Monday, April 6, 2009

On Public Assistance In TN? Forget About Winning The Lottery.

In our latest example of the pure hatred and disdain the Republicans have for the poor, comes this amazing concept from the state of Tennessee. According to reports we've heard over the weekend, Tennessee State Rep. Stacey Campfield (R-But What Did You Expect) wants to harsh one of the few buzzes poor folks get:

"This bill prohibits issuance of lottery prizes in the amount of $600 or more to any person who receives state or federal economic or medical assistance due to indigency."

Arrie Chamberlain says the measure is unfair. She plays the lottery every week, is on the government's food stamps program and has a job.

"If I work and go out and earn a living, why can't I spend the money? Everybody else gets to. Just because I make less money and have more obligations doesn't mean the state can tell me how to spend my money. "

If there's anything that makes my blood boil, I mean really boil, it's the way we expect The Poor to be more virtuous than us, and if we don't, well, we despise them. The Poor aren't Poor because they're evil, they're poor because, unlike you (the editorial You, please note, not the personal You) their chances didn't work out. And we aren't necessarily any better than them, just a bit luckier.

Now, I don't condone addiction or frittering away, but I also don't begrudge poor people the occaisional drink or lottery ticket. If my tax money is supporting someone having just a little fun, so be it. The mass of poor people who dissipate themselves themselves through drink and fun is a myth, just like the Cadillac-driving "welfare queen" that the Reagan cosmology gave us.

(for the record, I drink sparingly, and never play the Lottery.)

Think about it. Just because you're poor doesn't mean you don't want to just kick back, enjoy, and dampen the pain for a little while.

And that's not all, of course. Rep Campfield's idea of social engineering is to tell poor people who are taking any public assistance, even if they earn most of thier own money and just can't make ends meet, that they can't win the lottery.

Poor? Tough. Suck it. Win the lottery? Screw you.

The only thing Stacey Campfield deserves for this is the big middle finger.

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