The response has been predictably overwrought since Republican state lawmakers suggested last week that perhaps photo identification should be required in order to receive benefits under the programs formerly known as food stamps. Words like “appalling” and “despicable” have been tossed around.
It’s possible to acknowledge a Libertarian argument that efforts to restrict how people use benefits granted by food and nutrition programs exemplify paternalism and that once deemed eligible, recipients should be left to make their own decisions as to what they purchase and consume. That isn’t the issue here, and contending that recipients should make their own decisions might work better if the recipients were spending their own money.
Most important, though, is an old standby of the Left itself: the zero-sum game. If there’s waste and abuse going on by some program beneficiaries, that means less help available for society’s neediest and most vulnerable members. Liberals play variations of that argument all the time; let’s see them dismiss it now.
Photo ID for food stamps may seem like a no-brainer, but someone had to say it first and sometimes stating the obvious requires courage. Raising the issue at all counts as progress.