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The Food Stamp Economy

Summers Wrote: Jan 10, 2013 5:25 PM
One interesting program during the Clinton administration was changed so that the recipients could only get benefits for their dependent children if they were 'actively seeking employment' or 'in job training'. The benefits, which are given multiple times over under other programs, were for children. GASP! Funny thing is that applicants dropped off to almost none due to the requirement. Imagine having to try to work or lean a trade to support the children one brought into the world.
The New York Post headline read: "Could You Spend $500 on Food at This Bodega? A Welfare Recipient Claimed To!" A few days later, another headline: "Welfare Recipients Take Out Cash at Strip Clubs, Liquor Stores and X-Rated Shops." "They're on the dole -- and watching the pole," wrote the Post. "Welfare recipients took out cash at bars, liquor stores, X-rated video shops, hookah parlors and even strip clubs -- where they presumably spent their taxpayer money on lap dances rather than diapers."

Here's how it works.

Welfare recipients receive Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, preloaded with specified dollar amounts for food and for...