUST disclose the name(s) of the absent parent of applicant’s child/children so that an attempt to obtain monetary support for those children can be made through DNA analysis. Failure to disclose the absent parent’s name will result in automatic immediate cessation of benefits.

    applicant will submit to random home visits which will be unannounced and will occur during the 5-day work week,normally during the early afternoon hours;

    applicant will submit to random drug testing as directed by the agency;

    applicant must not conceive,adopt (formally or informally,including family members,immediate or extended) marry or cohabitate during the contract period;

    applicant must attend a one-year vocational program via a voucher provided by the agency;applicant must attend each class ( two absences will be allowed during the contract period and a doctor’s note must be submitted upon returning to class for each absence) and a transportation voucher will be provided by the agency for transportation during class hours;child care will be provided by the agency during class hours only.

    Once applicant graduates from vocational training, a two-month job-placement period will commence,with child care provided by the agency; Upon applicant’s employment,there will be an additional 4 months of ongoing assistance to allow applicant enough time to establish themselves in their occupation and to make child-care arrangements for after the contract period.

    Once this contract has reached its expiration date,the assistance provided,all provisions and covenants and financial considerations as well,will cease and terminate permanently.The applicant is barred from any and all future assistance.

    I,________________ hereby agree to adhere to all covenants,rules,etc of this contract. I realize and fully understand that I am bound by this contract in order to receive assistance in any form,and that any violation or breach will result in my not receiving any form of assistance any further. I agree further that this contract was fully explained to me by the agency caseworker and that I will fully comply. (sign & date here)____________________________

    Agency hereby agrees to and will implement to the best of its ability and obligations,all covenants of this contract.

    (agency sign & date)_______________________

  206. Monica, again it’s the attitude that you “deserve it.” What makes you think that us taxpayers should have to pay for you to eat better than we can afford to? My gosh, what an entitlement mentality. It IS our business what you use your EBT on because WE ARE THE ONES PAYING FOR IT.

  207. It would be great if instead of cash assistance people would get a certain amount of pre-loaded groceries per week. Vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta, cereal, dairy and some meat for each person. That would be very hard to exploit/scam with an “inside” person helping. As this story (and my own experience) demonstrates, allowing people to try to “pick their own” restricted list groceries assumes they paid attention long enough in school to learn how to read and write. There are a lot of people who scam the system with “fake divorces” (one spouse goes on welfare), cash businesses where the owner reports no income (like the hot dog vendor), and people using aliases to collect multiple welfare checks. There is no good reason why we can’t step up enforcement and eliminate some of this fraud.

    Unfortunately there are some in the US who hope to recreate the slavery system only with “government aid” chaining people to a virtual plantation. Keep 51% of the populace dependent on government aid and you can stay in power forever. Assuming, of course, the other 49% are dumb enough to keep working and paying sky-high taxes to cover for the half that do not work.

  208. While I put myself through college, in Maine, I did a work study at a early childhood development center. There were a couple of moms who had 5 kids (all with different fathers BTW) who used the welfare system to fund their (and their boyfriend’s) lives. They would drop all of their kids off and were always late to pick them up at the end of the day. They collected a check for each and every child and never thought about working (or using birth control for that matter). The goal was obvious, each kid was a check. The childcare for this particular program was even FREE for this specific “in need” population. The children were all sadly under developed and each one equalled a sum of money. It was my first experience with this type of fraud in Maine and not my last. It has gotten tragically worse over the decade and it is too easy for people out of state to come and milk our hard earned $. Maine has become a victim.

  209. LOVE IT, TAMMY! You should send that to your governor’s office and your Congressman and Senators!

  210. Welfare needs to be reformed so that people can buy healthy, nutritious foods for their families. Yes, there are people who make exorbitant purchases and abuse the assistance the government provides them with, absolutely. And across the political spectrum, we all agree this needs to end. But did you go home with these people after you rang them up? Do you know their situation? Your experience is NOT a representation of how people in this country are using welfare benefits. And besides, I’ve been a cashier at a supermarket across the street from a housing project in Brooklyn and again in one of Nassau County’s wealthiest grocery stores…..people are nasty EVERYWHERE do not think that just because the government is paying their groceries they should be nice to you.

  211. It’s not just food stamps that are being abused. What about those signing up for college, getting grants, then dropping out after they receive the grant? Or, how about those on unemployment that CAN get a job but turn them down because the company that wants to hire them wants them to work too many hours and they’d lose their unemployment benefits? There are so many ways to work the system. People are learning from people that know. And, one thing I truly don’t understand is how one person may qualify for food stamps with cash, yet, another in the same situation, same number of children, same living conditions, don’t qualify for the cash portion. Visit your local courthouse sometime. I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere, but here in the heart of the capital of NC, you can sit outside a courtroom and listen to the women’s conversations with the so-called daddy of their baby – only to know through their conversation that the guy is just a friend – knowing his DNA won’t match – just so his female friend can stay on welfare. And, how many guys does she take to court claiming he’s the dad? Oh, I could go on and on…

  212. While a agree with the majority of the article there is one thing that bothered me but maybe that it due to my own situation. I do use the assistance of WIC and I own a iPhone but the only reason I even have the phone is because it is a company issued phone- ie my boss pays for it. I’m sure there have been cashiers that see husband (who also has iPhone from same boss) standing in line waiting to pay while our daughter slides her finger on the screen to move icons as entertainment and they probably get aggravated that we have things like iPhones but use wic but it’s not always as cut and dry as it seems. And while I do agree that there is way to much fraud taking place with the system sometimes things just arent as they appear

  213. To “reallyoldguy”: She is not talking about Social Security and Medicare that we do pay into…..she is talking about welfare and medicaid

  214. William Strait says:

    I once had a man come into the movie theater I was working at and order roughly $30 worth of movie theater food. This food had no nutritional value; it consisted of soda, popcorn and candy. He then attempted to pay for his order with food stamps. I told “we are not a grocery store, we do not accept food stamps as payment”. I understand that everyone is entitled to enjoy their lives, but I just can’t get behind part of my paycheck going to pay for this man’s night out at the movie theater when it should be going to help those truly in need.

    Wonderful article. Thank you.

  215. but there IS a time limit for TANF benefits and probably just going to get shorter and shorter. The state easily shuts off your card and benefits for the most minor infractions. There are six month and yearly reviews. If you don’t show up they shut off your benefits. YES there is abuse of the system and working at Walfart of all places will be a showcase of all the scum bags that abuse it.
    We are so judgmental of other people to assume that they are rich and abusing the system because of the car they drive. How do you even know it is THEIR car? A friend bought a Lexus for a very affordable price the same as a used 90’s Jetta but is now being judged for it? Making assumptions about people because of one interaction with them does not determine whether or not they are bad people. You can get an iphone 3 for free with some plans now. Just because someone HAS a smart phone and is on welfare does not mean that they don’t deserve something. You can be a hard working citizen and still have no money left over after rent and utilities.

    I guess it just really bothers me that people feel entitled to tell others what they can or cannot have because they are on welfare. Even though they know nothing about the person they are judging. Walk a mile in their shoes. Being poor is a full time job.

  216. You are being very judgemental and obviously not looking at the big picture. You need to drill down to get to the root of the real issue.

    You have not had those issue in your life nor your immediate family environment. Although I have not had those issues, I would not dare think that I can compare myself to people who have had and only seen this recurrence in their lives and families.

    Families of Accountants usually have children who become accountants
    Families of Doctors often have children who become doctors
    Families of Engineers often have families who become engineers etc

    Cycles can be incredibly difficult to change. By nature people feel comfortable doing things based on their environment and upbringing.

    To judge people who have different environmental factors in play than yourself is nothing to be commended on.

  217. Goodness I could go on and on about this subject!!! I am a single parent and have been for years, however I chose to work and not “go” into the system, which would have actually benefitted me about as much or more as I made without working 3 jobs and without near as much stress. A single parent with a couple kids making minimal wages part time can qualify for section 8 housing which pays basically 75 percent of the rent (meaning the resident only has to pay $300 on a $1200 lease), medical benefits, food stamps, daycare, education. But this is not what I wanted to teach my child. I do have her on medical assistance, but that is the only assistance I have sought out. I simply can’t afford insurance and medical for her on my wages. My daughter is now in a Catholic high school, but that is because she worked hard for it and received a four year tuition scholarship! Like you, I believe it’s okay to accept help when you need it to progress upwards… but to use it as a way of life, that is totally different. Louisiana is one of the worst for knowing how to work the system.

  218. Dead on article. She only missed one aspect that really sends me over the edge. When NON of them speak a bit of English and are nasty individuals. I stood behind a 3 generation family of Mexicans that had gone straight from the border to social services and then the grocery store. Not speaking any English they were demanding the cashier go through their vouchers and get to the one for food. On the grocery belt before lay over $30,000 in vouchers and what not. $30,000 for 3 women and 5 kids that no doubt just hopped the border and ran to social services to get their “REFUGEE” benefits. 3X any US citizen can recieve. You guessed it. I followed them out the store and watched as they piled into the 2010 Cadillac Escalade with Texas plates and $12,000 in tires and wheels.

  219. Dear College Girl: Everyone is entitled to share their frustrations of the ignorance or misfortune of another human being. First of all, I’d like to commend you for your efforts of working for a living. However, I am assured that you do not have two or three children to house, feed, and clothe while the father is off parading with another woman, engaging in drugs or alcohol or institutionalized. Also, you do not know that these customers (who keep your job secure) are not working for $8.00 an hour somewhere to make barely enough to pay their utilities and transportation, let alone the high cost of rent. Many people receiving these EBT benefits are also employed. Unfortunately, others do not have the gift of intelligence or good looks, and this is why they are stuck in the system. On the other hand, there are many hard workers desperate to find work that just isn’t there. While applications are piled high, and the sign is still in the window for a month “Now Hiring” but not calling the applicants because they’re not “good enough”. I’m sure you can call your family for help when you need money for that haircut or nice sweater your wearing. Many of these people don’t have that blessing. If they’re spending part of their food stamps to buy a birthday cake for their child’s special event, God bless those children for getting that much out of their poverty stricken life. Instead of complaining of the pettiness of the poor and the small percentage of your pay that goes towards welfare reform, you should be grateful to have those annoying customers, securing your job and keeping a paycheck coming into your pocket.

  220. I’m sorry, I am on food stamps and I DO buy steaks. Yes, it’s true. I DON’T do it all the time though, but I do it, so it makes me bad? I wait til there is a sale, it is cheeper than hamburger! Good greif, but I do not see how me being poor removes our rights to feed my family a steak dinner. We have been on food stamps for a long time, but we didn’t get it til my parents convinced us to get them because all we were eating was potatoes and whatever we got on wic. My hubby worked a full time supervisor wage job and we still didn’t make enouph money to eat. The food that wasn’t wic was bought by family. If it wasn’t for food stamps we would have starved to death.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand people who live off the system! It irks me when I see people that have money and still trick the system to stay on it indefinitely. We have been on it while my hubby was in school as well, I worked for a while, but had to quit after my baby was born, afterwords I couldn’t get a job, no one was hiring or no one would hire me (I have restaurant, supervisor, packing plant experience, i also managed a small store by myself… So I had a good-ish resume. My hubby graduated and no one is hiring in his field.

    Guess I should not budget my EBT to buy my kids’ dream cakes and make sure that we no longer are allowed to eat healthy food. Did you realize how much more healthy food costs? Do you know how careful I have to budget my EBT so that I can do special things for my family? It doesn’t matter that I am so careful to somehow make my kids’ lives more comfortable, or that sometimes I STILL am hungry because I skip meals so the kids don’t have to. Also, my kids don’t go to public school so I don’t take the states money for their lousy crowded classrooms have less kids going. The state saves thousands because I homeschool. I buy curriculum with any money I can scrape together. I have gone without new clothes for a long long time. My kids don’t have new clothes either, we wear hand-me-downs. If we want something for our kids, we save what little we have and buy things for them. We do not use TANF because I think we can manage without it. We have been told several times by the social workers that we qualify for that and HUD and EVERYTHING, but I refuse it. Food is what we need to get by. I do not want to take away from another family in need. Oh, we also have iPhones. We got them two years ago for around $100. We used our tax returns to buy our phones, and for your info, it was more/month for a landline than for our phone bill. That’s why we went to cell phones to begin with (we don’t have landline) we do without satilight, cable, new computers (the ones we have were bought with tax returns) we do without a lot, but we don’t make the kids go without. We do the best we can so that they can not feel “poor.” my kids know the value of money. This summer my ds at 10 took a job doing yard work ALL SUMMER so that he could buy himself a 3DS! He understood that we couldn’t buy one, so he asked for a job! I am so happy that he understands that he can work to earn $$ for the things he wants.

    I am sorry that people on EBT offend you, but realize that some of those people are still going hungry, some of those that are buying “extravagance” maybe are budgeting so that they can. Maybe the parents are skipping meals so that a kiddo can have a beautiful cake.
    I believe you have seen bad cases, I have seen bad cases too. They make me mad! It makes everyone on EBT look like idiots. But we’re are not all that way.

  221. Pixie of PMS says:

    For the ever observant critics of this article, I suppose you noted in the second paragraph the author stated “I understand that sometimes, people are destitute. They need help, and they accept help from the state in order to feed their families. This is fine. It happens. I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it.” This was not intended to be critical of those who are truly needy and in need of assistance. It is a reflection on the numerous cases of abuse that occurs within the system and the flaws of the system. I am in agreement regarding birthday cakes, not so much for adults, but for the children. Denying a child a birthday cake because it lacks nutrician value or is considered a luxury item seems spiteful and petty. However, abuse of the system is rampant and the taxpayers are footing the bill. I don’t mind footing the bill as long as it applied to those in true need and who have no other recourse.

  222. I’m seriously considering going on welfare. Why? Someone has to come up with the $10,792 a year in property taxes on my home of the last 46 years! I grossed $9,000 last year, and again this year, it looks about the same. I’ve tried everything from graphic designer to Primerica to find work and am currently trying to make it as a videographer. Only problem is, electricity: $4,000. Taxes: almost $11,000.. heating oil, $1500 —for a year. I can grow much of my food in the back yard, but the tax collector won’t accept tomatoes as payment. If I have to pay for everyone else’s education, then someone out to help me out with my taxes!

  223. I have food stamps and wic! I am a single mom struggeling to pay for everything! I work 30 hours a week and also try to sell lia sophia for extra income! I work till I can hardly stand and go home at night in massive pain and make min wage! I need the help to keep afloat and I hate shopping with my wic checks cause I always get nasty looks! I try to hide my ebt card when I use it! I totally agree that it should be limited and that you should only use the help when in dire need! Im hoping to be able to get my feet back on the ground and be able to support my child with no assistance! So dont look down on all who use assistance but I do agree!

  224. Melissa E. — first and foremost, cake is not truly food in the nutritional sense. Secondly, every lowlife says, “I used to feel like you do, but if you only walked a mile in my shoes, blah, blah, blah.” What that means is, “When I was working and paying taxes, I didn’t like paying for lowlifes. Now that I AM one, you better not judge. Just sayin’…

  225. Monica, getting Food Stamps isn’t a right. As I’ve said, I’d like to see stores participate in a voucher program, offering discounted or free fruits & veggies, for the items they don’t sell, but will just go to waste. Buying luxury items isn’t a right either, & I see soda, pre-made food, lobster, etc as such. In my state, our local grocer has great sales on steak, although I do know it can be expensive. When you ask the governement i.e. tax payers to subsidize part of your food bill, then they have every right to dictate what you purchase.

  226. I totally agree with the article, but one thing you should take into consideration is that voting Republican isn’t always the way to go. For example: Newt Gingrich, a Republican, is just as bad as Obama. It is best to pay attention to each candidate and what they believe, not what party they are in.

  227. “Mrs. Brown,” you’re indicative of the problem. Your f**king entitlement attitude is the issue. Steaks, even on sale, are more expensive than ground chuck. Eat f**king hamburger helper, you skank.

  228. LOVE THIS! exactly how i would put it. Im sick of having THREE jobs and seeing these “people” aka uncontributing citizens of society taking MY money that I work MY ASS OFF FOR! im all for helping someone when they are down or cant help themselves but i am NOT for people who think they are entitled to my hardworking money because they are a “minority”. if you can walk, talk and have an attitude then you can get a damn job! there should be ONE card with there name and show of photo ID ALL purchases should be accounted for and all people should be drug tested! lets go GENERATION Y AND X LETS CHANGE THIS!

  229. Well written article. Seems like there should be someone you can show this to that can help bring about a change. We are going into another voting yr. and it would be a good time to bring it to someone’s attention!

  230. Mrs. Brown from a few posts up . . . God bless you! Well said. You nailed it. I only get $67 per month on my EBT card and usually buy only staples with it but sometimes I do skimp and save on other things so that I can buy that steak or even pork tenderloin (gasp!) occasionally. I am very frugal and use coupons whenever I can. I am a single mom with no help from anyone. Oh and btw, I do work. I don’t live off the system.

    And to DMPT, it’s not that I think I deserve it . . . it’s that you don’t think I do just because of my situation. You dehumanize people when you do that.

  231. “When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both..” – James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

  232. Well-Sharon I did read your post-i do know you have given up alot-as far as the author of this article, I am currently a Cashier/courtesy Desk associate at a major retail chain. I live in Maine and I thought I would point out a few things too you-You are correct there is a lot of abuse within the welfare system, but I do believe the corruption is all of our faults for not demanding DHHS reform, starting with the top, micro-managing our states budgets and honest to god getting rid of lavish spending. If our elected officials would pay attention and start working *(taxpayer dollars) then maybe something could be done, We the American public need to take our concerns and ideas to our elected officials to demand change. Too often- we become narrow-minded and pass judgement on welfare folks but, out of all the replies I read, there was few that took on some of the blame’ for doing nothing but so many griped and assumed they knew what was going on. I honestly do not know why people want to divide by placing party blame-instead of becoming united, we know its broken,so now lets get busy. Quit playing he-said-she said games, I would think the public is smarter than that.,My favorite quote “Make the right decision or Make the decision right” When my customers check out-they pay, they are all treated the same. Treat people with a different attitude and you will get different results.

  233. Monica, your comment shows you’re part of the problem. You “ONLY” get $67?? That’s $67 that a WORKING person paid for you. Be grateful, you sow.

  234. Well it is nice to see that not just the older people see what is going on and I am glad it was wrote. Yes there are people that need a little help and there needs to be better rules. Point blank better rules and guide lines. There are people using food stamps that do need and its funny that all the people that are lashing out cause they use or used…..ARE NOT allowing there eyes to see that 90% of the people that are getting help ARE USING THE SYSTEM……..So for all the people that are getting help cause u really need it,….u should have no shame…..if in deed u are being smart about it and not blowing ur money on candy chips soda and such……but u should be ashamed of lashing out to all that see the real pic for all that R using the system. I work 7 days a week 3 jobs and take care of my grandmother and I can hardly pay for what we need and have no help or insurance cause my full time job does not have it. I own my home I pay all by bills and that includes my vehical. As a workng class citizen I should not be seeing my hard earned money being handed out to people that I know for a fact are sitting around doing nothing and are not trying to get jobs and say stright out…if i get a job i cant make more than….or i lose all my money and i cant afford to have my monthy rent go up its already 85.00 a month…..WHAT i have a house payment and thats 800.00 a month hole helava lot differeant. And these people have nice places also. Iv seen them so I know. But yet they eat better than I can cause I cant afford all the stuff they buy and oh wait free healthcare to. The people that need a little help, should have it there for them on a time frame…….No one should be making a living off the system and Our govermemnt needs to get there heads out of there ass’s and start fixing the issues……I for one will be printing and sending on to our local goverment……I hope the rest do the same…..Enough is Enough

  235. Oh, and Monica, you dehumanize yourself when you can’t even frikken take care of your own self. You have internet, which somebody else is paying for. Why not buy food instead? Stupid sheeple.

  236. Mary Daniels says:

    This comment is to the person that worked at the collection agency and mentioned Medicaid and Medicare. Regarding Medicaid – Any good Medicaid provider knows that they can only charge what Medicaid has agreed to pay. They canNOT charge the patient the difference in their overpriced schemes. It is their responsibility to get approval before providing the service unless it is an emergency service. Even then they are to understand the program in order to participate. More providers commit fraud and overcharge the system then is understood. I am a disability advocate. If you tried to collect on a Medicaid client of mine we would be doing lots of investigation into your client that hired you. Why aren’t more people concerned about this double dipping overpriced medical scheme? The companies sure have no problem taking the money from the government do they?

  237. I think it’s obvious to anyone who bothers to *carefully* read Crouselle’s column that she understands the difference between those who sincerely need help, and those who are entitled freeloaders – abusing the public purse by taking food stamps to which they’re not really entitled.

    As for the program itself, food stamps should be run like WIC – a mandated list of nutritious food items, and no junk food. That would solve many of the endless problems with abuse, and the sale of EBT cards. Take away the option to buy $4 luxury organic candy bars and other frills, and the program won’t be as attractive.

    Yes – sometimes, people sincerely need help, and when that happens, they should have help. However, welfare and food stamps should be temporary for anyone who isn’t disabled or elderly.

    If you want to go to college, have children, or incur bills, fine – just pay for the expenses yourself.

  238. Lori, “perhaps” you should have thought ahead and saved money instead of locking yourself into a 2-year contract for a f**king phone. Just sayin’… Stupid sheeple.

  239. i work at walmart and i have been there for almost 3 years and i will say some of these people that have ebt should not have it if you can afford to get ur nails done every two weeks, gold jewlery, tattoos, smokes, and beer than you can by food for your family. i cant afford to get my nails done i cant afford a tattoo i cant buy jewlery like i want to. even tho i work i cant afford somethings and yet i make TO MUCH to get help from the goverment and yes i might not need it bc i have food on my table and i have a roof over my head but what if i didnt do you think they will give it to me no so i think they need to have evaulations on the people who are getting help from the goverment and if you have any unnessary thing like nails, beer or smokes you should be told to give back ur assistance

  240. tired of the whine masses of peolpe who want to judge the less fortunate!!! says:

    WOW I would hate to see Alot of You if ever in need, Really Just because someone has had food stamps for most of his life doesn’t make him back maybe he is disabled No i dont agree with him buyin booze but i’m not going to assume he is abusing the system either and as someone who has had to use medicaid, food stamps and TANF because my ex was not paying child support which is a a source they take once child support resumes I was not going to let my child go without a birthday cake or a present just because i needed extra help. Yeah there maybe some people out their like the women trying to get a vaccume for $4.00 but not all of us are bad and why just because we get help from the state should we be reduced to as some put it hambuger helper??? If we can provide what is needed it shouldn’t matter to anyone what we are eating some of us are unemployeed so guess what OUR WORKING TAX MONEY PAIED into it too!!!!! Before being all high and fucking mighty MS. WALMART reflect on your self beause as god has put forth don’t judge unless, the be judged!!!!

  241. Marge, you’re “equal” enough to pay your own frikken way. STFU and quit your envy. You’re entitled to live the life YOU can provide yourself — NOT the life others can provide FOR you.

  242. I’m going to try and be very polite. I am on foodstamps at this time. I had a job working one day a week just enough to pay for my car and gas but unfortunatly, the business closed so that left me with out a job. My boyfriend got laid off at the same time and has not recieved one payment from unemployment(don’t get me started on that one). We are trying to raise a child with special needs and no income. I stay home to take care of her. So what this article is telling me is that I can’t buy MY CHILD a nice birthday cake to celebrate HER day so she then knows that we are poor and we can’t have a party like other little boys and girls because mommy stays home to care for her and daddy, despite being out and looking for work, can’t provide. It’s nice to know that this is what people are really thinking of you when you step up to a register to pay with an EBT card….and P.S. You can’t judge one for all. Thanks for the boost of confidence. Its not easy for all of us to do what we need to do to provide for our families…don’t think it is OH SO EASY to step up and show an EBT card!!!

  243. You judge people because they bought food with their food stamps? Whatever dude. Mind your own business and stop judging people so harshly less you walk a mile in their shoes. You want to take away cake from YOUR kids one day because you have no money to buy food less a cake for their birthday? Should poor people be forced to eat ravioli every day of their lives or should we provide nutricious food to those whom choose it? Yes, every system is flawed. Yes, people abuse it. Stop being so ‘better than thou’ and looking your nose down at people and try a little compassion. Also, guess what, you’re going to get yelled at the rest of your life at your job; by your boss, your co-workers and yes, customers some poor, some not. Try to deal with it. Even rich people yell, and mostly it’s about things that don’t matter as much as their starving children.

  244. Being a welfare recipient this blog hurts my heart. I know it is accurate and changes have to be made. But, at what cost? I just moved from Michigan where the economy is one of the worse, if not the worse, in the nation. I am very aware of the misuse of government funding and the generational curse of dependency that plagues many families. For the most part it is ignorance that fuels the fire.

    However, if maybe if there were more educational support of the system and how to programs attached with receiving benefits maybe people would be less inclined to abuse and more inclined to do better for themselves and their families. Every human wants to learn. When we have no one to take time to teach us we are left to fend for ourselves. Knowledge is power and many of our school systems fail to educate us in common useful recourses of study like budgeting, money management, customer service, and courtesy.

    Once GOD got kicked out of the systems (school, government, etc) they were bound to crumble at some point. I am not by any means making excuses for the “Queens” yet I know that eliminating the EBT system completely would cause a lot of good people that have fallen on hard times to lose the only hope they have. When I see my fridge full I know I my family will make it. Even if we only have smiles, laughter, love, and food. I apologize on behalf of those recipients of government assistance that are just, righteous, and not here to make anyone’s life more difficult.

  245. Normal person says:

    I have heard both sides and comments from both extreme ends of the argument. What I don’t hear is facts and solutions.

    Fact – no state has made enough jobs to rectify the problems and refuse to create jobs to police their policies. They cut down on Gov’t office hours to save money when those same hours could be researching who is cheating on welfare and arresting people. Work smarter not harder people. Nothing will work unless the policies have teeth to bite into offenders. Honest people will stay honest and the cheats will continue till they are caught.

    First – set limits to all policies and require manpower enough to make it work.
    Second – use a 30-day rollover so people can get out and stay off welfare.
    Third – if you see someone cheating the system turn them in – don’t just bitch and moan. Do something – be active – take pictures or videos of proof and then let the state go from there.
    Fourth – Require your state to hire enough people to work the department that polices this ..if you don’t have a job volunteer to work it. Many states are letting welfare recipients work at the office they file at to get them out of the home and back into society. Push for reform.
    Fifth – Quit pointing fingers unless you do something about it. As an American you have free will .. use it people to help keep people honest.
    Sixth – I agree the farmers should be supplemented into growing staples for people on Welfare .. it would be less the States would have to pay out and also give out more of the basics. I remember Gov’t subsidized food. Good and a staple but I would not force someone to eat just that. Besides I have seen so many people that have never taught their kids how to cook. How can you live frugally if you can’t cook to save money? A treat now and then is good for the soul and should never be discouraged but flagrant disregard should be noticed and reported. So many children in college and high school could not cook a four course meal or even tell you what one was. That is our fault for not teaching them. Get real people .. we are all to blame when we sit back and not get active.

  246. Here’s a question – how many people would take TANF and food stamps now, in exchange for paying back the money, down the road when times are better?

    Or, do people on the assistance see it as “free,” and something to which they’re entitled, with no need to reimburse the state, and other taxpayers?

  247. Nicely said Christine! Finally a pretty woman who doesn’t live in liberal Hollywood with a brain to match!

  248. “tired of the whine,” why don’t you STFU? I’m sick to f**king death of paying for lowlifes and n**gers who buy crap and junk that is either outlandish or not food. Those of us who pay TAXES don’t want to pay for this sh*t anymore. When do I get a f**king say in what I am forced to pay for?? I say enough is enough. It’s time for the unwashed masses to get a f**king job — or, barring that, maybe they will quit voting for losers like Obama who are all for the welfare scabs. Any president who is pro-welfare only wants to enslave you. You deserve NOTHING from my pocket.

  249. To those who have commented here that people should be entitled to eat food that they like, and so it should be allowed to be purchased with government aid, I can only register my strong disagreement. Steak is not a basic human right. Furthermore, for people who cannot afford it working to subsidize it in the diets of those who do not work is a travesty. I will go further: if you think that steak is a basic human right, you’ve never had to make a hard decision between eating food you like and paying the mortgage, which means you probably have no frame of reference for this discussion and your comments should be discounted, either on the basis of your extreme lack of knowledge of the subject matter, or because you don’t have the first clue what real life is like.

  250. This point is well taken…I had a pastor of mine say once, “The first generation of welfare recipients were grateful, the second one expected it, and the third one demanded it.”

  251. To Narrow Row-Just a quick thought-if you see our elected officails fat and unfit,Guess what our taxdollars paid for them to get that way-no worries,we will pay their health insurance too, maybe your program can apply to them too-

  252. Katie, since I’M the f**king taxpayer, it IS my F**KING BUSINESS, b**ch!! You f**king lowlife scabby hos come in here and tell us, who PAY INTO THE SYSTEM, what we should care about and whatnot — you need to STFU. When I take my money back, you die. I won’t care.

  253. Mark Dansack says:

    On one hand you say, ” During the 2010 and 2011 summers, I was a cashier at Wal-Mart #1788 in Scarborough, Maine”, then you say, ” I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items”. My question is. “How did you witness generations of families when you only worked two summers?”. It is so simplistic to judge the entire welfare system on such a small sample size as a Walmart store over the period of two summers.

    First of all, Walmart customers are decidedly not normal by any measure of the word. They were fighting each other on “Black Friday” for $1.98 towels, for gosh sakes. Additionally, I would rather see a column which talks about the huge abuses on Wall Street that led to our near financial collapse, rather than worrying about a few Walmart customers getting some food and supplies for their families. At least those folks are buying the products and pumping up the Chinese economy as they do.

    Go back to neo conservative class and study up a bit more on casting a bright light on this enormous problem of welfare abuse rather than maybe, just maybe, taking a look at all the GOP crooks out there who are stealing billions every day. Yeah, I think you really got to the heart of the matter by worrying about the few Walmart welfare abusers you saw in your two summers on the job. Oh, and keep voting Republican. They’ll only borrow and spend us to death instead of taxing and spending, which at least is more responsible when you take the time to think about it. Oh, I forgot. You don’t think. You vote REpublican. Have a nice day !!

  254. I just had to chime in and comment on a few of the things I’ve read in the comment thread.

    1. Sometimes being “judgmental” is a good thing. Yes, I said it. Being judgmental about certain things happening in society helps to create order among chaos. It’s perfectly natural for a human being to notice something wrong…and desire to see it get better. So just because something you willingly choose to do (buying a steak versus food that costs less and last longer is STUPID when you’re broke…I don’t care how you slice it), spurs concern out of others, doesn’t necessarily they’re wrong for their views…and might even be necessarily for order.

    2. I’m employed, yet on a serious budget. I very rarely eat steak. I buy affordable food for one reason and one reason only…to keep me from going hungry and for intake of vital nutrients. When I was laid off from work 4 years ago, I made every last dime of what I was getting stretch as much as possible. It’s WHAT YOU DO when you’re out of money. You don’t buy steaks, you don’t buy birthday cakes and cards and other crap. You feed yourself and your family something inexpensive and nutritious enough to get through the day…and you spend every last waking hour busting the pavement looking for ANYTHING that will bring in enough to provide for your NEEDS. Not your WANTS. If you are not working, regardless or whether or not you’ve paid into the system before or it was “unfair” that you lost your job, or it’s “too hard” to find work…you are living off the goodwill of your fellow citizens and if you’ve reached a point in your life where the cashier at Walmart is questioning your purchases, regardless of her background, you need to take a look at your priorities.

    3. We live in a very “entitled” society. Everyone feels like their kid should have the joy of blowing out candles on a birthday cake just like any other kid. But I guess it’s all relative in the grand scheme of things http://www.myspace.com/definenecessity/photos/947768

    The government isn’t there to make sure your kid has a happy birthday…even if you do argue that you’ve paid in enough to deserve a little something back. It’s OUR JOB as good people to reach out to our neighbors who are struggling and willingly help them. Instead we see money disappear from our checks, witness the excesses and greed of MANY welfare recipients, and the desire for people to give MORE out of love for the person standing in line with the EBT card seem to just vanish because of the grasping and entitlement nature of so many.

  255. fuck u hataz we niggs gonna keep robbin yo whitey asses ha HUHHHH

  256. Rachel —- bravo; very well said.

  257. Tony, you niggs gonna die because you’s too stooooopid to keep yourselves alive BY yourself. I be happy for stooooopid people dyin’. :)

  258. A friend sent me a link to this posting. You are so right on. I am a bi-vocational children’s minister who started working at a Walmart in the Columbus, Ohio area this past spring and have also been amazed at some of the idiocy of the customers. Every cashier dreads the first day and the first weekend of the month as the “entitled” come traipsing through, abusing anything and anyone they encounter especially the employees.

    My favorite (a-hem) customers are those who fill their carts with a bunch of things they want then wait until they’re checking out to decide what they are going to actually buy. And as you said, it results in hundreds of dollars of food that is thrown away. One such customer even asked me why the prices were going up so much and I told her. Nicely. She didn’t get the connection that she was driving the prices up with her second cartload from which she bought nothing. *sigh*

    I wish there was a way they could have all that food they picked up be charged against the next months EBT deposit. They might get the hint that they should be keeping track as they are shopping. Then again, probably not. After all, they are entitled. Right?

    Oh… and what is it about people asking if we like working there, standing on that mat all day? I’ve often given the same response, “It’s a job.”

  259. Amen, Rachel. If there was a way to opt out, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I don’t want to provide for other families anymore. First, they aren’t grateful. Second, they now demand it. Third, I no longer feel that “brotherly fuzzy” that makes me want to take care of others. If I CHOOSE to, I’ll pick a family. If I don’t choose, that’s my prerogative. I want out.

  260. I agree with everything you said! My son worked at a Save-a-Lot in Tennessee and he said like clockwork he would have the same gentleman come in and fill his buggy up with steaks. Nothing but steaks. As you stated the balance was printed on the receipt. Some people would have $3,000.00 balance on the receipt at the beginning of the month. Who spends that much on groceries every month? Please. It is meant as temporary not permanent. And the lady who said she buys steaks and birthday cakes….you don’t work… I don’t want to pay for it. My husband works. I teach. I tutor after school. I have one son in college and the other one works a full time job. We don’t buy steaks but twice a year. My son that worked at the grocery store has a different job now. He qualifies for an EBT card but refuses to apply for it.

  261. Stop for a minute says:

    1. Comment by @tony is probably just a fake comment made by someone who is just trying to instigate something.

    2. Beth needs to stop the belittling and berating that she has continues to do.

  262. Ok-enough said and read-, I feel that we as americans need to be part of the solution-quit blaming and get some results,

  263. working for welfare says:

    Ive been saying this for years, and iam an old man now!

  264. Oh the life of retail. The next time you think about yelling at a cashier or other retail employee, just remember that this is the kind of stuff that we have to deal with all day.

  265. Monica, it’s YOUR entitlement attitude that is the problem. Deserving and NEEDING are 2 entirely different things. You forget – it’s US TAXPAYERS WHO ARE ALLOWING YOU TO BE ABLE TO EAT. You’d think you’d be a bit more grateful for the handout you are receiving. That steak you are purchasing is one that I AS THE PERSON WHO IS PAYING FOR YOU TO BUY IT can’t afford to purchase. The idea that you deserve it is appalling to those of us who are paying your way and can’t afford to buy it for ourselves because our tax dollars are going to pay for people who feel entitled to everything handed to them and think they “deserve it.”

    NIkki: Why don’t you MAKE the birthday cake for your child instead of spending $60 on a dang sheet cake? I would bet your kid would love a nice cake that their mom made herself far more than he/she would like one from a store. Homemade ones taste a heck of a lot better, too.

    Rachel, BRAVO! You hit the nail on the head.

  266. Though I agree with most of what you said – I do not think that Maine is one of the easier systems to take advantage of. I have lived in several states due to various reasoning and had to apply for assistance after my fiance passed away. Maine was actually more difficult for me to get. I agree that they don’t create a motivation for people to work – I never recieved Tanf, only actual food stamps – but I budgeted as I would if it were actual cash, I can’t afford lobster or steak on my regular cash income, so I sure won’t buy it with my food stamps. I am not trying to excuse anyone who manipulates the system. And I agree, there needs to be a huge makeover of it because there are several honest, hardworking and struggling people out there just trying to make ends meet who are either denied assistance, or penalized due to the audacity of others. I appreciate your article and will definitely be posting it to my facebook. Where I live now, for Welfare there has to be a drug test administered and proof you are actively seeking work. Kind of like if it were unemployment. It caused some sort of an uproar , but I imagine the mouths heard over all of it were the mouths of people who were guilty parties.

  267. Wow! Are you serious? I have had to use food stamps and i am very offended by this. Just because we are on food stamps we cant eat steak or seafood or cant buy our children a birthday cake! Who do you think you are? I guess us poor folk can only eat beans and rice right? Get over yourself. Also does it ever occur to you that the people talking on their iphones may have gotten them as a present from someone or had them before they had to resort to applying for those food stamps? Its people like you that make me sick. You guys think everyone is scamming someone well they are not, I have used food stamps, I have bought the food I wanted to eat, I have stood in line talking on my I phone that my republican parents bought me for Christmas and you know how i paid the bill? With the full time job I work that pays for me and my two kids and my share of people on food stamps it is not anyone’s fault there is a recession in America! I will say a prayer for your stuck up self, because you need Jesus

  268. Jimmy Melton says:

    One could buy the ingredients to bake a birthday cake cheaper than a ready made cake… laziness is a big problem today.

  269. I don’t think anybody would look down on you, in fact, others on wicked and welfare should look up to you and your push to do better.

    Those that abuse the system are the ones that I think we would all agree are to be looked down upon in any way.

  270. And here I thought Common Sense has died many years ago, but this writer proved me wrong. There is still hope for Common Sense to be revived, and this example of abuse to our Welfare programs I hope will lead to mass reforms and LESS entitlements.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  271. Anne, so it’s okay for you to enjoy steak, seafood, and spend the food stamps on a cake that you could much more wisely use the food stamps on making one instead of buying one when the rest of us who PAY FOR YOUR FOOD – CANNOT AFFORD to buy the steak and seafood because we are having to spend so much to support people who are not willing to take care of themselves and work? What the heck kind of attitude is that that you are entitled to it? I’m not saying eat only beans and rice, but honestly, use the foodstamps to buy decent quality food and not the expensive stuff. I’m not stuck up – I’ve gone hungry before with no food in my home for days on end…but I work – and have worked multiple jobs and 60-80 hours a week in order to support myself and NOT be on welfare. People in this country seem to think that either others should have to take care of them and they not work, OR they work one job and think that is enough and yet still depend on others to take care of them because they aren’t willing to work MORE in order to stay off welfare. What do you think people did before welfare? They worked 2-3 jobs. They didn’t expect and have the entitlement mentality that a handout is OWED to them. Heck, my own 21-year-old daughter works 2 jobs in order to take care of herself because it isn’t anybody else’s responsibility to take care of her. In the past, I’ve gone to school full-time and worked full-time and raised 2 kids during college and didn’t take welfare – I paid my own daycare costs, too. Sure, it was really really tough…..but I did it…and so can you. All of my adult life, I”ve worked 60-80 hours a week in order to provide for my family…and now own my own home. Maybe you should get a part-time job and get off the dole????

  272. And as for the other discussions going on, I have experienced both sides. There have been times I would literally stand in the grocery store looking at something simple, like a bag of apples, fighting back the tears because it didn’t matter how much I wanted it, I honestly couldn’t afford it. I had a full-time salaried job but my income barely paid the rent and utilities.

    Then last summer (2010), my position was eliminated. In my line of work, however, we don’t qualify for unemployment. That means no income. No job offers were coming either. Eventually, I had to humble myself to seek assistance. Because I don’t have any illegitimate children, I only qualified for food stamps. But a lot in food stamps. Twice what I usually spent on groceries, actually. It was strange to be able to buy fresh fruit, veggies and meat. Because I was given so much, I admit I did some excessive shopping, too, like buying doughnuts, tons of Christmas candy to share, brand name products of a few things. Having the food paid for also freed up what little money I did get through odd jobs to pay for rent.

    I think recipients are given too much in food stamps. They don’t have to be thrifty. That’s where the contention comes. I didn’t need all that I was given. It was easy to buy all kinds of junk with it. I think the WIC program has the right idea by dictating what items can be purchased, ensuring the children get some nutrition not just junk food. As a cashier, though, I wish they weren’t such a pain in the butt . :)

  273. Sain T. Croix says:

    My thought after reading this was not so much of what you experienced, (there are hundreds of these stories and we have all experienced them in Wal-Mart in one form or fashion) but that you were a contributing factor as much as Wal-Mart. First, for not speaking up, as a voter and someone who pays taxes, but two, that you did not contact your manager for every case you knew was wrong in order to deny the transaction. Is it any different than those under age being denied the purchase of alcohol or cigarettes. There are laws in place for a reason and those who have the right to refuse and up-hold the law and don’t, should not complain about what is wrong with the system, its not the system in place… it is the people who are involved in or around the system that breaks it.

