I’d never heard of Brion Mclanahan until I read this column by him at the Daily Caller. I hope I never hear of the asshole again. In one of the most disgusting articles you’ll ever read, he advocates for the public humiliation of those who receive food stamps and other forms of public assistance.
Dharma-style food stamp reform would have four basic components. First, the federal government would create a government “brand” of essential food items such as milk, cheese, meat, cereal, vegetables, bread, peanut butter, beans, juice, soup, baby formula, diapers, etc., and would package the items with simple black-and-white labels and basic descriptions. The word “Government” would be stamped across the top in bold letters so everyone would know it was a welfare item. These items could be manufactured by major companies through government contracts, thus not creating a net loss to private industry. Because competition is not an issue, taste and quality, with the exception of the baby formula and baby food, would not be a top priority…
Fourth, anyone who accepts government aid would have to submit to a monthly tobacco and drug test. Food stamp recipients are, after all, wards of the state. They are slaves to the government and should be reminded of that fact. If a recipient is found to have tobacco or drugs in his system, he would be dropped from the program. People on government aid would also lose the privilege of voting. That way they couldn’t vote for greater benefits or easier terms (most of them don’t vote, but now they couldn’t).
While I believe the federal food stamp program to be unconstitutional, immoral and a state issue, the simple fact is that the program is not going away. There are more people on the dole now than at any other point in United States history, and with more Americans seemingly fine with the idea of taking government handouts, as Mr. EBT and Jesse Jackson have shown, the numbers will continue to grow. My reform measures might seem draconian to some (and the antithesis of the free market), but they would hopefully have the desired result of reducing food stamp rolls so we could eventually eliminate the program and let the states handle the issue. Before accepting food stamps, people would have to carefully consider whether they want to face the loss of voting privileges, the humiliation of shopping at government stores and using government food, the inability to smoke or do drugs and the added inconvenience of having to make two or three stops for their groceries should they choose to buy snacks with their own money. Plus, tax producers would no longer have to knowingly be face to face with people at the check-out who are on government assistance but have nicer cell phones and accessories than they do.
There should be humiliation and pain in government assistance. Every time someone accepts food stamps, they are spitting on the principles of independence, and they, not the taxpayers who fund the program, should be reminded of that fact.
I’ve got a better idea. I say we submit Mclanahan to humiliation and pain. It might give him an ounce of human compassion. What an asshole.