Hot new idea from New York: Let’s ban sugary drinks for people on food stamps

posted at 10:19 pm on October 7, 2010 by Allahpundit

Alternate headline: “Poor people to be deprived of one of few remaining simple pleasures.”

Bloomberg and Paterson planned to announce Thursday that they are seeking permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the nation’s food stamp program, to add sugary drinks to the list of prohibited goods for city residents receiving assistance.

If approved, it would be the first time an item would be banned from the federal program based solely on nutritional value.

The idea has been suggested previously, including in 2008 in Maine, where it drew criticism from advocates for the poor who argued it unfairly singled out low-income people and risked scaring off potential needy recipients…

The ban would apply to any beverage that contains more than 10 calories per 8 ounces, except for milk products, milk substitutes like soy milk and rice milk, and fruit juices without added sugar.

It’s designed as a two-year temporary program so city officials can study the effects and it would only reach beverages, not other forms of junk food, since they’re allegedly the main drivers of obesity. I’m curious to see how you guys react to this one. On the one hand, if you’re willing to take government money, you play by government rules. (Unless you’re dead, of course, in which case you’re free and clear.) On the other hand, no one who’s read the previous post will fail to make the connection between (a) government agencies trying to limit consumption of certain foods for public health reasons and (b) the idea that it’s constitutionally okay to mandate certain health-care activities because we’re all participating in interstate medical commerce to some degree. If the feds can force you to buy insurance to help spread the costs of medical care, surely they can impose restrictions on consuming sugary drinks in the interest of keeping the costs of medical care related to obesity down. The only question is whether they’d have to do it on the demand end, by somehow penalizing purchasers (a nice big tax on soda!), or whether they could go after the actual suppliers. DOJ vs. Coca-Cola? Let’s do this.

Seriously, though, at some point the government meddling would so infuriate people that the electoral backlash would wash it all away, no? If you think the left is going to take a beating this November, imagine the beating they’ll take once Coke is eight dollars a bottle. Four hundred Republican House seats or bust!


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I’m fine with that. If only we could ban the purchase of anything using food stamps. :)

clement on October 7, 2010 at 10:22 PM

+100

Lou Budvis on October 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Rbastid on October 7, 2010 at 11:48 PM

.
You would ban bacon?
And I thought I was heartless.

LincolntheHun on October 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM

100% Stupidity.

We give out food stamps because the cost of food is high. Sugar is one of the cheapest sources of calories, so by all means let’s stop those who can’t afford food from buying the cheapest food! Brilliant!

Oh, it isn’t the most nutritional food? They can buy candy and cookies and potato chips with food stamps – will you ban those too? Say, why not make food stamps ONLY good for organic arugula and rutabagas?

Was this a Bloomberg idea, perchance? It smacks of his degree of insanity . . .

Adjoran on October 8, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Years ago, I was at a discount supermarket in Sacramento, and I was behind a couple with two kids at the checkout line.

They had a boatload of rice, beans, just a bit of some cheaper cuts of beef and chicken, milk, orange juice, cheese, a bunch of vegetables, and tortillas. It filled up the shopping cart and was something like $42, which they paid for with food stamps (this was before the card).

It wasn’t my usual diet, but it was wholesome and healthy. And I remember thinking, “if everyone used food stamps this way, how could anyone begrudge them?” They probably ate for a month off that trip.

As a nation, we should not see anyone — regardless of employment, sanity, or criminal record — go hungry within our borders. That said, there’s nothing that says such nutrition need be better than nutraloaf. Myself, I’d like to see the poor retain enough dignity (and survival skills) to eat traditional foods like the family I saw.

cthulhu on October 8, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Make them eat a ‘lite’ version of MREs. Every day.

You price MRE’s lately? I was shocked to learn when I attended USMC School of Infantry and had to purchase my own MRE’s for training (I was on per diem and had to pay my own subsistence) that they ran 72 bucks for a box of 12. MRE’s are too good for freeloaders. And too expensive for me to buy them.

quikstrike98 on October 8, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Sorry…that was 72 bucks for a box of 6. 12 bucks apiece. In 1996.

quikstrike98 on October 8, 2010 at 12:05 AM

Nanny States tend to end up with healthful gulags if left unchecked.

If the State can tell people what to eat, why not tell them when to eat?

And where. And how. And how much. And what brand.

And what city you can live in, for your health. And what healthy job you can pursue. And the healthiest car to drive.

And even the healthiest thoughts to think.

And whatever else the Nanny State decrees.

