It was during an investigation into the record number of food stamp recipients that Fox News’ John Roberts met Jason Greenslate, a surfer and rocker who is living the self-described “rat life” in California.Granted, $200 a month isn't much, but it certainly isn't "free". Free at the point of delivery, sure, but current and future American taxpayers (and Chinese bankers if America ever defaults) are paying for it.
The 29-year-old signed up for SNAP and receives $200 dollars a month in taxpayer money for food. He put it simply, “I don’t got a paycheck coming in, so I qualify.”
All he has to do is provide his birth certificate and Social Security card and fill out a form once a year.
In 1996, if you were an able adult with no family, you would only qualify for food stamps for three months every three years. President Obama wiped away those restrictions when he signed the 2009 stimulus bill. In 2010, the president used his regulatory powers to extend the suspension of the welfare-to-work requirements.
Greenslate is trained to be a recording engineer, but he told Roberts he has no paycheck because holding down a steady job isn’t for him.
So, it was off to the gourmet section of the grocery store, as Greenslate purchased sushi and lobster with his EBT card. “All paid for by our wonderful tax dollars,” he said, telling Roberts that’s what he typically buys.
“This is the way I want to live and I don’t really see anything changing,” Greenslate said. “It’s free food; it’s awesome.”
I suppose one could get upset at Mr. Greenslate for mooching off the public like this, but he has a point: It's available, he qualifies, he would be biting his nose off to spite his face if he didn't take advantage of it. What's the point of pride when Big Brother is just handing the stuff out to just about anyone?
Another point: Mr. Greenslate does not and would not appear in official government unemployment numbers. That's because U3 doesn't account for long-term unemployed, those who've stopped looking for work. For these folks, the euphemism is "long term discouraged", but that assumes they're bothering to look. Clearly Mr. Greenslate digs on his low-stress life, out of the rat-race.
A third point: what productive, value-added function for the American economy does a "recording engineer" do? What product does he make? To ask the question is almost to answer it.
Ironically, none other than FDR foresaw this very situation, way back in his 1935 state of the union address:
"The lessons of history, confirmed by evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence on relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is a violation of the traditions of America."I say "ironically" because FDR was the guy that arguably got the welfare-warfare state--and the Decline-- going.
It's almost like Mr. Greenslate read Cappy's book and is enjoying himself immensely. The question is, why aren't you, sucker?