It wasn’t long ago that here in Kansas we had a problem with welfare recipients taking cruises on the tax payer dime. The welfare checks would come out and like clockwork, our most disadvantaged would grab their iPhone 6s, dial-up Carnival Cruise Lines pushing each button with their freshly manicured nails. That’s when our lawmakers had NO CHOICE, but to step in and say, “oh no you don’t” and put out the some of the most restrictive welfare spending language in the country. Read more here.
Our lawmakers were looked on as heroes as they made rules to save our taxpayer dollars from being spent on luxuries in places like:
- Fortune Tellers
- Tattoo Parlors
- Liquor Stores
- Swimming Pools
Oh don’t even get me started on the evils of swimming pools. Anyhoo….the point of the brave lawmakers was to prove the point, that government assistance should ONLY be used for basic needs. The Kansas lawmakers took it one step further and said that poor people should only be allowed to withdraw $25 at one time. The point being that anything more than $25 could only lead to bad things. A limit like this would mean people would have to take the time necessary to research their needs, understand what they wanted to spend their money on and then carefully decide when the right time was to withdraw their money.
Yes there would be additional bank fees incurred by this new limit, but it didn’t matter to the lawmakers. The lesson learned by the limit outweighed any additional penalty.
The point was clear – take your time and research before you get yourself into trouble. The was the valuable lesson the lawmakers needed to teach poor people. Think about all the trouble not taking your time and understanding the full scope of what you’re doing can get yourself into. Let say you withdraw $50 instead of $25 for the week. Anything can happen with that additional $25. You could be the victim of impulsive spending and then what? You could be left broke for the rest of the week. The Kansas lawmakers couldn’t allow that to happen.
Again, the point is to STOP and research, because your actions have consequences.
As a poor person you should always do three things:
2. Understand all the consequences of your actions
3. Don’t do anything that would jeopardize the bigger picture
Now that we are clear on what poor people should do, we will just kindly excuse what the lawmakers didn’t do – these same three things. By enacting the $25 withdraw maximum, the lawmakers may have overstepped (polite way of saying broke) the Federal TANF law.
“The Social Security Act requires states to ensure that recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families “have adequate access to their cash assistance” and can withdraw money “with minimal fees or charges.”
At stake is about $102 million in TANF block grant funds that Kansas receives every year from the federal government.