Every few weeks or so a new story pops up in the news regarding Food Stamp (Or SNAP, as is the preferred name among bureaucrats) fraud. We hear how in addition to being used for food as intended, these SNAP cards are now being used for some more… interesting purchases. Even your most hard core bleeding heart lefty can’t approve of these cards being used at strip clubs (as I resist the overwhelming urge to make a bad joke about places where the cards could be swiped) and would prefer that these cards were actually used for food. As our “Food Stamp President” continues to build on his accomplishment of expanding dependence on government, I’ve come up with a way to help those in need that will satisfy both conservatives and leftists.
I never thought I’d say this, but my inspiration comes from none other than… Michael Bloomberg! Yes, the ultimate Nanny Mayor who finds no element of New Yorkers’ lives too small for him to intrude is just the man to run a pilot program for Food Stamp Reform! The problem with using these EBT cards, or with the stamps themselves, is that they are too easily bartered or exchanged for goods other than their intended use. So let’s program the cards to only be allowed to purchase nutritious food, and nothing else. In broad strokes, here is how it would work:
- Extra bar coding for approved foods will tag them as acceptable for purchase, such as fruits, vegetables, some grains, milk, flour, etc.
- A central database will track how many calories are contained in each good bought, and estimate how many servings each item constitutes
- Every recipient will first have a mandatory physical, at which point their weekly calorie ration will be determined
- Once the weekly allotment is reached, the card will no longer function until the following week
- Balances will be cleared out at the end of the week, thus preventing overeating, and any unused balances would be returned to the government to help support the program
- To prevent fraud, every recipient will have to show a government issued photo ID to make purchases. If they do not already have one the program will provide one at no extra cost to the recipient1
- Only nutritious items can be purchased, and items that have some nutritional value but may have other issues (cheese, pork, etc) can be rationed as well
- Let’s go “Full Bloomberg” on recipients as well – no salt, no sugar, no trans fats, no soda at all, or anything else that the food morality police see fit to ban
- Once this pilot program is complete in New York the program can be rolled out nationwide
- For those in remote areas where it would be cost prohibitive to purchase food only through government approved centers reimbursement could be requested through simple forms modeled after other efficient government programs.
- Further restrict eligible foods to organic, fair trade, free of genetically modified crops, etc.
- Why not just eliminate animal slavery and force them onto a vegan diet?
- Cigarette smokers can be forced onto mandatory smoking cessation programs or risk losing their benefits.
- Mandatory physical exams, with more frequent ones for any recipients deemed obese, to be accompanied with mandatory physical fitness programs
We can improve the health of our neediest citizens and lower health care costs at the same time. Remember, if people want to consume additional food they are free to do so. Despite the occasional silly exercise in “surviving” on food stamps let’s not forget that the “S” in SNAP stands for “supplemental”. All that this reform will cost its participants in return is surrendering personal freedom, but if it’s for their own good who could reasonably object? Keep in mind, participation in these government programs is not mandatory, so we can attach conditions that will improve participants’ lives anyway. And if any of these program’s recipients don’t like these conditions, they can choose between not participating and the security of living as wards of the left.
It’s a win-win all around. Conservatives get reforms that will incentivize people to get off of the government dole. Leftists get a crop of people who will freely submit to whatever control the powers that be want over their lives. The poor who need these programs will see their overall health improve as a result of the reforms, and taxpayers get a much better value for their money. Who could possibly object?
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog
1 Added bonus! Now all of our nation’s poor will have valid photo ID’s that can be used for voting purposes. At last the left will be out of excuses for calling efforts to curb their “Vote early and vote often” efforts racist!