Sunday, March 20, 2011

Minnesota GOPers Want to Criminalize Poor People Carrying Money | AlterNet

What a phony headline! I read this and thought it might be something earth shattering that was being done so Minnesota government could have more control of the lower middle class but the title is just spin. The phrase about poor people is so misleading one would think it was another whiny Minnesota liberal considering standing up for the little guy. However, it is more spin politics because the story only refers to those people on assistance. The proposal says that people getting certain assistance from the government would not be allowed to have free use of any cash that they are given each month. The proposal included several ways the money could be used at special terminals that could be used to pay utility bills and other necessities.

How about a straw pole? How many people think people getting assistant from the government should be able to cash in the check and spend it exactly as they wish? Should it be used for cigarettes or alcohol, hair salon, video games, movies etc...........or should those in need be given assistance primarily for utilities, housing expense, food -not including cigarettes and alcohol? Any who thinks it is a crazy idea should volunteer to pay higher taxes that will directly go to those on public assistance in the form of spending money. I do believe no one should have to go hungry or without a roof over their head in this day and age. I think we can find whys to provide for those in need but I don't think it means giving them cash to spend if the system can be set up to directly fun utility bills, food, clothing, and housing. Most people know they must budget their checks and pay bills but it is not easy. But there is rampant abuse of public assistance that comes in the form of cash and it should be monitored more closely. The freedom to spend money as you wish is a privilege begotten by those who have generated income through some type of "work" or "value creation" that is valuable to others. It is not a right to have free access to cash when it is coming in the from of assistance.

 I am not disparaging those in need and I understand that things are very tough out there. It is a fact that people genuinely need help for their families. I just think there are ways to make sure people don't equate their assistance check with earning income and that they have a right to spend it however they choose.

We are fortunate to have a safety net in place for people that hit hard times and everyone certainly should be able to get help the need. But there has to be certain strings attached or we will be wasting millions of dollars on any number of things that we have no way to even track. It is important for the government to be able to make some assessment as to the efficacy of the money they pay out in assistance. The Minnesota proposal seems like it would be a great way to eliminate a lot of waste. If the funds can only be used at certain places and for certain things it will go a long way ensuring the money gets used to keep children and parents from going hungry.
Read the Minnesota story at the link below. 

Minnesota GOPers Want to Criminalize Poor People Carrying Money AlterNet

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