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alp227

(32,215 posts)
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:52 AM Jun 2013

Gov. Rick Scott signs bill banning EBT card use at casinos

Florida is banning welfare recipients from using EBT cards at "adult entertainment establishments" like strip clubs and casinos.

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed the bill (HB 701) into law. It was one of 36 bills that Scott signed.

EBT cards - standing for electronic benefit transfer - are like debit cards. Welfare recipients use them to draw down their benefits.

Critics called the bill offensive to poor people. But the bill's sponsor said that voting against his measure was like "voting for lap dances on taxpayer dollars."

full: http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2013/5/30/gov_rick_scott_signs.html

At least free porn is very available online!

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Gov. Rick Scott signs bill banning EBT card use at casinos (Original Post) alp227 Jun 2013 OP
And this is a bad thing why bottomofthehill Jun 2013 #1
Legislating morality is essentially always bad. Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #2
WHAT !!!!??? Legislating morality? Nonsense BlueStreak Jun 2013 #112
I 100% agree with you, premium Jun 2013 #118
There are much bigger issues to address than this. mick063 Jun 2013 #185
I think you are right bottomofthehill Jun 2013 #195
uh, isn't EBT state assistance? burnodo Jun 2013 #215
Do you think you have the right to tell poor people to spend the money given to them? n/t cynatnite Jun 2013 #9
In a sense, yes. Chan790 Jun 2013 #22
The money is given to them as THEY see fit...not for you to decide...nor anyone else... cynatnite Jun 2013 #26
"Do morality cops carry morality badges, too?" It's called the Bible. Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #28
ROFLMAO! cynatnite Jun 2013 #30
DUzy! Scruffy Rumbler Jun 2013 #210
I live in FL, I haven't seen "Food Stamps" in years... Sekhmets Daughter Jun 2013 #123
strip clubs? gambling? burnodo Jun 2013 #217
That's what this is about. Setting a precedent to dictate more things. Pragdem Jun 2013 #75
EBT cards don't work at casinos Warpy Jun 2013 #173
This^^^+1000 nt Mnemosyne Jun 2013 #200
I feel filthy! defacto7 Jun 2013 #3
Telling the poor they're too stupid to know where to spend their money is a blight on the poor. Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #4
EBT is for food, for necessities, not for gambling or porn or such things. NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #8
And not allowing people to make such decisions debases them as intellectual beings. Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #12
No. We are saying, "hey, we want you and your children to be well nourished". nt. NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #39
"...and we don't trust you to make the right decision because you're stupid and poor." Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #40
In some cases, adults will let their kids go without. That's not right. NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #42
Whoa... that's a mouth full. defacto7 Jun 2013 #46
I'm surprised that I had to scroll this far to find PotatoChip Jun 2013 #58
Unfortunately not all parents are as OwnedByCats Jun 2013 #65
Exactly!! So much hysteria and frenzy over the poor abusing assistance.. mountain grammy Jun 2013 #91
I can multi-task joeglow3 Jun 2013 #127
That was my thought: "And how much of a problem is this in real life?" JHB Jun 2013 #125
+1 leftstreet Jun 2013 #137
Maybe the intent by Republicans is bad, but this does not make it a bad rule. This should have been Pisces Jun 2013 #148
I never said that this is a "bad rule". PotatoChip Jun 2013 #163
Ya know, premium Jun 2013 #165
That's ok, we're good. PotatoChip Jun 2013 #181
They are free to do what they like with their own money... Pelican Jun 2013 #59
What makes you think that people are using it for that? PotatoChip Jun 2013 #62
If the level is .01%, 1%, 10% or 100%.... Pelican Jun 2013 #66
I am totally convinced that it is 0%... PotatoChip Jun 2013 #67
The number is more than zero... Pelican Jun 2013 #72
Where? What posts? Maybe I missed it, but I can't find PotatoChip Jun 2013 #73
Post #55 scratches the surface... Pelican Jun 2013 #84
Wow. That is a LOT of money. bunnies Jun 2013 #94
What makes you think that they are not using it for living expenses? (nt) PotatoChip Jun 2013 #98
At casinos, strip clubs and liquor stores? bunnies Jun 2013 #109
They are accessing their cash there. PotatoChip Jun 2013 #117
Ever used an ATM at a casino or strip club? bunnies Jun 2013 #121
Ok. This reply is the first one that makes sense to me PotatoChip Jun 2013 #135
Truth is... bunnies Jun 2013 #141
Yeah, ok. premium Jun 2013 #122
I already addressed this in 2 other posts... PotatoChip Jun 2013 #128
And you would be wrong on ATM fees. premium Jun 2013 #133
Maybe in NV... bunnies Jun 2013 #143
It's probably the same in NV. premium Jun 2013 #145
I recently went to use the ATM at a bar in boston... bunnies Jun 2013 #151
$10.00 BUCKS! premium Jun 2013 #154
I absolutely love your summer weather! bunnies Jun 2013 #157
Well, they do say it's a dry heat, premium Jun 2013 #161
I haven 't been here very long... Pelican Jun 2013 #134
lol. bunnies Jun 2013 #144
Every single bit of this so-called "proof" that you provided PotatoChip Jun 2013 #97
It's a well known fact in the Casinos of NV. premium Jun 2013 #107
Proof. Got any? PotatoChip Jun 2013 #119
Just a lifetime of living here. premium Jun 2013 #124
What is it that you want me to prove? PotatoChip Jun 2013 #126
That in NV, this isn't a problem, premium Jun 2013 #129
You are asking me to prove something that I believe to be a negative. PotatoChip Jun 2013 #130
So you're saying that I don't have a say in how my taxes premium Jun 2013 #136
The ability of some folks... Pelican Jun 2013 #132
Ooooh, ooooh, I know, premium Jun 2013 #139
So you just happen to walk into a casino or strip club and don't spend any money? madinmaryland Jun 2013 #177
Wait, what? Are you implying that I am on welfare? PotatoChip Jun 2013 #184
Having 'food stamps' on a separate EBT card already is saying the poor are too stupid kelly1mm Jun 2013 #160
And then they mercuryblues Jun 2013 #171
Almost non existent AnalystInParadise Jun 2013 #192
state assistance is not a blank check burnodo Jun 2013 #219
EBT isn't a cash only card... cynatnite Jun 2013 #27
I think we should have a separate fund for the poor just so they can have a good time... Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #34
I'd rather just give them the money, treat them with some dignity and let them decide... cynatnite Jun 2013 #35
I agree. What I said was more of a joke. Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #36
Understood. No prob. :) n/t cynatnite Jun 2013 #37
Nothing like a lap dance to perc you up.... WCGreen Jun 2013 #54
So you would rather the wealthy, corporate, casino, right wing, tea party supporter defacto7 Jun 2013 #11
Super false dichotomy. I believe in treating those in need with dignity and understanding. Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #13
Sorry... disagree. defacto7 Jun 2013 #19
So you assume it's a problem because Rick Scott says it's a problem? Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #21
You make a very likely point... defacto7 Jun 2013 #23
There are ethical problems with his drug test bill jmowreader Jun 2013 #45
It's meant for food and living expenses madville Jun 2013 #16
I'm a poor person. I receive food stamps. I have no problem with this cali Jun 2013 #51
Okay, and...what? Are you now the spokesperson for poor people? Gravitycollapse Jun 2013 #52
no. Are YOU? I simply expressed MY opinion. cali Jun 2013 #53
Good one Cali. premium Jun 2013 #81
Are you a spokesman AnalystInParadise Jun 2013 #194
If they spend money in a strip club? Rather than feeding children. Yes we shold prevent that. alphafemale Jun 2013 #57
OK, but would you give your money to a panhandler if you knew that they Zorra Jun 2013 #203
It's not your business to legislate how poor people spend the money given to them. n/t cynatnite Jun 2013 #7
If what they do with it drags us all down more defacto7 Jun 2013 #14
So, you're a morality cop. Gotcha. cynatnite Jun 2013 #24
No, you feel you are in a corner defacto7 Jun 2013 #31
You're the one who is assuming that what the poor do with the money is your business... cynatnite Jun 2013 #33
You're off the rails now. defacto7 Jun 2013 #38
This isn't about me... cynatnite Jun 2013 #41
I'm not attacking you. defacto7 Jun 2013 #43
If I was angry, you'd know it. It's all good. n/t cynatnite Jun 2013 #44
You're damned right it's our business, premium Jun 2013 #92
Even people on welfare pay taxes Fumesucker Jun 2013 #214
Oh I know that taxes are collected on welfare benefits, premium Jun 2013 #218
It certainly is when it's taxpayer funded money. nt. premium Jun 2013 #82
It damn well is... Springslips Jun 2013 #85
For the record, it's not that people are over funded nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #103
To be more clear... Springslips Jun 2013 #206
I am not arguing with you nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #207
My thought was and this is a huge problem? VanillaRhapsody Jun 2013 #32
That was my first question Cali_Democrat Jun 2013 #49
More often than you think. nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #105
"it is a real problem" Cali_Democrat Jun 2013 #175
Some links... nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #178
You said "it is a real problem" Cali_Democrat Jun 2013 #188
You can go look for it yourself nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #189
I would like a link to actual facts and numbers Cali_Democrat Jun 2013 #222
care to provide proof of that contention? VanillaRhapsody Jun 2013 #186
I see a zombie, I see the ignore list nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #208
don't worry...I will Most certainly have a wonderful life VanillaRhapsody Jun 2013 #213
Here's the thing: Was it actually common for people in Wisconsin to use their EBT cards at Casinos? TheDebbieDee Jun 2013 #102
It is in NV. premium Jun 2013 #111
This version is better: sakabatou Jun 2013 #5
You would have to know anime and especially Chobits to get that. onehandle Jun 2013 #20
Yup, but it's still funny sakabatou Jun 2013 #47
Completely pointless waste of time for this morality police legislation... cynatnite Jun 2013 #6
just how much does this really occur? hollysmom Jun 2013 #10
You may have a point there... defacto7 Jun 2013 #15
That's what I was going to ask. Starry Messenger Jun 2013 #25
good point hollysmom Jun 2013 #152
A person can pull the cash off the card at any ATM. No logical way to track how it's spent. n/t cynatnite Jun 2013 #29
see #55 n/t handmade34 Jun 2013 #56
it didn't say how much hollysmom Jun 2013 #153
That'll create jobs! onehandle Jun 2013 #17
Thank god the leaders of Morality Liberal In Texas Jun 2013 #18
I'm fine with it Captain Stern Jun 2013 #48
I guess a broken clock Niceguy1 Jun 2013 #50
some background... handmade34 Jun 2013 #55
I will agree with Scott when he signs a law Riley18 Jun 2013 #60
I support this. I know we can't stop all the stupid people IdaBriggs Jun 2013 #61
I support this, too. lhooq Jun 2013 #70
DUers come to grips with their inner rightwinger RandiFan1290 Jun 2013 #63
Hell, I'm a moderate Democrat and think this is wrong. nt Pragdem Jun 2013 #76
Are you also against accountability as to how the DoD contractors use tax money? Ikonoklast Jun 2013 #88
^^^This^^^. premium Jun 2013 #93
Bravo nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #114
There is no solution RandiFan1290 Jun 2013 #131
What your shaming of people for not being ideologically pure? Carnage251 Jun 2013 #115
There may be a reason they're poor. ileus Jun 2013 #64
This is lame...who thought this was a problem? Sancho Jun 2013 #68
"Rick Scott is an idiot who just does things to stir up his tea party base." etherealtruth Jun 2013 #110
See response 55. The President appears to be onboard. Actual, or suspected, misuse of bike man Jun 2013 #197
I think this makes the point.. Sancho Jun 2013 #198
". . .For all we know, the people. . ." appears to be speculation to gloss over bike man Jun 2013 #199
No speculation...look at the numbers... Sancho Jun 2013 #221
Republicans really like telling poor people what to do. alarimer Jun 2013 #69
Please don't ever make me.. 99Forever Jun 2013 #71
People on government assistance should be entitled to the same vices... Pragdem Jun 2013 #74
I 100 pct agree with you on restaurants, but not on casino gambling. roamer65 Jun 2013 #89
Good. darkangel218 Jun 2013 #77
My understanding of EBT was that it could only be used for approved items, similar to Food Stamps auburngrad82 Jun 2013 #78
There are two kinds of benefits on an EBT card Marrah_G Jun 2013 #80
Thanks for the clarification nt auburngrad82 Jun 2013 #83
money spent on these things, is bread off the table markiv Jun 2013 #79
I can't even imagine this is such a huge problem that a new law is necessary. mountain grammy Jun 2013 #86
Casino Employee here: This is a real problem. Decoy of Fenris Jun 2013 #87
I had a friend at a liquor store report the same thing Travis_0004 Jun 2013 #90
Spot on. premium Jun 2013 #96
It is a true fact nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #100
Good. nt greytdemocrat Jun 2013 #95
When they finally get us to the cashless society... roamer65 Jun 2013 #99
This blind squirrel found a nut nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #101
Good analogy, nadin. roamer65 Jun 2013 #108
Good! I hope other states do the same - eom lynne Jun 2013 #104
While I do not like the government legislating morality I have to say I do not disagree with this. hrmjustin Jun 2013 #106
If this were a privately funded program premium Jun 2013 #116
This is typical Republican smear legislation. gulliver Jun 2013 #113
Yeah... and besides, we beat them to it! hughee99 Jun 2013 #120
Looks like the Republicans got you with their wedge law. gulliver Jun 2013 #138
I think you might have missed where a Democratic controlled Senate passed it, hughee99 Jun 2013 #146
Sorry, but I would have ignored it as irrelevant. gulliver Jun 2013 #155
The different between bait and food isn't origin, its usage. hughee99 Jun 2013 #162
It's offensive and undermines trust. gulliver Jun 2013 #167
"Progressive dividing"? hughee99 Jun 2013 #180
The big picture is that Republicans are now trying to cut food stamps. gulliver Jun 2013 #183
This law is supposed to address some of the bad apples. hughee99 Jun 2013 #187
I see your point, but I don't think you see mine. gulliver Jun 2013 #191
I understand what you're saying, I just think you're greatly overestimating hughee99 Jun 2013 #193
Obama is involved in this nefarious Republican scheme!!! Yo_Mama Jun 2013 #158
Did you say "the facts on Fox News" in your post? gulliver Jun 2013 #164
Figures differ Yo_Mama Jun 2013 #170
Let you chew on this. The state of California is doing the same thing nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #209
It's completely irrelevant to my point. gulliver Jun 2013 #216
Alas this is a poor law nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #220
Sorry, gotta go with Governor Skeletor on this one. Brigid Jun 2013 #140
As much as it pains me to say this, premium Jun 2013 #142
California already has that law Yo_Mama Jun 2013 #147
That's a darn good law. premium Jun 2013 #150
Yeah, and of course these types of joints love that money Yo_Mama Jun 2013 #156
+10000 premium Jun 2013 #159
In light of Krugman's article from two days ago... gulliver Jun 2013 #176
I don't have a problem with this. We all agree to certain conditions sufrommich Jun 2013 #149
Disappointing news for millionaire casino owners. Nye Bevan Jun 2013 #166
I don't have a problem with this law. I DO have a problem with anybody kestrel91316 Jun 2013 #168
The problem, with a minority of users nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #211
I don't understand why there's cash on an EBT card to begin with. LuvNewcastle Jun 2013 #169
Cash benefits Yo_Mama Jun 2013 #172
I guess they're trying to save money on checks. LuvNewcastle Jun 2013 #182
Offensive how? shawn703 Jun 2013 #174
false analogy - drunk driving is for the general public hollysmom Jun 2013 #190
+1000 nt Mnemosyne Jun 2013 #204
Easy politics BeyondGeography Jun 2013 #179
I'm hard-pressed to find anything wrong with this law. NaturalHigh Jun 2013 #196
Is EBT card use at strip clubs and casinos an issue? BenzoDia Jun 2013 #201
When I was an Account Manager exboyfil Jun 2013 #202
So, the less welfare you take from the gov, the more it should be policed. That makes sense. nt Mnemosyne Jun 2013 #205
He's just doing what those ultra conservative leeches nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #212

