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Sat Jun 22, 2013, 04:13 PM

On Food Stamps and Disability Benefits [View all]

There's another thread containing a great deal of debate about Gohmert's support of changes to the food stamp program. To my great surprise, there's also a noteworthy measure of backing from some posters who appear to be ignorant as to what life's like when on these programs. Please allow me to educate you from the perspective of someone who receives both disability and food stamps (which today come in the form of an EBT card, which works like a debit).

Most of us don't buy king crab legs. Anyone who believes that is an idiot. For us, money's stretched so tight that you count every cent on that EBT card and hope it can get you at least part of the way through the month. That way, you only have to spend a minimal amount from your other government assistance, the same limited assistance which must fund all of your other needs.

People complain that they see folks with benefits purchasing processed foods, but not healthy foods/fruits/vegetables. Guess what? Healthy food is EXPENSIVE, and unhealthy food is CHEAP. The driving factor here is that unhealthy food will stretch your EBT card out, whereas healthy food will exhaust it well before you'll receive your next benefits. It sucks, but if you want to fix it, demand that the poor receive more assistance than they do. I get $50 a month. It goes fast.

You may not be aware that many grocery store scanners now automatically filter out items which are not covered by the program, so you either can't get them or have to pay separately. Did you see some fellow make a purchase? Some sort of junk you disapprove of, paid for in cash when he'd used an EBT card moments before? Maybe he also receives disability benefits, in which case, that's his money to spend as he sees fit. How he does so is, to be frank, none of your damned business. He wouldn't have those benefits if he didn't deserve them (trust me - fighting to get disability was like pulling teeth) and just because he has them doesn't make him subhuman.

We who receive food stamps and disability benefits are, indeed, still human. We still like to indulge in things which are pleasurable and even unhealthy, and we've done nothing to sacrifice our right to those things. I think I would go mad if I wasn't able to purchase some candy, a book, or a video game every month. Why? It's because the price I pay for those benefits is living with pain and misery the likes of which you can't imagine for the rest of my days. Others have it even worse. That money goes back into the economy and benefits the businesses with which we're dealing, so there's a positive for you. If you disapprove of our making personal, frivolous purchases, I once again say that it's none of your damned business.

Nobody on benefits is there because they're in a good situation. Most of you criticizing these people probably have not one clue what they individually have gone through, in the past and on a daily basis, nor are you in a position to judge them. They are people, not thieves, and the programs from which they benefit are doing exactly what they were intended to do - ensure that they have a measure of decency and dignity.

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