ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican lawmakers are proposing new restrictions on the use of electronic benefit cards for welfare recipients.

The bill from Sen. Doug Magnus and Rep. Kurt Daudt would prohibit withdrawing cash or buying tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets with the cards. It would also ban their use outside Minnesota and require users to show photo ID.

Magnus says he wants to stop abuse of the cards, which contain both federal food stamp benefits and state cash assistance for those on the Minnesota Family Investment Program.

Democratic Rep. Jeff Hayden says the proposal would punish the poor and could make it harder for people to look for work if they couldn’t get cash for bus fare or child care.

The bill doesn’t specify any penalties for violations.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (107)
  1. Diane says:

    There’s probably no real estimate on how much money is being wasted, but good, Christian Republicans are obsessed that poor people might get too much money. In their special Republican Bibles Jesus says, “The rich should be taxed less, and poor people are always trying to scam money out of people, so watch them closely.”

    1. tom says:

      And in the Liberal Democrat Bible….Oh that;s right, there is no Bible, cause there is no God. But if there were some kind of Liberal Bible, it would say: “Only suckers work for a living or pay their own way in life” Then Jesus performed the miracle of turning food stamps into cigarettes and lottery tickets.

      1. adam says:

        Wow, your life must suck.

      2. Kevin says:

        Another typical Liberal moron….”oh you dont want to pay for everyone to live’..your life must suck….idiots…

    2. tom says:

      Then Liberal Jesus said: “Give a man a fish and he eats for one day, but teach him how to milk the system, and he’ll never have to work again”.

      1. Eddie says:

        You need to read ALL of the Bible, not just the part that you apparently found that allows you to be such an angry jerk.

      2. Michelle says:

        I agree with you 100%!

      3. Michelle says:

        I’m agreeing with Tom.

      4. Michelle says:

        I’m agreeing with Tom only on his “Give a man a fish comment.

    3. Kevin says:

      Typical Liberal response…what a bunch of morons…

  2. RCG says:

    As one of the unfortunate ones who has to depend on the State’s minimal assistance for a single person, I have to say that if I weren’t allowed to take out the cash benefit, I wouldn’t be able to cover my rent. Having said that, try finding a place to rent for $203 a month. I used to be “irresponsible” enough to hand $100 bills to homeless people on the street, and my motto was to let them spend it however they chose, whatever made them less unfortunate for a minute. We’re not talking about a lot of money here. I agree with Diane, that the GOP somehow wants to punish poor people for falling on bad times. It can, and has, happen to anyone.

    1. Phid says:

      It’s absurd to think that the “GOP somehow wants to punish poor people for failing on bad times.”

      Honestly, what in the WORLD is wrong with wanting to prevent welfare money – which comes from the PEOPLE’S money – from going to pay for things such as someone’s alcohol or cigarettes? You personally might not have a problem with letting recipients do what they want with the money, but as a matter of policy at the state level that is just irresponsible.

      1. H2O says:

        This law will drive up the cost of doing business, again, in Minnesota. As a fiscal conservative, I cannot support this without first understanding the financial impact — and asking where is the benefit. This law will add to the cost of doing business in this state, and will increase the state’s bureaucracy — especially around monitoring compliance and around enforcement. So, before we dig too many ideological trenches, let’s ask for more information, like has the legislature actually seen a cost/benefit analysis?

  3. Albert says:

    Yeah, cash is over-rated. Besides, if we don’t make them flash their assistance card for absolutely everything, how will they meet their daily allotment of shame?!?

  4. adam says:

    Well, we can’t invalidate our stereotypes, can we?

    Girls can’t drive
    Old people are grumpy
    The French can’t be trusted

    and poor people are lazy, lying, stealing parasites. Unless one day I need help. Then never mind. And forget that whole “will of god” thing too. It wasn’t my fault.

  5. MAJ says:

    Lets stop the cycle of welfare. We have way too many women having babies way too young and this puts them in the cycle of poverty and the need for assistance. Good for these representatives to bring this issue to the attention of their fellow lawmakers. I wonder how many of these folks are finding the $$$$ to pay for cell phones, etc.?

    1. aurens says:

      If the problem is too many women having babies too young, give them educational assistance, sex ed, free contraceptives and access to abortion services, End of Problem.

  6. adam says:

    You’re right, instead of a low-cost pay-as-you-go cell phone, we should FORCE them to get a landline. They MUST pay installation costs every time they move. And they need to buy an answering machine instead of free voicemail on the cell phone to deal with job inquiries and other things.

