Welfare Recipients Take EBT to Disney World and Vegas


You just got on welfare, what do you want to do now? Go to Disney World. It’s cold out in Maine, but it’s really warm in Florida, just like back home in Somalia. Leave the polar vortex behind and catch some rays, withdraw some cash and enjoy the good life.

Working people are paying for it.

According to Department of Health and Human Service records, cash welfare users from Maine have spent $2.8 million outside of the state over the last three years – and not just in neighboring New Hampshire.

According to HHS records, the top recipients of Maine’s welfare cash are: New Hampshire: $1.4 million; Massachusetts: $360,000; Florida: $206,000; and New York: $100,000.

New York’s tourism board really needs to do more outreach to Maine welfare recipients. We’ve got to pay for all the people Bill de Blasio is going to put on welfare. Maybe he can innovate welfare tourism.

On Aug. 1, 2011, one or more EBT cards were used within a three-minute time frame to access nearly $500 in welfare cash at an ATM in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. That particular ATM happens to be located almost on top of the campus of Disney World Resorts.

On March 1, 2011, at 3:20AM, a Maine EBT cardholder accessed an ATM in Cape Canaveral, Florida, twice, withdrawing $400. The address of the ATM corresponds with Ron Jon Cape Caribe Resort.

Additional Sunshine State transactions occur at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, the Family Fun Center of Lakeland, and at North Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Vero Beach, Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach – all hotspots for Mainers on vacation.

The list goes on to include Las Vegas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Four Seasons Resort Aviara in California.

The Four Seasons Resort Aviara is a five star hotel. I couldn’t afford it, but I’m not a welfare recipient in Maine.

But don’t worry Governor Moonbeam, California is still number one.

Californians have, of course, been the undisputed 50-state champions of transitional-living-fund spending across state lines.  At a stratospheric $69 million from 2007 to 2010: well, can’t touch that, transitional-living-fund-wise.  The top out-of-state venue for poverty-stricken, transitional-living-fund-wielding Californians?  Las Vegas.  $11.8 million spent by starving California children, much of it at casinos and co-located ATMs.

Remind me, wasn’t Obama lecturing CEOs about spending money in Vegas? I guess that doesn’t apply to his voting base.


  • Herbert

    I am sure the real person or troll, Tim Crane, could explain this is normal and expected. No system is perfect he will argue.

    Tim would argue with Ben Franklin himself if given a chance.

    ““I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
    – Ben Franklin

    • Daniel Greenfield

      This Franklin fellow sounds like a notorious racist and classist. He needed to check his privilege.

  • Norman Hatfield

    I’m a retired state social worker for Oklahoma. We once had a ‘client’ call from Hawaii to see if her food stamps had been issued yet. And MOST of US used to wish WE could afford as nice a car as the ‘clients’ drove. Oh, yeah, and after I retired I worked a while at Walmart. Had a checker there tell me he once sold a man 26 live lobsters…paid for with food stamps. I could go on and on about the abuse of welfare but what’s the point. People with a brain already know it’s a waste of taxpayer money and the ones that don’t have any brains are Democrats and they don’t care as long as it buys the vote for them.

  • UCSPanther

    I don’t care what anyone says. There is a HUGE problem when the “Po’ in America” are living large and buying expensive food items, luxury goods like Xboxes and plasma screen TVs and Cadillac cars, while the average minimum wage earners struggle to make ends meet.
    It is a disincentive to work and pay taxes when you can get a better standard of living by becoming a welfare parasite.

    • Notalibfool

      Yes! When I worked for a well-known pizza chain we had several low income apartment complexes in our delivery area. It was upsetting to see so many nice cars (including SUVs) in the parking lot. Even more annoying was when the customer opened their door and their fancy TV, computers, furniture, etc. came into view. Not to mention the beer cans, packs of cigarettes, and video games.

      My store manager told me that the majority of customer complaints came from – you guessed it – low income apartments. They always wanted a free pizza.

