Saturday, March 19, 2011

Welfare "Reform" Minnesota Style

The latest in loony behavior from Minnesota (Michelle Bachmann is from there, if you recall) is a proposal -- by RepubliCONs, naturally, the party of "government should leave people alone" -- to prohibit welfare recipients from having more than $20 in their pocket at any one time. Prohibit, as in "make illegal". Prohibit, as in "make it a crime"...

I don't know how they plan to enforce this -- maybe an army of welfare cops shaking down known poor people that they think have more than twenty bucks, maybe a pack of welfare-money-sniffing Alsatian Hounds (aka "German shepherds") roaming the streets of Poortown and snarling down any hapless welfare leaches who happen to have cash on them.

Jeez, this goes beyond what is normally weird, even for Rethugs. Hmmm, I wonder what's behind it...

No, I don't really, because if you study a little further, you find that welfare recipients in Minnesota get their benefits in the form of a debit-card-like device, which is good only in certain terminals. If this bill passes, then welfare recipients will not be able to draw out cash to pay their bills, buy food, etc. They will have to use the "special terminals" for each and every separate transaction, from buying groceries to buying gas to renting a video.

As you know, all of this electronic banking does not come free. Each and every transaction that goes through a cash machine generates a profit for the company that owns or administers the machine.

So who administers the processing and payment of this welfare debit card system?

Bank of America.

Surprised? No, me neither.


SuLee said...

Though it's not (yet) a crime in OHIO to have more than $20 cash, welfare recipients here must use those handy-dandy little machines to buy groceries as well.

They're in the grocery stores, propped up right next to the regular credit/debit machines at the check-out counters. The machine prevents them from buying certain "non-essential" items with their cards.

I guess it beats the old-fashioned food stamps, which looked very much like monopoly money, and were often sold on the black market for 1/2 their face value for cash.

Some of these ideas are sound, but to say a person cannot carry more than $20 at a time is absurd.

And to the think the Rethugs call the Dems Fascists. Sheesh!

Farnsworth68 said...

Thanks, SuLee. But it won't stop the dedicated cheat from buying contraband stuff. They'll just have to buy something approved first, sell it on the black market for 1/3 what they paid for it so they can get the case for the wine or beer or whatever.
But it tends to "look good" to the average Moron-American Voter when the politicians strut about how they "reformed" welfare.
Gimme a break. Fascists all, and when they call us Fascists there's a psychological even called projection going on. Yu can really see it in the closely-closeted gay Republicans. Not a pretty sight.
--the F Man