    Dang good plan! That’ll learn ’em

  7. jbk says:

    There are too many out there that are abusing these benefits. I know of many who are abusing this system. One should not be able to support their tobacco and alcohol habits with this money. It’s not about punishing the poor. You may feel ashamed that you have to use a benefit card, ok, I can understand how that would be hard, but do something about it. Get off of assistance. Utilize every program that is available. No more excuses.

    1. adam says:

      Agreed – no alcohol, tobacco or lottery. However, you cannot expect these people to live without cash, and thus risk them buying these thing. It’s a tradeoff. Issue a certain amount in cash, or whatever workaround that can be thought of.

      1. tom says:

        Please post your address so they can all come to stay at your place for free. You’re probably one of them…so you can pool all your Mt. Dew and Cheetos and “share the land”

      2. adam says:

        Actually, I’m a Lutheran minister, and I only drink iced tea. You are welcome into the house of God any time.

      3. Mike says:

        Adam – you’re a Lutheran minister? And you’re responding this way? Your overgeneralization in examples about girls can’t drive, etc are absurd in making comparisons to those that are on welfare. Taxpayers just want accountability and I have seen plenty of examples working in an inner city hospital of those that are on welfare taking advantage of the system and not making good choices in life to allow them to be free from government assistance. No it doesn’t mean every person on welfare is not responsible with the taxpayers money. We all understand that there are good people that need extra help in life at times but we want them to be responsible with money that their given without any strings attached. You should know that the heart is essentially evil and people are prone to behavior that is deceitful. Or are you one of those liberal pastors that just believes in loving everyone and no accountability for anything else?

      4. adam says:

        And I’ve not said anything so shocking, just a bit snarky at times.

  8. Mark says:

    As a single dad who has custody of two young children – and I have been unemployed due to major medical problems – II depend on the cash assistance I receive to help put gas in my car, help pay rent and cover incidentals like dish soap toilet paper and other items not covered by food support. My cash benefit is only 532 a month….and food support for my family is around 400/mo..I wonder how those that would restrict the benefits would propose that we live while struggling to recover and budget for a family of three on about 1000/mo…can you find a two bedroom apt. for 532/mo?

    1. Sally P says:

      I don’t know what your situation is medically, Mark. But I have seen far too many people cause their own “medical problems” by drinking or eating too much or not taking care of themselves properly because they don’t think beyond themselves. Perhaps it was just a tragic accident or such for you and for that most all people understand. However don’t sit there and complain about money you get for free while the taxpayers pay for you and your children. It used to be that churches and other charitable organizations carried the burden for hard luck situations and that’s the way it really should be. That way there can be personal responsibility and you’re not just taking from a big pot of money that “no one will really miss” – Welfare folk need to have accountability for our money that they spend, including you. We are not saying you’re less of a person, just be responsible with what you’re given FOR FREE.

      1. Eddie says:

        Ha! Before FDR, people regularly STARVED TO DEATH without government aid. Whole towns took needy people, drove them miles out of town and dumped them on the side of the road.

        You have NO idea what you are talking about.

      2. Hello says:

        Before FDR – you mean for the past thousands of years? And what does that have to do with anything? You’re an idiot. Is anyone saying that welfare recipients should be shot or are wanted dead? No. The public is asking for accountability, can you spell that Eddie? Because your ability to reason is impaired and you’re not making sense. Would you give your child thousands of dollars per year and not ask a single question as to how they spent it despite evidence that they may be spending it irresponsibly? You would too, wouldn’t you?

      3. aurens says:

        ‘Welfare folk’ everyone has a story, sadly, we can’t sit on the sidelines and choose who is ‘worthy’ and who is not. If you want to get down to brass tacks, assistance in the form of food stamps and cash is much cheaper than prisons.

  9. Chris says:

    Whats the problem? Why should you use your neighbor’s money to play lottery tickets?

    If you’re on state assistance it should be used for living necessities. If you don’t like it find a way to get off it.

    1. Eddie says:

      That’s not the only change.

  10. Kevin says:

    Have you ever noticed that Liberals love to attack and call you names when you question their failed system? If you say that welfare should be a short term program. Or if you say that it is insane to be allowed to travel the world and use the welfare card. Or if you say you should not smoke, drink booze or gamble with my tax dollars. This state is insane! Channel 9 investigated the use of these cards month ago. They are being used all over the country and Mexico. This system is a freaking joke! And the Liberal idiots that push this down our throat….well…..your days are coming to an end…I guess one good thing is that Minnesota now ranks 37th in the nation for education…and Minnesota is now #1 for Gay people….and Minnestoa is now 2nd only to California for immigration…..its like Comedy Central here…..but I am not lauging….and I can not turn the channel!!!!!and I am sorry Mark that you are not able to get more money to live on….Good God…….