bottomofthehill

(8,427 posts)
1. And this is a bad thing why
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:00 AM
Jun 2013

I think the Governor is a shithead, but I am having a hard time getting angry over this one.

Gravitycollapse

(8,155 posts)
2. Legislating morality is essentially always bad.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:02 AM
Jun 2013

You are right. Rick Scott is a shithead. And this only furthers that point.

 

BlueStreak

(8,377 posts)
112. WHAT !!!!??? Legislating morality? Nonsense
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:29 AM
Jun 2013

The TAXPAYERS pay for those cards. And that is to pay for food and essentials. It is unbelievable to me that this wasn't already outlawed.

I am glad I finally find one little thing I can agree with the conservatives on.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
118. I 100% agree with you,
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:35 AM
Jun 2013

unfortunately, here in NV, the gaming lobby is very powerful and every time a law like this is proposed, it's defeated by the gaming lobby because they don't want to lose the money from what they call, "Welfare Weekend".

 

mick063

(2,424 posts)
185. There are much bigger issues to address than this.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 03:09 PM
Jun 2013

I'm not against the bill. I would put it much, much lower on my priority list.


More than anything, it just demonstrates where the conservative's heads are at. To them, the problems start with the poor, not the ultra rich. This bill screams that. The paranoia of "the poor taking our tax money" puts this kind of bill high on their priority list. Regardless, as a taxpayer, I'm not against the specific legislation although they could find more "fraud" if they started at the top of the food chain instead of the bottom.



bottomofthehill

(8,427 posts)
195. I think you are right
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:34 PM
Jun 2013

In hind sight, it looks like a solution looking for a problem. That said, I still don't think I would be opposed to it

 

burnodo

(2,017 posts)
215. uh, isn't EBT state assistance?
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 12:04 PM
Jun 2013

I can see not being able to regulate people from buying cigarrettes or alcohol, but gambling? Strip clubs? I think it's easy to see why those activities should not be allowed.

 

Chan790

(20,176 posts)
22. In a sense, yes.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:34 AM
Jun 2013

The money is not merely advisory in what it's for...it's given specifically to buy groceries and pay for housing and is limited by criminal statute to those uses in most jurisdictions. Within those narrow confines, unless you're living at the Velvet Rhino or doing your grocery shopping at the Seminole tribe's casino in Pensacola, I can see no permissible use for EBT funds in casinos or strip-clubs. You can't use them to pay for incidentals like lap-dances and cigarettes or alcohol; you can't use them for restaurant meals even.

Also, FL is being a lot more lax than some states...MD goes so far as to tell you what products and brand-names you can buy in the supermarket (Today's notification was that you can no longer buy Apple and Eve brand apple juice as it's not competitively-priced...only First Orchard, non-organic store-brands or Juicy-Juice) and what portion of your benefit must be spent on fruits and vegetables. Don't meet the purchasing guidelines consistently and they make you meet with a benefits-councilor.

cynatnite

(31,011 posts)
26. The money is given to them as THEY see fit...not for you to decide...nor anyone else...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:00 AM
Jun 2013

It's not your place to decide how someone spends the money that's given to them.

Also, they usually get food stamps so the cash on the EBT card does not go for food.

Do morality cops carry morality badges, too?

Sekhmets Daughter

(7,515 posts)
123. I live in FL, I haven't seen "Food Stamps" in years...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:43 AM
Jun 2013

The equivalent is placed on a separate EBT card used specifically for FOOD. It's not a morality issue...at least it isn't in my mind. The issue is people using money that is supposed to be feeding their children, as well as themselves, in casinos. In order to qualify for nutrition assistance in FL, a person must be between 18 and 50 years of age and have at least a part-time job, 20 hours or more. There is nothing stopping someone from using their earnings at the casino, although it is a fools game. I've seen too many hungry kids because the money that was supposed to purchase food went elsewhere.

 

burnodo

(2,017 posts)
217. strip clubs? gambling?
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 12:07 PM
Jun 2013

are you serious?

"Hey man, down on your luck? Here, I'll give you $20 so you can stick it in the stripper's garter belt. But, if you're hungry later, don't come crying to me"

 

Pragdem

(233 posts)
75. That's what this is about. Setting a precedent to dictate more things.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 09:34 AM
Jun 2013

Right-wingers only believe in the personal freedoms of those with enough money to live their life the way they want.

It's liberty for the affluent and nanny state for the poor.

Warpy

(111,879 posts)
173. EBT cards don't work at casinos
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:53 PM
Jun 2013

They also don't work at no-tell motels and strip clubs. This is useless legislation that solves a problem that never existed until a bunch of propagandists got together to lie about poor workers who need food stamps because their employers have them on starvation wages.

Republicans: solving problems that don't exist and ignoring the disaster that does exist for 45 years!

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
3. I feel filthy!
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:04 AM
Jun 2013

because I actually agree with R. Scott on this one. Why would anyone who needs welfare for necessities use it for casino gambling? There may be a point here. Porn? Adult clubs? I have less worries about those although a stupid use for necessary funds, but casinos are a blight on the poor, it preys on their greatest weakness.

 

NYC_SKP

(68,644 posts)
8. EBT is for food, for necessities, not for gambling or porn or such things.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:12 AM
Jun 2013

I'm sorry if you disagree.

Gravitycollapse

(8,155 posts)
12. And not allowing people to make such decisions debases them as intellectual beings.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:14 AM
Jun 2013

We are essentially saying that poor people are too stupid or too irresponsible to make such decisions. And my guess is that the actual level of such abuse is almost non-existent.

 

NYC_SKP

(68,644 posts)
42. In some cases, adults will let their kids go without. That's not right.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:38 AM
Jun 2013

It's not about stupid or poor, those are your words. It's about doing the right thing and nobody is above scrutiny.
We expect contractors to follow contracts, we expect people to obey laws, and recipients of public support are not a special class who are above scrutiny.
EBT is a program, it has guidelines, it's not a blank check.

Here's some history:

A Short History of SNAP

The First Food Stamp Program (FSP) - May 16, 1939-Spring 1943

The idea for the first FSP is credited to various people, most notably Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and the program's first Administrator Milo Perkins. The program operated by permitting people on relief to buy orange stamps equal to their normal food expenditures; for every $1 worth of orange stamps purchased, 50 cents worth of blue stamps were received. Orange stamps could be used to buy any food; blue stamps could only be used to buy food determined by the Department to be surplus.

Over the course of nearly 4 years, the first FSP reached approximately 20 million people at one time or another in nearly half of the counties in the U.S.--peak participation was 4 million--at a total cost of $262 million. The first recipient was Mabel McFiggin of Rochester, New York; the first retailer to redeem the stamps was Joseph Mutolo; and the first retailer caught violating the program was Nick Salzano in October 1939. The program ended "since the conditions that brought the program into being--unmarketable food surpluses and widespread unemployment--no longer existed."

"We got a picture of a gorge, with farm surpluses on one cliff and under-nourished city folks with outstretched hands on the other. We set out to find a practical way to build a bridge across that chasm."
( Milo Perkins )

Pilot Food Stamp Program - May 29, 1961-1964

The 18 years between the end of the first FSP and the inception of the next were filled with studies, reports, and legislative proposals.

Prominent Senators actively associated with attempts to enact an FSP during this period were: Aiken, La Follette, Humphrey, Kefauver, and Symington. From 1954 on, Congresswoman Leonor K. Sullivan strove unceasingly to pass food stamp program legislation. On Sept. 21, 1959, P.L. 86-341 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to operate a food stamp system through Jan. 31, 1962.

The Eisenhower Administration never used the authority. However, in fulfillment of a campaign promise made in West Virginia, President Kennedy's first Executive Order called for expanded food distribution and, on Feb. 2, 1961, he announced that food stamp pilot programs would be initiated. The pilot programs would retain the requirement that the food stamps be purchased, but eliminated the concept of special stamps for surplus foods. A Department spokesman indicated the emphasis would be on increasing the consumption of perishables. Isabelle Kelley, who was part of the four-person team that designed the new program, became its first director and the first woman in USDA to head an action program.

Mr. and Mrs. Alderson Muncy of Paynesville, West Virginia, were the first food stamp recipients on May 29, 1961. They purchased $95 in food stamps for their 15-person household. In the first food stamp transaction, they bought a can of pork and beans at Henderson's Supermarket. By January 1964, the pilot programs had expanded from eight areas to 43 (40 counties, Detroit, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh) in 22 States with 380,000 participants.

"...the Department of Agriculture seemed bent on outlining a possible food stamp plan of such scope and magnitude, involving some 25 million persons, as to make the whole idea seem ridiculous and tear food stamp plans to smithereens."
( Congresswoman Leonor K. Sullivan )

Food Stamp Act of 1964 - August 31, 1964

On Jan. 31, 1964, President Johnson requested Congress to pass legislation making the FSP permanent. Secretary Orville Freeman submitted proposed legislation to establish a permanent FSP on April 17, 1964. The bill eventually passed by Congress was H.R. 10222, introduced by Congresswoman Sullivan. Among the official purposes of the Food Stamp Act of 1964 were strengthening the agricultural economy and providing improved levels of nutrition among low-income households; however, the practical purpose was to bring the pilot FSP under Congressional control and to enact the regulations into law. The major provisions were:


the State Plan of Operation requirement and development of eligibility standards by States;
the requirement that recipients purchase their food stamps, paying an amount commensurate with their normal expenditures for food and receiving an amount of food stamps representing an opportunity more nearly to obtain a low-cost nutritionally adequate diet;
the eligibility for purchase with food stamps of all items intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages and imported foods (the House version would have prohibited the purchase of soft drinks, luxury foods, and luxury frozen foods);
prohibitions against discrimination on bases of race, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs;
the division of responsibilities between States (certification and issuance) and the Federal Government (funding of benefits and authorization of retailers and wholesalers), with shared responsibility for funding costs of administration; and
appropriations for the first year limited to $75 million; for the second year, to $100 million; and, for the third year, to $200 million.

The Department estimated that participation in a national FSP would eventually reach 4 million, at a cost of $360 million annually.

Program Expansion - FSP Participation Milestones in the 1960s and Early 1970s.

In April 1965, participation topped half a million. (Actual participation was 561,261 people.) Participation topped 1 million in March 1966, 2 million in October 1967, 3 million in February 1969, 4 million in February 1970, 5 million one month later in March 1970, 6 million two months later in May 1970, 10 million in February 1971, and 15 million in October 1974. Rapid increases in participation during this period were primarily due to geographic expansion.

