1. Fast Food & Food Stamps

    I know this scheme has been in the works in certain areas for a while, but that doesn’t change the fact that every new article I read about it makes me want to throw heavy office equipment through a window:

    WTVM.com: Fast Food Giant Lobbies for Food Stamps

    I love issues like this, because it’s so easy to see exactly where they lead. If you come out against it with the argument of “Folks on public nutritional assistance shouldn’t be using the funds to buy crappy fast food and other items of convenience,” then you’re an out-of-whack, heartless, right-wing conservative nutso. I unflinchingly reside in this camp (as readers have undoubtedly noticed).

    To clarify, my views register something like this:

    Should public food-assistance programs be widely available?

    Yes. Which they are.

    Should public food-assistance programs be “unrestricted;” i.e., they allow access to most all goods/services that private funds could otherwise purchase?


    Should public food-assistance programs be “painless;” i.e., the programs make extra efforts to reduce the stigma and “social obstacles” of being a user of the assistance?

    Hell no. In fact, I’m all thumbs-up for bright orange EBT cards.

    However, I’ll also take a step the other direction — a step at which many pro-business righties gasp — and say that for companies like Yum! Brands to take up such a blatant “Hey look! There’s a pile of taxpayer money over there! Let’s go get some!” lobbying effort is downright pathetic, and worthy of scorn. Most weeks, I’m good for at least one trip to Taco Bell. And I do loves me some Pizza Hut pan pizza from time to time. But that can stop.

    We Say “No” To More Government Programs (That Don’t Benefit Us)

    Such corporate behavior is pretty typical, though, I’ve found. Expanded government programs are anathema to private business interests … until they figure out that they can get their hands in the pot, too. At that point, miraculously, it’s all good.

    “Everyone, regardless of income level or economic station, should have access to our quality offerings,” they’ll exclaim as camera-flashes pop. “We will take special care to ensure that only those who meet the strict qualifications can utilize the program in our many locations.”

    Sure you will. And all the while, you’ll be continually and quietly lobbying for increased access by SNAP participants to your “quality offerings.” Trim a big restriction here; remove a little restriction there. Because, hey, there’s more profits to be had … and isn’t it, you know, unfair to limit this wonderful program to JUST the homeless, elderly, and disabled, when you really think about it?

    One thing is certain: The hole will just get deeper and deeper, because the game is such that EVERYONE who is ANYONE will step up to the trough.

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