      • UCSPanther

        My Grandmother went on welfare back in the 1960s, and my mother remembers eating cheap and nasty food, living in low-end hellholes, wearing rags for clothing, and being treated like dirt by others because of her family being on welfare. She remembers that welfare only gave just enough to barely scrape by on then.

        Nowadays, it is a different story. How times have changed, and not for the better.

        • Notalibfool

          My mom grew up on welfare during the 1950s and 60s. Same story as your mother’s: bad food, crummy housing, and being treated as an inferior.

          As an adult she did her best to earn a living, she avoided handouts, and she made a point of not buying non-necessities unless she could pay for them outright.

        • EDF55

          Better only for those on welfare.

      • BCarStew

        I was a welfare worker back in the 70s. Our trainer said “When you see them pull up in a Cadillac and wearing diamonds and a mink coat, just be jealous.”

        • whino3321

          Lots of people who had money spent it on stupid things, than they lost their jobs and are on welfare. Why would you be jealous of them?

      • whino3321

        If you were to do even a tiny amount of research, you would realize that welfare benefits are not nearly high enough to pay for any of these luxuries. Just because someone is poor now, doesn’t mean they were always poor…

  • Notalibfool

    My wife and I have been trying for years to save enough money to take our kids to Disneyland. Maybe we should just quit our jobs and get on welfare. We could also finally get a new TV.

    • laura r

      understand, these families are huge. there are proberly 10 brothers & sisters for every husband & wife. they help each other. they also proberly jam into a room somewhere in a motel. no one is staying @ four seasons. unless ofcause that corp was bought out, now its 2 or 3 star.

      • Rosa Caine Nottingham Custis

        Yes, Laura R….the families are huge…..for every child they have that means more money! Duh!

  • surfcat50

    Democrats can’t let any attempt to disconnect the undeserving from benefits, either, which is why Harry Reid won’t let veterans’ pension cuts be paid for through keeping illegal immigrants from getting child care payments for their children back in the country of their birth.

  • Elizabeth Miesner

    When I first got out of the Army, the only job I could find was minimum wage. I needed a job, so I took it. On top of it, it was also only part time (while I held out taking whatever hours they would give me and hope they would bring me on board for full time while I was also putting lines out for other jobs). My sister though, was a single mom on welfare and one day we went grocery shopping together. I bought only what I could realistically afford and what would last until the next payday….you know, mac and cheese, some basic staples and toilet paper and laundry soap. She was ahead of me in the line and she was buying steak, chops, you name it, she bought it. I only ever bought a pound of hamburger as the affordable meat (which would last me for 4 meals which I spaced out over a two week time frame). But when I ate the food I bought, I took pride in knowing that I worked my butt off and paid for every bite I ate. She, on the other hand, would sometimes come asking me if I had anything I could spare when the food she bought ran out and it was a few days before her next welfare check. It was hard because she had a child, but I didn’t give it to her and I tried to tell her that she needed to really, really think about wiser decisions…..like “get a job”, stop having babies (she was pregnant at the time with number 2), and budget her money. Yeah……didn’t go over very well at all. In my honest opinion and from experience, I have found that if you give these types of folks money, it is squandered. They haven’t worked for it, haven’t earned it, know nothing about the people who DID work for it (and whose pockets they are picking) and therefore blow it because it cost them nothing. There needs to be some way for these EBT cards to be banned at all places that have no relation to basic living.

    • wow

      Sibling of the year! Who would be watching the kids while she worked? Do you have any idea how expensive day care or baby sitters are? That’s why we have to buck up as a country and legalize post-birth abortions and get rid of your nieces and nephews. Clearly they are the problem, since they refuse to eat hamburger meat and mac and cheese everyday

      • Elizabeth Miesner

        Funny you should mention baby sitting. Not only did she have an available baby sitter whenever she wanted one ( a neighbor friend), but I babysat for her on my days off. After a while though, I stopped because while she would tell me she was looking for a job, she would always seem to come home with some new guy. At some point, “bucking up” means doing the hard things. No, I don’t mean post-birth abortions! I mean holding irresponsible people responsible for poor choices. A poor choice every now and then is one thing…..but continuously? Why should responsible people be saddled with paying for the lifestyles and poor choices of irresponsible people? So if you think that’s okay, go ahead and “pony up”. I’m tired of working and having my taxes confiscated to support irresponsible people.