  274. greg mciver says:

    Dear Christine, Perhaps you can see why our Founding Fathers wrote in Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution, the enumerated powers of Congress. They NEVER intended the Federal Government to do most of what is being done. They NEVER intended for the government to get into the business of religion – charity distribution. Thanks for sharing your experience and you are right to be shocked by the fraud and abuse.

  275. I don’t buy steak unless it is less than $3 a pound usually. Hamburger IS more expensive than that. My local Fred Meyer has awesome meat sales! And I don’t eat hamburger helper. I value nutritious foods. I make tons from scratch. Hamburger helper is not a nutritious food! Yuk. I have grown and harvested gardens, I do what I can to save my EBT money so that we can buy special things. People make it sound like we can spend as much as we desire as long as we have the card. No, we can’t. There is a max amount per person you can get (and you are excluded if you are in college and not working 20 hrs a month) I think it is $150 per person for a month at the max amount, and that amount goes down with your income. So a person can save their money during a month and get a steak when they know for sure that they will have food through the month. If the money is not spent, it DOES expire.
    I am republican and poor. My hubby has has bachelors degree in engineering and an Associates in business/accounting. He is actively job searching. Our family is paying our bills until we can make it on our own. We used our financial aid to pay all of our bills, anything we couldn’t pay, we got help from family. I am lucky that my family can afford to help us out. When I was a little kid my parents were on food stamps too. They were dirt poor. My dad was finally able to get a better job (he was working two, 3 if you include he was a pastor as well) my parents finally “grew out of” FS. They are doing very well, but even after my dad had his “good job”(that ruined his respiratory health) he was laid off at 50 something and had to go back to college. He is now making more money as a nurse. Things are working out for my parents, and I have faith that that is in our near future. I DO NOT want to be on ANYTHING state regulated. I want to budget an income with bills and medical and food. I want that. I hate living in the system, but wait for the day that I am not.
    For some reason someone thought I needed cussed out. Idk why. I am a conservitave Christian who cannot afford food. I but luxuries now and then, but only when I save for them. I am frugal with ALL my spending, that’s how I grew up. I am not a big spender. My favorite store is Salation army and I don’t get vouchers from them and my kids don’t get presents from those organizations. We did two years from the university that my husband attended. The school had a program set up for students with families, we did except presents two years in a row, but no other time. Ever.
    As for who all is paying for what. I have worked, my hubby started working when he was 15. We have been paying taxes a long time. And we WILL be paying taxes a long time. We will pay back into the system. We are still young, we have many years of taxs in us. Lol.

    Btw-someone said something about getting grants then dropping out of school, you are required by law to pay back any money you received if you quit. Just so you know. :)

  276. Beth, you are too lovely, but I must say I am in some disagreement. I feel it is my duty and I like to help people who need it because that is what my Lord and Savior did and says is to be done, and because I have needed help in my life and I know I will need it in the future. This system and others are not perfect, far from it. I agree that instead of complaining we need to fix it. Write a letter to your congressperson and get others to do the same. Don’t judge, but be discerning so you can change things for the better. Don’t just bemoan the problem and don’t think the same way we were thinking when the problem was created. Get creative, get active.

    Sincerely,
    A socially liberal, fiscally moderate member of the Modern Whig Party

  277. I know and sympathize for those who are on welfare because I have been there…Me and my three girls during my divorce to their father was on welfare because he refused to help pay and I was a full time college student as well as working part time. It is suppose to be a temporary assistance. Now I live in the state of North Carolina and I see the abuse. I see people in expensive cars and expensive clothing with bad attitudes abusing the system. But only a few…because the new welfare system here in NC has taken effect. Social Services of my county has taken initiative to weed out the ones that have been on for years. They put the ones on welfare through a job search along with the local employment security (unemployment) and make them prove they are looking for work while they are on assistance..It is brilliant!!!!! If you don’t find work, you go through a seminar that helps you find work and get off the system. Jobs are scarce in the small town I live in and Yes, assistance in my area is on a high, but you cannot blame the ones that have kids and are trying to survive. I see a lot of people answering this essay and they do not state about having kids..you worry about your children eating right.
    When I was on assistance, I made sure that the food I bought was healthy and no soda. Where we live, anything bakery or deli isn’t allowed on food stamps. Yes its food, but its prepared items that isn’t food stamp allowance.
    PS..I worked for my local Wal Mart as a cashier…I know how it is to work with high stress and customers giving attitude..but I know that the customer isn’t always right…they are human and you as a worker is put through training. They treat you how to deal with horrible welfare queens…

  278. THIS IS THE MOST PREDJUDICED CRAP I HAVE EVER READ… U R MAKING THE EXCEPTION THE NORMAL… I AM A MOTHER OF FOUR WITH A COLLEGE EDUCATION, WHO WAS WIDOWED THRU TRAGIC ACCIDENT AND ENDED UP NEEDING ASSISTANCE. THEN I GOT A JOB, THEN I LOST THAT JOB THRU A LAYOFF NOT MY FAULT… THEY TOOK MY DAYCARE ASSISTANCE AWAY TELLING ME THEY WOULD GIVE IT BACK WHEN I GOT A JOB. HOW TO FIND ONE WITH TODDLERS IN TOW WAS A MYSTERY TO ME… THEN I WAS TOLD GO ON TANF THEN WE WILL HELP YOU, WOW!!!!!!!! THEN I GOT DENIED FOR THAT TANF… BUT U KNOW WHAT IF I HAD GOTTEN IT, U R DAMN RIGHT I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT MY KID A BIRTHDAY CAKE IF NEED BE.. WAKE UP. U NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE MAJORITY OF UNCONTROLLED WELFARE BENEFITS BEING ABUSED ARE BEING SO BY ILLEGALS. THE MAJORITY OF THE REST OF RECIPIANTS ARE SINGLE MOTHERS SENTENCED TO NO OTHER WAY…I WILL PRAY FOR YOUR IGNORANCE INT HAT, GOD DOES NOT SEE IT JUST TO PUT U IN THE PLACE OF THOSE U CONDEMN. AND AS FAR AS INTELLIGENCE LEVELS, HOW MUCH INTELLIGENCE DO U THINK ABOUNDS IN THE WALMART EMPLOYEE POPOULATION??? GET A GRIP. A MASTER’S DEGREE WITH 15 YRS OF STEADY WORK HISTORY IN A LUCRATIVE PROFESSION DID NOT SEPARATE ME FROM THE HIGH SCHOLL DROP OUT TEENAGE MOMMA STANDING IN LINE NEXT TO ME.. YOU OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF… I HAVE A NAME FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU, UNFORTUNEATLY IT’S NOT ALLOWED IN THIS FORUM.

  279. Ridiculous. Your article, not the people on welfare. These people may be rude, but you know what- everyone can be rude. It is no easy task to receive TANF. The government doesn’t just throw money out to people who just ask for it- people have to qualify on some level. Let me tell you, there is a hell of a lot of paper work to go through before you can get food into the mouths of your children- and yes, even poor children like kit-kat bars and even poor children have birthdays that may warrant a cake purchase. As for the man buying alcohol- he qualifies for food stamps and hasn’t gotten off of them… who is to say that he isn’t battling alcoholism but cannot afford treatment or mental health care? So judgmental. Go try living on minimum wage for a while. Oh and raise a few kids at the same time. Oh and guess what- your kids have birthdays… and chicken pox… have fun taking time off work to take care of them- looks like you might need food stamps now, you “moocher.”

    Walk a mile in their shoes before posting things like this. So unloving.

  280. Nicely done

  281. raikovladi92 says:

    I have to commend you- the article is very well-written.

    What does upset me is the nature of some of these comments and commentators.

    You accuse her of judging people, I see equal judgement towards her in your comments. You tell her she needs to “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes”, yet you have no clue what life experiences she has dealt with.

    Do I have an iPod? Yes, I do. It’s the very first iTouch and was given to me as a birthday present from my parents, before my father lost his job due to an injury. (His company van did not have a properly installed ladder-rack, and so he had to use a customer’s ladder- the rubber feet were old and they slid, causing him to fall about a story down to a hard concrete floor. He should have refused to use his van in that condition, or had a coworker bring a ladder, but as they say- hindsight is 20-20) My family has been fighting for a good two years with Workman’s Comp to try and get his surgery approved, in the meantime, he will now have permanent nerve damage because of how long this has been drawn out.

    Basically saying, if you saw that I had the iTouch, but didn’t know my story (that I had a good life, and now we scrape by, all because of one accident) You would probably judge.

    My mother works two jobs- she is a (highly underpaid) assistant editor to one newspaper, and the Editor for a smaller town newspaper. She has award-winning articles and has even had stories of hers published in books. Her second job- she works at a coffee shop on the weekends, making minimum wage and getting barely any tips (because the entitled little 16 year old who works before her takes them all. Accuse me of being judgemental if you will, but I know this 16 year old’s family personally, and let me say they have it very good. They may have had other problems in the family, but being family friend’s of theirs for years… I doubt it. Even though they are our friends, I cannot help but be a little jealous that they have it so much easier than we do, at least at this time.)

    I got my first job at 17, I am 19 now. I am going to school on a (pretty much) full-ride scholarship because of my good grades and my ACT score. I would have LOVED to live on campus, but we did not and still do not have the money to afford it. We did not make enough to buy it ourselves, yet made too much to qualify for any aid. Talk about a catch 22. I kept that job and became a manager at 18, stuck with it for another year, but had to transfer due to my college schedule. How I envied the other kids my age who could jump from job to job for “fun”, the kind of kids who have their cars paid for by their parents and are working only to fund their clothing and DRUG HABITS. I am a 19 year old manager at a fast-food place, and haven’t even smoked a cigarette. WHY? It’s a foul and expensive habit. I drive a car that is as old as I am, and has 200,000 miles on it. I scrape by trying to help my family with money, pay for the gas I need to commute to college, and anything I really need.

    I don’t have an expensive phone, mine is falling apart. My most expensive item is my 3DS, which is something I SAVED for over the course of a year.

    READ THE ARTICLE.

    She is not targeting those who utilize the system as it was MEANT FOR, she is targeting the abusers. I cannot say that I MYSELF have ever had to live on welfare and food-stamps, but some of my family has, and they worked very hard to get off of it.

    I can understand getting a steak once in a while, or even a lobster (they have sales, you know) I DO believe it would be far cheaper to bake a cake (even I can figure that out without too much trouble)

    Basically saying- If you’re on welfare, I don’t think it is fair for you to use taxpayer money for cigarettes and alcohol. Use food stamps for food, and don’t splurge! A steak here and there is fine, but if someone on welfare gets steak more often than I do, there is a problem with the system.

    I have seen many people on welfare who use their “extra” money for drugs. How is this fair? You should be using that money for necessities.

    I don’t get expensive clothes or cars or devices as gifts (aside from my iTouch, as mentioned earlier. It was a rare occurrence, my birthday after my high-school graduation) I get clothes from Target or Walmart. I ask for small things that I like (Walmart, for example, has $5 Disney DVD’s that I STILL love!) Small things in life like those make things more bearable, to sit with my father and watch a movie, knowing he may or not be able to get out of his chair or move without my help, knowing that I have to work 40+ hours a week (AND attend school) and my mom has upwards of 60 hours a week just to make ends meet.

    I do not feel that it is fair that I have to pay taxes for people to leech off the system, when my family suffers to try and make ends meet. Can’t find a job? I would recommend looking into your local fast food joint. You will never be “too good” to work fast food. I do it myself. At 19, I am a manager. Imagine what you can accomplish if you are older than me!

    So please, don’t be so judgemental if you don’t know a person’s story. Don’t tell me you cannot find work, it is always available, though it may not be what you want, you may have no choice but to take it. I’ve had odd-jobs where I made far less than minimum wage, but I did them anyway because I wanted to be able to give a gift to a family member.

    One person I did want to reply to, though…

    @Capepark- PLEASE tell me you are a troll or a joke. If not… I am terribly disappointed at how our nation views things. You and your babies are NOT entitled to iPads and iPods. I am sorry that you have to suffer alone, that you don’t have someone there to help support you, but that does not entitle you to things like that. I feel that your attitude in regards to the whole thing is terrible. I have had to work very hard for my nice things, and I will continue to work hard to keep them. You already HAVE nice things- you have four beautiful children who look to you for support and guidance, because they DON’T have a dad in their life. That means you have to be their pillar in a harsh and unforgiving world. You don’t get to have $200 for an iPod, because you get to give that $200 to care for your child. What would you use the iPod for that your babies cannot give you? If you have a radio and they are old enough, have them sing for you! Listen to the sweet and true words they speak. Hold them close and love them! An iPod can never love you like your babies can, Capepark. Read them a story and let them know that their mother loves them!

    Seriously, even when you suffer, there is ALWAYS something better to look forward to. I cannot say that I have suffered as much as some people here have, but I can say that I have suffered more than some here. (Basically saying- No matter HOW bad or good you think you have it, there will ALWAYS be someone who has it worse OR better than you do) I look forward to the beautiful things in life- getting to see the family I do have during the holidays, eating our wonderful home cooking and spending time with each other. We have a $10 gift limit, except for the kids under 15. (My baby cousins, basically) No one overspends, and the gifts aren’t grand, by any means, but they are always something sweet that we wanted. When the holidays are over, I will look forward to the new year- knowing that I lived another year successfully. I may not always be perfect, but I am alive and have people in my life who love me for the person I am and who will ALWAYS be there to see the person I become. I will look forward to the Spring- the sweet-smelling young flowers, the birds who constantly wake me up (far too early) with their happy chirping… Even the rain. It means that no matter how shitty our economy gets, the world is STILL turning and is still alive.

    Live for the little things you DO have, and don’t think you are entitled to the world.

    Shitty economy or not, I still love our nation, because I get to be free.

  282. crousselle says:

    @Sarah Ryan-Maine does not enforce time limits or work requirements for TANF, or any form of welfare. It’s a problem. 30% of the state is on some form of aid, and our poverty level is not that high. That’s the issue. People from other states are literally trucked in here because our programs are very generous. That’s not good, or fair.

  283. I live in Alabama and i worked in a grocery store for 4 yrs and then a dollar store for 1.5 yr. I saw the same things every day. At the dollar store kids would come in a buy about $30 worth of candy with food stamps. At the grocery store I saw families come in and buy $200 to $400 worth of food on their food stamp cards then have a balance of $600 left. Their are dishonest people all over the US who have figured a way around the system. And from expeirence it varies on diffuclty by county. Some counties actually follow the rules or even make it harder, where as some are too easy. Some ask for proof others dont. So here the people who know how to work the system win and those who need it cant get it. It’s sickening. The fault is 50% of the food stamp office workers. And 50% the fault of the people who work the system.

  284. HereComesTrouble says:

    While reforming welfare, reform the school lunch free/reduced program. Is it a wonder that many qualify when the amounts they need to (or need not) make are right on the form? Is it a wonder that most accounts will never be audited because the districts make more from the Fed subsidies than they do from a full pay — a full lunch cost is $2.00. The Feds reimburse a district $2.50 for that same lunch if kids are on the program. THEN, check out the kids that have $100+ outfits on (head to footwear), and smugly KNOW that you have to override their account, because THEY are entitled to the lunch before a full-pay gets his/hers! There used to be a stigma with this, now it’s a “benefit” of gracing us with their very presence! Trust me … if one person in the apartment building is on the program — they’re all on the program! You wonder where our money is going … check your local school cafeterias. Oh, and Walmart!

  285. I think some people are misunderstanding what the women writing the article is trying to say. She’s not saying people on public assistance are bad people. We understand that people fall on hard times. But their is a difference between compassion and outright abuse of the taxpayer. Her point is that is it really fair to the taxpayers of Maine or any state that people would abuse the taxpayer and buy luxury items like lobster, steak, (I don’t have a problem with the birthday cake as long as it was not an everyday thing) while most people are out their busting their tails to make ends meat. Most people who work can not afford items like seafood and fine meats. Many families send their kids to school with PB and J sandwiches, (Nothing wrong with it just making a point) How is it suppose to make a lower middle class kid feel when he sees the “poor” kids getting free breakfast, lunch , and dinner at school while his family is sending him to the lunch room with the bare minimum, is it going to show him that the government will always be there to crutch him. I also understand the one posters point about trying to find a job. No doubt there are people out trying to find work and my heart goes out to them the job market is tough. No doubt there are people who need food stamps and welfare to help them in hard times. The problem is people are abusing the system at what point does compassion end and personal responsibility kick in. At what point do the freebies for welfare end. In some states they are giving out free cell phones, in other states free condoms as passed around like a bag of skittles. Is it really the responsibility of others to provide stuff like that. Should a Taxpayer in Texas have to pay for the condoms of a NYer. Now I understand the article is about food I was just making a point.

  286. Perhaps all of you hard-working folks who are not getting assistance, and are not eating lobster and using iphones, and are working 3 jobs to get by, should educate yourselves on where your paid taxes really go. Examine your paystubs, your property tax bill. I assure you the majority of your taxes are paying for the roads you drive on, the schools your children go to, the firemen and policemen who keep you safe. Not to mention the politician’s salaries and the billion dollar wars we wage. If you work so hard, yet cannot afford lobster or a fancy phone, I’d be more angry at the government than the “welfare queens”. You can’t change the players but you can change the game.

  287. Wow, Janet, you have to yell? I don’t know where you live, but in my area, we don’t have much for illegals. They aren’t the ones on the dole around here. The main ones on the dole here are those who don’t think they have to work because they’ve been raised to believe that “big gov’t will take care of us, the treaties said so.” They know how to scam the system and get more money between benefits and other stuff they are given in one year than I could make in 2 years. They get pissed when they have to pay sales tax on their nonfood items and will throw a fit because they have to cough up 16 cents. When the grocery clerks take their groceries to their car, they have 2010 SUVs (daughter works in grocery store – sees this every single day). These are people who have never worked a day in their lives, so they aren’t given them by family members or bought them before they went on the dole. They’ve ALWAYS been on the dole. I know for fact that they teach their kids that they don’t have to do well in school because the gov’t will take care of them. When I worked at the mall years ago, it was nothing for them to come in and buy boom boxes and 2-3 months later buy another one. When asked weren’t they just in a couple of months ago buying one, they would reply that it had gotten stolen and they were buying another one. A few months later, they’d do the same thing. I’m not talking the cheapie ones they have now – I’m talking $400-500 at the time. They’d pull out wads of $100 bills. It wasn’t drug money – it was gov’t money they got every month (land lease money they got paid by the gov’t). These are the same people who the gov’t gives XM or Sirius (whichever we have now) to put in their cars and homes because supposedly they don’t get enough radio stations in their area. That isn’t a necessity! Why is our gov’t paying for people to have radio like that??????? They also pay for them to have landlines if they want one. It’s sickening! We all have to pay for this stuff – why should they get it handed to them? Entitlement mentality at its best, perpetuated by our gov’t. Of course, they all vote democrap.

  288. knightrone says:

    I for one agree that there should be restrictions on what you can and can not buy on food stamps. I worked at a convenience store for years, and saw first hand what can happen when it ISN’T regulated. We would LITERALLY have people waiting in the store right at midnight, so when there food stamps were added to their card, they could start shopping. I once had someone spend over $90 on energy drinks, candy, etc. As a cashier, we have no power over what the person at our counter can or can not buy. If it is approved by the register as a eligible item, then we have no way NOT to give them what they want. Asking for a manager isn’t going to help the system, it’s broken….that’s not OUR fault. What’s sad is these people spend all their food stamps on junk, and expensive meats, etc, and then by mid month, they are out of money. I worry for their children at that point. I just don’t think that the food stamp program was intended to be used in this way.

    As for you who said “once (she) gets out into the real world” or “when you get a real job”…..I’m sorry, what makes your job more REAL than mine. YOU may make more, but if people DON’T work in gas stations, and grocery stores, what then? Please don’t look down your nose at me for what I do, and I won’t look down on you for being so simple minded that you can’t see that society would not function without our “imaginary” jobs.

  289. Sain ~ Do you work retail? From your suggestion that we call a manager and deny a sale every time we think a customer is abusing the system, I have a hunch that you don’t. Those who abuse the system are abusive in other ways, too. If we even suggest we couldn’t finish the transaction because we think they are committing fraud, they would raise such a stink and the manager would give in anyway. And in order to report them at a later time, we would have to know their name. How do you think it would go if I asked to see the card of someone then wrote down their name? Peacefully? Not! We are not allowed to accuse a customer of anything, even if it is as plain as day. An empty soda bottle just happens to show up at the same time as a group of rowdy teens… I ask the boys if it’s theirs… two say no, one says yes… I asked if they needed to pay for it… no, they just need a place to throw it away… I asked if they paid for it earlier… now even the third guy says it’s not theirs. The teens find it absolutely hilarious because they know I can’t make them pay for what they’ve taken.

  290. To Sarah Ryan.
    The article s not knocking those who need it just those who abuse it. And it does happen like I said i saw kids buy $30 worth of cand! And if ur ok with supporting a man with acholsism with alchol thats you. But i’d rather my tax money go to the treatement he cant afford, which they do offer to people who cant afford it. That was like saying he a crack head so let him buy his crack with ebt cash. And I dunno what paper work you had to fill out, but I only had to fill out one page and it’s not embarassing. You should be grateful and praise God that your state offers such a program. Because there was a time when people just went hungery. I have made minimum wage for a long time and i got food stamps. And yes it’s difficult but it steal makes me sick to see people who wont get a job (and they will tell you they dont want one so they can get food stamps and welfare) get more food stamps in a month than I can in a year. That article was pertaining to those people not those who need. My mother can barely pay her bills and put food on her table for just her and sh cant get any help. I had to help her when I was 17 and my Dad died, which left us up the creek. O and he got a welfare check which stopped a moneth after his death beacause I turned 18. So dont get offensive becuse your not the only one whos been through hell. Atleast you were able to get the help!

  291. What does Va benefits have to do with this article. VA benefits are earned as is disability. Unless you never paid into the system. Florida uses an EBT system they also allow certain people to get cash. In Florida you cannot buy non-food items. I am a veteran and I receive disability that I earned. What I spend my disability on is my business. I was receiving 16.00 a month EBT credit which I no longer recieve.

  292. “It’s a problem. 30% of the state is on some form of aid, and our poverty level is not that high.That’s the issue.”

    The issue should be poverty- addressing poverty and helping people out of it. Do you have any idea what the poverty line is? People living above the poverty line still struggle. The poverty line for a single person is around $12,000. To claim that since someone is making $12,001 annually means that they may not encounter a desperate need for assistance is just bogus. A family of 4 on $25,000… that is the poverty line. That won’t get you far. I love welfare. I’m not going to judge people by the steaks they scan. You don’t know where they’ve been or what got them there.

    And you can go ahead and put away the false claim about people being “trucked” into Maine for the awesome assistance so they can get their iPhones and ask Siri where they can get the best lobster!

    *Myth: Maine’s TANF benefits are too generous and encourage people to move to Maine from other states.
    Fact: Maine’s maximum monthly TANF benefit is the very lowest in New England. Maine’s maximum benefit for a family of three is $485/month, which is only 34% of the poverty level ($1431/month). Even when food stamps are added, TANF families reach only 65% of the poverty level.

    When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.
    -Mother Teresa

    If you JUDGE A PERSON, you have no time to love them.
    -Mother Teresa

  293. @Sarah Ryan…OMG, shut up already! You must be a bledding heart liberal, based on your hate and judgment. I too am a cashier for a Texas grocery chain and I see abuse every day! People need to learn to make sacrifices and cut out the little luxuries in life.

    And another thing, I am always giving my own money to those who cannot pay for groceries…..I doubt you would even spare a penny for a starving family. This girl has a right to speak her mind and believe as she does, so get off your pedestal and quit looking down on those speaking their mind, because honestly lady, you are not perfect nor will you ever be. Grow up already!

  294. well, “I was reminded why I vote Republican” pretty much says it all. Republicans just fix everything up nicely, don’t they. Of course, if you keep voting Republican, and you keep having these kinds of complaints, then …

    Do you get the idea? Logic dictates that if you vote the same way time after time and can find no progress then you have to start voting for the other guys OR give up on logic.

  295. Well when I first started reading this I truthfully felt like you judged people pretty harshly without really knowing them. Sometimes what you think you see isn’t always how it is…yes welfare has alot wrong with it. But people like me that have worked all my life needed it..I worked and went to school and had eight kids. I lost my job and was out of work. I lost my home my car and dignaty..I’m real happy I didn’t have you as a cashier thinking it was ok to judge me!!! Let me add while I was on welfare I went to what we have in Michigan known as the MOST program you have to volenteer somewhere for a certain amount of hours for the money you get for yourself and your children. Alot of the volenteer jobs became jobs for us lowlife people. So while your with your gavel rethink how you treat people or look down on them. You may not always know the truth of every situation. I worked extra hours at my volenteer job because I felt quilty and I wanted to help less fortunate people then myself. Now I work full time at a Salvation Army and I feel like I give back a 100 times over. No I’m not on welfare but I was for a whole year and it wasn’t easy. I agree with some of what you’ve said but by far not all of it. One day you might have to walk in some of those people’s shoes. So my advice is don’t be so quick to judge!!!!

  296. I lived in China for a number of years. I saw REAL poverty–people would slowly starve themselves and work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week their whole lives from the time they left our equivalent of middle school–just to save enough money to support their families. Our welfare system is bullshit. People who have real need are by no means entitled to anything more than just enough to survive and get themselves back off it. “Don’t they deserve x,y,z?” No. Not even a little. Hard times are meant to suck. The frills are ones you cannot afford, and feeling entitled to them is an insult to all you graciously have. I know people who live meaningful lives with even less. “But I also paid into the tax system for X amount of years!” Taxes go to more than welfare and entitlements. Or should. It is the majority of our budget (deficit), for those of you not keeping score. Don’t be confused by the ‘big’ numbers we spend on foreign aid and wars (which are more necessary than you’ll ever have to know, thank God–while we don’t exactly live in a bubble, you can sure as hell remain sheltered from that knowledge.) People on long term welfare due to disability? Hey, if they are frugal, wise, thrifty, a combination thereof, and find ways to stretch their resources, more power to them. However, the prevalent attitude of some of them is very bothersome, to put it mildly. The “It’s not my fault I can’t work, and I deserve a certain level of comfort in life,” attitude. No. You don’t. No one does. By the grace of others’ labor, you are provided food and shelter. You are incredibly lucky. You don’t live in China where no one gives a shit. (I did pretty extensive research while I was there on their aging population and healthcare and welfare systems.) In China, our welfare queens would likely be physically forced or at least heavily coerced into being clinically sterilized. Our “welfare” children would be farmed out to orphanages until they could physically pass as a young adult of working age, whether they were or not, only to work for a business or company that paid them less than 100 USD a month, boarding them in a small, dirty room with 3-6 (sometimes 8) other members of their sex. If they are lucky, there’s a kitchen in the building they live in and a communal shower. Some don’t have those amenities we think of as essential. Many live in areas with poor infrastructure and heavy industrial metals in their tap water, causing a lifetime of ulcers and digestive problems. We all get handed raw deals now and then, but it’s how you overcome (or in some cases, understandably, simple manage) your hardships in life that is important. It is through struggle and developing relationships with others–showing appreciation, forgiveness, understanding, and respect–that we have a chance to contribute something, however small, to the world. I would never look down on someone taking welfare if they genuinely needed. However, I would absolutely pity and scorn those who did not respect all that made our safety net possible–by taking for granted the efforts of others–by favoring their own temporary wants, needs, and comforts over their respect and sense of duty for their fellow hard-working citizens, neighbors, and friends. None of us on this public forum knows what it is to genuinely want. We just think we do. Life is tough. We help each other. We should. I have a VERY strong sense of social responsibility, but that can take several forms. However, I have no sense of obligation to those who feel no responsibility to me or their fellow man as evidenced by chronic selfish behaviors, especially when many of their “needs” are entirely artificial or self-constructed. Hopefully, if they are ever forced to face the fact that no one is sympathetic to their several superficial “plights” and don’t care how much they don’t have, they’ll be humbled, start learning to care about people other than themselves, and appreciate what they do have. Then others will finally start caring about them in return. You give to receive. This is not the behavior of welfare abusers.
    Others who have pointed out that wasteful behaviors permeate all levels of society, all I have to say is that if they are not committing them with others’ money, it’s a world of difference. It’s actually their right, not just one they demand. Family and community networks are only technically a form of welfare, but a totally acceptable one, since it’s based on entirely voluntary participation. I’m so damn proud to live in a country that cares, but ashamed at the selfishness of some individuals, their complete misunderstanding or lack of appreciation for what they have. It is ABUSE. Yes, all systems have abuses, but are any near as demoralizing to the community as a whole as welfare? A system that provides incentive to perpetuate reliance? At the expense of others who must give up their hard earned comforts? And teaches its recipients to milk the system? And feel that they are entitled to relatively comfortable living because they exist?
    Is it right to judge? No. I didn’t say I was. Everyone has their stories, but clear welfare abuses are just plain rotten, they hurt everyone, especially the people who genuinely need, and that’s why we have the problem. People can sacrifice so much more, but we don’t have to any more in America. In many ways, that’s wonderful, but we’ve also grown beyond complacent. We take so much for granted.

  297. This is a horribly offensive article. The author is arrogant and makes sweeping judgments based on little information. For a more complete and well-informed view, I’d recommend David Shipler’s THE WORKING POOR.

    If social programs suffer from anything, it’s the lack of money needed to hire good people and to effectively administer and monitor the programs. People are flawed for sure, but you can’t possibly understand their entire situation based on what’s in their carts at walmart.

  298. @Colton I am grown up and I am studying this very topic so I can help end poverty and suffering for people. I’m not a “bleeding heart liberal” but my heart does bleed thinking about the starving children in our public schools (here in Texas) whose families are receiving welfare and barely scraping by. And I don’t need to tell you of the charity I feel called to.

  299. People judging and criticizing this young woman are close minded morons! She clearly states SEVERAL times that she is NOT against temporary assistance….what she IS against is the abuse that is going on in every state of America….in welfare, foodstamps, WIC, Medicare, etc.

    Please stop and think before you speak to avoid making a fool out of yourself. Not only are lazy bums ,who do not want to try to get a job, abusing the system, but illegal aliens are as well. When somebody who is not a tax paying citizen and that does contribute to our society is eligible for foodstamps, then you know we have a serious problem!

    The system needs a serious reform and these are some ideas that the intelligent majority of Americans would agree with me on…

    1.) Forbid food that is non-nutritional(candy, soda, chips, junk food)…this includes using them at convienient stores.

    2.) Exclude coupons and discounts. They are already getting assistance as it is, they do not need anymore help and yes, I’m referring to the abusers!

    3.) Limit the amount of assistance and the time on the program (i.e. $300 a month for 6 months) then, you are kicked off the system to prevent fraud and abuse.

    4.) Setup drug testing for those applying for assistance. If you can afford cocaine and prescription pills to snort and swallow, then you can very well afford food.

    5.) For TANF(welfare) recepients…restrict what can be purchased only to necessities such as shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, utensils, disposable plates, paper towels, toilet paper, and other household necessary items. Also, remove the cash back option from the program.

    It’s that simple! If only our government would think like we do…but I forgot, they know what is “best” for us!

    God bless everyone! Take care! Oh and if you don’t like what I have to say, then DON’T READ MY POSTS! :D

  300. I am a person who currently needs the state assistance and I completely agree that the system needs some serious work. I am a student working towards a career that will get me out of the system and keep me out. Even when my husban was working there was no way we could afford health insurance for us and our son so we went without. When we got pregnant with our second child, we needed to use state insurance and we were given food stamps as well, about $115 a month and we were GRATEFUL for that. I am almost done with school and my husband was laid off after 6 years at his job. I had to go to the welfare office yesterday. I was told that if you are a 40 year old living on moms couch and not even trying, you can get food stamps, but because I am a student trying to better my position and get out of the system, I cannot get food stamps. Fortunately my husband and children qualify, so I know we won’t starve while my hubby is looking for work, but I would rather see the help go to those who are making an honest effort to change their situation.

  301. EXCELLENT POST, Gunzinger! Most in this country haven’t got a clue what real poverty is until they’ve gone to other countries and seen it first hand.

    For those who are on EBT currently:

    Do you smoke?
    Do you drink?

    I’m curious how many of you do either of the above.

  302. RT Student, you have a very positive attitude. I like that! : ) Congrats on being almost done with school.

  303. Bethany Rose says:

    This stuff makes me so angry! There are honest people like me who are in the process of applying for benefits…why? Because I have seven medical conditions, a new one that required me to leave school and the state unexpectedly and the need–not extravagant choice–to borrow money. And honest people can’t make ends meet, must depend on food banks, worry about how they’re going to get through the next month. I pay $20 for Internet; I need it since that’s my only way to get information since I can’t read print. I just reduced cell bill as much as I could to about $69. I just learned that it might not be possible for me to finish school to obtain my degree, and that is so upsetting, because I want to contribute my gifts to society. I want to be able to support myself, my future family and be able to give to the less fortunate…since I know what this is like. Even though I might not be able to finish my degree, I’m not giving up yet…I’m going to try, and if I can not, I will find employment. People like me are eternally grateful for increased social security benefits next month because it will help a little. We live in crime-ridden neighborhoods, always fearing for our safety, in run-down dwellings and either without stuff we need or dependent on the generosity of others. Okay, what’s this complaint all about? No, I don’t want sympathy. These are the reasons why this kind of fraud and abuse makes me so angry! Strip these deceptive, heartless, unconscionable and unscrupulous people of the money they think they’re entitled to, and transfer it to us who need it. People like the ones you describe are gladly wasting money. People like me hold back tears of relief when we can use our EBT, can’t accurately express gratitude when we see that Medicaid will pay for that $600 ambulance trip and $400 CT scan. We’re speechless when someone spends $50 on basic food, toiletries and cleaning supplies to help us stay healthy and clean. *exhibits great control not to punch these people in the face* Thanks for listening to this rant! P.S. What am I doing with my time since I am not working right now?…working on getting my health under control with doctors, trying to start physical therapy, etc. I’m supporting kids with cancer and their families through communicating words of encouragement. I spend a lot of time resting, researching, working to keep my mind active. And I mention this stuff only to state that I’m not okay with collecting money and not doing a thing. So many people are…well, obviously! Okay, maybe the rant is finally done!

  304. @Sarah Ryan…that is a very admirable quality, but unfortunately, there will always be poverty in this world…no matter how much we donate, volunteer and provide for others. Yes, we should do our part to help others, but it will never be fully gotten rid of completely…which is sad indeed.

    I’m sorry that i lashed out, I just get so frustrated with how so many people do not seem to care (not implying you) about what is happening to our country before our very eyes! I live in South central Texas myself, and I see abuse everywhere I go…it is sad that many people enjoy taking advantage of the working class. It is this entitlement mentality, that “we owe everyone something” that is ruining our nation and has brought us to this very economical situation as it stands.

    In regards to public education, the system is shot as well. The government should have never been involved with education….it has only destroyed it, and the children of America are suffering for their disastrous actions. Remove the Department of Education and either remove the public education system and replace it with charter, private and homeschool programs or instill a serious reformation of the public education system. Administrators and school boards should not be making hundreds of thousands while teachers are only making $20,000-$30,000 a year and funds being cut to important programs.

    WAKE UP America!

  305. Bethany, I feel so bad for you! I know what it is like to have health conditions that make you have to change your lifestyle. I was all set to go to medical school myself and my 2 health conditions I have prevented me from going. I tried getting my teaching degree instead – got the degree, but my health problems became so bad that I couldn’t do that kind of work either. I’ve had to work from home pretty much most of my adult life. I”m not complaining about it – i loved being home with my kids when they were young and now being home with my critters – but I really wanted to be a physician and help people that way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for me.

    I hope and pray that you can get your health conditions under control and go back to school if that is your dream. Your situation is the reason why the welfare system SHOULD be there ONLY – for cases like yours where you can’t work due to health conditions. I would gladly contribute to that sort of a system. Is there anything any of us can do to help you now other than pray?

  306. RE: “…A real JOB not some clerk at a Wal-Mart…”

    If you think you’re “too good” to work any job and prefer to be on Welfare until you can find a job “good enough” for you- then you ARE abusing the system!
    Go hungry for a few weeks and then see if you’re still too uppity to accept any available job!

  307. Colton, i totally agree with you on the education system. As a former educator, and parent of 3 children who have gone through this fiasco of a system we now have, we need to abolish the Dept of Education and put it back into the schools – and get the unions out of the schools. It was pretty sad when my oldest said to me 12 years ago as she graduated from high school, “Mom, don’t let my sisters go to public school. I didn’t learn a single thing after 6th grade.” She was right, too. Well, except in one aspect – she learned that it was okay for girls to get abortions and for the gov’t to be involved in every aspect of your life. She told me this herself at 17. I homeschooled my 2 younger kids for a couple of years, then had no choice but to put them back into public school. I sure had to do a lot of damage control with them, reinforcing to them that what they learned in school wasn’t necessarily the truth and to evaluate everything they were taught for its validity.

  308. @Patrick Boggs…well I certainly do not agree with everything the Republican politicians have done…but they certainly have not created a socialist healthcare program, put banks and corporations above people by giving them bailouts, shipped jobs overseas, made serious cuts to Medicare, education, Social Security, military and veteran benefits, national security and local economies, shut off offshore drilling to cause oil prices to skyrocket to $4.00 a gallon, created a team of unconstitutional “czars”, sold us out to the UN, allow the IRS, FDA, EPA, ACLU, and other communist orginizations to run rampant, destroying our freedoms and livelihood…..and I’m not just referring to Nobama, I’m going all the way back to Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, onward.

    So, yes the Republicans have their share of failures and screw ups….the liberal/communist Democrat party has had alot to do with why our nation is so messed up…..not to mention close minded, ignorant “sheeple”(drones) that obey every word the government tells them.

  309. You might want to go and carefully read the information in the link to TANF that you provided in your own article, because it very quickly undercuts your “OOOH WELFARE QUEENS STEALING OUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS” argument. Yes, TANF is funded by the Federal government, but it provides money as a block grant to the states, and it’s up to the states to administer the programs (Look: States’ rights in action!) It also limits benefits to families or individuals with dependent children, prohibits felons convicted under drug laws, and cuts off benefits after five years. The program also eliminated a lot of existing welfare programs. But you can read all that yourself at the site you linked.

    Basically, you’re taking a lot of anecdotal evidence and then generalizing. But, you know what? The brand of stupid and entitlement you mention is not limited to people on welfare, nor do all people receiving federal benefits pull this crap. Rather, a certain percentage of customers of any demographic will try to get away with what they can get away with. Trust me, I’ve seen flaming rich people who live in houses that cost more money than you or I will ever see in our lives try to conveniently misinterpret some sign in order to browbeat some underpaid clerk into giving a ridiculous discount. You’re just cherry picking here. And, by the way, if you want to know why there are so many people on assistance in your area, start by looking at your employer. How many family-owned business were bulldozed out of existence when WalMart came in and started dumping cheap Chinese made crap in the area? If you want reform that will get Americans back to work, that’s the place to start. And, if you’re sincerely concerned about your tax dollars being wasted, start the cuts with the military, the biggest welfare queen of them all.

  310. I think we working tax payers who stand in line patiently waiting for these idiots to complete their transaction should say something. Say, “I hope you enjoy all that. I worked hard for it”. Let them know its not acceptable what they are doing.

    I took a neighbor to the store one day because he didn’t own a car. He couldn’t even figure out what was a better deal. I took him around the store showing him what he could get to maximize his purchasing power. He had three young girls in the home and he ended up buying the most expensive items (brand name items) and left with only half of what he could have gotten if he bought generic brands. His excuse was the kids didn’t like the taste of generic. At the register he was over his amount and I paid off his balance. Once he figured out I was a giving man he would constantly come over to ask me for money or help fix something in his rental home. He was always outside smoking Marlboro’s and talking on his blackberry phone that was paid for by the state. Oh, did I mention that we pay for that in our cell phone bills? Really we do, look at your statement and you will see a charge that goes for funding these people. I got tired of him coming over, especially the day I was really sick and he asked me to take him to the store a few blocks away to buy batteries for his hearing aid. Even after my wife told him I was sleeping because I had to work the grave yard shift (12 hours) and I had a cold, he still asked to wake me so he could ask me to take him.

    I am all about helping out the disadvantaged, I saw a kid eating out of a trash can once. I asked him if he was hungry and if I could buy him lunch. I took him into the subway I just came out of and asked him to get whatever he wanted. I paid for his meal and gave him the change from the transaction. It was only a few bucks, enough for dinner but it meant the world to this kid. I only made 10 dollars an hour and had to feed 2 kids of my own but I always remember a saying from the bible, forgive me if I don’t get it exactly correct but it says treat your fellow man as though he was Jesus. On judgement day when I stand before God, I want him to see I helped my fellow man as God has helped me.

    These people are nothing like Jesus, they are dependent on the good grace of others. They take and take from us as they point fingers at us for being better off than they are. They are the product of a liberal governmental system. Their incentive for not working is being able to live off of those who do work. All they have to do is vote Democrat and they will continue to get welfare, WIC, and unemployment extensions. When a system finally gets tired of them and asks them to get a job, they find every possible way to get fired so that they can get back on assistance.

    I have an Associates in Computer Science. I was laid off for a long time and unable to find work in my field. I found a job working as a security officer and work the job proudly. Never have we ever accepted welfare from the state.

