Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Aim of Politics Is Policy, Brownback Edition

Brownback to the poors: Let 'em eat cake, if they can find it.

Sam Brownback and the Kansas legislature may not understand that they're becoming the poster child(ren) of heartless, brainless actual Republican policy.
Brownback did it.
Not satisfied with cratering his state's economy, cutting education budgets and rescinding long-established job protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed a punitive, intrusive and counterproductive measure placing wholly unnecessary restrictions on how Kansas relief recipients can spend their benefits.
It also places a $25 daily limit on ATM withdrawals using the debit cards issued to recipients under the state/federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, which is what's left of America's welfare program. That renders the cards useless for major spending, such as paying the rent, but it does mean that users will pile up ATM fees at $1 per withdrawal, plus bank fees.
In other words, the Kansas Legislature and Gov. Brownback think it's scandalous that the state's poor would use TANF funds at a swimming pool, but it's OK with them if their funds are shamelessly drained by banks. There's also no ban on the poor buying guns.
We get lost in the details of the political back-and-forth in the Republican hinterland, but let's all remember that this is how they roll, in GOP-controlled states, from Kansas to Tennessee to Indiana to Wisconsin to Ohio and so on. These are real bills, and they add up to real policy as preferred by the Republicans.

Remember, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives just voted on and passed a bill repealing the estate tax that only applies to those with estates of $5 million for individuals and $10 million for mom and dad. They also eliminated the capital gains tax on inherited investments. Boy, that's some family-friendly policy, considering it applies to only the richest .2% of Americans.

Meanwhile, the poors had better not try to swim to cool off in the hot Kansas summer. That's a no-no.

Remember this when you try to choose between Hillary and anyone in the Republican field. Hillary's policy choices might not inspire an increase in dumpster diving.

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