Luxury Foods Essay

1339 words - 6 pages

After watching the State of the State address by Governor Paul Lepage, last Tuesday night, I was astounded that our governor proposed placing bans on the use of welfare dollars to buy items such as tobacco products and adult entertainment. (I have attached the Governors State of the State address below) Is this something that needs to be proposed, or is this something that a ban should have been placed on when the current system was implemented though? Why would we give American taxpayers dollars away to needy people and not place any limits on those dollars? To me, that just seems ludicrous. I realize that Governor Lepage’s comments were focused on TANF, as SNAP benefits cannot be used for ...view middle of the document...

Courtesy of http://poorasfolk.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/what-can-cant-be-bought-with-food-stamps/
Courtesy of http://poorasfolk.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/what-can-cant-be-bought-with-food-stamps/
All of this information is coming back to Governor Lepage’s recent welfare report. I would agree with the media, the numbers Governor Lepage produced truthfully aren’t that impressive. Out of Governor Lepage’s report, he “only found two-tenths of 1 percent of total purchases and ATM withdrawals,” that were fraud, but the definition of fraud in this instance is too specific. Maybe it is just me once again, but I consider the purchasing of luxury foods as unethical and therefore fraud. "A 2012 study revealed that SNAP allows $2 billion of junk food to be purchased every year, more than half of this was allocated towards sugary drinks." There are thousands of stories that could be brought in to show this type of unethical fraud.
For example, the story of Christine Rousselle, a former employee at the Scarborough Wal-Mart, who has seen this unethical fraud in action. (Please note this is an openly partisan website.) As Christine says in the article, she witnessed many instances where people were buying luxury food with EBT money. Go on and read the article for yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised, as Christine furthers the her stories by sharing some interesting anecdotes.
I could even share the story I heard from an employee of a business recently. The employee told me that he witnessed a customer buying approximately dozen 2-liter bottles of Coke Cola with an EBT card. The employee commented by saying, “Jee, you must like Coke Cola.” The employee said that the customer then chuckled and replied by saying, “Well it is the only thing my children will drink for breakfast.” There are countless stories on the Internet about this unethical fraud and even reports of some reporters sneaking into the system to see what they can buy, so I encourage you to go on and search for yourself.

If Governor Lepage wants to persuade the state that welfare fraud is rampant, then he should use information on EBT recipients buying junk food. I just don’t understand why the American taxpayer needs to foot the bill for someone else’s luxury food. Legally the selling of luxury foods is not fraud, but to me it is ethically wrong and should be considered fraud. Maine has limited resources and if people are buying junk food, then that is a waste of federal funds. We all know that this money could be used somewhere else, or better yet not taxed at all.
This unethical fraud can also cost the American taxpayer later on. People buying junk food with EBT benefits will live an unhealthy lifestyle and...

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