  • Terry C

    If they can afford to go to Disney World, they do not need to be on Welfare.

    • whino3321

      There clearly needs to be some sort of “Net Worth” regulation with regards to who can get welfare benefits. It is ridiculous that someone can have $10 million in the bank, but take a year off of work and get food stamps. At least I think that is feasible under the current system.

      This would be a good opportunity for Republicans to introduce meaningful reforms, as opposed to their typical efforts to merely defund everything.

  • Sgt Maj

    LBJ gave birth to a welfare nightmare that today’s political dumocrats perpetuate as a vote-buying scheme that keeps them in office.
    Liberals all want to play Santa with other people’s money and are led by a Chicago thug with a goal at financial redistribution.
    Lefties who still defend him are in for a huge surprise when he empties their bank accounts!

  • Ray Rittenhouse

    This whole story is sick…They talk about the Rich and Poor and yet people on Welfare and Food Stamps are the New Middle Class…Has to be Stopped…Stop the milking of Working people surpporting the Walfare Babies….

    • Rosa Caine Nottingham Custis

      agree…..after one maybe two children…..the buck should stop….some states have adopted that policy and every state in the union should follow suit…..same thing should apply for random drug tests….people with jobs get tested…..why not for someone getting free hand outs feel they are any different…..

      • EDF55

        Obummer is the one who removed the “work incentive” program. It should be replaced. They have to work or no more welfare of any kind.

        • whino3321

          That is a blatant lie. Obama decided to let the states decide – something most Republicans claim they support.

      • wow

        It’s called the 4th Amendment of the Constitution: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. Where do you draw the line? “You’re on welfare so lets drug test you. Also, we’ll come to your house every once in awhile and search all your possessions for drugs.’ How would you like it if I came to search your home solely on the basis that you’re employed or just because you’re not employed, I’m sure you’d feel your privacy is being violated. Just because you’re on welfare doesn’t mean others can strip away your privacy and dignity. You’re correct that some people who have jobs get randomly drug tested. Yet, the majority of States only allow random drug tests when the employee holds a sensitive security position (cop, firefighter, city construction worker for example), otherwise it is illegal. You’re probably thinking about how prospective job applicants are drug tested, which is usually always ok, but once they get the job, they can’t be randomly tested unless they hold a sensitive security position. People on welfare don’t hold any position, much less a sensitive security position.

        • JPB

          If i don’t use drug, if i care or my country and want the system work fairly.. drug test me!!! whats the problem? be my guest, i don’t hide anything… That should be the mentality of a clean soul

      • whino3321

        Florida did this and wound up losing a ton of money. It turns out that most of the people on welfare were passing their drug tests. The state spent way more money on administering the tests, than they saved by denying money to those who failed.

        Is that really how you want to spend your tax dollars?

  • laura r

    i dont believe it was the four seasons hotel. maybe a spin off name. regardless, they must have $ other than welfare to go on vacations.

    • Notalibfool

      I always thought that vacations were breaks from work. Therefore, no work equals no vacation. These people should not be going anywhere fun if they don’t earn it.

      • laura r

        i dont care, maybe the big family paid. a vacation is a break in the routine. but using the govt “card”??? thats over the top!

        • Notalibfool

          They should be looking for work not out playing. Maybe their big family can pay for their food instead of us workers.

          • laura r

            we cant control where people go. they dont travel in style thats for sure. what i dont understand is this ebt card. i thought it was for food or household items? all this anger doesnt help you or me. the govt made these decisions.

          • Notalibfool

            Well, as a worker I don’t get to go anywhere, in style or otherwise. It’s extremely difficult to support my family on our mediocre incomes. It is outright demeaning knowing that non-producers are awarded privileges denied to those who contribute to society.

            I don’t know or even care what EBT cards are intended for; my family was not eligible for assistance at a time when we truly needed it.

