I just read this article, and I wanted to get everyone's take on it. a guy just won the lottery, and still collects food stamps to this day because it's considered a liquid asset. Therefore, he's still technically eligible to receive food stamps, due to this technicality. What are you're thoughts on this? Is he being smart for taking advantage of such an obvious loophole in the system? Or is he just being a petty jerk that should stop collecting on our tax dollars, so people that really need that help will get it? What are you're thoughts?
by the way, here's the link if you want to read more details:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_localdtw/ … ood-stamps
This is a Michigan problem. States can alter qualifications in order to collect food stamps, In Texas, assets count and he would not be eligable for food stamps. And we wonder why people who truly need the help cannot get help,
to me its welfare fraud, legal yes, but still fraud by a loop-hole that should be removed.
I might actually write a hub about this. I just read the article on Yahoo, and I had a bunch of different thoughts run through my head, with regards to government, the person, and society in general.
It's like watching stupidity in motion.
I agree. Personally, I think there should be a law requiring this man not to be able to collect food stamps if he's already a millionaire. Then again, you can't blame the guy completely for taking advantage of such an obvious loophole in the system. I just think it's sad, as I think our tax dollars could be helping out people that actually need it versus guys like this.
Hey Steven, I guess they could technically arrest him for fraud, he is pretending to not have the funds to buy groceries, so as to get state aid. Loophole doesn't matter. Ignorance isn't blissful in this case. Just because, he can take advantage of the loophole, he shouldn't, because it's only right.
$2 Million and he needs help with his groceries? That's fraud.
I don't think it's fraud since the report states that he only needed to report income and lottery winnings, in that state anyway, is not considered income it's considered an asset. It is a technicality which he is taking advantage of.
Consider a family living in a $1.5 million dollar home and the breadwinner loses his job and income. The home can be sold eventually when there is a buyer but they will take a huge loss since the market value of the home has dropped and worth less than what is owed. Until that home (their only reall asset)sells, this family needs to eat, should they be denied food stamps since technically they have a net worth of more than a million dollars but no income or liquid cash flow?
Hey Richard, in your example the family would be able to. I didn't mention that assets were a matter of the problem. The problem isn't so much assets, as oppose to what is right.
The money he has is sitting in a bank and it's not considered an asset?
Your example is about the house's value, not the total net worth of the individuals involved.
This guy's net worth is millionaire status. Yet, he refuses to do what is right, which is not using food stamps, which are derived from taxpayer's revenue. That's my problem with it.
I don't disagree. I think even though there is a loophole that allows this guy to collect foodstamps, he shouldn't act on it, as he's depriving others that might REALLY need that money. Personally, I think the politicians in Michigan also deserve part of the blame for not having the foresight to have the laws in place to prevent such a loophole to begin with. Sure, I know there was probably no way they could've saw something like this coming, but I think the bigger question now that it's a public issue...what are they going to do about it? I just hope this brings to their attention that the laws in that state need to be amended so jerks like him won't be able to manipulate the system like this.
I saw that and it made me sick...too many people bilking the system already and here's this guy with a big chunk of change and taking food stamps. I hear so much of this...people selling their kids social security numbers, so other people can claim them on their income tax...boggles my mind that they are not educated enough to work a real job, but smart enough to know how to work the system.
It would be fair if he gave all of his lottery winnings away to charity.
But technically, his income is waaayyyy above the level for receiving state aid.
Shame on him.
Yep, I hear that MM. That or if he's using that foodstamp card to pay for food for a unemployed family that doesn't qualify for food stamps to help them out. Or if he's using the card to get food for the homeless, then I'd say it's fair. However, if he's just using it for himself while keeping the money, then no it's not. I guess there really are too many scrooges in the world. too many if you ask me.
I thought this was a perfect fit with the republican ethos of the more you have, the more you get.
I thought this was a perfect fit with the democratic ethos of give the free money to anyone that wants it regardless of actual need.
