Kansas Plan To F*ck The Poors Somehow Costing Millions, Is That Bad?
Kansas Republicans had a terrific plan to turn their state into the best state EVER, with tax cuts for the rich and -- well, that was mostly the plan. Surprise! It hasn't worked, and not just because the evil liberal media said mean things about Gov. Sam Brownback.
So now that the governor and his GOP-controlled legislature have done broke the state, they're trying all sorts of innovative ideas to fix it and get out of debt. Hundreds of millions of dollars of debt. Not by reversing those tax cuts; that would be ridiculous and unfair to rich people. But maybe if they shut down enough schools? And teach people on government assistance how to be more fiscally responsible, because they are the problem, by prohibiting them from using welfare benefits for luxurious cruises? And restricting their ATM cash withdrawals to $25 a day, which means more bank fees for them, but doesn't do a thing for the state's budget? Would that work? No! In fact, that's just making things worse:
Now, prompted by concerns that the cash withdrawal limit went too far and would jeopardize the state's compliance with federal rules, Kansas lawmakers are revisiting that provision. An amendment that cleared the Kansas State Legislature on Saturday would give the state's Department for Children and Family Services leeway to loosen the limit or get rid of it altogether.
Turns out that there are a few federal rules about just how big a dick states can be to recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. (No lobster! Piss into this cup to prove you're not a junkie if you want that unemployment check!) The rules aren't very strict, but Kansas seems to have found a way to break them. GOOD JOB, KANSAS! So now, in addition to the growing debt the state has created for itself, it risks losing $100 million in federal funds for its welfare programs. (You didn't think the state paid for that all on its own, did you?)
Federal law requires states to give TANF recipients "access to using or withdrawing assistance with minimal fees or charges," while the Kansas ATM limit would potentially subject recipients to heavy fees for frequent withdrawals.
The division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that decides whether Kansas may still receive its allowance hasn't finished reviewing the state's plan yet, but for once, the state's lawmakers are thinking ahead, sort of, and trying to avoid further fiscal ruin. Some have even reluctantly grumbled that maybe those tax cuts weren't such a great idea after all.
Not that there's any real effort to reverse those tax cuts yet. Republicans are still trying to figure out if there's some other way to clean up the mess they made, some neat trick that wouldn't hurt rich people's feelings. Hey, does anyone know if kicking puppies saves money?