            The gov’t may make the decisions but we elect our leaders.

          • laura r

            this is all done on purpose to distroy the US. i dont believe in benefits for any single mother who keeps having children. after 2, govt should pay for 2. as for zillions of 3rd worlders, most should not even be here. its ovious, they want to take us down. i have friend, wht male single 48yrs old. went back to school for a masters degree. he was stuggling & working horrible p/t jobs just to eat & pay rent. he applied for food stamps. they said he did NOT EARN ENOUGH $$! then later he reapplied as he was down to no income. then they said he had TOO much in the bank. his mother deposited 2-3 months rent for him. it took many trips to get this assistance. he also has student loans to pay off, when the illegals get free tuition. believe me, i am on your side. all this $$ should go to americans in need. to save peoples homes, to help w/food when earning little, or unemplyment benefits so people dont end up sick & homeless. we are bottom feeder, i know this.

          • Wow

            Can you please explain to me how illegals get free Undergraduate or Graduate tuition? Because I know for a fact if you don’t have a social security #, you can’t get financial aid, such as grants or interest free govt loans, for undergraduate tuition (college), which a majority of college students qualify for, so it’s not a high bar. Therefore, if illegals are going they are paying full price, and if they can get a private loans (again good luck without having soc sec #–>no credit), it’s at predatory rates. As for graduate tuition, no one, legal or illegal, can get grants or interest free govt loans. All that’s available is govt loans and private loans. So again please enlighten me as to how illegals get free tuition? They actually pay more to go to college than legal ‘mericans

          • laura r

            i dont know how they do it. but i did read it several times in this magazine & others.

  • realitybites

    Dear God, you folks are so pathetic. Follow the links in this story. It will take you to a the Townhall article this was cut and pasted from. Follow those links and you will go to the Maine Wire article Townhall cut and pasted from. At no point does any of these articles link to an actual study, or report, or other quantifiable document that proves what this article is saying. So, given the absence of, you know…..evidence, this story is BS. But it does allow you as readers to affirm what you think you saw, heard, or witnessed about those eeeevil people on EBT.
    Suckers, the whole lot of you.

    • Notalibfool

      Not a sucker here. I have personally witnessed gross abuses of the welfare system; there is more that I have not revealed here.

      • wow

        Why wouldn’t you reveal it and enlighten us. You know, I have personally witnessed gross abuses of the securities exchanges, we should get rid of it! Look at the degree of harm. How much does welfare cost us, and you can’t even say that everyone abuses it, so the cost isn’t even the entire cost of funding welfare, and how much did the subprime mortgagaes and securities fraud cost our entire economy for the past 6 years? Yet, those guys are just savy businessmen right? You know stories like this (gay marriage, welfare, social security, healthcare) is all just rhetoric to distract you from what’s really going on. The rich getting richer, and trying to do anything to rile up the brainless masses to get what they want, and why do they do it? I guess its the same reason you think people go on welfare, cause they can and it’s easy.

    • wow

      Amen! Someone who uses their brain. Just cause its on a website and then reported on Fox News doesn’t mean it’s true. Remember Gore wins Florida? What a Joke? People have no compassion anymore. What If I told you all that as welfare spending has gone up, crime has decreased. Therefore, people being on welfare prevents crime, right? Sadly, there is more evidence of that being true than anything in this whack ass article

  • destro

    I would like to say that yes people do abuse the system but not everyone does. I just received my first payment from welfare recently. I got let go from a good paying job that I did buy nice things. Designer clothes for my 2 children and myself. Nice car. Big house. Plasma tv’s. I still have those things that I did work hard for. I don’t receive any cash just food stamps and unemployment. I have been looking for work everyday. My wife of 10 years walked out on me and my 2 kids. I needed a little help. Just don’t judge a book by its cover. I never thought I would be in this situation. I’ve worked hard all my life to supply my family with what they need. This isn’t a sob story but my reality. I am thankful that I can get help to feed my 2 children right now and it does still anger me when I do see lifetime welfare recipients blow taxpayer money away but we are not all like that.