In some ways it is. This guy paid 1.2 million of the 2 million in taxes. Why shouldn't he get some return on his tax dollars? I'm being facitious of course. However the idea of "getting a return on your investment" especially from a monetary perspective is a VERY conservative ideology.
1.2 million of it went in taxes? That is outrageous! The government should buy their own winning tickets, not leach of the luck of the winners.
First the govt. taxes your income from work so that money you spend on tickets actually costs you more than the $1 the ticket costs.
Then the take a nice swipe at the ticket sales, taking a goodly percentage right off the top.
Then they tax the winnings, both of the actual winner and the "winnings" of the company that sold the ticket (they get a percentage of all winners they sell).
Then they tax the earnings of the company that runs the lottery as well as the company that actually sells the tickets.
It's a great money maker! Almost as good as a printing press or even the church bingo game. Gambling pays very well, although not always to the gambler.
What is the big deal? Eventually the state will take about 900K of his winnings. Compared to that what is a few hundred dollars a week for a year?
Bet he put it in a family trust and paid no taxes
Yeah, but even if you deduct that out of his lotto winnings, that's still enough money to last a person a life time. Providing he doesn't go crazy with the money that is.
Hi Stevenix, It's hard to believe this man is allowed to recieve food stamps after becoming a millionaire. I don't begin to see how he can even accept food stamps without feeling guilty. It's very sad when there are people who are truly in need of food stamps and other assistance are being denied.
As pointed out above, loopholes can't always be covered in a law.
I knew a young lady once, single mom with two kids. Worked part time while going to college, but couldn't quite manage her rent and food bills. Asked for food stamps but was denied and told her that if she quit her job they would then cover her rent AND food. They would have given her something like $1500 per month if she quit work but couldn't manage $200 while she earned $1000 per month. I guess it sounded really stupid even to the welfare dept., but those were the rules and no one has any authority to vary them.
wilderness, I am aware it was pointed out above. The point I was making is a millionaire is not in need of food stamps. I understand there are people who are not managing their money well, but there are people who are managing the small amount of money they earned and still falling short.
You are absolutely correct in all that you say. It is absolutely disgraceful and disgusting that such things happen.
Unfortunately, it has become the American way to sponge off the government whenever possible (how many katrina victims will get more money in the coming months?). All too often the result is that the people that really need it cannot get it because of the silly rules required to limit the abuse by others. My example was a case in point.
Wilderness, you speak of a lot of wisdom, as you're right. No matter how many laws you have, people will always find a way to get around them somehow. I just hope this article gets enough press to where the politicians of that state can amend the law so jerks like him can't screw over the system.
Hi WOC, I don't honestly see how he can live himself either. Personally, I think he should be ashamed of himself for manipulating the system like this. I mean he doesn't need the money, yet he still wants to take advantage of the state that's already suffering due to the recession that we're in. It just makes me sick if you ask me.
Steven, I understand. Hopefully, the government will find a way to stop people from taking advantage of the system. There is always a solution to every problem.
I would think with all the publicity,that the state govt would stop the food stamps.
some old habits are hard to break.he certainly doesn't need them now.
..my 2 cents...he didn't do anything wrong...he declared his earnings and the idjut gov't worker didn't use discretion/judgement; but rather said 'no' you can keep using it and so he didn't turn the card in - but he tried and/or disclosed (I think that's what the article got at)...whatever..... He may not even be using the card...and a point is being made. And if he is using the card...he probably needs some other kind of help - not financial aid, but a good 'psych'...So, the policy/legislation will be changed and I think some dollars should be tossed at the gov't employee for some training.
It is not common for people with a lot of cash to use food stamps or any other financial aid...most folks don't like using them in the first place.
Well you do make an excellent point but in regards to the govt employee, I have to disagree.
