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The rush to humiliate the poor


  • Never mind that few can afford filet mignon on a less-than-$7/day food-stamp allotment; they’re more likely to be buying chuck steak or canned tuna. This is less about public policy than about demeaning public-benefit recipients.
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Dana Milbank, Washington (DC) Post

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455152023-1719-1433.jpg?uuid=ZyKSNt1xEeSs_s0Fer76mgCanned goods at the Food Bank For New York City. (John Moore/Getty Images)

April 7, 2015 |  Rick Brattin, a young Republican state representative in Missouri, has come up with an innovative new way to humiliate the poor in his state. Call it the surf-and-turf law.

Brattin has introduced House Bill 813, making it illegal for food-stamp recipients to use their benefits “to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.”

“I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs” with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, the legislator explained, according to The Post’s Roberto A. Ferdman. “When I can’t afford it on my pay, I don’t want people on the taxpayer’s dime to afford those kinds of foods either.”

Dana Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital. He joined the Post as a political reporter in 2000. 

Full story … 


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