COMMENTARY | As reported in an article by the Sun Sentinel, two lawmakers in Florida, Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood and Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, are attempting to pass legislation that would ban the use of food stamps to purchase soda, sweets, and junk food. While they feel that taxpayers shouldn't have to "foot the bill for Mountain Dew," a sentiment shared by many Americans, some people, including Plakor and Storms' fellow GOP colleagues, feel it's not up to the government to decide what people can and cannot eat.
They're food stamps -- not junk food stamps.
When I was a teenager, I worked as a cashier at a Wal-Mart Supercenter that sold groceries. I can attest that the majority of people who use food stamps buy mass quantities of junk food. Every first of the month was an endless line of baskets full of cubes of pop, bags of chips, Little Debbie snack cakes, TV dinners and any other convenience food you can think of. It was a rare occasion, indeed, when I rang an order that used food stamps to pay and included fruits, veggies, and items to cook dinner.
Before I get a storm of comments saying that I am ignorant and pandering stereotypes, I will say that I know that many people who receive food stamps nowadays are hard-working, middle-class citizens who need help during these tough economical times. I know this.
However, any cashier at a grocery store can attest that many of the people who get food stamps in addition to a goverment-issued welfare check oftentimes are obese, smell, are rude, and buy nothing but absolute junk.
Most of these aforementioned individuals also receive a medical card, which is also taxpayer-funded, so if those of us in the working class have to pay the taxes that fund food stamps and medical cards, there should be a restriction on the food that can be bought with food stamps. It's fruitless, to say the least, to pay for the poison (soda) and the cure (insulin) when obesity and diabetes are becoming rampant in the United States.
Though I do think the public could stand to benefit from food stamps expanding to include soap and deodorant.