Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

February 11, 2014

Not only is he foul-mouthed, he has his food stamp facts wrong

Kevin Shaffer (“Here is the county employee’s side of the story,” Feb. 7 Times-News) is foul-mouthed and regardless of the purpose that does not excuse his use of obscene language in a public setting.

Also he has his facts wrong. Food Stamps benefits were not cut this fall. They were returned to their standard level. Mr. Shaffer seems to be ignorant of government policy and laws.

Food stamps received an increase due to a wasteful stimulus program which got rammed through Democratic Congress in 2009. It was due to expire in November 2013 and it was allowed to expire. Food stamps were not cut — they reverted back to the amount set prior to the stimulus bill.

Also Mr. Shaffer does not understand the purpose of food stamps. They are a supplemental food program. They are not meant to supply all of a family’s nutritional needs. The expectation is that the family will also use their own money to buy additional food.

We forget that food stamps allow people to waste money on snack foods like soda pop and chips. So a family which make unwise purchases can easily use up their stamp. That is not a government problem, it is a personal problem and personal responsibility.

Also the program has $750 million in fraud annually due to poor oversight.

Food banks should not turn into another government entitlement. They should remain as a private charity and nothing is stopping individuals from donating as much money as they choose to a food bank.

If you feel that only through embarrassing public officials and in the process embarrassing yourself, can you get your ideas heard, then maybe they are poor ideas which do not merit any public time.

Judith Weller, Ph.D

LaVale

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