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Saturday, April 18, 2015

And this is a problem why?

I found this in this morning's Houston Chronicle (actually from the Washington Post) and it's interesting.

Kansas bans welfare recipients from seeing movies, going swimming on government’s dime
There’s nothing fun about being on welfare, and a new Kansas law aims to keep it that way.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2258 into law Thursday. The measure means Kansas families receiving government assistance will no longer be able to use those funds to visit swimming pools, see movies, go gambling or get tattoos on the state’s dime.

Those are just a few of the restrictions contained within the law that aims to tighten regulations on how poor families spend their government aid. It will go into effect July 1.

The measure — called the HOPE Act by supporters — “provides an opportunity for success,” Brownback said in a statement after signing the bill. “It’s about the dignity of work and helping families move from reliance on a government pittance to becoming self-sufficient by developing the skills to find a well-paying job and build a career.”

State Sen. Michael O’Donnell, a Wichita Republican who has advocated for the bill, said the legislation was designed to pressure those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to spend “more responsibly.

“We’re trying to make sure those benefits are used the way they were intended,” O’Donnell, vice chair of the state senate’s standing committee on public health and welfare, told the Topeka Capital-Journal earlier this year. “This is about prosperity. This is about having a great life.”

That, according to the legislation, means limiting spending on body piercings, massages, spas, tobacco, nail salons, lingerie, arcades, cruise ships or visits to psychics. The measure — which limits TANF recipients from withdrawing more than $25 per day from ATMs — also forbids recipients from spending money at a:

…theme park, dog or horse racing facility, parimutuel facility, or sexually oriented business or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, or in any business or retail establishment where minors under age 18 are not permitted...”

Well, being on welfare is not supposed to be fun so what is the issue here? It is supposed to be a bridge to help you when you're down on your luck (i. e. lost your job). It is supposed to provide temporary assistance, not be a career choice. Well, maybe that is not how some see it.

Some people don't have issues with this. I think we call them Democrats.
“I just think we are simply saying to people, ‘If you are asking for assistance in this state, you’re sort of less than other people and we’re going to tell you how and where to spend your money,'” state Rep. Carolyn Bridges, a Wichita Democrat, said during a House debate, according to the Associated Press...

...Since then, the measure has drawn national attention. Jon Stewart contrasted the bill with another Kansas bill Brownback signed that relaxes some restrictions on gun owners. “You’re poor, but you’re still an American,” Stewart said.

Under the new welfare law, TANF recipients can still spend their benefit money on guns, the Wichita Eagle reported.

“The list has attracted attention because it feels mean-spirited,” Shannon Cotsoradis, head of advocacy group Kansas Action for Children, told AP. “It really seems to make a statement about how we feel about the poor...”

I actually agree with the gun issue (assuming this is true...we are talking the Washington Post and Jon Leibowitz here) but the rest is not an issue. Since when did expecting yourself (if not actually disabled) to support yourself and your family somehow evil and the breeding (Yes, I use that word intentionally) of one generation after another to simply exist and vote is not wicked. But let's be honest here, the Democrats need an underclass to keep them in power. Not to mention if you can afford body art, alcohol, etc, you really don't need public assistance.

Thank you Kansas, now if you could get ride of that idiot Senator and spread this idea to California, New York, New Jersey...

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