Health is sending us to hell.

profitsbeard on October 8, 2010 at 12:06 AM

Baxter Greene on October 7, 2010 at 11:33 PM

LOL..I think you are correct in Ms. Welch as No. 1..It is hard to argue with that choice..It is a very good choice IMHO..:)

Dire Straits on October 8, 2010 at 12:21 AM

LOL..I think you are correct in Ms. Welch as No. 1..It is hard to argue with that choice..It is a very good choice IMHO..:)

Dire Straits on October 8, 2010 at 12:21 AM

I know you have great taste…..so I won’t argue with any of your top 10 picks…..I will take them all……you know….in the spirit of true sportsmanship.

Baxter Greene on October 8, 2010 at 12:30 AM

Baxter Greene on October 8, 2010 at 12:30 AM

I hear you..:) This is a hard subject to make a Top 10 or a top 100..And that my friend is a good thing..:)

Dire Straits on October 8, 2010 at 12:33 AM

If I’m paying for their health insurance, then surely I’m entitled to a say in behavior which increases risk, right? That includes diet and sexual activity.

malclave on October 7, 2010 at 10:22 PM

My thoughts exactly.

Am I the only one who is thinking, “meh, big deal–get a DIET Pepsi next time…?” Then again, being diabetic does put a different spin on all this…

(…and, likewise, for some of us, we need to occasional sugary item around, in case of insulin shock, etc..)

CatsGodot on October 8, 2010 at 12:36 AM

My understanding is that you can’t buy prepared food with food stamps, no matter how healthy or nutritious it is. You can buy bread, meat and cheese, but you can’t buy a sandwich from the deli. You can buy raw shrimp, but you can’t get it steamed at the counter.

The point of that restriction is that food stamps aren’t there for you to drive through McDonald’s or walk into Applebee’s, and eat a prepared meal; food stamps are there to purchase for you the ingredients of a meal which you then prepare yourself.

This is a good restriction, because it maximizes the percentage of every taxpayer dollar that goes to actual food, with little to none spent on value-added services that amount to luxuries.

To the extent that food stamps can be used to buy non-nutritional food items, then they are subsidizing people’s luxury purchases. At that point we may as well be giving them X-Box stamps or PlayStation stamps or Big-Screen TV stamps.

Also: Be careful not to equate food stamps with charity. Charity is, by definition, voluntary; food stamps come from our taxes, which, uh… aren’t. It’s good form when dispensing charity to go light on the conditions you impose on it. When it comes to taxpayer-funded subsidies, it’s foolishness.

greggriffith on October 7, 2010 at 11:23 PM

As someone who was recently ON food stamps myself I can tell you some of the following:

The food stamp program uses an EBT (Electronic Bank Transaction) Card in almost all 50 States.

Although it is “administered” by the Feds each State sets up rules governing how and what it can purchase, provided those rules aren’t already covered by the Feds. A good example of this is no prepared or “pre-cooked” foods. This actually happened to me, where I went to Wal-Mart to buy food and purchased something from the “hot-bar”. I found out food stamps don’t cover it and wound up bouncing a check to my girlfriend (very VERY embarrassing btw)

When they ended July 31st (started in early March) I choose not to reapply because by that point it had served its purpose. When I got food stamps I was living in my mother’s basement and had been out of work for 16 months. In the intervening time I moved to another state, lived in my car and a hotel, survived by a small amount of money I had squirreled away and for food was given charity by my church, my girlfriend and when I realized they still worked the food stamp card. I found a job and an apartment.

When the food stamps ran out I simply reduced my intake to 1 meal a day and essentially starved for a while until my hours at the job picked up and I was able to purchase more food. Since I work in a restaurant, after I explained the situation to my boss he was kind enough to look the other way if I scarfed down an occasional sandwich or bowl of soup.

The point (in my opinion) of welfare is not to be a permanent or even semi-permanent handout. It is TEMPORARY and for me it served its ORIGINAL INTENDED PURPOSE. That is to help keep me from starving to death.

To that end I WELCOME any and all restrictions placed by ANY locality upon the Food Stamp, AFDC, WIC, and/or other programs.

If this means no soda-GREAT
NO cake-GREAT
No Ho-hos-WONDEFUL

If you take money from the government, there SHOULD be strings attached PRIMARILY so that you want to STOP HAVING TO AS SOON AS YOU CAN!

Honestly if MREs weren’t so dammned expensive and I could get access to them I’d readily buy and eat those, instead of some of the crap I’ve had to eat.

You ever eat out of a garbage pile from a restaurant? I have and good God its not an experience I want to repeat!
If SNAP Cards (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program-new name for Food Stamps) keep people from having to endure that well I honestly don’t mind too much.

