By Mike Appleton, Guest Blogger
Dear Rep. Stam:
Two days ago I came across a story in The Huffington Post concerning your co-sponsorship of a bill to prohibit the sale of lottery tickets to North Carolinians who are bankrupt or on welfare. Since I am certain that your proposal will generate a great deal of criticism in the liberal media, I am writing to lend my support to your idea and to commend you on your political courage.
As we all know, the misuse of welfare assistance is widespread. In my state of Florida, Gov. Rick Scott attempted to address the problem by securing passage of a bill mandating drug testing of welfare applicants, only to have the will of the people thwarted through an injunction issued by an activist federal judge. There always seem to be corrupt forces opposing efforts to prevent our tax dollars from supporting drug addicts and gamblers.
I am sure you will remember the comments of the former lieutenant governor of your sister state, South Carolina, who observed a couple of years ago that giving financial assistance to the poor is much like feeding stray dogs; they always come back for more and they breed promiscuously. How true that is! Why bother to seek employment when I can get a monthly check from the state to buy drugs and lottery tickets? And this attitude is hardly surprising. After all, people who choose to live like animals plainly lack the discipline and moral character necessary to make positive contributions to the community.
Now I know your bill has received some negative reaction from commercial interests who do not wish to be responsible for enforcement of the prohibition. While that attitude is shortsighted and unhelpful, I do agree that we ought not create undue burdens on businesses or subject merchants to possibly awkward and embarrassing encounters. If you will excuse my immodesty, I do have a suggestion that might eliminate those concerns. If welfare recipients were required to have a discreet, but visible, tattoo disclosing their status, they would be readily identifiable among the general population and the lottery ban would be effective without the slightest discomfort to honest businessmen. Indeed, implementation of this simple idea would facilitate the adoption of legislation containing a comprehensive list of products and services which should be unavailable to welfare recipients.
I believe a small “W” would be suitable for identification purposes, but that is merely suggestive. Perhaps you could consider having the state officially sponsor a contest, as is sometimes done in connection with the selection of a new license plate, with a cash prize awarded to the person submitting the winning tattoo design. This would encourage the involvement of North Carolinians in the civic life of your state and would simultaneously serve to educate citizens on the meaning and importance of the legislation.
I urge you to remain steadfast in the pursuit of passage of this bill. It is time that we remind the unproductive elements in society that food stamp assistance, like voting, is a privilege to be carefully dispensed only to the worthy. If we cannot trust our state and local government officials to enforce the principal tenets of Christian morality, whom can we trust?