Politics

Carolla, Ingraham decry lack of food-stamp stigma: ‘There’s no judging going on’ [AUDIO]

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

Comedian and top podcaster Adam Carolla recalled the time in his life when he was on food stamps Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” and yearned for the days when receiving a government handout was more stigmatized.

Host Laura Ingraham complained that the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is now called “SNAP” instead of “food stamps.”

“It was definitely food stamps back then, and it had a nice healthy negative connotation,” Carolla responded. “You know, things came with a sprinkling of shame back then, so you’d kind of want to get away from it as fast as you could because you weren’t a hero for accepting it.”

Carolla, author of “Not Taco Bell Material,” used rent control and his own upbringing as examples of how these types of programs, while well-intentioned, encourage dependency.

“My mom is kind of an example. I always use sort of rent control as the metaphor for this, which is I know guys, and we all know people especially in place like Manhattan, but in Santa Monica, too,” he continued. “They go, ‘I got an apartment, man, and I can see the ocean from where I’m living, OK? And it’s right off of Ocean Drive, and I’m paying $649 a month, and this thing would be — I mean, if I moved out, the next guy would pay $2,000, $2,500. I can’t go anywhere.’ Well, guess what, you never buy a house. You end up renting an apartment that has been subsidized your whole life, and who’s the joke on at the end of the day? You’ve lost your motivation.”

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“I mean, I said to my mom once just as a naïve nine-year old — I couldn’t get it,” he said. “We didn’t have a good car, we didn’t have a good house, we didn’t have a good anything. I said, ‘Why don’t you just get a job and then we can have this stuff.’ And she said, ‘If I get a job, I’ll lose my welfare,’ which is the worst message you can send to a nine-year old. But I got it. She was like, ‘I’m getting just enough to get by and that’ll put me in a constant holding pattern, like rent control and so many of these other programs, and I’ll just take this to the grave.’”

Later in the segment, Carolla explained that the judgment variable in the equation had also been lessened, which has made it more acceptable for some to remain dependent on these programs. House Dems call on Boehner to include food-stamp funding in future farm bill

“The reason there are so many people with their handout accepting this stuff is because we made it OK,” he said. “And we have to not do that as a nation. As far as my mom, she was just taking what she could get. And by the way, those people surround themselves. They’re not hanging around with you and Rush [Limbaugh]. They’re hanging around other people that are on the same programs they’re on. So there’s no judging going on. We’re crippling these people.”

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