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January 06, 2009

The NutriSystem Budget

Finally, someone bit on the issue I've raised in "Fair Game" around Gov. Jim Douglas’ $54-a-day, taxpayer-funded meal plan. 

The gals over at the League of Drag Queen Voters (coming off a successful “Don’t Blow It!” voter education campaign) have a great idea for Douglas. On The House of LeMay blog Amber LeMay has an easy solution: join NutriSystem.

For $12 a day, LeMay notes, the gov can get three meals a day of “man food” including pizza, burgers, and lasagna. 

Good for his physique and the state budget. LeMay calculates the move could save the state more than ten grand. Maybe not much dough, but for League members she notes, "that's a lot of lip liner."

Indeed.

Speaking of meals, Douglas recently unveiled a new name for the food stamp program in Vermont — 3SquaresVT. Cute. 

The new program will allow thousands more families to become eligible for help by changing income and asset guidelines. The idea was first pitched to state officials last July after 12 other states made changes to their food stamp programs. The Douglas team announced the Vermont program in September.

Better late than never, eh?

"3Squares VT is more than just a renamed Food Stamp Program. It is an expanded supplemental nutrition assistance program that can help more hard-working Vermonters than ever put three square meals on their table,” said Douglas, in a statement. He added, “Calling the program by a more accurate name can help mitigate some of the embarrassment or stigma some applicants might associate with the program."

I dunno, what do you find more embarrassing — someone making 185% of poverty ($18,985 for a single person and $38,800 for a family of four) asking for help and getting only $1.03 per meal or a guy making more than $150,000 turning to taxpayers and asking them to fork over another $14,000 a year so he can eat three squares a day?

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