Assuming the article is presenting all the facts (since I'm not familiar with all of Michigan's state laws), then we can both assume the employee did operate accordingly within the law by approving him still continue to collect food stamps because according to state laws, the lotto winnings are considered a liquid asset and NOT an income. therefore, if I read the article correctly, the guy was within his legal rights.
However, I want to point out that I DON'T agree that he should be within his legal rights, as I personally think the guy shouldn't get any type of government help if he's already a millionaire, as it's not morally right. Therefore, I don't think we can blame the government employee for doing their job according to how the law is structured in that state. However, I do think it's the politicians' fault for not having regulations in place to prevent such loopholes in the first place. Then again, it's always hard to foresee what loopholes are within each law until an incident such as this occurs. That's why I hope this article will encourage the politicians of Michigan to do something about this loophole, so jerks like him won't be able to screw over the system.
I'm not sure that this kind of problem can be addressed via new laws or guidelines. Any such law would be almost certain to hurt someone else that has a (much smaller) cache of cash or assets that would be drained away when it really should not be.
The only solution I can see is to give govt. employees some authority to make judgement calls and, frankly, I can't see that working at all either.
hmm..you do bring up an excellent point there, as I noticed how you pointed that out earlier to WOC too. I guess my problem is that I'm thinking too idealistically about the problem rather than seeing how even implementing steps to prevent this jerk from manipulating the system, it could in effect hurt someone else that might really need the funds down the line.
Then again as I always say, there's no such thing as a perfect society because it'll always be run by human beings. Which as you and I both know...are flawed, so any type of society we construct or work towards will always be flawed to some degree. However, that still shouldn't stop us from trying, right?
However, you have to admit that the first step of resolving any issue is to acknowledge the problem. Granted, the solution won't always be perfect, nor will it always guarantee that it'll detract people from finding other ways to beat the system while depriving those that really need the help more. However, I do think merely acknowledging this issue will help the state of Michigan substantially. How much will really depend on what the politicians do from here with said information.
I think you're right - acknowledge the problem. And this problem will be really hard NOT to acknowledge! It is so obviously WRONG on many levels.
I really wish the whole welfare system could somehow have govt employees empowered to bypass and modify the rules in specific cases. Maybe a committee review or something. The fraud and waste in the system is just so enormous that something has to be done to keep us all afloat!
What is the difference in this and a multi-millionare accepting a social security check? Considering the state the social security system is in, I believe this is just as bad.
Actuality is different than numerically.
A Multi-Millionaire who has assets, accumulative wealth and continues to maintain a pension or re-occurring income annually, shouldn't be eligible to receive a check.
My mother is on Social Security, as semi-retired. She is NOT allowed to go over a specific income level, otherwise they pull her checks. For every $2 over the limit, $1 is pulled.
Millionaires usually have re-occurring incomes annually and pensions paid out monthly. The income annually is most likely six figures to begin with. That alone should disqualify them from eligibility. The Social Security Program is all about SOCIAL(citizens) given Security. It is for those people who lack vision and understanding about wealth creation and it's importance.
I don't mind paying into Social Security, even IF I didn't ever use it. At least some people would benefit. Social Security IS NOT something a person should want to collect.
Fine. You get the law changed so that I am not compelled to pay into this Ponzi scheme and I won't take back out what I paid in.
I guess you don't care about others? Good to know. As for changing the Law? That comes in due time.
Government should NEVER be about forcing me to CARE about others. That is tyranny. And you know it.
Actually, Government isn't forcing you to CARE about others. It is telling you that some of the money you earn is going to help others. Whether you like it or not.
If you choose this type of argument, then you've failed to pick the correct position, in which to argue.
What is the right thing to do? If you don't understand what the right thing to do is, then feel free to admit that and this conversation will be over.
However, if you choose to argue with the basis of knowing what is the right thing to do, then I would suggest you grab yourself a glass of something and kick up your feet.
Social Security is just a privilege program. I told you before why it was put in place. By all accounts, if the government wanted to, it could do away with altogether. Then, what happens? Chaos would ensue. Which is one reason why Congress has not eliminated it.
