Tennessee Watchdog.org -- According to state records, Memphis residents living on government assistance through the state’s welfare program bought tickets to Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, courtesy of taxpayers.
The welfare recipients took advantage of other perks, as well — plenty more.
With taxpayer support, people on government assistance attended large-scale Broadway shows and partied at one of the city’s premiere dance clubs.
Welfare recipients also bought luxury items at stores such as Best Buy and Dillards.
They took advantage of Memphis hotel rooms.
And when they traveled away from home, they acquired Greyhound bus tickets.
Ask Preston Lamm, owner of the Rum Boogie Café in Memphis if his business accepts welfare as payment, and he is quick to say no.
“In 27 years, this business has never once accepted food stamps, and it never will,” Lamm said.
Technically, he is correct. His business has never taken food stamps — but it has accepted the literal equivalent — drawn from what is known as a government-issued Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
This Tennessee Department of Health Services explains how recipients may withdraw their entire balance from their cash benefits account, although some stores may limit the amount. That portion of the video addressed cash back withdrawals at grocery stores only, but, as Tennessee Watchdog discovered, transactions took place at plenty of other types of businesses.