Flooding and Independence

In 1970, Bear Creek flooded, ripping out our family’s bridge and the bridges of a dozen of our neighbors. A state official proclaimed Bear Canyon a disaster area. Money began flowing, other peoples’ money. The FEMA worker came around with his clipboard. He had a talk with Dad and Mom. He offered to pay for fixing the damage with federal taxpayer funds. I remember the check he offered was for about $2,500.

Dad had a chainsaw. He had standing timber. He had tools and know-how. He knew how to mix concrete. He had an independent spirit. He and Mom would rather not take handouts. They felt squeamish about burdening others.

They refused the handout. They told the FEMA worker they would rebuild the bridge with their own funds and labor. It would have been a lot easier to take the money and call a contractor. But it would have clipped their independence. Theirs was the wise, dignified choice.

They rebuilt the bridge at great personal effort. It took a couple of weeks and entailed much inconvenience.

How admirable and rare is such pride and independence. How desperately it is needed. Handouts are killing us. They are the root of our nation’s spending and debt problems.

At this time, when so many people will be offered other people’s money to fix flood damage, people would be wise to inventory what they can first do to help themselves.

Food Stamp Waste, Line by Line

“In the 2008 debates, President Obama said he would ‘go line
by line
to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.’ He should be
held to that promise.” WSJ June 1, 2011.

 

Here are some lines from actual food stamps receipts,
March 5th, 2011.

This is federal taxpayer money spent unwisely.

NAB
CHEESE NIPS    1 @ 2.29      $2.29 FW
GATORADE
ALL STA   1 @ 3.85      $3.85 FW
GATORADE
ALL STA   1 @ 3.85      $3.85 FW
AW CRM
SODA 12P   1 @ 5.49      $5.49 FW
WF MINI
MARSHMAL   1 @ 1.99      $1.99 FW
MR
GOODBAR GIANT   1 @ 1.66      $1.66 FW
SOBE
ADRENALINE    1 @ 1.99      $1.99 FW
OCEAN
SPRAY O JU   1 @ 1.69      $1.69 FW
FRAPPUCCINO
137    1 @ 2.49      $2.49 FW
COKE DIET
12       1 @ 5.29      $5.29 FW
KITKAT
MINIS       1 @ 4.25      $4.25 FW
GINGER
SNAP        1 @ 1.99      $1.99 FW
MOUNTAIN
DEW       1 @ 1.79      $1.79 FW
FRAPPUCCINO
137    1 @ 2.49      $2.49 FW
FRAPPUCCINO
137    1 @ 2.49      $2.49 FW
CHERRY DR
PEPPER   1 @ 1.79      $1.79 FW
WF FRUIT
RINGS     1 @ 2.79      $2.79 FW
WF
KOOKIES CHOC    1 @ 2.99      $2.99 FW
DR
PEPPER          1 @ 5.29      $5.29 FW
PEPSI MTN
DEW 12   1 @ 5.49      $5.49 FW
NESTLE
CRMY CARA   1 @ 4.25      $4.25 FW
RED
BULL           1 @ 2.49      $2.49 FW
GINGER
COOKIES     1 @ 3.99      $3.99 FW
OLD FASH
DONUT     1 @ 3.99      $3.99 FW
SOBE
LIFEWATER   1 @ 5/5.00      $1.00 FW
SEVEN UP
12 PK     1 @ 5.49      $5.49 FW
LAYS               1 @ 3.99      $3.99 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 1 @ 2/1.00      $0.50 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 1 @ 2/1.00      $0.50 FW
DORITOS          1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
DORITOS          1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
HOST SGR
DUNKIES 1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
HOST SGR
DUNKIES 1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
MILKY WAY
BAR      1 @  .59
$0.59 FW
SNICKERS
BAR       1 @  .59
$0.59 FW
WF CHOC
PEANUT C   1 @ 1.99      $1.99 FW
WF FANCY
CREAM S   1 @  .59
$0.59 FW
HOST SGR
DUNKIES 1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
HOST CHOC
DUNKIE 1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
MOUNTAIN
DEW       1 @ 1.79      $1.79 FW
RUFFLES          1 @ 2/6.00      $3.00 FW
TOSTITOS           1 @ 3.99      $3.99 FW
WF 20 OZ
POP       1 @  .65
$0.65 FW
BUGLES
ORIGINAL    1 @ 2.99      $2.99 FW
DORITOS          1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
12PK COLE
ZERO     1 @ 5.29      $5.29 FW
CAPRISUN FRUIT  1 @
2/5.00      $2.50 FW
CAPRISUN FRUIT  1 @
2/5.00      $2.50 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 4 @ 2/1.00      $2.00 FW
AZ
RASBERRY TEA    1 @  .99
$0.99 FW
LIL DEB
SWISS RO   1 @ 1.59      $1.59 FW
 SOBE             1 @ 5/5.00      $1.00 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 1 @ 2/1.00      $0.50 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 1 @ 2/1.00      $0.50 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 1 @ 2/1.00      $0.50 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 1 @ 2/1.00      $0.50 FW
CHESTERS
PUFF CO   1 @ 2.00      $2.00 FW
DORITOS          1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW
CHESTERS
PUFF CO   1 @ 2.00      $2.00 FW
SUN
CHIPS        1 @ 2/6.00      $3.00 FW
BLACK  BLUE SOB 1 @ 5/5.00      $1.00 FW
OREO DBL
STUFF M   1 @ 4.39      $4.39 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 2 @ 2/1.00      $1.00 FW
PORK LINK
SAUSAG   1 @ 3.55      $3.55 FW
PORK LINK
SAUSAG   1 @ 3.43      $3.43 FW
SHASTA
LEMON TWI   1 @ 1.59      $1.59 FW
 SHASTA COLA 6PK    1 @ 1.59      $1.59 FW
RUFFLES          1 @ 2/6.00      $3.00 FW
PECAN
SANDIES      1 @ 2.79      $2.79 FW
HONEY NUT
CHEERI   1 @ 3.85      $3.85 FW
LIPTON
ICED TEA    1 @ 2.99      $2.99 FW
LIPTON
ICED TEA    1 @ 2.99      $2.99 FW
PEPSI
DIET FREE    1 @ 5.49      $5.49 FW
BARQS
ROOTBEER     1 @ 1.79      $1.79 FW
CLASSIC
COKE 12    1 @ 5.29      $5.29 FW
PEPSI              1 @ 1.59      $1.59 FW
MOUNTAIN
DEW       1 @ 1.79      $1.79 FW
LIL DEB
COSMIC B   1 @ 1.59      $1.59 FW
PEPSI MTN
DEW 12   1 @ 5.49      $5.49 FW
CARN
CMATE TOFFE   1 @ 4.09      $4.09 FW
RB FRECH
BRD PIZ 4 @ 2/6.00     $12.00 FW
PEARSON
NUT ROLL 3 @ 2/1.00      $1.50 FW
HRSHY
ALMOND BAR   2 @  .79
$1.58 FW
TONY
SAUSAGE PEP 1 @ 2/4.00      $2.00 FW
TONY
SAUSAGE PEP 1 @ 2/4.00      $2.00 FW
LAYS               1 @ 3.99      $3.99 FW
WF
FROSTED FLAKE 1 @  3/10.00 $3.34 FW
MOTHERS
CIRCUS A   1 @ 2.69      $2.69 FW
WF RAINBO
MALLOW 1 @  3/10.00 $3.34 FW
MAXWELL
HOUSE CO   1 @ 9.99      $9.99 FW
NESTLE
CRMY CARA   1 @ 4.25      $4.25 FW
SOBE
JUICE DRINK 1 @ 5/5.00      $1.00 FW
SOBE
ORANGE CARR 1 @ 5/5.00      $1.00 FW
LIPTON
ICED TEA    1 @ 2.99      $2.99 FW

