The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm not outraged... I'm saddened

A friend of mine sent me one of those emails the other day. This one was about a welfare abuse outrage. Perhaps it's come around to your inbox?

It contained this picture of a receipt... (click on the pic to get a better view but don't forget to come back)

So, as is my usual wont, I checked it out, first at Snopes and then by Googling the name of the guy involved. I would say "allegedly involved" but... well, you'll see...

Snopes says it is "True" and even provides the name of the perpetrator. See Receipt. So, I then Googled the guy's name, Louis Wayne Cuff, and found a number of hits all saying the story is true:

Charges filed in Bridge Card Case

Menominee man gets jail for food stamp fraud

The interesting thing (and this is mentioned in the articles) is that the buying of the items in that list with food stamps was not illegal (though that violated the "spirit" of the system) only the resale of the items was against the law.

If you read the last article, the one that reports the outcome of Mr. Cuff's case, you will find something interesting... " The judge also said the case would not have attracted such publicity if it weren't for the items that Cuff had purchased."

Why is that interesting, you ask? Well, it reveals what Cuff learned in court: Next time, buy items that won't attract people's attention... or don't drop the receipt!

That last article reveals that Cuff wasn't given much more than a slap on the wrist when you think about it. 45 days in jail and 6 months probation. Here's what his attorney said:

"He wants to be eligible to go out on the work van. That's all that my client wants is the opportunity to be gainfully employed once again. At the present time, he is unemployed."

The judge granted that. So he will get to work, at a job the County finds for him, as his "punishment." And a lesson in how not to get caught next time.

The system works!


pearlvz said...

Unfortunately, the food stamps people do not differentiate between what we may term "luxury" foods and, say, Hamburger Helper, and I just don't know how we'd fix that.  I mean, granted, if I were on some form of welfare I would NOT be buying lobster as you would run out of food pretty quickly at those prices...  How to fix?

Douglas4517 said...

Obviously, in this case it was a miscreant who was looking to make a few bucks. Most people on welfare don't abuse those cards. So, I don't see where this can be fixed easily unless we label some foods as 'luxury" and others as "staples". Back in the 70's when I came close to being on welfare (and knew several people who were on it), they got cartons of staple foods. Nixon changed that to the food stamps thing or some kind of scrip that could be exchanged. Not sure that was an improvement. The debit card  is a good concept but we can see how it might be abused.

The Chubby Chatterbox said...

Fixing this problem is above my pay grade, but I wish these abuses weren't so rampant. I've been in grocery lines where people were buying steaks that were too rich for my budget and paying for them with food stamps. But I've never been close to "food stamp status" so I'm not inclined to throw stones.

Douglas4517 said...

I don't think they are rampant. I would say this incident was an anomaly. A woman on welfare has a boyfriend who's a criminal (there's a surprise!) who jeopardizes her status by abusing her debit card for personal gain (note: he sold the items, or attempted to, for half the price... netting about $70... not exactly a mastermind here). It happens. I came close but pride and my (now ex) wife's family kept us afloat (which didn't actually help my pride) while I worked for minimum wage for 12 months after 3 months of unemployment. I'm not sure something like this can be prevented in the future, as I told Pearl.