Major Legislative Changes - Early 1970s

The early 1970s were a period of growth in participation; concern about the cost of providing food stamp benefits; and questions about administration, primarily timely certification. It was during this time that the issue was framed that would dominate food stamp legislation ever after: How to balance program access with program accountability? Three major pieces of legislation shaped this period leading up to massive reform to follow:

P.L. 91-671 (Jan. 11, 1971) established uniform national standards of eligibility and work requirements; required that allotments be equivalent to the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet; limited households' purchase requirements to 30 percent of their income; instituted an outreach requirement; authorized the Department to pay 62.5 percent of specific administrative costs incurred by States; expanded the FSP to Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the United States; and provided $1.75 billion appropriations for Fiscal Year 1971.

Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-86, Aug. 10, 1973) required States to expand the program to every political jurisdiction before July 1, 1974; expanded the program to drug addicts and alcoholics in treatment and rehabilitation centers; established semi-annual allotment adjustments, SSI cash-out, and bi-monthly issuance; introduced statutory complexity in the income definition (by including in-kind payments and providing an accompanying exception); and required the Department to establish temporary eligibility standards for disasters. This legislation also added a new category of eligible purchases with SNAP benefits - seeds and plants which produce food for human consumption.

P.L. 93-347 (July 12, 1974) authorized the Department to pay 50 percent of all States' costs for administering the program and established the requirement for efficient and effective administration by the States.

1974 Nationwide Program

In accordance with P.L. 93-86, the FSP began operating Nationwide on July 1, 1974. (The program was not fully implemented in Puerto Rico until Nov. 1, 1974.) Participation for July 1974 was almost 14 million.

The Food Stamp Act of 1977

Both the outgoing Republican Administration and the new Democratic Administration offered Congress proposed legislation to reform the FSP in 1977. The Republican bill stressed targeting benefits to the neediest, simplifying administration, and tightening controls on the program; the Democratic bill focused on increasing access to those most in need and simplifying and streamlining a complicated and cumbersome process that delayed benefit delivery as well as reducing errors, and curbing abuse. The chief force for the Democratic Administration was Robert Greenstein, Administrator of FNS; on the Hill, major players were Senators McGovern, Javits, Humphrey, and Dole and Congressmen Foley and Richmond. Amidst all the themes, the one that became the rallying cry for FSP reform was "EPR"--eliminate the purchase requirement--because of the barrier to participation the purchase requirement represented. The bill that became the law--S. 275--did eliminate the purchase requirement. It also:
eliminated categorical eligibility;
established statutory income eligibility guidelines at the poverty line;
established 10 categories of excluded income;
reduced the number of deductions used to calculate net income and established a standard deduction to take the place of eliminated deductions;
raised the general resource limit to $1,750;
established the fair market value (FMV) test for evaluating vehicles as resources;
penalized households whose heads voluntarily quit jobs;
restricted eligibility for students and aliens;
eliminated the requirement that households must have cooking facilities;
replaced store due bills with cash change up to 99 cents;
established the principle that stores must sell a substantial amount of staple foods if they are to be authorized;
established the ground rules for Indian Tribal Organization administration of the FSP on reservations; and
introduced demonstration project authority.

In addition to EPR, the Food Stamp Act of 1977 included several access provisions:
using mail, telephone, or home visits for certification;
requirements for outreach, bilingual personnel and materials, and nutrition education materials;
recipients' right to submit applications the first day they attempt to do so;
30-day processing standard and inception of the concept of expedited service;
SSI joint processing and coordination with AFDC;
notice, recertification, and retroactive benefit protections; and
a requirement for States to develop a disaster plan.

The integrity provisions of the new program included fraud disqualifications, enhanced Federal funding for States' anti-fraud activities, and financial incentives for low error rates.

EPR was implemented Jan. 1, 1979. Participation that month increased 1.5 million over the preceding month.

Interesting fact:
The House Report for the 1977 legislation points out that the changes in the Food Stamp Program are needed without reference to upcoming welfare reform since "the path to welfare reform is, indeed, rocky...."

Cutbacks of the Early 1980s

The large and expensive FSP came under close scrutiny of both the Executive Branch and Congress in the early 1980s. Major legislation in 1981 and 1982 enacted cutbacks including:
addition of a gross income eligibility test in addition to the net income test for most households;
temporary freeze on adjustments of the shelter deduction cap and the standard deduction and constraints on future adjustments;
annual adjustments in food stamp allotments rather than semi-annual;
consideration of non-elderly parents who live with their children and non-elderly siblings who live together as one household;
required periodic reporting and retrospective budgeting;
prohibition against using Federal funds for outreach;
replacing the FSP in Puerto Rico with a block grant for nutrition assistance;
counting retirement accounts as resources;
State option to require job search of applicants as well as participants; and
increased disqualification periods for voluntary quitters.

Interesting Fact:
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) began in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1984.

The Mid- to Late 1980s

Recognition of the severe domestic hunger problem in the latter half of the 1980s led to incremental improvements in the FSP in 1985 and 1987, such as elimination of sales tax on food stamp purchases, reinstitution of categorical eligibility, increased resource limit for most households ($2,000), eligibility for the homeless, and expanded nutrition education. The Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 and the Mickey Leland Memorial Domestic Hunger Relief Act in 1990 foretold the improvements that would be coming. The 1988 and 1990 legislation accomplished the following:
increasing benefits by applying a multiplication factor to Thrifty Food Plan costs;
making outreach an optional activity for States;
excluding advance earned income tax credits as income;
simplifying procedures for calculating medical deductions;
instituting periodic adjustments of the minimum benefit;
authorizing nutrition education grants;
establishing severe penalties for violations by individuals or participating firms; and
establishing EBT as an issuance alternative.

Throughout this era, significant players were principally various committee chairmen: Congressmen Leland, Hall, Foley, Panetta, and de la Garza and Senator Leahy.

Development of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT): 1988-2004

Public Law 100-435, the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 was signed into law September 19, 1988 and permitted one or more pilot projects to test whether the use of benefit cards or other automated or electronic benefit delivery systems could enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations for both program administrators and recipients. Following this initiative, Public Law 101-624, the Mickey Leland Memorial Domestic Hunger Relief Act of November 28, 1990 established EBT as an issuance alternative and permitted the Department to continue to conduct EBT demonstration projects.

On August 10, 1993 the Conference Report on Public Law 103-66, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, included a managers statement strongly urging the Secretary to encourage State agencies to develop and establish EBT systems. This was followed by Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of August 22, 1996 which mandated that States implement EBT systems before October 1, 2002, unless USDA waived the requirement because a State faced unusual barriers to implementation.

A national standard of interoperability and portability applicable to electronic food stamp benefit transactions was established by Public Law 106-171, the Electronic Benefit Transfer Interoperability and Portability Act of 2000 on February 11, 2000 and Public Law 107-171, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 of May 13, 2002 required USDA to submit a report not later than October 1, 2003 to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees describing the status of EBT systems in each State. This act also allows group homes and institutions to redeem EBT benefits directly through banks in areas where EBT has been implemented rather than going through authorized wholesalers or other retailers.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize transfer of their government benefits from a Federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received. EBT is used in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. State food stamp agencies work with contractors to procure their own EBT systems for delivery of Food Stamp and other state-administered benefit programs.

In EBT systems, food stamp recipients apply for their benefits in the usual way, by filling out a form at their local food stamp office. Once eligibility and level of benefits have been determined, an account is established in the participant's name, and food stamp benefits are deposited electronically in the account each month. A plastic card, similar to a bank card, is issued and a personal identification number (PIN) is assigned or chosen by the recipient to give access to the account. Recipients are offered the opportunity to change the PIN number at any time, and are offered ongoing training if they have any problems accessing the system.

EBT eliminates the cumbersome processes required by the paper food stamp system. By eliminating paper coupons which could be lost, sold or stolen, EBT may help cut back on food stamp fraud. EBT creates an electronic record of each food stamp transaction, making it easier to identify and document instances where food benefits are exchanged for cash, drugs, or other illegal goods.

All States are using EBT as an alternative for SNAP issuance and, in some cases, for other programs such as USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, the Federal block-grant program operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. As of July 2004, all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Guam operated state-wide, city-wide, and territory-wide EBT systems to issue SNAP benefits.

In Puerto Rico, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was replaced in 1982 by a block grant program, called the Nutrition Assistance Program. Puerto Rico is not interoperable with other States.

1993 Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act

By 1993, major changes in food stamp benefits had arrived. The final legislation provided for $2.8 billion in benefit increases over Fiscal Years 1984-1988. Leon Panetta, in his new role as OMB Director, played a major role as did Senator Leahy. Substantive changes included:
eliminating the shelter deduction cap beginning Jan. 1, 1997;
providing a deduction for legally binding child support payments made to nonhousehold members;
raising the cap on the dependent care deduction from $160 to $200 for children under 2 years old and $175 for all other dependents;
improving employment and training (E&T) dependent care reimbursements;
increasing the FMV test for vehicles to $4,550 on Sept. 1, 1994 and $4,600 on Oct. 1, 1995, then annually adjusting the value from $5,000 on Oct. 1, 1996;
mandating asset accumulation demonstration projects; and
simplifying the household definition.

Later Participation Milestones

In December 1979, participation finally surpassed 20 million. In March 1994, participation hit a new high of 28 million.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996

The mid-1990s was a period of welfare reform. Many States had waivers of the rules for the cash welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) before major welfare reform legislation was enacted in 1996. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) removed the entitlement of recipients to AFDC and replaced that with a new block grant to states called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

Although the FSP was reauthorized in the 1996 Farm Bill, major changes to the program were enacted through PRWORA. Among them were:
eliminating eligibility of most legal immigrants to food stamps;
placing a time limit on food stamp receipt of three out of 36 months for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are not working at least 20 hours a week or participating in a work program;
reduction in maximum allotments by setting them at 100 percent of the change in the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) from 103 percent of the change in the TFP;
freezing the standard deduction, the vehicle limit, and the minimum benefit;
setting the shelter cap at graduated specified levels up to $300 by fiscal year 2001, and permitting States to make use of the standard utility allowance mandatory;
revising provisions for disqualification, including comparable disqualification with other means-tested programs; and
requiring States to implement EBT before Oct. 1, 2002.

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) and the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Act of 1998 (AREERA) made some changes to these provisions, most significantly:
additional Employment and Training (E&T) funds targeted toward providing work program opportunities for ABAWDs;
allowing States to exempt up to 15 percent of the estimated number of ABAWDs who would otherwise be ineligible;
restoring eligibility for certain elderly, disabled and child immigrants who resided in the United States when PRWORA was enacted; and
cutting administrative funding for States to account for certain administrative costs that previously had been allocated to the AFDC program and now were required to be allocated to the Food Stamp Program.

The fiscal year 2001 agriculture appropriations bill included two significant changes to the FSP. The legislation increased the excess shelter cap to $340 in fiscal year 2001 and then indexed the cap to changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Consumers each year beginning in fiscal year 2002. The legislation also allowed States to use the vehicle limit they use in a TANF assistance program, if it would be result in a lower attribution of resources for the household. To date, only two States have not taken advantage of this option.

Early 2000s - The Farm Bill of 2002

Participation declined throughout the late 1990s, even more so than expected based on the changes in PRWORA and falling unemployment. Program access and simplification of program rules were a major focus of proposed legislation and of major regulations promulgated by the Department. In May 2002, the Food Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 was enacted, including reauthorization of the Food Stamp Program. Major changes to the FSP included:
restoration of eligibility for food stamps to qualified aliens who have been in the United States at least five years;
restoration of eligibility for immigrants receiving certain disability payments and for children, regardless of how long they have been in the country;
adjusting the standard deduction to vary by household size and indexed each year for inflation;
reforming the quality control (QC) system by basing financial sanctions on consecutive years of high error rate;
replacing enhanced funding for States with low error rates with a performance bonus system based on several different measures of performance;
providing States with several options to simplify the program, including aligning the definition of income and/or resources to that used in TANF or Medicaid, adopting a simplified reporting system, and providing transitional benefits for clients leaving TANF;
cutting E&T funding while eliminating the requirements of targeting those funds toward ABAWDs; and
eliminating the cost neutrality requirement for EBT systems.

Food stamp participation increased from about 17.2 million in fiscal year 2000 to 26 million people in July 2006. The rate of payment accuracy in the FSP improved 34 percent between FY2000 and FY2004 and the 94.12 percent overall payment accuracy rate was the highest achieved since the inception of the program. USDA awarded $48 million to 24 States for their exemplary administration of the program in fiscal year (FY) 2005.

This improvement in payment accuracy is a result of strong partnerships with States administering the program as well as implementation of program simplifications and policy options provided in the 2002 Farm Bill. These options which include aligning the definition of income and/or resources to that used in TANF or Medicaid, adopting a simplified reporting system, and providing transitional benefits for clients leaving TANF, were well received by State agencies. Forty-one of these have aligned income and 36 have aligned resource exclusions to those used in TANF or Medicaid. 47 States have adopted simplified reporting which has reduced the program error rate.

The Department continues to work with States to implement the various provisions of the 2002 Farm Bill, through guidance and regulations.

