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How to Make a Liberal Politician Stand Up Against Intrusive Government

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By Doug Powers  •  February 6, 2012 04:28 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Before the payoff, here’s a brief set-up:

Florida’s poor can use food stamps to buy staples like milk, vegetables, fruits and meat. But they can also use them to buy sweets like cakes, cookies and Jell-O and snack foods like chips, something a state senator wants stopped.

Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, also wants to limit other welfare funds, known as Temporary Assistance For Needy Families, from being used at ATMs in casinos and strip clubs and anywhere out of state. The bill comes after reports that the debit cards welfare recipients now receive were used in those places, as well as locations in Las Vegas and the Virgin Islands in a small percentage of cases, but the state does not track what items were purchased.

The bill recently passed a committee. A companion bill in the state House companion is being considered by a subcommittee.

You’d think the food police would be thrilled. If there’s anything they should get behind, it’s an initiative designed to encourage lower income people to avoid unhealthy eats… right?

But instead, one Democrat gives us our chuckle of the day by denouncing (albeit selectively) the notion of food police — and maybe even things like health care mandates. Get a load of this:

But critics say the government shouldn’t dictate what people eat.

“What I choose to ingest even though I may be on food stamps, that’s at my discretion. I don’t need government telling me what I can and cannot purchase,” said Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, a Pompano Beach Democrat who voted in committee against the bill (SB 1658). She said the bill is demeaning and invasive and she worries the education campaign would imply to “minorities and low-income folks that they’re not intelligent enough to make selections on the foods they want.”

How many calories are burned by doubling over in laughter for several minutes? Maybe this is part of the “Let’s Move” program and people are being tricked into exercising. It wouldn’t be the first time.

**Written by Doug Powers

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