    • Notalibfool

      You should still consider yourself lucky. When my wife and both lost our jobs at around the same time we were not eligible for even food stamps. DSHS did not care that we had two children (a toddler and a baby) or that we were about to lose our home. In their minds we were wealthy/privileged/evil etc.

      If I was the one who decided where welfare money goes the freeloaders would be cut off the system. Then more assistance could be provided to folks who truly need help getting back on their feet.

      • wow

        Tell me how you define who is a freeloader and who truly needs it. What system would you implement or should be implemented to make that distinction? Or would it be that you just get to make generalities and blanket conclusory statements?

        • whino3321

          Not to mention that 90% of welfare money goes to the working poor, the elderly, and the military. Pretty sure none of those are considered freeloaders…

  • Sister Valium

    Has anyone thought that maybe family members treated these people to a vacation? Although I work, I have friends who will treat me for lunch and I have friends I will treat for things. Not everyone on assistance is working the system. Many of these people at one time had good jobs which were outsourced to other countries. Most of the people on Food Stamps do work. If people had nice things before they fell into dire needs, are they now supposed to dress in rags just to make us feel good? Find a job? During the deep freeze last week, hundreds camped out just to fill out applications for 50 apprenticip jobs. So yes, people are looking for work.

    • Jay Jay

      I know the writer has a biting tone so it’s hard to catch but he’s saying that they spent their government checks on the trips. Proven by the fact that the state issuing the checks made the pay outs. These weren’t gift trips.

  • RC

    A lot of people don’t get that welfare is not meant to help anyone. It was pushed through by the corporations that profit from the welfare distribution and expenditures. Something like 25% of the welfare money actually makes it to those on the dole and that 25% ends up getting spent at the fast food chains and giant grocery corps that lobbied to allow spending there. You can buy a 1 year supply of basic real food (rice, beans, flour, etc) for about $650 if you buy it in bulk. Many recipients receive at least 10x that amount just to SUPPLEMENT their food spending. Dem/Rep red/blue is a false dichotomy to divide and better conquer you. This is corporate fascism at its finest. For what they spend on ‘supplemental’ nutrition they could buy everyone in the program 2 full years of food plus a shotgun every year.

  • lochruhades

    I don’t say I disagree that there is a good bit of abuse by some recipients of welfare and Foodstamps/EBT both but in regard to at least playing devils advocate of the one SORT of situation which I could comprehend having some sympathy for the reason such a withdrawal might have been made, mind you pretty much every other situation I would also condemn. Imagine if the person who made that withdrawal was a grandparent who had traveled to Florida from their home in Maine to visit their child and grandchildren whom they wish they could see more often. They decide while they’re there they would like to make some memories both for their sake and for the sake of their grandchildren because when they think about it they can’t be sure how many more visits they may have or if they’ll even necessarily get to see them in person again. So with these thoughts in mind they go to the ATM to make a withdrawal so they can either take them to Disney and watch them have a good time and enjoy grandma/grandpas visit and hopefully always remember that time they took them to the Magic Kingdom and bought them Mickey/Minnie hats and had their pictures made. Now granted I won’t pretend I don’t agree that it’s a good bit more likely that some 20 something who popped out a kid or two in high school or possibly a baby daddy of the same, and maybe a couple of their friends who did similar decided to take their ‘shorties’ with them on a nice trip down to Florida to visit the clinic their friend told them about where they could get certain types of prescriptions without too much trouble so they could ‘make their rent payment’ see also, “Paying for an Escalade” and while down there make a side trip to an amusement park or three. We all know which is the one we’ve heard more about someone knowing someone who did such a thing, I just hope that the grandparent doesn’t lose the chance to make a memory with their family because of the steps we found necessary to stop the abuse of the drug dealer/addict.

  • Jay Jay

    this is why the welfare system needs to be torn down and REALLY fixed. Of course there are people who need help but obviously people with the worst intentions have been abusing it. All that does is hurt those who really need it as well as those who are required by law to pay for it.

