All Rights Reserved © 2005 Thomas W. DayNothing stripes my ass faster than getting stuck behind fat people in the grocery line, trying to pay their grocery bill with food stamps or a Minnesota EBT card. I don't have a problem with welfare for people who need it, but it's obvious that fat people don't need help finding food. I'm not buying the hormone excuse, you get fat because you eat too much crap and exercise too little. Someone on welfare or food stamps should be working way too hard to get fat. Usually, the cherry on top of the pissed-off donut is the newer-and-far-more-expensive-than-mine, over-sized, typically-American car that the welfare recipient stuffs his and/or her groceries into.
I'm equally incensed by pretty much anyone who abuses public assistance. Smack on top of my list is every sort of corporate welfare. Fat cat corporations who are not contributing anything exceptionally valuable to their communities do not deserve public funding. Sports teams ought to be paying for the privilege of polluting the airways and local traffic with their meaningless "entertainment." Even asking for concessions on the concessions at pro sports events ought to grounds for public humiliation for those fat cats. Apparently, politicians are below any threshold of personal honor, since it's never hard to find a crooked pol to sponsor yet another publicly financed gladiator stadium.
Corporate welfare is the norm in this country. Ethanol, for example, is a spectacular source of welfare in the US. "Family farmers" are just corporate farms, so protecting that "national tradition" is as stupid as worrying about protecting the last of the slave plantations. It takes somewhere between 1 and 1.5 btu's of energy to produce a single btu of ethanol, counting manufacturing, processing, and transportation. My inability to pin down the range of inefficiency is mostly because the folks who create this corrupt pork barrel don't want the average taxpayer who receives absolutely no benefit from ethanol to know how bad they're being screwed. However, if foreign oil independence is a national goal, wasting 1 barrel of Arab fuel to produce 3/4 barrel of mediocre corn gas isn't going to achieve that goal. What it does produce is easy welfare money for unproductive Midwestern farmers.
I think that anyone ought to have exhausted all possible sources of income and sold off all excess property before even considering asking for public assistance. Welfare is for the poor, not the lazy, not folks who feel inconvenienced by normal business hours, and, especially, not for people who simply can't manage their lives competently.
A few years back, an acquaintance who had managed to lose a half-dozen jobs in a two year period found himself out of work in the heart of the Bush II recession. He was already inclined to be an uninformed "conservative," but his experience with the Minnesota public assistance system tipped the scales for him. He'd been fired, with cause, from his last two jobs and had been in those positions for less than three months. He wasn't qualified for Unemployment. He applied for welfare.
In his mind, he "really needed" public assistance. He was astounded to discover that the state was unconvinced. Maybe it was the brand new, gas-guzzling double cab 3/4-ton pickup that he drove to the welfare office. Maybe it was the fact that his wife earned a little above the poverty level at her job. According to the welfare folks, his problem wasn't that he was poor. His problem was that he managed money about as competently as George Bush manages the English language. For some reason, they expected him to give up a little luxury and excess before they were willing to start tossing public money in his direction.
He's no different that corporations who want to tap into the public finance vein. They're making buckets of money, but they can see that competition might, someday, put an end to their success. So, they buy a politician, write a bill that provides them with a pile of tax money, and manipulate the system so that they get paid not to work. It's the American Way.
Our current tax system is wall-to-wall welfare for the rich. The rich and crooked get rich on the backs of the middle class. They elected a deadbeat dope addict to further their agenda and move the cost of maintaining an elite class to the working middle class. They want to dip their crooked fingers into the national economy and be protected and subsidized while they do it.
Fat people on the public dole are only slightly more irritating than fat people trying to get onto the public dole without even a half-reasonable cause.