Re: Government keeping poor people poor
Katie, it's a common misconception with the EBT card that you can use food stamps to buy non-food items. You cannot. And, at least in the state of Michigan, you cannot use the food card at Starbucks inside the grocery stores. Now, the EBT card is split into two sections: food and cash. The food section can ONLY BE used for food. The cash section can be used for all other transactions. Sadly, yes, this also includes lingerie and other things you mentioned above. And, yes, most, if not all, stores who carry lobster will allow customers to buy the lobster with their food dollars, rather than the cash. I wouldn't buy it at all, regardless, but that is personal choice. However, yes, anything that is considered food/drink, with the exception of most, if not all energy drinks and all alcohol, can be purchased with the food portion of the card. If someone receives both food and cash benefits, then they are paying for the non-food items with the cash portion. The computer automatically separates the purchases according to food and "other". Can they purchase unhealthy options with the food portion? Yes. Can they purchase shoes, lingerie, etc. with the food portion? No. They can only use the cash portion. A lot of what is allowed, I believe should not be. But, the cash portion is supposed to pay for bills, necessities, etc. Shoes are a necessity. But I do agree that the most expensive places should not be allowing the EBT.
I'm on the fence about the restaurants, though. In stores, the hot case is not allowed, but the cold case is... fully cooked, just cold instead of hot. Some restaurants have that option. And I can see it if someone is traveling and nowhere to store/carry foods with them. I think, if so restaurants are going to take EBT, whether hot or cold allowance, they should have ONLY healthy, inexpensive options for those cards... not the "usual" items.
Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up... food stamps cannot but lingerie. Food stamps can only buy food. EBT cards have two sections. The second section is cash, which can be used for anything... and cash can be withdrawn. I'd say stop the cash withdrawals, but not all landlords tale EBT payments... same with utilities. If the landlords and utilities were required to accept EBT cards, that would stop cash withdrawals for these other items.
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You can use the 2x4 without adding nails to it.