Burch: No hot dogs with food stamps

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Like many Tennesseans, I’m a Reagan Republican who changed sides when I saw the failed policies and buffoonery of people like George W. Bush and Sarah Palin ruining the party and running the nation into the ground.

Like most — but unfortunately not all — Tennesseans, I firmly believe in equal rights for everyone, including gays, minorities, Muslims and atheists, so it went against my principles to belong to a party that increasingly acts as if white Christians are God’s gift to the earth, while everyone else is suspect. If the party ever regains sanity, I may return, but I see no evidence of such a miracle on the horizon.

However, I still believe in financial responsibility, so if I were running things, here’s what I’d do:

First, I’d limit food stamps to inexpensive, healthy foods like whole wheat bread, milk, cheese and vegetables. No pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, candy bars, chips or sugary sodas. If people want to eat junk food, don’t let them do it on the public dime. This will give them an incentive to get off food stamps as soon as they can. In the meantime, they’ll be less likely to need free medical care.

Next, I’d use modern technology to make sure that everyone on welfare and unemployment works. Today people who are blind, deaf and missing limbs are able to do highly productive things. Single parents can still answer the phone and type. Other people can pick up trash, clean buildings, etc. Requiring people on the dole to do menial jobs will give them every incentive to find better-paying jobs they enjoy more. But if they really can’t find work, they can still contribute to society. Why should the government hire janitors and pay for temporary office help, when it’s handing out money to people who can clean, answer phones, file and type?

Then I’d test everyone on the dole for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. Should the public pay for people to smoke, drink and toke? Why should people be allowed to use my tax dollars to party?

I think we should help the poor and disadvantaged. I believe we should help people who have lost their jobs get back on their feet. But we can do so intelligently, in ways that benefit the public whenever we provide public aid, and also in ways that give people receiving public assistance every possible incentive to find employment. We can weed out the people who are unable to find employment from those who prefer to remain freeloaders, by using simple common sense and modern technology. 

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary,” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

63 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 7:12

Good morning
http://www.dilsedesi.org/forums/uploads/monthly_03_2010/post-3783-1267923949.jpg

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 7:12

Everything Mr. Burch says makes sense. Finding work for work for the unemployed by letting them do the work instead of contracted out is an idea that should be looked into.
Limiting food stamps to health food is a good and smart thing to do.

By: dargent7 on 3/4/11 at 7:21

If you're so fond and subscribe to Marxism, move to Russia.
Do you have any idea what 'drug testing" all those "on the dole" would cost?
They're $90. a test. Then you'd have appeals.
Then another test.
Food Stamps pays for food, (edible), salad bars, and bottled water. Not dog or cat food. Not vitamins. Not toilet paper. Not soap. Not laundry detergent.
I don't know about Skittles and Milky Ways.
I assume if you can eat it and you're human, it's covered.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 7:38

What is so Marxist about it d7? If you are getting food stamps to help you live, then it is an honest why to live. The drug testing…well that might be a little more difficult, but then it would not be on a daily bases.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/4/11 at 7:44

TGIPF, everyone! Nemo, what fun is being a Yankee if you don't complain? lol! I should know, I'm one too. Complaining is a sport, you know.

I totally agree with what Burch is saying. But it'll never happen because it sounds too much like right.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/4/11 at 7:52

btw, the savings on those who could no longer screw the system would make up for the cost of drug testing.

By: dargent7 on 3/4/11 at 7:59

Nemo: It's called "Totalitarinism"...Total control by the "state".
You want that,...in America?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 8:06

Blanket I understand. I complain about having nothing to complain about. I try to make it an art. lol

By: dargent7 on 3/4/11 at 8:09

"No pizza, no hamburgers, no hot dogs, no candy bars"....Food Stamps DO NOT pay for any of those at a fast food place. If packaged at the grocery, and you cook it at home, yes they do.
Papa Johns, Dominos, Little Ceasars, KFC, Wendy's, Burger King, McDonalds, Sonics, Tyson Foods are no-no's for people needing to eat?
Burch should of know what in the hell he was talking about before he rambles nonsense.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 8:17

I think it would be Totalitarianism if it applied to all, Paul. The people are free to live and eat as they want, but can’t buy junk food with food stamps. We all have to live by some sort of code with all employers. Dress, the time of day when to work and so on.

To be really free, one has to not be working for anyone and living off the land. Or dead.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 8:19

That is right Paul, unless they pay for it in cash. No food stamps.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 8:23

To feed the Troll.

From yesterday.