    1. Eddie says:

      We don’t attack you, only your narrow minds and black hearts. Because if we don’t, you and your elected minions do people harm.

  11. Murph says:

    Don’t expect the retailers to pay any fines for violations,but the camps are ready and waiting for ordinary poor people who do.As if paying 1/3 of your wages for taxes,another 3rd for oil products and electric service and the last 3rd for health insurance is going to leave anything left for people to buy food and housing is going to help anyone but the rich! There is a massive problem in the REAL world.That they either don’t get,or don’t care to know about! You will take this for how long?

    1. Halli says:

      Life was never meant to be fair Murph. Not everything is equal and fair, that’s just the way it is. Stop complaining about what your neighbor has and what you don’t have just because you have an envious heart. Be thankful you have a home and can actually work hard for your money. It does no one any good to sit home in front of the tv and get welfare money from those that have been gifted with entrepeneurship and motivation. Some are better at things than others and you’re not going to change that with your whining. Just accept the gifts you have and make the most of them with HARD WORK.

  12. George says:

    Most of you don’t have a clue about life or what it means to be human.

    1. Kevin says:

      Most of us are sick of paying your way in life….

    2. Shane says:

      Yes, George, it appears you seem to be the only real human out there. Thank you so much for being “human” and enlightening us cold, wicked people to our awful existence. Please offer us some more of your wisdom on living life so we can be like you.

      1. Cyndy says:

        Yes I am on assistance NOT because im lazy and don’t want to work. I was working 3 jobs until they went out of business I have put in apps anywhere and everywhere to get off assistants but when you are told that you are over qualified because of graduating with your diploma and also from college what do u do? Not only that what do u do when a person is in a major car accident and is unable to work now because no job wants to hire someone who is on oxygen and uses a walker to get around. I understand not using the card to buy alcohol, lottery tickets and tobacco, but not being able to withdraw cash to pay rent or buy household things is ridicules. Yes it is true there are ppl out there who do abuse the system but NOT all of us do. I do not have a problem showing where I put the money to use at, because me unlike some ppl even some who are not on assistance can account for every penny I spend.

  13. Victim Du Jour says:

    Democrats enable their co-dependent voters.

    It’s the people who abuse the welfare system, ripping off the people who need it the most.

    I can think of a few gas stations in town where you can see fraud happening right out in the open.

    1. Eddie says:

      And as an upstanding Republican citizen, you immediately reported the gas station owner for welfare fraud, right?


      Why not? Oh, of course. It’s much easier to chock up the experience in your brain as a justification of your belief that if you saw this once (or a few times), then of course it happens EVERYWHERE and involves EVERYONE.

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        The good stuff happens outside the store in the parking lot and the cashiers acting like the police don’t have time to respond when they do complain.

        One time I overheard a cashier happy the EBT was not working, and putting up a sign in the window.

      2. Eddie says:

        Nothing you’ve written invalidates what I’ve written.

  14. Shayna says:

    So what if you have to endure what you think is shame to spend taxpayers money? If you take money from your fellow people to help you out during a tough time, who cares? Most people understand that others fall on bad times but us taxpayers have great disdain for those who flaunt foolish spending right under our noses with the taxpayers money. If you need to do without your nails and hair being done professionally, so be it. It’s okay that you don’t look like you just stepped out of Saks Fifth Avenue when you’re on welfare. Thank God for the Republicans who are holding welfare recipients accountable to spending OUR money. Thank you Republicans!

    1. Eddie says:

      I’ll pray for your soul.

      1. Kevin says:

        Better yet Eddie…go play in traffic in dark clothes….cleanse the gene pool….

  15. Kelly says:

    God gave land to each adult free. he put them in a garden full of food and said eat! and garden! White man came to America and said whatever a mans basic needs are enslave him by making him pay for it. Then the white man took away the means to earn that money. Now all of the people are starving and the ways of the native Americans and their wise words are coming true. God gave us land free. Water free. Air free. food free. Our days are spent as we wish. If you white people don’t like slavery, stop it now. Apparently you like slavery and genocide, preventing people from having basic needs from God. Your enemies have called you infidels and you have proved them right. WELFARE is from the godless white man who enslaves mankind. It is called democracy. Moses and Jesus were both THEOCRACY enforcers and promoters. – white woman who is smart like the native American

  16. Eddie says:

    Another addition to the list. Gonna be a long night on my knees.

