Maine Governor Paul LePage Eated All Your Food Stamps
Great news! Maine, that weirdly shaped state way the hell up at the top of the country, past all the states you ever have even the slightest reason to think about, has come up with a solution to our national food stamps problem: abject failure.
If you ask conservative media, Maine is doing great work solving the food stamps "problem" plaguing the state. Governor and season one Arrow villain Paul Le Page, pictured above, is well-known for dicking over the poor in order to alleviate his tumescence issue, and now, his many, many efforts to let the children starve have come to fruition. Why, just this week, the Washington Examiner (official motto, "The Only Reason You Don't Loathe Us Is Because You Don't Know Us Yet") published a piece extolling the virtues of Maine's work reforming their food stamps program:
Maine has turned some of conservatives' boldest ideas about welfare into reality, and the state is ready to proclaim it a success for the rest of the country to emulate. [...]
The number of healthy adults without dependents receiving food stamps fell by more than 90 percent over the last year, from 13,589 to 1,206 through mid-November. [...]
Maine is "an example of how a work requirement promotes work and self-sufficiency over welfare," said Rachel Sheffield, a poverty analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank. "You don't want to cut anybody off," Sheffield said, noting that assistance is available for people who want to work.
Hey, that sounds great! How did Maine manage to wean all those miserable takers off the teat of government dependence? Oh, just by failing in more directions at once than should be possible.
On the very same day the Examiner was publicly blowing Le Page for his efforts to combat the insidious scourge of poor people being able to eat, the Bangor Daily News reported that Maine's Department of Health and Human Services is an unmitigated disaster. The agency currently ranks 53 out of 53 among similar state agencies, which is kind of like "a success," in that it is its polar fucking opposite. They're pretty much throwing all the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (which, it should be noted, Maine doesn't even pay for, as that's a federal program) applications into a fire and hiding behind the couch every time the USDA comes by to be like "wtf, Maine?" We wish this was an exaggeration.
According to BDN, the DHHS's steadfast refusal to acknowledge both state and federal law may be designed to force a confrontation with the federal government. This makes sense, as for GOP governance, gross incompetence isn't a bug, it's a feature. Government is failing? That just means government is bad and should be destroyed! See?! We were right all along!
We're still confused how the hell Maine -- a moderate-ish state where Republicans can usually only win by being comparatively not-crazy -- ever elected Le Page in the first place, let alone re-elected him. Did the Democrats twice nominate a .jpg of the New York Yankees logo against him? Did Le Page pledge to triple every Mainer's whittling allowance? You can't even blame the fact that 2010 and 2014 were non-Presidential election years, because what the hell else is anyone going to do on a Tuesday night in Maine?
Christ, Maine. Get your shit together.