My first post about the anti-human was from the day before.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/3/11 at 7:19
From yesterday
A link that brrrrk posted, of a Fox News showing palm trees in the back ground of the snow covered Wisconsin protest. In stead of seeing the palm trees in the video, the only argument that yogi can muster to counter attack brrrrk post is to bring up Al Gore.

He is just sad.

Then yogi posted this clever come backs.

By: yogiman on 3/3/11 at 8:40
Well,
You got an early start on your anti-yogi comments, dumbo. How many can we count on today? It shouldn't take too many pages of this site today.
And speaking of sad? Hell no, I'm not sad. (I'm glad. And I get gladder every day. I'm sorry, really, I'm sorry you are so sad.)

He talks about my grammar? lol

By: dargent7 on 3/4/11 at 8:29

Nemo: Well, 90% of America considers pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and soda as "food".
Want to shop at Whole Foods, buying all organic? Bring your American Express Platinum card.
Trader Joe's does accept EBT Cards.

By: treehugger7 on 3/4/11 at 8:32

What a pile of horse hooey!! It's obvious you used to be a republican, which I thought was supposed to be a limited government party. Get used to the idea that you cannot control other people's lives, no matter how well intentioned you might be. This is a free country (in theory--becoming less free every day.) If you're poor, you have to may have to jump though more hoops already. Their lives are hard enough without the government throwing more crap at them. If we had a decent education system, and a living wage, we wouldn't be having this discussion!

By: girliegirl on 3/4/11 at 8:43

Ditto everything that Dargent7 posted. (OMG, I cannot believe I just said that!) LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 8:45

Paul, the key word is Healthy Food. I think Pizza is good food, but my heart thinks different and so does my doctor.

Why should tax money be paid for unhealthy food? ;-)

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 8:54

Poor girliegirl she is having a bad day. lol

By: dargent7 on 3/4/11 at 9:12

Girlie: Let's get married!
I cannot believe I'm arguing with this bored about which food is "healthy" and which can be purchased with Food Stamps.
Ever shop at a Krogers? 90% of the stuff in the cart is garbage, but it's what people eat.
Burch wants to bar this food from people on welfare?
Alrighty then..let's close down all fast food cos.
Everything there is boiled in rancid fatty oils.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 9:14

girliegirl day is getting worse.

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 10:16

treehugger7,

We only have political parties in name only now. They have become six-of-one and half-a-dozen and are ruling our nation together.

Congress has been making unconstitutional laws in the nation for decades now and as long as the people allow them, they will continue.

By: gdiafante on 3/4/11 at 10:27

"If we had a decent education system, and a living wage, we wouldn't be having this discussion!"

Yep. Just wait, it's only going to get worse.

Circling the drain

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 10:35

To give you children a little lesson in learning; the education being given the children today are nothing like the education given when I was 'school boy'. We had teachers that loved children and most of them were teaching because of that love.

The first day of school you went to learn what your subjects would be for that year and what books you needed. We then went to a privately owned book store and bought our books.

And then this great national government decided all children should be taught the same subjects in school, regardless of what section of the nation they lived in.

The educational method was one of the forms used in the communist takeover of the USA. The Constitution doesn't seem to be worth reading any more.

By: Funditto on 3/4/11 at 10:50

omg

By: revo-lou on 3/4/11 at 11:10

And yet, in spite of that "education" there are those that are still in denial about how this country works, where OUR president was born, what PROOF constitutes, or have a basic understanding of what this country was founded on or why!

Go figure.

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 11:10

"First, I’d limit food stamps to inexpensive, healthy foods like whole wheat bread, milk, cheese and vegetables."

Somehow I bet this guys wife does the shopping. Eating healthy is by no means "inexpensive".

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 11:13

"Then I’d test everyone on the dole for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. Should the public pay for people to smoke, drink and toke? Why should people be allowed to use my tax dollars to party?"

Next we'll start drug testing students who get student loans... and then elderly people who receive social security.... and then anyone who gets a government contract.... and... and... and... and...

By: gdiafante on 3/4/11 at 11:13

Actually, yogi, if you actually knew anything, the founders espoused public education. Read the Mass. constitution, written by John Adams.

That's rhetorical, you're not smart enough to know where to look.

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 11:15

Wake up, Funditto.

Read a little history. Do you think the government is going to announce they are taking over a one government to control the citizens?

One small issue; by what section of the Constitution gives congress the authority to pass a law requiring us, the common people of this nation, to buy a dangerous CFL light bulb and quite using safe incandescent bulbs. And they can only be bought from our "friends" in China.

The makers of the incandescent bulbs have begun to quit manufacturing them, if they haven't already stopped.

