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Yesterday, we told you about a piece of legislation proposed by an Upstate lawmaker that would ban welfare recipients from using public assistance money to pay for “sin activities” like gambling, strippers, alcohol and cigarettes. In response to our post, a reader posed an interesting question: if the impoverished can’t use welfare money to buy cigarettes and booze, should they allowed to use it to buy junk food?
The question holds extra relevance given nutrition bully Mike Bloomberg’s proposed ban on sugary drinks being served in containers larger than 16 ounces — and that’s for people who pay for their own drinks, not just welfare recipients.
Outrageous, we know, but welfare recipients currently can use the money given to them by society to pay for the bad habits mentioned above. As we pointed out yesterday, many of those habits often land them in hospitals — where more taxpayer money often is spent to keep them alive.
“How far could [the ban] eventually go? I hate seeing people using food stamps to buy nothing but soda, candy, and junk food, but do we have the right to tell them what they may or may not eat,” a Voice reader asked yesterday. “Maybe that’s not a bad thing… if food stamps can only be used to buy healthy foods, maybe that will motivate people not to keep using them as a crutch for so long? Just thinking out loud, but what are your thoughts?”
Our thoughts, as we mentioned in the comment section of yesterday’s post, are as follows: “we absolutely have the right to tell them what they may or may not purchase with the money society GIVES them. If they want to buy soda and junk food, they can get a job and buy all the Snickers bars they want. However, Bloomy’s big-boy soda ban is absolute bullshit. The difference is he’s trying to tell us what to do with the money we work for. When you start living on handouts, take what you can get and don’t complain. Or get yourself out of that situation and buy whatever the hell you want. That, of course, is my humble opinion.”