Christine Rouselle, a college student who worked as a summer cashier at a Walmart in Maine, describes what she saw:
a) People ignoring me on their iPhones while the state paid for their food. (For those of you keeping score at home, an iPhone is at least $200, and requires a data package of at least $25 a month. If a person can spend $25+ a month so they can watch YouTube 24/7, I don't see why they can't spend that money on food.)
b) People using TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) money to buy such necessities such as earrings, kitkat bars, beer, WWE figurines, and, my personal favorite, a slip n' slide. TANF money does not have restrictions like food stamps on what can be bought with it.
c) Extravagant purchases made with food stamps; including, but not limited to: steaks, lobsters, and giant birthday cakes.
When the economy is strong and governments are running surpluses, you hear fewer complaints about this sort of stuff. But the way the piece — from a new site called collegeconservative.com — has resonated is a sign that the drive for welfare reform isn't over. Mitt Romney is getting at it when he talks about the "entitlement society," and congressional Republicans have also been talking about the unfinished work of welfare reform. Expect to hear a lot more about it going into the 2012 election.
Link via Romenesko.