In the middle of the Republican Shutdown, with economic disaster via debt default looming, America’s been a bit on edge lately about anything government related. Today’s mishap with Food Stamp failures may just be the push over that edge.
All across the country, starting at about 10:00 A.M. Eastern time, people standing in grocery lines had to put back cart-loads of food when their food stamp cards failed to run at the register. Ohio was one of the first to report EBT outages, followed by Michigan, Maine, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma and several others.
Of course, for many, the EBT failure brought to mind Obama’s dire warning about government vs. economic shutdowns.
“In a government shutdown, food stamps and benefits go out on time. In an economic shutdown, they don’t.“
Perhaps for that reason, whispers about EBT failures almost immediately turned to screaming accusations that it was due to the government shutdown. And that may have played a role; however, the reasons for the outages turned out to be much more banal than that.
Xerox (yes, that Xerox) has been in the government services provider business since about 2003, and has the contract to operate EBT and WIC benefits programs in many states. This morning, the primary card servers at Xerox went down, cutting off benefits distribution to most of or all states on Xerox’s network.
As of 5:30P.M., Xerox’s EBT cash services are back up and running in a few states, but EBT food services are still out of commission. Xerox promises to have the situation under control soon, and food benefits should be restored before day’s end. At this point, there’s no official indication of the failure having anything to do with the government, shutdown or otherwise. However, that hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from theorizing conspiracies. Most of them go something along the lines of
“The HUSSEIN administration did this because something something DAHK Sssside…teaching us a lessson DAHK sssside…”
Of course, even if this weren’t (as far as we know, Lizard Men) a technical glitch, it really WOULD be a golden opportunity to teach certain people a lesson. Most notably, America’s Welfare States…you know, the ones who voted for McCain/Palin. We know statistically that red states are the nation’s leading welfare queens, regularly taking far more money from the government than they put in.
And it seems like our Ayn Randian friends really COULD stand to learn a lesson. Here’s a random sampling of comments from news sites covering the food stamp outage…and it seems more than a few are as giddy about hungry kids as Michele Bachmann was about the shutdown:
- Holy cow, I guess they’ll have to go get a job eh???
- Oh my god, maybe they will have to actually get a job.
- Forget those cards. Come on and jump on board the working class train so you too can pay taxes and support lazy dummies like you used to be. Or something like that.
- Democrats will be dropping like flies as the welfare system crumbles.
- Free loaders need to get a job and some education and skills.
- The shell station at Warren and Telegraph might as well close for the day then seeing as 95 percent of their customers are migrants from the section 8 housing across the street who slither in to pick up the usual assortment of section 8 bling
- Take your time fixing the problem-let these scammers and gamers sweat a little-teach them how it’s going to be when we finally get fed up enough to shut the whole rotten system down.
Others are standing by, Cartman-like, awaiting the coming Hunger Games:
- I hate carrying the Glock but this situation calls for a better round count so the 1911 goes in the safe until the threat of civil insurrection subsides.
- Better have your gun ready when it gets dark tonight if they don’t fix this problem!
- Lock your doors! Shut your windows! Hide your car! No Bridge Card access has a way of bringing out the riffraff.…. Jus’ sayin’.
Will today’s food stamp snafu teach anyone a lesson? Was it engineered by O-BA-mah to give Alex Jones something to talk about? Was it a result of the government shutdown, or anything to do with some Republican ridiculousness? Well, in the sense that the food stamp system has been subcontracted and privatized…maybe. There might be some meat on the conspiracy bone, since we know Xerox also handles WIC, and WIC has been affected by the shutdown. But one thing’s for sure:
Tonight, somebody isn’t eating.
UPDATE: It’s being widely reported that Xerox has fixed the computer glitch and EBT cards are working again.