  311. Bethany Rose says:

    Forgot to mention one thing: Several of us were having the same discussion a few days ago. We were talking about people who are receiving benefits but think it’s perfectly acceptable to purchase three computers, iphones, etc. During this conversation, those of us who use the benefits for legitimate purposes talked about how they should be used properly. It was interesting how those who used their benefits to purchase the ipods, etc. got terribly defensive. And btw, in this comment and in the previous one, the stuff I have written is not all-inclusive. It’s directed toward the woman who has a $1.2 milion home, those who use temporary assistance for extravagant purchases and to try to get away with totally ripping stores off. Someone previously commented on how this money might be used to purchase birthday presents for children. In my opinion, something like this is acceptable! And there are times when things are used for unique tasks–example, to help me after a brain injury, I bought some Legos to help me learn how to connect things again. My comments are directed toward those who deliberately, repeatedly and clearly misuse benefits. Just thought I should clarify…

  312. @DPMT….Thank you! I’m glad somebody sees what I see! The Public Unions are another thing that is destroying this country….they are in bed with the socialist Democrats in Washington, because they need eachother for survival.

    I’d like to keep in touch with you. Do you have Facebook? An email? :)

  313. not to be blatantly racist, but lets just take a wild guess…i wonder if the two women at the end were black? i just WONDER…..

  314. @Jess….you make an excellent point! I would not doubt it! And no, you’re not being racst….it’s just a logical fact that mostly colored people abuse the system more. (and yes to those who I think I’m being racist, I have color in me too, so don’t even go there with me).

  315. Wal-Mart and welfare expansion go hand-in-hand. Welfare is a great thing to have as a back-up but we definitely want to make working more attractive, and to have partial welfare assistance to let people graduate in levels out of it, rather than to be cut off completely once hitting a certain amount.

    As an unrelated note, if we spent more money to local providers, the recession would be lifted out much faster. -“tarotworldtour”

  316. @tarotworldtour….Amen to that! Buy American, create American jobs….plain and simple!

    I agree with you…people need to have hope in the economy as well to try harder to finds jobs and wean themselves from government assistance, and that in itself would lift a huge burden off our economy.

  317. Bethany Rose says:

    DPMT–I truly appreciate your compassionate response. It sounds like you understand this kind of predicament. Perhaps the most difficult thing is seeing dreams disappear because of circumstances beyond our control. I am sorry you experienced something similar…it’s so difficult when you strive to do something to help people for a living and need it instead. Your perspective is great; I’m sure there are still times when the situation is upsetting to you since you’re not doing what you planned. Still, it sounds like you have learned to be grateful for the things the changes have helped you to achieve. I feel the same way–if I was in school and working right now, I wouldn’t be able to respond to all of these cancer kids and their families…sometimes I don’t think I’m really doing anything, but these families tell us over and over again that simple things like notes of encouragement help immensely. I am trying to start a trial work period so I can figure out what I will be able to do, but I am worried about losing my benefits in case I find I’m not able to perform when/what/where I want to. That’s one of my problems with the welfare system. Actually, I have two: we’re provided enough to maybw pay the rent. I’m not complaining about that–I’m eternally grateful for it. My point is: we can’t really save money when what we’re able to bring in is barely (or not) enough to make ends meet. Second, with some parts of the system, we’re penalized for trying to become what rehabilitation counselors refer to as gainfully employed. These are just two of the issues where welfare reform is needed, and one thing is that our system shouldn’t be an all-or-nothing sort of a thing. If we’re working, we shouldn’t lose all of our benefits immediately, since whatever we’re doing may not be possible for whatever reason. Additionally, we might still need some benefits, depending on income, family situation, health insurance, etc. And to DPMT–I can not tell you how grateful I am for your empathetic response. Your prayers are definitely appreciated!

  318. How is anyone supposed to find gainful employment without a phone or internet access? I’m not arguing that the state should provide these things, but let’s calm down with the polemic and look at the reality of job hunting.

  319. Colton, I do actually have Facebook. I’m trying to figure out how to tell you what my name is on there w/o getting a bunch of people from here who I may have upset from trying to contact me there. Any ideas?

  320. crousselle says:

    The two women at the end of the article were both white. I live in Maine. The population of Maine is 94.4% white. Our demographics are drastically different than say, Michigan or Texas. The man with the hotdog stand is white. The people who bought lobsters were white. The majority of my customers were white. This is not a racial issue, and I do not want it becoming one.

  321. To those who think that all people who are on food stamps or receive WIC are lazy and are abusing the system are absolutely WRONG!!!! My husband and I both work but still don’t make enough to pay the bills and buy groceries. We have a 8 month old daughter who needs me to eat healthy so she can breastfeed. I am her main source of nutrition and without the WIC and food stamp assistance we receive I would not be able to provide for her. I do work to pay for her clothes and diapers so I do not receive welfare checks but I do receive money for food. I will admit I have bought steak with my food stamps but it was a one time thing and I don’t feel bad about it, because it was great to be able to have a nice dinner. You say that this girl is so judgmental but I myself used to think the same way until we needed the assistance in order to keep the roof over our head. I was humbled when I applied and found out that I was able to get food stamps to help us get by. We never thought in a million years that we would have to get assistance from the state but are greatly appreciative that the resources are available for us and others who actually need them. I don’t care who talks or stares when I use my food stamps or WIC because I know my own situation and everyone else can kiss it! I think those who have been on assistance for years and years and have no intentions of getting off of it have become reliant on the assistance and think that “if the state is still giving it to them then what is the rush to get back on my own two feet?” My husband and I have every intention of getting rid of our food stamps as soon as we can afford to but until then I will not be ashamed to use them. I know that some states are starting to do drug testing to be able to receive welfare and assistance, and I myself think that is a GREAT idea! I know a lot of people who are for and against this action being place in action in every state and those who are against it are mainly the ones who are using their welfare money on drugs and or alcohol, and that’s sad because they are the ones that give those of us who actually need the help a bad name.

  322. anyone who does not agree/does not like this post is either stupid or is on welfare trying to defend their laziness!

  323. Bethany, anytime, my dear! You will be in my prayers. I know what that is like to struggle with your health and still need to be able to make a living. I struggle with that every day. When my condition flares, it makes it tough for me to do my job. I”m “punched in” during my shift and have certain requirements I have to achieve daily, and when it flares, i can’t always meet my requirements. On the good days when I am feeling well, i work like a banshee and try to make up for those days when I didn’t meet requirements when I’m having a flare and miss some time. You just do what you have to do and make do! Somehow, it always works out and God always takes care of me one way or another.

    Yes, I do sometimes wish I could have gone on to medical school, but still being in the health care field with my job, at least I can sort of live vicariously through the doctors – haha. It’s not the same, but it helps somewhat. I also see what they are going through with all of the changes in the field and have friends who are physicians who are seriously thinking about getting out of the field because of Obamacare and how much less they will be reimbursed and how much more gov’t paperwork and garbage they are required to do in order to get that tiny amount the gov’t currently reimburses them (and the govt is about ready to force another 29% pay cut for Medicare down their throats). With what they are dealing with, maybe God blessed me keeping me out of the profession in the long run, what with all of the crap physicians are going through right now and how much worse it will be soon.

    JB, people can still survive w/o a phone. You can use a message number for phone calls for a potential employer to call. People still do that, you know.

  324. wow… thanks for shedding light on something the rest of the common sense possessing America as known about for years. and thanks for keeping your seemingly unending judgemental tellings short and sweet (in case you didnt notice, im being sarcastic because they weren’t short, i honestly thought i would never get to the end of this article). enjoy your studio apartment, Republican…

  325. I was raised in a two parent household with a stay at home mom and a dad with a great job. My father died suddenly when I was a teenager. His life insurance policy was not honored. All of my parents savings went to cover his medical bills and my eldest brothers first year of college. My mom started college and 2 jobs. My grandparents looked after us. We went without things that we did not need, but had our basic needs met. All four of us went to college because my mother fought tooth and nail to make sure that we had every advantage that we could in life. She never received any public assistance. She earned a BA and became a social worker. All of my siblings have good jobs. I had always had a good job. When I had my daughter I left my very lucrative job to be a stay at home mom. The relationship I was in became abusive and I had to leave our home to ensure our well-being. I was lucky. Family friends owned an apt that I was able to move in to the same day. I work four jobs. None of them pay very much, but I am able to maintain my role as a stay at home mom by working from home, working when she is in school. I am never not here for her and never need daycare.
    We don’t have cable, we don’t have a fancy car. My job pays for my internet access. I do receive WIC and my daughter receives state healthcare. It was recommended to me that I apply for welfare benefits and I declined. I started receiving WIC only after her father ceased paying child support. We eat a very healthy diet, which doesn’t consist of processed, packaged foods. I shop at farmers markets in summer and any “treats” we have I also make. My daughter understands what healthy foods are and what they are not. She understands that work is important. She doesn’t “want” for anything. There isn’t anything that she is missing out on because she isn’t inundated with commercials from the television telling her that she should want them. We go to the library and do a lot things outside. We do art projects. I know that our life will not always be like this, that I will have a well-paying job with health insurance, but until that time, we have a good, simple life. I live next door to Section 8 housing and am appalled at how the people there live. I am heartsick for the kids being raised in those apartments. It is not unusual to call the police because of some sort of domestic disturbance. But here’s the thing that I think about most:
    If I had been raised by different parents, that could be me. If I did not have the skills and the education that I have – the GIFT of knowing something different, something better – I could very easily be one of the people living in that house. We make a mistake when we assume that people can “be better” or “just get a job.” If you don’t learn how, it isn’t necessarily going to come naturally. The root of the problem of welfare abuse or any sort of reliance on welfare as your livelihood is in the fact that it is a cycle. You live what you learn. Getting WIC requires that you speak to a caseworker about how you feed your child. Your child’s growth and iron levels are monitored. It’s not huge, but it’s something. If you aren’t acquainted with proper nutrition, you aren’t going to be able to provide it to your children. If your mom never took you to the library, that is probably not a gift that you are going to give your child. Poverty, lack of education, and abuse are insidious diseases that spread from generation to generation and unless something happens to quell the tide, more of the same will be produced. Sometimes charity doesn’t have a definable monetary value – sometimes the most important kind of charity that we can give is the tools to make a better life – something that not everyone is fortunate enough to have received.

  326. I could go on for hours on this , but I am only going to make a few points instead…
    1) Just because a person is on FS or other programs does not mean they do not pay taxes.. Most everyone pays taxes. Having a job is not the only place taxes come from.
    2) Many of our military, police, firemen, etc, receive FS for their families,, and as far as I am concerned any of our hero’s could eat steak and lobster or birthday cake all they want.. and if others can manage to buy steak and still have enough left for the rest of the meals for the month that means they know how to shop wisely.. sometimes that steak or seafood is actually cheaper than hamburger!
    3)In Maine most people receiving benefits are working as well. They are just not making enough money.
    4) You cannot look at the unemployment rate and use it as a accurate guide. It is misleading. When people no longer qualify for unemployment, even if they have not found a job, they are no longer counted.. hmmm but they still don’t have a job….This is why the roles have increased.
    5) If the state focused more on way to collect child support or became creative with it, ( such as you can’t pay it, then we will pay for you , while you work for the town in trade, or have that parent babysit their own kid so the other parent can work) That would help a lot.. Many people could stay off aid, if only they got their child support.
    6) most people are only one medical tragedy away from being in the shoes of those on assistance.. If that happens to you , the reader of this, I pray that people will offer you sympathy, empathy, compassion, and opportunities..

  327. Actually, Kandie, you are incorrect on one thing. According to the IRS web site, 47% of Americans do NOT pay taxes, all lower wage earners, those who use most of the benefits. The top 25% wage earners in this country pay almost 80% of the taxes. FYI

  328. @DPMT…just find me on Facebook and send me a request :) it’s Colton Ross. I think we’re going to get along just fine!

  329. I think that there is an aspect of this “growth” that must be addressed. Our government is out of control in ALL areas period. 2) Our globalist government is in the process of eliminating the American employee. There are literally millions of people that do not appear on the unemployment stats and roles. They are the once self employed self starter successful men of the trades. Your neighbors that used to pay high taxes, donate to the church and other charities and employ between 2 and ten employees in the construction trades. Roofer, drywallers, framers, finishers, installers of all types.

    Our government has allowed millions of Americans to lose their means of income and the means of supporting many other families each. Just little contractors that worked their butts off. Our government has pulled a double whammy on this nation and most are sleeping through it. Our self sufficient tax paying businesses were destroyed by border jumpers that work for $3-5 dollars an hour. While politicians have convinced the nation that these are jobs “Americans will not do”. Bul***it!!! The border jumpers can work at those wages, poor product at that, because momasita is collecting SUPER Entitlements as in the 3x any amount under the “immigrant” “refugee” status that is just handed to them without a blink. When you look closely you find that that $3/ hour “hard working, ust want a better life” mexican is realizing the same income as if I were paying my guys $40-60 dollars per hour because we are underwriting our own demise. Just depends on how many kids they can pump out. So the American tax paying citizen takes it in the rectum 3 times over this “humane” policy towards foriegners. First he pays taxes through the nose for a life time. Next he loses his business to the mexican invaders and finally he loses because the government will not recognize self employment AND has to be destitude for 24 months before he qualifies for so much as a loaf of bread. By August of 2011 almost ALL heating assistance in this country was earmarked for mexicans because La Raza, the racist “hispanic” organization (meaning THE RACE) runs a very effecient campaign of political extortion to secure these fundings. Supporting lazy Americans is bad enough!! Why in God’s name are we supporting to elaborate degrees Criminal invading Non citizens?

    And folks it is not just in the trades. We currently have 2.1 million American engineers of all types unemployed!! They don’t show up on the unemployment numbers because the job still exists only a H1B muslim visa holder is in the chair. Now think of it. We continue to import Through legal immigration 125,000 mid easterners PER MONTH!! Those that have replaced the once well paying jobs ($20/hr or so to start) are now doing that job for a few cents over minimum wage and because they have family sizes that average 9 children They too recieve the 3x refugee rate of assistance.

    WE ARE SUBSIDIZING OUR OWN DEMISE. BOTH PARTIES ARE OF EQUAL GUILT OF TREASON AT THE ALTER OF GLOBALIST SOCIALISM. It was in black and white since 1994 what this plan has been but good ole Americans said “they would never try that there would be civil war”. News bullitin they have done it to the point of no return and there has been barely a peep out of the American society.

    Wake the H*ll up!!! Our congress is currently trying to pass a law (both sides of the aisle and the POTUS agree) that enable the government to classify anyone that challenges policies such as these terrorists and can be held for life without trial. AMERICAN CITIZENS demanding the rule of law are being considered terrorists????

    I lost my company to mexico. I was named a terrorist by the Bush administration because I demanded the rule of law. Now being terminal I welcome the prospect of not seeing my once great country become the open sewer that Detroit and LA are, spread across the entire nation.

    None of this is an accident it is all in the plan. 4 presidents, 2 political parties and one unifying underlying agenda—– DESTROY AMERICA——–

  330. A good article but you’re all missing the point…people are people and some may be ignorantly abusing the system, but the system only exists because of a much larger fraud brought down upon almost every single person in this country. And what was with the “I remember why I vote republican” part? That is just as ignorant as everything you stated in this article. You think being republican has anything to do with these very HUMAN issues you are talking about?

    Look, I am right there with you in wanting everyone to be fair and stop being so abusive when they are being aided, its sickening. But the rest of us ignoring the root causes and letting the larger issues go unnoticed and therefore continue to thrive and eat us alive while you call yourself a better person because you are a republican who works for a terrible terrible corporation is way more sickening Im sorry.

    Wake up and look at the bigger picture

  331. Chris Travers says:

    Ashley: I am not on welfare at the moment though my family was on WIC for some time, and I have my own software development business. And I think this blog post goes entirely down the wrong line with what’s wrong with welfare in the US.

    Welfare programs used to be divided into basically two kinds: unemployment benefits and a safety net for those who could not work (disabilities payments and the like). For people who are temporarily unemployed, there is nothing wrong with using your money that comes in however you like. If that means celebrating a birthday with steaks (and saving up for it for a while!) that’s what it means. Similarly, those who are unable to work because of disabilities should have the freedom to spend their payments however they see fit.

    And yet I agree that we need welfare reform. The problem is not with the above types of programs but that we have a third kind of program which is very pernicious and needs to be done away with: financial assistance to low income working families. These programs need to be cut entirely away. If we want to help low-income working families the way to do it is to increase the minimum wage, not tax mom and pop businesses so that Walmart can have employees apply for public benefits. Because these use tax dollars obtained from broad taxes to allow large employers to externalize costs of low-wage workers, this means it is *corporate welfare* pretending to be social welfare. Get rid of these programs, perhaps increase the minimum wage by at least 50%, and paying for the unemployment/disabilities programs by making the corporations buy insurance against employees that are let go being unable to find work. The last one, disabilities paymments, we can talk about. However, large corporations should not be able to get a subsidy for their costs of doing business by asking their smaller competitors to pay taxes to foot the bill.

    BTW, lest you think I am entirely on the left here, I despise social security. I think social security erodes and destroys both family and tradition, and I think we need to issue a cutoff line now, any age underneath the line (maybe 40?) does not get benefits (that would include me) and any age above does. At the same time, medicare I think, needs to be protected.

  332. @Dawg….I am in complete agreement with your views! Do you have a Facebook as well? Send me a request if you do…it’s Colton Ross.

  333. While I applaud the intent of this author (reforming a broken system), I am surprised that the author imagines Republicans are the ones to solve this problem. The reforms that this article would seem to require involve greater oversight and regulation–do you really think Republicans would support such measures? That would mean, ultimately, paying even more tax dollars toward the welfare system, and that will never happen on a Republican watch. The typical party platform in this area is about reducing the number of recipients (which still doesn’t solve the problems the author lists) or about cutting the programs completely (which, again, doesn’t solve these abuses). The problem is structural dependence–dependence created by other policies that devalue the person in favor of the corporation, that create a substantial burden on the working class, and that remove substantial important parts of our social safety net. Consider for a moment that many of these system abusers have had lives that were directly or indirectly damaged by government policies and entrenched racial and economic discrimination. Consider that many have dealt with years of bureaucratic intrusion into their lives. A strong incentive exists to game the system because many of these people perceive, many perhaps somewhat justifiably, that this is one small payment for a life situation that has been substantially ossified by government policies. I’m not saying that Democrats have done better in solving these problems or mitigating them, or that conservatives or liberals are more right. However, anecdotes from a summer of work would, I hope, not lead this author, a seemingly intelligent person, to broadly conclude that any politician saying “we need welfare reform” has the answers.

    To offer my own anecdote, I was once in a middle class family that became poor due to the illness of both my elderly parents. They were already retired but hadn’t had enough extra income to adequately plan for medical costs and other long term care needs. Medicare and Medicaid proved, too, to be fairly useless after a couple months. My sister and I were forced to not only care for them but to also support ourselves, and to keep up their original home (the market value of which was now so low, due to the economy, as to make selling or borrowing it impractical). We qualified for assistance that totaled $18 a month. $18. I won’t go into all the bureaucratic details, but many of the programs have been so narrowly defined that accessing them is nearly impossible. Many require multiple applications just to get them, for seemingly no reason. The end result was that we supported a family of four, two of whom had serious medical bills, on $35,000 a year. I remember how many programs we scrapped and begged for, how strange it felt going to apply for this assistance, and how little we got. How many programs we were told had been cancelled, or had two year wait lists, or were severely de-funded, or had been pushed to the local or county governments and been scaled down significantly. So ask yourself this: if you want Republican social services reform, do you know what it will really look like? Do you know which families that don’t abuse the system and need the help are going to be swept away in this desire to reign in some Welfare Queens? People who want to game the system will figure out a way, no matter what changes are made. Perhaps the changes we need to make should more carefully consider the families that really need help but are being denied access to it.

  334. Welfare reform never helps it only hurts and generally its children the sick and the elderly who suffer it has nothing to do with the SMALL minority who are “abusing” as she claims. Just because they have a cell phone that costs $25 a month? $25 doesnt pay for enough food for a week let alone a month. The only welfare reform we need is to remove all of the aid for illegals. The next thing she says about buying cakes and toys? So now poor kids are not allowed to have birthdays? riiight… THEN after “complaining” about how they have cell phones she makes the idiotic comment that “every cell phone has a calculator” well guess what… NOT EVERY WELFARE PERSON HAS A CELL PHONE! Further more she goes on to berate people and assume they are below her by labeling them “drama queen 1-2” She also complains about WIC Walmart has one of the most appalling records when dealing with WIC. Hence why so many go without it! Because of rude inconsiderate hypocrits like her. Its disgusting. LIVE on the system for a few months and then try to tell me that people WANT to live like that and be in a constant state of poverty. If little miss goody-two-shoes is so pissy about welfare people having a steak its MUST be because she cant afford to buy one with her “amazing cashier job” So that means no one else should either? If she cant afford it on her income then no one else can.. yep sounds fair to me.. And this is why i vote democrat.

  335. In Portage county Wisconsin in 1978 a good job paid $11/ Hour with full benefits.
    In 2011 a good job in Portage county Wisconsin pays $11/ hour period.
    Fuel- 425% increase
    Housing (basic rental) 580% increase
    Taxes 675% increase on property
    Transportation (ie buying a basic pickup) 600% increase
    Basic communication (ie phone) 800% increase
    My question remains…How??? Plastic Money?

  336. This is fer sure an absolute outrage. However, progressives like dukakkis, pelosi, reid, etc. won’t do a dern thin ’bout it cause the idiots and thiefs on welfare vote. In this administration, votes are the weapons of mass destruction where they give sumpin fer nuttin and the food is free!

  337. SMALL minority, Morgan? WRONG! It’s a rather LARGE group of people who abuse the system. Those who truly need it as a hand UP are a very small percentage. Those who milk the system and don’t work – many never working a day in their lives and are multigenerational who use the welfare system are the majority.

    Colton, there are quite a few Colton Ross’s on Facebook. What does your photo look like?

  338. Bethany Rose says:

    DPMT–your comments about the current health care system are basically the same reason I’m thankful I didn’t continue with education. I was an education major and absolutelyu loved it. Give me a classroom with fifteen four-year-olds, and I’ll be content! However, when I see what is happening with standards dependent on funding, I’m glad I didn’t pursue it. That’s because that crap greatly diminishes how a teacher can operate his or her classroom, teach using his/her own techniques, spend time on the areas where students are struggling, etc. I still love the children; I just don’t love the politics and how they are proving to be a great disservice to children and youth. Thanks for the info about the phone…I do think it’s best for me to keep the cell, though. With some of my health conditions, that’s the only way I can get help, one of two ways I can receive alerts about weather/city/state/national emergencies, arrange transportation, etc. I realized that I didn’t tell you something: one of those conditions is blindness. Phone and computer are the only ways I can really communicate. So anyway, I really appreciate your suggestion to help me cut costs where possible! Your perspective on your job and how it connects to health care makes complete sense, as well as the difficult positions physicians are stuck in. When one of my conditions changed life and forced me to drop out of school and move, I was two semesters away from getting my B.A. in psychology. As I think about your statements about health care, I wonder if there is a silver lining here. I am still going to return to school if it’s at all possible…I’m determined to do something! Btw, this discussion with you is great! *smile*

  339. @DPMT…It’s a photo of me layind down on a bed with a black shirt on.

  340. @Colton Ross. There are a whole bunch by that name. Go to Jerome Corsi and look for the reference to “Dawg” pick me out of there. Thx

  341. OHNOES The poors should never have birthday cakes! How fowl! They should get a job before they are allowed to partake in ANY celebration. It is such a good thing that the rich in our great nation adhere to such strict ethical standards in our time of crisis (entirely caused by the poors with their LOBSTERS!!!)

  342. FedUPWithStupidity says:

    It is a simple fix: 1) If you did not put into the system, you get no benefits, and 2) When you max out the contributions that you put in, the ride is over.

  343. My friend just posted this article on my Facebook wall because everything you said reminded her of my complaints involving the people I saw at Walmart. I only worked there over the summer between years in college as a second job to make some extra money and the things I saw were absolutely disgusting. I live in New York and we get so many of the same kinds of people. I am so glad that you wrote this article-it is reason like this why I chose not to return to Walmart over my winter break! The things I saw people buy with their EBT Food Stamps and EBT Cash were just ridiculous. These people eat better than I do! Chicken, steak, shirmp, fish, you name it, they buy it with food stamps. Ridiculous.

  344. Hello Christine, I enjoyed your article. Yes indeed, we do have a problem with a welfare-dependent underclass. Thomas Jefferson warned about this very thing:

    “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.”

    In other words, when an underclass is made dependent on the government, all of their drive and motivation is quickly snuffed out, and they become just another tool for those in power to use and control, or imprison and use as free labor. This is exactly what is happening in America today.

    I witnessed it myself when in jail for growing a plant. (Cannabis.) In this six man cell I was surrounded by white trash scumbags. They told me all about the things they blew their EBC money on. Oh yeah, buying ounces of weed to sit around and smoke up on the taxpayers’ dime. There is an entire class of these people out there it seems, and they view it as completely normal and right. I was disgusted.

    The larger problem that you’re searching for this is: we are living in a police state. Tyranny caught this country in its clutches in the early 20th century, slowly gained a foothold over decades, and now has us completely in its grip.

    MUCH has changed about our country since Revolution days. A new Revolution is needed…and coming.

  345. @Playahate-She didn’t say that they can’t have birthdays. The point is that if you are so poor that you need to be on food stamps, why the hell are you buying a giant birthday cake when you clearly need the money. Make one yourself, it’s cheaper! Clearly, you are on food stamps or completely support the system if you make comments like that.

  346. @Morgan-I had a customer at Walmart say to me that she was paying with her “free money” and used an EBT card. Don’t even say that people don’t want to live on welfare. If they didn’t, they would be bettering their situation and not living on welfare for straight up years. And no, the author of this article is not a hypocrite, she is telling it like it is, and I for one completely agree as I worked at Walmart and had the same experiences she did.

  347. Colton, for some reason, i’m not seeing your FB page at all, not with a photo of a guy with a black shirt on lying on a bed. Can you post a link?

    Bethany, i have a friend who is also blind. She is one amazing gal. She just wrote a book that has been published and will be starting a book signing tour soon. She and her other three siblings were all born blind, and they are all very accomplished musicians. In fact, here is a link to a video of her and two of her siblings.

    She is playing the keyboards. Her brother, Rory, is playing guitar, and her other brother is playing the drugs.

    Her brother, Rory, is one heck of a guitar player. He plays it holding it on his lap face up, frets on the right hand, and fingers the frets that way. Here is a link to one of his videos.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIvNxF89qkA&feature=related Pretty amazing!

    Bethany, are you on Facebook by any chance?

  348. @DPMT. Supurb!!!!!

  349. Mrs. Brown says:

    Where do u guys live that can get energy drinks, alcohol and cigs on food stamps?! That’s insane. They don’t do that here, nor should they. they made it impossible in Oregon to get those items with you EBT. You can get soda and candy, but not that stuff. If you are on TANF here, you are subject to housing inspections as well. They can tell if you have too much stuff or what not, if you make any money, you have to pay them back that same month, if you make money and don’t report it and they find out, you can be seriously fined and kicked out of the system for 5 years. Guess Oregon has strict laws in place.
    To put a limit on food wouldnt be good. There are too many problems with it. Some people can only eat certain foods or have allergies or some need to have a high quality diet for other reasons (I have severe iron definency issues. So I need to eat more red meat than my hubby who needs more grains. My kids have serious food allergies. One was allergic to milk (like he would DIE of he had it) and so he had to have rice milk tht cost $1-3 a carton. But restricting on certain items would most likely restrict that because it would be labeled a luxury item? Yes it’s expensive and we really had to budget our money until he outgrew that allergy!)

    Anyways. I am just saying, people have a max amount they can spend, they have to learn how to budget their own money. Another poster said that it isn’t easy getting into these programs, it wasn’t for us and when we got into it my hubby was without a job for about 2 months. He was going to start on one soon, but was waiting for it to open. But because we had no income they wouldn’t let us in right away (weird) we had to start paperwork. After paperwork you have an interview. After that initial interview we had to have a meeting with our “case worker” but only after my husband started attempting their career classes that he had to go apply for every job under the sun.
    If he quit those classes at any point, we would be kicked off, if he skipped without a drs note, we would be kicked off.
    You have to report on any and all income changes over x amount all the time and you have to do a recertification every 6 months. Every year you have to do an interview with your caseworker etc.. And always a boatload of paperwork!

    Blah blah blah. I can’t wait for it to be over with already!! People treat you like crap the dog dragged in when you use food stamps. I have had so many cashiers glare at me, so many people be nice until they see that card. It is so hurtful. How can people be so mean? I am so tried be being treated like I’m stupid. I graduated high school, I’ve worked lots of jobs, I have been to college and with good grades (and that WHILE homeschooling AND I had a newborn.) but who cares. The glare says it all. They hate me and I must be a horrible person because I am on assistance. Obviously not everyone is like that. Nor is everyone on assistance abusing the system. But one person (even more than one) can be unfairly grouped with the bad ones. From my experience I could say that “All government/state workers are horrible mean and judgemental!” and I would be wrong because no matter that most of my experiences are they treat you like dirt in those offices, I have met a few good workers tht are NICE! Wow, it’s nice to chat with them when you have questions rather than the lady that looks at you like you’re carrying a disease and Like you haven’t bathed in a year. Seriously, like your not fit to look at the dirt on their shoe. Ignorant people. I can’t stand talking with them.

    At least now we tell them “we won’t need you much longer because my hubby graduated with an engineering degree” it is fun to watch their eyebrows shoot through the roof and their whole demeanor changes. Like suddenly we became human to them.
    It shouldnt change a thing- you treat a person like dirt- you pound them into the ground with you looks and comments- how do you expect them to live?
    I have had too many years fighting depression. I clawed my way out of that. I can’t let ignorance of people around me kick me down there again. Before you pipe up and say something stupid to a person in the checkout- pause to think about how that will effect them! (not talking to author) please. If someone had said that to me I would have fallen deeper into my depression and bawled. I would have left the store without food and not gone back. I would have rather gone hungry. Seriously, it is humiliating enouph without a person who doesn’t even know your circumstances starts giving you nasty condescending looks when you use that card. I have even had store employees get mad at me and yell at me and tell me that I have to tell him that I am using food stamps (not true, he just didn’t know what HE was doing).

    Like I said. I have been treated like crap too long. I know abusers. I can’t stand them because I get lumped into there with a glare. Sigh. Just be nice people. Please just be nice.

  350. Stop judging 40 million people (the amount currently on food stamps) from these few bad apples. Way bigger issues to think about including this disgusting company. Maybe she should have gone on government assistance instead of assisting one of the biggest pieces of s*%t by working for them. Republicans need to stop blaming the poor

  351. strugglingfamily says:

    While it saddens me to say I’ve had to rely on the govt for food stamps assistance during a tough time financially with my husband having lost his job through no fault of his own and my minimum wage food service job not being enough income to make ends meet I can honestly say we were not abusing the system but I know some people do abuse it. I find it insulting for some people to just assume you’re freeloading when in fact you are a hard working employee just because you’re on food stamps. If it weren’t for food stamps and wic, my family would probably have had to starve, and to starve a child is not a good thing because of the effects it would have on development and growth. We weren’t able to get the cash assistance, only food assistance, but the cash assistance would have been really helpful so that we didn’t have to do things like keep our baby in too small clothes that left marks on his tummy from being too small because we couldn’t afford new clothes as he grew or that we sold our living room couch and some other things in order to not be evicted from our small apartment and end up homeless with a baby to care for or that we couldn’t afford to buy neccessities like toilet tissue so using public restrooms on the way to and from work was a must and stuffing a handful of tissue in my purse before i left the stall so i could have toilet tissue to use that night at home, or watering down the mouth wash, shampoo and handsoap in our bathroom just so it would last longer. I do think that there is something that could be done about the actual abusers of the system, and one thing would be to drug test them. I have never smoked and my husband doesn’t smoke and we really don’t drink hardly ever(3 yrs ago at a family member’s wedding was the last time I drank an alcoholic beverage) and we aren’t drug users(unless you consider the occasional ibuprofen for a headache) so we would pass drug testings no problem.
    I do disagree with the discounts statement Colton made even though I know it was directed at abusers. If it weren’t for the fact that I could use the grocery store’s member discount card or whatever it is called that you have to have to get the items at sale price or else you pay full regular price and the fact that I could use coupons like $1 off of something we wouldn’t have been able to buy nearly half as much food as we have with our 140/month food stamp balance when prior to my husband’s job loss we probably spent around 300/month just on groceries not including other necessary hygiene items

  352. getridofillegals. says:

    Yes some people do cheat on food stamps, welfare in general…..other’s need a temporary hand up or go hungry and homeless. Get rid of the illegals stealing Millions of American’s jobs and taxpayer’s dollars funding food stamps, housing, gov checks, free medical care for themselves and whole familes and education to illegals…Problem solved!

  353. Colton, I think i might have found you on FB. Do you have dark hair and is your finger in the picture, i.e. when you are trying to take the photo? Is Lloyd DeForest one of your friends? If so, I think I found you.

  354. Right on, Getridofillegals! That would solve a huge bunch of problems in this country right off the bat.

  355. FedUPWithStupidity says:

    @Thomas: Regarding your decision in respect to your parents’ house. In your portrayal, you chose not to sell the house because it would ‘cost’ your family. By cost, I am referring to the fact that a price in a bad economy does not equate to an expected return or the invested amount in the house. That is your bad. You should have done what millions have done generations past, are doing today, and will do in the future; and, sell it for what you could get.
    Your decision lowered the standard of living for several people [limiting financial resources] than you realistically needed to by your own decision. And, your family suffered needlessly IMO. The house I occupy has devalued $100,000.00 over the past 3 years but I would not hesitate to sell the thing for $100,000 today, if I needed the money to provide care for any of my family. And, just as a reference point, the replacement cost on my house exceeds $400,000.00. I’ll never see that kind of price when I sell it. Unrealistic expectations can be damaging in more ways than one can imagine.
    Please do not misinterpret my response to be antagonistic. I understand that you believed you were doing the best thing at the time. However, it was your decision, and you obviously lived with it. But, to present it in such a way as to ‘explain’ a situation outside of your control? No, I have to reject that presentation. Multitudes of families and individual are faced with very trying financial decisions today, just as they have faced them throughout the entire history of the human race. Regardless, I think you made the wrong decision from a purely financial perspective.
    My people [ancestors] walked this land long before any ‘white’ man ever reached these shores. I thank God that one of them had the wisdom to refuse to acquiesce to the lure of ‘help from the government’. We have gone our own path as opposed to those living on reservations. Because of the decision to walk away from ‘The Great White Father”, my family has always endured on our own terms, regardless of how much “accumulated wealth” was necessarily dissolved by circumstances at any given time.
    I guess that the point I am trying to make here is that just because someone acquires wealth, there is no guarantee of, nor a right to, retaining it. It is just a law of nature – we do what we can, with what we have, where we are. This idea of being self-sufficient is what made our nation the greatest one to ever exist. If we do not change the mentality in this culture as it exists today wherein a very large portion of the population believes that somehow, someone, somewhere is obligated to ‘provide me an existence”, we will witness the failure of the greatest haven of of a free mankind ever experienced.
    The demise of this nation is precarilously perched on the precipice of financial failure right now. If you don’t believe me, try doing the math on paying back $15 trillion worth of deficit spending while increasing that deficit spending every year. It is impossible to accomplish in our lifetime. I’ve seen the figures that indicate that if the govt took control of every dime in this country right now, it would only finance about 6 months of our current spending rate..think about that and then tell me that we need a government mandated charity [hand-out] program. The stupidity has to end and pragmatic thinkers need to rise.

  356. Mrs. Brown says:

    Raising minimum wage won’t help. The cost of living goes up with it.

    Just the facts.

  357. I don’t deny that people abuse the system but for some it is truly needed in times of hardship, and not everyone on food stamps is lazy and doesn’t work. Some people have jobs and degrees and still need help in this economy.
    Here are some issues I have with some assumptions in this article…
    So, because I am on food stamps, I am not allowed to buy my child their birthday cake,when that may be the only way I could afford it for them? Maybe I couldn’t get them anything else and just a family get together with a cake (that I am sooo thankful I can get with my food stamps this month otherwise my child wouldn’t get one) is all I could do.

    Because I am on food stamps I am not allowed to splurge every once in a while on a steak like anyone else? It’s not like there is an unlimited amount of money you can spend, if you bought a lobster, you would know that you had to carefully plan and budget for it with the balance of your food stamps. I would rather see someone on food stamps eating fresh healthy foods than processed, boxed and junk foods.

    Don’t assume that everyone that has a smart phone bought it and pay that much a month for it, maybe it was a gift and they are on a cricket plan like I am where data and all is only $40 a month, and that one phone is the only internet and phone connection they have.

    In order to get cash assistance you have to go to classes and job training, so it’s not like someone is just sitting around and then buying whatever they want just because they can.

    I am pretty sure some people “feel entitled” but also I am sure that most of the time if someone is getting upset over a food not coming up as food is because they have no other way to afford it at that time, and it is embarrassing to have to put things back, humiliating actually. While, yes, people should be up on their balance, even people make mistakes in their budget and balance their accounts of any type and end up over drafting or getting their credit card denied.

    A few points I agree with. But not in every or even most situation can you assume all the details and jump to a conclusion where the person on welfare is in the wrong according to you, you also nee to consider all other points of view. Lastly, you can’t completely judge something that you have never had to go though. It is hard for most people to accept welfare in the first place and knowing that you are getting judged every time you swipe your EBT card makes it that much harder. You don’t know the back story to these people’s life, you don’t know the hardships they are going through.
    For example just because someone is dressed nice, and put together doesn’t mean you should automatically assume they don’t need food stamps. People seem to think “Oh they had a nice dress and jewelry on and they were clean and well kept, they MUST be rich enough to not need food stamps. Wrong, maybe they like to look nice with what they have, maybe they only have a couple nice pieces of clothes and as any normal person like to be clean and presentable. Or maybe they were doing well with a job and had nice things, and now they are down on their luck and are needing help to feed their children. Maybe they led a normal, working, self sufficient job then their spouse fell ill and they had to devote all time to care of them and the kids and their spouse was the main bread winner and now they are struggling immensely. If you can take the time to think about why they SHOULDN’T have food stamps you should also take the time to thing about maybe why the do or should.

  358. Mrs. Brown says:

    @Ashley
    thank you.

  359. ive had a job of some kind since i was 13 years old . recently i was dianosed with copd and ive tryed to get assisstance . well they say i need to spend 650 a month to get medicaid , thats more than half the money i get . and the top food stamp i can get is 16 dollars a month . but yet people that have been on welfare thier whole life and got 5 or 6 kids get 700 or 800 hundred in food stamps .plus a check for close to the same . i worked all my life to support these people , but when im in need of help omg its like pulling teeth and i finally gave up and am dealing with things the best i can on my own . i figured i would work till i reached retirement age , i was wrong and now i need help and it was not even worth me being seen in a place i associated with the poor and im sick to think these people get away with this .

  360. I commend you on your mature attitude and insight. I agree that welfare should only be temporary for healthy people and for the disabled who are unable to work, but what what you have described is total abuse of the system and all those who pay taxes to help people get through the rough patches.
    I have a double house and rent it out. I felt sorry for a family on welfare and rented an apartment to them. I didn’t get paid for rent for 8 months! They were lying druggies, milking the system, not working, kids in day care just to get them out of the house and away from their parent or parents, while they sit at home not paying the rent, crying poverty, and landlords not being able to even evict them without going to court and paying a lawyer for it. In addition, the money is never recovered. Bills pile up for landlords, too. Mortgage, utilities, insurance, maintenance, and taxes. How about all the damage incurred? How about a total of $18,000 worth of damage and no rent for 8 months? I know the people you have dealt with because I have, too, and not in MA! I never got a cent after that AND I had to pay court and attorney fees!
    And the answer is NO to the person above who said that people go bankrupt and don’t pay their bills. Well, to you, I say, I took such a hit with that family that I nearly lost my house! I didn’t use anyone else’s money to pay it! I didn’t use plastic! I just paid double! Once to support them for 8 months, totally renovate a house they destroyed, paid all legal fees to GET them out, and paid the taxes to support them and others like them! Bitter? You bet!!!
    I, too, used food stamps many years, ago when my husband got laid off for 3 months and we had no income. But, while in college having a family, I worked 2 jobs to help support us while taking a full course load. I, too, know about working and working HARD to get ahead! This young lady is not talking about people like me or most of you. She is talking about the professional welfare recipient who knows nothing else and is raising generation after generation of the same “working the system” people.
    Let’s not forget about those who sell their food cards for pennies on the dollar outside stores in plain sight to anyone who will buy them! That was seen in yet another state! It’s not just MA, it’s systemic all over this country.
    I’m sorry for ranting, but this young lady has a point! It was well written and true, even though some people don’t want to believe it or become defensive about it. If you don’t act like that, and are receiving welfare help on a temporary basis, or are disabled, then this article was not pointed at you! Use the system to help you get on your feet. That’s what it’s there for. It’s not there for people like those who have been described in the article! Those are the people who make it bad for those who need it legitimately! At least we can say that THEY don’t pay taxes……..
    All I can say is, “Good luck tax payers, one and all”.

