Sunday, August 29, 2010

Casino Benefits For Welfare Recipients


I don't get up every morning just looking to brand someone a moron. I certainly don't get up every morning hoping that I can find someone to outright despise because of what they stand for and how they're going to contribute to the fall of society as we know it. It's not like I'm trying to be annoyed. But when I find out that in "California and Michigan, welfare recipients have been using their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to withdraw state-funded payment from ATM machines in casinos", I tend to get a little testy.

According to something called Daily Finance, this absurdity that should not be occurring has been surprisingly recognized by politicians who (theoretically) can do something about it like make it so that the ATM machines in the casinos are programmed to not accept the EBT cards (which work like an ATM card does). And look, I realize that someone that is going to spend their money...oh, wait. I said that wrong, didn't I? I realize that someone that is really wants to spend MY money at a casino is going to. They're going to go to some other ATM, withdraw money that my taxes have funded, and then hop their sorry ass to a casino and piss away my money. I get that. But I don't think that the process needs to be made any easier by having the damn ATM AT the freaking casino be capable of giving them MY money.
In California, the surprisingly on the ball Los Angeles Times learned that "...79 out of the 148 tribal casinos and state-licensed poker rooms have welfare-friendly (aka, MY money friendly) ATM machines on the premises." That's over half. Not to mention that it's about 79 too many. And if you're thinking that maybe not a lot of people actually take advantage of this situation, you'd be wrong because "$1.8 million in state welfare revenues were withdrawn from ATMs in gambling establishments over an eight month period." Nice system, California. Whose freaking idea was this to begin with?

Now, you'd think that everyone would be able to be on the same page with getting something like this stopped, wouldn't you? You might think that, but again, you'd be wrong. And that brings me to the woman that I spent today simply loathing. A one Maureen Taylor is the state organizer of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization advocacy group (that's in Michgian). She has a problem with a bill that was introduced by Michigan Senator Bill Hardiman which would "...stop casino ATMs in his state from processing welfare payments." You know what the problem is that she has? Guess. Go on. Guess. You know what? It's so asininely ridiculous, you'll never get it. So, allow me...

Ms. Taylor "...feels that Hardiman's bill singles out welfare recipients unfairly." What? Singles them out? Well, yes. That's what it's supposed to do. You can't not single out a group that is already singled out. If you want to stop casino ATMs from processing welfare payments, that is automatically going to single out the group of people that are on welfare, that is correct. So, what is the problem that Ms. Taylor finds with this intentional and necessary singling out? She claims, "This is a way to corral low-income welfare recipients, put a red mark on their face and say, 'You're not welcome.' " ::: blink ::: ::: blink :::

Um, Ms. Taylor? Yeah, see, that's right! They're NOT welcome to take MY money and go spend it at a CASINO! They're on freaking WELFARE! They shouldn't HAVE any money to spend at a casino! If they did, they wouldn't be on WELFARE! What part of that do you not understand? It's not like we're trying to stop them from spending their money at a grocery store! It's a G-D casino, for cryin' out loud!

I'm glad that Ms. Taylor isn't in politics because that would be cause for alarm. I have no idea what the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization does exactly, but the fact that they use the word "Rights" in their title does not bode well with me. How come there is a "right" to be on welfare, but there isn't a "right" for those of us who pay for it to opt out? Oh, that's right. Because all of us would, that's why. I really wish that she had elaborated on that statement, but she didn't. And in a way, I think I'm glad. I don't know if I could have taken her explanation without needing an entire bottle of gin.

Side note: Against my better judgment, I went to the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization website to see what they were all about. I got as far as what is apparently their mission statement: "You get what you are organized to take!" I couldn't read any more after that, as I kind of think that says it all, don't you? Now, where did I put that gin?

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