I recently was in line at the checkout, in a local convenience store. I patiently waited behind a diamond ear ring and jewelry wearing, well dressed, designer bag carry woman, who had picked out several bags of chips, candy bars, cokes and other assorted junk food items. The cashier behind the counter smiled, said hello and began to ring up the items. “Will that be all?” the girl behind the cash register, asked “yes” the customer answered. “Then that will be $32.95” The cashier answered back, as she began to bag the various non-essential food items. At the same time the customer pulls out the “Lone Star Card”, which to those who do not know is the State of Texas’ form of food stamps. “Sorry mam, we do not take Lone Star” the cashier informed the customer. It is at this point that my story starts to get a little absurd and ridiculous. Because after being told that her “Lone Star Card” would not be accepted, this woman went into a rant, all the while going into her designer bag and pulling out a wad full of cash. She paid for items, stormed out of the store. As the cashier and I followed her with out eyes, we noticed her get into her $40,000 Expedition. We looked at each other, smiled and laughed. What makes this so ridiculous and idiotic, is that this story is 100 percent true, no exaggerations needed or made.
First, I have no problem with my taxes being used to help those in need. But I do have a problem when they are misused or just plain taken for granted. Perhaps it is time to revamp this food assistance programs offered by the State and local governments. This is what I propose, the Lone Star card should only be used for food items that are essential for the well being and health of those who are eligible for it.
Under my proposal, items such as soft drinks, candy bars and chips would not fall under the approved consumables, which could be purchased using the LSC. Second if are able to pay for a cell phone for each of your children or be able to afford a $400.00 to $500.00 car payment, than again you would not be able to receive any sort of assistance. There would be other restrictions, but for the most part, if you can spend frivolously on no essential items, than you can afford to buy that candy bar using your own money, instead of my tax dollars.
I believe the problem is that we as a society have come accustomed to living beyond our means. As a college student, I learned to forgo that extra bag of chips and Coke, in order to buy that pound of hamburger meat. Perhaps this lady could have done the same. She could have done without that designer bag and she could have opted for a less expensive vehicle and then perhaps, I would not ended up paying for her and her family’s sweet tooth and munchies run.