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Louisiana Puts Its Foot Down: No More Food Stamp Tattoos

The Associated Press reports on the latest act of unspeakable cruelty from heartless, tightwad red-state officials:

Louisiana welfare recipients will be prohibited from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under new limits enacted by state social services officials.

The Department of Children and Family Services announced the emergency regulations late Thursday. They cover the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program — commonly known as welfare benefits — and the Kinship Care Subsidy Program.

Both programs pay cash assistance to low-income families for items like food, clothing and housing.

Democrats are busy smearing people like Rep. Paul Ryan for pointing out that there might just be a few problems with War on Poverty programs, in terms of both flagrant abuse and counter-productive cultural effects on the people these programs are intended to help.  Supposedly the only reason Republicans like Ryan would advance such criticisms is because they're inhuman monsters who enjoy watching poor people starve to death.  There aren't many prominent Democrats who seem to have any problem whatsoever with the way Food Stamp Nation is running.

And yet, we keep hearing stories like this, in which only now does someone draw a line in the sand and forbid the expense of food stamp cash at tattoo parlors and lingerie stores.  Until now, it has also been possible to spend taxpayer loot at "video arcades, bail bond companies, cruise ships, psychics, adult-entertainment businesses, nightclubs,  and bars."  One lingerie store mentioned in the Associated Press story posted a sign proudly declaring that EBT cards were accepted for payment.

Who ever, for one freaking microsecond, ever thought it was a good idea to allow food stamp money to be used for any of these purposes?  And, although welfare is now distributed through flashy "credit cards" instead of old-fashioned physical stamps, violations are still largely monitored through the honor system, as the government studiously avoids using the electronic tracking tools at its disposal to monitor EBT purchases in real time:

Tracking violations may be difficult, however, because the welfare money can be taken off the electronic benefit card as cash through an ATM. Social services officials said they rely on businesses and the public to report suspected violations.

Can we get some Democrats on the record defending this absurdly lax system, and explaining precisely why taxpayers who have a problem with it should think of themselves as ogres?



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