Late 2000s - The Farm Bill of 2008

By August 2008, participation had reached an all-time (non-disaster) high of 29 million people per month. The participation increases occurred at a time when eligibility for food stamp benefits expanded as a result of the 2002 Farm Bill. Moreover, there was a consistent focus on outreach and improved access to FSP benefits. Some of the most recent increase in participation may be caused by the current economic slowdown and the recent rise in unemployment rates. During this time, payment accuracy continued to improve and the program set a new payment error rate record for fiscal year 2007 of 5.64.

The 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008) was enacted May 22, 2008 through an override of the President’s veto. The new law increased the commitment to Federal food assistance programs by more than $10 billion over the next 10 years. In efforts to fight stigma, the law changed the name of the Federal program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP as of Oct. 1, 2008, and changed the name of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. States maintained flexibility to name the program on their own but were encouraged to change the name to SNAP or another alternate name. In fact, more than ten States had already changed the names of their programs by this time.

Significantly, the 2008 Farm Bill also institutionalized priorities that FNS had focused on for many years including strengthening integrity; simplifying administration; maintaining State flexibility; improving health through nutrition education; and improving access.

Benefits were augmented for most households on Oct. 1, 2008, due to the increase in the minimum benefit and standard deduction and elimination of the cap on the deduction for child care expenses. The new law also expanded eligibility by indexing the asset limits to inflation and excluding combat pay, and most retirement and education accounts as countable resources. The law modernized the program by acknowledging EBT as the standard issuance vehicle and de-obligating coupons one year from enactment. The Farm Bill also provided $20 million in mandatory funding for a project to test point-of-purchase incentives for healthful foods and authorized appropriations for other similar projects.

Other important changes included:
Extended simplified reporting to all households
Extended of transitional benefits to those leaving a State-funded cash assistance program
Allowed use of E&T funds for job retention expenses
Clarified the E&T volunteers are not subject to a participation limit
Stipulated that State agencies must issue monthly benefit allotments to individuals in one lump sum unless a benefit correction is necessary
Sets standards for expungement of benefits and for moving benefits off line
Clarified that interchange fees may not apply to EBT transactions
Required USDA to set standards for major changes in program design
Required USDA to require proper testing as a condition of Federal financial participation in State automation systems.
Allowed USDA to prohibit State agencies from collecting claims from a household and to assert a claim against a State in cases of major systems failure
Offered States the option of implementing a telephonic signature process
Codified regulations regarding bilingual access, civil rights requirements and nutrition education
Allowed for disqualification for clients who intentionally obtain cash by purchasing and then discarding a product to obtain the deposit or intentionally sells food purchased with SNAP benefits
Gave USDA more flexibility in setting disqualification periods and fines for certain retailer violations.



Last modified: 01/08/2013


defacto7

(13,485 posts)
46. Whoa... that's a mouth full.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:56 AM
Jun 2013

On a skim, it does give a good background of the detail that's been worked through to see that the focus was on needs. Thanks NYC_SKP!

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
58. I'm surprised that I had to scroll this far to find
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:17 AM
Jun 2013

someone who gets the point.

And my guess is that the actual level of such abuse is almost non-existent.


Now imo, this is why the article says that the bill is "offensive to poor people". Not because it is "telling poor people how to spend the money". It's the implied assumption that this is actually happening, that I consider to be offensive, because I find it very hard to believe that it is. Here is why:

Back in 1986, I received full welfare benefits for a period of 5 months after my marriage dissolved, but before I had found a job. You want to know how much assistance I received for myself and baby daughter?.... $187.00 per/month. I kid you not. Now obviously, money went much farther in 1986, but if anyone thinks that that was enough to do anything other then just barely get by, they are, well, just wrong...

Thankfully, the cost of living here in Maine is pretty low, so I managed to snag a crappy apartment for $180.00 per/month which included my water and electricity. However, I was expected to pay for my own heat. Needless to say, that $7.00 left over after paying rent didn't go very far when buying oil for the furnace, so I had to keep the heat very low -and- had to borrow money from my mother every month for that, as well as to buy diapers, cleaning supplies, ect. Fortunately we, or rather I, ate well (I was nursing my daughter at the time) because the food stamp allotment was more than enough.

I have no idea what people on welfare receive now, 25+ years later, but find it hard to believe that much has changed since then. The cash assistance is, I'm sure, higher (obviously) but I doubt that it is much more than a barely-get-by amount. Just as it was for me. It certainly is unlikely to be enough for people to gamble or go to strip clubs with.

The bill that Gov. Perry signed is a solution looking for ( I believe) a non-existent problem. It won't change a thing for people receiving welfare, but it will serve to stigmatize them even further... After all, even people here on DU seem to be working w/the assumption that this is actually happening. Sad.



OwnedByCats

(805 posts)
65. Unfortunately not all parents are as
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:09 AM
Jun 2013

responsible as you are. It's not the responsible ones that this bill applies to, it's the ones who would not be providing the things for their children as they should be with their benefits.

I have a hard time disagreeing with this bill in theory, however what is to stop people from simply going to an ATM machine inside of a supermarket, bank etc, withdrawing the funds and then head off to do some gambling with the cash. I don't know if this will stop them or just be a minor inconvenience to those wishing to gamble with their benefits.

mountain grammy

(26,799 posts)
91. Exactly!! So much hysteria and frenzy over the poor abusing assistance..
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:37 AM
Jun 2013

when, in reality, it's a miniscule problem. Not so much with corporations abusing tax shelters, etc. Not so much with my tax dollars going to private corporate schools that don't teach.
I'm outraged that my tax dollars feed corporate welfare. The pittance that goes to the poorest Americans is not the problem.
But hell, let's demonize the poor because they are the root of our problems... right!!

JHB

(37,185 posts)
125. That was my thought: "And how much of a problem is this in real life?"
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:45 AM
Jun 2013

Those funds are intended to help people cover the basic necessities. While we can argue over where that leaves off, casinos and strip clubs are definitely outside that zone.

However, this law looks more like a grandstand play than addressing any real problem: The RW meme is that there are vast armies of moochers livin' high on the dole (on YOUR tax dollars!), and this plays to it. My guess is that the bill cost more in terms of the time & money devoted to passing it than was ever spent at a adult establishments with EBT cards.

My question is then: what else is on the laundry list of ways to micromanage the lives of EBT users, how many of those are reasonable limitations, and will those pushing for laws like this restrain themselves to merely the reasonable items, or will they try for the whole holier-than-thou wish-list?

And just to raise a final point: wouldn't use of EBT cards at "adult entertainment establishments" be a useful flag for potential fraud or other abuse? If it's being used there, either they don't need it, or they're neglecting what it's supposed to be used for. Or it was obtained by outright fraud (e.g., multiple accounts, with cards sold for cash, or other money-laundering schemes).

So Rick Perry tackled a likely-nonexistent problem, cut off a useful fraud-finding tool, and.... ... he forgot what else. Oops.

Pisces

(5,608 posts)
148. Maybe the intent by Republicans is bad, but this does not make it a bad rule. This should have been
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:32 PM
Jun 2013

place from the start of the program. You can not use food stamps to buy alcohol or paper products. I hardly think it is a stretch
to add lap dancing and gambling. And most of you are wrong. Many poor people go to the local Indian casinos trying to make more
money. They do spend their welfare and they are addicted. I know someone in this predicament.

Casinos and strip bars are in the business to make money. I am sure they encourage this behavior. Desperate people need escapism just like everyone else. Making it harder to spend food money on these vampire establishments isn't a bad thing.

Again I do not doubt the Republicans have a negative intent, but regardless of intent the results may be positive.
I guess it is how you look at it.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
163. I never said that this is a "bad rule".
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:13 PM
Jun 2013

So I think that you and I are both in total agreement here... It's the implied assumption (or in your words, the 'Republican's negative intent' of demonizing the poor) that welfare recipients are running amok, spending moocho dollars at places of ill-repute. Oh, and let's just pretend that these people are just rolling in the dough while we are at it, the truth be damned.

As an aside, I find it interesting that some of the folks' I've been conversing with downthread refuse to acknowledge what I said in post #58... And that is the fact that since the amount of money that welfare recipients receive is at such a barely-get-by level, then even if they blew their entire monthly check at a strip club or a casino, they'd probably be able to do it in a couple of hours. Furthermore, if they really are blowing their money, how or where are they going to live for the rest of the month?

Nope, they won't address it because it is an inconvenient truth which does not fit well into their narrative of Cadillac-driving welfare queens and kings.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
165. Ya know,
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:27 PM
Jun 2013

I have to apologize to you, I've been calling you out on something you never said.
I mistook you for saying that we don't have a say in how the money is spent, when in reality, you never said that, it was this person that said this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022930522#post9

So, you have my heartfelt apology, and you have a wonderful day.
Let me offer you a beer.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
181. That's ok, we're good.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:26 PM
Jun 2013

It's been a spirited discussion, but in the end, that's all it is, really. Therefore I tend to not take things on DU personally most of the time. Life is too short.

Thank you very much though, for the apology. Much appreciated! And I hope that you too have a great day!

 

Pelican

(1,156 posts)
59. They are free to do what they like with their own money...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:22 AM
Jun 2013

This money was distributed from the public for a specific purpose, not whatever they feel like.

I might add that if you are poor enough to need these funds then using it at strip clubs and casinos is indeed stupid and irresponsible.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
62. What makes you think that people are using it for that?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:51 AM
Jun 2013

Please see my post just above yours. Thanks.

(#58 I believe it was.)

 

Pelican

(1,156 posts)
66. If the level is .01%, 1%, 10% or 100%....
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:10 AM
Jun 2013

I think that it is justifiable to expend the resources to enact and enforce such a law. It speaks to the larger issue of what to do with the public money, even if it is with a small number or a large number.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
67. I am totally convinced that it is 0%...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:29 AM
Jun 2013

But ok, if you think that it is alright to accuse people of something that they are not doing, fine. To each his/her own.

I would hope that you are consistent w/this line of reasoning though. By that, I mean legislating the same type(s) of restrictions for corporations that receive government money along with every single employee of that company. From the investors and CEO straight on down to the janitor.

Oh, and why even stop there? How about people receiving tax breaks? Let's legislate it for them too. How about all government workers including the ones who came up w/this BS bill and the Governor who signed it? We shouldn't forget them either, you know...

 

Pelican

(1,156 posts)
72. The number is more than zero...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:58 AM
Jun 2013

... as shown in other posts.

Even as a preventative measure it makes sense. I can't think of a situation in which someone who is poor enough to require those funds should be in a strip club or a casino unless it is to work.

As long as the business used that money in the way in which it was intended, then what do I care what their employees do in their off time? Now if that money was loaned to a business to create cars or build a bridge and the executives took everyone, including the janitors, off to the strip club instead, I would have a problem.

See how easy that is?

You don't even have that thin line for a government worker. They earned their check through labor and it is their money to do with as they please.

The purpose of the funds is to provide bare essentials and a minimum standard of living. Just that simple. If you think it is important to go to the club or the strip show or the casino then go with the money you earned.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
73. Where? What posts? Maybe I missed it, but I can't find
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 09:24 AM
Jun 2013

a single post where someone provides absolute proof that people on welfare are spending money in this way. And since you made the assertion, it's up to you, not me to back it up.

So where's the proof?

 

Pelican

(1,156 posts)
84. Post #55 scratches the surface...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:12 AM
Jun 2013

15 seconds on google provides this gem from the House Ways and Means Committee...

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/ebt.pdf
__________-

Accessing Welfare in Casinos, Strip Clubs, and Liquor Stores
A provision in the House-passed Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011 (H.R.
3630) would restrict the use of welfare Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) cards in casinos,
strip clubs, and liquor stores. H.R. 3567 contains this same provision, but in a stand-alone bill.
Many media outlets have highlighted the access to and use of Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) cash in such locations:

• Arizona: ABC15 in Phoenix found a number of recipients had accessed their TANF cash
through ATMs in bars, liquor stores, adult entertainment stores, and other questionable
locations.

• California: A Los Angeles Times investigation found that $1.8 million in TANF funds
were withdrawn in casinos, and that $12,000 was accessed in strip clubs. Shortly after the
report was published, Governor Schwarzenegger implemented a block on access to
TANF cash in casinos and other gambling locations, adult entertainment businesses, bars,
and other locations.

• Colorado: ABC 7 in Denver found that $10,000 in TANF cash was withdrawn at
questionable locations over a 12-month period including casinos, strip clubs, and liquor
stores. The State passed a law in 1998 to ban access to funds in casinos and liquor stores,
but there appears to be little oversight.

• Georgia: Fox 5 Atlanta aired an investigative report on individuals accessing TANF cash
in liquor stores, finding that approximately $150,000 in cash was accessed in liquor
stores, bars, and nightclubs.

• Missouri: News 4 St. Louis reviewed TANF benefit card transactions and found a
number of withdrawals were made in bars, casinos, and strip clubs, causing Senator Dick
Durbin to ask the State to look into the issue.

• Michigan: A Michigan State Senator introduced a bill to block access to TANF cash in
casinos after discovering through his investigation that more than $87,000 had been
withdrawn from one Detroit casino over a 12-month period.

• New York: News 10 Rochester found that more than $34,000 in TANF cash had been
withdrawn in casinos, off-track betting locations, and bingo hallsin the Rochester area.

• Washington: King 5 News in Seattle found that 13,000 TANF recipients withdrew
approximately $2 million at casinos in 2010. Shortly after the investigation, the State
took action to block transactions in casinos.