  361. Ok I read all the comments n whole article. No you were not stating anything about people who honestly need help you only stated how ebt equals unintelligent lazy frauds not once did you mention people actually needing help or how the system keeps people poor because as soon as people start getting ahead at all they take any help at all away so your worse off then you were before. Also if you plan on being a journalist you should probably do fact checking before stating so called facts because being a mainiac ( not a mainer) I know that we have a ridiculously high unemployment rate and a great deal of it is people not getting jobs they are applying for even in the best time of year bc our local business owners are bringing in jamaicans Russians ect. To work for min wage and not pay taxes or spend money here so our local people can’t get up from the low of poverty hence high levels of help. Also why are so many people that would be illegal with out their anchor kids allowed to get our benefits for our needy?? We should be helping our own by allowing our own first to get jobs. You non locals have no idea how bad the winters are in Maine and with out assistance a lot of people who are trying their hardest would die all because what you think they are your pigeon hole idea of food stamp receivers?? Also the system allows the disgusting misuse by offering up every help they can to ppl who don’t need it so the people who do can’t get it! Not everyone makes enough to save so if they are laid off their screwed but because they made more then so much the last couple months they have to wait till they are in the homeless shelter to get help. Well if you lived in most of Maine you would know there’s a much larger majority of people with out vehicles and I don’t even remember seeing Lexus anywhere in all my time there but I had to leave to support my son whose dead beat father decided after 2 years that he with no bills no responsibility didn’t want it or to lose his attention and isn’t being forced to help support what he helped create and that is the real problem in this country. Way to many people freely pro creating with out being held responsible so those of us trying to be responsible and take care of our selves and make good choices can barely make it. Oh and BTW you people talking about unwed mothers you are he same people wanting to abolish abortion but you refuse to see that not every situation is the same and being unwed doesn’t make one person less able then someone who got married and was walked out on either way you got walked put on by a self important selfish person and I’d much rather see a mom busting ass and receiving some help where needed then a “mom” whose out spreading her legs trying to tap in whomever will come marry them or worse have a revolving door of scumbags so their kid and they can have a male in their life till they run off too. Yes I went in your mind off topic but far to many people seem to think this is all females when if we held our boys accountable a lot of this wouldn’t go on and having Paris Hilton look alike 10 yos isn’t helping either

  362. Michael Long says:

    Perfectly put. Idk where Louisiana ranks in the categories you mentioned, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we were, sadly, “ahead,” of Maine. At any rate, you’re absolutely right on all accounts. Something has to change. I say we start a movement. Instead of occupying this place or that, we refuse to pay taxes until they’re appropriated properly. Just spitballing.. it’s late & I have to WORK in a few hours.

  363. Oh and before you hate on me I’m a 25 yo of one who busts ass to support my one and am not unwed fat lazy or uneducated just trying my hardest to keep my baby boy happy and healthy even though I’m exhausted from working as many hours as I can get and end up paying my babysitter more then i make half the time out of my pocket before you go bitching about my babysitter being paid for and I drive a pos but its my pos that gets me back and forth and I had all my luxury items before I had money issues and take care of my stuff so I’m sorry if you see me using my wic checks and think my son doesn’t deserve to eat bc I bought some boots 3 years ago or because I have a cell phone because the last 5 times my car over heated I didn’t have one and no one at all stopped to offer any assistance on the side of the highway coming back from work so i had to sit there for hours with my son till our car could make it. Is rather be safe then sorry so I’m not sorry I have a 19$ phone I get a work discount on.

  364. James M. Baker says:

    Beauty and brains….. only our side has both. The piece is great, but her photo left me breathless!

  365. I agree with morgan all the way, there is no “fixing” the system Because that would mean that people would see it was never the welfare population who were running this country into the ground. Its funny that the Middle class and the rich are always the first to start trying to kill off the poor. Dont you think? I mean if you pay very close attention you would realize all to quickly that this is the end result for the republican agenda. Hi-ho Hitler… Aka Gingrich or should i say GreenGrinch? I mean come on. You guys are saying she has common sense? WHERE? Apparently and thankfully others see it too UP HER ASS. This is why i too vote democrat.

    And i looked into the population on welfare assistance while it is high (especially for the last 5 years) the number of actual abuse cases varies. In most cases its null and void. The only clear abuse of the system is again as morgan said. Illegals, end of story.

  366. Christine, don’t pay attention to the Leftist trolls who criticize you about observations that are clearly valid. While there were no doubt some who you mistook for welfare queens when they were otherwise, there were others who reasonable people would clearly judge as abusers. Your point is that fraud exists and that it should be remedied. Any rational person would agree with this, except perhaps those in the 47 percent category of U.S. workers who pay nothing in the way of federal income taxes. Because they have no stake in paying these people they could care less about the impact that such waste has on the 53 percent who are subsidizing the others. We will be lost when the non-payers become the majority, as there will be no stopping their propensity to raise taxes. We will be like Venezuela, where the poor are looting the national treasury and nationalizing private industry. Thank you Christine for telling the truth about what is likely a case of serious wasteful fraud.

  367. The problem with all this is what the woman talked about is fraud on WALMARTS part, not the 2 women. One woman was strickly rude in yelling but that doesn’t make it fraud. $400 is foodstamps means there had to be 3 or 4 in the family and the woman may have been working for the “MINIMUM WAGE”. What is fraud is when a person claims children on their application but they don’t actually have the children in hand.

    Not all Walmarts sale Booze.

    Then there is the “Nutritional” food thing. You can make $400 worth of “non-nutritional food” go further and $400 worth of “nutritional” food because “non-nutritional” food is cheaper to purchase.

    Just because a person gets “FOODSTAMPS” doesn’t mean they are getting MONEY to purchase other things.

  368. ‘Cringe’ I think this is a generalised point of view. I am studying a BSc in Health and Social Science here in the UK. I have been educated to widen my perspective of society and to accept that people present themselves in many different ways. Yes, the guy may be wrong buying alcohol…..but what if he has so many problems that he is battling and fighting against a drink problem, and maybe he is slowly beating it :) The birthday cake, that could be the only thing to celebrate that persons birthday. There are wider issues. No one is entitled to sit behind a cash register and judge others.
    I am studying for my degree, whilst raising 2 small children, on my own, on welfare because my ex husband turned us out of our home, beat me badly and left us with nothing. I would not like to think everytime I stood in a queue with a shopping trolley, that the contents were being judged. The face I present to society hides the demons I fight inside x

  369. Nicola, it is a lie when they say a person can buy booze with foodstamps in the states. You can’t even buy “pre-made birthday cakes”. I have a friend who works for “WALMART” and she is on “FOODSTAMPS”. Main reason is she has 3 children herself and makes only $8.00 an hour. Between her rent, utilities, clothing for the children, transportation for all 4 (they ride the bus), school supplys, child care, etc……….. she doesn’t have any extra to buy food for her kids. If she was on TANF she would get $200 per person but she isn’t on TANF and the most she gets in foodstamps is $250 a month. She just had a decrease to $200 because of what Congress passed just recently.

    Back in the 1970’s a person could live off the minimum wage. I know because I have two son’s and like you, I was raising them by myself. The difference is that utilities was included in my rent and child care was $25 dollars a week for my two boys.

  370. She could be sued for breach of contract with her employeer. Some group, like SPLC will file a complaint against her, and then get it in writing that cashiers and such are virtually rendered “speechless” about what they see and hear. REPUBLICAN?? The other meat, I like to call them. Told me alot about this girls mindframe, and kind of made her views less meaningful to me. Both parties have an agenda, and I only wish this lady knew that she is playing right into the scheme of things. Republicans are already starting to lean toward the liberal center, since they know they have to have a foot on each side of the fence.

  371. I love it this was a great article. And very true, I have seen it in the retail business and in the social service business and now in my own business as a home based daycare. Parents get assistance from the state for their childcare and then can’t pay their fees because the state pays the parents who are inturn supposed to pay their provider but they have done something else with the money. It sickens me. I have heard the Governor is considering random drug testing for people on welfare I think this might be a good first step towards a solution.

  372. I sure wish Florida was so giving in welfare. I am 26, a mother of two, I live with my mother and little sister who is 8, I go to school full time, and take care of the children when I am not in school. Because of the price of childcare, we cannot afford to put any of the children in daycare. I work my butt off to get good grades, and pray that once I am finished I can find a well paying job, and daycare that my paycheck won’t go to in it’s entirety. My mother does not make much, just enough to keep us with a roof over our heads, food, TV/internet, home phone, not great cell phones, just a little more than your basic necessities. If that is more than people on welfare have then it is a surprise to me. I have seen these people, not only at Walmart either! During a recent outing with a friend (who can afford to shop extravagantly) I saw women pulling out food stamp cards for part of their purchase, then LOADS of cash to cover things I only wish I would buy my kids. Not to mention their expensive cell phones, jewelry, clothing..I could go on, what really fried my noodle, was a kid with them, maybe 14 or 15, with his own iphone….if this family is on welfare, with all these unnecessary items, why is my family ineligible? Who knows! But I keep relying on God, praying, working my butt off to go to school, take care of the kids, and I don’t whine about it! I realize that i have what I NEED,and I keep on going. I only wish I could do for my kids what these seemingly undeserving families get away with,and I don’t want to know how they do it, as it probably pertains to drugs. I won’t put my kids in jeopardy, or my school and future, just to live off the state, and have unnecessary things. Sorry this was so long, I don’t mean to whine, I just hate the holiday season when I see the corruptness in full force, and yes, I am jealous, I cannot do HALF of what these families do for their children, BUT I can provide their NEEDS. That is all I should be, and am, grateful for.

  373. Interesting point about buying expensive foodstuffs. I know somebody who is sole carer for a bedbound wife – he has no savings after years of failed treatments and relies on benefits. Recently he bought a large piece of beef to roast as his wife had asked for a “proper roast dinner” for her 50th birthday (and wedding anniversary as that was a few days after). He arranged a small dinner party, did without himself for a week or so and managed to buy the meat. That was all he could afford – which I found out when he screwed up the courage to ask me (as a distant friend) for a bit of help with the vegetables. He may not have any money but he has his pride.

    With a bit of lying (“smallest size they’ll deliver”) I got him to accept a decent mixed box from a farmers’ market and allow me to provide dessert as “that’s not a proper present”. No big deal to me, I can afford it easily, but I’d like to think that someone would do the same for me one day if I should need it.

    By the way, he bought the meat from a major chain: last announced annual income from chain to owning family – £273 million. Taxes paid on that: £10 million.

  374. LOL, how can this be true?

    wishladya says:

    December 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Wishlady, I am a product of the 1940’s and when my father died in 1948, (mother with only a 6th grade education) my mother did what she had to do to take care of us four kids. Drive a car for a poor person wasn’t even thinkable.

  375. I’ll be labeled as cold hearted by some but I don’t believe that people “deserve” to eat steak, lobster, etc. those are luxuries. What they deserve is help buying necessities to help them survive until they can get back on their feet. It’s not “fair” but it’s life. Not everyone gets to go to college, not everyone gets to eat steak, not everyone gets to be a millionaire. If I’m going to work my hiney off to MAKE the money to pay for FS and I can’t afford to eat steak, those using the FS shouldn’t eat it either.

    There is a sense of entitlement in this nation and there are people who no longer work hard to get ahead because they believe they are entitled to a certain standard of living. That’s not the case.

  376. Excellent article. I was going to share for other’s to read until you had to add “This is why I vote Republican”. I am a Democrat and agree with you on this subject. I know many other Democrats who do as well. I live in a state that has been run by Republicans for 15 years now and we have a problem as well. Republicans are not the only ones that are tired of the abuse. I am even willing to vote Republican if the candidate is worthy of my vote. To bad you had to throw that statement into the article.

  377. Think before you judge says:

    Ok, so what happens if you have a customer that pays with FS and she forgets a bag, and you run out to the parking lot to catch up with her and *gasp* she is driving a pretty decent car?? Maybe she even has a car payment!! FYI…..before you judge make sure you remember, that the car is under CONTRACT and maybe her circumstances have changed since signing for it, and you cant get out of it. Do you know how high the income level is a month to qualify for help?? You can WORK and make alot of money and still qualify for help. We have to look at family size vs. wages brought home etc too. I agree there are ALOT of young people in this country popping out babies knowing the system will take care of them, but its not everyone.
    Now lets use the “why should they buy lobster?” line…..thats like saying “Joe you only make $9 an hour, but Steve you make $15, so Joe you get steak and Steve you get Lobster” yes, Joe and Steve worked for those things, BUT how do you know someone using FS isnt working? Do you know WHY people buy cheap crappy Food on FS?? because groceries are expensive!! it makes them stretch longer!! is it right? no, but I do know of people who bought Organic things on it….and you would probably complain about that, because “you work” and you cant afford to eat organic. Noone will ever be happy, nor will the system ever be perfect.

  378. It saddens me to see how many on here are so quick to judge others. I do not know the “why” they are on these programs, nor is it any my business to know, or yours, just be assured if they are receving benifits than they are entitled to it
    I am bringing up two of my grandchildren. The youngest was severly malnourished. Her doctor made out a prescription for WIC to purchase Pedisure so she would have the nutritional suppliment she needed. The first time I purchased Pedisure with the WIC checks I went to Walmart. The cashier told me that WIC does not buy this stuff. I pointed out to her that Pedisure was on the checks and yes they did. The cashier called her supervisior over and both of them told me that WIC did not purchase this. I said if so, then why is the Pedisure on the check? I did eventually get the Pedisure purchased. I have never felt so embarassed or upset that I was treated so badly. I did not go back to that store again to purchase anything on WIC.
    If and when you need the help, be blessed you are able to have it and if you are not on it be blessed for that too.

  379. Here is how fubar’d the welfare system in Maine is. in 2001 I was pregnant and due to complications I was put on bed rest. Although I had my short term disability through work and my husband still working full time, Between the two it was just enough to pay the bills, food….well that can be scrimped on. We decided to apply for food stamps, just enough to get us by until I could go back to work. With the states measures (whatever they are) between my short-term disability and my husband working, we still made $100.00 more than was allowed. SERIOUSLY!! $100.00. I loudly said in the room, “must be nice for those who don’t work and get a $500.00 food stamp card handed to them”.

    I need to find the bumper sticker I saw once that says “Work Harder, Millions on Welfare Depend On YOU!”

  380. Hardworkingpaysoff says:

    SO agree with the writer here. Enough is enough. I am not against those who have lost their jobs receiving benefits and are ACTIVELY seeking and WILLING to take A job at least until they find something that they would prefer to do. She is right…it has become generational. Don’t worry about working, you can live on welfare. I have heard people say this! It’s sickening! My Dad always said, (and I grew up in Maine…) if you don’t work, you don’t eat. I will never forget that. I understand that times are tough. I don’t agree with certain things that can be purchased. For example, steak etc. These people are at the mercy of the State and the taxpayers (those who pay for these steaks etc…….) If I can’t buy steak why should I buy steak for you???? Really, think about it! My husband and I both work and WE support our children and live a VERY frugal lifestyle. Why should others be buying luxury items on our dime?? There should most definately be limits on what kind of products they can buy. Most of what I have seen if people wasting these benefits instead of buying decent food to feed their families. It’s the mentality that is the biggest problem. If a person adopts an attitude of entitilement toward the program, there is a problem. The program was originally created to be a TEMPORARY assistance to those who for whatever reason couldn’t TEMPORARILY work. Not for a lifetime of support. It is out of control and I personally feel that the welfare issue if one of our biggest contributors to our financial crisis.

  381. Having worked in the retail field for many years, I can feel for the young lady who wrote the article, but also having been on welfare and fs WHILE WORKING, I can say honestly that one should NOT judge unless you know the facts of the situation. I was a single mom who was earning less than $8 an hour. I worked and went to school, but was not able to make ends meet. I was NOT receiving child support despite a court order, so I had to go on assistance.
    As a cashier, I could see why some cashiers got mad at those on food stamps, however, being in the same boat, I also had compassion (which many of us need now more than ever).
    Now that I am older and I see corporate and government abuse of TAX DOLLARS, it enrages me to see people who make blanket statements such as the author and some of the people commenting have done. How many of you know that Congress has many times over the years voted THEMSELVES raises of millions of TAX dollars, just so they can pay the upkeep of TWO OR MORE homes, while so many Americans are going through foreclosure because they can’t keep up with payments on ONE home? How many of you actually see what is going on in this country? Is the government entitled to welfare? Are these elected officials so wonderful that they are able to steal your tax dollars right out from under you, yet you turn a blind eye while condemning those who are not able to makes ends meet?
    I have seen firsthand many people working four jobs, yet still qualifying for food stamps, because in the NOT SO GREAT STATE OF MAINE, the cost of living is FAR higher, per capita than the rest of the country. We are paying almost $5 for a gallon of milk, while in many other areas it is still less than $3. That is NOT the store brand.
    The national minimum wage (VOTED BY CONGRESS) is less than $8 an hour, so in Maine, an hour of work equals a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, MAYBE. Rents in the state are almost triple what many Mainers get for income (if you don’t believe me, just search the ads in CL. Many places are more than a month’s wages just for rent, and they don’t include heat, which in itself is astronomical, electric-which has been proven that Maine has the highest energy costs in the country)…..
    KNOW YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU JUDGE. The government has blinded the fortunate. They distract you with the every day “abuse” of the system, while they themselves are the BIGGEST abusers.
    BTW, I also worked at Walmart. How many of you who post as cashiers know that Walmart sells their products at a 300% markup cost? Is that fair? Does anyone force people to shop at Walmart? In a sense, yes, because many people cannot afford NOT to shop at Walmart, so before you want to judge those who buy their food and other products with EBT cards, think of this…..their coming to Walmart to buy stuff is keeping YOU in a job. Think you can get a job anywhere? Sure you can, but no matter where you work, these people are keeping you in a job.

  382. Totally agree with all your points. Very well stated. Too many people take advantage of the system and take money away from people who do truly need it. I hope something changes for this country, and soon, or we’re all in trouble.

  383. PISSED OFF at Judgemental Children says:

    Since when is Steak or Lobster a Luxury?? Especially in Maine where their is a ton of Lobster Fisherman. Steak is part of a cow… It is not that expensive. Nor is it a Luxury item. Last I checked Walmart wasn’t selling KOBE beef (Which is the only steak that is a luxury item) Lobster in many states isn’t that expensive. In Maine its the equivalent of buying Oranges in Florida. Florida produces them so we don’t pay as much for them as you would in the Midwest.

    If you can’t afford to buy yourself a Steak I have to wonder if its because your spending your grocery money buying Name Brand Soda and Beer instead. Its all about choices. I know my kids get steak because, I buy them the store brands whenever possible so they can enjoy those healthier cuts of meat. Rather than the processed garbage that will cause them health problems. Instead of complaining all the time about kids eating better than you why don’t you look at your own life choices as to why you can’t eat steak.

  384. Hardworkingpaysoff says:

    Just to add to my recent post…..the other part of this equation is….when these people buy all kinds of junk, soda, garbage food. Then they get fat, diabetes, rotten teeth, heart problems and guess who pays their medical bills after they have wasted the money WE have supplied them with? We then have to pick up the cost of taking care of their lazy rear-ends. Where does it end????

  385. welfare needs reforming. But did you ever ask yourself why? It seems ridiculous to imagine that people on food stamps would be allowed to buy soda until you realize that the corn industry lobby (soda is flavored with high fructose corn syrup) wanted their piece of the pie and persuaded (read :paid) congress to allow soda…and other processed foods containing HFCS (nearly everything on the shelves, nowadays) to be purchased by food stamps. Like everything else, if you really want change, get off the blog, go knocking on doors and collect some signatures. There are some awfully angry people commenting here…what will any of you actually DO about it? Oh…and best of luck fighting the corn lobby…they’ve got republicans and democrats in DC in their back pockets!

  386. Hardworkingpaysoff says:

    Pissedoff….you must be a welfare receipient! I can buy steak if I choose to but if you or anyone else wants steak…get off your LAZY a** and WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!

  387. Nice post. Ask a police officer about welfare abuse sometime. They too see things about the welfare system that most never will. Unfortunately, even Republicans are unwilling to do anything about it. Here in Ohio, Kasich tried to screw government employees as a way to save taxpayer dollars, but has pardoned an infamous welfare queen, and rejecting mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. Welfare will ruin this country.

  388. I grew up in a large blended family. When we had hard times, we had to depend on AFDC. There were no food stamps or cards. We had to go to the town hall on a Saturday and pick up the food. We were given cheese, peanut butter, canned meats, and vegetables. These items helped get us through some hard times. Even then there were those that would abuse the system and sell the items they were given. I also worked in retail and saw the then food stamp abuse. People would buy a two cent cough drop with a one dollar food stamp coupon, which was legal, and be given $.98 in change.Tthis procedure would go on all day long. Then in the evening, they would come back with all that change and buy beer and cigarettes. I think this young lady prefaced her article by saying she had no problem with those really needing assistance. She is dead on that the system is flawed. If you can afford a smart phone, internet, cable TV and every gaming system know to man, then you have no business being on assistance. This is where we have gone wrong. We are not entitled to have those luxuries. We are not entitled to have steak and lobster. We are supposed to help those that can’t help themselves. I am very sick of taking care of those who won’t help themselves. When my children were young, my husband and I qualified financially for benefits. We never used any of them. We made do with what we had and prioritized needs over wants. We raised our children to do the same. It seems this young lady’s parents did as well!

  389. I’m not sure how the whole thing works but you should have to renew your card lets say every 4 yrs like a drivers license and show some proof that you were actually looking for a job! its sickening that they pass down their knowledge of screwing the system to their kidsthe gov. knows this and still nothing is done to change it. thats our problem in a nutshell we allow it and enable them to continue taking advantage of OUR hard earned $$ to sustain their lifestyle~

  390. PISSED OFF at Judgemental Children says:

    I am not but, my adopted children are. I pay more in Corporate taxes every month than you probably do in a year. I also pay taxes twice. Once on my corporate income and once more on my personal income. You probably get a refund on your taxes. I don’t get refunds. So, your actually not paying anything towards welfare or food stamps. If your getting any tax refunds your not paying taxes.

  391. PissedOff, a luxury item is something that isn’t needed and that can be replaced with something of a lesser cost. You can get a lot more hamburger meat or chicken for the money you’ll spend on steak and steak has no more nutritional value that hamburger or chicken.

    And no, I don’t need your financial advice. My husband and I have worked our entire lives (still working), raised our child, scrimped and saved to put him through four years of college, ate ramen noodles with extra water added to make it go farther so we could afford the house payment and are now saving for retirement (and money to spoil grandkids I’m sure will come some day). We didn’t always eat steak (and still don’t) but when we DID eat it, we could AFFORD it and didn’t need assistance to buy it.

  392. WELFARE HAS RUINED THIS ONCE GREAT AND GLORIOUS NATION.
    WELFARE ENTITLEMENTS ARE AN EPIDEMIC, NOW HAVE BECOME A CANCER DISEASE AND SOON WILL BE A FREAKIN PLAGUE ON THE PLANET AS A WHOLE !!!!

    THE ONLY WELFARE-REFORM THAT WE TRULY NEED, IS TO ABOLISH ALL WELFARE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AND OF COURSE SHOT AND HANG ALL POLITICIANS TO MAKE THE TREES LOOK NICER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL

  393. this pretty much describes my days cashiering in a grocery store in Minnesota, it’s not just in Maine. I’ve had people brag about collecting on their kids in Minnesota while the other “parent” collects in Chicago – it’s only a 7 hour drive to cash in. I’ve been cussed out countless times by people wearing leather and gold because the foodstamps that I contributed to with my 3 jobs were not enough for their groceries.

  394. Liberal No More says:

    Take a guess how much, per month, the welfare recipient spends on cigarettes per month:

    We did a survey in New England.

    The average was $350 of tax payer money, one way or another, that goes to pay for a non producer’s cigarette habit.

    this is sickening.

  395. Hardworkingpaysoff says:

    How are adopted children on welfare??? Doesn’t it become the responsibility to care for and provide for a child that is adopted by someone? Isn’t that the point? If a person does not have the financial means to care for a child that is for adoption, how can they adopt? That makes no sense….

  396. Cold_Hard_Facts says:

    You’re absolutely right, of course. The poor should not be able to buy toys for their children. Screw ’em. Single mothers, especially, should simply get jobs. That the weekly cost of childcare will end up putting her right back below the poverty level is a cruel reality. Not our problem.

    When you are older, you will understand that while there is fraud and abuse, it is not as rampant as you think. You will further realize that poverty can be a trap that is nearly impossible to escape. Count your blessings that you have never faced that trap first-hand. There but for the Grace of God …

  397. Liberal No More says:

    We have taken away the drive of people to work, robbing them of initiative. We have created an underclass where 1/3 of the people rely upon 2/3 of the people just to survive. President Obama’s change is upon us and it is destroying us as a people and leaders of the world.

    Asian students in US colleges mock our kids’ work ethic and entitled attitude.

    This is the sad reality of the social engineering that began in earnest in the Depression and picked up speed in the 60’s.

  398. Im in agreancess with smart cuts in welfare. Reign in the policies that enable some people to game the system.

    My family was on welfare for 4 years or so and what came out of 5 family members that have high paying jobs!

    Its very possible i will have made a million dollars in the next 15 yrs!

  399. Hardworkingpaysoff says:

    By the way…those of you commenting who are on welfare…how are you paying for this internet that you are on trying to defend your position. Hmmmm?? That IS a luxury…homework can be done at the library so don’t even try that one…… :\

  400. If they make women get her tubes tied, why don’t they make a man get his N…cut. Oh I know it takes away their Man hood. Right! If they were a man they would man up and take responceabality of their own,Instead they go and make kid after kid with about 5 differant women and think nothing of it. It’s the old and sick that are paying for their stupidy.

  401. I totally agree with her. When I was younger my mother lost her job and we depended on food stamps to feed us. She finally found a job making hardly anything and the state took her stams and wanted her to pay it back. Welfare is for people who need it…NOT A LIFESTYLE!!!

  402. Why does this not surprise me? Because I see the same thing here in Texas at Wal-Mart, HEB, Kroger and United Supermarkets. The cashiers who cave in to these miscreants (those who cash out their EBT and Food Stamps for cash) are also a part of the problem.

    And the store management? Hell, they’re in on it, too!

    Got a simple solution to welfare recipients: tie it to job search or your funds are cut off.

  403. Liberal No More says:

    Cold Hard Facts:

    the children argument is emotional. People who indiscriminately have children have to be responsible for paying for their toys; not society.

    You are an enabler and the problem is that you are doing it with others’ hard earned money.

    If you wish to donate to non workers, it should be your choice, not under the threat of arrest.

    If I withhold my tax dollars in protest, I will lose my freedom while the underclass of non-producers continues to grow in this country.

    You will not learn about human nature until it hurts you financially, and then you will complain loudly. It sometimes takes a depression to clear out the Messiah complex of people like you who demand money given to those who do not work.

    The Scriptures are held dear by many and it teaches:

    “If a man will not work, neither shall he eat”

    Hunger is a great motivator and as long as single mothers know their welfare benefits increase with children, they will get pregnant.

    25 years of social work has changed my mind. Many like me now admit that we were wrong…the older the social worker, the more he or she sees how wrong our generation was.

    Redistribution of wealth means theft of one group.

    “Thou shalt not steal.”

  404. Hardworkingpaysoff says:

    @Liberal no more…could not have said it better!

  405. Full time employee. says:

    @Melissa E. I’ve walked that mile as you say, and this girl is RIGHT! I find that when people get defensive it just means they have something to be ashamed of or hide…

  406. Liberal No More says:

    Jason,

    I do not know a single person who would not open their food cabinet to help others.

    The government should not be in the food distribution business. The beauro-mess that arises becomes an industry of government jobs and control. For every dollar of food, less than 10 cents gets to feeding. The rest goes to hiring workers, hiring supervisors, hiring book keepers, and hiring authorities to investigate the workers and hiring investigators for fraud, and then supervisors for them, and so on.

    The government needs to get out. Charity organizations provide food in abundance for those in need.

    The only thing we require is that the people come to us, yet our government takes even that from them by sending them the “credit card” EBT card.

    If I put a limit on how much food one can take, I am assaulted with curses. I know who takes food to sell or trade for drugs and attempt to limit it. The 25-30 year olds have so grown up with this mentality that they think it is their right to have food they did not produce nor earn.

    if welfare food stamps gets cut off, there will be rioting in Lewiston Maine and the locals had better be prepared to protect themselves and their stores.

  407. Been there...in Indiana says:

    I really appreciate this young woman’s perspective on what she witnessed while working at Wal-mart. I don’t think she was judging everyone who is on food stamps – only those who appear to be abusing it. Years ago, as a single mom, I spent a brief period of time on welfare and food stamps. It was the mid-80’s. I was job-searching in 5 counties. My welfare check wasn’t enough to cover my $150 per month rent, electric bill & gas bill. I didn’t have a phone or cable TV. My food stamps were only for food and was way more than what my daughter and I could eat in a month. I would have to spend my food stamps carefully so as to get the maximum amount of change from the stamps so I could save the change over the month in order to pay my utility bills. Also, I would take my mother shopping with me and I would buy her meat with my food stamps and she would pay equal amount in $$ to buy my bath soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, laundry soap, etc. as those items couldn’t be purchased with food stamps. I certainly didn’t buy steaks or lobster and I’m appalled that food stamps will buy “extravagant items” but not soap and toilet paper. I have not received government aid since then and I still do not buy “extravagant items” so it’s a little upsetting that my budget doesn’t allow for that type of spending, but my tax $$ afford someone to afford those items when they are NOT supporting themselves financially. Now with the ability to buy alcohol and fast food with government funds, I’m even more convinced we need reform on these programs. I know of families who are five generations on welfare. That’s insane. Rather than our tax $$ paying for generation after generation to be on welfare/food stamps, I would prefer to be paying for programs that will help people get off of welfare/food stamps. There need to be financial/budgeting programs; classes to teach job-seeking/interviewing skills, resume writing, etc. I also believe that once someone does start receiving welfare/food stamps, they SHOULD NOT be allowed to increase their benefits by having more children. We need to teach people how NOT to live on welfare/food stamps. I’m all in favor of giving a hand up – but we need to stop the unlimited hand-outs and teaching people how to live off of others. There will always be those who need help along the way – particularly when our economy is in its current state – but help should be meant as temporary, not a way of living.

  408. Liberal No More says:

    When I seek donations for food for our charity, no one turns me down.

    The most food comes from the wealthy, or upper middle class. They are incredibly generous.

    My staff is low and overhead is low. We get 80 cents of every dollar to the hungry. We keep simple records, have only a few paid employees but have an abundance of volunteers.

    One year we had a leave-raking for food program.

    We had to drop the program as it seemed as if there were no more needy people!

    You liberals/progressives do not know how you are robbing young people of drive and initiative. There is an entire cottage industry of therapists and psychologists who are willing to help frauds get disability, or get their IQ results just low enough so the person does not have to work and gets money.

    We have mentally handicapped adults working for us. They are a delight. They feel so good about working because it satisfies a human drive to be productive.

    Some cannot do much, but what they do fills them with dignity.

    One young woman (mentally retarded) was told that she had to spend her paycheck or she would LOSE her food stamps! She said, “I pay for myself!” and against her case manager, she let her food stamps expire!

    Now she must work, and work, she does!

    I admire her.

  409. hopeandmonsters says:

    Extremely well written! It disgusts me to no end the abuse of food stamps. I will admit I have an EBT card… but I’m also a single mother working a full 40 hours a week. I pay my full rent out of my own pocket as well as child care for my son.

    I witnessed what I can only assume was a mother and her adult son buying over $500.00 worth of groceries… then shell out $100.00 on World of Warcraft stuff. I was appalled. That’s not how things should work. The dishonesty and laziness of people is absurd. The system definitely needs a reform…

    1. Drug test anyone who applies for welfare.

    2. Require all eligible adults in the household to send in a job hunting record monthly. Follow up with the companies listed. It would probably cost less to employ these individuals then it would to keep heading down the road we are. Plus it would open up jobs!

    3. Lobster, giant t-bone steaks, soda, etc. should not be able to be purchased with an EBT card.

    It thoroughly disgusts me the abuse of our system. It’s going to be a glorious day when I can put my EBT card through the shredder and have nothing more to do with state aid.

  410. Chris Harwood says:

    It is obvious that the Food Stamp program is abused and I think this is a great article. What I don’t get are the people defending the fact that they should be able to by steak, lobster and birthday cakes. Come on! We don’t buy steak and lobster because it’s too expensive, and I don’t buy birthday cakes, I make a cake, from scratch! If you don’t know how to do that, a mix is a lot cheaper! Since I support myself, if I want to buy a steak I can; but if you are depending on me (through food stamps you are) to buy your food for you then you will get good nutritious food; not extravagances.

  411. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful land with very few living there; plenty of land for all to share in its wealth.

    A man came to a lake, and began to work hard cutting down trees, and slowly built a house for himself. Each day, he would go on the lake and catch fish so he could eat. It was a difficult life, because some days he was tired, but if he did not fish, he would not eat. He then married and had children and continued to work hard, improving his land, planting crops, and as others moved there, he worked long hours to catch extra fish, which he then sold or traded with others. He saved money for when he was too old to fish.

    Houses were built everywhere and the land gave up plentiful in terms of food and provision. Everyone worked hard, fished every day, traded, bought and sold, and all saved for their futures. It was hard work, but they learned, hard work paid off well.

    Soon, the people formed a government together, called “the State” or “town”, and each resident would put in a small amount of money from their fish sales, so that the people could defend themselves should an attack from those who want to steal their fish, come upon them. They elected officials to manage the money.

    The man continued to work hard and one day, another man came to live near him. Because he was just getting started, some of the neighbors gave a small portion of their fish to him, to help him along. In exchange, this man would often help repair fishing poles for others, until his house was finished. For this hard working community, life was good. Hard work showed its rewards. Each family was responsible for themselves, but as good neighbors, they checked in on each other. If one became too sick to fish, those with more voluntarily gave a bit extra to the sick, until they recovered.

    Others outside of this town, heard how at this lake, the community had lots of fish and the people took care of one another.

    One day, another man moved in but he would not fish. He didn’t like fishing. He complained to the town about not having enough fish to eat. The town managers did not want to appear to be mean-spirited, and encouraged the man to begin to fish, like others, but this man, for whatever reasons, would not fish.

    The settlers told him (and others like him who had heard about the prosperity and came to the town) that they could not continue to keep donating fish, for they had to save enough for their growing families, and encouraged the others who did not want to work, to begin to fish. They even loaned some fishing poles. Most worked, with some driven to it by hunger pains, but there were still some, who, for whatever reason, would not fish.

    The number of those who would not fish grew and complained loudly to the town officials that those who fished would not share with them.

    Some of the non wokers could not pay their rent, and the owners said they had to leave. They refused and complained that the town needed new managers, and told others that the town managers were mean spirited and selfish. Besides, winter was coming and it was too cold to just “kick them out”. Yet, for these people, they would not fish. They complained bitterly and even told the town’s elected managers that they would soon elect more kind and compassionate managers who would give them fish and make the bad landlords “go away”.

    The town managers were afraid of losing their jobs as elected officials.

    The town then said that everyone who owned land had to pay extra money to the town. If they did not pay, the town would take away their land.

    The settlers were puzzled. Who owns our land? We thought we did.

    The town managers went to the hardworking families, with guns in their hands, and said, “You must give us each more fish or you will be arrested. You give us the fish and we will give distribute it fairly to those who do not fish.”

    The man soon learned that if he fished less, and caught less, he could keep more for himself.

    And so property tax began, and took away true ownership from the citizens. Also, modern welfare began.

    America is a very generous nation. What would happen if Food Stamps were abolished?

    It is not enough to simply abolish food stamps. We must give the money BACK to the hard working families from whom it was taken.

    But wouldn’t people starve?

    No. People would not starve. Some would be driven to work, as hunger pains are quite an incentive to work. But Americans are generous and kind people. Churches and other charity organizations would rise to the challenge. Money put back to the people who earned it in the first place would then spend more at stores. Stores would hire more to keep up with the demand of customers. The stores could hire those willing to work.

  412. i found that online and thought it agreed with the article. is it okay to do that? I did not credit the author because I dont know who she is.

  413. When it comes to “entitlements and thinking one party is better then the other consider this social security fact. George W. Bush, a Republican, pushed through by fiat the “Totalization” program. 99% of Americans know what this is or what it means. To make matters worse none of the “candidates” will even address it when confronted. I had a personal exchange with Newt Gingrich. Instead of discussing it he cancelled the press conference in 2010.

    The “Totalization Program” is a program that gives FULL, again X3, Social Security payments to mexicans at or above age 62 that live in mexico. The only thing it takes to recieve these benefits is to claim to have worked in the United States for 3 years of their life ILLEGALLY!!!!! Now this gem of a POS program does not appear on any of the globalist radar. They will not even address it’s existance!!! Republican, Paul Ryan that had the press about the getting tough on “entitlements” never mentioned the entitlements of ILLEGAL ALIENS, or, The Totalization program in the course of running down those people that paid at the point of a gun into SSI for 50+ years and call them them the bloodsucking entitlement crowd “that must be dealt with”. However a $600,000,000,000.00 per year transfer of wealth to illegal aliens that are lowering the wages of Americans (in many areas -40% in the past 5 years) and in fact displacing the American workforce gets not a mention in his BS globalist Budget proposal. Neither does that INSANE totalization program get a mention, FROM ANY CANDIDATE IN ANY PARTY. Thiis is a war on Americans. Americans better wake up and respond soon.

    Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, 3 for Arabic and 4 to fire ever SOB on both sides of the aisle and the obamunist in chief and replace them with AMERICANS cancerned about AMERICA!!!!!!!

  414. D Mccormack says:

    I agree with this but I feel that food stamps needs to be more like WIC where only certain types of items can be purchased. Our government is so worried about our obesity rate, etc, so you would think that having it nutritionally sound items for the most part would be better for the children and families involved! I know of people that use their cards to get soda and candy every time they go to get gas for their vehicles but have cell phones that are top of the line with all the features possible (and their kids have them too!). My husband and I work and we can’t afford all that!!!

  415. People don’t have a right to a birthday cake. Individuals are no more entitled to receive a cake once a year than they are presents. A birthday party is a LUXURY. That’s the point. Birthday cakes, like steaks and lobsters, are extravagant expenses. While they may be food, they are not necessities. If there’s any legitimate purpose to welfare it’s to provide temporary assistance in meeting basic needs (food, shelter) while facilitating an individual’s transition into greater self-sufficiency.

    This article is spot-on and regardless of how many people have sob stories to tell, welfare recipients have no right to what they are receiving and that includes people receiving unemployment benefits. How does losing one’s job entitle someone to receive a monthly check from the wallets of their duly employed neighbors? It doesn’t matter why the person lost their job – through their own fault or from circumstances beyond their control – no reason is ample justification for pilfering of the public treasury.

    As this article attests ANY kind of government handout necessarily creates an unmerited sense of entitlement, rampant fraud and systemic abuse. States that wish to provide some form of assistance need to make it conditional, temporary and restricted to those essentials necessary to sustain life. As the author pointed out, I’m not giving someone $25 in food stamps so they can spend their $25 in cash on a cell phone bill (or Internet connection or satellite TV).

    The federal government is prohibited by the Constitution from providing direct financial assistance to citizens in the first place, which is another problem with the whole system. States aren’t less free to try solutions that work because of Washington’s one-size-fits-all, top-down approach. Never mind that through federal funding, the citizens of states with sound approaches to public assistance and consequently lower welfare rolls, are paying for the less efficiently administered programs of other states. As with any federal entitlement program, it serves only to financially bankrupt the nation, but to morally bankrupt the citizens of that nation.

  416. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover honestly… just because someone uses food stamps doesn’t mean they are a low life piece of crap that is “abusing” the system. Because of people being so judgemental, every time my family has to use them, we get looked at like we are scum. WE ARE NOT SCUM! My father got into a horrible accident and ever since my family has struggled with money, like some one above said before me try walking in that persons shoes and living through the hell we have been through.. And tell me with true honesty that if you were in my parents situation and had little money, that you wouldn’t by a birthday cake or a steak for someone’s birthday because it is their favorite food… put yourself in someone else’s place for a day and feel their pain before you go judging everyone again. I do agree with you though that some people abuse the system but not all of the people that you see buying cakes and steaks, unless they do it everyday…

  417. I do understand what you are saying. The welfare system here in Maine, is abused. I am sure, you saw many customers repeatedly, and learned their spending habits. But, to all you cashiers, or the people in line behind me, please, do not judge me, because I buy my child a birthday cake, or a toy. Or that I every once and a while, need to splurge and buy myself a candybar, and eat it right there because my sugars are so low. Please do not judge, if I do buy that steak. You don’t know everyones situation. Please don’t judge based on our purchases. I am a single mother of three. After living with domestic violence for 14 years, I left him. I was forced to quit my job, due to my safety. I had worked for 11 years, in the nursing field. I was forced to except help. It has been three months, and am afraid to go back to work, due to the ptsd. I try my hardest to keep my troubles out of my childrens lives. So please. How would you feel, if day in, and day out, you tell your children, Im sorry, i dont have the money to buy that. To see the expressions on their faces. And to only have 100$ to spend on three kids for xmas. My oldest son loves steak. That 12$ steak I buy is for him. Don’t judge. I worked. I struggled. And I was forced to ask for help. And now, I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. And the look on your face, when that 30$ toy slides over the counter, makes me want to crawl into a hole. How do you know, that toy, is not the only gift my baby will recieve for his birthday? And, starting in 2012, there will be five year, life time limit to the usage of TANF. I fully agree about the time limit. Funds are abused. But not by all of us. So please. Unless you see me there constantly. Over and over again, buying “questionable items”, please, do not judge me. I have been beaten and broken down enough. I dont want this for my children. And the expression on your face, beats me down even more. Please, you dont know everyones situation.

