Ticked off about Food Stamps

This morning I was commuting to work, when the news said something that damn near gave me an aneurism.  Apparently the federal government has just granted $600,000 to the state of Utah so we can give out more food stamps.  Then they quoted some lady from some BS organization like Utahns Against Starvation  (arch-nemesis of Utahns For Famine) or something, and how she was saying how super-dooper this was, because there are so many Utahns that are eligible for food stamps, but don’t know it, and how now they can educate them, so that even more people can get government assistance, so that way nobody will go to bed hungry…  These are people that make a decent living, but they still qualify for handouts.

WTF?  

I’ve seen some of the poorest people in America.  I was a Mormon missionary in what was considered one of the most impoverished areas of the entire country.  I spent a bunch of time in innercity Birmingham and Montgomery, and then saw the rural poor in places like Corinth, Mississippi and areas like that. 

And even there, there weren’t exactly people starving.  Even people on every form of government handout imaginable had TVs, phones, and air-conditioning.  Even in the nastiest projects in Birmingham, (which if you’ve seen Black Hawk Down, you know approximately what the Brickyard looked like) there wasn’t exactly a famine.  And if somebody was starving, it was because they were whacked out of their heads on crack, meth, and huffing paint. 

Starvation?  How many people actually die of starvation in America?  And then if you take things like child abuse and people lost in the woods out of the equation, how big is the number?  What, four? 

Not only that, but the poorest people on food stamps I ever saw still managed to buy name brand things like Pepsi and Doritos.  Wheras I grew up dirt ass poor on a dairy farm, but we worked for a living, so didn’t get crap from the government except for an occasional kick in the groin, and I grew up eating generic Chippos and drinking Shasta.  We did eat lots of steak, but that usually involved me killing it myself. 

Oh, but the report got better.  Because there are apparently thousands of people in Utah who are making lots of money, and have jobs, but they still qualify.  And now they were going to have a big ad campaign to inform these poor folks that they too can get free crap from the government, in fact, all of the details would be posted on the internet and these poor suffering people could get the details on their home computers.

I’m sorry, if you can afford internet access, you shouldn’t be starving.

Now if I go to Honduras, I’m willing to bet that their poor people aren’t going to find out about their handouts on their friggin’ home computers.   But Correia, you’re so insensitive, those poor Utahns only have Dial-Up!  Oh the Humanity!

Explain to me why exactly the government takes a whole bunch of my money, to give to people who the only reason they need assistance is because they’re too damn stupid to balance their checkbook, and they’ve run up tons of credit card debt?  Our system is broken, and it is only getting stupider. 

Once upon a time I got into an argument with a bleeding heart co-worker.  There was a picture of this woman in the paper, with a big old sob story about how hard her life was, and how she had five kids from four different men, but thankfully she was able to get help from the state to get by.   The ironic part and source of our argument was the brand new, 40+ inch, TV sitting behind the “poor” lady in her apartment.   My liberal co-worker thought that was just dandy.  Since I was putting myself through college by working for $7.15 an hour for 60 hours a week while taking 16 credits, rented a single room in a house that used to be a closet, and owned a TV that could fit into a shoe box, I didn’t find that giant TV amusing at all….

When I got home from my mission, I got really sick.  In fact, if I didn’t get an operation, I was probably going to die.  I lost 50 pounds over 3 months.  I couldn’t afford the relatively simple surgery.  I kept on working, scrimping up everything I could, and finally gave up, realizing that no matter how tough I was, there was no way I was going to be able to do it myself before I would finally just croak.  Swallowing my pride, I decided that I was going to try to take advantage of that same broken system I had always mocked. 

I went to the Bureaucracy of Health, Wellness, and Mosquito Abatement, filled out 2,000 pages of paperwork, and applied for help so I could get the operation.  I was turned down… See, apparently, since I had kept working lots of overtime in order to try to save up enough to do it myself, I had made $14 too much in the prior month to qualify.  No, I’m not making that number up.  My last paycheck was literally $14 over the limit.

Nope.  Didn’t matter that I had worked and saved, and was able to pay for most of it myself, and didn’t want them to pay for the whole thing.  Rules are rules, they told me, work less, and come back and apply again next month.  I told them that I would be dead in a month, but thanks… 

Finally I got my operation.  Through the generosity and charity of some people that will remain unnamed, but who I’m eternally thankful for. 

Years later, after working my butt off, and putting myself through college, and finally getting a decent paying professional job, we had our second child.  We were a single income family, as my wife is a stay at home mom, and in reality I wasn’t paid very well at all, but by working hard, being smart with our money, and avoiding debt like the plague, we were doing better than we ever had before.  So it was really fascinating after we took the baby home when we were informed that we now qualified for all sorts of free government handouts and stamps and stuff. 

Screw that. 

We turned it down.  And more than anything, I was offended that it was even a possibility.  We weren’t poor.  We had an apartment, we paid our bills, nobody was starving, and for the first time in my life, actually had health insurance.  There is something inherently broken in a system that seeks out people that are doing okay, and gives them other people’s money. 

Yep, that news report put me in a great mood. 

This isn’t meant as an insult to anybody reading this who is taking advantage of a government program.  1% of government programs actually make sense, so I’ll assume you’re part of that one.  Seriously, when somebody is giving out free stuff, I can’t blame the people who take the free stuff.  I blame the idiots who give it out, especially since it isn’t really free, especially for the other sucker they managed to extort it from. 

Now, I’m quitting my cushy corporate job, and going to work full time at FBMG, my start up company.  This means that I’m giving up my fat benefits and having to buy health insurance for my family out of pocket.  At the same time, I’ve got Hillary Clinton telling America that she’s going to give out free healthcare like some sort of demented Santa Clause from Hell.  You would think that of anybody, I would be all excited for “free” healthcare, I’m gonna have to buy it myself, and that’s expensive right?

Oh, hell no.  I would rather make passionate love to a sack full of rabid porcupines that have socialized medicine.  Look how broken and wrong our current system is, and just imagine for a moment, giving the people that seek out folks with plenty of money and jobs to give food-stamps, total control over all the health needs of the entire country. 

Nothing is ever free.  Pass me that bag of porcupines…

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