Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unabashed Surfer Receiving Food Stamps to Buy Sushi and Avoid Work

During a report on the record number of food stamp recipients in the U.S., investigative journalist John Roberts met Jason Greenslate, a surfer and rocker who is living the self-described “rat life” in California.

The 29-year-old signed up for SNAP (the new less stigmatizing name for food stamps) 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.”  Thanks to the taxpayer.   

All he has to do is provide his birth certificate and Social Security card and fill out a form once a year.  Then he is supplied with a credit/debit card he may use at self checkout kiosks - no need to even have what would be an embarrassing moment of shame for some of us.   

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.  He prefers to surf.  

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.”  

Perhaps Greenslate (who is a dead ringer for Jeff Spicoli, a fictional character in Fast Times at Ridgemont Highis the smart one and the rest of us are the fools.  If the government hands out our tax dollars so freely then why shouldn't we get some of our hard earned dollars returned in these various forms of government cheese?  I suppose that is how socialism takes off - you realize that the system is so corrupt and fraught with waste and abuse that you decide you have to get in on the debauchery to avoid disadvantaging your family.   

I certainly hope that we can turn this tide back the other way someday but I fear that will only be possible with a war, massive economic collapse or some other calamity.