Did a Massachusetts heroin dealer get out of jail using his EBT card? EBT stands for 'Electronic Benefit Transfer' and is now used across the U.S. in place of the old paper food stamps and for cash aid. Rather than getting a check in the mail, the recipient has a certain amount of money alloted on the card for food, and, sometimes, a certain amount for cash. The cash is not usually for specified things. However, it's doubtful that taxpayers are keen on convicted felons using their cards to post bail! 45-year-old Kimball Clark was arrested last Friday on drug related charges, not such a big shock since he's been charged with drug crimes and assault and battery before.
So, how could this happen? Some states have cracked down on where people can withdraw cash on their EBT, like in strip clubs and casinos. Rep. Shaunna O'Connell (R-MA) says that she tried to get bail bondsmen on that list of places where people could not use their EBT. There was actually a fight about this? Yes, whenever welfare reform is on the table, people start talking about reform being anti-minority and anti-poor people. From that point, they can argue that needing money for bail is a problem minorities encounter more often and it just snowballs from there. The circumstances are similar to the current fight over paying for contraception, right away, people against paying for it are were deemed anti-minority/anti-poor.
Rep. Russell Holmes (D-MA), said he was "hardly surprised that a drug suspect would try to bail himself out with money from a taxpayer-funded EBT card. It's exactly the type of activity that can occur when folks are allowed to get money off their EBT card." How did the media find out about Mr. Clark's actions? The police actually overheard him talking during his one phone call, "get my EBT card and go to the ATM and get the money to bail me out, get me outa' here tonight." Obviously, he had no worries about the police hearing him!
With more and more people going on welfare under this administration, tougher laws need to be enacted. A few months ago, some lawmakers suggested that all welfare recipients get drug tested. Common sense, right? Not so much. Another idea struck down because it wasn't 'fair' to recipients. Putting regulations, within reason, on people being supported by taxpayers is more than fair. Making restrictions on EBT use will reduce waste and possibly make taxpayers feel a little less aggravated with being forced to pay the way for other people.
Â© Margie Wilson-Mars 2012