  418. I want to add that I saw thus same thing at the grocery store I was cashier at. If you use a coupon in Kansas, for food on an Ebt card, you had to pay tax, they would get so mad at having to pay .10 or whatever the small amount of tax was. Really? Some of their balances were over $1000 on their card. They buy junk food and steaks and whatever they want. And they are dressed in designer clothes, hair perfectly done and beautiful manicures. Why work when you can live like that? Great piece!

  419. ChicNotGeek says:

    THis is why I don’t shop at WalMart.

  420. Very well written. Your insight is refreshing. I agree with most of the comments – a hand up is always something that should be available. A hand-out with no incentive to improve your situation does nothing more than make people give up and become dependent. I’m not blaming those who need help. The system is broken – there needs to be a “step down” process that lets people get a job and start earning a living without wiping out all of their assistance.

  421. I want to say thank you so much for taking a stand. Please be a voice you are young and can Make a difference. A great movie Come What they MAY. IF you get a chance watch it. I can understand your frustrating we live in Georgia and i have seen this my self. I witness someone actually getting cash our for personal whatever use of this TANF I couldn’t believe it. That means they can Buy Beer, Alcohol and cigarettes with tax payers money. This breaks my heart because I am a stay at home mom who home schools and we don’t have the extra and we live paycheck to pay check. As well as adopting 2 children from Eastern Europe on Faith not because we are rolling in the doe because we surely are not. We have to pay for everything we get. If they want to do those things that is there business by all means but I don’t feel our taxes should be helping to pay for these things. It is really sad that we haven’t got government officials that are really able to help make the Laws for the people. It seems they are too busy spending our hard earn money to do the things extravagant than to care about what everyone else is doing so it have went over looked. I agree about the phone thing. I don’t have one of those or even a Kindle that we need badly for school because the funds aren’t there. I would love to have an android but don’t have the funds to get that package deal. It really is a sad upside down world. My heart is broken.

  422. I have said for years that if you are a mother, receiving welfare of any kind for you and your children that 1/2 of them should have to get jobs while the other half have to work taking care of the children. That way they are both “earning” their aid.

  423. Lenie Holbrook says:

    How about we add disability to the mix. I have a neighbor that does not work and collects disability. Why? He broke his foot in a non-work accident and claims he is unable to work (construction is supposedly his trade). In fact, his injury is so bad that he cannot even mow his yard with his expensive zero turn radius mower. Yet, he can drive his dune buggy and child-sized ATV around the property. He can also drive (like the devil) his vehicles — same physical requirements. Kicks the ball with his son and runs around the yard. The wife is not much better. They both have cell phones and satellite service. A few years back, after a relative neighbor complained, the police raided the residence. The guy was (probably still is) selling drugs. They got ready to cart him off to jail and the wife screamed, “You can’t take him. He’s the primary income earner in our family.” “Where does he work?” the police officer questioned. “He’s currently unemployed,” she responded. In other words, disability and welfare are his primary sources of income and, I presume, this goes away when you are in jail. Like others, I have no problem helping those with legitimate needs, but these folks want to sleep in, lay around all day watching television, then party all night — at my expense.

  424. tarobinsonsr says:

    One of the best point-of-view articles on this subject in recent memory; you didn’t slap any one class or nationality of people – just stated what you witnessed, and how people behaved at your register. If Darwin were to witness our society now, he would have had to re-think his thoughts on evolution – and how today’s man is better (smarter, taller..) than yesterday’s. Creation is going ‘south’, and it’s far from a pretty sight.

  425. Great post. Thanks for sharing your real-world experience, which advocates of these programs routinely downplay.

  426. Kenneth Moore says:

    As a former FS user I have seen this.. But SC has certain restrictions that they don’t tell people. The only way I got on to it was I was out of a job for one month and haven’t received and unemployment check yet, (that is a whole story in its self too). Here they look at race, gender, marital status, and what job you have. They think that if you get unemployment you make too much. I was single unemployed, White, male. Once I started to receive unemployment they said I make to much and just pulled me off. They just don’t care down here. I have seen some drive like $40,000 cars and still pay in FS. This is why it needs to be over hauled. Right now I make just enough to live, and this is with out paying a part of my school that I still owe. All the state says I make too much. But other then that great articale.

  427. I agree with what is said to a point… I recieve some welfare benefits I had a stroke and I am now on disability raising two children on my own… I don’t agree with abusing the system I have seen people rack up the seafood on food stamps and I don’t agree with that but because of people like that it gives everyone on assistance a bad name and I am more than that! So she has major points to the dissappointment in some people that abuse the system buying extravagent items selling there food stamps for money or worse its horrible… I am thankful that i recieve help if not I couldn’t feed my children… i make everything homemade but don’t judge me if i buy my kids a steak for a treat!!!

  428. I think I just threw up while reading this. Unbelievable. And yet, totally believable.

  429. What you saw in two summers I’ve been seeing my whole life. I pretty much grew up on welfare. I had my first job when I was 14, and I have been working ever since. I’ll be 28 in a few weeks, and I have no intentions or desire to ever go back on welfare. I just wish the state could see how welfare is being abused…..

  430. Heather Eagle says:

    Voting Republican doesn’t do squat. They’re just for a different kind of welfare — that is, for corporations. If you really want to make a REAL difference and if you actually did care beyond demonizing people (“welfare queen”), you would report these people you deem to be abusers of the system. Since you didn’t do that, it seems like you’re more interested in denigrating people in order to make yourself feel superior.

  431. Well. I work full-time. I’m also a full-time mom. Yet, I receive benefits to make sure that the money I spend on bills, and other needs such as school clothes- can be spent to feed us.
    So yes, I understand whole heartedly- but don’t make it sound like some of us who do work for a living- shouldn’t get benefits.

  432. well said! It is annoying to be behind these people who eat like kings while the working class behind in the line are buying store brands to get by!

  433. Typical leftist scum rushing in to defend parasites and moochers

    And as to what is wrong with these parasites and moochers buying steaks and lobster and cake and alcohol and tobacco – those parasites and moochers are using money stolen from me, thereby making it so I can’t afford to buy steaks and lobster and cake and alcohol and toboacco.

  434. kevin couture says:

    Let se an article on all the corporate fraud and handouts next time.

  435. My daughter in law was on food stamps for many years. She has 4 beautiful children. But I think buying a premade cake is crazy and she did for all 4 of the kids. If a cake at the bakery is $30.00. My gosh that is expencive. Make a cake and buy the stuff for the top. You can make a cake for under 5.

  436. “I was born in June of 1991. The man had been on welfare my entire life.” …. Welfare reform of 1992 put time limits on TANF of 5 years; you made the wrong assumption.

    You cannot buy beer with a TANF card.

    “Steaks, lobsters, and giant birthday cakes.” should families be restricted to white bread and canned fruit? Terms of the poverty level haven’t changed since the 60’s – take a look into the repercussions for stuggling families.

    “This woman literally failed at image comprehension.” I think you inadvertently made a case for spending more on public education (as did a few of your fans).

    They had iPhones?? Oh, lawd! Those people should be using cans for communication. Maybe they do not have a landline and also need the Internet. Stop making assumptions.

    Your arguments are flawed to say the least. Please write again when you have accurate information and have put your pretension aside.

  437. John Hancock says:

    I love how every comment on here that is condemming this girl for being “judgemental” all have spelling and grammar errors. Doesn’t that speak for itself for those people?

  438. Very proud that you stand up for what you know is absolutely, positively WRONG! Maybe your generation will take more pride in paying as you go. It looks like my generation has decided welfare and something for nothing is totally American.

  439. I also was a cashier in the past, I heard various People bragging they used alias names of diff. Daddy’s to their kids to get more access cards. They brag on how they cheat hte system. I see the abuse at Walmart. Who does not? I have been behind a Family and they used various cards. They were also eating better than the normal person. They had their nails done, phones, and wearing more gold then I could count! Welfare is a mess! There are real People working and not making ends meet. These People need the help! Not People who will not work, and expect a free ride. I really feel if the People are working and prove 20hrs or more, they need help. Our Country can’t afford to pay for the ones just using us for a free ride!

  440. In response to R on’s lovely ramblings,
    I love reading the comments and seeing your bright shiny gem of a comment right at the top. It really set the tone. I think it’s odd that you would call people on Welfare “LOOSERS” and that you don’t want “you’re” kids working for a “liveing” to pay for such, again, “loosers” to be able to feed their children. Hopefully your, oh sorry, “you’re”, children have a better grasp on the English language. That will really help them score that job working “4 A LIVEING” at any job in town. I get Food stamps. I’m in school full time. My husband works full time and attends school. I’ve never bought lobster or cake and I’d never eat Sara Lee or shop at Walmart. I may be a “LOOSER” but you sir or ma’am are an IDIOT.

  441. After reading this article and the comments to follow, I couldn’t help but comment. Wonderfully written. Let me tell you one thing, I could not agree more!!!! I worked at a grocery store 30 hours a week while partaking in 19 credits worth of college courses. I saw the same things the author did. Its pathetic the way people use and abuse not only the governments money but the money WORKING PEOPLE MAKE! I do not want to continue to think that the money I work hard for goes to feed there fraud and abuse. Yes, I do believe people are lazy, people abuse, and people can try harder. Specifically @ ME Smith & Melissa E, you’re both not seeing what her point is. She’s stating that people ARE abusing these forms of government assistance. She is not saying everyone is. Don’t give her a hard time for stating the truth. I have never been on the other side of this issue. I do know people who currently have access to WIC, TANF, etc and use it wisely. This is her stating the truth, this is to be malicious. Going into the “real world” has nothing to do with it, this is real life: it doesn’t take someone in the real world to understand/see this fraud/abuse. It takes a smart individual who understands right and wrong, easy and hard. Times are tough, I get it… But she’s beyond right in her essay. The bottom line is get up, get a job, stop taking the easy way out.

  442. some people REALLY have disabilities tht they cannot work.. or sickness or on medication for those illnesses where they are unable to work… i found some of these comments to b rude snobby n snippy… with out looking at details of every1s individual case i would say this is borderline prejudice? Who is anyone 2 judge me or any1 else, ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME!!!

  443. For every one person who abuses the system there are 100 or 1000 who really need the help and are not abusing the system. Just because a person has a “debit” card doesn’t mean they have a lot of money in the bank they bank at. You actually need a “credit card” now a day just to purchase anything. A debit card does look like a credit card ya know.

  444. I was talking to a friend recently, that has been on food stamps, and free housing for more than 10 years straight now. She said to me, “Times are tough…we’re struggling to survive.”….. WHAT? Struggling to survive, is NOT getting a check, that pays 100% of your life sustaining necessities (food and housing). How can you POSSIBLY be struggling to survive, when the 2 things that we fear not being able to do THE MOST, are 100% paid for? I’m sorry, but she was barking up the wrong tree on that. My husband works himself to the bone, and every month, we think, “Are we gonna make it? Will we keep this roof over our heads? Will we keep these kids fed?”. People that help themselves (hard workers), GET NO HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT, which is strange to me, since THEY pay for it, and most of them NEED some assistance. The hard working class gets left in the dirt, while the non working class collects what the workers are earning in order to live for FREE. Then complain that THEY are struggling to survive? People are SO dependent on these programs, that they’ve forgotten what it’s REALLY like, to struggle. The WORKING CLASS struggles to survive, while the welfare class “get’s their cake and eats it too”….

  445. Loretta Bauer says:

    Looks like most of you are stereotyping everyone who received welfare as losers or lazy, and that’s the problem, everyone has different cercumstances, some may abuse the system but does that mean that everyone on the system is bad or lazy? Just saying, just cause one person who goes through the checkout is abusing the system, there could be 10 more that go by who really need the help, imagine how they feel with all those critical eyes looking at them because they are feeding their children with food stamps.

    Im in Canada but I fed my kids once upon a time with welfare, and today me and my husband have a successful buisness, but still to this day, because I’m a native woman who shops with kids I still get looked at like I’m on welfare! Stereotyping to the max!

  446. It makes me so mad to see how people defraud the system. We were foster parents a few years back and I remember very vividly being in line to use my WIC benefits for our girls who had severe food allergies, the woman in front of me was buying “bloody candy” for halloween for her kids at 10.00 a pop and she was purchasing about 10pkgs with her food stamps and I had just left the WIC office fighting for our girls to get almond milk because they were allergic to every thing else, and was turned down. Made me so mad, my children needed this food item but how do you need a 100.00 worth of “bloody candy”?

  447. SnoopyGal-SC says:

    I am not against these government programs. There are times when people just need help and they should get it. However, government help should be temporary help. It should be assistance to get a person or family thru a tough time when they are not able to provide for themselves. It should not be a lifestyle (which is the type of clients that this author is referring to). Sure a person on Food Stamps or Welfare should be able to purchase good food – Not NY Stripe or Porterhouse but there are many other reasonable steaks and lobster available. No one on government assistance should be able to purchase extravagant items that the average working person cannot fit into their budget. No one (working or not) deserves to purchase things they cannot afford. It is this idea of entitlement – that we have the right to it, that we deserve it – that has put good people into desperate situations and is placing our good country on the brink of destruction. These programs should be used for necessary and reasonable purchases. If you want the extravagant items, then you are going to need to make some life sacrifices to earn & save for those item – like the regular working people do. And for those of you that think we need to inform our wonderful representative on Capital Hill – don’t worry – they very well know exactly what is happening and they don’t care. They have plenty of money, they don’t pay taxes so why would they care – it doesn’t affect them. It does affect the regular working crowd that is paying higher taxes to provide for these programs. So the tax paying crowd buys the generic label items to make their budget work so they can continue to work and pay taxes to support those that deserve the extravagant steaks, wine, beer and giant birthday cakes (nothing wrong with a birthday cake but it should be reasonable). It’s very sad and it is the truth.

  448. This is to all of you who feel that people on welfare “deserve a good steak, ice cream cake, etc.”. Are you serious? Many of the people who pay the taxes that provide food assistance can not afford these items themselves. But yet somehow, you don’t see a problem with this. Shame on you for not thinking it through.

    There are millions of people, myself included, that are making do with a smaller paycheck and higher bills. We spend every single penny with great care. We don’t own bling, we have basic cell phone service (if at all), we can’t afford manicures, many of use can’t afford health insurance or health care, we take care of ourselves and we pay taxes. How can anyone justify using the money of working families to pay for all of this? I can’t and I’m no longer willing to sit idly by.

    I realize there are a few people on welfare who would like to purchase a nicely decorated cake for their dying child’s last birthday, but get real. How many does that apply to? If this is such a big problem, then I offer to set-up a charity to purchase birthday cakes for these children as soon as they are disallowed by the food stamp program.

    Our nation is in a financial crisis. Many working families are barely scraping by, but by golly, the feel-good liberals among us will still insist that for some reason known only to them these people “deserve” what most of us can not afford.

  449. I dont think that this girl is saying that the people on food stamps shouldn’t buy birthday cakes but a premade cake is about $30. A box of cake mix and a can of frosting is about $4. Make a cake…don’t buy one. And I dont think she’s saying that people on food stamps can’t have steak either. But buy steak the is a little less expensive. Not porterhouse and t-bones. I work a 40 hour a week job and so does my bf. We dont buy expensive steak and pre made birthday cakes because the money comes out of our POCKET. Sometimes when we don’t have to work for something we forget it’s true value. I have worked in the grocery business in the past and seen the same things this girl mentions in her article. Women and men at the counter buying chips, candy, soda, etc with their EBT cards and then when they are done they purchase their cigarettes and beer by whipping out $100 bills. Tell me there isnt something fishy there. We all know there is major abuse with the system. We can all see it. There are exceptions to every rule but people on food stamps and TANF should remember that its supposed to be a hand up…not a hand out.

  450. Ryan Gagne says:

    Excellent read. Thank you for sharing this Christine! As someone who is living in Maine and works 50+ hours a week, it frustrates me that people who choose not to work for years on end, get all these benefits to a point of where they become content, and choose not to work for a living.

    While I believe those who are down on their luck for a season, it’s necessary to get some relief, but limit it to a timeframe. There really needs to be some serious overhaul in our state, and I’m hoping that Governor LePage will be proactive in reforming the welfare system in our state!

  451. How many people were served who used their food stamps correctly? There are always a small minority who will abuse any system that they are in. There is no need for reforms as inevitably it will only mean that the people who genuinly need assistance find it harder to get. What is needed is for these people to be delt with by the existing system. The laws are all there they need to be enforced.

    Food with little nutritional value is usually a lot less expensive. So it will be purchased by those with a tight budget. This is something that needs to be adressed and not by making it more expensive so that there are less options for those with a very limited budget.

  452. James Koon says:

    I’ve worked in retail for nearly 15 years, many of which have been in convenience stores. And I must say, I see this type of waste and fraud on a daily basis. Couple walks in, buys junk food, energy drinks (as long as it says ‘nutritional’ instead of ‘supplemental’ facts), beef jerky, ice cream, soda, all with the womans EBT food stamps. Then the live-in boyfriend turn around and spends as much if not more on lottery tickets. It makes me sick.

  453. How many really believe that charities and a single person can help all who are needing help today. I am 64 years old, became disabled in 2010 with not only severe arthritis in my back, knees and feet but high bloodpressure. I can’t get around because of these disabilities. Do I need help, yes, but because of seeing the uncaring so called “Compassionate Conservatives” on line, I doubt I would get the help I need. I have gone without electricity on several accounts until the county finally stepped in and paid for it. My internet and phone, I need because of my disabilities. My internet and phone are one and the same and cost me as much as a land line would cost me. I have MagicJack for $19.95 plus tax a year and my DSL internet is $25.00 a month. I would be paying the same amount for a land line if I had one. Being elderly has not helped my case either because no one wants to hire an elderly person who is disabled. Heck, no one wants to hire an elderly person. I have worked in foodbanks handing out groceries. The food is getting thin and these foodbanks don’t have the food to serve all who come in anymore. The foodbank I helped out in 2009 would only hand out food to a family every 3 months because of the amount of people who would come to the foodbank.

    If you think families of poor can help, you are sadly mistaken. Even with a college education some young people don’t have money to give their parents, brothers are sisters to help with their bills because those same young people need aide themselves. They pay almost half of their paychecks paying back a student loan.

    What would Jesus say about the U.S. and their so called “Compassionate Concervatism” if he were walking the face of the earth today?

  454. Gen.41
    1.[19] And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:

    Exod.22
    1.[25] If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

    Exod.23
    1.[3] Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.
    2.[6] Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.
    3.[11] But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.

    Exod.30
    1.[15] The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

    Lev.14
    1.[21] And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil;

    Lev.19
    1.[10] And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
    2.[15] Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

    Lev.23
    1.[22] And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

    Lev.25
    1.[25] If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.
    2.[35] And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
    3.[39] And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:
    4.[47] And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family:

    Lev.27
    1.[8] But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him.

    Deut.15
    1.[4] Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:
    2.[7] If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
    3.[9] Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
    4.[11] For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

    Deut.24
    1.[12] And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge:
    2.[14] Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:
    3.[15] At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.

    Judg.6
    1.[15] And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

    Ruth.3
    1.[10] And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

    1Sam.2
    1.[7] The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
    2.[8] He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.

    1Sam.18
    1.[23] And Saul’s servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?

    2Sam.12
    1.[1] And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
    2.[3] But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
    3.[4] And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

    2Kgs.24
    1.[14] And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

    2Kgs.25
    1.[12] But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.

    Esth.9
    1.[22] As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.

    Job.5
    1.[15] But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.
    2.[16] So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.

    Job.20
    1.[10] His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods.
    2.[19] Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;

    Job.24
    1.[4] They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.
    2.[9] They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.
    3.[14] The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.

    Job.29
    1.[12] Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
    2.[16] I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

    Job.30
    1.[25] Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?

    Job.31
    1.[16] If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;
    2.[19] If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;

    Job.34
    1.[19] How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.
    2.[28] So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.

    Job.36
    1.[6] He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.
    2.[15] He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.

    Pss.9
    1.[18] For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

    Pss.10
    1.[2] The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
    2.[8] He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
    3.[9] He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
    4.[10] He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
    5.[14] Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

    Pss.12
    1.[5] For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

    Pss.14
    1.[6] Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.

    Pss.34
    1.[6] This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

    Pss.35
    1.[10] All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

    Pss.37
    1.[14] The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

    Pss.40
    1.[17] But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

    Pss.41
    1.[1] Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

    Pss.49
    1.[2] Both low and high, rich and poor, together.

    Pss.68
    1.[10] Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.

    Pss.69
    1.[29] But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
    2.[33] For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.

    Pss.70
    1.[5] But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.

    Pss.72
    1.[2] He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
    2.[4] He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
    3.[12] For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
    4.[13] He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.

    Pss.74
    1.[19] O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
    2.[21] O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

    Pss.82
    1.[3] Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
    2.[4] Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

    Pss.86
    1.[1] Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.

    Pss.107
    1.[41] Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.

    Pss.109
    1.[16] Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
    2.[22] For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
    3.[31] For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

    Pss.112
    1.[9] He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

    Pss.113
    1.[7] He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;

    Pss.132
    1.[15] I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.

    Pss.140
    1.[12] I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.

    Prov.10
    1.[4] He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
    2.[15] The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

    Prov.13
    1.[7] There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
    2.[8] The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
    3.[23] Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

    Prov.14
    1.[20] The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
    2.[21] He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
    3.[31] He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

    Prov.17
    1.[5] Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

    Prov.18
    1.[23] The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.

    Prov.19
    1.[1] Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

  455. Prov.19
    1.[4] Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
    2.[7] All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.
    3.[17] He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
    4.[22] The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

    Prov.21
    1.[13] Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
    2.[17] He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

    Prov.22
    1.[2] The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
    2.[7] The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
    3.[9] He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
    4.[16] He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
    5.[22] Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

    Prov.28
    1.[3] A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
    2.[6] Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
    3.[8] He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
    4.[11] The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.
    5.[15] As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
    6.[27] He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

    Prov.29
    1.[7] The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.
    2.[13] The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.
    3.[14] The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

    Prov.30
    1.[9] Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
    2.[14] There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

    Prov.31
    1.[9] Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
    2.[20] She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

    Qoh.4
    1.[13] Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.
    2.[14] For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.

    Qoh.5
    1.[8] If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

    Qoh.6
    1.[8] For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

    Qoh.9
    1.[15] Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
    2.[16] Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

    Isa.3
    1.[14] The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
    2.[15] What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the LORD GOD of hosts.

    Isa.10
    1.[2] To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!
    2.[30] Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.

    Isa.11
    1.[4] But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

    Isa.14
    1.[30] And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant.
    2.[32] What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.

    Isa.25
    1.[4] For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

    Isa.26
    1.[6] The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

    Isa.29
    1.[19] The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

    Isa.32
    1.[7] The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.

    Isa.41
    1.[17] When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

    Isa.58
    1.[7] Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

    Isa.66
    1.[2] For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

    Jer.2
    1.[34] Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.

    Jer.5
    1.[4] Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

    Jer.20
    1.[13] Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

    Jer.22
    1.[16] He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.

    Jer.39
    1.[10] But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.

    Jer.40
    1.[7] Now when all the captains of the forces which were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon;

    Jer.52
    1.[15] Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude.
    2.[16] But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen.

    Ezek.16
    1.[49] Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

    Ezek.18
    1.[12] Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,
    2.[17] That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.

    Ezek.22
    1.[29] The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.

    Dan.4
    1.[27] Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

    Amos.2
    1.[6] Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
    2.[7] That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

    Amos.4
    1.[1] Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

    Amos.5
    1.[11] Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.
    2.[12] For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

    Amos.8
    1.[4] Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
    2.[6] That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

    Hab.3
    1.[14] Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.

    Zeph.3
    1.[12] I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

    Zech.7
    1.[10] And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

    Zech.11
    1.[7] And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.
    2.[11] And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.

    1Esdr.3
    1.[19] It maketh the mind of the king and of the fatherless child to be all one; of the bondman and of the freeman, of the poor man and of the rich:

    4Ezra.2
    1.[20] Do right to the widow, judge for the fatherless, give to the poor, defend the orphan, clothe the naked,

    4Ezra.15
    1.[51] Thou shalt be weakened as a poor woman with stripes, and as one chastised with wounds, so that the mighty and lovers shall not be able to receive thee.

    Tob.2
    1.[2] And when I saw abundance of meat, I said to my son, Go and bring what poor man soever thou shalt find out of our brethren, who is mindful of the Lord; and, lo, I tarry for thee.

    Tob.4
    1.[7] Give alms of thy substance; and when thou givest alms, let not thine eye be envious, neither turn thy face from any poor, and the face of God shall not be turned away from thee.
    2.[21] And fear not, my son, that we are made poor: for thou hast much wealth, if thou fear God, and depart from all sin, and do that which is pleasing in his sight.

    Wis.2
    1.[10] Let us oppress the poor righteous man, let us not spare the widow, nor reverence the ancient gray hairs of the aged.

    Sir.1
    1.[28] Distrust not the fear of the Lord when thou art poor: and come not unto him with a double heart.

    Sir.4
    1.[1] My son, defraud not the poor of his living, and make not the needy eyes to wait long.
    2.[4] Reject not the supplication of the afflicted; neither turn away thy face from a poor man.
    3.[8] Let it not grieve thee to bow down thine ear to the poor, and give him a friendly answer with meekness.

    Sir.7
    1.[32] And stretch thine hand unto the poor, that thy blessing may be perfected.

    Sir.10
    1.[22] Whether he be rich, noble, or poor, their glory is the fear of the Lord.
    2.[23] It is not meet to despise the poor man that hath understanding; neither is it convenient to magnify a sinful man.
    3.[30] The poor man is honoured for his skill, and the rich man is honoured for his riches.

    Sir.11
    1.[21] Marvel not at the works of sinners; but trust in the Lord, and abide in thy labour: for it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord on the sudden to make a poor man rich.

    Sir.13
    1.[3] The rich man hath done wrong, and yet he threateneth withal: the poor is wronged, and he must intreat also.
    2.[18] What agreement is there between the hyena and a dog? and what peace between the rich and the poor?
    3.[19] As the wild ass is the lion’s prey in the wilderness: so the rich eat up the poor.
    4.[20] As the proud hate humility: so doth the rich abhor the poor.
    5.[21] A rich man beginning to fall is held up of his friends: but a poor man being down is thrust away by his friends.
    6.[22] When a rich man is fallen, he hath many helpers: he speaketh things not to be spoken, and yet men justify him: the poor man slipped, and yet they rebuked him too; he spake wisely, and could have no place.
    7.[23] When a rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue, and, look, what he saith, they extol it to the clouds: but if the poor man speak, they say, What fellow is this? and if he stumble, they will help to overthrow him.

    Sir.21
    1.[5] A prayer out of a poor man’s mouth reacheth to the ears of God, and his judgment cometh speedily.

    Sir.25
    1.[2] Three sorts of men my soul hateth, and I am greatly offended at their life: a poor man that is proud, a rich man that is a liar, and an old adulterer that doateth.

    Sir.26
    1.[4] Whether a man be rich or poor, if he have a good heart toward the Lord, he shall at all times rejoice with a cheerful countenance.

    Sir.29
    1.[8] Yet have thou patience with a man in poor estate, and delay not to shew him mercy.
    2.[9] Help the poor for the commandment’s sake, and turn him not away because of his poverty.

  456. Sir.29
    1.[22] Better is the life of a poor man in a mean cottage, than delicate fare in another man’s house.

    Sir.30
    1.[14] Better is the poor, being sound and strong of constitution, than a rich man that is afflicted in his body.

    Sir.31
    1.[4] The poor laboureth in his poor estate; and when he leaveth off, he is still needy.

    Sir.34
    1.[20] Whoso bringeth an offering of the goods of the poor doeth as one that killeth the son before his father’s eyes.

    Sir.35
    1.[13] He will not accept any person against a poor man, but will hear the prayer of the oppressed.

    Sir.38
    1.[19] In affliction also sorrow remaineth: and the life of the poor is the curse of the heart.

    EpJer.1
    1.[27] As for the things that are sacrificed unto them, their priests sell and abuse; in like manner their wives lay up part thereof in salt; but unto the poor and impotent they give nothing of it.

    2Mac.4
    1.[47] Insomuch that he discharged Menelans from the accusations, who notwithstanding was cause of all the mischief: and those poor men, who, if they had told their cause, yea, before the Scythians, should have been judged innocent, them he condemned to death.

    Matt.5
    1.[3] Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Matt.11
    1.[5] The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

    Matt.19
    1.[21] Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    Matt.26
    1.[9] For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
    2.[11] For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

    Mark.10
    1.[21] Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    Mark.12
    1.[42] And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
    2.[43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

    Mark.14
    1.[5] For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
    2.[7] For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

    Luke.4
    1.[18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

    Luke.6
    1.[20] And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

    Luke.7
    1.[22] Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

    Luke.14
    1.[13] But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
    2.[21] So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

    Luke.18
    1.[22] Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

    Luke.19
    1.[8] And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

    Luke.21
    1.[2] And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
    2.[3] And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

    John.12
    1.[5] Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
    2.[6] This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
    3.[8] For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

    John.13
    1.[29] For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

    Rom.15
    1.[26] For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

    1Cor.13
    1.[3] And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    2Cor.6
    1.[10] As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

    2Cor.8
    1.[9] For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

    2Cor.9
    1.[9] (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

    Gal.2
    1.[10] Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

    Jas.2
    1.[2] For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
    2.[3] And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
    3.[5] Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
    4.[6] But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

    Rev.3
    1.[17] Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    Rev.13
    1.[16] And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

  457. Thank you for this awesome article I too work at a walmart and am a mother of 2 being the only one working most of the time in my family as my husband is going to school full time to be as I call him a computer geek lol I have had the assistance of food stamps and Maine care for bout 6 months as the good paying job with benefits is no longer there for us I have seen and smelt the welfare families before they even hit my line all frozen foods no fruit and veggies and just gross fattening expensive food it just is disturbing to me that welfare is probably contributing to their obesity. Going on state aid was not something I wanted todo for my family but I am thankful that I have the help while I’m still working the husband is going to school and my children are fed with nutritious foods not premade frozen bipartical meat and yes sometimes a tub of icecream for me and hubby for date night as we dont go out to save money.I would love to see restrictions on what can and can not be bought with food stamps ..yes I would pee in a cup if asked as I do support drug testing for welfare

  458. Lindy Reynolds says:

    I was disturbed by this article for a few reasons. I agree that cash assistance money and food stamps should not be abused. However, I didn’t like the tone of this entire article. It was condescending and self-righteous. I have worked since I was 15 years old. I’m 29 now. I have 2 small children ages 2 1/2 and 8 months. Currently, I receive both cash assistance and food stamp benefits. I’ve received them since the man that I was with left me alone to care for our children and my home. I’m going to college full-time so that I can eventually support my children and show them a better life. I work part time to make ends meet. I’ve bought things like earrings with my cash assistance: for A JOB INTERVIEW. I’ve bought my kids toys with it, too. Why? Because it’s not their fault that their dad left and things are tough. I don’t do it often but every once in a while, they deserve something nice. I couldn’t afford to buy a birthday cake for my daughter’s second birthday. I used my food stamps. I buy organic food which costs more but, guess what? Just because I live below the poverty level doesn’t mean that my family deserves to eat only crap filled with preservatives and chemicals. The person you speak of spending $400 on food with no nutritional value; Did it ever occur to you that maybe she was never taught by her own parents how to eat nutritionally and to feed her family well? Or how about this; it’s cheaper to eat poorly because those foods are more affordable which is part of the reason why obesity is rampant in lower income families. When I use all of my paycheck money to cover bills and the only cash I have left is on that card, I use it for the various odds and ends that I need. And you know what? I hate doing it. I hate doing it because of the worry that I’m being judged by people exactly like you. You don’t know their stories. You haven’t walked in their shoes. You wouldn’t know when I take that card out of my wallet and buy something that you deem “unnecessary” exactly what or who I’m buying it for and you surely don’t know that I’ve worked my butt off for 14 years and that I’m doing my best to give my kids a life as close to normal as I can while I struggle.

  459. I am thankful for the help that my mother had when we had nothing. She used it for food only – without that help we wouldn’t have eaten. I couldn’t read the whole of this article simply because it’s disgusting when you are that person who desperately needed the help and you see people like that who are abusing that help. Those people don’t know what it’s like to be in need. That type of laziness doesn’t just hurt yourself.

  460. Dyrdekgirl says:

    I completely agree with lori. Though this article is correct, there are a lot of people who abuse the system and its a shame. But I am a single mother and no longer on foodstamps or tanf. I have worked hard for as long as I can remember. But when my sons birthday came around and I was broke. You best believe I got him a great birthday cake with my foodstamps and I don’t think there is any shame in that. I think its a huge shame that people judge others when they may not know what its like to go through hardships. I know most of my hardship have been brought on myself. but i have done whatever has been in my power to fix all that. So should I be judged cuz I bought a steak for supper to feed my kid. Or a birthday cake for his birthday?? I think that people on welfare should be under a thumb so the people abusing it will be caught. But ur judging everyone on welfare when you don’t know the lives of everyone.

  461. I 100 percent agree with this artical… I understand that people need support some times and there is nothing wrong with that. I was offended tho by one of the comments about some one seeing a mom with lots of kids… I have 4 under 5 myself… Two of which are twins and they are my youngest. No I am not on food stamps or cash assistance but do recieve WIC… Two of my children had to be on 25 dollar a can formula due to medical issues and my twin are premature and are medically required to be on pediasure. My husband is military and we are responseable and carry zero credit card debt. If we paid for the girls pediasure out of pocket we ourselves would not be eating. As soon as they out grow the need we are getting off. I hate being on the system. I was raised in a family that was a prime example of abuse and I refuse to allow my family to go that direction. But I do think it’s wrong on the other end to automatically demonize everyone who accesses the system. I agree a lot is wrong but there are cases like mine it is nessary for a short time.

  462. Aloyicious says:

    You forgot to mention how much of the actual cash you received reeked of the smell of marijuana. That’s how it was for me anyway…

  463. I was @ my fuel assistance meeting(they do it in groups now)& EVERYONE but me was on their cellphones I don’t own a cell cause I can’t afford it.Their was also a woman w/a coach purse&shoes &a really really nice(expensive) baby phat coat&outfit&I over heard them say they had no income between the 2 of them&that their 16 year old hasn’t been able to do drivers ed yet but when we walked out the door together guess who was their to pick them up their 16 year old w/a car wayyyyy nicer than mine.I do get some food stamps&on my kids birthdays I get them each a lobster&a cake cause it has a castle&princess toys on it I’m really good at budgeting what we get about $100 a week &I make it last but yes lots of people that get more than just food stamps(free $$) screw w/the system bad.All you have to do is tell them you don’t know who the baby daddy is&boom free $$ every month I’m sorry but I have 3 friends that did that on purpose&it is sooo soo wrong 1 of them is even married to the baby daddy just didn’t get her SS changed so they have no idea&they wont look into it cause I have called the state on her about it&nothing has happened to them

  464. Excellent article! I, too, have had to ask for food stamp help but was terribly frugal with my card. I knew my balance ;-) and only bought steaks once when they were clearance!

  465. well first off all the people downing on the people who are on tanf,foodstapms need to get off your fing high horse and look around you for once in your life i’m a 26 year old who can’t get a job to save my life yes i’m on foodstamps i get 200 a month for food and i buy nice steaks because i only get them once a month i buy a big birthday cake for my son because i can’t get him anything else i don’t care what you people think of people like me because you don’t know how fing hard it is to have to ask your friends and family for money to help you get toilet paper,laundry soap,for crying out loud christmas and birthday presents for my own child if i could get a job i would but no one will hire me for some reason but it’s not like i haven’t worked i have and i worked at walmart myself and you know what i wouldn’t want to go back to a place that lets dumb snobby people like that work there and put down people like me i hope they all burn

  466. I agree with your article, a lot of people in Maine abuse the system. I have seen it all around. However, I have been through trying times in my life where I depended on help from the state. I was pregnant and my boyfriend and I opted to move home from Yarmouth because living on only my income while he was in school wasn’t going to work while adding a baby to the mix. When we moved back to Machias in Down East Maine (one of the most poverty stricken counties) I could not transfer back within the corporation I was employed (Maine Veteran’s Home) keeping my full time job. I lost all my benefits insurance maternity leave and a great paycheck. We used the state programs for MaineCare and food stamps only NO ebt cash. As we both found jobs we regularly reported our income and now our child is the only one receiving WIC and MaineCare. Witch will change soon, he will have insurance through the state called Cub Care witch we pay a lower monthly cost for as compared to like Anthem. I believe the programs are a wonderful thing and should have stricter laws so not to be taken such advantage of but properly used. I also believe that drug testing should be a requirement. If you have money to buy illegal substances then you should have money to buy things such as food or whatever else you use cash from your ebt card for. I also vote Republican and my now husband Conservative Republican. We work hard and live our life on a budget so we can afford to live in a beautiful home on the lake and buy whatever we want for our son. We are a success story from state help I wish there were more out there.

  467. Bethany Rose says:

    Actually, I know Rory Hoffman; his wife has a great voice, too. She does some of the background vocals on his music. And yes, I am on Facebook. Actually, the blindness is the easiest of my conditions to deal with…that surprises most people. I mean, of course it affects my life big time, but that one stays stable; I have been blind all my life, and I know how to live with it. It’s the other stuff that’s truly difficult. Wow…small world! You mentioned Rory, and he’s someone that I know. I attended a state school for the blind one year, and he performed in the same town, so of course they took us to his performance. He recognized all of us by stating that the first two rows consisted of “students from {the school}!” We all got free copies of one of his albums.

  468. It was a good article until you stated that this is the reason why you vote republican, thus, turning your vary viable report into just another piece of political propaganda! The Governor Patrick is the first Democratic Governor of Massachusetts since 1990, yet, he and only he is responsible for the system and not fixing it?! Next you criticize the Maine welfare system and the current Governor Paul LePage is a Republican; shouldn’t that system be fixed by now if it is better to have a Republican than a Democratic Governor . . wake up young lady and realize that is the “Politician” and NOT the party that is and has been ruining our country!! . . and it is the “Politician” that keeps on pointing the finger at the voters for voting in the wrong people . . doesn’t matter who we vote in, Republican or Democrat, the only difference we see are different types of ruination. The people that would actually do the country good and make any sense at all are pushed out somehow by the big money people!

  469. And just before u jump all over me clamping that we are living over the top All of our finances are budgeted in to catigories… Our food budget is 110 a week for 6 people. I meal plan and do not buy lux items… Soda, chips and candy never come into my home. Also steak eather… I do buy chicken in bulk when its on sale. We do not have cable and only hold one car payment. I only buy the nessary essentials to get buy. In order to go shopping on black Friday I made the thanksgiving turkey last for meals for the entire pay period so I could spend the 60 remaining on providing some what of a Christmas for my kids.

  470. I live in Maine and right now the governor is trying to reform welfare. Although everyone says they want reform, any attempt is met with “not in my back yard”. In other words cut somewhere else. There are in fact many people who need a helping hand however there are many who make it a way of life. MaineCare (health insurance) is so widely abused. I realize health insurance is ridiculously expensive. If you are working and can afford to pay something for insurance but not the entire premium then give them some help. If the premium is $500.00 a month and you can only afford $200.00 then make them pay that and the state pay the other $300.00. The state does not need to pay the entire bill. And if you have varicose veins and want surgery, you should have to pay some of that bill – I have to in the form of a deductible so why shouldn’t you. Any condition that is not life threatening should not be paid for by public assistance. I have to see my PCP if I have a cold or the flu. This a requirement of my insurance. Why should you go to the emergency room which is much more expensive and have that paid for by MaineCare? Give anyone a help who truly needs it but DO NOT allow it to become a way of life for people and for their generations to follow – after all we usually live what we have learned and if you learn to live on welfare you have a tendency to live that way yourself.

  471. I know people who have moved here from other states because they have researched which states have the best welfare! It is truly disgusting! I also know people who kick their husbands out so they can get MORE assistance! If the husband keeps an apartment they can get more and ha can “visit” for weeks. Imagine how much they would have if they didn’t have to keep a “second” home!

  472. SUSAN SHIPE says:

    A.M.E.N.

  473. Those of you that are making rude comments about the author really aren’t understanding what she is saying. She admits that there are people out there that absolutely need the benefits and aren’t abusive toward the system. Unfortunately, there are a lot that do abuse the system.

    I think it’s funny how those of you on benefits get defensive about the food you buy and the fact that you have iphones aren’t seeing where the rest of us are coming from. I was a single mother for years and never accepted benefits. I worked, scrimped and scraped and made my way. I’m now married, we have income and yet I still can’t afford some of the “luxaries” that I see people on welfare having. I see people with great vehicles, top of the line phones, new clothes, all the best “toys,” yet they are the first ones at the registers using their benefit card each month. It’s disgusting that I live paycheck to paycheck yet our tax dollars pay for your food, daycare, medical care, and even gives you cash assistance to do with what you want.