 

bunnies

(15,859 posts)
94. Wow. That is a LOT of money.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:54 AM
Jun 2013

Sad to think of how many needy people dont get any assistance at all & would have actually used it for living expenses.

 

bunnies

(15,859 posts)
109. At casinos, strip clubs and liquor stores?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:25 AM
Jun 2013

By "living" I mean things needed to live. Like food, clothing, shelter.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
117. They are accessing their cash there.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:34 AM
Jun 2013

There is no proof that they are spending it there.

I already mentioned this in another post, but many poor people do not have bank accounts. Therefore, they have to use cash to pay for their rent, utilities, ect.

The atms that are most convenient and least expensive fee-wise for them, may just happen to be in one of those places. I withdraw cash from my debit card in all sorts of places depending on convenience and fee amounts. However, that does not mean that I am spending my cash there.

 

bunnies

(15,859 posts)
121. Ever used an ATM at a casino or strip club?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:40 AM
Jun 2013

The fees are through the roof. That someone would go out of their way to go to a strip club, (probably) pay a cover to get in, JUST to use an overpriced ATM seems a bit far-fetched to me.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
135. Ok. This reply is the first one that makes sense to me
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:02 PM
Jun 2013

from anyone who I've been conversing with in this thread.

No, I've never accessed an ATM in a Casino, so I will take your word for it. But that only addresses Casinos. We don't know for a fact that anyone who has accessed money at an ATM in a strip club payed a cover charge, though. And as far as liquor stores are concerned they are everywhere which would address the convenience factor -and- many may have lower (or no) atm fees.

But thanks for making a good point. I stand corrected on that one aspect of this discussion.

 

bunnies

(15,859 posts)
141. Truth is...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:15 PM
Jun 2013

We really have no way of knowing what these people are doing with the money. And personally, I'd rather the gov't spend its attention on those who are really gaming the system like big oil, big farms, & the freekin "healthcare" system, etc. It really pisses me off that they'd rather go after people like this. No.. we cant have poor people going to a casino to gamble but hey, exxon-mobile, heres another zillion dollars from the taxpayers! Something is seriously wrong with this country.

And yeah, back to the original topic, we have state-run liquor stores in NH so there arent very many around. But I've been to places in Mass where they had packies on every corner. In that situation I can totally see using an ATM there. In fact, I've done it myself.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
122. Yeah, ok.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:42 AM
Jun 2013

If you believe that they're accessing their cash there but not spending it there, I've got a great price on some land in So. NV, only used to test Nuclear Weapons for 40+ years.

You don't make any sense at all, why not just access the cash at a grocery store where they would shop for groceries? Why go to a casino or bar to access the cash and then go to a store?

Most ATM's in casinos/bars charge the same fee as ATM's in stores.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
128. I already addressed this in 2 other posts...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:52 AM
Jun 2013

But will do so again.

Many poor people do not have bank accounts. Therefore, they have to use cash to pay for their rent, utilities, ect.

The atms that are most convenient and least expensive fee-wise for them, may just happen to be in one of those places. I withdraw cash from my debit card in all sorts of places depending on convenience and fee amounts. However, that does not mean that I am spending my cash there.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
133. And you would be wrong on ATM fees.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:59 AM
Jun 2013

An ATM in a casino charges the same fee as an ATM at a bank/grocery store/convenience store. I think the going rate is now about a $2.50 fee charge, which seems to be the standard industry rate, not sure as I rarely draw cash anymore.

 

bunnies

(15,859 posts)
143. Maybe in NV...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:18 PM
Jun 2013

But in my experiences ATM fees are higher in casinos and WAYYY higher in strip clubs.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
145. It's probably the same in NV.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:29 PM
Jun 2013

I haven't been to a casino in years and years, no desire to make the gaming corps. richer.

I'll defer to your experiences. I know that the last time I used a non Wells Fargo ATM, it cost me $2.50 in fees, but that was years ago, so I imagine that it's gone up.
I just don't see anyone walking into a casino/strip club/bar, using the ATM, walking out and going shopping for basic necessities, it just doesn't make sense.
And to say that we, as taxpayers, don't have a say on how a taxpayer funded program is run is just ridiculous.

 

bunnies

(15,859 posts)
151. I recently went to use the ATM at a bar in boston...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:40 PM
Jun 2013

and the fee was 10 bucks. TEN BUCKS! And that would be in addition to the 3 bucks my bank would charge me. I couldnt believe it. Some of these ATM charges are seriously out of control. 10 Bucks because I was in a bar. Unreal.

Anyway... I agree that some of the people are likely spending money there. Especially strips clubs and casinos. Thing is though, they could just take the money out somewhere else and go right to the club or casino. Theres really no way of knowing or tracking what they actually do with the money. I guess the only way would be to make it so cash cant be withdrawn at all & that doesnt seem very realistic.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
154. $10.00 BUCKS!
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:48 PM
Jun 2013

Holy Moly, that's highway robbery.

I just checked out the fees that can be charged in NV, and the maximum limit is $3.50 for using an ATM not associated with your bank, even that's too damned high.

I don't have a solution to your second paragraph, CA. seems to have a pretty good law, but every time NV tried to pass a similar law, the gaming industry, which is very powerful, has managed to have it killed in committee.
Maybe some time in the future, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it.

Meanwhile, have a beautiful day, supposed to get to 101 degrees here today, summer has arrived in So. NV.

 

bunnies

(15,859 posts)
157. I absolutely love your summer weather!
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:56 PM
Jun 2013

I spent a few weeks in August there a few years back. All the heat without the humidity! ahhhh.

Its 91 here right now in SE NH. I should be at the beach. Happy summer!

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
161. Well, they do say it's a dry heat,
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:01 PM
Jun 2013

which only means that you burn up that much faster.
You have a wonderful summer too.

 

Pelican

(1,156 posts)
134. I haven 't been here very long...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:00 PM
Jun 2013

... but I've been here long enough to lose my ability to tell if someone is sarcastic or not without using the

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
97. Every single bit of this so-called "proof" that you provided
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:02 AM
Jun 2013

Last edited Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:45 AM - Edit history (1)

says that people are accessing their welfare cash at ATM's within strip clubs, liquor stores, bars, ect. I see nothing that says they are spending it on anything other then their rent and other necessary cost of living things. Many people on welfare (or just poor people in general) do not have bank accounts. Therefore, they have no choice but to withdraw cash in order to pay rent.

So let me just reiterate here... Every single link I read in post #55, and every single word written in both post #55, and yours too, says that welfare recipients are accessing their cash in these places. It does not say that they are spending the cash there.

Where is the proof that they are using their money for such activities? I see absolutely no proof. None.

I access cash from my debit card in all sorts of places, but that does not mean I am spending my cash there. I usually just pick an atm that charges no, or smaller fees, and if that atm happens to be in a bar or some such place, that is where I will go as long as it's the most convenient and least expensive spot.

Why should we limit where welfare recipients access their cash? Isn't life already hard enough for them as it is? And what makes me even more angry is the implication that they are supposedly using their money in these places, to further stigmatize them in the eyes of others... If you will, for a moment, check out these words from Gov. Perry in the OP, you will see that that is exactly what he is trying to do:

But the bill's sponsor said that voting against his measure was like "voting for lap dances on taxpayer dollars."


On edit: Apparently, the bill's sponsor made this statement. Not Gov. Perry. Same difference, though...
 

premium

(3,731 posts)
107. It's a well known fact in the Casinos of NV.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:19 AM
Jun 2013

that welfare recipients use their benefits for gambling, I have several relatives that work in the casinos of Las Vegas and Reno and they have a saying, the first weekend of the month is known, as "Welfare Weekend", that's when welfare benefit recipients come in to gamble, drink.
I've always hated that phrase, welfare weekend, but it is a known fact to the casinos.
Now, I'm not saying that they all do that, it's probably just a small minority of people that do this, but as taxpayers, we do have the right to say how this taxpayer funded program money is spent.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
124. Just a lifetime of living here.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:44 AM
Jun 2013

Do you work in a casino? I have the proof of several relatives who actually work in the industry, including a pit boss, a dealer, and a surveillance director, what's your proof?

Oh, yeah, and a bartender.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
129. That in NV, this isn't a problem,
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:53 AM
Jun 2013

and also, as taxpayers, we don't have a say in how this taxpayer funded money is spent.
By reading your posts here, you seem to think that it's none of our business how the money is spent and I'm saying that as a taxpayer, who doesn't mind helping the unfortunate ones in my state, I do have a say in how my taxes are spent.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
130. You are asking me to prove something that I believe to be a negative.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:55 AM
Jun 2013

How is one supposed to prove a negative?

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
136. So you're saying that I don't have a say in how my taxes
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:04 PM
Jun 2013

are spent on taxpayer funded programs?

And, again, I have several relatives that work in the gaming industry, in Las Vegas and Reno, that say this is a problem in NV.

 

Pelican

(1,156 posts)
132. The ability of some folks...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:58 AM
Jun 2013

... to deny what is blatantly obvious amazes me.

What is more likely...

a) multiple media outlets, government investigators all conspired together to catch these poor innocent souls in dozens of locations withdrawing cash across the country at liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos and then promptly walking out to purchase the basic necessities of life

or

b) There are some scumbags out there who think that a gift of money, given with the intent that it be used to purchase the basic necessities of life, should instead be used on lap dances and booze

Gosh... What could it be...?

madinmaryland

(64,948 posts)
177. So you just happen to walk into a casino or strip club and don't spend any money?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:09 PM
Jun 2013

Seems to be an odd assumption.

PotatoChip

(3,186 posts)
184. Wait, what? Are you implying that I am on welfare?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:58 PM
Jun 2013

And that I go to strip clubs and casinos? The reason I ask is because of this statement of yours that I had previously not noticed:

The purpose of the funds is to provide bare essentials and a minimum standard of living. Just that simple. If you think it is important to go to the club or the strip show or the casino then go with the money you earned.


Or are you simply referring to the collective "you"? But even if that is the case, why would you think that I'd be ok with people using welfare money at strip clubs and casinos? I don't think anyone would be ok with that.

Just curious about all of this, because of the fact that I had asked you to read my post #58 and assumed that you did, which would have given you much better clarity regarding my position on this topic.



kelly1mm

(4,752 posts)
160. Having 'food stamps' on a separate EBT card already is saying the poor are too stupid
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:01 PM
Jun 2013

or irresponsible to make decisions about their purchases. I have been involved with a class put on about couponing. After getting the hang of it there are many food stamp users that have 'extra' money on their food stamp EBT's at the end of the month. One particularly good student was getting $448 per month and had almost $200 left over one month (family of 3). What she needed was to be able to use that 'extra' money for diapers, soap, TP ect. But no, that is not how it works. Have to use it on food, even if you don't need it.

mercuryblues

(14,623 posts)
171. And then they
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:52 PM
Jun 2013

go and buy treats like ice-cream, steaks and cookies. Only to be accused of abusing the system and buying expensive meat and junk food. Sometimes they can't win.

 

AnalystInParadise

(1,832 posts)
192. Almost non existent
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:23 PM
Jun 2013

is not the same thing as non-existent. And if it is really such a small percentage of people that this law will block from abusing the system, why do you care? Let's say that 1% of people used their EBT cards for gambling......now that 1% can't. I fail to see where anyone is really hurt in this new law if it is as you claim and such a small number were abusing the system.

 

burnodo

(2,017 posts)
219. state assistance is not a blank check
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 12:09 PM
Jun 2013

when you earn your own money then you can spend it on whatever the hell you want

cynatnite

(31,011 posts)
27. EBT isn't a cash only card...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:02 AM
Jun 2013

Food stamps are also placed on there in addition to cash.

Also, it's none of your business how someone determines the use of their food stamps and money given to them.

What's hilarious about this is the fact that a person can pull the cash off the EBT cards and spend it as they see fit...without the morality cops here at DU telling them what to do.

Gravitycollapse

(8,155 posts)
34. I think we should have a separate fund for the poor just so they can have a good time...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:12 AM
Jun 2013

every once in a while.

Being poor sucks. Give human beings the opportunity to destress.

cynatnite

(31,011 posts)
35. I'd rather just give them the money, treat them with some dignity and let them decide...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:15 AM
Jun 2013

I find this need to get in their business degrading to them and it has a repugnant feel to me.

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
11. So you would rather the wealthy, corporate, casino, right wing, tea party supporter
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:14 AM
Jun 2013

prey on people who have real needs, and using government funds to empower the poor to loose what they can't afford while padding the pockets of the 1% with even more government money?

Anyone who gambles with money they can't afford to loose ARE stupid whether they are poor or not. The government giving them money to hang themselves is even more stupid.

Gravitycollapse

(8,155 posts)
13. Super false dichotomy. I believe in treating those in need with dignity and understanding.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:17 AM
Jun 2013

These types of laws address non-issues and only serve to stomp on those who are already demonized by the right-wing as "lazy" or "stupid."

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
19. Sorry... disagree.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:25 AM
Jun 2013

Unless... it really IS a non issue. Maybe it is... I am assuming it is a problem.. so maybe it isn't. It would be good to find out. In any case, if is happens that welfare money is used for casinos, then I stand by my argument on a small scale but wouldn't push for such legislation. If it is common... then I would think legislation may be reasonable as it would affect all of us.

