Xerox and Walmart pointed fingers of blame at each other in the immediate aftermath of a public benefits card failure last month. Some shoppers saw that their cards showed no balance or limit and took the opportunity to strip store shelves. The administration of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal knows where the blame really belongs, though: with the shoppers.
After all, an item with no price tag isn’t “free,” and a SNAP card outage doesn’t mean that you have unlimited money. While Walmart declined to prosecute shoppers who tried to buy carts filled with merchandise that cost far more than the real balances on their cards, the state of Louisiana will not be so gracious. They’re pursuing sanctions against people who tried to overspend.
The punishment for people who misuse SNAP cards is losing access to the program for as long as two years.
Also, we want to point out that EBT/SNAP cards are called “Louisiana Purchase” in that state, which is either hilarious or terrible.