I can show you any fine number of CHA (Chicago Housing Authority) establishments (Cabrini Green, Jeffery Manor, The Vill/ABLA) where serial and habitual abuse of The Link card runs rampant.
Illinois is ramping up income tax by 66%, after Chicago just "modestly" downgraded sales/use tax from 10.25% to 9.75%... and yet I see fuckheads in Hummers and gold chains using their state-issued Link card to buy milk for their kid at 7-11 on their way home from the club. And I don't even live in a bad neighborhood, but while I concur that your statement about a safety net is correct and its necessity for some... I'm going to go with Anon and state that it needs tighter restrictions. "Unemployment" and "Welfare" are apparently separate programs. One pays back as insurance; the other, a nanny state to "keep people from starving in the streets OLAWDTHINKOFTHECHILDREN!...... indefinitely".
While I don't advocate elimination of welfare, I do advocate reform. It's horribly broken, and frankly, it's a gravity well: put a time limit on the gainfully-employed to get back what was paid in, or give lifetime benefits to those who live in the PJs.
Not saying, but saying. It'd be nice if I could go drive up to the corner store in a new 'Stang and wearing some new D&G sunglasses at midnight, some new Ones on my feet... and buy all my food on a state-issued debit card. Wouldn't that be boss?