As Aggie reported yesterday, more Americans than ever are on food stamps—45 million, or the population of Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan combined—about one in seven Americans.
Democrats couldn’t be happier. They’ll tell you welfare is stimulus, that it shows our humanity (the more humanity the better, I guess), that it benefits their reelection chances. Maybe they won’t tell you the last part, though it’s probably the chief reason for their support.
But if welfare in general and food stamps in particular are so holy, isn’t their abuse a sin? Where’s the outrage from the Left over taking food out of the mouths of the hungry?
Pat Lu, 48, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and fraud after police raided his Quincy, Mass. mini-mart and said he was personally skimming $30,000 per month from the federal government’s food-stamp debit card system. Bail was set at $100,000.
According to a report from NECN-TV, Lu was the ringleader of a complex scheme involving at least 53 suspects engaged in welfare fraud that has netted $700,000 in the past year and a half.
Police said customers would come into Lu’s store with debit cards they had received as part of the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Lu would swipe the card, ring up a phony sale for the value of the card, give the customer 50 cents on the dollar in cash, and pocket the rest.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said there were 31 arrests in Boston on Thursday, though police refused to disclose the locations. The Patriot-Ledger reported that another 21 people have been charged with redeeming their food stamp benefits fraudulently.
I’ve been hearing stories like this on Howie Carr’s local radio show for years.
Are you paying attention, Gov. Deval Patrick, wherever you are this morning? Another 32 EBT “anecdotes” arrested or cited yesterday and charged with welfare fraud.
You say the Herald is in “the business of making people angry,” so wasn’t it nice of the Boston police, the attorney general, the state auditor, the IRS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to join in our jihad against your loyal constituents?
I know a few of these places they busted. Like the C Mart Supermarket on Washington Street. I always wondered why all those cars were lined up on Washington Street, waiting to get into the tiny parking lot. Now I know.
And the New Saigon Sandwich Shop — good, cheap sandwiches, but they’d never take a credit card. Now I understand. I was just using the wrong kind of plastic.
Just two weeks ago, state Auditor Suzanne Bump was in Deval denial, even dismissing this poverty-pimp crime wave with the governor’s own favorite word — “anecdotes.” Now she’s seen the light, or maybe the polls. She’s describing EBT fraud as “a trend that is literally sweeping across the nation.”
Of course, other states care enough about the taxpayers to crack down. Consider Florida. Before a layabout can get an EBT card there now, he has to pass a drug test — and he has to pay for the test himself. Call it, tough love. Call it, reducing the welfare rolls, very quickly.
Anecdotes? Here’s an anecdote I heard yesterday, Governor, from two people, including a cop in Lawrence. These two people have both seen workers from a Lawrence “nightclub” up at a big discount store in Salem, N.H., buying cases of Corona beer and paying for them with a Mass. EBT card.
The average layabout collects $450 a month on his card. And 20,000 cards are “lost” every month (and then replaced at no charge). Do the math — could be close to $9 million a month in fraud, just on those “lost” cards. Yet Deval’s appointees claim it’s too expensive to put the welfare recipient’s photo on the card.
A mother with three kids from Lowell named Annette called me last night, distraught.
“I see people in the checkout line buying better food that me because I’m on a budget, and I can’t afford tenderloin like they can.” She paused. “And then they pull out the iPhone.”
Which you paid for too, Annette, one way or another.
Maybe you don’t like the word “layabout”. Maybe you prefer leech or deadbeat. Dems call them the “less fortunate”, and no doubt many of them are. So, why on earth wouldn’t we protect the precious resources to make sure their needs are being met?
You don’t have to answer that. I already did above.