I am writing to express my disappointment in Michael Breitbach's recent ad that I read in the Decorah Newspapers. The ad says that Mr. Breitbach is going to address all that food stamp fraud going on by putting an end to people buying a big blue bottle of water, going out of the store and pouring the water out and then immediately returning the bottle to the store to collect the bottle deposit of $7.50.
It defies reason why you would spend your time and money on such a trivial issue as this. Does this sort of thing happen? Sure. But is it pervasive and does it threaten the collapse of our economy or public assistance system? Hardly.
I have heard the arguments. "These people" are using the money to buy alcohol or drugs and that's bad. Have you stopped to consider it may be a new mom who needs diapers for her baby and this is her only means to get them? Or what if her child needs an over-the-counter medication?
There has been such a focus on cutting waste and fraud in programs to help people. It is a shame when people like you criticize programs and people you know nothing about. I can assure you these people are "legitimately" in need of assistance. And for you to question that is quite offensive. I'm curious. Are you going to station water bottle "watchdogs" at the door of every grocery store in Iowa to address this huge fraud that is happening?
In any program or legislation there are loopholes and ways around the rules. I am certain there are programs that give large incentives or sums of money to business to expand or relocate to Iowa. Is the taxpayer getting their monies' worth in all of those deals? What about the much bigger issues we have in Iowa, like roads, bridges, unemployment, quality education, access to healthcare in rural areas and the list goes on. Will a $7.50 bottle deposit negatively impact those?
I consider myself an independent and this letter is not an endorsement of your opponent. But if you can't find anything of more substance to talk about than a water bottle and a $7.50 deposit, then you will find yourself offending many of us who know there are much bigger issues that aren't getting discussed because you want an easy-to-explain, emotional issue to exploit. And by the way, if your response is that you were simply using this issue to illustrate how you will be a "watchdog of the budget" it backfired. It made you look small and petty.