Thursday, March 8, 2012

Woman Wins Lottery and Still Gets Food Stamps

My Bff emailed me a story about a Michigan woman, who won the lottery and continued to collect 200 dollars a month food stamps.  Apparently, the state depends upon recipients to declare any change of financial status within 10 days, and a failure to report a change in status, could subject the recipient to fines, as well as jail time.


"I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn't, I thought, maybe, it was OK because I'm not working," Clayton, 24, told WDIV when it asked whether it was appropriate for her to receive the money.

A state lawmaker is trying to stop such assistance, which is not illegal. He says the food assistance should not go to those who have found riches through the lottery.

"We need to continue to protect our taxpayers' dollars ... and taxpayer dollars should be going to those who really do need assistance," Michigan Rep. Dale Zorn of Ida Township told HLN's Vinnie Politan on Wednesday.

In October, Clayton walked away with $1 million in the "Make Me Rich!" lottery game show. She also bought a car, WDIV reported.

After taking a lump sum and paying taxes, the unemployed woman said she ended up with just more than $500,000.

Asked if she had the right to the public assistance money, Clayton answered, "I kind of do. I have no income, and I have bills to pay. I have two houses."

Zorn said the state House has passed bills on the matter. One would require a state agency to conduct an assets test if a citizen wins more than $1,000 in lottery earnings. "That will trigger whether or not the people are eligible to receive public assistance." [source]
There is a lot of shaming of this woman for buying a house and a new car. When we think of the lottery, we think of it as a passport to a new life, while actual winners have found that this windfall, tends to bring many problems than it solves. There is a reason why a significant percentage of winners end up in a worse financial position, within five years of winning the lottery.

I highly suspect that Clayton bought a house and a home because these are socially seen as markers as success.  When it comes to property, now that housing prices are low, an investment, if one can afford it, is not a bad financial choice to make.  The problem as Clayton has discovered is that she is now house broke.  She made it clear that she now owns two hopes, and so perhaps the second home was intended to be used as a rental property.

In her response as to whether or not she is entitled to food stamps, what I see is a case of entitlement.  Yes, she has bills to pay, but so does everyone else.  She is not the special snowflake that she sees herself as. What I found most interesting about this story, was the lack of welfare queen drama that would most certainly have been aimed at a WOC.    Some commenters on the CNN story did however manage to engage is some hateful rhetoric, though Clayton is a White American woman.
Chad2000: Funny she took what $1000 and yet illegals range into the millions easily from social programs. They just had a story about an illegal getting to stay that did well in school.  Now if we add up the taxes associated with that education, along with what aid she was given, I'm sure people would be in a real uproar.

Wisewoodchuck: Let alone Obama's ILLEGAL Auntie Zeituni and Uncle Oingoboingo's rising bill that has been ringing up and being paid for by the Taxpayers for decades now....Even AFTER being legally deported 2 times.
Even in the face of a White American woman clearly committing fraud, somehow, the supposed crimes of non citizen residents is worse and costing the American people billions of dollars.  Unlike Clayton, undocumented workers actually provide a lot to the American economy, and some industries would actually collapse without their labour.  The bottom line is that people don't want to see what's right in front of them, if it flies in the face of the hate they have come to internalize as truth.

Clayton is a cheat with a sense of entitlement.  I believe that she has learned her lessons well from the top 1%, who rail against any form of socialism, but are quick to have their hands out when it is bail out time.  If they aren't hiding their money in off shore accounts, they are claiming that they aren't really rich. Those who have accumulated the most wealth, on average are costing society far more than any undocumented worker is.