My Time at Walmart

A very interesting article from a college student regarding the welfare system.

During the 2010 and 2011 summers, I was a cashier at Wal-Mart #1788 in Scarborough, Maine. I spent hours upon hours toiling away at a register, scanning, bagging, and dealing with questionable clientele. These were all expected parts of the job, and I was okay with it. What I didn’t expect to be part of my job at Wal-Mart was to witness massive amounts of welfare fraud and abuse.

I understand that sometimes, people are destitute. They need help, and they accept help from the state in order to feed their families. This is fine. It happens. I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it. What I saw at Wal-Mart, however, was not temporary aid. I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items.  I literally witnessed small children asking their mothers if they could borrow their EBT cards. I once had a man show me his welfare card for an ID to buy alcohol. The man was from Massachusetts. Governor Michael Dukakis’ signature was on his welfare card. Dukakis’ last gubernatorial term ended in January of 1991. I was born in June of 1991. The man had been on welfare my entire life. That’s not how welfare was intended, but sadly, it is what it has become.

Other things witnessed while working as a cashier included:

a) People ignoring me on their iPhones while the state paid for their food. (For those of you keeping score at home, an iPhone is at least $200, and requires a data package of at least $25 a month. If a person can spend $25+ a month so they can watch YouTube 24/7, I don’t see why they can’t spend that money on food.)

b) People using TANF (EBT Cash) money to buy such necessities such as earrings, kitkat bars, beer, WWE figurines, and, my personal favorite, a slip n’ slide. TANF money does not have restrictions like food stamps on what can be bought with it.

c) Extravagant purchases made with food stamps; including, but not limited to: steaks, lobsters, and giant birthday cakes.

d) A man who ran a hotdog stand on the pier in Portland, Maine used to come through my line. He would always discuss his hotdog stand and encourage me to “come visit him for lunch some day.” What would he buy? Hotdogs, buns, mustard, ketchup, etc. How would he pay for it? Food stamps. Either that man really likes hotdogs, or the state is paying for his business. Not okay.

Go to the source and read the rest.  Do you agree or disagree with her assessment.

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Online “Brown Bag” Lunches

Great move by Governor Walker to start utilize a popular aspect of his gubernatorial campaign.  Even smarter to expand it and utilize social media avenues.

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Ribble: Hands off Social Security

During his visit to the Advocate, Ribble said he has been hearing a lot about the Kagen attack ad, in which an excerpt from a Ribble speech shows him appearing to support a phase-out of the Social Security system.

“The prevailing thought as I’ve been going around the district … is Americans are really cynical about government. They don’t believe government can change, they don’t believe our government is honest; they don’t believe that our congressmen and senators will tell us the truth,” Ribble said. “And so what is one of the first ads coming out of Congressman Kagen? A hit ad on Social Security where he cut a video literally mid-sentence to make it say what he wanted to say.”

Ribble said in the deleted portion of the video clip, he talked about stopping Congress from using Social Security taxes for general purposes.

“I’ve said it every single time that I’ve spoken and I’ve said it on the video that conveniently cut out, that our country made a promise to our seniors,” he said.

Ribble said he opposes privatization of Social Security. A better system would be for people to have money withheld from their paychecks to be saved specifically for them, he explained.

“It would only work if Congress would keep their hands off of the money rather than raiding the Social Security trust fund,” Ribble said. (Source: Door County Advocate)

Anyone who takes the time to research or at least look for information beyond the false, misleading TV ads being put out by Congressman Kagen and his union cronies knows what Reid’s true position is. One has to wonder if Reid and his campaign realize the damage these attack ads are doing.

More needs to be done to fight back. At the very least do a radio blitz highlighting Reid’s true position on Social Security utilizing the deleted clips and other soundbites.  The smart move would be to put together a YouTube video of those clips.  Then utilize that video as a mechanism via the campaign site, Facebook and Twitter, etc.  to raise funds so it can be aired as a TV ad in the next week.

But I’m not a political consultant so …

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Craig Fletcher’s 8 point plan

5th Assembly District candidate Craig Fletcher has unveiled his 8-point plan for “Moving Forward” Wisconsin and getting the state back on the right track.

1. Repeal the 8 to 11.1% increase in state spending that can be found in the 2009/11 budget summary (the 2009/11 State Budget Summary states a 7.9% increase for 2010 and a 6.5% increase for 2011) or as per the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance monthly report dated Dec. 2009 (which includes the cost of state bonding).  Repeal the increase in fees and taxes associated with this budget and the budget repair bill (Act 2, February of 2009, and Act 28, 2009/11 July Budget Bill). The taxpayer savings will depend on the economic outlook, but must be done to get Wisconsin back on the path to fiscal solvency. The repeal of the Act 2 and Act 28 tax and fee increases will stimulate business growth and investment.

2. Have Wisconsin use GAP accounting allowing the use of one budget and not the two presently in use. The General Purpose Revenue (GPR) and All Fund Budget do not add up and make it very easy to hide and co-mingle funds and programs. This (GAP budgeting) could be accomplished in the next one or two biennium budgets. Stop the practice of non-budget items being included in the budget. There were 80 non- budget items proposed and 40 adopted in our last budget. Taxpayer savings will be seen after we can ascertain the actual costs of the programs in place and then help to remove redundant programs from the budget.

3. Restructure the DNR and limit their regulating power that represses business growth and expansion. We need DNR board members from business, farming, and different areas in the state and not just from the beltway in Madison. Streamline the permit processes for business and individuals working to remove the old and archaic regulations that have been eclipsed by new regulations. Encourage the DNR to work with business and individuals and not control them. Require them to follow the Constitution with businesses, individuals, and sportsmen ensuring our rights.

4. Re-evaluate the welfare system to ensure it is following W-2 that was put in place after the 1994 Federal waiver received from the Clinton Administration. Work with the attorney general to make it mandatory that any recipients produce a Wisconsin tax return from the previous year, birth certificate and have random urine testing to maintain benefits. This program is to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of children and they deserve our due diligence as to the fitness of their caretakers. We should be working to help people become self-sufficient assets to our society and not making them more and more dependent upon government handouts. We must stop raising the income levels in these programs so they include more people. Look for the fraud, mismanagement and waste in programs such as “The Wisconsin Shares Program” and any similar programs. We spent $7,202,720 in welfare payments in the current budget. This $1,293 per capita cost is not sustainable to the taxpayers of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Blue Book 2009/11 pg. 824). (Source: Fletcher For Wisconsin)

Go to the source to read the rest of Craig’s solid plan.  Then go to the Fletcher campaign’s YouTube channel to view video of Craig explaining his plan.

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