Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tax Money at Play—Welfare Payments Going to Strip Clubs and Casinos

Imagine that you are a welfare recipient in Nevada. Let's say Las Vegas. The state of Nevada issues you an Electronic Benefits Transfer card (sort of like a debit card) that is loaded with cash that you are supposed to use for basic needs for you and your family. You know—food, shelter, and clothing. The necessities of life.

Instead of using your welfare debit card on feeding your family and paying the rent, you decide to spend a chunk of that money on gambling at a casino, booze, and a strip club thrown in for fun. Who will ever find out and if they find out, who is going to stop you from spending your welfare money on "adult" entertainment?

BUSTED!!! On Wednesday, the US House of Representative passed legislation preventing welfare recipients from spending their welfare benefits on alcohol, strip clubs, and gambling. This was lumped into a bill to extend a 2% cut in payroll taxes, but it worked. Believe it or not, 26 Members of Congress actually voted against this legislation. I'd love to hear their reasoning for supporting welfare money being spent on alcohol and strip clubs.

Isn't this sort of a no-brainer? I'm actually surprised this was even possible in the first place and that restrictions weren't already in place prohibiting welfare benefits from going toward "adult" entertainment. If you were on welfare, wouldn't you already feel guilty about taking taxpayer's money and make an honest effort to get yourself off of welfare?

Maybe for some, it's easier to stay on welfare and have US taxpayers fund your gambling habit.  If this is how the US welfare system operates, it's truly in dire need of a major overhaul. This piece of reform legislation is a step in the right direction.

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