Americans are routinely requested to provide identification, whether it be presenting a check or credit card for payment, voting, banking or getting a drivers license.
Under the new eWIC program, which provides assistance to families with small children based on eligibility requirements, cards received for government benefits will not require identification for use.
In fact, while it’s routine for individual’s names to be on the front of credit and debit cards, eWIC cards – like food stamps – will not have the recipient’s name on the card.
Or a signature.
Currently about 5,600 Johnson County residents use the WIC program with benefits ranging from $70 to $200.
WIC is an excellent program. It provides formula, milk and other products for the youngest among us who are in need.
It’s a safety net program.
it’s necessary.
However, we’re concerned with the lack of checks and balances.
It’s already common for some food stamp recipients to sell their benefits for 50 cents on the dollar. It’s illegal, but it’s common.
In other words, if you receive $400 a month in food stamp benefits, you “sell” it for $200. The food stamp cards, which also do not have names or signatures on them, are “sold,” and the buyer gets $400 in food, and the actual recipient gets $200 in cash.
These transactions are hard to track because they’re nearly invisible. The “buyer” goes to the store, loads up on groceries, and then swipes the card to pay. Identification or verification is not required.
The cards are usually returned to the actual recipient to be sold again the next month – or reported lost, replaced and a new pin issued.
The actual recipient will use the proceeds for anything from rent or utilities to drugs or alcohol.
Food stamp cards are a form of underground currency – just as eWIC cards will be.
While we understand and appreciate the convenience of these plastic cards, and we support the eWIC program, we’re not sure what government bureaucrat decided that names not be printed on the cards or identification required.
Especially at a time when it’s become more and more routine for Kansans to have to prove their identify.
If average Kansas taxpayers have to prove their identity to vote or drive, those who receive government benefits should be held to the same standard when spending our hard-earned tax money.