Ridgeway Wishes America Had More Hungry Children, Less Imitation Hamburger

Luann Ridgeway, pictured here imagining a story for next week's "Capitol Report"

Hey look, Sen. Luann Ridgeway is making stuff up for her weekly newsletter:

How many times have you been in line at the grocery store counting pennies to pay for imitation hamburger and off-brand pasta, only to see the person in front of you unload a cart full of steaks and then whip out a welfare EBT card to pay for it? It happens to me and I bet it happens to you as well. The program that provides for your hard earned money to be spent in this fashion by people as able-bodied as are you and I is called TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families...

There was a time when being on public assistance came with a stigma. Now the government goes out of its way to sign up more people. Where public welfare used to be a measure of last resort, it is now considered normal since that is what their parents did and what so many of their friends continue to do. Young unmarried women have actually been heard saying they want to have their baby before marriage as then the birth and maternal after-care will be "free."

A few quick questions while I clean the coffee off my keyboard:

  1. What is "imitation hamburger"?
  2. Where did Luann Ridgeway hear "young unmarried women" saying they want to have a baby before they get married so that "the birth and maternal after-care will be 'free?'"
  3. What ethnicity do you think the fantasy steak buyer was when Luann Ridgeway imagined this story? 

The Pitch's Nadia Pflaum has a much better dissection of Ridgeway's offensive "Capitol Report" than I can muster, so you should just go read what she wrote.   In summary, "Welfare queens don't exist. Most informed adults have come to accept -- along with the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny -- that the welfare queen (a term coined by Ronald Reagan in a 1976 presidential campaign speech) is a big ol' myth. "

Ridgeway's entire entirely offensive rant can be read below the fold.

How many times have you been in line at the grocery store counting pennies to pay for imitation hamburger and off-brand pasta, only to see the person in front of you unload a cart full of steaks and then whip out a welfare EBT card to pay for it? It happens to me and I bet it happens to you as well. The program that provides for your hard earned money to be spent in this fashion by people as able-bodied as are you and I is called TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. If you get upset watching someone buy groceries with your money, hang on because you are about to get boiling mad.

Because welfare benefits are now delivered with a plastic debit card, where and when these benefits are spent is easily tracked. Chris Nagus, a St. Louis television reporter requested these records from the Missouri Department of Social Services (click here for a link to the DSS data). What he found is unbelievable. Keep in mind, this is just one month of spending.

Since most of Missouri’s population lives near a state line, it is not unusual for some benefits to be spent in adjoining states. However, some states were further away, much further away and not even connected to the mainland.

Over the course of one month, in Florida, Missouri welfare recipients spent $84,061 on food and withdrew $9,737 in cash from ATMs. In California, the month's totals were $69,672 for food and $7,818 in cash. In the biggest insult to taxpayers, during one month welfare recipients spent $2,737 for food and withdrew $175…in HAWAII!

I am sure many hard working Missourians would love to take their families on a vacation to Florida, California, or Hawaii. However, it now appears they cannot since they are busy working to pay for someone else to go who isn’t working. Personally, I would like to see any transaction that takes place more than one state away red flagged for inquiry. If there is not a valid reason for the person to be there, benefits should be terminated.  The assistance is intended for needy families to survive, not for freeloaders to travel on someone else’s dime.

There was a time when being on public assistance came with a stigma. Now the government goes out of its way to sign up more people. Where public welfare used to be a measure of last resort, it is now considered normal since that is what their parents did and what so many of their friends continue to do. Young unmarried women have actually been heard saying they want to have their baby before marriage as then the birth and maternal after-care will be “free”.

Maybe this discovery will serve as a wakeup call that the program is out of control and must be reformed. Despite what the liberals will tell you, personal responsibility and charity are pretty good things, for everyone.

Image credit: KC Community News

 

 

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