(03-05-2013, 06:20 PM)UniqueStranger Wrote: The abuse of the system goes beyond buying drugs....
Quote:In addition to placing specific restrictions on where Electronic Benefit Transfer cards can be used, the Senate bill would bar businesses from accepting them for purchases of alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.
Initial violations would result in misdemeanor charges, but repeat offenders would face felony charges.
...let's not forget bingo halls and casinos - did I miss anything? oh yes, taking a taxi to and from the beer store.
Completely ignorant article meant to stigmatize the poor and give the impression that fraud is rampant. All to pit society against itself. To make the middle class believe that the victims of flawed economic policy are the cause of it, while deflecting from the real culprits who make these idiotic laws.
As far as your example of taking a cab to and from the "beer store" you display your own ignorance about the realities of the poor and low-wage workers. Yes, people on welfare have jobs too. But often times, because of poor credit, they do not have a bank account to cash their checks. Where are the check-cashing places and pay-day loan brokers? At beer stores! So to cash their paycheck a single mother may indeed have to take a cab ride to the beer store.
"Reports surfaced last year that Missourians were using electronic benefit transfer cards at ATMs near bars, casinos and strip clubs."
Oh nose! So what if your nearby grocery store happens to be across the street from a strip club or a bar? Does that mean you have to pay for a cab to go all the way across town instead now?
Or what if you happen to be a low wage worker that actually works in one of those places? Not allowed to buy lunch when you are at work?
“These cards have been used in Las Vegas and on islands off the mainland,”
So? Someone is not allowed to go visit family in Vegas?
Islands off the mainland. That actually brings a perfect example to mind. A friend of mine is a firefighter. In his department there is a young single mother from Puerto Rico. She gets public assistance even though she works full time and spends countless hours working for FREE serving her community as a volunteer firefighter.
A few months ago I joined them on a pleasure trip with their fire company to Foxwoods casino. The trip was fully funded by the fire department, included a meal voucher, and even included a $50 voucher for gambling. We all decided to eat at the buffet which was $6 more than the meal voucher. So rather than go eat alone, she went to the ATM and withdrew cash using her EBT card. I have no way of knowing which account she drew the funds from though.
You see, foodstamps cannot be credited as cash. They can only be used directly for non-prepared food purchases. You can buy a can of chili off the shelf at a gas station, but you can't buy one of those hotdogs sizzling away on the rollers. It's electronically monitored and will not process the sale.
Then there is TANF funds, or "cash assistance." Cash assistance is used for all non-food needs. everything from trash bags and light bulbs, to a late night cab ride from work because you missed the last bus.
But there is ALSO child support payment funds on EBT cards. A person may not be on any sort of public assistance at all, but because the support payments are processed by the state the funds are deposited onto the EBT card. Should a woman not be allowed to buy diapers for hir children in Las Vegas?
And the Puerto Rican girl who is the firefighter. She is going home to visit family she has not seen in 3 years. Should she be barred from accessing all of her funds, state assistance and child support, while she is in Puerto Rico, an offshore island?
"...the Senate bill would bar businesses from accepting them for purchases of alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets."
This is already prohibited. So they are throwing that in there to make it sound like people can actually buy those things right now. They cannot. In fact, here in NY, you can't even use your very own personal credit card or bank card to buy lottery tickets.
"But the measure stops short of blocking all use for such expenses because recipients could still withdraw cash from other ATMs to use elsewhere. “We can’t completely stop them from using the money inappropriately, but I think this is the right thing to do,” Kraus said."
So even the sponsor of the bill realizes it is completely pointless. This is what we pay our lawmakers for. To sit around and find ways to antagonize the poor and spend millions of tax dollars creating completely ineffective laws. Millions of dollars that might have prevented the next few hundred families from slipping out of the middle class, and onto welfare themselves.