Via the Crack Den, I just cannot fathom that this is the conversation:
About 230,000 retailers nationwide participate in the SNAP program, with about 80 percent of funds spent at larger grocery chains. But officials said several smaller retailers often fraudulently obtain PIN or card numbers from program beneficiaries and keep the funds without the person’s knowledge. In the last decade, USDA has disqualified more than 8,300 retailers for such fraud, officials said.
In other cases, beneficiaries who receive monthly deposits of food aid on to plastic cards similar to bank cards intentionally use SNAP benefits to purchase water or other beverages with bottle deposits, dump the liquid and then obtain cash for bottle deposits. Others attempt to sell SNAP benefits in exchange for cash on Craigslist and social media sites.
Notice there's no number on the latter.
Let's get this out of the way first: everyone who is stealing things right now, stop, proceed to the nearest police station, and turn yourself in.
That being said, there is literally nothing a food stamp recipient could do with his or her benefits that would offend me enough to launch a full-scale witch hunt through the program, not while Dick Cheney is walking around free. Until that rat bastard is hanging upside down in chains like a fucking vampire bat, you could not pay me in either food stamps OR cash to get excited about somebody who is demonstrably fucked enough to be on food stamps doing anything with them at all.
I mean it, you cannot possibly, and I know, okay, this one guy your cousin knows saw something once at a store, but somewhere along the line here we have forgotten as a society how not to get worked up about people doing what people are going to do. There is no system somebody can't game. Therefore you can either make yourself insane with anecdoctal scare-tactic journalism and the predictable nitwitted response, or you can say, look, 80 percent of this cash is going where it is supposed to anyway, the sucky retailers are being tracked down, and if somebody is poor enough to be buying six packs and turning in the bottles for cash maybe there are other problems I should get to before I yell at him for being, frankly, pretty damn creative about trying to fucking survive.
As I say when we discuss gun control, we are never going to implement Stupidity Control. We are never going to be able to come up with a system that doesn't wind up benefitting somebody who just wants heroin. So we either let that person's story become the reason nobody gets to eat, or we let him have his heroin, chill the fuck out, and the 98 percent of people who need hotdogs for their kids get hotdogs for their kids without the food gestapo crawling all over their receipts from the fucking Kwik Trip.
At least until we have Dick Cheney under guard somewhere.