NY Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Paterson seek to stop food stamp recipients from buying sugary drinks…is this fair?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson want to ban food stamp recipients from using their stamps to buy sugary drinks. They contend this is an effort to combat obesity. They are seeking permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If this is approved this would be the first item banned from a federal program based solely on nutritional value “In 2004 the USDA rejected Minnesota’s plan to ban junk food, including soda and candy, from food stamp purchases, saying it would violate the Food Stamp Act’s definition of what is food and could create “confusion and embarrassment” at the register.”  Is this fair? Is there something paternalistic about this? Does it single out the poor? Tell me what you think.

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Comments

  • Bill  On October 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Yes this proposal is indeed paternalistic. This is the ultimate outcome in virtually any relationship where an individual is dependent on another for sustenance.

    I recall my days while growing up and being supported by the paterfamilias of the household. It was always made clear to me that as long as I depended on his support, I had to play by his rules. It always ends up that way.

  • GrannyGin  On October 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Let’s say it’s maternalistic and momma cares about what the kids are eating, and about whether her money is helping them or hurting them 🙂

  • lola wilson  On October 7, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I think that the mayor and governor or any one else does not have the right to tell anyone what they can buy with food stamps. The person who receives them should be able to purchase items that their family may need and enjoy. The federal, state and city governments are going to far into a person’s life by trying to control what they can do or buy. This happening might mean that some children may not ever know the joy of having ice cream or a candy bar. Thanks.

    • elogam  On October 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      Remember the joke about the “Golden Rule” that said “He who has the gold, makes the rules”? Well, in this case it is true. If someone is on government assistance, I believe the provider of the “benefit” has the right to call the shots on how the assistance is used. Just recently here in California it was determined that some aid recipients had used their federal aid cards onboard cruise ships and in casinos. Should I, a hard-working citizen who cannot afford to book a lavish vacation onboard a cruise ship, be subsidizing someone on government assistance so they CAN? True this is not as extreme, but the principle is the same. You eat off my money, I get to tell you what you can and cannot buy with it. Don’t like it? Find some other (legal) means of feeding your family.

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