Friday, March 18, 2011

Minnesota GOP wants to outlaw poor people carrying cash [updated]

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Homeless man with trolleys
GFY. Signed, GOP

And the Republican war on poverty – specifically, poor peoplecontinues:

St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all.


House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP - and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid - could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.

The bill also calls for unconstitutional residency requirements, not allowing the debit card to be used across state lines and other provisions that the Welfare Rights Committee and others consider unacceptable.

Hanlon’s Razor advises that one should never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Now, I’m quite happy to think of the modern GOP as possessing all the IQ of a bucket of bog-water, but there comes a point where mere dumbassery is no longer a suitable excuse. While I’m quite sure they’re idiotic to boot, there’s no way a collective could actually argue that poor people should be prosecuted for carrying around enough cash to pay for half a bachelor’s grocery list without also being motivated by some sort of animus. Which, of course, is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the GOP when it comes to virtually any minority group.

They aren’t merely the Party of No. They’ve become the Party of Fuck You.

(via Pharyngula)

UPDATE: (03/19/11 2:25 PM) – It seems that many have been misinterpreting the actual text of the bill. Rather than forbid folks on MFIP or GAMSA welfare from carrying more than $20 in their pockets at any given time, it would rather merely limit transactions from ATMs or vendors to $20, without actually regulating how much more or less they may have on them. While this does seem marginally better, it’s still quite the idiotic and repugnant proposal – nobody’s funds should be regulated at all, much less those who are in such need of them. (Thanks to Uzza for the correction(s).)