I call it “blowing off the hand that feeds you.” The family of the accused bombers has received $100,000 in handouts from various government agencies over the years.
There are 47 million Americans on food stamps. This family was one of them. I wonder if they still are. (Note: they are not stamps any more. They are plastic cards that look just like credit cards. The food stamp handouts are now called SNAP: Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.)
We know that this sort of thing goes on. We know that the welfare state is now basic to American life. But bombers or not, this family has been openly ungrateful. They have had nothing good to say about America. But America is an equal opportunity welfare state. Those who hate the country are given the same handouts as those who love the country.
What did the handouts buy the voters? Resentment.
The younger brother was a stoner. He spent the taxpayers’ hard-earned money on marijuana.
His older brother used the money to fly to Russia and then, somehow, get to Chechnya. How the Russian authorities missed that excursion remains an unanswered question. It looks as though the Russians are no better at defending against terrorism than the Department of Homeland Security is. After a bomb goes off, the people in charge spend most of their time explaining away the obvious: they cannot control terrorism.
I suppose the Party Line at the USDA will be this: “It’s not right to criticize a program because of a few bad apples.” In short, “don’t make SNAP judgments.”