Thursday, March 27, 2014

Food desert? How about brain desert

State social services officials in Louisiana have decided to enact new limits for welfare recipients. No longer will you be able to use your welfare card at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons, jewelry stores, video arcades, bail bond companies, cruise ships, psychics, adult-entertainment businesses, nightclubs or bars. Which begs the question, why in the world were you ever able to use your welfare card at these places?

The Louisiana legislature is trying to codify the changes into law. How many other states are allowing our tax dollars to pay for a cruise for some deadbeat? It’s absolutely infuriating.
State officials say there’s only so much they can do about the abuse because the cards can be used at ATMs to get cash. Hello! This is the easiest thing to fix I have ever seen.

The leftists think tanks and advocacy groups do their level best to shroud the obvious but there’s no denying that poor people in this country are the fattest. The liberals claim all sorts of nonsense like “food deserts” and “food insecurity.” The fact of the matter is there’s no excuse for anyone to be food insecure. They hand out EBT cards like candy, especially if you have children. And food deserts? Please. The poorest people live in the cities and there are grocery stores all over the place.

So what’s the answer to why so many poor people are obese? This is the obvious answer the liberals try to keep hidden. People getting free food make poor choices. Now, in all fairness, junk food is generally cheaper because it’s subsidized through the farm bill. Oh, yeah. A lot of the junk food consumed in this country comes from corn, soybeans and wheat, three crops that get huge subsidies from the federal government. Your vegetable farmer gets virtually nothing from the government.

The answer is not to subsidize the vegetable farmer but to stop subsidizing everyone else. If lettuce and carrots were cheaper then, perhaps, more people would buy them but don’t bank on it. A large part of it is taste. Poor people seem to be suckers for junk food. They love it. Heck, I love it but I know it’s not good for me so I limit my intake of it.

And now we’re getting to the crux of the problem. How do you solve obesity among the poor and save the taxpayers a ton of money? 

First, no more cash advances from your welfare or food stamp card. That’ll keep welfare recipients from buying things they don’t need to be buying like beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets. Anything you need to purchase can be bought at stores with the card. 

Second, items need to be coded so that you can only by essentials with the cards. No lobster. No steak. No chips and cookies and soft drinks. You buy hamburger and chicken and fruits and veggies. Did you know that Papa Murphy’s Pizza now accepts EBT cards? And you wonder why poor folks are fat.

If Michelle Obama really cared about the obesity problem she’d be all over this idea but you’ll never hear her advocate limiting the food you can buy with an EBT card. Why? Because that’s how Democrats get re-elected. Why do think the food stamp rolls have exploded since Barack Obama got into office? Yeah, it’s all about keeping that base constituency satisfied. You talk about a riot, take away the junk food from the food stamp crowd and see what happens.

Fat and happy means one thing: Democrat votes. And they’re buying elections with your money.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.


  1. Is "desert" a typo? If you're referring to the meal course after dinner as in "dessert", then you better check your spelling! I'm reading your book, by the way.....

  2. It isn't a typo. "Food desert" is a term used by the left to describe areas, particularly urban areas inhabited by the poor, where it is purportedly difficult to find healthy food. This is why so many of them are overweight and out of shape, so they claim. As Phil noted, this premise is ridiculous. Big cities are inundated with grocery stores, almost all of which stock healthy foods for those who are motivated to look for them. However, the "dessert" that you mentioned is what many of them instead choose to purchase with their food stamps and EBT cards.