I would prefer that all of this be dealt with privately from Church and other Private Orgs, as that is where I went most of the time when I needed help, but if the Government has a hand in it well DON’T LET THEM EAT CAKE!

SgtSVJones on October 8, 2010 at 12:50 AM

I worked in a supermarket in PA when I was a teen and back then, soda was not allowed.

lonestar1 on October 7, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Thanks, lonestar1. I also grew up in PA and remember that food stamps could not be used to purchase soda or chips or other junk. I wasn’t aware those rules had been relaxed. Hence, I was neither surprised nor bothered by this proposal by NYS. A person can be foursquare in favor of freedom of choice and not have a problem with restricting what people on food stamps can buy. Esp. in the wake of the story about Cali people on the dole cashing their government checks in casinos. If you want to rot your teeth out of your head with Mountain Dew, then get a job and buy your own. I’m not going to buy it for you and then have to pay your Medicaid dental bills on top of it all.

NoLeftTurn on October 8, 2010 at 12:51 AM

The food stamp program was intended only to augment a family’s food budget, not replace it, so I have no problem restricting the kinds of foods available under it to those that have actual nutritional value. However, I oppose government prohibiting select non-nutritional foods because they “drive” obesity. If government eliminates all sugary and snack foods from the program, it will get no argument from me. In fact, that’s my preference. But I oppose Bloomberg and Paterson’s targeted nanny-statism.

We all know the kind of manipulation and abuse that goes on in the food stamp program. To suggest that “poor” people won’t be able to get their hands on junk food if they can’t buy it directly with food stamps is ridiculous.

SukieTawdry on October 8, 2010 at 1:07 AM

If you have a problem with it, amend the Constitution.

What’s the point in amending it when people like you interpret it to mean whatever you want to mean anyway, no matter what it says?

xblade on October 8, 2010 at 1:19 AM

If you have a problem with it, amend the Constitution.

What’s the point in amending it when people like you interpret it to mean whatever you want to mean anyway, no matter what it says?

xblade on October 8, 2010 at 1:20 AM

I annoy people about the governments handling of cigarettes and I have never smoked one in my life. They regulated and taxed smokers non-stop while giving taxpayer subsidies to tobacco farmers. I assume the foreign demand is what keeps the cigarette companies afloat.

Cindy Munford on October 8, 2010 at 1:24 AM

Make them eat a ‘lite’ version of MREs. Every day.

Dark-Star on October 7, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Violates the 8th Amendment.

malclave on October 8, 2010 at 1:39 AM

What’s the point in amending it when people like you interpret it to mean whatever you want to mean anyway, no matter what it says?

xblade on October 8, 2010 at 1:20 AM

What we need is a Conservative interpretation of Article IV, Section 4. Hey, it’s a living document, so the words mean whatever we want them to mean, right?

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government

Once electing Democrats is declared unconstitutional, then we can start over.

malclave on October 8, 2010 at 1:42 AM

Liberal Fascists are quick to stamp out happiness and replace it with misery in pursuit of their eugenics agenda.

Soylent green, anyone?

landlines on October 8, 2010 at 2:04 AM

Liberal Fascists are quick to stamp out happiness and replace it with misery…

landlines on October 8, 2010 at 2:04 AM

The lines could not be clearer:

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

vs.

Death, Slavery, and the Acceptance of Misery

Saltysam on October 8, 2010 at 2:13 AM

Well, coming off my rotation in Dietary Service, moving quickly on to Surgical Urology, I was sort of surprised at how much I did not know that the dietician did. I learned a ton about food grouping, and such, just a quick aside to it, when sick, eat more carbs and proteins and fats. You need more calories to combat a viral illness, not less (even though you’d likely not want to).

Still, the topic at hand is one where I can see the side of conservatism: stay out of my food purchases, yet when Food Stamp recipients can buy alcohol, smokes, and candy from it. What’s the point?

We are funding yet another problem. I say stick Food Stamps into a narrow list of food purchases and eliminate certain “want” items. if they want it, let them pay for it with cash….their own, not mine.

How many crack ho’s do we finance with stamps and find out they use it for alternative means. Crack down….no pun intended.

JP1986UM on October 8, 2010 at 2:51 AM

I dislike Boomberg’s idea as much as I dislike M Obama’s idea to control what is served in school lunches.

While I do not like handouts, I know some of the folk getting this help really need it. They are stuck, and they do not all have farmland to grow crops.