    Am I against buying lobster or steak? When you are using my money and other working people’s money to buy it, hell yes I am. When you can afford to feed your own face, I will say you shouldn’t be told what to buy. Until that day comes, I am in 100% agreement that there should be some severe restrictions imposed on what you can and can’t do with your welfare money.

    I’m not heartless. I see the cases where it’s not abused and know that there are amazing people out there who aren’t choosing to get benefits but have no other choice. I see the people who are out there day after day looking for work. It’s not easy in this economy. Sadly, I see more of the “other type,” and that’s why I feel the way I do.

  474. I’m not sure that this woman is actually a “friend” of yours, but suppose you brought your own “we’re struggling to survive” story to someone unemployed, or someone disabled, or a single or widowed mother. I would guess that they’d think that “you don’t REALLY know what it’s like to STRUGGLE.” It seems like you have a computer and internet, and enough free time to write that post, and a husband who is employed, and healthy enough to “work himself to the bone.” You receive plenty of government tax and legal benefits by being part of a married couple with children household. Maybe your friend is or is not struggling, but many could say the same about you, that you don’t know what it means to “REALLY STRUGGLE.” And perhaps someone who is in the upper middle class or wealthy would think “why doesn’t that woman stop complaining and work harder to get out of her condition.”

    The thing is, I understand your feelings about that friend of yours, but I wouldn’t be so bold as to use this to make some sweeping statement about a “working class” or a “welfare class.” No line magically divides these two groups, and plenty of struggling, hard working people exist with one or both feet in that “welfare class.”

  475. Congratulations on your “well-written” article, you ignorant, hateful person. It is people like you who make those who are truly needy ashamed to seek the help they need, because if they do, they will be vilified in a blog. I understand their is abuse, but it’s not the majority that is abusing the system. How many that came through your line were not abusers of the system? You don’t mention them, do you? Keep your ignorance off of the internet.

  476. I am on ebt and I will agree that a lot of people take advantage of the system, but that is not always the case. So although I do think that it is a good idea to bring to light the people who are violating the system, I don’t think it is okay to make a blanket statement about all people that need the system. My husband had a great job, we had bought a house, had a kid and another on the way, then the economy went south. My husband lost his job, we lost our house to foreclosure because we couldn’t sell it on time and my husband had to go back to school full time to get the skills to get a new job to support our family. During this time he was working as much as he could outside of school and I had to work from home (what little work I could get) because it would have cost more to send my kids to daycare then I would have made.
    Thank God, my husband is about to graduate and will be going back to full-time work on Monday!!!! We are doing our best to get off the system. One thing did bother me about the article above. I don’t buy a lot of extravegant things with our ebt because that money has to last our family for the whole month, but we have a set amount no matter what we buy. So when my childrens’ birthdays come around and I want to make a special purchase of a birthday cake that they are really wanting to make their day special then I am going to buy it. I am not spending anymore of the state’s money because I bought the cake, it just means that I have to make up for it by going without something else that month.
    As for the big carts heaping over, I also will agree that they should have been buying food with nutritional value, so if they were just buying junk then yes they were in the wrong, but if it was just a big cart did you ever think some people are buying for big families and are also possibly buying for multiple weeks. I know that when I go shopping I go once a month for a “big trip” where I get pretty much everything I’ll need for the whole month, and then make “little side trips” later like if I need more milk or something. So don’t freak out just because a cart is mounded over please.

  477. are you paying for your own college? or do you get grants and loans?….I have worked retail all of my life and I know what you mean by what you say, but not everybody is as privelaged as you to go to college and get a degree and get a good paying job. I have seen welfare fraud worse than what you have described and have gone home crying because by the time I pay the bills I had hardly any money left to do much with my son, but yet I made to much to get any kind of assistance. Do you have a family?, it is not cheap, granted there is fraud and there is deceit and their is attitude of entitlement, but not everybody is as lucky as you to have a job and go to school and still live at home.Do you have health insurance?..Lucky you, because I don’t and I’m sure I am twice your age ( I cant afford it and I over qualify for anything)….You are way to young to make such judgement on human life….put yourself in their shoes for one day, do your research (after all you are a college student and should be an expert on research), instead of complaining …do something…start a committee on welfare fraud, get involved with local government, then lets talk.

  478. I agree with the article 110%. And YES I have been there, but also worked my tail off to get off of it as soon as possible. Did I buy expensive cuts of meat? Lobster? Decorated birthday cakes? NO. Think about it, there are HOMELESS CHILDREN that get NO birthday cake, presents, balloons, NOTHING, yet some feel entitled to a “pretty cake” because their child deserves it, when the child could care less about a decorated cake and would care MORE about the time you as a parent spent making them a cake for a quarter of what that bakery one cost. I was at Save-A-Lot the other day here in Maine, and saw two mothers together, each with one child, go through the line with 3 overflowing carts of groceries, again 75% of it junk food, soda, chips, donuts, ice cream, one ENTIRE CART was filled with THIS kind of food, and the total between the two ladies was well over 1000 dollars in FS!!! Hellooooo, our family makes a decent living and we can not even afford that a month in food, not even HALF of that! The icing on this cake was that I then went to Shaws (because I go to a bunch of different stores depending on where the sales are, thought maybe they were doing that too…) and then saw them (no joke) load a basket with alcohol, THEN used WIC checks to buy the MILK to go WITH the alcohol..after spending a grand on groceries with our tax dollars. I also personally know of at least 6 families screwing the government, not working, not looking for work, been on welfare for over 12 years, they smoke, drink, do drugs, and think we owe them the world. I don’t think ANYONE is against those using it that really and truly need a hand up. We all can be (and some have been) in that situation. We are talking about the large majority that SCAM us all. It is sickening…

  479. Mary Lewis says:

    You should really think twice about judging people that are getting help. I have had to be on assistance for a while due to the fact that my daughter is disabled and because of that I am unable to work. I have gotten the dirty looks while buying chips and cookies on food stamps but my daughter is autistic and only eats certain foods I don’t get cash just to help buy food. My daughter was also on WIC because even though at that time I was working my daughter had special nutritional needs and her formula was the most expensive formula they made where a weeks supply was more than most formula for several months. So until you have to walk a mile in those shoes you should really think about what you say. Believe me I would love to not need them. But until there is affordable childcare available for special needs kids this is not going to happen. I would much rather be able to work.

  480. Corporate Welfare so dwarfs minor issues with social welfare it’s absurd. Yes some people misuse their EBTs … but lots of people misuse cash too.

  481. I applaud you for taking the time to articulate what we all have thought for quite a while, keep clean hands and run for office, then we can see true reform.

  482. Several of the comments from folks on foodstamps have actually mentioned that the authors are out of work at the moment and in the next sentence they mention that they don’t want to get a lowly job but are holding out for a “real” job. One fellow said his wife lost her job as a clerk of courts but couldn’t find another “real” job for the last three years. Another fellow said he was on food stamps and it was so “fing” hard to find a job but he didn’t want to go back to working at Wal*Mart (implying that he hadn’t even applied) because they hire snobby cashiers like the author of the original article.

    If I was out of work and on foodstamps I would take any “fing” job that would hire me so I could make some money. I’ve been working since I was 14 years old. I’ve scraped the barnacles off floats, hosed butcher shop floors, cashiered for just over minimum wage, babysat, sorted cans and bottles for less than minimum wage — anything I could do to earn a living.

    It annoys me when I see stories about formerly high-paid employees lilving on welfare for long periods of time because they “can’t find a job.” If they were willing to lower they own standards and get a low paying job rather than holding out for something that paid the same amount they were paid before being laid off they wouldn’t need to mooch the system. (McDonalds is seemingly always hiring) However, it’s easy to stay on welfare and “fing” hard to get off.

    And I have also seen foodstamps pay for hundreds of dollars worth of Tenderloin steaks at $15 per pound (in a single order) when the buyer could just as easily have bought 30 pounds of cheaper (but still good steak) at $9 or $10 a pound. Lobsters, even cigarettes and beer (I think the cash component of the welfare system is worse than useless).

    Still, I don’t think there should be any limits on what actual foodstamps will buy (as long as it is a food item). I think the system needs to be overhauled but it needs to be done on a case by case basis. I have family members that have been abusing the system for years (claiming that they are paying rent and utilities when I know damned well their parents are letting them live on their property for free).

    You can’t lump everybody into one pile because there are people out there that do have legitmate reasons for being on welfare. There are people who are on it for a bit and get off as soon as they financially can.

    And there are also people who can’t get assistance even though they really deserve it because they make too much to qualify and the mochers out there are gobbling up more than they deserve.

    No matter which side of the story you are on, you have to agree that there is a large percentage of welfare recipients who are abusing the system, taking more than their share, and leaching out the money that could be better used to help other people. There is also a large percentage of people out there who are using the system as it was intended and who are truly deserving of such assistance.

    There is no overarching “truth” in this situatiopn. Everything is grey, as it always is in life — nothing is ever black and white.

  483. Great article! When I was in high school I worked at a local restaurant. There was a gal there with 2 kids who was a manager. She told me that she was going to quit because she would get more money from welfare than she made working! I remember thinking wow, what a loser! As a child we had a couple of years that we barely scraped by and would have qualified for aid but we NEVER asked for it because of pride – something people are greatly lacking.

    To those of you who say “they deserve a steak” you need a smack in the head! That is part of what is WRONG with this country! Everyone thinks they “deserve” something they didn’t earn! When you make enough money to cover your expenses THEN you can get luxury items. If you can’t afford to food, clothing, or rent you don’t spend money on cigarettes, booze, and other non essential things. Those of us who have been successful in life know this and that is WHY we are successful! DON’T SPEND MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE ON THINGS YOU DON’T NEED!

    Every fast food restaurant and gas station around is hiring but some people think they are “too good” to work at those places so they sit back and collect their unemployment or welfare check. We own 2 businesses and see this type of attitude all of the time. We are far more likely to hire someone who took any job available than those who would only take a job they felt was worth their time. It really shows what kind of work ethic people have if they are willing to work anywhere.

  484. Katie Dube says:

    Well I have a couple things to say about this article..Some of it is absolutely true. I am a single mother and just recently lost my job. So yes I am recieving both FS and TANF. Yes I use my TANF to pay some of my bills and also get things for my son. I do by toys for my son with that money, not all the time but this time of year I use it to buy xmas presents? Do you consider me a bad person for doing so? I really would think twice before you do anything. And as for you stating there is no time limit..well there is for TANF in Maine you have a 5 year limit and then you are off of it and it doesnt have to be consequtive. Also they do encourage you to volunteer in order to recieve it. I have to volunteer my time to get the money I do. I need this money and I will not be happy with anyone who tries to take it away. So just because the few people who do abuse the system dont take it out on the people who need it cause thats whats goin to happen.

  485. You know what is ridiculous??? A young lady who has obviously never fallen on a hard time in her life judging others… These people you are talking about that use the food card. Do you know if they are a widow of a soldier who may have been killed in the war, leaving her a single mother of 3 young children? Do you know if this is a family where the father/mother has worked for the same company for 20 years, just to have the company go under and they now need a little help until they find a new job? Could it be the single mother of a handicapped child who requires her to stay at home 24/7 care who is not able to work due to caring for her child? NO YOU DO NOT KNOW! So, unless you have all of the facts, you should keep your young, unexperienced mouth shut. You are young, you have yet to see what all is out there in the world. You may not think people fall on hard times because you have not, but they do. It is a fact. Like it or not. Not everyone has a family or friends who can pitch in and help. A lot of people have to stand on their own two feet and do the best they can do with what they have at the time. Who do you think you are, only God can judge… I myself tried to get hired on at Wal-Mart and after 4 interviews was not hired. Why? Local, political bias… Why don’t you count your blessings that you have a job instead of judging those who don’t in this economy… Times are hard, for a lot of people. This is sickening… Why don’t you worry more about waste in our government such as in Columbus, Ohio where they now have copper gutters on streets near downtown due to the mayor being buddy buddy with our President of the United States… THAT IS WRONG! While people in his own city go hungry and without Christmas! That is fraud! Not everyone needs help for years and unless you take the time to ask these “WELFARE QUEENS” their personal stories, then don’t call them that either… Because they don’t wear designer clothing or how did you come to this name… Name calling isn’t nice either… Would it be okay if someone called you a snide little *****? No… So then… You disgust me… It is easy to judge while you stand their with a job… Disgusting…

  486. Aside from the blantent abuse, My big issue with FS is when people are buying all junk food on them. I rarely see anything nutritious in the carts and just the other day I was behind a woman at Walmart who had two boxes of chocolate twinkies and 24 pack of Coke Classic. And then she whipped out her EBT card to pay. Her child was with her, and buying this crap is what is going to send that child straight into diabetes. It’s like the food stamp program is funding the medicaid program. The whole system needs to be overhauled.

  487. I have long thought that Welfare was greatly abused. I think the program needs a complete over haul. There should be limits as to what they can “buy” and what they cannot “buy”…no steaks, lobster…necessities where their money can buy more for their buck! I have seen so much fraud, as well as I am sure everyone else out there has. It is a crime. We are becoming a Welfare nation. Where is everyone’s pride? I feel badly for the young children of these lazy welfare parents. I say, if you can’t pay for your kids, let them go to some of these homeless couples that want children and cannot have them. The children would certainly be MUCH better off!

  488. I was injured on a jobsite at MacDill AFB in Tampa Fl. I had Knee surgery. Thanks to a person being a doaner, I got their ACL to hold my knee together. My back on the other hand, was not something I wanted cut on. I was 47 when it happend. I worked in costruction since 16 (full time) Always finding work. My 2 kids are grown. Other than WIC which my young wife & I used for 2% milk to avoid rashes when they were babys, we / I have never had any type of assistance. I was on crutches, knee & back braces, & reduced to sleeping in a Lazy Boy,(when I could sleep). I had 2 mortgages & a wife that had given up on marrige years earlier. I couldn’t get a food stamp card to food my 16 yr old son. I couldn’t find any assistance anywhere! SSI, S.S. I am 50 yrs old now. If I ever need help again, I will ask for it with a gun in my hand. Yes I’m still working & paying taxes. Yes I still sleep in a chair because I can’t lay down straight, or stand up straight very well for very long. Yes I’m still paying both mortgages. I don’t eat much steak or celibrate birthdays anymore. I guess I lost my taste for those things…… you know, back when I couldn’t get them to taste them lol. I owned to much from working my whole life, to get help. NICE! Thanks for nothing when we needed something the most!

  489. And we wonder why America is going broke.

  490. Amazingly one of the primary lessons in college is that you do not use a few overly dramatic cases to generalize to an entire population that, for some bizarre reason, you feel superior toward. I grew up in Maine on welfare. I know this would be shocking to the young idiot in question but I am not currently on welfare. In fact, I am working on my final year toward a PhD. Trust me, it’s not a life you want to lead. My mother, after her time on welfare, saved babies for a living. How many babies have you saved? You should continue working at Walmart since you clearly haven’t learned anything in college and are probably not fit for any other employment.

  491. You rock.
    I work at a grocery store not far from there and witness the same thing every day. I work a full week, with another job on the side, and I go to school, and I’m not on any kind of assistance at all, government or personal.

    And as one commenter reminded, its not about use, its about abuse. There are people in the state of Maine who work hard for what they have and still can’t make ends meet. There are also people who sit and do nothing and with the help of government assistance, somehow can make ends meet, almost better than the working person. These are the people who deserve to be punished for their actions.

  492. I loved your aritcle. It gives insight to what people at stores see on a daily basis of how people take advantage of the state. My husband and I are hard working citizens, I have a wood crafting and painting business at home to make extra money to help with the bills unitl I am out of school for Medical Administrative Assistant. I have had neck problems and severe nerve damage problems in the back of my head and we dont have insurance. Its been a struggle for four years now with my pain out of control and than my husbands back went out and he had to have emergency surgery to repair a disc. I tried to apply for Maine Care to help us when my neck issues had gone on for 3 years with no relief. Also I was treated like dirt at a Bangor pain clinic because I did not have insurance, even though I had made a payment arrangement with them, it still was not good enough to help me out the Doctor insisted I come up with a lump sum before he could help me with any procedure that may get me out of pain. But the people with Maine Care were treated like Kings and got their procedures done with no questions asked. Well that is another whole story on how poor I got treated because I had no insurance. Well I got turned down for Maine Care because they said my husband made too much, yes enough to get by to pay bills not enough to pay Doctor bills. But than I see these people that get it and they take advantage of it all. It really makes me mad! They dont have to pay for food, they dont have to pay for medical bills, some dont pay for living and if they do its not much. Yes Im all for helping anyone that is need of course and truly deserves it because there are a lot of people out there that do need the assistance and dont take advantage of it, but there are more out there that dont need it and they use the state for every cent their worth. The feel entitled somehow I guess, or maybe its just how they grew up and learned the ropes of the welfare system. I finally found a great place in Lewiston with the best Doctors and nurses you could ever ask for, yes I have to pay up front but they treated me with nothing but respect and helped me when no one has and actually cared about me being in pain. And one nurse expressed her anger towards the people that get everything handed to them when people like us try in life and get nothing for free. But at least I can hold my head high, even though the ones that abuse the system are eating Lobster and huge cakes, I still can lay my head down at night with no guilt, but Im sure they do too.

  493. My wife currently works with Wal*Mart as a “front-end Zone Manager”. She oversees the CSM (Customer Service Managers, ALL registers, the Service Desk, Cash Office and more…) She comes home nearly every day with very similar stories. You are right on the mark with your article. Maybe one story out of 50 shows a “glimmer of hope” for humanity”; but those stories aren’t enough. I’m concerned for the future of this country!

  494. Think before you judge says:

    And another thing…..how is buying steak “Abusing” the system?? to me Abusing the system is people selling drugs, or not reporting income (i.e working under the table) to be able to qualify. I hardly think buying a F*cking steak or some d*mn M&M’s for a treat is abusing the system. Get a grip.

  495. @Jenny – Spare us with the preaching, bible thumper. That stuff gets old fast.

  496. As a person who has been on foodstamps because I can not work because of a disability which I have applied for SSDI but am in a waiting pattern, I am appalled at this article, Yes, there are some who abuse the system. That is when you REPORT them to the state (like the hot dog guy).

    I do not see the problem with buying a child’s birthday cake on food stamps. I would not want to deprive my child of having a birthday party. I buy mostly store brand foods to save money, I use coupons (not to the extreme) to help save money and yes, I do buy a few name brand things. Yes, I buy steak with my food stamps but not t bones or porterhouse. I buy meat in bulk and break it down with a vaccuum sealer. It is cheaper that way. TANF is cash. Some people get rent help on other programs and the TANF cash buys what food stamps cant…toilet paper, toothpaste etc. I admit sometimes I use my TANF card to buy non necessitites like my son’s birthday gift or something like earrings .Just because I am poor and need the help from the state does that mean I am not allowed to buy something so I can “look” like someone who is not poor? as for the cell phone thing..I have a smart phone but I am on my parents family plan so I do not pay for it. As for my LL Bean, Gap, Lane Bryant etc clothes, I get many of them from GOODWILL. I bet you did not think of that when you are judging people based on their clothes or phones. Just because a person is poor, does that mean they are not deserving of making themselves look or feel good about themselves? Are we supposed to only have raggy clothes or walmart clothes and store brand food items? So because I am poor, I am not allowed to enjoy a good porterhouse steak or a lobster every once and a while? Am I only supposed to buy milk, eggs, cereal, bread, rice, pasta and other basics?

  497. they should reforme the child support system while there at it. a check in the mail is awful convienent . just go cash it and spend it on what they want. dont see anyone griping about that. just sayin

  498. realitynotsoundbite says:

    You know, with all my years of working 2-3 jobs at a time, paying for my own schooling and supporting my family, you’d think I’d agree. You’d think I’d want to go after these people when I struggle to keep my family afloat whille others get a hand. I am not and couldn’t disagree more. Join me on the trips I take to elderly people’s destitute homes as they try to find the $30 to pay their electric bills and show pure shame using EBT to the point that they ask you to do it for them (or go hungry). Republicans are the ones who want to punish these people to conquer the “Welfare Queen” problem. Democrats can be blamed for helping create them to begin with, but if you want to cut the legs out from every one who gets aid, you better be prepared to lose all the people who supported you as a kid, educated you and hired you at Walmart.

  499. This just scratches the surface. I think the real fraud and waste is in the healthcare system. We owned an apartment building for 15+ years and one of the lower charging landlords in the area…so we attracted many poorer tennants. Even though we did thorough background checks, most of these tennants lived like animals, were sex offenders, or had visiting relatives that were, were on drugs or sold them, (only knew of this becuase of frequent police visits) lied, cheated and stole or destroyed our property with no remorse. Bought elaborate items such as ATV’s, fancy motorcycles, and or cars, and electronics. 80% of these folks were paid by disability i.e. social security. Not only that, but one woman who was well over 400lbs with empty pizza boxes stacked high outside her door weekly, would take an ambulance trip to the ER averaging once a month to attract attention from her disgraceful family (costs taxpayers $5,000 a pop).
    We ended up having to short sell the building for a loss (lack of consistent rent and bad economy), Ive lost my job and we are now having difficulty paying our mortage. I volunteer most of my time currently through my church and town committees to not go insane. Our world is being destroyed by those who care only for those who dont care about themselves and the very rich lawyers who support them.

  500. GOD BLESS YOU for writing this article! In less than one day there are almost 500 comments! Good for you! I hope people of ALL ages “read it and weep”. The abuses are disgusting (and yet another blatant reason the country has debt in the TRILLIONS)! After I lost my home in 2010 and my business in 2011 I sought assistance from the state to help with food and energy bills for my family till I could find employment. I was told there is NO assistance if I cannot show a W2 or have no children under 18 y.o. I tried repeatedly to EDUCATE the staff on the fact that a business-owner does NOT have a W2- and wanted to know why I am discriminated against as a former business-owner. I have been supporting the system with my paychecks for over 40 years! It is now December– I am still unemployed and still denied SNAP (food stamps), and selling my furnishings and other personal posessions to be able to buy food, gas, heating oil, etc.

  501. I have to say, I see many good points made here on both sides of the ‘welfare/food stamp’ debate. But I have to say most of all that this ‘CDog’ person, whoever the hell you are, it’s obvious from your cold, unfeeling, and uncaring statement that you’ve never perhaps come into hard times. You’ve obviously never been a person who has worked since the age of 15, let’s say, and went to college, got married, got cheated on, and were left behind with two little ones to feed, who both have special needs, and no other way of feeding them, since you’re always back and forth to doctor’s appointments and such. My point here is, whether you understand it or not, these systems of ‘help’ are there for a good reason. And you shouldn’t judge, as someone else here mentioned, until you’ve walked in those shoes. I can promise you that there are MANY people who are on assistance programs, who’ve had no choice but to swallow their pride in order to feed their families, and would love nothing more than to NOT have to be on them, but life is always so neat or simple. And not EVERYONE on assistance programs is a fraud or uses food stamps for ‘extravagant things’, but for necessities. And the person who mentioned that the way the government just quickly cuts one off at the knees, even when one is legitimately trying to get back on their feet is very right also. I truly hope, Mr CDog, that you never fall on hard times, have to swallow YOUR pride and take ANY form of assistance, or you’ll be eating the biggest humble pie you’ve ever had, that’s for sure.

  502. And one more thing. That iphone you see me using? Yes. the 200$ one with the expensive plan. Its my brothers. I can not afford a phone. And i need a dependable one, that i can trust, so, as I have had to do twice in the last 6 months, i can call 911 as i am running out the back door, while the reason i am on aid breaks in the front door. I did not post my comments to the original poster. She has a valid point. There is serious abuse. I post my comments to everyone that looks at me in disgust as I hang my head and wait for the total to come up.

  503. You rock.

    I work at a grocery store not far from there and witness the same thing every day. I work a full week, with another job on the side, and I go to school, and I’m not on any kind of assistance at all, government or personal. I have an iPhone. Because I work hard, and pay for it. And you won’t see me pull my EBT card out, because I don’t NEED it. I could qualify, and I could use it, sure. I wouldn’t mind getting to spend 100+ dollars a month on things other than food. But EBT is for people who can’t eat, not people who want to eat better or people who want to use their money on the latest greatest craze, instead of buying food.

    And as one commenter reminded, its not about use, its about abuse. There are people in the state of Maine who work hard for what they have and still can’t make ends meet. As one commenter (rudly) stated, there are people who have spouses overseas who pass away, plus several other scenarios which may entitle them to government assistance. These people are not the people that this article is about. The article is about the people who sit and do nothing and with the help of government assistance, somehow can make ends meet, almost better than the working person. These are the people who deserve to be punished for their actions.

  504. I think those of you who just bashed her should apologize asap. She’s bringing up a valid point. Many actually. She wasn’t pointing YOU out. My mom was on food stamps. Ya know what we DIDN’T buy? Steak. Nothing like that. It’s called sacrificing until you get back on your feet. Just because you want it, doesn’t mean others should pay for it. And essentially, they are. Here in Cali, you can use the EBT card at liquor stores. (No wonder Cali is broke.) This should be shared with anyone in the govt who will actually do something. There needs to be a national set of restrictions. I was under the assumption that there was a 5 year restriction, but apparently I was wrong.

  505. Mary from Wisconsin says:

    Watch out! When you want reform, the well oiled machine of those who like income redistribution will tear and rip and any man or woman in politics who can not be bought to conform to liberal/progressive intervention of handouts. This has got to be reform but only the masses of US citizens can do it. The senators and governors already know but reform is a career destroyer, they are there for careers, not ethics, just ask out governor in Wisconsin. Tries to save the state union extortion tactics siphoning money from the taxpayer and the union driven socialists are going to rip him to shreds. Reform and limiting WHAT can be purchased is common sense logic, and with computers today would be so easy, you have got to wonder why it is not reformed. It would only take a matter of months and the changes could be made, why the heck is it not done???

  506. Mohamed_EG says:

    I am Egyptian, there are different ways here to deal with poverty. Eventhough, after reading your article ,You are very correct, These cards must be targeted for basic living-items and for the correct people.

  507. ***Lori says:
    December 13, 2011 at 6:53 pm
    “Judgmental cashiers who have been blessed enough to not be on welfare are the reason many of us choose the self-checkout line. Especially those of us who are the majority of people on food stamps and simply found ourselves in hard circumstances, needing to use the system for a while. We don’t want to be judged for what we purchase, as we won’t judge you. We don’t want to be judged for our clothing or our iPhones — perhaps that was a gift; perhaps we are stuck in a 2-year contract. The system was created for people like us, but it is people like you who make it so humiliating.”***

    No, Lori. It’s the Welfare Queens that she was describing, who cheat the system and try to pull one over on Walmart by forcing them to sell a vacuum for $3.48, who make it humiliating for those who truly need the help. Don’t go blaming this cashier for her observances and bringing the fraud to light for everyone else who pays for it.

  508. Momof3beautifulboys says:

    I am extremely frustrated as I read through these blogs as I read through these blogss. The article that was written is as true as it is sad. My husband and I struggle daily with our finances. He works all day and I work in the evening because we cannot afford child care during the day. We make just enough money to keep us over the eligibility line for any government assistance. This means that even though we sometimes it don’t make ends meet, nobody is there to help us. 3 small children it is a very expensive thing to try and feed our family. I often feed them rice and beans, spaghetti and red sauce, or pb&j…. as these things have proven to be cheapest to feed them. So for me to hear you people say god just because someone is on welfare does it mean they don’t “deserve” to have steak once in awhile makes me sick and proves that there is a serious flaw in the way the people of this country think and feel. We certainly do not feel that we are entitled to Steak because we don’t have the money to buy it. My husband is required to have a cellphone for his job, otherwise he wouldn’t have one because we can’t afford the bill.

  509. AuntieTayTay says:

    I agree with some, but not all of this article. Like letter C. for instance!! I am a welfare mother and I haven’t been on it that long, but I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what I am buying with my food stamps. There is no reason that my family can’t enjoy a steak once a month! There is also no reason that I can’t buy my son a birthday cake once a year with food stamps when I have no other way to purchase it! I agree that it baffles me at times when people have iphones, 2011 vehicles and what not when they are also on welfare but we also don’t know their life. The people that have nice clothes and are also on welfare – – well I’d just like to say that a lot of my ‘STUFF’ that I have is from when I still lived with my mother or from christmas gifts ect. Of course there are people out there who buy in the wrong way and who are working the system for their own use, but some of the things that this woman came up with just don’t make sense to me. And I don’t have TANF but if i did, yes, I would spend some of that money on clothes or TOYS for my son. What matters most to me is making my son happy and if I wanted to buy a toy now and then with that money that is MY business. As long as all the bills were paid for and items of most importance (diapers, wipes, toilet paper, soap, ect) are paid for as well then I see absolutly no reason why I should not be able to put a smile on my sons face and buy him a toy! I think it’s very easy for people who have not been on welfare and who have not been that low down about money to judge someone that is on welfare. I do the best that I can, I am in college and earning a degree! and working at the same time, and if I’m not working the fiance is working. But if I went to wal*mart to buy my groceries that cashier would NOT know that about me. They would simply know that I’m buying food stamps, and God forbid, I’m buying a steak with those food stamps!!

  510. While it’s disheartening that there are abuses to governmental assistance programs, for every person who abuses the system, I would think there are many more who utilize the programs for there intended use (stay afloat until times get better).

    But you’re right though, we do need to have a conversation about the social safety net. Is it worth it to have people who abuse the system in order to provide for those who actually need and an intend to get off eventually? My answer would be yes, but we probably need to increase the oversight on the program.

    It probably skews your opinion to work in a place visited by so many people that abuse the system. It would be interesting to actually look at some data on the issue, measuring how many people actually abuse the system.

  511. cynthia kanabe says:

    Very well written and to the point..I personally have worked in retail most of my life..I believe the food stamp program needs to be totally overhauled..I have seen with my own eyes people who are on food stamps because they are extremely obsese using their food stamps to buy junk –cookies-ice cream-sodas–cakes–chips..Food stamps should be for actual food products only..meat-veggies-fruits-breads not junk..I have heard people say over and over again they cant not make 300 to 500 a month in food stamps stretch out the whole month..Well I have no problem in doing it for cash for less than 200 a month..you have to plan –use sales–coupons..people on the food stamp program can buy anything they want..why should us as american taxpayers scrape pennies to buy hamburger while someone who doesnt work at all can get steaks??? Not all people on the food stamp program are lazy some actaully need them..but the numbers of people abusing the system outweigh the people that need them..

  512. Tim Ziegler says:

    I see this daily. I work in a dental office and see these “entitled” people daily. There is something wring with this country. People now make a living with welfare. Why is there no limit on how long you can collect welfare? The government is quick to penalize the working class on limiting unemployment to those who work and lose their jobs, and allow corporations to cut benefits on people that work their entire life. We need a government take over. They need to wake the hell up and see that the “working class” Americans are what keep this country going. Not the “welfare class” Americans. Our government is pathetic. I work in a dental office and these people drive in with their BMW’s and have a pocket full of cash, but bitch about a $1 or $2 co-pay. They feel as though they are entitled. It doesnt work with me. I kicked several out of the office and make them aware that they are the reason people don’t take MA patients. They don’t take care of their teeth by simply brushing them, but they want us to bleach them and they want it for free. I agree that it is needed for those who fall in to a bad place, but not to live off it and also give it to alcoholics and drug addicts because they have a disease? They made that choice. Why should webjave to pay for it. This country is said and enables this type of behavior.

  513. Crousselle, you do bring up some valid points in your article. I applaud your willingness to speak out on this subject and to publish it on the web. I would like for you to consider that when you make a post such as this without providing a balanced view of the issues you may be pegged as being narrow minded and judgmental. This is probably not the case but simply because you didn’t refer to the honest folks using public assistance you created more controversy. You also probably didn’t need to use language that creates stigma such as “welfare queen”. These things while true diluted the power of your post for me. I wish you the best of luck and kudos to you for working during the summer while attending school.

  514. wow i am a single mom of 3 kids i work a full time job and i get food stamps and yes i have a cell phone i need it for work and yes i have bought steak and a birthday cake for my kids birthday not all people miss use the system judgement is wrong when you relly know nothing about the person you are judging

  515. This disgusts me as well. I’m on some form of welfare but my husband and I are doing what we can to get off it. We still use foodstamps because he works and I stay home with our 7 month old baby. When the baby is old enough, I will also work. I was on all 3 forms of help before because of being abused and a young mother. I’ve never abused my welfare and have always been thankful for it. I cook all the meals, I bake cakes from scratch because it’s cheaper. I paid my bills, saved every penny. It was hard but with help from family, I was able to provide small meaningful birthdays and Christmases. I make meal plans, I don’t buy unhealthy food. Even if it’s more expensive to have the healthy choices it’s worth it. When we run out, which is about a week before my next allotment, we use money we set aside for this very reason. To feed my family of 5 it is at least $150/week. Because I married my husband we receive less, because he works, we receive less. I use none of my state foodstamps for soda, candy, Little Debbie, sugared cereal. Believe me, it WOULD be easier to give up and live off the state, I see plenty of lazy slugs doing just that. I don’t want to be one of those. We live paycheck to paycheck and if it wasn’t for foodstamps, we would not be able to feed our family. But also, because I’m honest and don’t take it for a ride, we get a lot less than those that do NOTHING and buy things from Schwan’s and have HUGE celebrations. I agree, we need to change things.

  516. Lynda Styles says:

    I have emailed Governor Lepage more than once about the broken food stamp system here in Maine. I know many stories just like this, and I agree that it is a travesty. However, to immediately jump to “this is why I vote Republican” just continued to divide people–comments like that will NEVER bring people together, don’t you see? I’m a liberal democrat who has called out people and called the state on people I see abusing the system. I work 60 hours a week and am incensed when I see abuses like the ones she wrote about here. This is a fantastic article–but you should never have crossed the line into the bias that is killing our country. Congratulations on this exposure, now let’s see if the illustrious governor will do ANYTHING about it, rather than cutting Medicaid for those who really need it.

  517. Mary Phillips says:

    Ah…I have come to speak for the “other side of the coin” – so to speak. While I empathize with hard working folks who think as the writer of this article is, I also realize that her article represents a perception which omits many important realities.

    Now, I’m nearly 67 years old, disabled and retired, and I do not receive food stamps. However, there have been times in my life that I have needed to be on welfare, including food stamps and Maine Care Medical Insurance in order to survive and raise our four children. Some of those years I also lived in Government Housing. I was always hard working, did what I could to respond to the needs of my family and neighbors. Like the writer of this article, I encountered many “Welfare Families – and individuals.” However, I did not perceive them the same way the article’s writer perceived them – well, not for the most part anyway. In all populations of people there are a minority of those who just don’t care but that does not represent the majority.

    So, for what it’s worth – be aware of how things are “on the other side.”

    1) When I went to the Vocational Rehabilitation offices to seek help to become employed I was told outright that I should go on Social Security Disability, Maine Care, and Food Stamps instead. That’s not what I wanted. I wanted the dignity and freedom of working. That was rejected as I would have been too much trouble to employ.

    2) When I was on food stamps, with four children, I went to the store and purchased the highest qualities of meats that I could afford because, in the long haul, they gave us the most eatable portions, the least fats and bones, and the best nutrition for our dollar. I decided that having less quantity and more quality was the way to go. If I could get marked down meats I did that. I basically shopped for all foods that way – more quality was prioritized over more quantity.

    3) When I was on food stamps – when one of the kids had a birthday I did not have much to offer in terms of cash purchasing so every year they’d get to tell me what they wanted for their Birthday Dinner – whatever it was they got! In similar fashion I deviated from my usual conservative food buying for Christmas and Easter.

    4) It did anger me that I was allowed to buy junk like potato chips, soda, candies, and the like but that I could not buy children’s vitamins on food stamps!

    5) As for a welfare person buying a “slip n slide” with their income – I ask: Why shouldn’t a “Welfare Child” have a Birthday gift if their parent can manage to squeeze that out of their monthly income? It isn’t like that parent could afford something better.

    6) Many people that I encountered that were “Generational Welfare Families” simply did not have the collective personal resources that would have been necessary to have lifted themselves out of the socio-economic position they were in. There’s a whole list of reasons for this: mental ability – both IQ related and mental health related, physical ability, financial ability (it takes money to be able to position one’s self to be able to go out to work), employment opportunities (if the work opportunities are not present then they can’t be used), and cleverness – that’s what I said, “cleverness.” Why the last thing? Well, those in my family learned that it was best to use a friend’s address on applications in order to avoid the waste basket used for applications with unseemly address on them. Yah, persons from “the projects” were deemed “undesirables” and deposited in the recycling bin. These are some of the reasons that folks remain on welfare.

    7) All of our children grew up relatively healthy, clean, and trim. All graduated from school, some in the top 10 of their classes. None of them receive AFDC as adults. All of them worked by the time they turned 15 years old. And…their father re-paid every penny that the state billed him for – so the AFDC was not a “hand out” – it was more like a loan that’s been paid in full!

    8) Ease up folks – old saying, “Don’t judge your neighbor until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” :) <3

  518. I worked at a different type of grocery store and found slight humor in your article because I know it and lived it all too well my 2 years there.. I saw people come through and spend $75 on lobster… $40+ on bottled soda… Hear people go off on me about how they don’t find it acceptable they can buy uncooked lobster and chicken on EBT but they cannot buy it if it is cooked… so I would have to put the cooked $12 lobster back. I witnessed people coming in in designer clothing, groomed to the nines with the latest gadgets and Coach bags taking TANF cash off not one but TWO EBT cards (One person took $800 off one card and another $450 off another) Then walk out and get into their brand new car or truck.. People take cash of their TANF side and buy lots of scratch tickets or lottery tickets… People who would come buy milk with their food side and Brandy with the Cash side… OH but let us NOT forget my all time almost got fired over customer. She walked up to my register with 2 small children. The girl asked ‘mom can we have a pack of gum?’.. -No I don’t have the extra money to get you gum right now-… Then her son ‘Mom can we get a bag of chips PLEASE we will share it!?!’.. -NO I told you I DONT have any money right now STOP asking me for stuff.-.. She then NO FREAKIN LIE puts up TWO 30 racks of friggin beer and asked me to get her two cartons of Marlboros!! I was already pissed off and dumbfounded that she wouldn’t buy her kids a $2 bag of chips to share but she just got what $100+ worth of cigarettes and $60 worth of beer?? She then swiped her damn EBT card and hit cash. That was then my mouth involuntarily opened and told her that if I had known she was paying with that I would have refused the sale to her. She said I cannot refuse sale to anyone no matter what they are buying or how they pay unless its a minor and I quickly told her that no I reserve the right to refuse sale to anyone and although it wasn’t right or fair what she did that she was buying all this and not getting her kids 1 thing, I was mad but was going to let it go. When I saw that I was standing there in a 9 hour work day away from MY 3 children to pay for her to smoke and drink it up pissed me off and reminded her yet again that had I known I would have refused. I said it may not be the healthiest food choice but I don’t mind standing there to put food in her kids tummies if they are hungry but I do mind standing there to give her lung cancer and liver disease. By now her card was approved and she was on her way out and I was quickly taken into the office and written up.

  519. Wow…you can sure tell who the takers are on this board. Say whatever you need to so you feel better about yourselves…you’re not fooling anyone; not even yourself. Not in your heart and soul. Someone getting help for 2 yrs is one thing; more than that is just disgraceful, and doesn’t say much about your character. PC is out the window. The masses are tired of footing the bill and are now calling you takers out for what you are. It’s the truth. It may hurt your feelings, but it’s the truth. Deal with it and take care of yourself, your family. Quite leaning on everyone else for years and years. Have some pride and self respect.

  520. Wake up “AMERICA”!!!

  521. This was an amazing post…. until this line: “I said I was reminded why I vote Republican.” The idea that all Democrats promote unrestricted welfare is wrong, just like the idea that all Republicans want to deprive the needy of assistance.

    Whether you vote Republican or Democrat, this issue is a huge problem, and partisianism will never fix it. Simply voting for a Republican, or a Democrat, won’t fix it.

  522. Now the decision makers are trying to allow EBT use at fast food restaraunts here in TN. Where does it stop?

  523. Be careful with your hate. “Takers” indeed. Why would you buy processed food from out of the country with your money when you could buy American-made steak and support our economy?

    I’m sorry some of you had degenerate parents but really…stop hating.

  524. As I read the story further I can see her lack of sensitivity. The other day I saw a woman at the welfare office. She drove in with a 2009 escalade, beautiful thing. My thoughts were just as judgmental as this lady’s until I found out, through my wife, that her husband had been laid-off just months prior and the car was bought when things were well financially. 2 years later he’s laid-off. I have an expensive smart phone which was bought under a 2 year plan 1 year prior to being let go form my 4 year job. My payments are above $25/mo. I’m sure I, along with thousands of others didn’t plan on spending the money just to get laid off and live off the Government.

  525. love this article! My family and I are stuck in a horrible limbo of making less than $200 over the monthly required income level to be eligible for benefits of any kind (insurance and heating being the two biggies!) My 5 year old son and I have been without health insurance for the last 4 years simply because we cannot afford to be insured through our employers to the tune of alost $600 a month and continue to pay for our housing, food, and utilities. He has never in his life had a store bought cake, Betty Crocker mixes for this little guy. Christmas presents? I wish I could give my little man more than 2 or 3 presents this year…my Christmas budget for him was $40. My husband and I? We don’t even buy presents for each other and haven’t for the last 7 years, we have oil to purchase and a power bill to pay. Cable television? Cancelled that 2 years ago, food was more important. I do not deny that there are people who legitimately need the assistance, when I hear how people are using TANF (some that have been on it for YEARS or even decades….isn’t that T supposed to stand for temporary?) to purchase christmas presents or food stamps to buy steak and lobster, paid in part for my husband and I working our tails off just to keep ourselves above water, yeah I get frustrated.

