Regarding the June 16 news article “House cracks down on food stamp recipients who don’t report lottery winnings”: Being smiled on by Lady Luck was the last problem I thought would interest members of the N.C House of Representatives because of all the other social concerns that must keep them up at night. But Rep. Burt Jones, always on the alert for fraud by those on the dole, introduced HB 1040 requiring food stamp recipients to report to DHHS any lottery windfall over $2,500 as income. This opens the possibility of adjusting down federal food stamp funds to the unfortunate winner and perpetuating the myth that Republicans are opposed to big government handouts.
But that’s not all they are trying to achieve. I don’t believe that Jones or his Republican friends really give a hoot about saving food stamp funds. They do care about reinforcing the image of the poverty stricken and now, more and more, forgotten middle class citizens who receive government aid as laggards and potential cons in the minds of voters. This bill is an Us against Them reminder. Dividing us is a deliberate act to keep political power.
Charlotte T. Best