 

FW indicates the item was purchased using a Food Stamp debit
card or using a Women, Infant, and Children benefit, WIC.

 

This is how an entire receipt looks:

01
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*** BEGIN ***

01
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NAB CHEESE NIPS    1 @ 2.29      $2.29 FW

01
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GATORADE ALL STA   1 @ 3.85      $3.85 FW

01
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YOU SAVED $0.50

01
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GATORADE ALL STA   1 @ 3.85      $3.85 FW
01
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YOU SAVED $0.50

01
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SWEETS RASPBERRY   1 @ 3.45      $3.45 FW

01
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MAGZ / CARDS       1 @  .75
$0.75

01
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BC GUSHER VARIET   1 @ 2.99      $2.99 FW

01
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KELL NUTRIGRAIN  1 @ 2/5.00      $2.50 FW

01          03/05/11    08:19 AM
030    YOU SAVED $0.89

01
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SUBTOTAL                  7     $19.68

01
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TAX
$0.00

01
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TOTAL
$19.68

01
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DUE==         $19.68

01
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*FDSTP*
$18.93

01
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01
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CARD #SXXXXXXXXXXXX8869     PIN
USED

01          03/05/11
08:19 AM     030   FOOD STAMPS
+++  APPROVED  +++

01
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PURCHASE  AMOUNT  $
18.93

01
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———-

01
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ENDING    BALANCE $    250.81

01
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01
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CASH BEN. BALANCE $      0.00

01
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01
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AUTH # D45D14    EXP DATE
**/**

01
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LANE # 01        CASHIER # 30

01
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03/05/11 08:20   REF/SEQ
#016543

01
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MRCH=698650 TERM=001 IC=EB

01
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EPS SEQUENCE     # 016543

01
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01
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01
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01          03/05/11    08:19 AM
030   DUE==          $0.75

01
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*CASH*
$5.00

01
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CHANGE DUE
$4.25

01
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*** END ***

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