  526. I witnessed some of the same fraud. One instance was last month. The gal gave the cashier about $900 cash to refill her Walmart credit card. I would bet my life that she was paid cash for a job and is sheltering the money there instead of opening a bank account where welfare would bust her.

    Another case involves a family friend. They pay a person $1,500 cash a month that also gets $900 from the state for three children. They also live in a 4 bedroom house for $75 a month and have utilities paid for. Food is all on EBT card…..this insanity has to stop!

  527. How can you say they’re committing welfare fraud? Just because you witnessed what they purchased doesn’t mean you know their income. If they choose to give their food to others thats their business. You’re not qualified to make that conclusion. If you do your research you’ll find that te state makes these people go thru a lot to get food stamps and other assistance. Trust me Uncle Sam wouldn’t be giving it away if he did not think they needed it. Maybe if you gave them better jobs then they would not need food stamps. Think about that for a minute!!

  528. I wrote simular article for Lew Rockwell about 8 years ago now. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/saboe1.html

  529. This young lady has hit the nail right on the head. I have seen this entitlement mentality increase since the late 1980’s. I went through some hard time but the only type of assistant I ever took was unemployment for a period of about 6 weeks until I found a new job and I actually spent those 6 weeks looking for work not sitting around as so many do now. I can tell you as an employer that I see people on a regular basis who take a job with our company when their unemployment benefits run out only to attempt to get fired ASAP to go back on unemployment. Many of there young people will actually brag about trying to get fired to collect UI so they can just hang out and do what they want. Personally I hated being on unemployment but at the time I really didn’t have a choice.

  530. Christine Strunk says:

    This is well written with a lot of good arguments. Welfare is a gift, not a right. It’s terrible that people abuse it. It seems like some of them feel entitled to it. Perhaps, they need a spending coach to help them understand what is acceptabl, and how to avoid dependence on the state.

  531. Lori Aspers says:

    I don’t believe a single word. Really- you adjusted prices on several items for no reason? You blame someone for having to tell you that green peppers are a food? A huge birthday cake and lobsters? I bet you know twins named Oranjello and Lemonjello too, right? You are exactly what is wrong with the right wing party- lies and misinformation spread like wildfire and believed by the gullible. Hilarious that someone working at Wal Mart thinks they are above those shopping there.

  532. Great Article Christine! To ALL those who are against this article: The truth bothers you, doesn’t it ? Yes the economy is bad and you lost your job, but don’t you know what common sense is ? (sorry I forgot, that doesn’t exist anymore!) if you can’t afford a B-day cake with out of pocket money, then you do NOT buy it. if you have no cash in your wallet to buy sodas, chips, and candy bars,junk food, then do NOT buy them! Why do I have to pay for your sodas, candy bars, party cakes, and other useless items that not healthy for you to begin with ?! oh yes, I know why: so you can go to the Dr. and use your ‘MedicAid-out-of-MY-paycheck plan’ and abuse that too!
    YES, I KNOW what it means to STRUGGLE! Been there done that, but at that time my parents had COMMON SENSE and they’ve cut off LOTS of ‘pleasures’ , cut off on electricity, so we can have FOOD to eat! And guess what?? They did it with SEVEN children without being a burden on someone else’s paycheck! My husband went through terrible financial STRUGGLES as well, and made it without being a burden on someone else’s paycheck!
    And guess what ?? the welfare system IS being abused! A yr and a half ago my husband hired someone; she worked for TWO days at his office and QUIT and applied for Unemployment, and she just came from Unemployment before she worked those two days !
    If you want a job to have money for FOOD, you WILL find it, believe me! But you need to want it MORE than you want to stay home and do nothing but live on welfare! Go clean somewhere, go babysit, go mow neighbors lawns, go to a fast food and see if they hire, there are many options, and you will have enough money to buy decent nutritious food to stay alive! Cut off our internet, iphone, TV cable, sell your TV, save on your electric bill, quit eating junk, quit eating fast food, quit shopping for useless items, and you will have ENOUGH money for FOOD Without welfare ! Good luck!

  533. Ok way to far here kiddo i seriously doubt someone is buying a huge birthday cake every single month they get food stamps !! You are saying kids who have parents who do not make ” enough” money do not deserve cake ??? wow !!! Not every single “welfare” queen as you call us sits and does not work and as a matter of fact when you receive cash TANF benefits that you complained about someone buying a slip and slide with lol THEY MAKE YOU WORK 80 HOURS A WEEK PULLING WEEDS ON THE HIGHWAY OR WHATEVER ELSE THEY “FIND” FOR 100 BUCKS A MONTH PER PERSON !!!!!! they do not just hand it to you !!!!! now honey i know if you pulled weeds for 20 hours a week for 40 bucks cause i have one child i make 40 bucks a week thats 2 bucks an hour right ???? use that phone do the math !! lets see you bust your butt working at a pull weeds in the summer kind of job just cause you are looking for a good job and tell me you do not deserve to buy a slip and slide if thats what you worked for that is what you worked for just sayin !!!!!

  534. Reading this story is no surprise to me, over 29 years ago I use to be on welfare and I guess I was one of the rare ones in life, I planned meals I also wasnt going to settle for a life of being on it either. One thing I can say is I was thankful for the help as It was needed, but I was only on it for less then a year. Some people are ungreatful for the help they get, well others I see are trying to work and support their family and never get any help as they make to much money, but they have nothing no fancy phone or nice car like the ones who are not trying. I just think its a shame to see the ones who are trying get no help and the ones who do not need it and abuse it get it right away, Also on this matter I think anyone on welfare should have to take random drug tests, I have to pass one to get my job so why cant they take one to get our money.just saying!

  535. BTW I just also wanted to point out that you know what yes we have used the Food Stamp system and when I found myself a single mom with my first son I used the TANF too but you know there is a way to make it work!! We did NOT buy chocolate and chips and soda and junk on our card those were luxuries for us then and we bought those with our money. He wanted a toy it wasn’t an expensive one he understood the value of a dollar young and we went to GoodWill or the Dollar store and he got something that was not too expensive I would have never bought a slip and slide on TANF because it is for bills shelter heat.. We also once a week had steak but you know what? Hannaford has steaks for under $3.. No need for a big expensive steak when a cheap one gets the job done!

  536. Well written piece, Christine.

    @ Melissa E – I blieve it was quite well stated that there is understanding that there is sometimes a LIMITED need for assistance but, when the country still followed more closesly its ‘original intent’, the church was the town center and the community stepped in to help its neighbors, NOT this monstrosity of a government bureaucracy we have today.

    @ Nikki – Steak, lobster and candy, paid for by monies from half of working society’s payroll taxes is NOT free! There are millions who make it through frugal, informed decision-making. What this young woman was pointing out was the blatantly obvious manipulation of a system that allows ‘cradle-to-grave’ entitlements that have bankrupted this entire nation and threaten society as a whole! It’s the SOCIAL programs that have done that!

    @ Fat Milhouse Sean – Limiting choices for Food Stamps and WIC would ‘distort the markets’!? What are you smoking!?!? The markets are distorted by the artificial manipulation of government trying to ‘equalize’ an unequal society! You cannot extort money from one class to pay for propositions they do not agree with and expect ‘natural’ fiscal outcomes. That’s called TRYANNY! What you say makes about as much sense as saying that frogs should have a knot tied in their tongues to give flies a better chance of survival.

  537. Check this out … to everyone who thinks TANF in Maine really is “living off the government.” http://www.nccp.org/profiles/ME_profile_36.html

    The annual MAXIMUM TANF benefits FOR A FAMILY OF THREE is $5,820. PLEASE! That’s NOTHING!!

    “There is a lifetime time limit of 60 months on a family”s receipt of federally-funded benefits.”

    People do not LIVE off of federal assistance. They’re not rolling around in Mercedes, buying gold, and having 30 baby-daddies … Regan used this term “welfare queen” during his campaign in the 1970’s and totally gave a horrible, inaccurate, and ignorant perception of people getting state or federal assistance.

    If you think THIS is bad, how about you consider the millionaires who get tax breaks on their second homes. Or, who do not have to pay capital gains taxes.

    I’m a struggling graduate student living off a measly stipend — I live in DC and living expenses are high. I have a tuition waiver, thank god (otherwise I couldn’t afford to go to school). Recently, I got a 1099 tax form for my TUITION WAIVER; I have to pay taxes on the tuition I receive! Is that not ridiculous?!?!?

    People need to stop being so narrow in their arguments! Yes, I agree, there are people that abuse the welfare system! But, there are also people who do not! Are you really going to expend all your energy on a few hundred people in your state that decide to buy lobsters and birthday cake — what an outrage!?! How about you focus your energy where the real problems rest … in the fact that millionaires are running our nation and that there aren’t jobs (millions of jobs are being outsourced — come on, Maine … haven’t you seen the devastation this outsourcing has caused in the manufacturing sector??). ALSO … PLEASE, use spell check; there are people on BOTH sides of this argument on here whose points aren’t getting across due to the lack of grammatical correctness!

    *(#%&(*W&%(W*%& <—- my frustration.

  538. I just want to say that I totally agree with people over using the system being wrong -{ if the education is not there this is all they have to fall back on } but I must say that this american life style has warrented all of this! America’s big luxurious expenses trickle all the way down to the poor and the truth of the matter is if you aren’t spending that money or living extravagantly you are disregarded n discarded, but what she don’t see if people breaking their neck to live off the land and stop sucking the earth dry of all its natural resource is so that we all can live in harmony. and if it’s not okay for everybody to spend some and then this conversation is worthless

  539. Here is an analogy that might make you think differently about this situation. Every year the federal government supports hundreds of thousands of college students through federal aid programs. Most of this money is ostensibly for “educational expenses” but every semester I know of students who use their funding, much of which will never need to be repaid because it is a grant, or which will be a loan that is forgiven or defaulted, for things like alcohol, eating out, drugs, cigarettes, pornography, and all sorts of luxuries. School administrators regularly game the system too, lining their own pockets with funds intended for students. The funny thing is that you never hear (at least in most policy discourse) cries about the problem of the “FAFSA Queen.”

    Let’s try another example. Every year billions of dollars are contributed to our military budget and to our highway transportation budget. As a taxpayer in a democracy I understand that the bundle of goods I’d prefer (less war, more public transportation) will likely never see the light of day. But what I can’t stand seeing is the congressional district that gets unneeded aid for its military base or the one that funnels unnecessary dollars to “fix roads” that are perfectly fine while others continue to rot. But, again, we simply lack the administrative capacity for the oversight needed to fix this. Or maybe I should talk about the way farmers can game the system of farm-related incentives. Or the way real estate developers fraudulently abuse government incentives for affordable housing creation. We have a massive amount of government spending–this would be true under either Republicans or Democrats, albeit with slight differences in how the marginal dollar is spent in certain areas. And we have, in turn, a massive number of scam artists who abuse this system.

    Are “welfare queens” a problem? Sure. But I find it laughable that we point at them often first when deciding how we must reform our socio-government contract. They are a drop in the bucket, and the proposals put forward for fixing the leak usually mean dumping half the water or tearing up the bucket.

  540. I know I work hard for my money and the dollar does not stretch very far. I go without food could use assistance but do not qualify make too much. Sad we who work. For our money don’t have free or low cost housing could use that too. I hope governor lepage takes this welfare package seriously and do something make people go to work .after certain amount of time has passed. Why should I have I have to suffer. Watch others cheat the system and fault the one who works hard while they reap the benefits just not fair they get free medical while I pay hundreds in ins rates and still have med bills. No fair! Walk a mile in my shoes.

  541. Leah Ann Simone says:

    I’m a struggling single mother that has been receiving benefits such as food stamps and WIC for approximately 6 months now. I read your article and agree 100% but there is something that I’d like to add. This may seem biased and certainly not meant to be offensive it’s just another way the system has failed to take care of the American’s that need assistance. My issue is that I’m appalled when I see non-American’s (I’ll call them this but I’m sure you all know what I mean- illegals-) receiving benefits when they don’t work, don’t even try to work, and have multiple children. I’m 40 years old. I have been paying taxes for 25 years. I have worked for 25 years. I have been paying into the system for 25 years and now in my time of need the state of Georgia is only aiding me to the tune of $16.00 a month!! Where’s all that money that I contributed to for 25 years? It goes to the non- Americans that have never paid taxes, have never worked, or realize how good they got it with their “benefits” and have no reason to get a job! This disgusts me and changes the way I feel about being an American.

  542. There is a difference between fraud and things that are needed, now I will agree that “buying” hotdogs and condiments for your hot dog cart business is fraud. But since when is buying your child a birthday cake fraud? Some women can’t bake to save themselves and they try to make sure their children have a good birthday, now there is nothing wrong with that. I myself have been a walmart worker, I have no shame in saying that, I also have no shame in saying that I myself get food stamps to help feed my family, I also got food stamps while working at walmart, now does that make me a fraud? I think not, that just shows that even the working class people need a little assistance from time to time. I know what this young woman means when some people take it out on the cashier if things don’t exactly go their way and it does get frustrating, but to sit here and be as far as I am concerned being very judgmental towards anyone that needs state funded assistance. To me, she sat on her “high horse” and looked down on those that are trying to provide a life for their family with any means necessary. Seeing that she is being so judgmental towards those that need assistance, I am going to voice my judgmental opinion on the author of that article. She obviously don’t have children, and must come from money so it is OK for her to pass judgement on those of us that have children and don’t have money. I am starting to see the very reason why I teach my kids to not criticize anyone that asks for help for they might just need the help, though there are some that abuse it, there are others that do NOT, and to be put into that category just upsets me. I think Christine needs to walk a mile in someone Else’s shoes before she snubs her nose at those that are unfortunate.

  543. I’m still trying to gather my jaw off the floor, and I’m unsure if it’s because a petulant child thinks she has any right to judge others, or if it’s because people are agreeing with you. Let me give you a little insight, sweetheart. I was laid off at 6 months pregnant, and after months struggling to find a job, my husband and I made the decision that it was more prudent for me to go back to school, to give me a better chance in the job market. For the past year, my husband has worked two jobs while I stay at home as a full time student and full time mother. We receive both Maincare and Food Stamps. Without the Food Stamps, we would starve. We barely make ends meet, but we have been able to keep our credit afloat and provide the basics for our family. We also both have iPhones, purchased prior to my layoff. By all accounts, your advice would be that I should not be allowed to have this device. So I assume that you feel cancelling, being assessed hundreds of dollars in fees and taking the hit to our credit would be more prudent? You have no idea how stressful it is that on top of needing help, I have to deal with the ignorance of people like you judging me and making assumptions. You best hope that you are never put into a situation where you need some sort of help, because you will rue the day you judged others. Yes, there are people who abuse the system. But insulting them, labeling them, denouncing them as lesser than yourself? That only hurts those of us who use the help the right way, not those who don’t. I’m ashamed that you’re the next generation, God help my son for what he may have to endure with people like you making decisions. You have a lot of growing up to do before you’ve earned a right to state what people are and are not entitled to.

  544. And yes it does get abused ALOT people sell them misuse them and make single moms who work and get food stamps look really really bad not saying everyone is perfect but hey come on now not every family on assistance programs are pieces of system abusing crap only half of them

  545. To those defending the author as “not judgemental” because she expresses that she’s only against “welfare queens” and not the people she feels “truly need it”, well, guess what – that’s judgemental. It is the definition of judgemental for this middle class college student to believe that she can judge someones true need based on a singular interaction. Pu-lease, I would doubt that this girl would meet anyone she feels “truly need it”. Do the world a favor, stop thinking you know anything, let alone everything, about a person based on one interaction at Wal-Mart. I hope you don’t break anything when you finally fall from that sky-high horse you’re on.

  546. I dont have a problem with people on FS buying birthday cakes for their kids, people who are truly in need – the topper from the grocery store cake might be the only toy the kid gets. Thats fine. What I DO mind, are the ones I see who are using fs to eat steak, lobster etc, then whipping our big ole wad of cash to pay for the cigs and beer. THAT hacks me off. I over heard a lady tell a friend one day if she had “one more kid” her check would go up enough she could afford a new car, so she was in the market for a nice looking man. We were on WIC and medicaid when I had my first child – we were both in grad school, bc failed and we had our beautiful oldest daughter- with out medicaid and wic we wouldn’t have been able to take care of her. I nursed her, but the extra cheese and protein for me was helpful. However we didn’t apply for fs, even though we qualified, bc our grad school income, as little as it was, was enough to buy the food for my husband and I. Since that time (our daughter is now 10) I am certain I have more than repaid what it cost for the state of Louisiana to help us out that 19 months. I have no problem with people using the aid when they need it.

  547. Wow, There’s a lot of people that really don’t get it. She said, She is not against people on assistance programs. She’s against THE ABUSE OF THE PROGRAMS. I read several peoples thoughts from both sides. I live in the Wash. D.C. area , I see a great deal of fraud all the time. My Ex Wife is a prime example of people working the system. We have 2 kids together, girls 16 & 10. I have the 16yr old, she has the 10yr old. I’m out of work now. I have a hard time paying for little luxury’s in life. I do get unemployment and now they’re taking $98. a week out to send to my Ex. She pays $0.00 for squat !!! Including her 16 yr old. She also has 3 kids in Calif. which she pays $ O—zip for. She owes State of California over $73,000 in child support for those kids, but she collects money from state of MD. and is not being harassed by law enforcement WTF?? I pay my bills & buy my food with no help. I work at odd jobs to make ends meet. Yeah I may not report a lil extra $$ to unemployment because what ever you say you made extra that week, they short you on your next check. That hardly seems fair of like an incentive to get a job. I have many yrs specialized skills in a special construction trade. I was making $28 an hr. I was bringing home around $850-1000 a week. My rent is $1600 + Utls. I get $1200.a mo from unemployment, That is something I paid into for many yrs. I don’t get assistance from the state. Am I wrong to not report my Xtra $ I make here & there, while looking for regular employment? YES according to the state. I guess I should file for welfare to help ends meet right??? NOT as long as I have 2 good hands & feet I can work with.. I think they should be more rules & regs on receiving welfare, and piss testing. I have to Pee in a cup to get a job to earn $ to pay taxes, but these people who “Work” The System. 2 weeks ago I stood in line behind a well dressed woman of color who had 2 carts full of stuff. I figured, wow she must have a big family. I’d hate to have to pay for all those groceries….geesh. She all kinds of gold & diamonds on, real nice fancy nails. All her Bling on display to tell the world, Look at Me! I’m Rich! Then her total comes up….$ 437.++ I was blown away when out comes the Independence Card (food stamps) to pay for it all. Well sonofabitch, I did have to pay for all those groceries ! I paid my $61.00 for my few things for the week. I go outside to see her loading all these goodies in the back of her Lincoln Nigavator. Looking suspect of abuse??? Yes !! I had people say that maybe the clothes & jewels & truck were all gifts….Really?? are people really that fu*kin naive? or just Stupid?

  548. Everyone seems a little up in arms about the Writer’s comment on steak and lobster. I think the point made is that the purpose of welfare in the first place, is to help people meet there most basic needs. My husband and I each own our own business and work extremely hard for the money we make. We’ve bought one good steak in our lifetime and it was actually an accident.
    I had my own experience that changed my perspective. I was planning the wedding of a NFL football player. He and his fiancé had three kids together but being technically unmarried, she had a food stamp card. The groom tried to give me that card when I went to pick up all the alcohol. He was making $300,000 a year.

  549. Steve Holcomb says:

    Very well written.

  550. I came from a third world country where we worked really hard. I’m now in the US and have used the opportunities available here to succeed starting from nothing.. I’ve realized that Americans born here have no idea about how blessed they are. There is now a generation that is being spoilt because they think they are entitled to everything in life. Things like welfare goes unchecked created generations dependent on welfare. Welfare in it’s current form is a system that rewards those who do not work and punishes those who do work.

    The people over here defending the “birthday cake” for any reason whatsoever just proves that they have no sense of responsibility. If you want a birthday cake for any reason whatsoever, buy it with YOUR OWN MONEY… .not by benefits subsidized by hardworking tax payers. By letting excesses like these, the government is PUNISHING HARD WORKING TAX PAYERS.

    American kids in the last 30 years are getting more stupid and entitlement centered as the years go by… thanks to their parent’s generation of irresponsibility. That is why Americans kids have the highest number in drop out rates (40%) and also the highest number of people who change majors from STEM to something far more easier. This is simply because most American kids no longer know what it means to work hard and have short attention spans to focus on anything that can make them succeed in life.

    it’s refreshing to see people like the author go against the tide.

  551. Let me break it down for you……. I too agree there ia abuse in the system no doubt, but to judge me because I stand before you with my foodstamp card that I get $16 a month and use it for let’s say my Son’s birthday cake….You don’t know that all I get is $16 dollars an month and work 2 jobs and pay almost $200 dollars every 2 weeks for health insurance for my son and myself, which brings down my earned income to a low enough amount that makes me now eligible for my $16 a month in foodstamps and medical assistance for my son to help cover the co-pays that are left from my private insurance that costs me so much out of every paycheck that I can’t afford co pays or to go to movies or to buy myself new clothes. You don’t know that 2 nights a week my son and I don’t get home until 1 am because I am working a second job to ensure I have enough money to buy my son new clothes and toys as he grows and needs more. You don’t know that my son’s father has a mental illness that manifested while I was pregnant, and after knowing him for 28 years (yes we grew up together) I was living with a stranger, no he is incapable of helping, because he can’t work because he has to be on heavy anti psycotics that make him drowsy and sluggish to prevent him from feeling like he wants to cut out my heart…yeah you don’t any of this but when I pull out my BRIGHT ORANGE card and swipe for what ever it is I choose to use MY $16 a month, you judge me, you make your assumptions to what kind of person I am. So if I want to by my son a BIRTHDAY CAKE WITH MY FOODSTAMPS, GOD DAMN IT, I WILL!!!! That only means that $16 will be coming out of my paycheck to buy milk or bread!! So mind our own bussiness and stop judging everyone who has that bright orange card. I pay for my own food stamps and medical assistance with the close to $300 dollars that comes out of my paychecks in taxes!

  552. Your article was extremely well written and insightful. Yes, the system is used and abused so extensively that it is indeed destroying our country.

    But.

    There are truly people out there that are in such sad situations. You cannot possibly truly know each and every situation that comes through your check out line.

    In general this country is so messed up right now it is not even funny. Welfare and assistance are just mere symptoms of a greater issue in this country.

  553. Maureen Suncrest says:

    It sounds like you needed to spend less time analyzing how people paid (i.e. not your business) and more time doing your job.

  554. I just think it is funny how people blame the government that the ones who abuse the system can not get off welfare. The government did ask for those people to get on it to begin with. My husband is in the Army and we have four children, 13 years ago we tried to get JUST food stamps because we were strugging with his low government PAY CHECK and got turned down. But those who dont even try to work, or go to school to better themselves can ride the system, bull!! Those who complain about the govenment taking it right from under them is the ones who pass it from generation to generation like its some familyharlom or something. My husand is a recruiter in the army and some girl told him that she is going to have lots of babies and live on welfar like her momma…just sad! Welfare system needs to step up and get those people off that dont need before they run out of money and those who work and pay taxes wont have medicare and retirement checks. Get of your you know what and get a JOB!!!

  555. My mom would spend hours toiling away at a cash register at $3.75 an hour as a cashier at a bakery. Believe me, the amount of food stamps that we received was not enough for steak and other luxury items. Our big treat of the week was to pick out out favorite brand of cereal.

    My father avoided paying his child support, he was only required to pay $80 a month. Whenever his wages started to get garnished, he would quit his job and work under the table.

    We also received Section 8 supplemental housing for reduced rent. We would have an inspection and someone would go through the house once or twice a year to make sure it was up to code. My mom would scrub the walls with bleach to make sure that it would pass because the house had a tendency to mold. She would get a couple hundred dollars a month off her rent for her efforts. She worked hard to have a clean place for us to live.

    When my Mom got a raise to $4.25 an hour, the state considered that enough and cut us off. We didn’t have enough money for anything extra, even second hand clothes were a luxury. We had no car and we took a bus when necessary. We walked nearly a mile to the grocery store and carried our groceries home, because bus fare was too expensive. Our Saturday night treat was Kool-aid and popcorn. For entertainment, we watched Happy-days and the Love Boat on an old tiny black and white TV. Thank God we had left overs from the bakery when the food ran out, not exactly nutritious.

    Yes, there are people out there committing fraud, Social Services has a tough job. Is it more expensive to spend a bunch of money investigating these people or is it easier to just go by income level? It is not a perfect system. Try to keep in mind that before you judge, consider that there are a lot of people that receive EBT with different circumstances, some of them do work and receive them as supplemental to their low wages. Be sure to vote for a higher minimum wage to reward those that do work.

  556. I personally think they are thieves and they are stealing. It makes me sad and angry that my tax dollars are being stolen like this. No wonder our country is so far in debt, both on the individual level, state level, and the national level.

  557. Awesome article, and here I thought crap like this only happened in MN.

    Anyone who can rationalize the acts of such bums needs to pay more taxes so I can have a turn.

  558. Susan Frost McHugh says:

    This gives me HOPE for the future; and maybe with more college students like this, actual CHANGE that may save America. The bottom line here is entitlement versus empowerment. We need to focus more on empowerment than entitlement because most people would prefer a job to welfare, even though there are obviously those who are just L-A-Z-Y.

  559. My dad never told me how to live, he showed me. He was a single dad and at times between jobs, he would go on food stamps. He got off of them as soon as he had another job. I grew up without medicaid. I never had my teeth cleaned until 19 years of age. Some are judgmental of this writer. Is she young? yes. Will she understand different opinions later in life? maybe.
    For those that *need* help, they should have it. If they want to limit their other food choices for the month and buy the occasional steak, cake, etc. That is on them. I know I wouldn’t want to, but that is on their head.
    My dad lost his license due to a DUI. When getting them back, he had a job, and we ate cheap chicken and really cheap pizza that I have issues with eating to this day. But we survived and we both sacrificed for his mistake.
    Later in life, he got saved and lived a great life. He was rich by no means, but acquired a new wife and had a son. He found that he was dying of Leukemia. He was ordered not to work because he was a truck driver and it would interfere with driving properly. His wife did not work. They had no debt except a 225.00 house payment. They went to the food stamp office to receive help. They were told that because he had a late model truck he was making payments on that he couldn’t be helped. He explained that the insurance he bought on it when he purchased the vehicle paid for the payments. They did *not* care. he went to his grave wondering how his new family would make it. Yet, a person can *LEASE* a car and receive food stamps. Why? because they don’t “own” the car.
    According to man’s laws some of the people the ride the system may squeak by with “living within the law”, but one day we all will face a judge. That judge will ask everyone why they did things in their lives that were not pleasing.
    Should things change? We should try to help our poor when we can, and for those poor that are able, they should help themselves by working at whatever job they can find.
    Teaching your children the tricks of the system to get and stay on it is in my opinion shameful.
    One last story. When I was 18, I needed a place to live. I had friends whose parents took me in. They gave me a limit of time that I could stay with them. I called the government agencies very reluctantly, but I needed help. I swallowed my pride and tried my best. After several calls that led to nowhere, I came across this man who gave me advice. He said they couldn’t help me because I wasn’t with child. I asked the man “So, you are saying I should go out and get pregnant to get help?” He said “do what you have to do”. There was no way that I was ready for a child, I wasn’t even in a relationship. I couldn’t bring a child into this world that way.
    I, too, was a cashier, seen many folks come through with junk, paying for their groceries with lots of jewelry on. I don;t care if they got it for gifts. You don’t show all that in a grocery store when using stamps!! They were buying things my dad couldn’t afford working a full time job. I went through school not telling my dad I needed certain supplies because I knew he couldn’t afford them. I always got bad grades on science projects because of this.
    There is so much more help now for those that need it. For those that truly do, AWESOME. For those that abuse it, shame.

  560. This is an interesting and well written article. While the author makes many valid points about systemic problems and the cycle of dependency, she also reveals what I think the larger issue is, and that is, our expectations of what the poor should look like and how they behave. She complains about people using Iphones, buying kitkat bars, WWE figurines and a slip n slide, as well as steak and birthday cakes. Implicit in this is the expectation that the poor should be miserable and grateful, and somehow do not have the right to buy things like birthday cakes and slip n slides for their children.
    While I agree that the system is flawed and that there is real harm in generations of dependency, we who are privileged enough to have work and reliable income need to look into the eyes of those who are not and recognize ourselves, and the humanity we share. This applies to both the right and the left, both of whom perpetuate fraudulent stereotypes of the poor – the shiftless and lazy cheats of the right, and the poor defenseless victims of the left. The truth is that in these harsh economic times, more and more people are truly in need of help. It is also true that enabling long term dependency on such help is not only a financial drain on society but also a waste of human potential. How many innovators, how many significant contributors to our society and culture are we not realizing by perpetuating this cycle of dependency?
    The author is correct, we need serious welfare reform, but I think any solution will require a greater depth in understanding. We need to create a system that is humane and caring and at the same time demanding and developing. I don’t know what that system would look like or how it will come about, but the usual liberal versus conservative rhetoric won’t create it. Until we all shed our preconceived notions of who the poor are and what they should look like and how they should behave, nothing will change, and the cheaters versus victims arguments will persist.

  561. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?cat=1&ind=26

    Really- people are living it up on a hundred bucks a month and change? Love to see you limit yourself to that much- while feeding a family. Please post your monthly menu for us, using that dollar amount and including a couple of kids. Go ahead. I dare you. Anyone who thinks welfare recipients are somehow getting rich is far too ignorant to be taken seriously. And no- I have never been on welfare in my life.

  562. “What I find even more comical is when the welfare moochers bring in piles and piles of coupons, to save money on the money that the state gives them every month? ” Chances are that they are not getting a lot of food stamps to begin with. I am a single parent and currently on food stamps. Yes, I did have a job but got laid off 2 years ago and haven’t found a job yet. I have gone through all my savings and swallowed my pride to ask for help, it is not much. I use coupons to save money and to make what I receive last. As for the steak, lobster and cake issue have you ever considered that it was a “special meal” for someone. A “good” meal can do wonders for your mental health when you are on these programs.
    I am sure that are people who are exploiting the system but there are many more who are not and need the help. People get off your high horse and stop judging other people when you don’t know the reason as to why people are on these programs. I, myself am glad that these programs exist. If they did not, many people would be homeless, hungry and very unhealthy. Then again you would most likely judge them as alcoholic or druggies on the street. Just so you know, there are so many families right now living in their vehicles because they lost their job, house/apartment and if they wan t to buy their children a birthday cake (maybe they don’t have a place to bake the cake) then so be it.

  563. Its funny to me that you guys think tanf and food stamps are unrestricted.. Have you spoken to anyone on them? There is a limit and a way to go about it..

  564. i think it is really judgemental. I been there, inbetween jobs, or when my babies were too little for daycare.(i guess that means i shouldn’t have had any kids to you anyhow) You has a point or two, that some ppl do abuse the system. but not everyone recieving Welfare is a welfare queen, some people on welfare stuggle everyday to get by even with the aid. ive walked in the shoes on unemployment, or just plain unable to work. What about women who are pregnant and made to go on bed rest. (that must be wrong too).. i work 2 jobs, and my husband works one, i got to school full time, we don’t have a house phone but both have cheap cell phone incase of emergencies. we don’t have cable, or anything spectacualr. Im glad your parents were well off Christina, because your in college. Your not even an adult yet. Are you paying for your college or your parents? or grants through the federal goverment? Because Me, I the tax payer working two jobs, paying taxes…would be paying for that. Welfare is only perminant if you want it to be, and even then, with the cuts they are making its more work to be on it then not. Your likely making the people who really need this feel ashamed. I hope god graces you at somepoint and puts her right into these shoes. Because my dear just because your young and in college does not mean your job, your parents, job or anything else in life wont be cut. Goodluck, i’d continue to be as judgemental as you are because you know nothing about what they go through in life. Take a walk in their shoes. I DARE you.

  565. This article is well written, and has some great anecdotes. However, we’d all do well to remember that the poor are an easy and obvious scapegoat. There are always going to be people who take advantage of the system – but realize that there are plenty of elected officials in Washington, D.C. doing just that. We the electorate got them into office, but they don’t listen to us – they do the bidding of the highest bidder.

    Social safety nets are not the biggest part of the national deficit. While I agree that welfare should be reformed (perhaps it should be refused for those who are physically able to work and not supporting children despite their psychological status; those who test positive for drugs; those with a certain percentage of visible tattoos; or those who wear pajama pants to the signup office), cutting the strings of the social safety net would be highly detrimental.

    Do we really want children to go hungry, even if their typical meal is boxed macaroni and cheese? Can we cut out some of the unnecessary war spending first, to fix the budget? Do consultants really need to be making millions from U.S. tax dollars? And can we tax those citizens who hide their money in offshore shelters? The poor are not taking the most of the U.S. deficit spending.

  566. I have most DEFIANTLY been in your exact position! I worked as a full time cashier at a grocery store during my four years at college. I found myself in many situations where I just had to walk away. Working 40+ hours a week with hours ranging from 3am to 9pm, maintaining a 20 hour a week internship at a farm which consisted of showing up any time between 6am feed and 12am night check and maintaining a 15 credit hour school schedule left me with little tolerance for exceptionally overweight parents and children with carts full of spaghetti-O’s, Tony’s Pizzas, Hot Dogs, Chips, Soda… and my favorite, LOBSTER! Unfortunately this was just the tip of the iceberg on what I thought to be a large epidemic then.
    I have since graduated and as my nearly $20,000 in student loans sit in forbearance while I work two jobs, neither of which have benefits or health care, I can not help to become a little bit more frustrated every time I see Maine taxes taken out of my weekly allowance because now, more so than ever I see what true “NEED” is.
    I volunteer my spare time to a few local organizations which regularly donate to nonprofits such as the Food Pantry, Medical Needs and Heat Assistance… and here is what I’ve learned: People can write a darn good story for $100.
    I am willing to go on a limb and say that a good 60% of the families in line at the food pantry every Thursday are not in “NEED”, they would just rather spend their money on material things. Secret Santa beneficiaries buy Wii’s, X-boxes, Tv’s and all the other luxuries that even I know I can not afford… yet I’ve found time and money to donate to this “worthy cause”. The state is paying for tummy tucks, breast implants and dental reconstruction. People that collect Welfare & Mainecare do not stop there… They apply at EVERY charity, town heat assistance and tax relief, free child care, meals on wheels free schooling and my favorite is the grant program that the state offers to insulate a home, pay for a new furnace, shingle your roof and jack your basement. At what point is enough…ENOUGH?
    The state of Maine has for years consistently come in first for poorest, worst for business and worst educational system. I wish someone would get a clue and start rewarding productive members of society and let the leeches live the life of TRUE NEED and maybe that will motivate them to join the working class folks that EARN their income.

  567. I wish you could hit Like or Dislike on these notes or comment directly to a specific post…..Ughhh

  568. Ashley Joyner says:

    We grew up in an era with no food stamps. Poor as they come but we all worked to keep food on the table and never accepted anything from government except required shots from the health department for kids. Unemployment checks required people to demonstrate that they were actively looking for work. If a neighbor saw you were hungry and offered you spam and mac and cheese would you demand steak and lobster? Someone else has to pay the bill and I for one would take what I could get to stay alive and work hard to find work.

  569. excellent article and a well educated young lady who knows the score.So what is wrong with our politicians? They are just sitting on their hands waiting for their hand outs. You are right SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

  570. The logic is simple: you don’t use food stamps for luxury items like birthday cakes, steaks, lobster etc…. no matter how rare or cheap it is.

    USE YOUR OWN MONEY FOR THAT – NOT BENEFITS SUBSIDIZED BY HARD WORK TAX PAYERS.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s ONE DOLLAR on food stamp FRAUD or 200 hundred dollars of food stamp FRAUD.

    It’s STILL A FRAUD.

    Americans are simply spoilt with such an entitlement attitude. And no one is telling that the poor have “no right” to these… they can enjoy these luxuries WITH THEIR OWN MONEY…. NOT WITH THE MONEY OF HARD WORKING TAX PAYERS who don’t intend it for such abuse.

  571. I’ve read through nearly all the comments on this thread, and some of those who are attempting to provide a rebuttal, and accuse this girl of being insensitive, or hating the poor, or being “priviledged”, obviously have awful reading comprehension skills.

    She pointed out a few of many instances that she has had while working at Walmart. Not just a “few inflated experiences”, but a few within many. She also pointed out that she has no problem with those who truly need assistance, but has a problem with those who abuse the system. This is why reform is needed, not to remove the assistance from the poor, but give it to those who actually can use it, and not game the system.

    Unlike a lot of commenters who are against this young lady, she does not make generalizations of those in need, in contrast to the commenters generalizing her views into some rediculous stereotype that has been hyped up by liberal dogma.

    There is no problem with someone buying steak, or lobster, but before they do so, they should really think about whose money they are spending, as it’s not “theirs.”

  572. Mary Phillips says:

    p.s.- I was, unfortunately, among the so called “generational welfare” families – it was hard work to be such too – grave tragedy and misfortune made it necessary for our grandmother to bow to use of food stamps after our mother died of brain cancer and died leaving five young children to be raised (I was nearly 4 and my oldest sibling was only 9 – our father was gone) – I was the only one of us five that ended up on public assistance, and that was off and on through the years our kids were growing up. There had been a time in my life when I had been a Technical Illustrator for Amana Refrigeration, I also had other jobs in my adulthood, but being on welfare was the hardest job I’ve ever had!

  573. Any store that will run ready to eat foods, booze or smokes through on an EBT card is breaking the law. Many stores set their registers up to do things fraudulently. I personally do not have a problem with a person using their SNAP benefits to purchase a steak, ALL states allow the benefits to stay on a card for 12 months, if elderly Aunt Sally wants to save $10 a month of the $20 she gets a month to buy her family a good dinner for Thanksgiving who are we to judge?

    I am far from being an everyone on welfare person. I worked in the welfare system long enough to know “lifers” and “multigenerational families” know how to play the system…They are lying to you, you know they are lying to you and they know you know but not much can be done about it. Workers are overwhelmed by caseloads that are never ending, Benefit Recovery…aka Fraud unit that I also worked in is overwhelmed with cases as well. Some states have as few as 2 investigators to cover the entire state!

    Remember not everyone gets $$$$$ monthly in SNAP benefits, yes it is meant to be an assistance in food purchasing and some people use it as such. There has probably been abuse of the program from the first time benefits were approved. What is heart breaking is when a person that has worked their entire life and is injured and about to loose everything they have swallows their pride to apply for benefits then you have to deny them because they are honest! They need help for perhaps 4 or 5 months until they go back to work but because they said yes I have $100 in savings that puts them over the limit. Then the next case is Susie Loosepants who at 21 has just had her 4th child by daddy #4 and she tells you how much her benefits are to go up! Or Wanda No-morals who uis pregnant and living with her boyfriend who works but she gets benefits because she is “smart enough” to state they do not eat together. How is that for bull?

    Speaking of welfare and Wal-Mart…Many recipients of benefits work at Wal-Mart, if giant store chain trained AND enforced what their cashiers are allowed to charge to their cards would that be like biting the hand that feeds it?

  574. First I just want to start off by saying, It’s a good article, but you are not right in judging everyone who is on welfare. I am married with three children. All though we have income coming in, it is not enough for food. We have nothing extra. No cable, no tv, nothing just bare essentials. I have internet for my kids to do research for school that is it. I am on foodstamps, and yes I get my children their birthday cakes with it and yes they occasionally get junk food, and yes I occasionally treat my husband and i to a steak. We work and pay our taxes just like everyone else. We just don’t make enough. My husband and I don’t have health insurance, my children are on medicaid. We don’t have brand new cars they are both used and paid for cars. You all need to stop throwing everyone in the same category as welfare queens and abusing the system. Sometimes it is all the choice we have.

  575. I haven’t even read through a lot of these comments because most of you people disgust me. Sit there and acting like it’s some wonderful thing what this girl did in writing this. All she ended up doing it was assume the worst in people. Now yes there are people that abuse the system but just because someone buys something “nice” once in a while doesn’t mean they’re abusing it. Also these people that are on it now are people that have worked their whole lives and PAYED THEIR TAXES FOR THESE PROGRAMS. These programs are here for us in our time of need and you people feel it’s okay to judge those on it. I was the one stuck eating nothing but a package of ramen noodles a day to survive. I finally caved in and got the benefits I’ve been paying into for years. Until you’re in the situation you have no IDEA what it’s really like.
    It’s hell to even get the benefits and well at least in my state and I’m pretty sure it’s in most states IF YOU ARE ON TANAF YOU HAVE TO DO 35 HOURS A WEEK OF A VOLUNTEER WORK OR JOB TRAINING PROGRAM. My fiance was hauling stuff onto trucks and driving all over the state for his program. You gonna tell me he didn’t earn his money? And that’s 35 hours a week EACH so that means we have to get 70 hours for the two of us to get a measly $424 a month for 3 people (we have a daughter) So how many of you would work that many hours for that little money? So yes you know what on occasion we might buy a toy for our daughter, or some candy, or whatever else just to give a small sense of normalcy. I think most of you have no clue what is required to get on these benefits, altho each state is different, but before you assume that someone’s getting something for nothing maybe you should find out what the program deal is. Maybe people get that entitled attitude because they’re working for like 2 dollars an hour and being judged by people like all of you.

