Wisconsin Rep. Wants To Make Poor People Shop In Separate But Probably Not Equal Grocery Stores

Just in case poor people haven’t been shamed enough in our country, two Wisconsin Republicans want to make it so the poor have to 1. identify themselves as being poor, and 2. stay far far away from the non-poors.

Rep. Jesse Kremer (R) and Sen. Steve Nass (R) want food stamp recipients to show ID, and he wants them to have to shop in separate grocery stores.

The bill, he says is to eliminate waste and fraud. Having to show a photo ID seems reasonable, right? Well, not really. Many elderly and disabled people use food stamps and family members or others might do the grocery shopping for them.

Plus, only one card is issued per household and legally, every member of the household can use it. Kremer says that the bill would allow all members of the household to use it, but he doesn’t explain how a cashier would know who the members of the household are and what address to look for.

Not only that, food stamp fraud is virtually non-existent. All this bill will do is force people to identify themselves as poor in a culture that already demonizes them.

Of the fraud that does exist, most is done in conjunction with the retailer. Requiring an ID would do nothing about that.

There’s also the small obstacle that it’s illegal. It’s against federal law to give poor people special scrutin,y and because the SNAP card is a debit card – indistinguishable from a bank debit card – the cashier doesn’t know whether it’s SNAP or anything else.

Kremer would also like to limit where people using food stamps can shop. The anti-government Republicans want them to shop at government run pantries (ahem, that’s called socialism). Kremer admits that will probably never happen, although he’s optimistic about the ID bill.


 Featured image via RetailSolutions.com.