By: gdiafante on 3/4/11 at 11:18

"Do you think the government is going to announce they are taking over a one government to control the citizens?"

Golly, that there edumacation that them old folks gotten back in the day sure is good...

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 11:20

“To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education”

“The tax which will be paid for the purpose of education is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance”

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”

“Information is the currency of democracy.”

All Thomas Jefferson quotes.

By: Funditto on 3/4/11 at 11:21

??????

yogi - i don't know a single teacher who doesn't love to teach... do you think they are in it for the money? LOL.

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 11:24

“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors” - Thomas Jefferson.

I wonder who Jefferson had in mind...... who in this forum is actually old enough that Jefferson might have known them? :-)

By: gdiafante on 3/4/11 at 11:25

lol brrrk

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 11:31

Let's see.... when there was talk of raising the taxes of people who made over $250,000 a year, the GOP was all about, "You can't raise taxes on these people. You know, $250,000 ain't what it used to be. These aren't rich people. Why they're almost on the verge of poverty". But teachers making $50,000?, the GOP says, "They're RICH I tell you, RICH!!!. Drivin' around in their fancy Hyundai's with power steering and wearing those designer J.C. Penney suits!!!"

By: Antisocialite on 3/4/11 at 11:38

If people want to eat junk food, don’t let them do it on the public dime.

Junk foods have a much, much higher calorie count per dollar. Hence, poorer people get much more food from the same fixed income source than they would buying healthier options. Those are just the facts. We could cut agricultural subsidies (welfare) to the multibillion dollar factory farms out there to help bring prices more in line with actual costs, but that would require us to face how unsustainable our food supply line actually is... fat chance (no pun intended). I highly suggest anyone interested in this matter to watch the documentary Food Inc., it will shock you!

Next, I’d use modern technology to make sure that everyone on welfare and unemployment works.

I know that you are a thoughtful man Mr. Burch, but think about how ridiculous it sounds to make people on unemployment work... if they could find a job they wouldn't be on unemployment now would they? Regardless of the semantics of it, you are ignoring a key concept that won Friedman a Nobel Prize, that there is a natural rate of unemployment. If we accept this, then we have an obligation to provide for the unfortunate few who are left out of the job market because of this natural rate of unemployment, with no more conditions set upon them than the rest of Americans... this includes drug tests.

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 11:49

Sorry, gdiafante,

I'm not as smart as you seem to think you are. I thought the nation was supposed to go by the Constitution they developed when the states became a nation. You're right, I didn't read it where it was written to follow the Massachusetts Constitution at that time.

But then, I also know the education you was taught in your time period was quite a bit different that my time period.

Can you wait for the government to make newer rules on what kind of helmet you should wear on your bike, what kind of lights you must have on your skate board? Hell, when are they going to require a safety belt on a motor scooter?

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 11:50

yogiman

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 11:57

brrrrk

By: gdiafante on 3/4/11 at 12:00

Yogi, it's well established that you're not as smart as a wart on the ass of a rodent.

Second, the Mass. constitution was cited as an example of the thoughts of one of our brightest founding fathers. I doubt you even know who he is.

Did you read the quotations by brrrrk, or are you worried that if you respond you might be sued by Jefferson?

Third...the troll has been fed.

By: revo-lou on 3/4/11 at 12:07

{The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

And - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any DEPARTMENT OR OFFICER thereof.}

Just some highlights for those in need. (wink, wink).

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 1:26

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 9:35
To give you children a little lesson in learning; the education being given the children today are nothing like the education given when I was 'school boy'. We had teachers that loved children and most of them were teaching because of that love.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Two things about this paragraph strike me to the core; one this condescending old fart belittles all others with his “superior intellect.” (sarcasm) and second if the education when yogi was a school boy was being taught today….well just such yuck.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 1:29

B/T/W was the teachers of yogi’s school boy day’s pedophiles?

By: gdiafante on 3/4/11 at 1:35

Well, there were rumors about Socrates...

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 1:52

N mi daay I got mi learnen from tha scool techer n if I denten learn I got a beatn fro mi pa.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 1:53

That quote was from Kyle Pyle.

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 2:25

Heck, dumbo, I thot u wuz kwotin me.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 2:35

I will have to give this one yogi. You are a little smarter than I thought. You recognized your alter ego.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 2:36

Once again your attempt at an insult fails. You call me Dumbo, but in fact Dumbo was another hero. Calling me a hero is not the way to insult me. You need to learn how to insult people.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 2:48

That was 4 u yogi.

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 2:55

Sorry, let me rephrase that to dumba..