LFDA Members say no to alcohol and tobacco purchases on EBT cards - 1,484 responses

Mar 19, 2014

While a proposed bill to ban the purchase of alcohol and tobacco products on Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards will likely not be passed this year, such a delay is at odds with sentiments recently expressed by an unprecedented majority of Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook members. In total, 95 percent of respondents who directly answered the question, “Should NH prohibit alcohol and tobacco purchases with EBT cards?” answered affirmatively.

In fact, the question elicited a record 1,484 responses, including specific comments from 604 individuals supported by 740 concurrences. In justifying their respective support of the ban, many respondents cited the source from which these funds are made available. “It's our money they are spending, not their own,” one woman remarked. “No one living off my money needs alcohol or tobacco.”

Additional reasons for those who professed support of the restrictions ranged from charges that anyone who uses EBT cards should try harder to support themselves to claims they should be used only for necessities. “It should be a hand up, not a hand out,” said one respondent.

For the select few who expressed disagreement with the proposed ban, many noted the state simply has no right to regulate how funds distributed through EBT cards are utilized. “It's the recipient’s money,” one gentleman noted. “Period.”

Despite numerous commentators questioning the actions of those who received benefits, a few acknowledged they were either past or current recipients of such benefits, as they expressed the sentiment they used them to keep their respective families afloat. As one commentator explained, “Some of us don't leach off the system and only use it (be)cause even with a job it was pretty much either buy food for my kids or pay bills.”

Such logic, however, did not sit well with either the aforementioned majority or another sizeable portion of respondents, as 19 percent of total commentators did not directly answer the question with many focusing on how such a ban could be regulated.  As one respondent noted, “Eliminate the ATM withdrawal option and eliminate the option of purchasing anything except the essentials. The option of purchasing cigarettes and alcohol is personally offensive.”

Questions regarding logistics and rhetoric regarding the need for welfare itself aside, a clear majority of LFDA respondents offered unequivocal and clear support for the ban. “Welfare is not supposed to provide everything that you want,” concluded one gentleman. “It is designed to provide what you need.”

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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