If I want to get paid I have to go to work. I am in effect bartering my time and talents for money that can be used for goods and services. Sounds like a pretty simple concept, doesn't it?

Maybe it's not.

Because a Louisiana Congressman is having to introduce legislation that would reform who is eligible and how those persons become eligible for SNAP benefits. SNAP benefits are what we old folks call food stamps.

Congressman Garret Graves plan would simply require able-bodied individuals with no dependents to participate in job training and show proof that they are attempting to acquire gainful employment if they are to be granted these benefits to purchase food.

My question is this. How are these not requirements for these benefits already? My incentive for going to work is I would like to have a roof over my head and at least a small amount of food in my belly. If we were not a civilized society and were required to live off of the land and our wits that whole "get your butt to work" concept would not have to be dictated by law.

If I have the government sending me free money in the form of an EBT card every month why would I even want to consider stepping out into the heat to earn an honest wage?

I find it interesting that the word "entitlement" is used frequently when describing SNAP benefits. It's not an "entitlement" it's a handout and it shouldn't be. It should be a helping hand to assist an individual who is struggling through hard times to get back on their feet. SNAP benefits shouldn't become a lifestyle.

I don't want anyone or any family to go to bed hungry. I also don't want to pay for a freeloader on my tax dollar. We've got a few other issues that in my opinion are more important than making sure some slacker gets to spend his or her days watching Judge Judy while you and I bust our butts to feed our families and earn a little extra for the "entitled".

Congressman Graves, I hope your reform ideas become law. I applaud you for trying to encourage Americans to actually go work for their wages. However, I feel like your reforms won't make it through the political power structure that is currently choking our nation's economy.

That power structure is, unfortunately, setup to stay a while.  When people become dependent on the government the government "owns" them. Therefore the "owned" must ensure that the owners stay in power so the free ride won't end. Think of it as buying votes but using your money and my money to pay for them.

I'd rather use my money to pay for roads, schools, bridges, drainage, and making sure our nation isn't taken over by another country that doesn't allow entitlement among its population.