    Everyone please note: prayer versus wished death. Quite the broken record.

  17. Kelly says:

    The earth belongs to God. What man has put a price on and controlled to his disadvantage, God will set free. Do you not remember how he plagued Pharoah and then drown him and his cavalry in the red sea? Judgement has come! Those who charge for what God has given free, those who have enslaved mankind, they too will come to their end. This earth will be a paradise and those who are against it will soon perish!

    1. 40acres says:

      I agree with Kelly, but let me say this to all you bigots out there; quit stereotyping the poor. I agree that alcohol and cigarettes don’t need to be purchased with “tax dollars, but every EBT recipient isn’t irresponsible. I’m looking for a hand up,not a hand out.

  18. Kelly says:

    Do you not know that God has created the very gold that represents the money in your hand? The paper that has the face of your king? The back that you use to work for others? When will you who pay taxes realize that you have also set a price too high for the poor to afford so that he has to come to you to eat?

    I say today, set the price of land free. Give seeds to the poor, tools to garden and a shelter to keep him safe from the elements.

    Then if the poor man wants to eat, let him work his own land in his own garden for his own food!

    Cruel is the man who puts people out on the street and refuses him the means to provide for himself…
    Cruel is the man who condemns the one he condemned!

    On the day of the disaster of the poor one, God will lift him up!

    On the day of the disaster of the cruel one…a brutal cold wind will finish him off!

    1. Frances says:

      OH please; are you giving most of your money away? doubtful: you only want to spend other people’s money that they worked hard for. What’s wrong with accountability? You’re a fool if you just want to give your money away to every poor person. They are not all good intentioned but maybe you’ll learn that at some point in your near sighted life. I like how you leave out the quotes of the bible that point out the need for accountability and working hard for what you earn. I’ll bet you don’t get out much based on your myopic response.

  19. lchisholm says:

    Republicans and LIbertarians espouse this truly bizarre notion that the “natural order” of things is akin to a John Wayne, “every man for himself” existence.

    You know what single human quality built civilization? The ability of humans to act cooperatively and in the best interest of all in the face of uncertainly.

    I may listen more to the Republican call to the end of cheating the system if the arguments weren’t also tempered by bigotry and acts of violence.

    I guarantee you more business men cheat and blow our tax money far more than the poor. But I guess subsidizing middlemen for goods and services (sorry that’s EXACTLY what most business is) is a respected profession in our country.

    Don’t like welfare? Then support K-12 education and family planning, But I guess that costs money, requires you to actually teach your child to read before age 5 instead of blaming hand-tied teachers and forget that Jesus freed Christians from the Old Testament to simply worship God and live by the Golden Rule. ( Hm, funny neither Jesus nor the Ten Commandments called for hatred of gays…figure I’d throw that out there for Kevin)

    Finally, if you want to rail about immigration, why don’t you all start getting angry with the ONE immigrant who has really harmed this country: RUPERT MURDOCK. Oh, but right, he’s white and makes a lot of money from his ventures in Fox, so that means God must love him.

    Personally, I love THE HYPOCRISY.

    1. Pained says:

      Huh? You make such contradictory points that it’s hard to follow. Are you so blind that you don’t see that the media are the ones that show us the absurdities of only the far right or far left? Of course there are those that are extreme but that’s not the majority, it’s painful that it has to be pointed out to you. How do you offer this guarantee of the business man cheats more than a welfare recipient? I’ve seen plenty welfare recipients spend their free money carelessly and no I didn’t say everyone on welfare. Look around and open up your eyes. I’d love for you to be able to see the poor choices that beget the lack of finances…

    2. Eddie says:

      See, you hurt his brain with all your big words. Shame on you.

  20. Allah says:

    Indeed…lock n load sissy boy….

  21. Victim Du Jour says:

    I have no problem with people getting free food.

    There are many ways to distribute free food, through hospitals, public schools, community centers, government offices, police, fire stations and even food shelves set up by grocery stores.

    But Democrats always want to be the middle man so they can skim their share of it, or use it to scare their block voters.

    1. Eddie says:

      Not at all like the useful idiots that the Repubs get to vote en mass to defend tax cuts for millionaires, even though they haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being one.

      Historical precedent – all the idiotic southern white young men who went to die for “liberty” and “freedom” protecting the finances of old white slaveowners.

