Governor to Sign for Changes to Welfare Purchases

Governor to Sign for Changes to Welfare Purchases
Rachel Birdsell Curious Crow

Rachel Birdsell
Curious Crow

Hang on Kansas welfare recipients! Pending the governor’s signature, your illustrious legislators of the Republican variety are limiting your spending, because limiting their own is just ridiculous and so impractical.

So, what will recipients no longer be able to buy with their welfare dollars? For starters, there won’t be any more trips to the swimming pool, video arcade, theme park or movie theater. Sorry poor kids, but I guess you don’t deserve the same kind of summer fun that other kids do. Either be happy with your stick and ball of mud, or go out and get a job. If it makes you feel any better, your parents won’t be having fun, either. That’s because the fun suckers aren’t allowing benefits to be spent on things like: nail salons, body piercings, tattoos, spas, massages, tobacco, lingerie, visits to psychics or cruise ships. The bill also limits recipients from withdrawing more than $25 a day in cash. Yes, there’s a $1 charge for every ATM withdrawal, but it’s free money, so they can afford it, right?

Here’s the $64,000 question, or $6.40 if you’re on welfare: Who was the wunderkind who suggested that cruise ships needed to be listed on the bill? How many welfare recipients are boarding Carnival right now? That’s right. None.

The bill has been sent to Gov. Sam Brownback, who, according to a spokesperson, promised to “consider it carefully,” which means that he’ll think about it almost as carefully as he did about what drawers to wear this morning. He’s quite the thinker, kids.

But, Kansas isn’t alone in discriminating against the poor segment of its population. Missouri is trying to get a bill passed that would limit SNAP (food stamp) recipients from spending their benefits on foods such as: cookies, seafood, soft drinks, chips, and steak. Because children on SNAP don’t deserve cookies anymore than they deserve going to the swimming pool.

I know there are people applauding bills such as these, because they’re the ones bellowing that their tax dollars shouldn’t be going for things like amusement parks and lobster. But, if you ask these same people how much the average U.S. taxpayer pays in federal taxes for welfare, they don’t have a clue. They’ll answer something like, “too much,” or sometimes “too gosh darn much” if they’re potty mouths. In reality, it’s about 22 cents per day. And, for SNAP, it’s a little over a dollar a day. I don’t know about you, but I’m OK with $1.25 of my daily taxes to help the poor. What I’m not OK with is spending more than $9 a day on the military budget. I’m not OK with corporate welfare. I’m not OK with how little of my tax money is going towards education, science, energy, the environment, and other things that will improve our country.

If you’re one of the aforementioned bellowers, instead of being worried about spending the price of a cup of crappy coffee to help your neighbors, maybe you should worry about how unkind you’ve become. After all, if we can’t help each other get through life the best we can, what are we doing here?

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and graphic artist. You can reach her at

Categories: Commentary