Welcome Instapundit readers. In response to some emails and comments, allow me to add two points. First, creating more beneficiaries (even if the budget doesn’t immediately increase) will increase the number of entities that have an incentive to lobby to preserve the program and/or make it bigger. Second, this development is part of the effort to de-stigmatize food stamps, thus making the destructive dependency lifestyle more attractive. Here’s the original post.
Should food stamp recipients be able to buy taxpayer-financed meals at fast food restaurants?
That’s actually a trick question. Setting aside the controversy about Obama turning America into a “food stamp nation,” the federal government shouldn’t be involved in income redistribution, so the right answer is that the program shouldn’t exist.
But let’s relax our principles and ponder this story from USA Today. A group of fast-food restaurants wants to be eligible to accept food stamps as payment.
The number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show, as vendors from convenience and dollar discount stores to gas stations and pharmacies increasingly joined the growing entitlement program. Now, restaurants, which typically have not participated in the program, are lobbying for a piece of the action. Louisville-based Yum! Brands, whose restaurants include Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver’s and Pizza Hut, is trying to get restaurants more involved, federal lobbying records show.
Is this a good idea? The answer, of course, is no.
Indeed, this is downright reprehensible, perhaps even worse than the story about college students mooching off the program. Shame on Yum! Brands. This is another distasteful example of how big business is willing to rape taxpayers and/or consumers by using he coercive power of government.
For what it’s worth, I will now try to avoid eating at any the restaurants owned by Yum! Brands (which will be fairly easy since KFC is the only one I like).