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        The United States has always been a civilized nation. Even the bad things don’t even compare to the human rights violations by Lenin and Stalin.

        Your old skool pothead way of thinking is becoming a thing of the 60’s.

        Being poor in the united states is so awful and cruel. -Not!

  22. IMaOnTheTake says:

    I know a guy who takes EBT cards/food stamps in exchange for drugs: At the beginning of the month the card holder uses some benefits to buy groceries and leaves some benefits on the card, for instance $40 in benefits; the card holder then gives the dealer the EBT card and the PIN in exchange for drugs; the dealer then buys food and gives the EBT card back to the card holder, That”s $0.50 on the $1.00, so $40 in food stamps will get you a $20 bag of weed or whatever the card holder is buying from the dealer. Sweet!!! As long as there are benefits to be bartered people will find a way to do it.

    1. adam says:

      You know a guy – BS.

      1. Mike says:

        Actually, Adam, I wouldn’t doubt that this is true. If people can come to the ER and get a prescription for narcotics and run down the street waving it in the air so they can get money for it; then there are people that could easily do what this guy says. You really are naive, aren’t you? You need to get out of the church and live on the streets for a while and watch what happens. Again, not everyone is bad but there are those that do this and happens more than once in a while. You’re naivete impedes you from seeing that people can be deceitful.

      2. IMaOnTheTake says:

        Sweetie, the facts have no concern for your uninformed and naive opinion.

  23. ANGRY!! says:


    1. Practical says:

      Let me guess, that means you’re on welfare? That’s a shocker given your response. WE WANT ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE MONEY THAT THEY ARE GIVEN. Is that too much to ask for? You need to look beyond yourself and your self interest in the taxpayers money. Just give us an accounting of how you spend the money you’re given FOR FREE – as long as you’re not spending it on things that aren’t practical you won’t get any guff from your neighbor – the taxpayer. Do you see now dumb dumb?

  24. Kc says:


  25. ExPat says:

    I’d say the temperature outside is falling as fast as the average IQ and forehead height of Minnesotans, judging both by the commentators on this web site (especially the Somali article the other day) and the morons like Bachmann that they elect.

    Minnesota nice is dead.

    1. Cassandra Kilbride says:

      Are you kidding me, Minnesota is not nice! They’re a bunch of two-faces.

  26. Kc says:

    IMaOnTheTake, Those are the jerks that ruin it for those really in need!! All I have to say is, God will take care of those people when he is ready. In the meantime, our governement has become more and more socialistic running peoples lives and pushing the poor and even middles class around that in due time the US will collapse. Read up on the collapse of Rome… Ancient European History.

    1. MNNice says:

      Kc – it’s not ruining it for anyone. Just don’t spend the money on alcohol and lottery tickets, okay?
      ExPat – looks like you’re a real liberal minded fella. Can’t see beyond your liberal mind, can you?

  27. Kj says:

    MNNice, If I had to be on welfare I should be able to spend that money on anything I like!!! I paid “IN” for more almost 30 years! I don’t do drugs or any of that, and do to my health never been a big drinker, but that “IS” my money, not just yours, it is mine too, so if I wanted to buy a beer (which I cannot stand), I should be able to! Do you really not think that these politicians don’t spend your money lavishly?? And again, the government is going too far! We will collapse someday, maybe not in our lifetime, but if the world lasts longer our kids or grandkids.

  28. Kj says:

    MNNice, This is no different than them telling you when you retire you cannot buy a beer on your social security that you paid in. Or buy a lotery ticket. Maybe they c=should start controlling that too??

    1. Allah says:

      Ummm…your an idiot…..enjoy the welfare life…..I love welfare…I came here with nothing but MN nice gave me everything…in my cournty I have more than the king….free house…free food….free money….Allah is so proud of MN and how they treat me…..I now have everything…and I have just got here…..may Allah be with you all…..and thank you for giving me everything for nothing…I have told my family and friends and they all want to come here and get these things too….Allah be with you all…

  29. MNNice says:

    So you have to do without alcohol, so what? Yes, they should control buying alcohol or lottery tickets especially because there are many irresponsible people who would take advantage of it and it’s the taxpayer’s money. If you don’t have any money saved up or can’t work a few hours a week to have a few indulgences then maybe you shouldn’t. People take advantage of the welfare system Kj, it’s just how it is and we have to control it somehow. You let the money you receive now cloud your judgment on this issue. No one’s saying don’t enjoy life now and again, but you shouldn’t be getting buzzed every day while someone else is paying for it.

