Occasionally you will see a story that just makes you shake your head in dismay about what it says about the human condition.
For me, at least, so it is with a story about a guy in Michigan who won $2 million in the state lottery TV show called “Make Me Rich,” but nevertheless remains eligible for food stamps — and continues to use his food stamp card to buy his food. The man in question, Leroy Fick, says he doesn’t feel bad about still using taxpayer money to buy his food. Fick’s $2 million lottery winnings don’t disqualify him from a program that is supposed to help the poor because, under current law, food stamp eligibility is based on gross income and lottery winnings are considered liquid assets. As a result, a guy who has more money in the bank than the vast majority of taxpayers is happy to have those taxpayers pay for his groceries. What a greedy jerk!
I recognize that this is an extreme case, and obviously the “liquid assets” loophole needs to be fixed. But what it really sad about this story is that a guy who has had a stroke of incredible good fortune has absolutely no regrets about taking advantage of that loophole, and thereby taking advantage of his fellow citizens. Why doesn’t “Lucky Leroy” Fick have a conscience that causes him to realize that using his food stamp card under these circumstances is just wrong?