Skip to main content

Waste not, want not

In the P-G (and the Trib too, I think) the other day was an article about PA making the amount of food stamps that people receive contingent upon their assets. People under age 60 with more than $2,000 in savings and other assets, such as a second car, will no longer be eligible for food stamps. For people over 60, the limit is $3,250.

I agree that assets should be considered. If someone has, let's say, $50,000 in savings but is making only minimum wage, I don't think that person should get food stamps. After all, they have plenty in the bank to pay for every day expenses. But to say, for example, that a 35-year-old single parent who scrimped to save $3,000 over the past five years for an emergency should be denied food stamps when another person who never bothered to save a dime should get assistance is, quite simply, unfair. And what if two parents both need a car to go to work? The bus is not the most feasible situation for everyone, so why punish those people?

My parents are both retired pharmacists. My dad loves to tell stories from when he worked for a major drug chain. Once a man was mad that he had to pay a $4.00 copay for a prescription. He was complaining to my dad that the last time it was free and he was not going to pay. My dad told the guy if he did not pay, he could not get the prescription. The man proceeded to pull out several hundred dollar bills. Another time a woman was bragging to my dad that she was pregnant with her sixth or seventh child and that meant she would be getting another $125 (or some amount like that) in welfare. The picture of stupidity and idiocy, IMO.

It is because of people like those that many are distrustful and against government assistance. And for sure the government has a responsibility to weed out as many of the abusers as possible (I am looking at you lottery winners!). But this blog writer is not one to punish the conscientious people. And I am afraid this new edict will do just that.

What say you?


Anonymous said…
It is unfortunate but there is waste and fraud everywhere, and it is quite difficult to stop. As a result of this change, there could be people who will go out and spend that money in savings just to get the food stamps.
I agree with your concern. I'm as suspicious of those trying to limit aid as I am of those trying to abuse it. Not sure you can make across-the-board rules. Should be case by case. We shouldn't punish retirees by making them spend their small nest eggs until they really have nothing.
chris h. said…
How will they know how much"savings" someone has? I could empty my savings account and 6 mos later just say I spent the money when I really have cash under my mattress. If they are relying on people to tell the truth and declare their assets...well, I think we know that's not so reliable.
Facie said…
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Anonymous: I can bet a few people would try to spend their money, but if you took the time to save it to begin with, you probably don't have it in you to blow it.

Bagger: That article quoted some senior who had enough in savings which would result in her losing her aid, but not enough to sustain her for more than two years. Sad. Case by case is probably the way to go, but would be too time-consuming and cost too much, I imagine.

Chris: When I applied for financial aid for J's school, they wanted to know how much $ we had everywhere, including retirement and house, which really irked me. As if I would take money out of the last two to pay for my kid's elementary education?! Regardless, I have wondered if anyone bothered to verify what people put down. I doubt the diocese takes the time. I must admit, I have said, only half-joking, that Brian and I should take Jordan to Disney and do a bunch of other fun things so we could deplete our savings enough to let us qualify for aid. I could never do it, though.
chris h. said…
Half the time I think, "Why am I saving so hard? I could be dead tomorrow." I could never just spend it all, but if I do live to be elderly I'll probably regret I didn't have more fun while I was able.

Popular posts from this blog


Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

Calamityware for unique holiday gifts

I have been really lousy at blogging during 2016, for several reasons (some of which I don't even know). One big reason is time: Between working full time and helping promote Calamityware, plus having a small family and doing the occasional social thing, there is not a lot of time left to put thought into blogs. [Sadly, I can put hours into FB, but that is mostly my reading and not thinking, and perhaps writing short comments. :-)]

Anyway, since we are now in the middle of the holiday (shopping) season, I thought I would again promote Calamityware. If you are like me, you have a few people on your gift list who are really challenging to buy for. That is where Calamityware may come in handy. Following are the unique, quirky, fun, and even some beautiful items you can purchase here:
Various porcelain plates adorned with fun things like frogs, zombie poodles, pterodactyls, tentacles, a volcano, a vortex, and more; buy a plate or one of the series of fourSoup bowls with fly (1 fly per …