    1. guest says:

      Really? Than why don’t you complain about those on medication? Hmm? Do you know how many people walk around half buzzed from prescribed medication just to get through a day of dealing with people like you who place the whole of USA financial criminal, and social problems on their backs? Oh, but be sure to make sure the impoverished cant buy cigs or alcohol… whoop whoop – By the way, your health insurance, credit card company, Bank, Mortgage holder… just reamed you up the ass AGAIN – but make sure you turn on people who actually live on 203.00 dollars a month. – yikes!

  30. Kj says:

    Practical, You really are blind aren’t you?? Shame on you! I will be laughing for days regarding your comment. I am more frugal than you would ever know you fool! I have worked my @ off for more years than you probably have and you may want to watch that attitude because my background is hiring and management you fool, and you are the people I do not hire. That is funny, isn’t it!

    1. MNNice says:

      Boy, you really are full of yourself.

  31. Kj says:

    For the record, I do not get welfare money! You all assumed! I do, however know people that do and need it, and have worked all of their lives and were laid off and intend to work as soon as they can! Okay, now that the record is straight, howmany of you have stopped at a corner and given some homeless person money or didn’t because you were worried they would spend it on alcohol or drugs? I give it because what they do with it is between them and God. There is not much Mn Nice out there!

    And as stated above, how will these people take the bus to work or pay for saycare if they have no cash?? The government is really thinking again, aren’t they?

    I sometimes wonder what questions God may ask when we get to heaven and what some of the ansers may be…

    I am done. There are not many Christains on this site.

    1. MNNice says:

      One last comment Kj because you really don’t seem to get it. No one cares if you get welfare money, we just care if you’re spending it carelessly on things you shouldn’t …. like alcohol, lottery tickets, stuff like that. Why is it that religion is always brought in on this. If you want to waste your money on the guy who takes your money and uses drugs, you are contributing to his lifestyle. You are okay with that? fine. What a great guy – I’m sure that’s what they’re saying so you can feel better about yourself offering no accountability with the money you so freely give. Yeah, they think you’re great because now they can get high. did you read the homeless man, Ted’s story? He would constantly use the money he got for alcohol and drugs. You are naive.

      1. guest says:

        You don’t have the right to tell grown adults what to spend their welfare money on. As for the issue of addiction – Thats why we have programs for those people who have addictions to drugs/alcohol. Time to jump down from high horse friend, with or with out money… we are ALL citizens here.

  32. Unbelievable says:

    I think that most of you did not read the article in which you are replying to.

    You are reacting to what somebody here “said it said” when it did not say that at all. And how quickly are we to blame low life government freeloaders who should be put on box cars and shipped out of the state! That sort of talk is really nothing but biased intolerant nonsense. Unbelievable.

    1. MNNice says:

      You really haven’t read any of the comments and thought about it – have you? Most of the comments suggested that there be responsibility on the part of the freeloader, not send them to any concentration camp. If you would set your emotions aside for a moment, you could see what they’re trying to say. You seem to be the intolerant one here. You’re blinded by your own hatred.

  33. Victim Du Jour says:

    Hey everyone! We have the most obese poor people in the world living in the United States!

    That’s why people from other countries are moving here. The USA is so unfair!!

    You don’t have to have sex with donkeys to feed your kids. Boooo hoooo!

    1. Max says:

      I hope you have some understanding of the fact that many poor people are obese due to a lack of access to healthy foods. Not everyone has the option of getting in a car, driving to Cub, spending $100 on a variety of nutritious foods and then going home to cook a well-balanced meal.

      I also hope that you’re not insinuating that it would be acceptable for someone to be put in a position in which they’d have to have sex with an animal in order to feed their kids.

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        Poor people are subject to human trafficking in other countries. And you are pretending EBT restrictions are worse than what people living in poverty in other parts of the world?

        You are just an enabler, just like someone making excuses for a drug addict or alcoholic.

        EBT cards work for healthy food too.

      2. Max says:

        I should have been clearer, I guess–I was just talking about here in the US. I understand that people live in appalling conditions worldwide, most without government aid. However, America is better than that.

        And of course EBT works for healthy food. The issue is lack of access. If you can’t afford to own a car, you’ve got limited funds, and you’ve got to get dinner on the table, are you going to take the 30-minute bus ride to the supermarket and get healthy stuff, or are you going to walk down to the corner convenience store for Hamburger Helper? We need to do better when it comes to empowering poor people to make healthy choices for their families. Actually, the Cub foods on West Broadway in North Minneapolis is a great step in the right direction. We need more of that.

