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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How Do You Argue With Those Who Live in an Evidence Free World?

I know I should’ve have known better, but I wasted a lot of my time yesterday trying to conjure up a debate about the necessity of public assistance. I tried to make a case for budget fairness, and I offered a solution to get people SNAP by increasing the federal minimum wage. The opponents of the welfare system mocked my suggestion by exaggerating my point and saying that prices would go up. I acknowledged the very modest price increase but I doubt that anyone paid attention to it.

Throughout the 67 comments made on the “Foods stamp cuts affect Crossroads, family, economy” thread, not one person addressed the cuts. There were several comments made about how easily a family of three could live on $335 of SNAP benefits. Some mentioned that the lady in question quit her job and others mentioned that missing father should have been contributing. Those questions are better left to the case worker who probably could provide the answers. The SNAP recipient could be in a temporary position while she sorts things out and the father of the children could be completely out of the picture. How can people be so judgmental when the article didn’t dwell into all the facts?

Dennis Trojcak and Eula Pfenniger were two of the more outspoken ones who were trying to make a case for corruption and laziness. Eula Pfenninger witnessed a drugs/beer for food stamps deal that went down back in the eighties as her proof. Dennis Trojcak questioned people’s alertness if they haven’t seen food stamp abuse in their lifetime. At one point he said that 50% of its value was the going rate for the trading of food stamps. I don’t see how that’s feasible since it’s a plastic card that gets replenished every month. It may happen but I don’t think it’s as good as cash for drug dealers. Mr. Trojcak complained because he saw rib eyes and T-bone steaks in the recipient’s baskets. I say, so what, it’s legal and it all goes toward their monthly maximum amount. I always ask myself, why it is that only right-wing republicans notice what someone else buys. Could it be possible be that Trojcak was looking at a Hispanic plant worker who just finished moving his yard (reason for dirty clothes) who paid with a credit card that looked like the Lone Star Card? I might go to the grocery store two or three times a year maximum , but even if I went more frequently I wouldn’t be checking out people’s baskets, stretching my neck to see how they pay or follow them outdoors to check out the car they are driving. I may be wrong but I think the people that notice these abuses are purposely looking for them but they never do any follow-up investigations to get actual proof because their assumptions are good enough for them.

Mr.Trojcak didn’t want to expand the discussion to cause and effect and compassion. He said that the subject had nothing to do with Christmas, but it does because these cuts will take effect early next year. Families on the SNAP program have to be frugal this coming Christmas because of anticipated cuts in January. The poster said that subject had nothing to do with corporate farming or corporate welfare, but it does. The SNAP program was extracted from the Farm bill, so the GOP could vote for farm subsidies without having to support the SNAP program. That’s what the budget is all about; the more you take away from the poor (who don’t have a lobby) the more you have for corporate welfare.


born2Bme said...

I was keeping up with the comments and I can pretty much say that those that said they could eat 3 meals a day easily on that much a month, are plain out lying. Now, I can see it if you basically ate beans and cornbread, eggs and made your own bread or tortillas, then maybe...BUT, then you would have higher energy costs for the extra use of the stove and oven.
I've also found that it costs more to eat the real vegetables and things. Nothing some of them said makes sense.
I do sometimes watch what others buy and since I'm standing in line, I do know what cards they are using since they have to separate their foods from other products. I've also noticed that some of them are shopping for more than one person, since they use more than one card. I'm almost sure they are shopping for one of the elders in their families. It's not my place to decide what they can, and cannot, eat.
Mike, you did good at the VA.

Mike said...

I leave the grocery items to you, but I've heard that at least one person within the household who is on public assistance have a low-paying job maybe two. Just going by my mom, cooking from scratch takes time. It seemed like my mom finished breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen and not long after that it was time to start peeling potatoes, starting the pot of beans, etc., for the next meal. A working mom doesn't have time for that.

One poster wanted the lady to pay for child care and elder care and for her to go back to her low paying job. Huh?

That's a place that needs reform because we are still using old methods. I believe I heard that the more you make the less assistance you get (child care etc.)but doesn't that lead people doing what's best for their own situation?We need to continue to make living off public assistance less desirable than having a permanent good paying job..IMO

I never thought of that. If they have to separate items at the register,they are either on assistance or making a separate purchase.

It just seems like we are reducing money for food stamps and cutting off unemployment benefits and then piling on by calling these people shiftless.

Thanks for the kind words born.

Edith Ann said...

Mike always does a god job--they just don't want to hear it. Those folks on the right who want to perpetrate the lies about loading the T-Bones into the Escalade loose me when they get there. There is no way they can see where those folks go after they leave the store unless they do follow them out and that would leave me thinking they have abandoned their own cart, and we all know they don't.

Yes, I called out Eula Pfenninger on the eyewitness report. I want to know why the conservatives endorse the fraud. That is what they do when they see it and don't report it.

It's like everything else with the right--they never ask themselves, "Then what?"

Mike said...

Good point EA,the so-called "Welfare Queens" wouldn't be in the 10 items or less line,so that self-appointed eagle -eye food stamp fraud investigator would have to be in the same line with a lot of groceries. That would take a little time and then they would have to hurry to catch up with the alleged Lone Star card abusers just to see what they are driving. As you stated " then what?"

Eula Pfenninger said the fraud she saw took place in the 80s,so nothing has changed for her.

It's not a perfect system so of course, there is fraud and people cheat on their taxes. Let's pool our ideas together and come up with solutions, resources, and legislation to fix what's wrong.

born2Bme said...

There is also the problem of turning people in, since you probably don't know the name on the account.
Since the deep budget cuts a few years back, there are not enough people to check these tips out.
It seems that people cannot understand the finer points about things. They either want to pay more people to sniff out the fraud, or they have to put up with the fraud. They cannot have it both ways.

Mike said...

That's true and the same goes for the FDA,Internal Revenue Service where people want smaller government and not necessarily efficient government.

There may be too many people working for defense or some other department.

Reducing the size of government is good but we shouldn't be cutting for the sake of cutting.

Mike said...

I couldn't help it,I had to unload @ VA ...:-(

Edith Ann said...

Hey, your counter is at 114,114! You know how I like matching numbers!

Mike said...

Bad Lotto numbers....:-(

Mike said...

I guarantee the recent military pension cuts will be reinstated when Congress reconvenes and anyway,they weren't going to be implemented until 2015. What's in doubt is the extension of unemployment benefits.

The $4.2 billion payout to non-citizens was an IRS debacle (EITC) not welfare and foreign aid to Egypt is not part of the deal either.

Not a peep when pensioners from Detroit were actually stripped of their benefits....Squeaky wheel gets the grease.