The money is spent regardless. But when government starts defining what you can put in your mouth, to survive, there is no end. Right now the excuse to control is to improve your health. Later, they could design foods which would reduce agression, or promote lethargy or compliance. Foods which would sedate, or foods which could cause physical grief. What recourse does the dependent have upon his master’s choices? None.

There have already been studies implying meat eaters are more agressive. Carbon credits will guide the menus to something the masters will not eat

I would rather the poor ate corn dogs and cheetos, than soylent green.

People are not cattle. Bloomberg is not a cattle rancher. I do not want the Boombergs turning Americans into cattle. I want the poor to be able to refuse what is being forced down their gullets

Bloomberg is one sick puppy

entagor on October 8, 2010 at 3:56 AM

We don’t need to give the government any ecuses to start dictating diet, even for people who are getting government food. Rather than worry about whether food stamp recipients should be denied certain types of food just because they’re bad for you, let’s focus on going further with welfare reform.

This proposal by Bloomberg is classic feel-good, ineffective, totalitarian liberalism. Restricting the types of food has absolutely nothing to do with food stamps per se, and everything to do with a nanny-state government wanting to dictate to a group of people how to live in pursuit of their social betterment goal of reducing obesity.

And like all liberal “solutions,” it will accomplish nothing. While it’s certainly true that someone who is trying to lose weight can get an advantage by cutting out soft drinks, that will only do some good if it’s part of a complete program to lose weight. If a person is not trying to lose weight already, being forced to buy their own sugary drinks will have zero impact. It’s too easy to just eat more, or do less.

And have no doubt that the only reason they’re talking about doing this for food stamp recipients is because the food stamps give them an excuse. They will find an excuse for the rest of us. We can never accept the premise that the government has some vested right in denying anyone sugary drinks.

When the government sticks its foot in the door like this, the only safe action is to chop it off, not to accept it for some group of people who “deserve” it.

There Goes The Neighborhood on October 8, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Soda is crap, so if you have the means to buy it, you shouldn’t be receiving food stamps in the first place.

You want soda? Get a job and pay for it yourself. Great idea.

NoDonkey on October 8, 2010 at 4:06 AM

There Goes The Neighborhood on October 8, 2010 at 4:00 AM

IOW, the government has no vested right to try to force or pressure its people to eat better or exercise more. Not even if the people in question are fat, lazy, welfare recipients.

(FTR, being a welfare recipient does not imply being fat and lazy. That’s only true if you stay on welfare when you could be working and earning your living.)

There Goes The Neighborhood on October 8, 2010 at 4:09 AM

Hey, no worries! The casinos and cruise lines still take food stamp debit cards, and there is a huge black market where you can trade them in for cold hard cash and buy all the vodka and Red Bull you want.

IrishEi on October 8, 2010 at 4:31 AM

SgtSVJones on October 8, 2010 at 12:50 AM

What an amazing story you have! I’d love to hear more. Do you have a blog?

I definitely agree that any government assistance program (if at all) should be limited for the express purpose of getting people off them when the need passes. My experience as a single mom on Medicaid for my pregnancy taught me that sometimes assistance is good in a crisis, but too many exploit the crisis to stay on the good assistance. :) I saw a lot of abuse of that taxpayer-funded gift and it further solidified my desire for independence and personal responsibility.

Bee on October 8, 2010 at 4:45 AM

This one I can’t get excited about. Why did we ever let people buy sugared drinks with food stamps?

J.E. Dyer

We didn’t. Years ago taxable items, soda, candy, junk food, etc were not permitted for purchase with welfare/food stamps.

I don’t know when that changed.

Urban Infidel on October 8, 2010 at 6:33 AM

Overall, I am in favor of this. I recognize the paternalism argument, but ultimately, I think if you’re going to be a ward of the nanny state, the nanny gets to dictate your lifestyle.

I’m a libertarian, and it pains me to say that, but it’s true. If you’re on food stamps and you don’t like being told what to do, get off food stamps. Of course, there are some who simply cannot do this through no fault of their own, and that’s unfortunate. But if you’re dependent on the state, you have to take the good with the bad.

And if you become healthier because of it, all the better. But even so, you still have the option of spending your own money on sugary drinks or other dietary no-no’s.

frode on October 8, 2010 at 7:21 AM

Hot new idea from New York: Let’s ban sugary drinks for people on food stamps

This is what happens when you put the PC “sour” people in charge.

10% unemployment the national mood/morale is low American people are angry and Bloomberg is indulging his OCD. Bloomberg, and the rest of the NANNY state doesn’t get the concept of “Free People” what so ever. Nancy Pelosi says being on food stamps is good for the economy, and Bloomberg just wants to tweak who is consuming what, from what companies. They could care less who is drinking soda, they got to have the money flow to their corporate handlers coffers. Looks like Pepsi and Coke didn’t respond to their campaign pleas for campaign donations LOL!