  34. Kj says:

    MnNice, No, not full of myself. Shame on practiccal for calling me or anyone else on this site, dumb, dumb… I think he was the one who was full of himself… have a good night!

  35. miki says:

    Okay, so I’m not getting into the argument above, because I DID learn something from the events of the past week.

    But here is something that I know about EBT cards used out of state. I have a friend who works hard at a Walmart and gives what she has to her grandkids. I’m not going to pass judgment on whether her children should be having children, because I believe that God is the one who decides who should be born and who should die. I’m funny that way.

    Every year, her sister, who is retired from working for the state in California, pays for a plane ticket for my friend to come visit her, and she also paid for their cruise to Hawaii. I would not be surprised if my friend spent some of her EBT card to pay for groceries. It’s a matter of pride, you know, not to have people always paying your way.

    My friend works every hour that she is given at her job. My friend’s sister misses her and wants to see her.

    I agree there are abuses to this system. But maybe we could all learn a bit more tolerance.

    1. MNNice says:

      I admire your friend but this has nothing to do with being tolerant. Tolerant of the one’s who do spend their money foolishly? Can I say this one more time – WE JUST WANT ACCOUNTABILITY. That’s it.

      1. Max says:

        This is not a personal attack, I’m honestly curious: I understand that many people want more accountability for how welfare dollars are spent on an individual level. But so many more tax dollars are going towards, say, the military. And we know that military fraud exists. But why isn’t there the same demand for accountability there?

    2. Mike says:

      Because we’re not talking about the military right now, we’re talking about welfare recipients and abuses of the system. Does that clear things up for you? Yes, I think all would agree that the taxpayers money needs accountability in all areas. Okay? That’s what most of the Republicans have been trying to say – use our money wisely so we won’t be in such debt.

      1. Max says:

        True, this isn’t about the military. But I can’t imagine a story related to military spending would attract such a passionate response from commenters here. Would you really deny that people have a stronger emotional reaction to welfare fraud than they do to military fraud?

      2. Mike says:

        No I couldn’t deny that. It’s because the military are usually hard working people who are defending our country. Please don’t write back all their imperfections. We are all aware in this fallen world of ours that the military isn’t ideal. Let’s just take one subject at a time however. If you have a passion for keeping the military accountable, go for it. I, personally, feel a passion for spouting off about those who refuse to take accountability when it comes to taxpayers money. So shoot me.

      3. Max says:

        I’m not talking about individual members of the military. I respect them and appreciate their service. I’m talking about US military officials misusing the power and funds allotted to them. You say you “feel a passion for spouting off about those who refuse to take accountability when it comes to taxpayers money.”

        The largest two welfare programs take up 2% of the federal budget. National defense takes up 58%. I’m not saying that national defense shouldn’t take up a significant portion of the federal budget. What I am saying is that exponentially more of your tax dollars are going towards military fraud than they are towards welfare fraud.

        So if you feel passionate about accountability, shouldn’t you feel passionate both about abuse of the welfare system AND abuse of defense funding? Sorry to nitpick. But I would be willing to bet that a lot of people commenting on this story demanding accountability for the use of tax dollars are disproportionately concerned about welfare fraud. That, of course, brings me back to my original question.

      4. Mike says:

        Now let’s take a look see at that state budget. How much of the pie goes to the welfare recipients in this state? I do believe it’s larger than the 2% you cited for federal budget. You just want to be right, Max? fine, I don’t have any fast and hard facts about the military spending and possible fraud. Let’s not discount the fact that our state money needs to be spent wisely. Wisely.

      5. Max says:

        I agree with you, it needs to be spent wisely. And welfare spending in MN is much, much higher than it is on the federal level. What I’m getting at is that the poor are unfairly demonized for being a burden to the average American taxpayer. Although some people abuse the system, there are much greater injustices for Americans to be concerned about, but people just gobble up the image of the welfare queen. Poor people are not the enemy.

  36. Shell says:

    Get invoved. Stop complaining about the system and let’s fix it. Educate yourself. Find the answers and share them. SOME rich people lie, cheat and steal to pad their millions. SOME poor people do the same to survive. It’s not a perfect system. I’ve worked in Human Services for 16 years. I’ve seen those we helped and some who just have taken advantage of it. I can tell you that a high percentage of the money we give them just goes right back into your local economy for food, clothing or cell phone plans. I can also tell you that when I enjoy my retirement years with the money I saved, some of the same clients will be filling out the same forms just to survive each month. Work pays. I will enjoy my nice house they can enjoy their section 8 housing.

