Sean-Paul Kelley recounts two prosecutions in Texas. First:
My wife has defended indigent mothers charged with Food Stamp Crime. She has never pleaded one out as guilty.
Here’s the typical situation if they do not have a good lawyer, as most do not, because they are represented by public defenders who are just collecting an easy paycheck from the State:
$400 a month received by mom for her and two kids. She Fails to report $100 monthly increase in pay where she works 40 hours a week. She is subsequently charged with felony theft By the State.
The punishment for the mom is 10 years defd [deferred] adjudication. This means she goes to see the probation officer regularly. She is fined $1000, plus restitution to the State of Texas.
She gets no more food stamps and the children will get 10% less in food stamps, but they still get them.
The Inspector General of the State of Texas has a big budget, a large well paid investigative work force and they are well paid. My wife says the State’s files on each person is voluminous. She also says they go after these ‘deadbeat mothers with a vengeance ‘.
I am in court with XXXXXX XXXXXXXX. She is on a 2 year probation for welfare fraud. She got a job, and [the] state says she did not report that fact to welfare officials. She got about $900 that she was not supposed to. The total cost to her being for being on probation is over $5K. The probation office just extended her probation another year so she can get every single penny paid. She has paid $4,600 so far.
That will help. I’m not excusing this, although the first case certainly could have happened by accident. But this will neither bankrupt us, nor is anyone living easy on this. $100? $900? Yeah, that’s fast cars and great steak territory.
But there’s no class warfare at all in the U.S.