Gravitycollapse

(8,155 posts)
21. So you assume it's a problem because Rick Scott says it's a problem?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:27 AM
Jun 2013

Do you know the man's history?

He's the guy who mandated drug testing for EBT recipients and then it turned out that only 2% failed. Which, if you don't already know, is lower than the general population.

This is a non-issue. The fact that such a piece of shit is making an issue of it confidently leads me to that conclusion.

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
23. You make a very likely point...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:47 AM
Jun 2013

but not a logical one. We need to find out if it really is a non-issue. I don't know that answer so I will back off on the argument until I find out. Rick Scott is a jerk; this is true. Whether this issue is a real one has nothing to do with that, because he doesn't own reality.

I want to find out what the stats are concerning welfare recipient gambling. Sounds difficult to pin down.

BTW, empathy in my book doesn't include giving empathy's recipient a rope to hang themselves.

madville

(7,413 posts)
16. It's meant for food and living expenses
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:20 AM
Jun 2013

Not for gambling, smokes, booze, lottery tickets, fast food, etc.

It was much worse back when food assistance was actually paper bills. I worked at a gas station and on a daily basis people would come in trying to trade food stamps for stuff mentioned above, usually around $0.50 on the dollar.

Screw Rick Scott but it's usually always a small percentage abusing things that ruin it for everyone else, this isn't any different.

 

cali

(114,904 posts)
53. no. Are YOU? I simply expressed MY opinion.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 05:50 AM
Jun 2013

At least I am a member of the group being discussed. Are you? No?

 

alphafemale

(18,497 posts)
57. If they spend money in a strip club? Rather than feeding children. Yes we shold prevent that.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 06:32 AM
Jun 2013

That isn't just stupid.

That is hateful, horrid, narcissistic child abuse.

Use the money from the meth lab for the crab catching.

Zorra

(27,670 posts)
203. OK, but would you give your money to a panhandler if you knew that they
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 10:41 AM
Jun 2013

were going to gamble it all away right after you gave it to them?

Scott's legislation is a bridge to nowhere, but aside from that, I don't want to be supporting anyone's debilitating addictions. If people want to make themselves sick or kill themselves with addictions, that's their right. But I don't want any part in it if I can help it.

I don't think anyone should use the tax money we pay in order to help them survive to buy drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or for gambling.

I totally don't mind paying taxes to help people, but I certainly don't want to pay any more taxes to hurt people. I pay enough of the latter already by paying for corporate welfare, and involuntarily supporting the MIC death machine already.

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
14. If what they do with it drags us all down more
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:18 AM
Jun 2013

creating an even larger dent in our government and economy as well as a deeper drag on health care for us all... then sure, it is my business.

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
31. No, you feel you are in a corner
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:08 AM
Jun 2013

so you have to snark using a false conclusion! Aren't false conclusions what Rick Scott loves so much?

I don't think you are cornered because you have shown me a weakness in my point. So false conclusions are not necessary to persuade, they're just childish. Facts work much better.



cynatnite

(31,011 posts)
33. You're the one who is assuming that what the poor do with the money is your business...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:10 AM
Jun 2013

You want to blame them for dragging us down if they don't spend their money as YOU see fit.

I'm going by what you said.

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
38. You're off the rails now.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:30 AM
Jun 2013

leaving out parts you feel you don't need to defend your protest. Read a little more specifically or refresh your memory. It's not the cut version you just now posted and I don't repeat statements that don't need to be changed.

You were ahead with a logical point, you fall behind in your argumentation. There's still an answer that will make your point or mine. Beating a dead point of no significance is just beating off.

cynatnite

(31,011 posts)
41. This isn't about me...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:36 AM
Jun 2013

I responded to this statement of yours....

If what they do with it drags us all down more creating an even larger dent in our government and economy as well as a deeper drag on health care for us all... then sure, it is my business.

And rather than stick to the discussion at hand, you went after me. I don't understand why you feel that attacking me makes your assertion the correct one.

If you're not able to stick to what we're talking about, I think it's a good time for me to bow out of this. If you'd like to continue to attack me, go right ahead. It doesn't bother me in the least. Enjoy.

defacto7

(13,485 posts)
43. I'm not attacking you.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:41 AM
Jun 2013

It does seem to have created some problem that angers you. So let's drop it.

No problem. Sorry and good night!

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
92. You're damned right it's our business,
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:47 AM
Jun 2013

it's taxpayer funded money, therefore, that makes it our business.
I fail to see why you can't grasp this, if this was a private funded program, then, yeah, you'd have a point, but, it's not, it's money coming out of my pocket, which I have no problem with, but, as a taxpayer, I damn well do have a say in how it's spent.

Fumesucker

(45,851 posts)
214. Even people on welfare pay taxes
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 12:01 PM
Jun 2013

It's absolutely unavoidable to pay taxes if you are operating within our system at all, short of living completely off the land as a hunter gatherer you are going to pay some taxes.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
218. Oh I know that taxes are collected on welfare benefits,
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 12:09 PM
Jun 2013

same thing with unemployment benefits, hell, just about everything, but as a taxpayer, I do have a say in how the money is spent.

Springslips

(533 posts)
85. It damn well is...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:13 AM
Jun 2013

It certanly is my business how government spends money!

It is through legislation that we give them the money. I support welfair because it gives the unfortunate funds for food, shelter, and medical care; all of which are things I believe all people should have. Gambling, strip clubs, alcohol and tobacco are not things we should subsidize. They are not needed to live a life in dignity. As a tax payer I gladly give over some cash to support them, but how government money is spent is damn well my business as a citizen. I can vote different legislation. It is my concern. No different from a charity that decides to give the CEO a million dollar bonus, I have the option of stoping my donations because I don't like where my money is going. No different here.

The entire morality attack in this thread is a strawman. I go to strip clubs; I do gambling. But if we subsidize them then it means we are choosing that over other things, say paying teachers more. If the disadvantaged have money left over after taking care of basic needs enough to do these things then that means they over funded. Government should cut their funds and transfer to other concerns that happen to be underfunded.

Not that, that is the case. Scott's a moron that is just feading his base. But the principal is sound. It is absurd to say that citizens have no business deciding how government spends money.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
103. For the record, it's not that people are over funded
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:15 AM
Jun 2013

They are not.

People gamble for many reasons. Some do it intelligently, you have the money available and set yourself sessions, and realize the odds...hence it's entertainment. Some see it as a way to get out from their present condition and spend the money they don't have. A few it's an addiction.

But welfare week is real

Springslips

(533 posts)
206. To be more clear...
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 11:16 AM
Jun 2013

I didn't mean to say it was in fact overfunded. Hypothetically, if recipients were using welfare funds for gambling or lap dances than one of two things are true:

1.) they have basic needs care for and are using the remainder of funds,

Or

2.) they are using the money instead of funding basic needs.

If it is 1, than we have to wonder if government money is being used efficiently. Why fund those things instead of books, scholarships, green energy, science, ect. Ect. Ect?

If it is 2, then we have a problem. Food, shelter, clothing, utilities, and health care are way more important than gambling, and government must step in to insure its funds goes to what is more important. As in this scenario, quality of life isn't improved, and it goes counter to the purpose of welfare.

The basic point is to show that this is a government funding issue, not a moral one like the OP wants to frame as. As voters we do have a right to say how we want funds spent. It hugely distorted to say otherwise.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
207. I am not arguing with you
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 11:21 AM
Jun 2013

This is a national trend.

And the evil Californians are doing it as well...

 

VanillaRhapsody

(21,115 posts)
32. My thought was and this is a huge problem?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:09 AM
Jun 2013

How often does this even happen? Its like much ado about nothing..

 

Cali_Democrat

(30,439 posts)
49. That was my first question
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 03:29 AM
Jun 2013

Is there some kind of epidemic of poor people using EBT cards at casinos and strip clubs?

Probably not.

Just more idiots who think all of the world's problems are because of welfare recipients.

 

Cali_Democrat

(30,439 posts)
188. You said "it is a real problem"
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 05:31 PM
Jun 2013

None of those links detail how widespread the problem is and how many recipients use EBT cards at casinos or strip clubs.

Please provide proof that "it is a real problem".

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
189. You can go look for it yourself
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 05:57 PM
Jun 2013

or read the post from a Casino worker in this thread as well.

It is a real problem, recognized by social scientists and policy folks. And you can go look for that.

Here, so you do not have any trouble finding that post

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2931362

 

Cali_Democrat

(30,439 posts)
222. I would like a link to actual facts and numbers
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:51 PM
Jun 2013

which detail how widespread the problem is among recipients.

Thank you in advance.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
208. I see a zombie, I see the ignore list
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 11:23 AM
Jun 2013

You could, as well as Cali-democrat, go read yourself some sociology and social science...

The fact these laws are a national trend should clue you in, it won't, no matter what is posted...

Have an excellent life in the ignore list

 

TheDebbieDee

(11,119 posts)
102. Here's the thing: Was it actually common for people in Wisconsin to use their EBT cards at Casinos?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:14 AM
Jun 2013

How common an occurrence was the use of EBT cards? Or was this just another case of repuke legislation running amok.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
111. It is in NV.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:26 AM
Jun 2013

In talking to my relatives that work in casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, it is known as "Welfare Weekend".
That term is offensive to me, but it is a known fact in the casinos that the first weekend of the month is when the welfare recipients will come in to gamble and drink, not all of them, but some of them.

cynatnite

(31,011 posts)
6. Completely pointless waste of time for this morality police legislation...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:11 AM
Jun 2013

You can draw the cash off those things at any ATM and still use it at a casino if they want.

hollysmom

(5,946 posts)
10. just how much does this really occur?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:13 AM
Jun 2013

Could be just to make welfare recipients look bad and not really be a problem, Like when he drug tested welfare recipients and found well less than the general public used drugs. Seems like the suual republican trick to turn one group (middle class ) against another (poor).
Don't fall for it,. Call him on it.

Starry Messenger

(32,342 posts)
25. That's what I was going to ask.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:58 AM
Jun 2013

Is this really a thing?

Also, I wonder how much hookers and blow our bailout of Wall Sreet purchased?

hollysmom

(5,946 posts)
153. it didn't say how much
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:43 PM
Jun 2013

just that people are legislating against it. it is like people who resent people dpending EBT ona birthday cake - the poor don't deserve cake to some people.

They are insulting people for no real reason.

Liberal In Texas

(13,773 posts)
18. Thank god the leaders of Morality
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:24 AM
Jun 2013

in America have nipped that one in the bud.

It was probably a huge problem down there in Florida.



Captain Stern

(2,202 posts)
48. I'm fine with it
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 03:18 AM
Jun 2013

EBT cards exist to help folks out with necessities. There's no good reason for people to be using them in casino's or strip clubs.

If there actually are people out there using their cards at casinos and strip clubs (I doubt this is a real problem...sounds to me like just a way to get the teabaggers fired up), they obviously don't need the money. That money would be better spent on food and clothes for kids that actually need it.

Niceguy1

(2,467 posts)
50. I guess a broken clock
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 05:30 AM
Jun 2013

Is right once in awhile.

Other states have extracted the data and have fou nd that there was a problem.

There is no way that f he money that is withdrawn there is used for it's intended purpose.

handmade34

(22,761 posts)
55. some background...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 06:29 AM
Jun 2013

(...not stating an opinion, just stating where the info is coming from)

President Obama has also signed legislation that bars welfare recipients from using their assistance in strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores, which states must comply with by 2014

http://www.pressherald.com/news/new-welfare-restrictions-target-booze-tattoos_2012-07-16.html

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/15478933/investigators-ebt-transactions

"...With the help of FMS, Inc. a Virginia-based software and database developing firm, NBC2 individually sorted through 1.3 million transactions made from 2009 to April, 2011, totaling $201.8 million dollars.

NBC2 found $190,733 withdrawn inside locations like liquor stores, strip clubs, bowling alleys, bars and bingo parlors. The majority of the establishments had state liquor licenses. (see where this money was withdrawn in the charts below the story)..."




http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/poor_some_ugar_on_me_0Hq1d3iPnvj2RwpsEDS7MN





http://www.pressherald.com/news/new-welfare-restrictions-target-booze-tattoos_2012-07-16.html

Riley18

(1,127 posts)
60. I will agree with Scott when he signs a law
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:24 AM
Jun 2013

dictating how his pet corporations invest their tax free profits.

It seems he is channelling Saint Reagan's Cadillac welfare mom.

His every action is a transparent scheme of one kind or another.

 

IdaBriggs

(10,559 posts)
61. I support this. I know we can't stop all the stupid people
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:41 AM
Jun 2013

From being stupid - the folks who need assistance to feed their family, but think they have discretionary funds for gambling, lap dances, whatever - but this seems pretty common sense to me.

And before a few go after me for for telling "the poor" how to spend THE CHARITY they are getting from their fellow taxpayers, yes, that is exactly what I am totally good with - EBT benefits have a very high percentage of use for CHILDREN, none of whom can use these services (lap dances?), so they are dependent on the adults around them to do the right thing.

Being poor sucks. Being poor and hungry because someone went to the casino instead of the grocery store sucks WORSE.

lhooq

(35 posts)
70. I support this, too.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:41 AM
Jun 2013

IdaBriggs -- I agree. Thank you for your post.

