6 Absurd Right-wing Lies About Food Stamps

Smith said that typically when the cards aren’t working retailers can call a backup phone number to find out how much money customers have available in their account. But that information also was unavailable because of the outage, so customers weren’t able to use their cards. “It really is a bad situation but they are working to get it fixed as soon as possible,” Smith said. In Clarksdale, Miss. one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest states in the nation cashier Eliza Shook said dozens of customers at Corner Grocery had to put back groceries when the cards failed Saturday because they couldn’t afford to pay for the food. After several hours, she put a sign on the front door to tell people about the problem. “It’s been terrible,” Shook said in a phone interview. “It’s just been some angry folks. That’s what a lot of folks depend on.” Mississippi Department of Human Services director Rickey Berry confirmed that Xerox, the state’s EBT vendor, had computer problems. “I know there are a lot of mad people,” Berry said. Sheree Powell, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, started receiving calls around 11:30 a.m. about problems with the state’s card systems.

An Electronic benefit Transfer card, food stamp recipients

Together with her son, Nino Mier, Linsmayer created Food + Lab. She oversees the menu, and he’s in charge of the day to day business. Linsmayer laughs, “He’s the brain and I’m the muscle.” Nino Mier at the counter of West Hollywood’s Food + Lab Mier adds, “A restaurant is run on margins to make money. I tried in the beginning to talk sense into my mother, and say ‘you can’t use the best of the best on everything.’ It was a battle lost. So we make much less money on every sandwich because she insists on not cutting corners and using the best ingredients — every bread and dressing and sauce is homemade.” Linsmayer notes, “Where do you find a cafe where the owner actually makes all the food? I literally make everything.” The owners, both native Austrians, use their Central European influences to craft Food + Lab’s culinary aesthetic. The menu is a delicious array of creative offerings including authentic Belgian waffles, speck and eggs served in a sizzling skillet, schnitzel with lingonberries, fresh Muesli, Austrian meatloaf, incredible soup specials (the gazpacho and the corn and bacon chowder are highlights), and a hundred different sandwich recipes including Cevapcici, a Yugoslavian pork sausage sandwich with a yogurt dill sauce, and cucumbers on ciabatta bread. Linsmayer says, “I’ve been always cooking. I did go to Cordon Bleu in Paris, but was kind of bored there because I don’t like people telling me what to do. How to season. How not to season. Slice like this. I’m self taught, and I just have an instinct for cooking, and I never measure anything.” Delicious tuna sandwich on olive bread: Even though Food + Lab opened just before the recent economic downturn, the cafe and catering has been steadily building, and Hollywood has taken notice. They’re frequently called to create lunches for shows including The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly, True Blood, American Dad, and Family Guy to name a few, but only seven years ago, they were a humble door-to-door business. Mier explains, “I walked with a basket that weighed about 40 pounds to all the high end stores in Beverly Hills: Gucci, Armani.

2012-04-28-briscoephoto2009c2a9_foodlab8sm.jpg

Amplifying the dependencyargument, conservatives disparage democracy by saying that elected officials buy votes by providing food to hungry peopleand other government services. The Christian Post has an example, in Signing Up Seniors for Food Stamps Is Called Buying Votes for Obama, Says Fox News Host. The story reports that Fox News Stuart Varney says,The AARP, huge support[er]s of President Obama, politically and financially, big supporters of Obamacare. And now theyre out there signing people up for food stamps. This is part of the buy-the-vote campaign. Theyre really shifting America, changing what America really is, he said. Far-right Brietbart blasts, HOW MANY VOTES WILL A 70% INCREASE IN FOOD STAMPS BUY? Similarly the right-wing Washington Times says, Food stamps for votes. The idea of a democracy is that people vote for the things they want, everyone has an equal vote, everyone pitches in and everyone shares in the resulting prosperity. Government spending in a democracy is, by definition, We the People doing things to make our lives better. But to conservatives, government doing things that make our lives better is just buying votes. Myth #5: Food stamp recipients take drugs. The Republican bill to cut food stamps also will allow states to require food stamp recipients to be tested for drugs. Harold Pollack and Sheldon Danziger at the Washington Post look at this in House Republicans want drug tests for food-stamp recipients. Theres no good reason for that. They write, Using 2011 data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we looked at the behaviors and circumstances of adults ages 18-64 whose households received SNAP. We examined whether respondents had used some illicit substance during the previous month or year. We then looked at whether they met screening criteria for abuse or dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs. They found a slightly higher illicit drug use among food stamp recipients. But if you correct for the demographics of people who will be on the program compared to the population at large, that slight risk gets even slighter. So a few more people on food stamps use some drugs than people not on food stamps.