On a side note- If people were properly educated with the resources and informed, then Social Security wouldn't actually have a problem. Unfortunately, when you have a government that is spending 50% of it's budget on Military expenses and only 16% of it's budget on Education....well, the corruption can be seen.
So we are back to my argument. It is tyranny to take my money, whether I care or not, whether I like it or not.
There is no role for the government to take the wealth that one person has created for the purpose of distributing it to others for their benefit. That is slavery. The intermediary between the slave and the owner is the state.
Hence the Ponzi scheme. Regular people go to jail. Politicians get re-elected.
Leroy Fick may be doing what is within the law, but that doesn't make it the right thing to do.
He shouldn't be eligible, but I doubt that many lottery winners are getting food stamps. There aren't many lottery winners. The loophole should be closed.
I don't know about the US but in the UK social security was very much a right wing thing, opposed by the left.
It was brought in as a means of keeping people under control, a hungry man is an angry man.
It was, and is, designed just to keep people slightly above starvation levels and slightly above the level of total desperation.
"The Senate on Tuesday rejected a bill that would have ended $21 billion worth of tax breaks for large oil companies, but Democrats vowed to revive the measure as part of high-stakes negotiations on the budget and debt ceiling....
The legislation would eliminate a slew of tax breaks for the five largest oil companies: Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips and Chevron.
Democrats say the bill would save $21 billion over the course of 10 years, savings that can be used to reduce the deficit at a time of increased belt-tightening. “Quite simply, we are talking about making drastic cuts to programs that touch the lives of almost every person in this country. Except for them,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said, referring to the major oil companies.
“Without a willingness to stare down sacred cows like corporate subsidies, we won’t ever be able to make progress eliminating the massive federal deficit, which is staring us in the face." "
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2 … ails-52-48
Please someone explain the priorities - the perspective. Some jerk cheats the system (legally) for a few hundred a month and conservatives have their panties in a wad. The oil giants cheat just as legally but it costs BILLIONS and republicans close ranks to protect corporate welfare.
of course if the OP's story wasn't bad enough.....
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 … dult-baby/
The 1.2 he has left over when spent will be taxed again.
What in hell are they doing with it all?
Every road should be paved in gold.
I don't think the lottery really helps people. I've read so many stories about winners. You would think the people that buy lottery tickets buy them so their needs are taken care of and they have a comfortable lifestyle. It reflects badly on those who really do need and benefit from food stamps because of people like this.
I saw a guy once at a coffee shop that gave me the creeps as he laid out all his lottery cards on a table and opened his money pouch and took out a huge wad of bills. He had on an Alcatraz hat.
Sorry if that offends anyone, but he had a creepy vibe about him.
Sure. He's got money now. You expect him to be treated like one of the poor slobs who, if they got caught would be arrested and tried, and upon conviction, would be removed from the food stamp privilege for a proscribed amount of time AND they would have to pay back what they fraudulently acquired.
I'm really not clear exactly what you're saying. I don't expect 'him' to be treated any other way that what he deserves. It doesn't matter if someone is rich or poor, people who abuse the system and my taxpayer dollars don't have my respect. If you want respect, earn it.
I understand situations where people fall into bad times and need help, and that's what it's supposed to support, not generations of people who expect something for nothing, which is basically who the lottery targets. Spend a few dollars and you don't have to work the rest of your life.
How would all of you feel about this issue if 90% of Americans opted to sit on their ass and collect food stamps? Do you make so much that you can afford to pay for this? Do you not recognize that is very much the direction we are headed in? 20 or 30 years from now do you expect your kids to be on food stamps to supplement their income? Or do you expect them to be paying for someone else's food?
Do you have any idea of the skilled, as well as many unskilled, labor jobs going unfilled in this country because too many Americans have the odd notion they shouldn't have to sweat or get dirty? They have a right to a Big Mac and air conditioning?
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