The mostly Republican state government of Kansas is certain that people who receive food stamps and other assistance are lazy moochers who throw the taxpayers’ money away. For that reason, the destitute of Kansas can no longerÂ use their benefit debit card on cruise ships or at movie theaters. But the greater indignity is that they are limited to a $25 a day cash withdrawal.
It’s hard to overstate the significance of this action. Many households without enough money to maintain a minimum balance in a conventional checking account will pay their rent and their utility bills in cash. A single mother with two children seeking to withdraw just $200 in cash could incur $30 or more in fees, which is a big chunk of the roughly $400 such a family would receive under the program in Kansas. …
… SinceÂ most banking machinesÂ are stocked only with $20 bills, the $25 limit is effectively a $20 limit.Â A family seeking to withdraw even $200 in cash would have toÂ visit anÂ ATM 10 times a month, a real burden for a parentÂ who might not have a car and might not live in a neighborhood where ATMs are easy to find.
The Kansas legislators and governor think that poor people can’t budget. They should look to themselves.
This is what Sam Brownback, Art Laffer and the state Republican Party have turned Kansas into: an economic policy trash fire that channels all the benefits to the top, produces no shared prosperity, is bankrupting the state, and deliberately makes the lives of the less fortunate even more difficult. But donâ€™t worry, they say, just be patient â€“ the economic miracle is just around the corner.