BOSTON - Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday said that his administration has done more than any other to root out fraud in the EBT card welfare system, but he believes there is an underlying theme driving the debate about whether the state should be providing welfare at all. “I think that some of the debate, frankly, seems to be a veiled debate about what’s really at issue which is whether we should provide benefits to people to help them help themselves, and if that’s a debate folks want to have then they need to bring it with that candor because we have to be and we are in this Commonwealth about helping people help themselves,” Patrick said during his appearance on WTKK-FM’s “Ask the Governor” segment. The House late Wednesday night adopted an amendment to its budget on a 122-33 vote attempting to crack down on abuses in the state’s $415 million welfare system that distributes benefits to recipients through electronic benefits transfer cards. After a sharp debate stirring strong emotions among some members who criticized the proposal as an attack on poor people, the House voted to restrict welfare benefits from being spent in places such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, casinos, and strip clubs or on travel, cosmetics and theater tickets. The House also approved $100,000 to be spent on a consultant to study how Massachusetts could move to a cashless system. The amendment’s proponents, such as Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R-Tauton) and Rep. Russell Holmes (D-Boston), have said that reforms such as limiting access to cash are needed to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure that adequate resources are available to those who truly need it. While federal SNAP benefits, more commonly known as food stamps, cannot be taken in cash, other cash assistance benefits on EBT cards can be withdrawn on ATM machines and spent wherever. Patrick said he was not convinced a completely cashless system would work, noting that some proponents of providing cash say recipients need money to pay for transportation or to have their hair and nails done in preparation for a job interview. He did say, however, that he was open to limiting the amount of cash available. http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/04/gov_deval_patrick_questions_mo.html An an "attack on poor people," really? That's hilarious! Poor people who need it temporarily, can't get it. You can call these parasites pride-less, but not poor. Aside from jet-setting around the country, and a lack of class, how are their lives any different than a rich persons? They laze about all day doing what they want, when the want. All on the backs of taxpayers who WORK to pay the $415 million dollars necessary to keep the savages from rioting and looting because their benefits were cut. That's the real problem, isn't it, DeVille? The dems have created so many monsters for votes that they cannot be controlled.