You cannot buy electronics with food stamps. You cannot buy cigarettes with food stamps. You cannot buy pet food with food stamps. You cannot withdraw money with an EBT card (food stamps).
Do you know what else you can’t buy with food stamps? Shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, tinfoil, plastic sandwich bags, toothpaste, cleaning products, tampons, pads, over the counter medications (such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.), and anything else you can think of that you cannot physically ingest for nutritional purposes.
Do you know what you can buy with food stamps? Food.
Do you know what it’s like to scrounge for change to buy non-edible necessities, use a credit card and EBT card (food stamps) during the same transaction, and then have the person in line behind you judge you for buying the ingredients to make a birthday cake?
People who disseminate false information about food stamps have never had to use food stamps.
Here in Washington, foodstamps and cash welfare are placed in separate accounts, accessed with the same ATM-style card. So it may appear as if somebody’s taking food money from the ATM, but that’s the cash allowance the state provides them each month.
True, there’s nothing stopping Johnny Nogooder from withdrawing his monthly $150 (more than a single person would get monthly, actually) and spending it on scratch cards, smokes, cocaine, or hookers.
Likewise, there’s nothing stopping me from spending my financial aid on scratch cards, smokes, cocaine, or hookers.
I have to assume that Johnny Nogooder is going to use his monthly pittance to pay for something important, like keeping his water turned on, or paying the phone company so he can continue communicating with his work, medical care providers, or family.
I’ve done cashier work off and on for a few years. Only once did I ever see somebody clearly abusing the system.