I don’t think people in his country have any clue just how much ROT we have in our government.

Dr Evil on October 8, 2010 at 7:26 AM

I honestly do not know who is the bigger numbskull here, Bloomberg or Patterson or both!

These two idiots seem to be embarked on a epic mission to make themselves the biggest laughingstocks in the entire history of the planet, and so far, they are succeeding on an almost majestic scale!

What is even more amazing is the number of equally boneheaded fools who think these two bozos are just chock full of brilliant ideas.

No wonder New York state in in the condition it is in!

pilamaye on October 8, 2010 at 7:34 AM

What a GREAT idea! POOR folks don’t deserve to enjoy themselves. No more birthay cakes either! Also, no more skateboarding, riding in cars, john barleycorn or dancing. How about concentrating on gangs, murders and robberies. Try helping them rather than harassing them.

tgillian on October 8, 2010 at 7:58 AM

You price MRE’s lately? I was shocked to learn when I attended USMC School of Infantry and had to purchase my own MRE’s for training (I was on per diem and had to pay my own subsistence) that they ran 72 bucks for a box of 12. MRE’s are too good for freeloaders. And too expensive for me to buy them.

quikstrike98 on October 8, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Ack! No I haven’t…my info must be badly out of date. Thanks for the heads-up.

Violates the 8th Amendment.

malclave on October 8, 2010 at 1:39 AM

No joke? Icing on the cake then. Man did was that idea ever full of fail.

Dark-Star on October 8, 2010 at 7:59 AM

Hey, when the government pays your bills, you aren’t free.

This is a great way to remind people of it.

American Elephant on October 7, 2010 at 10:29 PM

I didn’t read through everything here, but this is certainly a winner for me.
The WIC program already does this. You can only buy nutritious foods with WIC checks.
I went on food stamps 2 times in my life, both bcs I was desperate & all the food pantries were bare & I had no family to help at the time.
The 1st time was when I lived in Bellevue WA & I was on assistance for 3 months, full welfare, bcs my employer let me go bcs I wanted to go to college & they wanted me full not part time & as a divorced mom, I wasn’t getting any assistance from my ex then.
It was the most humiliating experience & I was embarassed every day for those 3 months. And I recall when I got the food stamps (then it was fake looking $$, not a card) I got so much that I couldn’t spend it all.
The 2nd time I only got food stamps for another 3 months when I was in college & my ex quit paying child support.
Again, I got so much in food stamps I couldn’t spend it all for 2 people.
And I bought healthy things, not prepared foods.
I believe the govt has the right to be your daddy when you are purposely depending upon them for help.
If you don’t like what they tell you to do, just like your parents, move out on your own & support yourself.
This is why churches & charity organizations should be in charge of charity, not the govt.
If we as the people see fit to give tax dollars to the govt who in turn may distribute grants to charities (whole ‘nother ball o’ wax-why should the govt even do this in the 1st place for anything), then at least the charity can spend the $$ better in most cases.
Poor in the US has got NOTHING on the real poor who live in 3rd world countries.
We have it so good in this country it’s disgusting how politicians use our ‘poor’ to redistribute everyone else’s wealth.
Many people on welfare are going just fine bcs they work under the table.
All the home visits & such do not see this side of it, or they ignore it.

Badger40 on October 8, 2010 at 8:04 AM

If this is put in place the ban on sugary drinks will eventually spread to other cities, then to people not on foodstamps. These people never, ever stop until they have full control and everyone is either dead or in jail.

darwin on October 8, 2010 at 8:21 AM

When one asks for assistance, one shouldn’t be picky in how that assistance is provided.

zoyclem on October 8, 2010 at 8:23 AM

SgtSVJones on October 8, 2010 at 12:50 AM

There was a time during my college years, living in WA state & WY, that I chose to live in a tent & in my car, or bunk with friends while my daughter was visiting her father for the summers so I could save rent $$ & work & save up for $$ to live on during the semesters.
Churches & other groups do run charities & programs to help people going through what we went through.
And there were a few times I swallowed my pride to call estranged family for a little help.
I will agree that the 2X I was on assistance it helped me.
But looking back, I didn’t fully explore my options & I should have.
I knew a woman with 6 kids & widowed at a young age who never went on govt assistance, but the LDS church, of which she was a member, helped her through their ‘welfare’ program.
The LDS church has one of the best run assistance programs I have ever seen.
They actually have you work for your assistance if you don’t have a job & even if you do, you are asked to provide assistance in the form of helping out at the church’s canning factory, etc.
I do not think the govt should be providing charity assistance if at all possible.
The fraud that occurs is tremendous.
This type of fraud gets minimized when individual organizations administer help.

