Burch: No hot dogs with food stamps

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 10:05pm
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 2:14

Would that be;

Konstantin (Theodor) (from 1917, Graf von) Dumba

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 2:20

If this is what you are fling at me, I'm afraid it doesn't mean anything to me.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see DUMBA (disambiguation).
DUMBA was a collective living space and anarchist, queer, all-ages community center and venue in Brooklyn, New York.

DUMBA (a feminized version of DUMBO—Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) became a radical cultural nexus point around which the Queercore[1] movement flourished and an independent film scene developed. It was the site of many notable events, as well as being a residence for several people. DUMBA was a unique experiment providing a combination of live music and disc jockeys (usually several DJs a night), film screenings of Super 8 and 16mm films, video, artwork, performances, vegetarian food, and an unrestricted erotic atmosphere.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/4/11 at 2:21

Keep trying yogi. You have got all weekend.

By: yogiman on 3/4/11 at 2:23

See what I mean, dumba... You couldn't even read your name. You left off the 2 esses.

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

A notion has come up recently about the gas prices continuing to rise.... a little bit each day. Here at I-40 in Smith County they have gone to $3.31.9. I guess that's better than saying 3.32. Sounds cheaper.

It was suggested if the people revolted and quit buying from EXXON & MOBIL, they being the two biggest oil companies. it would cause an over abundance of fuel and they would have to lower their price in an adjustment to cover their normal expenses.

When they lower their prices it would force the other companies to lower theirs to stay in competition. I'll go along with that. No EXXON or MOBIL until they lower their prices.

I always heard more diesel fuel was received from a barrel of oil than gas because of the treatment system. Makes me wonder why diesel fuel is so much more expensive that gas.

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

Just thinking a little more, what about refusing flights with airlines that permits TSA to sexually assault their passengers.

It may take a while, but to "slow things down" and go by bus or drive would change the entire situation... maybe including that pathetic organization we call our government.

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 4:12

yogiman said

"It was suggested if the people revolted and quit buying from EXXON & MOBIL, they being the two biggest oil companies. it would cause an over abundance of fuel and they would have to lower their price in an adjustment to cover their normal expenses."

Won't work yogi..... EXXON & MOBIL are global corporations. They'll just pedal their wares elsewhere in the world. And that's the problem.

By: treefrogdk on 3/4/11 at 4:16

you will never get me to believe that D7 is the same D7 of only a few weeks ago. did he have a stroke or something? i USED to agree with alot of what he said, more or less. i think he must have gotten born again, or something. just ain't right, somehow.

By: brrrrk on 3/4/11 at 4:32

treefrogdk said

"you will never get me to believe that D7 is the same D7 of only a few weeks ago. did he have a stroke or something? i USED to agree with alot of what he said, more or less. i think he must have gotten born again, or something. just ain't right, somehow."

I agree.... I think he's had a visit from the Jesus Fairy...

By: govskeptic on 3/5/11 at 8:52

Since it Arbor Day let's all promote "Eatable Landscapes",
that should do it for the former "Reagan Republican", now
Obama Democrat!

By: Marymeet on 3/5/11 at 4:39

Sounds great! It means food stamp money will have to be increased. Why? It doesn't matter how much or little you make if you qualify, there's no sliding scaled. it's $183.50 per month per person.

If you income is such that that's the only money for food, you've got for food and you're working but not making enough or aren't able to find work at 40 hours a week permanent, that's what you have to buy 3 meals a day for 30 days. That's $2.04 a day for all 3 meals a day. You tell me how to eat healthy and I'll do it.

I'm making my own wheat because it's less expensive but we all get tired of sandwiches every day. There's that pesky problem of filling the bread with something. By the author's standards bologna is out, and so is peanut butter with all that hydrogenated oil in it. What's left? Then what's left that I can afford?

As an example white bread is 89 cents per loaf. Whole wheat is $2.00 +. Given the above scenario which one would you buy?

Here's another bit of news. That $5,500 in tax refunds to the poor? Not only doesn't that apply to all poor, some of us have to pay taxes. That's right, I made less than $7,00 and paid taxes. Warren Buffet, the richest man in the world paid no taxes even though he made hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Just doesn't seem right to me somehow. I'm quiet sure that most of you will disagree. If I'm putting my money in as little as it is, why isn't he?

The charity food boxes? Second Harvest is feeding so many people you can only get 6 a year. Doesn't help much but at least it's something.

Having read the posts prior to mine I have absolutely every assurance that charity, christian etc will not apply to any responses.

The state government is proposing massive layoffs. More unemployed people. The city government, and metro schools are laying off more people. More unemployed people. The state government is talking about layoffs. More unemployed people. Who's going to hire them at $3.00 an hour? Who's going to pay for the proposed program? The government that fired them in the first place to save money?

There are minimum wage laws in effect for the moment. Who's going to legally figure out how to void them?

Encourage people to get off welfare? There is no welfare, there's workfare. The myth of the welfare mother driving a Cadillac was a lie Regan told. Repeated so many times it's still believed.

I live in government housing which is up for closing. I have a phone and the cheapest internet possible so I can make some money from home. Without them I'll make $0. I don't have a car, cable or the money to take a bus. Oh and that find a job and get off the public dime? My husband sends out as many as 50 resumes a week. No reply. Why should they reply to someone who doesn't have a master's degree? They're currently a dime a dozen.

And the I should find a job. Tried and trying, no one wants to hire me either. Too old and too sick so don't tell me to find one.

Come live my life then talk about solutions. Visit my neighbor who is almost blind, deaf in failing health, going to be 90 and trying to live on less than $700 a month. Tell her she's getting plenty of money. Neither of us need electricity, right? Phone is a luxury right? Then you can complain about who we're sitting on out asses, because not only can't we call about jobs, they can't call to tell us we've got one.

By: Marymeet on 3/5/11 at 4:51

Oh to add to the information, Burch said, "First, I’d limit food stamps to inexpensive, healthy foods like whole wheat bread, milk, cheese and vegetables."

On only is whole wheat higher than white, milk costs far more than Kool-aid, fake cheese or pasteurized processed cheeze food, think Velveta, is through the roof. Fresh veg? When I can find it and fresh fruit on sale in the food desert I live in.

When was the last time you went shopping Mr. Burch? Did you have to walk more than a mile to get anywhere near a real grocery store? My husband does. Did you have to carry the food you bought home on foot? My husband does.

Did you have to buy soft foods because you can't afford any dental work and your teeth are mostly rotted out with exposed nerves? Dental work isn't covered for "free" by the government, even though it would be cheaper than the diseases they cause by not being cared for.

I could probably go on for several more pages, but why bother? This thread has proven once again how people in this town feel about other human beings. You are judge, jury and executioners. Without knowing the truth, you have tried everyone, found them guilty and want them gone.

As the the "public dime" and alcohol, etc. Food stamps won't buy any of that, it won't buy toilet paper either. Or shampoo, or soap, or cleaning supplies, or brooms, or mops. Know what that means? More condemnation from people like you.

By: budlight on 3/7/11 at 1:57

"I don't think anyone expects us to stay here forever," said Sen. Bob Jauch in a telephone interview from Illinois, where the Democrats have been since leaving the state 18 days ago.

not to change subjects, BUT, who's paying for these Demo's on the lam?

Hi yogi. I"ve been off the CP, but see you are still the target of mean spirited folks. OH they can poke fun at me now.

Why can't one get hot dogs with food stamps? But no beer! ha, ha.