  576. I am a single parent of TWO diabetic kids and although my food is almost always HEALTH DRIVEN there are occasional sweet snacks. I have seen nemerous amounts of people who abuse the system, BUT unknowing of any of their situations I do not poke fun and make accusations! I have been on and off welfare for about 108 months total, with my share of school and work, but like I said I have TWO diabetic children who gets shots every 2 and a half, 3 hours, totaling between 12-18 shots a day, 6-9 shots a piece per kid!! God forbid there be a vacation in there school where I miss my school n or my work!! Loss jobs left and right!! I am someone who gets deeply offended by some of these statements, although I am from Saco and I know the people you are referring too are not me, sometimes you need to look a little deeper! I do agree that qualifications for TANF and FOODSTAMPS should be looked Igbo a little more, and picking out who’s sob story is true and who’s isn’t must be a hard job, but really………….be human! Oh and the birthday cake thing, WWE figurines, slip n slide earrings, what about childrens birthdays or Christmas??? TANF cash does not only go towards rent lights heat phone it’s used to SUPPORT. So don’t assume without knowing the WHOLE story!!

  577. This article is well written and points out many flaws in our system. The author is not being judgmental at all. She is simply stating a few of the problems that she sees while doing her job. It is perfectly fine for a citizen to take issue with the abuses of the governmental systems that are put in place to help people who have truly fallen on hard times. I think the majority of us would agree that we have no problem with people who actually need help receiving assistance. That is the point of these programs, but they should not be long term solutions. Nor should not be used to buy frivolous items or expensive food. It is not the right of one to buy food they enjoy at the taxpayers expense. We have a small family owned business, and when things get tight, we tighten up. No steaks. Chicken. We cut out eating out. We cook at home. Sometimes we have to tell our children ‘no’ when they want something. Whey shouldn’t we expect people on assistance to be just as wise with the money they receive from these programs (the taxpayers) as we are when our paychecks don’t cover everything we want or need? Steaks are not a necessity. Slip and slides are not a necessity. I have seen a lot of nasty comments on here from people about judging, but the bottom line is, as a taxpayer and a voter it is my job to make a decision on whether or not these programs are being used wisely. I have a daughter who is a diabetic. We use the only pediatric endocrinology clinic in our state. Every time we go in, I pay our co-pay (the one we have because we pay through the nose for insurance while not buying other things we want) while I see multiple parents who pay nothing because their children are on Medicaid. Do I have a problem with Medicaid itself? No. Do I have a problem with it when mom pulls up in a nicer car than mine, designer jeans, shoes, sunglasses, and a very expensive purse? You bet I do! And that is not judgmental. Unfortunately, we have a segment of society that thinks our taxpayers should pay for their food as well as their healthcare while they have the finer things in life. It is called entitlement. Does everyone on assistance feel that way? Of course not! But to disparage this author because she is pointing out something that is certainly a problem in our society is wrong. I know people who have used these programs because they were in desperate need. They would rather be working! They were mortified to be relying on others to pay their bills. Unfortunately, we now have a segment of our society who do not feel that way. They are perfectly happy to have the handouts. Those are the people we have a problem with. We definitely need an overhaul of these systems. I am so happy to see a young lady who has a strong sense of right and wrong and isn’t afraid to speak out. It bodes well for the next generation! Keep up the good work!

  578. @Melissa I don’t see anywhere in her post where she would look down on you, or label you a “welfare queen.” It starts in the first sentence of her second paragraph.

    “I understand that sometimes, people are destitute. They need help, and they accept help from the state in order to feed their families. This is fine. It happens. I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it.”

    There is no problem with those who truly need it. There is a problem with those who don’t really need it, but take it anyway, and those who game the system.

    As for your comments on your pregnancy, I really have no clue where you are coming from (according to her post), or how she would be thinking those cases are wrong.

  579. Just a small bit of information for those of you who have NO idea what is going on……TANF is not just EBT cash, some child support payments are made through TANF so because that person’s “spouse” chose to be irresponsible and the responsible one had to go through the court to receive their child support, shouldn’t result in criticism. Not everyone abuses the system and not everyone that needs the system will get what they need…..because of comments like this. Everyone that swipes an EBT card is NOT taking advantage and I know and agree that there are people using it that are abusing it but just because a person drives a nice car or has a nice phone does NOT mean they are abusing it. I used to think that way too, but I had someone tell me one time that when they were on food stamps they would get dirty looks because they had a new car. Their baby’s grand parents bought her that car so she could get around and get back and forth to Dr’s appts and stuff! There are also people that are on disability that get their checks onto the EBT card as cash, are you going to say they don’t deserve it? If the system gets reformed there are people who NEED it who will not get it and there are people that get it that will STILL abuse it! Why not try to get back to America’s roots and reform people’s character then a LOT of things will change instead of just food stamps! Let’s bring America back to God….where if you don’t work, you don’t eat…love thy neighbor as thyself….judge not, lest ye be judged!

  580. I also work as a cashier at Walmart in Texas and I have seen it over and over again, people on food stamps. Now as much as I know there are some who really need it I can tell you the majority that come through my line don’t need it. Its just abuse and fraud. The other thing I didn’t see her mention was that I have witnessed is someone with their lonestar(EBT) card and bring a friend or friends along. Not only was she buying for herself, she was buying for her friend ofr friends. It upsets me when I see someone come along and pay for their groceries with food stamps but yet buy really really nice things with cash. I work a full time job and work Walmart to supplement my income. I still can’t buy alot of things I would like to have. What is wrong with our world! I would have never had my eyes opened to this until I started at Walmart and seen it for myself.

  581. Its the Demoratc way! Total dependance on Government!

  582. I live in TX and just thought I’d share a story with you. I lived in a very poor neighborhood at the time and worked a low paying job. My roommate and I had scrounged the entire house to find enough to buy a box of ice cream. Yup, a box, you know the really cheap ice cream? Anyway, we were standing in line at the store behind a woman dressed in an expensive looking silk dress and nice shoes. She was covered in jewels and her hair and nails were well manicured. She bought over 300 dollars worth of food and other things (including steak, cigarettes, and a cake) and then pulled out her WIC card to pay. I was floor. How could she afford all the stuff she was wearing and then pay with WIC??? After she left, and we paid in change, we went outside and saw her loading her things into her BMW with the gold package. It was disgusting. At the time I was living on Ramen Noodles and she was eating steak that my taxes paid for. It was unbelievable.

  583. You worked at a Wal Mart that fraudulently ran through items that are not covered by food stamps, and made the personal choice to adjust prices on items so they could be covered by WIC, so that Wal Mart could collect the money in order to pay your paycheck. Nice job getting paid by welfare young lady! You learned how to work the system and benefited from it- and then have the nerve to complain about those providing you with a paycheck. Typical republican voter- complains loudly about others while milking the system yourself and voting the way daddy told you to.

  584. I was one of those mothers. I was on Food Stamps for several years. I had 3 children of my own, I worked the entire time I was getting the resources. I also had three foster children which the state I lived in paid nothing to help me with these state appointed children that they placed in my home. The system is rigged. They offer help, but in turn make it so hard to get off. So many restrictions, did you know that in my state if I worked a extra shift to so that I could save a bit and get ahead, I was penalized for taking the extra shift, by my next months allotment I had lost 70.00 dollars in stamps. so the the extra amount I earned just went right back to the being at ground zero. I must say to that my caseworker in particular told me once and I shit you not these were her words to me during a conversation ” she said and I quote, you want more money then have another kid, the state just upped the amount for another child”. Now call me crazy, but seriously, that is your answer. I was shocked and so horrified. I stayed on the program on and off for about 4 years..finally I had enough. I told them to shove the stamps, missing 2 days a month of work for appointments, losing almost $90.00 for a total sum of $232.00 a month for food for 6 was insanity. My Republican and Democrat Government both suck. They are the takers and they give with great strings attached. My kids and I ate Roman Noodles for 3 years straight, everyday there times a day…no cereals, no fruit, no veggies it just was not in the budget. I made homebread, and milk was a luxury, on birthdays, and holidays I bought a quart of milk and we all had one glass of ice cold milk. I would never go back on the system, I swore, I was turned in to CPS 6 times in those years and all 6 times I won. I told every system person, that I would rather have my kids and I be lacking in nutrition, then every to have to rely on my government. I would rather hunt and kill then every think this government will HELP you. They will not. Not Republicans, Not Democrats, you see there is no profit in helping us, only in hurting us. The system is set to be a prison, a constant and complete muzzle. I no that there are those who take advantage of these services, but let’s be honest, the government takes advantage of us everyday, and think nothing of it. For example, why am we paying for these fools, insurance, when I don’t even get insurance, or pay all there holidays, and cell phones, etc… so I say the whole DAMN SYSTEM in this country is EVIL and Corrupt. I no longer hold faith in the system, I no longer find comfort in my government. I will never feel by the people, for the people, of the people. That ship has long sailed. Today, even though economy is tough, really tough my children would never accept the help of the system, they would rather watch their child die of starvation , panhandle, or just do iwth out. They and I stay as far away from anything the government has to offer, it is not an offer it is selling you soul, your child’s soul…so I say, the people you have written about are merely gettin theirs, just like out government gets theirs, by any means necessary. The government has been teacher, and now you want to complain about them…REALLY where the hell is the complaint and article about the system…TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY>>AND SOMEWHERE in between is the truth…..be careful of trusting in the government, they would sooner, right you off, keep you in prison, then truly HELP!!!! We are disposable according to our government, whole sectors of the population can be genocided and it is ok…Katrina example. OUR government wrote off an entire state..you really think you are safe being Republican, or Democrat…it;s all rigged in their favor…Like Vegas…THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS>….I say leave home quickly…ty for letting me share.

  585. It’s saddening and frustrating for me to read that because she is upset with percieved welfare fraud that her conclusion is to vote republican. That will certainly not solve any welfare fraud. It is in the best interest of both political parties to keep people poor and shopping at Wal-mart and to use young people like you to work there for an unlivable wage. Could you support yourself with your Wal-mart income? I am not saying that you personally would be tempted to commit fraud, but Wal-mart encourages its employees to apply for food stamps, and welfare fraud it just a drop in the hat compared to the explotation and fraud which Wal-mart uses as its general business practices. Wal-marts import business could pay for state welfare fraud a million times over, while at the same time crushing US-made competition. You don’t understand that it is in the best interest for Wal-mart, and for Democrats and Republicans, to keep people poor and a few million in food stamp fraud is a pittance. I hope you learn more about the true cost of globalization and outsourcing in college!!

  586. Agreed! What if all of us did just that? Took our turn? Where would the tax money come from then? I get so angry at these people that take and take and take for years and years. Decades even. Just wanted to say I liked your frankness. I’m so tired of all the PC this country has been doing…it needs to stop, so we can make the changes needed. I don’t care anymore about hurting someones feelings. Don’t give a rats-a$$ anymore. ;-)

  587. Yes, Darren. That really is unbelievable.

    Truly.

  588. Mom in Maine says:

    I don’t eat lobster but I know that sometimes stores mark them and steaks down to less than the cost of hamburger. Are you denying these families the right to eat meat? I’m on food stamps and use coupons to help budget what we have so maybe I can buy a treat for the kids once a month. I prefer to make their birthday cakes, to help save more money, but not everyone can bake. I’ve worked the low level fast food jobs before to earn money for college but have chosen to stay home with my son while my husband works instead of paying my entire paycheck to daycare.You let me know once the well paying jobs come back, if they ever do, and I’ll fill out an application. Hasn’t done me any good the last few places I’ve applied to. It’s a small community. Would I like to be able to get off of food stamps and WIC? Yes. However, I don’t foresee it happening anytime soon with our current ignorant governor.

  589. America is the land of opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities to WORK. If you are physically unable to work, there are programs for disabled people to still be able to have a job. There is no excuse except for pure laziness. I work everyday and still don’t buy lobster for dinner. Maybe I should quit and have the goverment buy me lobster for dinner?

  590. Jennifer ellis says:

    Amen sister!!! It has become a way of life and many believe they are owed that right to live off others and expect it to be handed out. They get angry when questioned and have no work ethic. It is easier to take the hand out instead of actually working for it. Generations have learned how to use the system and continue to do so. It is time to show them how to be a contributing member of society and not a lifetime leech.

  591. In general I do agree that fraud should be stopped if possible. However, since you have chosen to sit in judgement of others I would like to point out a few flaws in your argument. First you mention people on assistance having cell phones and although it seems like an extravagance at first it is probably the only phone and internet connection they have. In todays world they are very helpful in job searching. Secondly you then go on to say every cell has a calculator when talking about going over on the food they are buying, so should they have cells now or not?
    I also want to point out that the food being “void of nutritional value” is especially a problem for people who may have limited or no access to a proper kitchen to cook healthful nutritious meals.
    Welfare, foodstamps, and WIC no doubt have some people seeking to defraud the system, as any assistance program will. Unfortunately many times this fraud does not actually reach the financial level that it needs to to be cost effective to fight it. If it costs twice as much to stop the fraud than it does to let it continue would you still support reforms? I actually can respect standing on your principles on this, however I think the more cost effective way to do that is when you see fraud, call it what it is to the faces of the people you believe are committing it. If there are other circumstances hopefully they will inform you and you can learn that many times there is more than what meets the eye. Public shaming would go a long way in solving things but it’s dirty work cause you are not always right.
    This opinion brought to you by a employed tax paying citizen who has only received aid once, unemployment for a short while until I found a new job.

  592. I worked for Walmart as a cashier and the writer is right. I would see people buy food with their food stamps, then in a separate order buy stereos and other high end electronics and pull out $100 bills to pay for it. It disgusted me all the time to see that.

  593. I recall a similar incident at Walmart. A lady in front of me was buying those Lunchables, applesauce , & juice boxes. The items were for her daycare biz that she runs out of her home. She paid for it all with an EBT card. Welfare was subsidizing her work.

  594. Guaranteed most of the SLACKERS Momma’s and Grandmomma’s are LAZY AS* SLACKERS TOO!!!! Gotta love the SLACKERS!

  595. I am a single parent with two wonderful little boys. I also am a full time college student studying to become a registered medical assistant. Now I graduate in June and plan on moving up. I am right now on Maine care and TANF only because I needed the help because I have no one to help me. My children’s father is not in there life’s and nor do they pay child support. People shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone else, when that toy they are buying is a birthday gift or Christmas present a get well soon because I know you just had surgery. I am one who does not want to be on TANF anymore. When I do graduate and land a decent job I will no longer be on it. I will not judge anyone who is on it because you do not know their family background and what goes on in their lives. I also am for them doing something about it but never be to quick to judge an individual because there can be many outcomes to what you say and do.

  596. Very good article…

  597. Oh a note I missed here cause people bring up people with “nice things” buying stuff with food stamps etc. You do realize a lot of people were doing well then the economy crashed right? A friend of mine who just had her second child, her husband lost his job a week before the baby was born. They have some nice things because he had a good job, but now they look to wic and stuff to not lose everything and be able to survive. Just another note to all you people who assume that because someone is wearing something nice they auto don’t need benefits. Maybe they just ended up in a bad situation recently and they have nice things from before, you don’t know. Hell you can find nice name brand stuff at thrift stores. I bought a beautiful dress from a thrift store for 2 dollars years ago even before I was in a poor situation. I was doing volunteer work there and fell in love with it.

  598. Liliana, you asked the woman what the food was for? She told you she ran a home daycare business and used welfare to supplement that? Or are you ASSuming? ;)
    Republicans sure are an angry lot.

  599. Well for one thing Walmart contributes to this problem to a very high degree by not paying a living wage. I Never shop at Walmart because I do not support the government of China or it’s inhumane treatment of children. As well as the slave labor camps which they use and Walmart supports and only plays lip-service to the community by condemning it out of one side of their mouth. Having worked for Walmart it would be expected that you would see a large volume of low income citizens. Equating food stamps usage as being demonstrative that an individual is on welfare totally misstates the truth. That you would see many people on food stamps in our current economic state who are on unemployment is not to be unexpected. While their are those who abuse the system just as you see fortune 500 companies abusing our tax system doesn’t make all of those who use food stamps less worthy than the CEO’s of JP-Morgan, Bank of America and the list goes on. I really don’t think these type of articles further your cause they only diminish any chance of having a meaningful discussion on possible reform of the food stamp program. Our current Republican legislators are only playing games of brinkmanship with the administration and could care less about the state of America today. Their only goal is to unseat our current President while the country slides further down the economic ladder. So I don’t know that I would be proud to be a Republican however I am proud of being an Independent with no allegiance to either party. If the citizens of this country are truly interested in all the people of this country being able to get a piece of the American pie they should stop rewarding Walmart. By our country taking legal action against the financial sector that truly got us in this current mess we would realize a better rate of return rather than attacking those in need.

  600. Jimmy Melton says:

    I love how all the food stamp queens can afford internet as well.

  601. I totally agree with all said in the article. I saw the abuse when I worked for grocery store chains in the 1980’s. I have also been on Food Stamps very temporarily after losing a job. We had an infant to feed and a teenager. I did find another job and went back to work. I still received WIC . I did get off of it when our son was 5 .

    I think that the abuse has got out of hand and has been out of hand for a long time. Reform needs to be done and more restriction need to be put in place in quite a few areas. . I don’t knock it if people truly need the assistance,however when It is abused and there are generations of people from the same family on Food Stamps- that is way too long ! OK -maybe the baby Daddy left. …go to work. There is assistance for daycare or other programs in a lot of areas. Check on it ! Having 8 kids by 6 different men ain’t the way to go and living on the system. Use birth control and go to work if you are able to-even if it is in a dollar store or grocery store or being a hotel maid. It is a job. people would feel better about themselves also by being off of Welfare. Also needed is proper nutrition classes for all recipients.

  602. How will voting Republican help this situation? How many Republicans (and Democrats) in elected office do you think perpetrate much larger frauds on a continual basis? And they have you focused on a few white trash welfare recipients. Useful idiot.

  603. Aside from the issue your article was well written Christine.

  604. I doubt this will be read, since there are already a ton of comments, but I have to put my .02 in… We are in the “class” called the “working poor.” My family and I have been on food stamps for the majority of our 16-year marriage. I was working most of the time, but not always. We have three kids and have also been on WIC. WIC is a great program, as it’s designed to “simply help out.” From what I’ve heard recently, they are starting to put restrictions on the income levels (didn’t used to have them). But, they’ve also loosened up a bit on what you can buy with WIC. It used to be OJ, apple juice, milk, cheese, and only about 4 types of cereals (Cheerios, Corn Flakes, and a couple others that were equally nutrition-deficient).

    Recently, I started a job that allowed us to get off of food stamps. The salary, however, is not much more than what my old salary was + food stamps. We are still “working poor.” That term is used to describe people who make too much for assistance, but too little to pay for health insurance or any other “standard” benefit. I don’t mind, though. I haven’t been interested in having health insurance for awhile. We don’t need it because of the way we live our lives. We don’t get sick very often (including colds).

    I know there are LOTS of abusers and “takers” out there (we know some). However, the MAJORITY of the people who are on assistance are on it because they need it in today’s society. Housing costs are too high; food costs are increasing; gas prices are increasing; locally-grown food is decreasing; more jobs are being outsourced because it’s cheaper for businesses to pay somebody in India $8K/yr over an American doing the same job for $24K/yr; public education, which allows for better-paying jobs, is ridiculously priced…and many other factors which make it difficult to get ahead if you aren’t already. There is fewer middle-class people in the US today because of this. Either you are poor, almost-poor, upper-middle-class, or rich. And the gap in the center is widening every year.

    With that said, I pose the question, “What would happen if all govt-provided food stamps, welfare, etc. were to suddenly be cut off?” I’m guessing that many of the non-working people would suddenly “find” jobs; many companies that outsource would be forced to hire local employees; the average age of the farmer would drop drastically, as people would return to growing their own food; and many people would realize that they could live on MUCH less than they do. Other families would end up worse off than they are, and the crime rate in cities would increase. There are pros and cons to the gov’t providing assistance. And from being on both sides of the fence (and sometimes clinging to one of those sides), I can see many of those pros and cons without hesitation, without judgment, and with full knowledge that there is always a chance for us, and anyone that has looked at this page, to end up needing assistance from the government.

  605. @Crousselle… Will you marry me?.. Haha awesome article! Now you need to work at your Trauma Hospital for 6 months to see the abuse in the Healthcare Industry. I believe it is almost as bad or worse then the EBT program.

  606. Typical right wing lies and hyperbole.
    Some of you are extremely gullible. Maybe you need some fresh air and lobster.

  607. Do you realize that EBT cards are also used to give women their child support in some situations. If an ex husband becomes a low life and decides not to pay his child support, because he’s found a new girlfriend he’d rather spend his money on, the government will give the mother the child support up front on an EBT card and remove it themselves from the ex’s paycheck or income tax. My friend had to carry around an EBT card and got looks from assholes just like you when she wanted to but her children a BIG cake or a slip n slide. If you have not looked into a situation enough to know what you’re talking about, you should not talk! Yes, I admit some people abuse the system, there is no doubt about that. Some of those people do not have any pride and could care less who pays for thier phone as long as they don’t have to. But HALF of the examples you gave were just rediculous and mindless. You are in no position to decide at a quick glance because of what someone is buying that they are below you. You’re a selfish little girl who has not even lived life yet. Wait until your future husband decides he doesn’t want you anymore and you have a mountain of bills you planned on paying back TOGETHER! Instead they are split in half and you are not given alimony becuase you bothered to have a job all your life! People can’t ignore you at the checkout if they are on welfare??? I have a feeling people ignore you whether they are on welfare or not!

  608. When I was a very young child (8-9), my family moved to a community in South Texas. We were from Pennsylvania. We were probably considered low-income, but my parents would NEVER accept assistance because we could make it – and we did make it. —However, I was bullied brutally and endlessly for the way we lived and the way I dressed – by other children whose families DID receive welfare and food-stamps. I overheard one conversation my mom had with a woman who was deeply rooted in that community. The woman, who felt she was far too fortunate and proud to receive government assistance herself, describe the corruption of the welfare and food stamp system and suggested to my mom that for my health and safety that they should pull me and my sister out of that public school, her children had been in that school. The things I heard and witnessed at that school eventually became too much for me, and after a year and a half, my hair began falling out in huge clumps. My parents pulled me from the school, took extra jobs, got help from a church, and got me into a ~very~ small private school.

  609. “How will voting Republican help this situation? How many Republicans (and Democrats) in elected office do you think perpetrate much larger frauds on a continual basis? And they have you focused on a few white trash welfare recipients. Useful idiot.”

    Well said Eric!

  610. I have noticed several commenters stating that welfare recipients have the right to eat steak and lobster on welfare if they so desire because it’s food… I’m sorry, but my husband is employed with the military, we get paid pretty well. I work two part time jobs to supplement our lifestyle. Given that, I can’t afford to eat steak and lobster. Why should my tax dollars go to provide something for somebody else that I, myself, a gainfully employed person can’t afford?

    You want your children and your boyfriend to have a birthday cake– it’s call Betty Crocker, cake is about $2.50, the frosting is around $1.50 (there’s usually a coupon for $1.00 off cake and frosting if you buy them together). There is no need for a $25.00 decorated sheet cake. If you want steak. Flank steak is normally about $1.25/lb, versus upwards of $3-5 for porterhouse, and flank steak is very easy to prepare and just as tasty. Lobster is about $25/pound– really? Most working people can’t afford lobster.

  611. YOU my Dear are why we have faith in our children ..the future needs you and all those who believe in change and correction. Its not just Walmart or Maine it is everywhere and although welfare is there to help get people on their feet..it is allowing them to sit on their ass’s .You are truly an inspiration and I can only hope for a bright future for my grandchildren because of our children speaking up now to get a change.Your parents have alot to be proud of. Best of luck in your future and Thank-you…..

  612. 1. I would HIGHLY recommend you read a book called “Bridges Out of Poverty”. It has helped me understand poverty in a COMPLETELY different way. When working with clients, I was very frustrated and judging decisions individuals were making, but this book opened my eyes a little bit about some of the differences between poverty and middle class. Some things I was born and raised with that individuals you are describing don’t have.

    2. One thing about money. In poverty, the rule about money is “spend it”. Do you have a bank? Did your parents use a bank growing up? Mine did. Most people in poverty are un-banked. If you are on welfare, you are not allowed to pass a certain amount of ‘assets’, so individuals see saving as a problem. Also, many of them have no credit or defaulted student loans (from not being able to pay), so they do not trust putting their money in a bank (the loans can start taking it). Therefore, individuals in poverty are taught to spend money when they have it. In middle class, the rule about money is you have to budget and manage it. This is a fundamental difference that is passed down in families. It appears you are in college, that’s wonderful. My guess is you came form a middle class home that taught you the value of money and saving. Kids from poverty don’t get this.

    3. Another large difference is “driving force”. What motivates you? What drives you? In middle class, the answer is usually achievement. I am 23 and just completed my masters degree while working full time, and I’m married! I am motivated by achievement. This is middle class! I can hear this in your article “Why can’t they work? I work for what I get. I am going to school and doing this….” In middle class the rule is we are making decisions today to effect our future. We are very focused on achievement because that is what has been taught to us. When you go to a middle class party, the first question is “What do you do?” In poverty, the driving force is survival. When your entire income is $700 a month (including food stamps and assistance) you are in a constant survival mode. In poverty, the driving force is surviving, relationships, and entertainment. Individuals are making decisions to survive today and are not looking far past that. This is something that is taught. When you go to a party of someone in poverty, no one asks what you do. They are just worried about surviving. Relationships, “I don’t have must but I have my family”. Relationships are huge in poverty. Also, entertainment (DVDs, birthday cakes, alcohol) is needed to break away from the stress of poverty. While you may have seen a tainted view at Walmart, poverty is stressful. Many of those people you were helping do not have money to pay their electric bill and are evicted every other month.

    4. Getting a job. A great book about this is called “Why dont they just get a job?”. It is harder for someone in poverty to get a job- lack of education, criminal background, lack of transportation, un-medicated mental health/depression, cannot afford childcare, etc. There is a lot more to the problem than just funding a job.

  613. Petulant little spoiled girl throwing an entitled, ignorant tantrum. Yawn.

  614. It’s difficult to focus on the real issues when we are passing judgement.

  615. This young American has figured out early in life what some never figure out. The world is full of takers and they make it hard on the truly needy.

  616. I got fired from Bj’s wholesale for flipping off a welfare abuser, this couple has been on welfare for as long as I can remember. He worked, and her fat lazy ass sat around the house. How did they collect all the frindge benifits of our lovely welfare system? I’ll tell you. All she had to do is say her husband left her. So now the husband, “who still lives with her” has to pay child support which rolls right back into the household, so he’s not losing anything as far as a paycheck and she continues to collect WELFARE! Time to stomp out welfare completely and force people to get off their lazy asses and get a job. If I can get and hold 2 jobs! Then there are obviously plenty of jobs out there. You just have to get off your ass and look as well as accept the wages being paid. It’s not like you’re worth $25.00 an hr.

  617. I think you have an opportunity here. Great article. My husband was out of work for only three months. For the first time ever, we got food stamps to help. Even though we’re a family of five, they ended up only giving us $260 a month. I was a little surprised. I know other, single moms, that would get over $500. We ended up only getting three months worth, then it ended because we actually let them know he got a job. I do see people that are on it forever, because they lose it if they report pretty much any income. The system needs to work better. GREAT JOB!! You should write another article and give even more detail of what you’ve seen. You’re onto something here.

  618. mackenziella says:

    This is an enlightening article on general welfare with points well made- but the general welfare program is set up by the state so that it can eventually claim rights to any property in the estate of the person on welfare, so at least part of that taxpayer money is returned.This is a hidden part of the picture that is rarely brought up. If there has been an analysis of the ratio of property gained by the state through the estates of welfare recipients to what is paid out, then it is a well kept secret.

    Corporate welfare is also big time business in Maine financed by the taxpayer but in this case the taxpayer always takes the fall, while the beneficiaries of corporate welfare become wealthy or not- which ever way, the burden of financing corporate welfare is the taxpayers problem, but the profits are to be enjoyed by the special interest sector that the legislature calls “the targeted sector”. Which costs the general taxpayer more? Which gets more coverage? I do not know the answer to the first questions, though considering the much larger sums going to finance corporate welfare, I would speculate that corporate welfare costs us more. I know that general welfare gets more coverage as corporate welfare is largely unreported.

    Compare your welfare recipient using those funds to open a hot dog stand. We don’t know the back story there- it could be his plan to get off of welfare, or not- but compare the money that costs the tax payer to the sums going to finance corporate welfare. Do you know that The taxpayer is a mandatory investor in the Maine state government chartered Small Enterprise Growth Fund to the tune of 10% of the total investment and that the taxpayer’s investment in that fund always “rolls over” to reinvest in the fund in direct contrast to the “exit strategy” required to satisfy the other 90% private investors so that they can make a profit? Think about it taxpayer- no exit strategy- 90% exit strategy as a means to a profit. I think that is costing the tax payer a mountain or two more than the welfare entreprenuer’s hot-dog stand.

    And while the welfare hot dog entrepreneur may be “beating the system”, The SEGF is a corporation unconstitutionally chartered by our legislature in violation of Article IV, Part third, section 14 of the Maine State Constitution. Which is the more significant crime against the people? If you take the welfare system as a whole that includes general and corporate welfare, you can see that it is stacked against one class of people, while designed to benefit a “targeted sector”. It makes me want to say BRAVO to the welfare entrepreneur. The welfare system is designed to keep him on welfare, in fact the government managed economy of Maine is designed to keep him on welfare- definitely not part of the “targeted sector” which our legislature has selected as those that it exists to serve. Gotta kind of admire the “innovation” of our welfare entrepreneur.

    What does the tax payer get in return for its investment in corporate welfare? Rhetoric of how the government is “creating jobs”. Perhaps the welfare entrepreneur is also .creating jobs – jobs for the “un-targeted sector”, that sector which our legislature is not here to serve- only to enroll in entitlement programs. If our welfare entrepreneur makes it off of welfare and his business grows and employs more people, he will still be part of the “un-targeted sector”- that sector , which is taxed but not represented by our legislature’s “economic development programs”.

  619. Are you that chick from Glee?

    god i hate that show

  620. These people should be cut off and dumped into the labor market. There are LOTS of good jobs out there.

  621. This girl is RIGHT ON … I’ve witnessed the same things over and over again, for over 20 years!! The first time (and I recall it specifically) was in the Farmer Jack’s store in Melvindale, MI (a small city just outside Detroit) and a 20-something girl in line ahead of me with a dirty, snot-nosed kid in the cart, was holding up the line because she was attempting to purchase non-covered items with FS – all the while digging carefully through her expensive leather purse so as not to damage her expensive salon manicured nails, and no less than three thick, expensive gold chains around her neck!! Not only that, she was in the CASH ONLY – 10 Items of Less line. And there I was, only there to pick up a few necessities of milk, juice, fruits and vegetables that I could afford because I was a full time college student (who also worked full time), living alone and paying my own rent, trying to get through the line to get home to eat, study and go to bed ~ and it has only gotten worse since then. I see that crap every time I go to a grocery store and it makes me SICK, literally sick, and you know what you fraudulent assistance abusers (as though any of you are reading this) YOU RUIN MY DAY and make me think very unpleasant thoughts about you. And for the record, there is such a thing as BAKING YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY CAKES from scratch, rather than spending your govenment assistance dollars on high priced, specialized cakes. After all, its the thought that counts, isn’t it?

  622. For every story of abuse, there are thousands of stories of appropriate use and at least one happily-ever-after. Let me tell you of a woman who bravely left her neglectful addict husband (as well as their home and her job). With three children in tow, she moved half-way across the country. Her retired parents couldn’t care for four extra humans, so she found a two-bedroom shack to rent and worked temp jobs for minimum wage. Welfare programs often helped her family. Fast-forward 10 years. She became the manager of the IT group at a famous company. Her eldest has a graduate degree and two other children work for a small biz owner. If it weren’t for welfare, we’d all have been dead. Yes, we. The woman was my mother and I am the eldest.

  623. I was in a super Walmart recently (a super Walmart is a combination supermarket and regular Walmart) with my wife a daughter, I work two jobs and have bills to pay and so I was buying only basic foods items and some basic necessities. In front of me a was another couple they were buying stakes and other food items that were out of my price range as well as a mini fridge, some just released video games as well, how did the pay for it all you ask, well they whipped out a Benefit card (that is the welfare card in my state). The extra kicker was in the parking lot they got into a far better vehicle than I drive or even could afford.

  624. Oh Yeah, this is surely the way to solve welfare reform. Queen Welfare #1 and #2. I understand that people are tired of other people taking advantage of the system, but this name-calling is so unappropriate. It’s border line rasict and that’s the bottom line.It pains me that so many people agree with this article. I agree that the system shouldn’t be abused, but I guantentee you that to some, it’s a helper. How many of the people who commented and agreed with this article actually had to go without? How many of you had no support from no one, but yet had to support yourself, with hardly any money? Everyone does not go through life starting from the top. OMG THIS ARTICLE. It really does make me somewhat upset, because I know so many people who would like to refer to some people as Welfare Queen #1 and #2 and who want to call those who uses food stamps “unintelligible” are peope who I may work with. I may even go to church with you or perhaps take a class with you. This mindset is all around me. People, do not be fooled, just because the author of this article did not use this terminology alot in her essay, just the mere fact she even bothered to mention shows that it stems much deeper than what’s written down.

  625. John Poshepny says:

    As a young college student I am so glad to see that there are fellow College Students (Finance Major) that realize that Welfare fraud is a serious issue. I was having a conversation with a liberal one day about this very topic and needless to say that it got ugly. Heck this liberal even tried to pull the race card and accusing me of being racist to minorities the people who are most likely to be on public assistance. I AM SICK AND TIRED of paying welfare benefits WITH MY TAX MONEY for people WHO REFUSE TO GO OUT AND TRY to find a JOB!!!!!

  626. Truth Teller says:

    This is a huge problem. People don’t even see the wrongness of these programs that legally plunder and foster dependency. I am all for helping someone out, BUT it is not, nor has it ever been, the government’s place to do so. Do you think friends, family, and neighbors would help someone they know who is in need? Yes, they would. Would the accountability structure be better and much more efficient? Absolutely.

    Our elected officials will not fix things, which is awful because not only are we collectively destroying our economy (which ironically would help EVERYONE, including those in need, if it were better), but we are also putting future generations in destitution because of the insurmountable debt. Our collective selfishness, weakness, and foolishness to not be able to do right is what we will forever be remembered by. We are soft, ignorant, and unprincipled. Previous generations worked hard to set us up nicely, and we are torching it. People as stupid as us deserve no forgiveness… History will judge us harshly… and correctly.

  627. Love this article, I agree 100%. I work at a Shaws in Maine. I’ve seen everything just like you have. One thing I hate to see that you didn’t mention was how I’ll have morbidly obese customers come through and buy soda, potato chips, and little debbie snacks. Not only am I paying for him to eat junk food, I’m paying for his healthcare too. There is nothing wrong with him, he just doesn’t want to work. EBT in maine needs to only pay for healthy foods, not junk food. Its a downward spiral that hard working Mainer’s are paying for. It needs to stop.

  628. Thank you for the article. Ignore the bigoted liberals posting inane comments because they have no real argument. Your article was well written and it is not just your state that abuses are occurring. I have personally seen it in Indiana and Texas. It is also happening in higher ed. People are going to college so they can “live” off the extra aid that is returned after they pay for tuition and books. It is sad and a direct reflection of a “me first” attitude. I just wish more democrats and liberals would look to the words of President John F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. Sadly, they only want to think about themselves.

  629. Love the article. Very well written. For those who are talking about the steaks, I think we all know she isn’t referring to the kind of person who just buys a couple of steaks with the rest of their healthy groceries. I do think that once upon a time, welfare may have been a good idea and mostly used for the right reasons, but now it should all just come to a complete stop – yank it right out from under everyone and watch them get creative and make money. Hey, it sounds “mean”, but I firmly believe that if the government wasn’t so ridiculously over-involved in EVERYTHING, people would have the money to “take care of their own”. America has become lazy and dependent – I’m not even 30 years old and it disgusts me. The work ethic here should be unparalleled, but I can rarely shop or eat anywhere without seeing (a) someone taking advantage [as this article so perfectly demonstrates], or (b) someone who obviously can’t stand his/her job. I suppose the gov’t enjoys being in control, and when you govern all the money, you maintain control. When will the people of America wake up? Democrat, Republican, Independent – who cares! Being of a particular political party will not keep one from being affected by all of the nonsense that it sweeping the Nation. I simply believe that at this point in the game (with everything being so far out of control), it’s going to take a quick, drastic change to CHANGE the US of A.

  630. Rich Verson An incredibly disingenuous article written by someone who hasn’t been around the block…but her website URL says it well. She’s a privileged observer. She thinks she’s writing about the pratfalls of a broken welfare system, but in reality she’s passing judgement on those that she looks down upon. There are and will always be those that bend and break the rules, from the poor to hedge fund managers to politicians. Hopefully this little girls eyes will eventually understand what she sees.

  631. I don’t think that EVERYONE should get a bad reputation for being on “welfare”! I myself was on TANF and foodstamps for a couple of years. I was in an abusive relationship and had a little girl to support. I went to new hope for women which is ALSO a support group, and had to be relocated from my town into a place where I knew no one and had minimal support from family and friends. I am now on my own living in a trailer which I purchased on my own and am now off of TANF but still recieve FS as I don’t make enough to make ends meet. So before you pass judgement on others maybe you should take a look at your own life and ask yourself if you have ever had to receive assistance from family and friends and what you would have to do if you didn’t have support from them. And furthermore, what about all the women out there that keep having these babies that they can’t afford nor take care of? I, myself had a child at a young age but am smart enough to know that I can barely support the one I have now and smart enough to wait until I am more finacially stable to have another! There are many of us on “welfare” that really need it and its too bad that a few bad apples ruin the reputation of anyone else that has no choice but to be on it to get by!!!!! NO ONE and I repeat, NO ONE is perfect! Yes, I had to hang my head and ask for assistance, and when it comes to my daughter I would do it again if need be! My child is not going to go without! AND THAT DOES NOT MAKE ME A BAD PERSON!

  632. Does anyone really know the history of our current welfare system? It was created in the late 1940’s by our president Franklin D. Roosevelt for those who were trying to get back on their feet after the war and depression. The system he created was called “Social Security” and as evolved into the many programs we have today. He believed it to be a temporary solution to getting folks out of poverty. Talking to those who lived through that era, they were grateful to have the help because it meant food on the table. Growing up in Maine, I have seen the frustration people have with the welfare system. You all have one of the best education systems in the country, but yet people are still running to the welfare lines for assistance. The problem is the state government is not encouraging more companies to invest in the state, so you can have more than service type jobs that barely pay more than what you would make sitting at home collecting welfare. If you want true welfare reform, go to you government and protest to bring more white collar jobs to the state, so Maine’s graduates will have a job and not forced to take their skills out of state. Keeping what the state has worked so hard to educate at home will create jobs because they know what the state needs and are familiar with its people.

  633. I don’t think that judging people based on their EBT card they use at a Walmart checkout line is fair. Although I do agree with food stamps being abused, but I think that not as many of the consumers using EBT cards have them for the reason you may think. For example in my state, the same card is used for TANF, unemployment, and disability as is used for child support. So in essence, if I came to your checkout purchasing a Slip and Slide on my EBT card, you will have already judged me and assumed that I must be abusing my government assistance. Little would your closed mind know that I do have a full time job, as well as my children receive child support on that card you so happen to frown upon. So yes, I am going to buy toys, light bulbs, birthday cakes, and anything else that my children need in their home, and you can continue to be unaware of how judgmental you really can be. Although I do agree with your general message that government assistance programs are being abused, I don’t think swiping debit cards is a very accurate or educated way of deciding for yourself what our government needs to work on.

  634. my back hurts from taxes going to feed fat ass lazy leechers….get off yur asses already

  635. Please explain to us, without googling, how voting republican is helping the issue. Thank you.

  636. Fraud happens at levels of society. Cops, Catholic priests, Ted Haggard, Enron, MC Global, Bernie Madoff, Countrywide Financial. All good points raised by this young lady. It’s Interesting to me which sides and issues conservatives feel strongest about. Bank bailouts ok. Destroy the middle class ok. Risky investments that caused the housing bubble ok. Offshore millions of American jobs, ok. Some goofball bought a 10.00 lobster at Walmart which might be the same price per pound as roast beef using an EBT card well now that’s just wrong. These and thems and those people. Oldest game in the book. It’s a red herring to what is really happening to America. We are getting fleeced by big business. Look at the stock market. Look whose income has risen vs. fallen over the last four years. Yep Obama is a socialist. That’s why the top 1% incomes have risen by double digits in this “recession”. Give me a break. Wake up you idiots. Think for yourself. Look at the data and stop being prodded like cattle by some article about a woman arguing about a vacuum.

  637. Jennifer says: