Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day Twenty-Three

What I say:  I can't believe that poor 20 year old kid in need was not allowed to use his EBT Card on cigarettes in New Hampshire. 

What I mean:  Jackie Whiton is my friggen HERO.  Who is Jackie Whiton?  She's the 65 year old New Hampshire store clerk who wouldn't accept an EBT Card (Electronic Benefit Transfer a/k/a welfare debit card) as payment for a pack of cigarettes, and she was subsequently fired.  One of my earlier posts was about people using EBT Cards to buy lobster, so where I stand on this matter should come as no surprise!

So, Jackie asks the kid if he thinks the customers in line want to buy him his cigarettes, and the kid says "yeah."  But Jackie refuses, and the "kid" sends his "foster mother" back to the store the next day to complain. The fact that the "kid" had the plums to walk in and buy cigarettes with the card in the first place amazes me. He wasn't even trying to hide the fact that he is buying cigarettes with welfare money, sadly, because it is legal.  All he really had to do was go to an ATM machine, withdraw cash with the EBT card, and then use the cash to buy his booze, drugs, rim job  cigarettes, and no one would have known the difference.   But why go through the trouble when you don't have to?  Just send your foster mother in the next day to fight for what you are entitled to.  Now before the trolls start chiming in about the fact that I don't know this kid's background, or why he is in need of EBT benefits, I have to say...I don't give a shit.  If he was buying cereal, bread and peanut butter, I wouldn't have a problem.  If he needed a little extra cash to make the rent and hit the ATM, still, no problem.  But buying CIGARETTES?  Why in the hell should taxpayer dollars be used to fund someone's addiction?

I once called the state to complain about someone buying a case of beer and a couple packs of smokes with their EBT Card.  I wrote down the name of the store, and the date and time, thinking they could nab the little shit.  You know what the lady said to me when I called? "I'm sorry, ma'am, but we aren't allowed to tell recipients how to spend their money."  "The FUCK you aren't!  First of all, that's not 'their' money...its 'OURS!' Some of that is MY money that I work my ass off so that someone who supposedly needs it can get shitfaced?  What the hell is happening here?  Those benefits are supposed to be used by people down on their luck, temporarily out of a job, so they can feed their families and afford their rent.  Maybe buy their kids some new shoes or clothes...necessities!"  Needless to say, the woman hung up on me.  But I am right, damn it - I am right!

Why is this allowed to continue?   Why isn't there a time limit imposed?  If the state is going to buy your booze and butts, why bother getting a job?  Why hasn't anyone recommended something along the lines of  "benefits will last up to a two years, maximim, within a five year period of time."  Now that makes sense. Time to find a job and a place to live.  Instead, we are told not to judge - that just because EBT Eddie pulled up to the Seven Eleven in his Escalade, and used his EBT card to buy rolling papers - doesn't mean he's going to buy drugs.  We don't know that the Escalade actually belongs to Eddie.  He may have borrowed it.  He may have been buying rolling papers for someone else.  He may have even plan on rolling his own real cigarettes.  Honestly, NONE of that matters AT ALL. Those are all lame excuses to detract from the fact that welfare money is NOT being used in the manner in which it was intended.

So, back to Jackie.  I understand why she was fired.  She didn't abide by the law, and as such, the store had no choice.  But the fact that she stood up for something she believed in, lost her job and probably won't qualify for EBT Benefits because she makes $4.90 over the threshhold a month makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!  Good for you, Jackie!  I hope you inspire many citizens to uncover the abuse of these funds!  I'd buy you a beer, but the mortgage is due, and I don't have an EBT card to supplement my budget.

If you want to find out more about Jackie, you can read an article about her here or watch a video clip here.

16 comments:

  1. I was dropping off some goodwill donations near the local food pantry. I watched three women get into their very expensive suv carrying their bags of food from the food pantry. They were dressed in jeans that cost more than my entire collection of jeans.

    I no longer make donations to the local food pantry. I help certain families that I know are in need or organizations that are more discriminate about those who are truly needy.

    It makes me sad to be like that, but like you, I am very angry that some people use the system.

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  2. This kind of thing happens so much more than it EVER should! The absolutely ridiculous mistreatment of the welfare system infuriates me as well.

    Just reading this kind of got me blood pumping a bit thinking of all the instances just like this one (and the one mentioned in the comment before mine) that I see all the time.

    I once worked with a woman whose only goal was to have more children so she could sit at home on her big butt and collect from the state every month. I was thoroughly disgusted!! She already had 4 children at the time! If I am not mistaken, she went on to have twins after that :/

    I guess it's nice to know that my hard earned money is going to be feeding someone's hungry mouth....it just won't be my own.

    http://rantingsofamouthybitch.blogspot.com/

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    1. And supplying their nasty habits too!!

      **On a side note, I do have to agree with you and say that those in need, I have no problem with. Those using their funds for the right things, I have no problem with. It's everyone else that is on my shit list :D**

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    2. Here is something in crap that bugs me - YOUR TAX DOLLARS DON'T PAY FOR EVERYTHING. You don't pay for surface to air missles, a war in Afganistan AND this dude's EBT card. In fact, your tax dollars probably go to a minor fraction of anyone of those things unless you are a billionairre who stupidly cannot figure out how to dodge taxes. Is it stupid that you can buy beer and butts with an EBT card? Yes, but its the law. So either write your congressman or get over the fact that the law has loopholes. EVERY law has loopholes, and life isn't fair - ever. This notion of "fairness" in America is freaking ridiculous - should an EBT card allow a purchase of anything but "necessities"? NO. Totally agree, but then who decides what is "necessary"? Basically, you cannot legisilate or regulate everything. The cost of a "limit" means you are paying twice to three times as much in taxes as you currently are just to regulate this stuff. I get the point, believe me, but there is always a counterpoint

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    3. Anonymous: "Necessities," are things that are necessary to live. Last time I checked, cigarettes were more of a necessity if you want to get cancer or have lung disease. I don't care if one friggen cent of all of the paychecks I have received is used toward one EBT card. It's my one cent, that I worked for, and knowing that some 20 year old kid is smoking my penny pisses me the fuck off.

      A simple, zero cost solution? Take away the CASH OPTION. If you are receiving EBT benefits for food, and living in low-income housing, you should be able to find a job to buy clothing and other "necessities." If you have 8 bucks left on your EBT Card and you need a pack of smokes and a gallon of milk, you're gonna buy the butts and pour water over your Cocoa Puffs.

      Taking away the cash option also takes away the cost of regulating how the funds are used.

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    4. Anyonomous....seriously? When did cigarettes and booze become a necessity. Most people know what is necessary to live, it is taught to us the minute we can learn. I don't think they should be able to withdraw cash with the EBT card, or somehow the state needs to track the uses...I mean the bank can track when and where I use my debit card, why can't the state?

      You hit th nail on the head Anyonomous, life isn't fair, but that also means that if you get "benefits" from the state some of your "privileges" should be given up too...it's like people who pop kids out just to stay on welfare....

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  3. I worked many years as a store clerk in a convenience store our registers would never let us sale any unapproved EBT item, but the times, they are a changing. I saw so many abuses of that system, daily. I am wondering why they fired the store clerk tho? That was crazy.

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  4. This happened just over the border from where I live, I applaude the clerk, but she was stupid to do it because she would get fired. I do find it ridiculous, obsurd and assanine that people can buy sit like that with the EBT cards. I had a friend who got fired, started his collecting and did it for a long time, as long as he "proved" he was looking for a job he got his benefits. It was ridiculous, needless to say I am no longer friends with him.

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  5. And...now for something completely different...or maybe I'll approach it this way: You can't get a Liebster Award with an EBT card...that's why I'm giving it to you. And because your blog rocks, Cheryl! Stop by and pick it up when you get a chance.

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  6. A Liebster Award? I do not believe I know what that actually is! But thank you very much, just the same!

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  7. Just stumbled upon your blog! I Love it, and all the sarcasm that comes with it.

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! Welcome! Once I cure this bit of writer's block, I hope to have some new material for ya!

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  8. Oh yes, I am definitely following. Great post,I couldn't have said it better myself.

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  9. Thank you! Working on something new! Please stay tuned!

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  10. http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/eligible.htm

    I read an article today about what people who use EBT cards could purchase. Not regulated by the state, but the fed. No tobacco. But as you said nothing stops you from getting cash at the ATM with the card and buying them anyway.

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    1. Interesting...the clerk was fired because New Hampshire had no restrictions on tobacco. State law must trump federal law? Odd. It is true though - they can just hit up the ATM and get a tattoo, buy beer and smokes, pay the bookie, whatever! I'm sure plenty of people are also actually paying their rent and buying food for their kids.

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