Indeed, some children might make better choices than their parents. That said, it leaves me very uneasy being a Floridian who, for once, agrees with Gov. Scott.

Ikonoklast

(23,973 posts)
88. Are you also against accountability as to how the DoD contractors use tax money?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:23 AM
Jun 2013

Or should we just shrug our shoulders when they use tax dollars to purchase booze and hookers for the generals they invite to their parties?

If you take the public's money, you should be held accountable as to how it is spent.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
93. ^^^This^^^.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:52 AM
Jun 2013

I fail to understand how we don't have a say on how money is spent on taxpayer funded programs.
If this were a private funded program, then we rightly wouldn't have a say as taxpayers, but this is a public taxpayer funded program and we do have a say on how the money is spent.

As much as it makes me want to barf to say I agree with R. Scott on something, this is the one issue I do agree with him on. Now, I've got to go take some aspirin to get rid of the headache I just got saying that I agree with R. Scott.

RandiFan1290

(6,283 posts)
131. There is no solution
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:58 AM
Jun 2013

If people want to spend their cash on "booze and hookers" they still can. Just stopping them from using the atm is just feel good, do nothing, rw, hate the poor, bullshit.

Sancho

(9,073 posts)
68. This is lame...who thought this was a problem?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:34 AM
Jun 2013

Rick Scott is an idiot who just does things to stir up his tea party base. Worst governor every.

Sancho

(9,073 posts)
198. I think this makes the point..
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:14 AM
Jun 2013

"...With the help of FMS, Inc. a Virginia-based software and database developing firm, NBC2 individually sorted through 1.3 million transactions made from 2009 to April, 2011, totaling $201.8 million dollars.

NBC2 found $190,733 withdrawn inside locations like liquor stores, strip clubs, bowling alleys, bars and bingo parlors. The majority of the establishments had state liquor licenses. (see where this money was withdrawn in the charts below the story)..."

Less than 200 thousand out of 200 million came from clubs! For all we know, the people were getting milk for their kids while working there for minimum wages??!?! It may be unusual, but maybe someone without a car lives across the street from a bowling alley that has a snack bar...bingo games run by the church...who knows?

There will always be some abuse, but the money to track it down is likely more expensive than the amount misused. There should be a way to monitor potential abuse - but it doesn't need to be a political statement than assumes those using EBT are abusing benefits. Most are not.

This is like drug testing for unemployment. When they tried that here, there were very few positive hits for drugs. The program was a waste of money.

Sancho

(9,073 posts)
221. No speculation...look at the numbers...
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 04:47 PM
Jun 2013

there is almost no evidence of abuse. There a very small percentage of EBT spending at clubs, bowling alleys, etc. There's not follow up to see if that little bit has an appropriate cause - just an assumption that it's abuse. I was just providing one of many rival hypotheses that would explain the EDT transactions at "unusual" locations.

The only speculation is that there is widespread abuse that requires some big intervention.

alarimer

(16,245 posts)
69. Republicans really like telling poor people what to do.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 08:39 AM
Jun 2013

But they scream "FREEDOM" if we want people to have clean air or water or a living wage.

 

Pragdem

(233 posts)
74. People on government assistance should be entitled to the same vices...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 09:28 AM
Jun 2013

That people who aren't on government assistance are entitled to.

Restaurants should also be able to accept EBT cards. A hot meal is a hot meal. And maybe some people have disabilities that make it difficult for them to cook.

roamer65

(36,753 posts)
89. I 100 pct agree with you on restaurants, but not on casino gambling.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:29 AM
Jun 2013

If one is on the dole, you have a responsibility to taxpayers to use the money more wisely than casino gambling. If it takes a law to do it, so be it.

 

darkangel218

(13,985 posts)
77. Good.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 09:39 AM
Jun 2013

Casinos are a rip off, and the entertainment is painfully expensive, even for those with good income.

auburngrad82

(5,029 posts)
78. My understanding of EBT was that it could only be used for approved items, similar to Food Stamps
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 09:45 AM
Jun 2013

I thought that you could use the EBT card to pay for items that scanned as acceptable, and that anything else had to be paid for separately. Is that not how it works? If that's the case, wouldn't this bill be pointless? Lottery tickets, beer, etc. would not be on the approved list for purchase.

I probably misunderstand the details of the program.

Marrah_G

(28,581 posts)
80. There are two kinds of benefits on an EBT card
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 09:52 AM
Jun 2013

Cash and food.

The cash part can be used like a debit card for most things other then tobacco and alcohol. The cash part can also be used like an atm card. So if someone wants to buy alcohol or tobacco with the cash part then they would need to withdraw the money from an atm first. If they want to go to a casino there they would have to take the cash out of an atm first.

 

markiv

(1,489 posts)
79. money spent on these things, is bread off the table
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 09:48 AM
Jun 2013

the law is mostly for show, but not a wrong idea

and it has no effect on a responsible person down on their luck at all, they weren't going to be spending the EBT that way anyway

mountain grammy

(26,799 posts)
86. I can't even imagine this is such a huge problem that a new law is necessary.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:20 AM
Jun 2013

It's just gives creeps like Scott another weapon to get folks to hate the poor. Like drug tests, wow people sure can get whipped up about that.. look over here, the poor use your money to gamble and buy drugs.
How much money did Rick Scott rip off from the taxpayers defrauding Medicare?

 

Decoy of Fenris

(1,954 posts)
87. Casino Employee here: This is a real problem.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:20 AM
Jun 2013

At my place of employment which shall remain nameless, it's a running joke in the break rooms that the first week of every month is "Welfare Week", wherein all the expenses of the casino are paid for. Welfare Week sees anywhere from a 20-60% jump in patrons, most of them playing games with poor odds but high potential return. Common utterances of frustration range from "That was rent money" to "That's my kid's food money" to even "That was for my pills" and other such variations. While one cannot tell if a player is simply attempting to garner sympathy or remorse, or if said player is speaking the truth, IT IS A PROBLEM.


I'll go out on a limb and say what others might not: Yes, some people -are- just this stupid. The chance for a high return of investment through minimal exertion is a tempting lure, and it is not uncommon for a casino to stage promotions taking advantage of the very real fact that, during Welfare Week, income is much higher and there is a much larger player base. While this is not indicative of all welfare recipients by a long shot, it does remain a truth of casino management.

 

Travis_0004

(5,417 posts)
90. I had a friend at a liquor store report the same thing
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:37 AM
Jun 2013

The first weekend of every month was known as 'welfare weekend'

roamer65

(36,753 posts)
99. When they finally get us to the cashless society...
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:05 AM
Jun 2013

...that they truly want this country to be...of which I am definitely not in favor....then it will be nearly impossible to use your EBT money on non-approved items.

I can see a day in our coming cashless society where all they do is click a box on a computer system that will shut you off completely from ALL unapproved transactions if you are on assistance. Not that far away...IMHO.

Has a nice Orwellian feel to it, doesn't it? Just wait until they install the shut EVERYTHING off button.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
101. This blind squirrel found a nut
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:09 AM
Jun 2013

He is dealing with a very real issue.

And yes, this is also another iteration of poor laws going far back. For the record, Rick Scott is dong this on a morality play. The fact that it deals with a real issue is a whole different matter...welfare week is not just a saying.

roamer65

(36,753 posts)
108. Good analogy, nadin.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:24 AM
Jun 2013

I agree and by the way...

Your analogy puts that moron governor in his true place, yet keeps focus to the true correct issue at hand.

 

hrmjustin

(71,265 posts)
106. While I do not like the government legislating morality I have to say I do not disagree with this.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:18 AM
Jun 2013
 

premium

(3,731 posts)
116. If this were a privately funded program
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:31 AM
Jun 2013

then, I would say that govt. has no say over how the money is spent, but this being a taxpayer public funded program, then, yeah, as taxpayers, we do have a right to say how the money is spent.
Now, I have to go wash my mouth out with mouth wash because I just agreed with that RWNJ, R. Scott.

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
113. This is typical Republican smear legislation.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:31 AM
Jun 2013

I notice there are no statistics. How much EBT money actually went to casinos and strip clubs? What percentage of it? How many people actually did what the law is supposedly trying to prevent?

No, this is just more scummy Republican bullshit innuendo disguised as a law. Even DUers miss the scumminess of it and actually ponder the validity of a "law" that is really just propaganda.

hughee99

(16,113 posts)
120. Yeah... and besides, we beat them to it!
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:39 AM
Jun 2013

The President signed similar legislation last summer.

http://www.pressherald.com/news/new-welfare-restrictions-target-booze-tattoos_2012-07-16.html

"President Obama has also signed legislation that bars welfare recipients from using their assistance in strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores, which states must comply with by 2014."

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
138. Looks like the Republicans got you with their wedge law.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:10 PM
Jun 2013

If you really think "we beat them to it," then the Republicans got you too. If you really have a link showing some Democrat originated it, I'll be happy to see it. Good luck. More likely Republicans proposed it as a wedge specifically to do what you are letting it do. Democrats can't fail to go along with a law like that. That's why it is scummy. Its strength is based on the ignorance and gullibility of the people.

hughee99

(16,113 posts)
146. I think you might have missed where a Democratic controlled Senate passed it,
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:31 PM
Jun 2013

and the president signed it. You can block legislation with a filibuster, but you can't pass legislation with it, or override a veto with it. It doesn't matter if the legislation originated on Mars, if it's bad legislation the Dems shouldn't have passed it. If it's legislation that only affects the people abusing the system the government set up to help families meet their basic needs, what's the problem with it? The reason Democrats can't fail to go along with a law like that is because it kind of makes sense.

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
155. Sorry, but I would have ignored it as irrelevant.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:50 PM
Jun 2013

You say, "The reason Democrats can't fail to go along with a law like that is because it kind of makes sense." That's right. It kind of does make sense, but it is bullshit. Lacking statistics, lacking any evidence of probable beneficial effect makes it bullshit.

I'm sorry, but you are incorrect when you say, "It doesn't matter if the legislation originated on Mars, if it's bad legislation the Dems shouldn't have passed it." Of course the origination matters. The difference between bait and food is a matter of origin.

The smart money damns the Republicans for this. I am all for wedge issues that rely on science, logic, good will. For example, there should be a wedge between good, intellectual Republicans and the anti-science, racist dogs they lie with. But this particular "anti-poor" wedge we are talking about is based on human ignorance, stereotypes, and poor news context. That is what makes it scummy.

hughee99

(16,113 posts)
162. The different between bait and food isn't origin, its usage.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:02 PM
Jun 2013

A hot dog is food if I eat it and bait if I put on a hook. That saying doesn't make any sense.

How is it a "wedge" issue? Is there a large constituency fighting for the right of people to spend TANF money at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores? Even many people in this thread who have identified themselves as using such assistance aren't opposed to this law.

There are 3 kinds of people who would be upset about this, as far as I can tell. The small group of people who use their assistance money at such places, the small group of people who own such places and don't care that money intended for basic necessities wasn't used for them, and the group of people that the repukes may have scored a VERY small victory on this issue (even though the Dems were more than complicit in it's passing).

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
167. It's offensive and undermines trust.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:37 PM
Jun 2013

First, you shouldn't take a hotdog from a fisherman if you are a fish. The origination tells you there is a hook. Now if you further examine the bait and still can't see the hook, we're talking really good bait. Which is what this is.

Why would you just accept that it's common sense that there is some non-miniscule percentage of poor, undeserving, free-riding dirtbags spending our tax money on strip clubs? Where is the evidence? The unstated, offensive premise is the payload (the hook) of this law. It is both a very doubtable premise and a very offensive, progressive-dividing Republican hook.

But lacking any evidence of proposed efficacy of this kind of law in terms of actually saving a single dime, what would the remaining payload be? Is there any? Everyone on this thread notes that EFT abusers can just stop at the QT and get their money. This is just plastic bait. It's all hook, no calories.

hughee99

(16,113 posts)
180. "Progressive dividing"?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:16 PM
Jun 2013

Do you suspect a groundswell of support and protests for people to be able to spend EFT money at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores?

Do you think we'll lose one single vote because we didn't strenuously oppose it? This was "red meat" for the repukes, that's all, and it was a very minor political victory last year that they were able to pass it (If I recall, it wasn't a great cycle for the repukes, and the Democrats weren't fractured by such a "wedge&quot . In EITHER case, there is now a federal law that requires compliance by 2014 now, so the governors are compelled to act, aren't they?

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
183. The big picture is that Republicans are now trying to cut food stamps.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:38 PM
Jun 2013

So, the groundswell I expect is that there will be a lot of Republican spin emphasis on the few bad apples. The law is common sense, but the spin will all be anti-Progressive and Progressive-dividing. It's Reagan's welfare queen redux. The tiny number of people abusing the system are not the subject, and they should not be front and center. They deserve no support of course. They deserve little mention.

Let's see a law that says food stamps will be reviewed and the spending level will be adjusted to ensure no hunger in America. Emphasize that. Then quietly tack on a rider that says, by the way, we won't let people spend their welfare on Cadillacs, gambling, booze, kiddie porn, bomb-making equipment, strip clubs, certain types of hair care, tattoos, fighting chickens, sports events, Star Wars paraphernalia, etc. There are probably about 99 people at risk for hunger or malnutrition for every one the Republicans want to highlight spending the money on chaw.

