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Two months back, dozens of Democratic congressmen participated in the SNAP Challenge. The PR stunt — sorry, “awareness-raising exercise” — sought to promote the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and demonstrate how difficult is to eat healthy on the average weekly allotment of $31.50.
Though the “S” stands for supplemental, SNAP Challenge participants pretended this was an entire personal food budget. Ignoring state, local and charity programs, the Democrats insisted that not only should we not reduce federal giveaways, we need to drastically increase them.
They scoffed at warnings that SNAP enrollment has nearly doubled in six years while the costs have more than doubled. They mocked the billions of SNAP dollars wasted for errors and fraud. How else would the poor, underemployed masses of Obama’s America find food without more dependency on plastic EBT cards?
This week, Fox News met one of the “needy” SNAP recipients and it wasn’t pretty.
Jason Greenslate is an able-bodied 29-year-old who has decided he doesn’t need a job as long as he can freeload off family, friends, girlfriends and of course the U.S. taxpayer.
“Wake up, go down to the beach, hang out with my friends, hit on some chicks, start drinking,” Greenslate said, describing his average day to interviewer John Roberts. “I surf everyday. It’s wonderful, man. Just get away from everything, clear your head. Get out with the boys. Have a good time.” Dude.
It’s hard to watch the beach bum without thinking of Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. When the character was asked why he didn’t get a job, he replied, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.” Since any real-world Spicolis lived during the Reagan years, at least taxpayers weren’t funding their low-key lifestyle.
Living in the exclusive resort town of La Jolla, Calif., Greenslate spends his $200 a month in SNAP funds on gourmet foods many Americans can’t afford. With a film crew in tow, the surfer uses his EBT card for lobster, coconut water and sushi. “All paid for by our wonderful tax dollars,” he smirks in the checkout line.
Greenslate’s long-term plan is to become a rock star and has no intention of seeking traditional employment. “This is the way I live and I don’t see anything changing,” he said, showing no shame over his dependency. “Why would it be bad in any way? It’s free food. It’s awesome.”
I can’t afford to vacation in La Jolla, let alone live there. And if I did spend a night or two in Mitt Romney’s ‘hood, I’d be eating McDonalds instead of lobster. Yet I still don’t expect fellow Americans to fund my wave- and bar-hopping week there.
Greenslate doesn’t represent all SNAP enrollees, but he does reveal that abuse is rampant. It’s past time that our food stamp programs are reformed so that freeloaders like this modern-day Spicoli aren’t preying on the dwindling incomes of hard-working Americans.
Follow Jon on Twitter at @ExJon.