The Republican id is out on display:
Who should they go after, widows or orphans? Let's start with the latter.
Foster children would be allowed to get clothing only from second hand stores
Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.
Casswell, a Republican representing Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties, made the proposal this week, reports Michigan Public Radio.
“I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”
Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.
The plan was knocked by the Michigan League for Human Services. Gilda Jacobs, executive director of the group, had this to say:
“Honestly, I was flabbergasted,” Jacobs says. “I really couldn’t believe this. Because I think, gosh, is this where we’ve gone in this state? I think that there’s the whole issue of dignity. You’re saying to somebody, you don’t deserve to go in and buy a new pair of gym shoes. You know, for a lot of foster kids, they already have so much stacked against them.”
Casswell says the plan will save the state money, though it isn’t clear how much the state spends on clothing for foster children or how much could be saved this way.
It's not just
In the hallowed halls of the Michigan state Capitol this week, one of the biggest debates has been over slashing a program that gives clothes to orphans.
About 160,000 kids wouldn't receive their back-to-school clothing allowance under the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget passed by a House subcommittee. That saves $9.9 million (which will go a long way to pay for the $1.2 billion tax break we're handing businesses).
Chair Dave Agema (R-Grandville) -- best known for skipping the crucial 2007 tax hike votes to obliterate sheep with a shotgun in Siberia -- suggested that the money isn't being spent on clothes anyway by those greedy urchins.
"I think the hardship is negligible,” he shrugged.
Over in the Senate, a subcommittee decided to make kiddies buy their wares at thrift stores ...
This is nothing more than kicking people when they are down. Today it's foster kids. Tomorrow, perhaps the physically disabled will be required to purchase wheelchairs from second hand stores. And if there are none available, be forced to make do with a three-foot square piece of plywood and four casters.
By the way, these proposals for foster children aren't really about money, despite what they say. The actions are markers, political merit-badges to demonstrate how flinty they are. Austerity for them is a virtue, and what better way to demonstrate it than this?