Badger40 on October 8, 2010 at 8:28 AM

We need to ban socialism from politicians….

jeffn21 on October 8, 2010 at 8:30 AM

They had a boatload of rice, beans, just a bit of some cheaper cuts of beef and chicken, milk, orange juice, cheese, a bunch of vegetables, and tortillas. It filled up the shopping cart and was something like $42, which they paid for with food stamps (this was before the card).

It wasn’t my usual diet, but it was wholesome and healthy. And I remember thinking, “if everyone used food stamps this way, how could anyone begrudge them?” They probably ate for a month off that trip.

And I bet food stamps were a temporary emergency for them, not a lifestyle.

CJ on October 8, 2010 at 8:36 AM

You know what I like, the total lack of common sense from politicians. Ever been to Walmart? Ever watch people separate their stuff into two piles? One for food stamps, the beer and cigs go into their cash pile. Food stamps just allow them to buy more beer.

How stupid are these politicians, never mind don’t answer that.

tarpon on October 8, 2010 at 8:53 AM

When one asks for assistance, one shouldn’t be picky in how that assistance is provided.

zoyclem on October 8, 2010 at 8:23 AM

+10

Badger40 on October 8, 2010 at 8:53 AM

No problem here.

Who voted that Democrat trash into office, to begin with? Well, bend over. You vote for the sugar daddy, you do what sugar daddy says.

MNHawk on October 8, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Badger40 on October 8, 2010 at 8:04 AM

I agree – food stamps in tax payer money, a government aid program. Limiting the food stamp program to only allow staple type foods is a reduction in the scope of the program, a limitation of federal government ie a good thing.

Run it like the WIC program (Women, Infants, Children), where you only have certain choices for each food group. No ready to eat food, no candy, no sugar drinks (except 100% fruit juices).

I think most of Bloomberg nanny state government is wrong, but this is on the right track. You want the food stamp money then you agree to the rules of the program. If you don’t like the rules get off the program.

MidWestFarmer on October 8, 2010 at 9:25 AM

It’s not food, so why should the taxpayer pay for it?

Blake on October 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM

When Caesar gives you money to buy something, Caesar can and will dictate what you buy.

abcurtis on October 8, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Food stamps should only be used for necessities; bread, meats, vegetables, fruits, milk, etc. Luxury items like soda should be purchased with their own money.

cmw2204 on October 8, 2010 at 9:53 AM

When you ask for free food you take what is given. Folks are way too comfortable using this card because it’s so anonymous and there is no shame associated with it.

At one time people were too proud to let the rest of the town pay their way, now there is no self respect. Get rid of the federal program and pull the food stamp money from TOWN taxes. Make the card a big red foam 3′ x 4′ unit so all your neighbors can see you carrying it and let them know who they are paying for…watch how the users drop. Only the truly needy will carry one.

Alden Pyle on October 8, 2010 at 9:55 AM

MidWestFarmer on October 8, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Exactly.
The fed other program, commodities, which I know Indians & veterans get, only contains healthy foods grown in America.
Like dried milk, canned fruits & vegetables, cheese, healthy cereals, etc.
My father is a vet & he gets commodities on an irregular basis.
The Indians often trade their commodities to non-Indians for booze.
We have a rancher friend down in Little Eagle SD who ranches on the Grand River.
He leases land from this one Indian who just asks for booze as a payment.
He also wants to always trade my friend his govt food commodities for booze.

Badger40 on October 8, 2010 at 9:58 AM

I could agree with Bloomberg on creating a list of healthy foods for people on food stamps to be able to buy, but not his reason for excluding cokes. He’s claiming the drink leads to obesity and diabetes when actually it leads to tooth decay. Can you see the new panhandler signs in NY now, Will work for Cokes.

Kissmygrits on October 8, 2010 at 10:00 AM

heh.. and people don’t think they’ll do this when they take over healthcare?

Not that i disagree with the notion of banning “luxury-like” substances from food stampers. I think they should be purchasing the cheapest and bare minimum products on the market.. as a way to motivate them to get the heck off food stamps. I just think its a bit ironic that this idea hatches from the brains of Democrats.

tflst5 on October 8, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Is this the same food stamps( that is now issued as a credit card) that are being used for vacation trips to Vegas, Hawaii, Casinos,etc????

