So Republican legislatures are making new rules for how poor folks spend their SNAP dollars.  Now I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever stood in the grocery checkout line behind someone who was using taxpayer dollars to pony up for their bill, you would have seen some items in the shopping cart put aside by the cashier.  These, I’m assuming, are items that cannot be purchased with food stamps.  So one could also assume, that there are already restrictions on the types of items poor folks can purchase with taxpayer money.  But the new rules are designed to reign in all of the abuses that poor folks are guilty of while using our taxpayer money.  Now I’ve not seen any data regarding the degree of fraudulent purchases by the family of four earning $20,000 per year, but given that conservatives have targeted this crime one assumes that it’s legitimate.  (There are those Voter ID laws, after all, designed to crack down on the ten cases of fraud a ten year study of Federal Elections determined recently would have been prevented by Voter ID's, so, yes, let’s just assume that Food Stamp and Welfare fraud is huge.  Of course one could also cite the fraud committed by Columbia/HCA that resulted in a $1.7 billion judgment – the largest in U.S. history - against that corporation while current Florida Governor was its CEO but I won’t muddy the waters by citing this piece of disturbing information).  Moving on.  

Let’s examine some of the items now verboten that the Kansas State Legislature passed and Governor Brownback signed (yes, of course he did) that added new restrictions. 

These are the items that poor folks will no longer by able to spend taxpayer money on:

1. Movies
2. Steak
3. Lobster
4. Cruises
5. Swimming Pool Trips
6. Massages
7. Tattoos
8. Psychic Readings
9. Lingerie
10. Body Piercings
11. Adult Entertainment
12. Tobacco
13.  Nail Salons

Now I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen piles of steaks and lobsters among the items folks using taxpayer money buy. I see quite a lot of milk and bread.  Then again maybe poor folks in Kansas have better tastes in food than do poor folks here in DC or in Maryland and Virginia.  On the other hand, we all need to be super vigilant and call the cops when you see someone paying for a three pound lobster or a filet mignon steak with food stamps or SNAP money.

As for the cruises, I‘ve only been on one cruise in my life and I don’t think any of the folks on board were poor.  Of course, I suppose you can’t really tell can you by outward appearances.  Maybe the husband and wife team in the formal wear I chatted with during Gala Night were poor.  After all they were Black.  But I have a good friend who takes three or four cruises a year so I will definitely quiz him about how many poor folks he’s seen on his cruise adventures.  

Massages and tattoos?  Yes, I’m sure that there must be thousands of poor people a day in Kansas who get massages and tattoos.  I mean given the plunge in state tax revenues since Brownback enacted his wildly successful tax cuts, this is surely an area that will make up for the cuts to pensions, public education and the state university funds he had to make.  Brownback also increased the state sales tax – oh, and BTW FOOD is taxable in Kansas too – which as economists point out affects the poor more than the rich since the poor are basically spending money on things they need to live on unlike the rich who are adding to their fleet of  BMW’s, Mercedes and Porsches and purchasing that, oh so necessary, third vaca home down in Curacao or Cannes.

So let me ask you, if the Republicans are so concerned about making sure that our tax money is spent wisely by the poor, what about all the taxpayer money that’s spent on stuff elsewhere?  Are we getting a good deal from our tax payments from Lockheed-Martin for example?  The $1.5 trillion program to develop and build the next generation of F-35 fighter jets had its first test flight in 2006 and yet not a single one has been declared operational as of 2015 nearly a decade later.  Delays and cost increases have been rampant in the program. Each F-35 now costs an average about $100 million dollars in one of its three versions.  The program has been plagued with problems and delays since the initial test flights: flight control problems; unreliable components; unexpected parts replacements; fuel tank redesign; navigation and weapons accuracy software problems; flight control deficiencies to name a few. 

Then there’s the $8 billion a pop for the new Gerald Ford Class nuclear powered aircraft carriers (which, BTW, are designed to accommodate the F-35’s).  Eight billion dollars apiece?  Hell, for eight billion dollars apiece they should be able to fly as well.

So in this year 2015, the corporatization of America is pretty much complete and you can rest assured that Lockheed Martin will not be fined or penalized for the huge cost overruns and years of delays in delivering the F-35’s.   

BTW the company earned $3 billion in profits on $45 billion in revenues in 2013.  

On the other hand, you can also rest assured that the Republican Clown Car is going to make lobster and steak purchases by folks receiving SNAP funds a major campaign issue.  I'm betting that restrictions on SNAP items that poor people can purchase will be a Republican platform plank for 2016.  After all, $100 million fighter jets and $8 billion aircraft carriers are essential to the defense of the nation but making sure that poor people have enough to eat is just a waste of taxpayer money.


Have A Good Day!


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