And the reason the Republicans want us thinking about the bad people is so they can screw the good people.

hughee99

(16,113 posts)
187. This law is supposed to address some of the bad apples.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 05:31 PM
Jun 2013

The tiny number of people abusing the system will be the only people affected by this law, and the system will end up with fewer "bad apples" for them to make an example of. This legislation blunts their argument and provided no "wedge" last year, an election year, when it was passed.

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
191. I see your point, but I don't think you see mine.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:04 PM
Jun 2013

Maybe we'll have to leave it there. The legislation does not blunt their argument, it highlights their tendentious argument and validates it. Republicans had next to no argument at all judging by the absent evidence. They "protected" the taxpayers from a fake, hyped bogeyman image of the poor that they themselves created. The ignorance and stereotyping typical of voters meant that Dems had to go along.

We don't write laws against intentionally drawing asteroids toward the earth by prayer. But people who are against praying might suggest a law like that. And half of the American public would say, "You know. That just makes sense."

hughee99

(16,113 posts)
193. I understand what you're saying, I just think you're greatly overestimating
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 07:33 PM
Jun 2013

the "wedge" that this creates. It's red meat for the repukes, who promised "reforms" to stop all them "welfare queens" whether it's 99% of .00009% of the recipients, but it's not going to hurt Dems at the polls at all.

Yo_Mama

(8,303 posts)
158. Obama is involved in this nefarious Republican scheme!!!
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:58 PM
Jun 2013

How EVIL, or is it just realism?
http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/debit-limits-welfare-tobacco-alcohol-tanf-ebt-snap-1282.php

Most at risk are funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the general welfare benefits. About $30 billion in cash assistance was distributed to 4.4 million people by this program in fiscal 2011 and a significant portion of that money -- several billion dollars every year, according to critics -- was diverted to a variety of illicit purposes.

As part of the national crackdown, President Barack Obama in 2012 signed a measure that requires states to ban the use of TANF funds at casinos, liquor stores and strip clubs by 2014.


If around 5-6% of the money is being spent for this stuff, it is going to hurt the highly vulnerable. Note that people can still withdraw cash elsewhere and then go to their local strip club, but this law prevents them from impulsively withdrawing more than they had planned to spend.

And oh, yes, since the federal government is mandating that states pass this type of legislation, that will of course allow us Dems to joyfully rant on about the EVIL of Republican governors - which will be fun until somebody hauls out the facts on Fox News.

Maybe you better think twice about all this.

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
164. Did you say "the facts on Fox News" in your post?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:15 PM
Jun 2013

Yes, you did, but context is everything isn't it?

Thanks for the post about the percentage of money spent on unworthy things. It is "a number" (5-6%) which is an improvement in the intellectual level of the rhetoric...in form if not in substance. The "creditcards.com" link doesn't let me admit the number into evidence though.

Origin matters. We don't need people speculating on the impulses of poor people to withdraw money at liquor stores and strip clubs. That speculation is utter, stereotypical, Republican bullshit. How did we even get on this subject when we have no numbers at all on the actual effect this law is expected to have? Did we not notice what everyone repeatedly notices on this thread, that these poor miscreants can just stop at the QT on the way to the strip club and get their EFT money in ones?

No, I actually thought about it about three times. I always do when I see a wedge issue. There is no science to this legislation. It is all a rhetorical game, and it is working.

Yo_Mama

(8,303 posts)
170. Figures differ
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:49 PM
Jun 2013

This is another quote from the article I linked:

"One-third of all the people who had the EBT card connected to our SNAP program had cashed their cards in casinos," says state Sen. Mike Carrell of Washington state. "We've uncovered millions of dollars of fraud."

A sponsor of legislation to combat the problem, Carrell says that Washington is hardly alone in this.

"It's huge," he says. "Every state has the same problem we have identified in our state."

National experts agree and say that aggressive action is being taken in response. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a group that monitors legislative developments around the country, says that 2012 was the most active yet when it comes to EBT-related legislation, but 2013 is shaping up as another busy year.


There is widespread concern about what is happening, and widespread legislation to alter it. The 5-6% is my bottom line figure. There is likely more of a problem than that.

The states are operating under a federal mandate to pass these laws, so your claim makes no sense.

Here is another quote from that same article:
In Massachusetts, restrictions similar to those in Washington were imposed by a law passed in 2012. In addition, TANF funds cannot be used in manicure shops, rent-to-own shops, jewelry stores or, yes, to pay for pleasure cruises. Trafficking in EBT cards and trading the cash attached to those cards for drugs has been a particular problem in Massachusetts.

"In the past year alone, we have had five major drug busts with people trafficking their EBT cards in Massachusetts," says O'Connell, the state representative. "We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. People sell their cards at a convenience store for 50 cents on the dollar and buy their drugs at the same time."


I believe (and I have an extensive background in banking and money laundering regulation and compliance) that the high apparent rate of EBT card misuse is due to the fact that EBT cards are being targeted by entities that have trouble with money laundering legislation. I believe that people are collecting these cards and then cashing them out at venues that would have a lot of traffic.

What experts seem to believe is that the historically high rate of spending on the lottery and gambling among the poor is showing up in EBT benefits:
http://www.casinofreephilly.org/casino-facts/gambling-and-poor

Since I am not an expert on that stuff I might be wrong in my belief. I do have trouble figuring out how the drug dealers and so forth are getting the cards unless it is by exchanging drugs for the cards.
 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
209. Let you chew on this. The state of California is doing the same thing
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 11:38 AM
Jun 2013

Should I remind you democrats have supermajorities in both houses?

https://www.ebt.ca.gov/caebtclient/usebenefit.jsp

gulliver

(13,254 posts)
216. It's completely irrelevant to my point.
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 12:04 PM
Jun 2013

My point is that the idea of making a central message out of welfare bad apples emerges from Republicans. I don't know how many different ways I can say it. My communication skills are evidently not up to getting it across.

The fact that a law like this becomes legislation that is passed by any Democrats (all or even one) is completely irrelevant. What matters is that Republicans are against feeding the poor, so they pick out a miniscule straw/bogey man. Then Dems have to "fight the bogeyman," because people are idiots and believe in bogeymen.

It is this "spook the ignorant" factor that makes this typical Republican straw man ploy so effective. And some on our side magnify Republican effectiveness by failing to see (or deliberately trying to obscure in particularly disappointing/cynical cases) the Republican origin of the idea itself.

 

nadinbrzezinski

(154,021 posts)
220. Alas this is a poor law
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 12:52 PM
Jun 2013

and they go far back, in fact longer than the United States was a nation.

And yes, it is relevant. They have a reason to exist and do not just emerge among Republicans.

This crap, if you wish to call it this way, goes as far back in British Common Law to the times of Elizabeth I.

Brigid

(17,621 posts)
140. Sorry, gotta go with Governor Skeletor on this one.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:13 PM
Jun 2013

Sure he grandstanding. Sure he needs to be voted out of office at the next opportunity. But gotta give him this one.

Yo_Mama

(8,303 posts)
147. California already has that law
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:31 PM
Jun 2013

Slamming R's might be fun, but sometimes it makes one look a little out of touch:
http://www.cdss.ca.gov/cdssweb/entres/pdf/PressRelease/EBTFactSheet.pdf



California EBT cardholders cannot access cash benefits at ATMs and POS devices in
liquor stores that are not federally authorized to accept CalFresh benefits.

Additionally, California EBT cardholders cannot access cash benefits at casinos, poker
rooms, card rooms, adult entertainment businesses, bail bonds businesses, night
clubs/saloons/taverns, bingo halls, race tracks, gun/ammunition stores, cruise ships, psychic
readers, smoking shops, cannabis shops, tattoo/piercing shops, and spa/massage salons.

California’s EBT vendor has also deactivated cash access to EBT cardholders at some out-
of-state casinos, adult entertainment establishments, and on cruise ships.


 

premium

(3,731 posts)
150. That's a darn good law.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:40 PM
Jun 2013

Nevada legislatures have tried for years to get a law like CA's passed, unfortunately, the gaming industry here is just too powerful and it's usually killed in committee.

Yo_Mama

(8,303 posts)
156. Yeah, and of course these types of joints love that money
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:51 PM
Jun 2013

But usually it's someone's kids who are hurt by the individual's addiction. That's what they're really doing - preying on addiction.

Of course, a determined idiot will just withdraw the money elsewhere and go to whatever type of establishment. What this law does is allow those with some ability to control themselves to withdraw a fixed amount of money elsewhere, and then leave the club when they've spent it, instead of pissing away all their rent money or whatever. The reason all these places have ATMs on site is to encourage impulsive spending, and the managements of these places foster it.

But I guess the cloud of righteous outrage here will outweigh the needs of the kids dependent on that money, as usual. Because we've just all got to feel so GOOOOOOOD about our self-righteous political correctness that we can't admit that there may be A FEW people getting these benefits who might spend impulsively under the influence of drink or atmosphere.

 

premium

(3,731 posts)
159. +10000
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:58 PM
Jun 2013

It astounds me that a couple of members think that, as taxpayers, we don't have a say in how the money from a taxpayer funded program is spent.
If this were a privately funded program, then, I would wholeheartedly agree, but, it's not, it's taxpayer funded, therefore, we most assuredly do have a say on how the money is spent.

sufrommich

(22,871 posts)
149. I don't have a problem with this. We all agree to certain conditions
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:34 PM
Jun 2013

when it comes to government regulations regarding our money, if we didn't, we could all refuse to pay taxes for war and collect our social security whenever we feel like it.This is just a condition for receiving aid.

Nye Bevan

(25,406 posts)
166. Disappointing news for millionaire casino owners.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:34 PM
Jun 2013

Good news for kids in poor families where the benefit dollars are now more likely to be spent on food than gambled away.

 

kestrel91316

(51,666 posts)
168. I don't have a problem with this law. I DO have a problem with anybody
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:43 PM
Jun 2013

insinuating that casinos are where the poor have historically been spending their EBT monies.

LuvNewcastle

(16,900 posts)
169. I don't understand why there's cash on an EBT card to begin with.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:44 PM
Jun 2013

I have an EBT card and I can only use it at places where groceries are sold. The last time I was in a casino they didn't sell any groceries, so this law would be moot. I wasn't aware that some states put cash on EBT cards. I don't think that's a good idea. Most people who get EBT credit are on some kind of government assistance where they receive money. EBT should only be for food, and it isn't a good idea to put discretionary cash on the cards. Other people will see them buying smokes with their cards and that is where the rumors start about people buying beer and cigarettes with food stamps. It harms the integrity of the program.

Yo_Mama

(8,303 posts)
172. Cash benefits
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:52 PM
Jun 2013

Not all EBT cards are the replacements for food stamps - some are replacement for cash benefit checks that people used to get. We went to EBT cards nationally because it was supposed to be cheaper. But it also makes it easier to steal the cards or trade them, I guess.

LuvNewcastle

(16,900 posts)
182. I guess they're trying to save money on checks.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:26 PM
Jun 2013

Some people are going to find a way to misuse their benefits. They might as well accept that it's going to happen. I'm afraid this is headed toward prosecuting people for spending their benefits on the wrong things. I certainly hope not.

shawn703

(2,702 posts)
174. Offensive how?
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 02:00 PM
Jun 2013

Am I to be offended because the government passed laws against drunk driving, even though personally I wouldn't do such a thing? Obviously some people will do it and to protect the rest of the people on the roads we need laws prohibiting it.

Most people won't misuse the funds given to them either, unfortunately some people will, so now we need laws protecting all of the families from whoever would gamble away their EBT funds.

hollysmom

(5,946 posts)
190. false analogy - drunk driving is for the general public
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 06:42 PM
Jun 2013

This is specifically to taint the reputation of people on aid.There may be rare occaisions of this, but the majority of people are just struggling along, and get painted as wastrels.

So you should be offen3ed, it is all to make it acceptable for the public to abandon the poor. It is a ploy, but the politicians feel trapped to accept it, or want to promote it, so they can give more to their rich friends.

This will do nothing to cut down the few, there are ways around it as has been pointed out, but it was tar the reputation of the poor. I am offended. if you are not, well, wait until you are in a group they republicans turn on.

NaturalHigh

(12,778 posts)
196. I'm hard-pressed to find anything wrong with this law.
Sat Jun 1, 2013, 11:40 PM
Jun 2013

It's a shame that we have to legislate common sense.

exboyfil

(17,880 posts)
202. When I was an Account Manager
Sun Jun 2, 2013, 10:25 AM
Jun 2013

I needed to pay for the meals of some of my customers at a casino. The restaurant only took cash, and the cash advance feature on my company credit card feature did not work in the casino (probably a prudent safeguard). Fortunately my customers were pretty cool about the situation, but I was sweating bullets.

As far as using an EBT tied to welfare benefits in a casino. I think I am in favor of this law for the following reasons:
1. Typically EBT transfers at casinos carry a larger handling fee (which should be zero for welfare EBT cards anyway). I don't think tax payer dollars should go to pay for this handling fee.
2. In England a while ago they documented that paying welfare benefits to the mother increased the likelihood that the money was actually spent on the family - EBT may be called an entitlement, but it is provided for a specific societal reason - spending the money in the casino defeats that societal purpose.
3. When you accept welfare you should expect to have greater restrictions on how that money is spent. It was not earned by you - it comes from the labor of your peers. Those peers should have some say in how that money is to be used.

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