So by all means ban soft drinks, duh,unreal.

concernedsenior on October 8, 2010 at 10:23 AM

And we subsidize sugar production, to boot!

So we protect our makers of sugar, subsidize them and then tell our poorest citizens they can’t get it in their drinks.

Splendiferous!

Next we should get car companies that are failing and then give rebates for foreign produced cars so as to stimulate the market… oh, wait… that was Cash for Clunkers…

It seems the death spiral of Leftist economics is getting to the point where you can’t exaggerate it as they have gone beyond all bounds of stupidity known to man.

ajacksonian on October 8, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Eh, you take government money, you accept government rules. My parents used to give me money for food when I was in college and one of the rules was that I couldn’t buy alcohol with it.

I don’t like the mentality behind it, but I don’t have a problem with government officials making government handouts less attractive.

Esthier on October 8, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I was in the grocery one night and a guy was buying a slice of cake from the bakery, candy, and a soft drink. He could have made 3 cakes with what WE paid for that one piece. Plus, I’m sorry, I don’t care to pay for him to have malted milk balls or a soft drink either. IF you really need food stamps then fine. Use them for essentials like milk, eggs, bread, and meat. Use them for flour and oil to make a cake, but there is too much waste. One of the employees said that they have even seen people buy soft drinks with food stamps and pour them out in the parking lot and then they return the bottles and using the cash to buy cigarettes.

conservativemama on October 8, 2010 at 12:42 PM

That sounds fine to me….Anything to get them off their back ends and start working to provide their own food….hum….pretty far-fetched when you think about it….More likely, they’d probably just threaten to vote republican if they didn’t get to keep their goodies….

theaddora on October 8, 2010 at 1:13 PM

How about we just set up food pantries at the welfare office for the exclusive use of those on food stamps and keep them out of private grocery stores altogether? This will give the govt. complete control over their food purchases. That’s what they want anyway.Water, Milk, bread, cheese, fruit, and veggies. Period. You want meat? Get a job!

roninacreage on October 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM

* Satan sleeps in ones nose, so water should be snorted each day (Bukhari 54:516)

Baxter Greene on October 7, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Ahhh, no wonder all the complaints about waterboarding were from Americans. The Islamofascists merely thought we were helping to rid them of Satan.

DrAllecon on October 8, 2010 at 4:19 PM

So, apparently people want those receiving government assistance to live as healthy and as long as possible?

How kindhearted!!

Fatal on October 8, 2010 at 5:17 PM

The food stamp program was intended only to augment a family’s food budget, not replace it, so I have no problem restricting the kinds of foods available under it to those that have actual nutritional value

If you’re on Food Stamps, too bad, you don’t get to buy junk food. I’m surprised it’s even permitted in the first place. Just because you can’t use food stamps to buy booze and cigarettes doesn’t mean the government is over-reaching into individual rights.

bayam on October 8, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Hard to believe how many people are lining up behind the nanny state here. No matter how reasonable it may seem that people getting food stamps will have to take the restrictions that come with them, or how much of a good idea it is to promote healthier eating, you have to ask yourself the one important question here:

Should the government be telling anyone what to eat?

If it’s not the government’s business to be regulating our diet, then we shouldn’t let the government regulate anyone’s diets. I guarantee Bloomberg and the rest would do the same to the rest of us if they could get away with it.

I’ll say it again, just because I think this point is getting ignored: It’s not enough for the government to have good intentions. If doing something is not part of the government’s job, THEN THE GOVERNMENT SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT!! Period.

It’s much like Net Neutrality. The stated goals may be good, but the government was never given the power to regulate companies to enforce Net Neutrality, so it’s wrong for the FCC to try to enforce it. Period.

Let’s not approve government overreach because we like the goals.

tom on October 8, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Wait for it. . .

They can and will try to use the discount rate to the retailer as a “no cost” subsidy.

As the tech improves to the point where every purchase can be recorded flagged appropriately and the actual money transfer takes place away from the point of purchase; It has been suggested that by altering the payments to the retailer, the program can “discount” items that are deemed of high nutritional value.

Eventually this program will destroy our nations food infrastructure as we know it.

Jason Coleman on October 8, 2010 at 7:39 PM

sorry, forgot the “and”

recorded and flagged

Similar to what you might experience using an HSA card at a drugstore.

Jason Coleman on October 8, 2010 at 7:40 PM

PS..Do you have a copy of 1984 by George Orwell?..:)

Dire Straits on October 7, 2010 at 10:38 PM

No, I don’t. Why?

MeatHeadinCA on October 7, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Here.

