AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage announced Monday plans to abolish the state’s food stamp program and will instead offer hunting and fishing permits to those who meet the same criteria.
“Government should offer a hand-up, not a hand-out,” said LePage. “When you give out food for nothing, that only encourages the same behavior from generation to generation. But if you help them see how they can feed their families the way Mainers have for generations, you’ll find that gradually they’ll all get drunk and shoot each other. Problem solved.”
Republicans in the Legislature hailed the decision. “If you give a man a fish, he can eat for a day,” said Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport), who apparently has a warped view of the average American’s appetite. “But if you teach a man to fish, he can eat for a lifetime, provided he already has the resources to obtain a pole, tackle, bait, watercraft, personal floatation device, first aid kit, net, and fillet knife.”
Democrats blasted the decision. “Our most vulnerable citizens do not need permission to go out into the woods and try to get lucky,” said Sen. Seth Goodall (D-Dresden). “That’s not going to sustain needy families. Besides, those who have guns are already poaching anything that moves, anyways.”
Sources close to the governor say he also plans to ask the Warden Service to pilot a new program – – dropping off fresh road kill to the Lubec food pantry. The head of the Maine CDC raised some concerns and was reportedly fired by LePage on the spot.
“The only thing we have left to work out is selecting which species, and thresholds for condition of the carcass,” said the administration source, who asked not to be named. “The governor is committed to reducing waste in state government.”