Saturday, May 21, 2011

$2 million lottery winner still gets food stamps....Really?!? Yup.

*Today's post is from a long time friend of mine, Mr Brew. He will be sending in posts whenever he can on stories he finds amusing, like the one below. Let him know what your thoughts are on his topic. I have a few but I'm sure he knows them by now. Now without further delay...

   Meet Leroy Fick.  He is a Michigan Lottery $2 million jackpot winner who, though a loophole in state law, is still collecting food stamps. Leroy Fick is about to become the newest poster boy in the nation for people against government benefits for the poor.
     At least he’s honest. “If you’re going to…try to make me feel bad, you aren’t going to do it,” is what he was quoted as saying in a local TV interview.  He gets the benefits due to most of the money being invested and since assets are not considered as part of the income guidelines, he gets free cheese on public dollars.
    Normally I like a refreshingly honest, from the gut comment on the news.  Not this time.  Here we are in a recession when many can’t put food on the table, truly needing these benefits and this Mr “Fink” (couldn’t help the pun) will now be the target for those wanting to cut these benefits more.
     I grew up on food stamps.  My father’s back was injured on the job (before the days of big settlements) and was bedridden for years. His lower spine was fused and could never work full time again.  My mother was a homemaker raising my brother and I while taking care of my father.  We managed modestly and some of these government benefits did help. 
     Now I know there are those who cry foul on those who abuse the system.  They are Legion, for there are Many….Neighbors of ours had a scheme of family members giving birth, it seemed, on a yearly schedule.  I don’t think I ever saw any of them work a day in their lives.  I would look in their back yard and think of the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lived in the shoe.  Except they lived pretty comfortably, getting their broth AND their bread…. with government cheese.
     What’s sad about Mr “Fink” is he actually thinks there is nothing wrong with what he is doing.  And legally he is correct but he is only thinking about the law.  He found a loophole and is going thru it. Proudly too I might add.  Unfortunately he is missing the moral and social ramifications of his actions. 
     The old phrase “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” applies here, doesn’t it?  When the Michigan legislature creates a bill changing the law (and you know it’s just a matter of time), I hope the truly needy don’t get screwed by this “Fink’s” actions. On the flip side though, I couldn’t agree more with a line of legislation stopping this type of abuse of the system.
     Excuse me.  Now I’m kinda hungry.  Think I’ll get a slice of cheese from the fridge. What kind you may ask?  The kind that tastes best.  American.  Why? Because it reminds me of being on food stamps as a child and now my cheese is paid for with the cash I earned by being fortunate enough to have a job during these tough times.


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