Hold food stamp abusers accountable

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

If you find someone’s wallet, is it OK to spend the money in it, because the owner shouldn’t have been careless, shouldn’t have lost his wallet? If your paycheck has $100 more on it than you know you are owed, is it OK to spend that extra $100, because the company shouldn’t have made a mistake?
Do people not have an obligation to be honest when a mistake is made?
So what about those who knowingly overspent their food stamp benefits when a problem with their electronic benefits card failed to limit their purchase? News reports tell how some Wal-Marts and other stores had their shelves “cleaned out” when food stamp recipients figured out they weren’t limited to their regular benefit.
While food stamp officials say the stores should have followed procedures to limit purchases, or point to the company that administers the electronic card and say it’s responsible for any overpayments, does that absolve individual food stamp recipients from any responsibility for taking advantage?
If you were a food stamp recipient who typically gets $200 a month in benefits, because there’s a glitch with the card processing, would that make it seem all right to spend $400?
They had to know this was a mistake.
It’s amazing how government officials have said they won’t hold the recipients responsible, but that the stores or perhaps the card administrators can prosecute the individuals if they want.
What a horrible signal that sends to the recipients and the rest of us.
Here is an effort to help people who supposedly are a bit down on their luck, and it’s OK if they take advantage of, or cheat, the system that’s trying to help them.
If the food stamp card had a glitch and showed $50 less in
benefits than a recipient was to receive, would those same government officials tell the recipients they need to sue the card administrator or the store for the difference?
If I steal from a local store, is it the store’s fault because if it didn’t want me to steal, and it should have had better security? That’s what food stamp officials seem to be telling benefit recipients.
Those who took advantage, who cheated, need to be held responsible.
– Will Chapman, Daily Iberian/Wick Communications