Publicity Stunt: Cory Booker’s Week On Food Stamps – Not the Whole Picture

Publicity stunts to try to “relate” to the downtrodden are not new.  Folks for the past decade or so, have donned 200 lb fat suits, lived on the streets, given up certain luxury items, etc., all in the effort to publicly display just how compassionate they are.

This past week, Cory Booker, a likely opponent to Chris Christie, has been “living on food stamps”.  With his showing of “honor”, in an attempt to understand the plight of the food stamp entitlement crowd, he does more for himself, than prove anything for a social cause.  It is not intellectually honest to promote this as an actual way of life for people on food stamps.  Nevertheless, it is helpful to the cause to create more entitlements.

What is left out of the equation, is that those who receive food stamps, are receiving other subsidies as well.  A person on food stamps also is likely to receive WIC if they have children, (which can offer as much as $100+ dollars or more of food each week), medical care, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), cash assistance, housing assistance, job training, school lunches, breakfasts and after school care, transportation subsidy, child care, public schools, cell phones,  and assistance with or no cost energy bills.  Their entire way of life is based on a sliding scale, thus making the overall expenses much less.

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A main benefit comes in the way of tax credits.  Those who pay NO taxes in, receive welfare in the form of multiple tax credits such as the child tax credit.  It is not unusual to see folks receive a several thousand dollar payout, for paying nothing in for income taxes, simply because they have children.

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Many of us have anecdotal stories of being behind food stamp folks in line at the store, who pile up the junk food, which costs a whole lot more than cooking healthy meals from scratch. This is something that is largely lost; gone the way of homemakers.  While I am sure there are cases of families who generally need food assistance, I am blessed to have the understanding and evidence that the most thankful for that help are not those who accept long-term government entitlements, but rather those who turn to a church or food pantry in their time of need.  They are indeed thankful, and don’t need public displays of those disenfranchised due to “race” or “evil capitalism” to convince them to be on the dole.

Unfortunately, one of the greatest fall-outs from entitlement growth, is that as a charitable nation, we are less able to discern who is actually in need.  When we’ve redefined needs in our culture, including things that many working people see as luxury, we extend the entitlements far beyond any scope that is sustainable.  We see people lining up for subsidized housing and in cars far newer and more expensive than what many working families can afford. They get the loans on them, which further show their “need” for help, and further obtain entitlements, while many of us choose to live debt free, and not reliant on loans to extend us beyond our ability to pay.

His $33 per week is based on what a healthy adult individual would receive in his area, for food stamps alone.  Not to mention that most on food stamps collect for more than themselves, and the number is an exponent, not a straight addition problem.  Since most folks on the permanent dole today live together rather than get married, they can claim less income, thereby receiving higher qualifications for aid, in many different areas cited above.  The worst among these beneficiaries of American tax dollars and China loans, are the illegal aliens, for they fly under the radar while getting paid under the table.

Also left out of the dramatic choreographed display, is the fact that many excellent homemakers provide healthy, delicious homemade meals on a budget that is far less than what folks throwing chips and soda on the grocery belt at the tax payer expense provide.  Women have been doing it for thousands of years.

Unfortunately, this stunt is one that will only bolster the liberal agenda to provide more entitlements for millions who choose it as a lifestyle.  Liberals point to things such as these to “prove” the worth of the programs that are bankrupting America. As a result of growing tired of being taken advantage of, many Americans are prone to lose any desire to be charitable.  Discerning the needs from the gravy train is awfully hard to do today.

While the media and the liberals point to Booker’s act as so very selfless and noble, may those with the knowledge of how the system actually supports folks fully, in a way greater than many hardworking folks can do respectfully, shed light on his actual intent, and the truth therein.

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