  • Spring

    I personally am thankful for the welfare system. I know and have seen firsthand people sell the food stamps they get and spend the money on things they shouldn’t, but I never have. I don’t take vacations, can’t afford them. The closest thing my kids get to a vacation is a drive to the nearby beach for a day and we have to plan ahead and budget out the gas to make such a trip. They are few and far between. I am a single mom trying to make a better life for my 4 kids after a bitter divorce. I refused cash aid and got the only part time job I could find and made it work. The only assistance I have gotten is medical and food stamps for the kids. I know there are a lot of people out there that abuse this system and it makes hardworking taxpayers angry, I worked starting on my 16th birthday. No sweet 16 party, just work. I paid into it until I was 30. Now I am in a tough situation and need the help that I paid into for my kids. So try to remember this system was set up for the people out there like me who worked hard and still are and just need a little help til they get back on their feet. Don’t let all the bad ones make you hate it when it really is a HUGE help for some like me. I am thankful everyday for them helping me feed my kids.

  • Wow

    I want to preface this by saying I do not affiliate myself with any political party, since I know that blindly agreeing with whatever my “party” says is the dumbest thing a person could do, and is no better than the mere sports fan, who argues that his team is the best or can do no wrong because they are his favorite team. Instead, I adhere to logic and evidence. So everyone watch this video, and I hope you can see that when an ideological viewpoint, regardless of whether conservate or liberal, has logical inconsistencies, you can see they’re just talking out of their ass. Cause if they’re arguing for a position, with inconsistent or logically oppsite arguments, I hope you at least ask yourself the question: “are they advocating their position as a result of the merits of the facts and evidence, or are they just trying to do whatever they can to advocate a certain position, and make the arguments and facts fit what they’re position is.


  • DavidChicago

    I’m sorry, but this article says nothing. Why do you people believe this cr*p? It says that money was spent outside of the state…So? That doesn’t mean the money was mis-spent. It says that on one occasion someone fraudulently used an EBT card in Florida, near Disney. So? After the Target credit card hack, my Visa was used in New York. But you guys will use this as ammo to attack millions of people, because of a few frauds. I’m wondering, by the way, how many of you cheat on your taxes? Because, that would be the same kind of fraud. So, did you report all of your income? Pay your fair share of taxes?

  • Alex

    The clearly is a disconnect in the ppl verifing income and how the card is being used. Seems like the ppl employed to protect and verify the program isnt doing there job, where’s the accountability in that.

    As far as how the funds are being used, it would seem that people are mad at the fact that the made a choice not to accept government funds because its the American way and also chose not to accept the funds because its demeaning and below your standards. I say if you chose to starve, I don’t think you should try to shame the ppl who decide to misused the benefit they are receiving because the are premium items. If this is one of the few luxuries available to those who are truly poor them why not have some upside to this dull life that no one even cares about exept for the drama in other ppls lives, But I assume that people only do that to make themselves seem superior to someone.

  • Dan Josselyn-Creighton

    And if you add up ALL the alleged abuse going on here in this article, it is still only a tiny fraction of the money going to corporate welfare. The article doesn’t even tell us specifically WHAT the money was spent on, only where it was sent, It is a pretty safe bet that a lot of that money was spent visiting family, and in many cases probably sick family members. Identity theft also represents some of this spending. So we are left with a few million dollars that might actually be abuse, compared with TRILLIONS of dollars of corporate welfare. But people getting corporate welfare are POWERFUL and you don’t want to go after them, instead you go after poor people. That makes you a COWARD.

  • NJmom

    This is an interesting discussion. I am a state food state recipient. My son’s father passed away last year along with a separate misfortune that landed me out of the picture and into a healthcare facility for several months. He was 6 years old, at the time. His father always wanted him to see Disney World, and with the death benefit that he received, a part of it has been spent on making his father’s wish come true and to try to build a GOOD memory this coming year. You can’t really know what people are going through unless you walk in their shoes. Please don’t judge others until you do face their hurdles yourself. I have a college degree and am unable to find work in my field. I am working for low wages in a position that I am quite over qualified for.