Who is John Galt on October 8, 2010 at 7:47 PM

K, I am tired of the salt and sugar crap. Real question: Is he a diabetic?

ProudPalinFan on October 8, 2010 at 8:41 PM

If government eliminates all sugary and snack foods from the program, it will get no argument from me. In fact, that’s my preference. But I oppose Bloomberg and Paterson’s targeted nanny-statism.

SukieTawdry on October 8, 2010 at 1:07 AM

Would you eliminate the purchase of a bag of sugar? That’s about as sugary as things can get…

unclesmrgol on October 8, 2010 at 9:02 PM

How about we just set up food pantries at the welfare office for the exclusive use of those on food stamps and keep them out of private grocery stores altogether? This will give the govt. complete control over their food purchases. That’s what they want anyway.Water, Milk, bread, cheese, fruit, and veggies. Period. You want meat? Get a job!

roninacreage on October 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM

That’s how it used to be. When I was a kid in Buffalo, we’d go over to the Armory and there would be stacks of peanut butter, regular butter, american cheese, flour, sugar… All of it in USG brown wrappers, and all of it obtained from agricultural support programs. None of this dumping of thousands of gallons of milk to prop up prices and keep the stuff off the market — it went to feed the poor.

We’d have far lower food prices if they eliminated the support programs

unclesmrgol on October 8, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Would you eliminate the purchase of a bag of sugar? That’s about as sugary as things can get…

unclesmrgol on October 8, 2010 at 9:02 PM

No, sugar is a staple, like flour, eggs and milk all of which can be combined to make any number of sweet treats. I’m talking about junk food. Food stamps should be limited to staples and basics.

SukieTawdry on October 8, 2010 at 10:40 PM

You price MRE’s lately? I was shocked to learn when I attended USMC School of Infantry and had to purchase my own MRE’s for training (I was on per diem and had to pay my own subsistence) that they ran 72 bucks for a box of 12. MRE’s are too good for freeloaders. And too expensive for me to buy them.

quikstrike98 on October 8, 2010 at 12:04 AM

How much did you pay per MRE? Nevermind, I already know you overpaid…. :-)

At first you think “Oh this isn’t too bad.” Yeah, and then you realize the horror 2 days later.

Rightwingguy on October 8, 2010 at 11:47 PM

No, sugar is a staple, like flour, eggs and milk all of which can be combined to make any number of sweet treats. I’m talking about junk food. Food stamps should be limited to staples and basics.

SukieTawdry on October 8, 2010 at 10:40 PM

We should worry less about adding all kinds of restrictions to food stamps, and concentrate on reforms to move people off food stamps entirely.

There Goes The Neighborhood on October 9, 2010 at 12:26 AM

The Democrats hate poor people!1!1

Good Solid B-Plus on October 7, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Republicans love rich people. They wish there were more of them.

Democrats love poor people. They wish there were more of them.

soundingboard on October 9, 2010 at 12:49 AM

So, apparently people want those receiving government assistance to live as healthy and as long as possible?

How kindhearted!!

Fatal on October 8, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Close, Fatal.

They don’t really want those receiving assistance to live forever.

They just want it to seem like forever . . .

RedPepper on October 9, 2010 at 1:25 AM

Bloomberg should get out more

maybe a solo trip to Pakistan or Yemen

Sonosam on October 9, 2010 at 1:53 PM

I guess there is no one in the whole state of NY including MD’s who have ever heard of a DIABETIC COMA.

elvis on October 9, 2010 at 11:22 PM

I have personally seen people use food stamps to buy cases of carbonated drinks, which in Michigan has a ten-cent deposit per can. These people would take the cases out behind the store and empty every can in the dirt and take the empties back into the store. The cash they get for returning the cans is then used to purchase beer and cigarettes.

This may not be more government intrusion into our lives to affect our physical wellness, but to quash just one of the ways people have found to get around the no-cigs/no beer rule.

t-bear on October 10, 2010 at 3:14 AM

In general I’m against government intrusion, but not when I’m footing the bill.If I’m buying your groceries you’re not buying Coke and Snickers bars. Or at least limit it to some sort of reasonable degree.

eyedoc on October 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM

when the government pays for you food, you eat what the government wants you to eat…

Don’t like it? Don’t let the government pay for your food.

It makes sense that the gov’t wouldn’t allow food stamps to pay for sugary sodas, for cereals with no nutritional value, potentially bacon or other super fattening foods…

it’s kind of a conflict of interest for them to pay for those things for people.

I for one don’t want to pay the bill on both sides. Pay for them to get fat, then pay for their diabetes later…

beefytee on October 11, 2010 at 12:51 PM

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