M. Keene: Why should we?

After working hard for more than 70 years, why should my wife and I have to struggle to pay our taxes so that some people on public assistance can buy beer and cigarettes?

Maurice Keene, Auburn

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.




Re the cigarettes

As long as people have walked the earth, in the absence of competent medical care, they have self-medicated with assorted chemicals, smokes, alcohols and superstitions. There is nothing new about that. And besides it tends to make poverty, hopelessness and mental illness a little more tolerable. As for why you should pay for them. I guess that would be the same reason we would pay for you should a major illness deplete all of your assets and leave you sick and homeless. It is more humane than leaving you out in the cold to die. A community with so little civic pride and moral responsibility that it makes no effort to protect its poor, sick and elderly from a life of squallor is the kind of hillbilly hellhole that most respectable people and businesses would avoid being associated with. Finally , to a hammer everything looks like a nail. If you stand at a store looking for someone to buy something you don't approve of you surely will find it. That doesn't nullify the need of thousands of people who just need a chance. Most of the people on public assistance have children. They are surely not to blame for having poor parents.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Beer cigarettes are not life

Beer cigarettes are not life necessities; there is absolutely no need for tax dollars to fund that kind of activity no matter how good it makes one feel, especially when the nation can afford it.

What you keep asserting, government assistance or hillbilly hellhole, is a false dichotomy. Local and individual charity will help those in need. Moreover, since the relationships are more personal, it will be easier to identify those who are gaming the system and those who are the neediest. Government is too big and too disconnected to accomplish such a task.

 's picture

Why should you? You

Why should you? You shouldn't. You have been failed by successive generations who value comfort above liberty.

 's picture

Anyone who has spent a day

Anyone who has spent a day working at a grocery store, convenience store, or retail has seen the same story played out time and again. One Hannaford in Portland had to put a sign up at the Smiling Hill milk display limiting customers to only two gallons at a time. When I asked someone why the run on milk, they explained that the cash value on the returnable bottle for the "free" milk was so high, people were filling carts with milk, dumping it in the parking lot, and bringing in the empties for smokes and liquor.

Jillian Campbell's picture


Since when is there cash value for an empty milk jug? I have never heard of that... I was a cashier at hannaford a few years ago and I know that if someone uses wic to buy a bottle of juice, the voucher does not cover the 5¢ deposit.

 's picture

We're not talking about a 5¢

We're not talking about a 5¢ deposit, but a $2 deposit. Many local dairies do this to preserve their investment in expensive glass jugs. I have seen this scam with my own eyes, but it was back in the bad old days when they couldn't buy cigarettes with food stamps.


You still can't buy

You still can't buy cigarettes, alcohol, toilet paper, laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo or any other non food item on food stamps.

 's picture


Go to your local grocery store and loiter around the checkout counters for a while. Watch the EBT users. In spite of bloviations to the contrary, they're easy to spot. Watch the steady flow of cigarettes, beer, and - for the kiddies - a nutritious dinner of cheese doodles.

Jason Theriault's picture

Oh, that wont look suspicious.

Yes, I sure no one will mind that =)

My point is that if your looking to complain, fine.

But if your looking for me to take you seriously, you need to make a case with facts.

 's picture

No one will mind if you don't

No one will mind if you don't dress like a derelict. Be that as it may, I saw this as recently as this morning at Hannaford, from my vantage point in line behind the alleged perp. Get out more often and find your own facts.

Jason Theriault's picture


We ran out of Bagels at work today. Ergo, there must be a global bagel shortage.

No? Well, then just because you saw someone taking advantage of the system doesn't mean that it is rampant. I'm not saying it isn't a problem, but I can't judge how big of a problem it is from no evidence. If you want me to convince me to vote for change, you need to show me evidence.

Jason Theriault's picture

Why should....

Why should I bother to write a reply when your whole argument is based on nothing but stereotypical nonsense.


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...