The federal government has warned that Maine could face sanctions after breaking federal and state laws by mismanaging its food stamp program under Gov. Paul LePage (R). “If the department’s goal is to make more people hungry, the strategy is working,” wrote David Farmer of the Bangor Daily News on Monday. “Under LePage and Mayhew, more people are hungry and the department isn’t doing its job.”
Asked to comment on Farmer’s report, LePage said: “What blows my mind each time when I’m asked this same question is the fact that nobody out there seems to get one simple fact. When you give something to someone for free, it’s not likely they will value your gift. In other words, there is no way that people will want to work more when you give them free food. In fact, there’s a greater chance that they’ll just continue bitching and complaining about being poor as usual, only now they’re going to be doing it with a full stomach. Do you see the difference? Because I certainly do.”
The governor of Maine went on to say that “the worst possible thing to do for a homeless poor person is to offer them a free meal and warm bed,” arguing that “that will only encourage them to feel sorry for themselves and cry over their sad destiny.” He also added that “it would be more merciful to simply take a gun and put them out of their misery.”
“If you’re really keen on helping poor people, which is something I am very sympathetic with,” LePage also said, “you’d be better off calling them names and insulting them, but only as a way of motivating and forcing them to snap out of their feelings of worthlessness.
That is far more helpful than merely granting them such a huge favor as offering them free food. I mean, it makes sense that kids who grow up in poverty make far better workers in adulthood than those who are born with a silver spoon. And given the situation America is facing right now, we need all the hard workers we can get. So, it’s out with the rich brats and in with the smelly, hungry homeless people.”
Farmer, however, also reported that U.S. Department of Agriculture put Maine’s Department of Health and Human Service on notice as the number of residents with food insecurity has been quickly trending up since LePage took over as governor. According to Farmer’s report, Maine’s state agencies went from ranking 36 out of 53 states to last under LePage. And food insecurity in Maine has been increasing at a time when it’s decreasing nationwide. Only Arkansas and Missouri have higher rates of people with very low food security.”