    1. Shayeesha says:

      Or just vote Republican. And by the way – a HIGH PERCENTAGE goes back into our economy? MmmHmm. The taxpayers have to provide for the initial burden of money so it can be “put back into the economy”. Did you think about that part of it? That’s the part we’re talking about. The taxpayers don’t see that money come back to them. Are you just dull in the head?

      1. Shell says:

        NO I am not dull in the head. I realize there is an issue. I am just pointing that fact out. Like I said the system needs to be fixed and we need answers not complaints.

  37. RachelClaire says:

    Judge not lest you be judged!

    1. Sam says:

      Oh yes, well put RachelClaire. Thank you for the original statement. I think we can all stop blogging, folks. RachelClaire seems to have said it all. Hopefully she has a website that we can all go to in case we’re in a quandry as to the meaning in life and such.

  38. James T. Darius says:

    Wow it only took them how many years to think this kind of restriction might be helpful? Now lets get background checks and random drug and alcohol screening up and running to be on the program and I would feel better about my tax dollars going into it!

  39. BillC says:

    It’s a shame.

    Years ago, a young man dressed in a beautiful suit… dressed as good as I, approached me in a parking lot in Minneapolis and told me that his car ran out of gas a block an a half away. I looked into my wallet and spied three ones and a five dollar bill. I gave him the three ones

    As I cought up to the group I was going into the restaurant with they all but one gave me a hard time about being hustled. I gave this young black man three dollars and now I am ridiculed for allowing myself to be cheated? Three dollars was nothing to me then. I was wearing an eight hundred dollar suit.

    Today it means much more. I weep as I pass others as I pass them by… with their signs… and I wonder how soon I might wear my sign. You people shame me. When three dollars means nothing in the greater scheme of things to your finances, why would you ridicule someone who gives that up and lets it rest in God’s hand’s to sort it out?

    This young man looked so dejected to have to ask. He had bypassed all of the group that I was going to lunch with. He appologised several times. He was probably someone on a job interview… down to his last thread. Isn’t that what we all want? Someone who is alive and still kicking? Give me someone, anyday, who is mortified to have to ask for help.

    I don’t know this young man (not so young anymore)… but he is my brother.

  40. Pondering says:

    Many people do not know that legislature passed a law saying people who receive money for housing for example, get a Visa card and they can spend the money any way they want to. If they want to get their nails done, they can do so at the government expense.

    I really feel for those that do need it but so many people abuse the system! I know someone that owns a gas station and gets asked to buy a $300 EBT card for $50 so he can get his drug fix. Seriously, use it for your family – not your drug fix.

    I think there should be drug tests to be able to get public assistance. I have to take a drug test at my job where I get my paycheck. Why can’t they have to take random drug tests? You fail the drug test, sorry no money for you.

    Have you ever walked by the welfare building in Saint Paul off of Kellogg? Look at some of the nice cars they drive. Also, look how many squad cars end up being there as well. I have seen cars torn apart as they found a ton of drugs in them.

    I think they need to be more strict on it. If you really need public assistance, there shouldn’t be any issue as you are one that most likely would follow the rules. Why waste all this money on people who don’t even use it for what it is intended for?

  41. GS says:

    I work at a gas station and recently energy drinks were made available to purchase on EBT. Not only are energy drinks not a LIVING NECESSITY they are one of the most bought items on the EBT card now. Another thing i have learned is that the money a Native American receives from their reservation each month is not counted into their yearly earnings and thus they are more likely to receive government assistance because the free $500 a MONTH they get “doesn’t count”. I could be wrong about this, but i have heard it from many people.
    EBT should be run like WICC. They should only be usable for certain items i.e. groceries that are necessary. The cash side should only be able to buy gas and if they wish to take cash out to pay rent, they should have to go to the human services office and they make a bake note of sorts addressed to the land lord and take the money off the cash side at the office.
    I’m not saying people don’t need the assistance, i’m saying that it should be more strict and monitored so people who work the 9-5 aren’t supporting the people whom fritter away their money on things they don’t need.

  42. amy says:

    Kentucky just passed a new law: To be on Food stamps, Medicaid,or Cash Assistance on your Children or yourself You have to pass a DRUG Test. Now every other state should do the same.
    I agree that there truly are some families who need this support-but not for life. Get the help you need to get your life on track, then ‘pay it forward.’ Get off this program so others in need can use the benefits. Many abuse the system and that is not okay.

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