South Carolina Leads the Way!

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It’s become common for pundits and other elitists to sneer at state legislatures, especially southern state houses. Whether it’s bans on Sharia law, attempts to revive Creationism, bans of food containing fetuses, or draconian strictures on immigrants, many liberals condemn many of the “wacky” bills passed or proposed by Republican majorities.

But sometimes legislatures get it right. Take South Carolina, for example. In the Palmetto State Republicans have wisely proposed legislation that would forbid citizens on food stamps from using them to purchase snack food such as potato chips or Twinkies. Clearly, this bill is motivated out of the legislators compassionate concern for the welfare of the state’s poor. Frequently misguided, these unfortunates need firm guidance on what they should, and shouldn’t, eat to maintain their health.

South Carolina gives the less fortunate food aid and they should be obligated to only use this aid for necessities.  If the poor cannot control their profligate use of sugar, fat and salt, the state should step in and help them. Snacks, chips, lobster, and sugared soft drinks are obviously not required for good health. Indeed, their consumption could lead to morbid obesity, diabetes,  heart disease  and other diseases caused by poor nutrition (which would deplete the state’s Medicaid funds).  Should the law go into effect it will be only a matter of time before South Carolina’s  indigents are both proud and healthier than those in more indulgent, less caring states. Should the bill pass, it will be the state legislature’s finest moment in the last 153 years.

The only criticism I have of South Carolina’s proposed law is that it doesn’t go far enough. Food stamps recipients are not the only beneficiaries of state funds. For example South Carolina surely pays out tens of millions of dollars to pensioners. How much of that money is wasted? Surely due to advancing age, many of these idle seniors have probably lost the ability to make intelligent decisions when it comes to how they use state provided funds.

For instance, why should the state give out money that will only be wasted on bingo, subscriptions to AARP’s magazines, or trips to Las Vegas or Atlantic City? I suggest the legislature set out a list of forbidden products and services. Instead of cash, pensioners would be paid with Senior Bucks which could only be used within the state. Anyone selling disallowed products or services would not be paid and could be prosecuted. If the program worked it could easily be expanded to cover state and local employees. Of course, the state would need to deduct a modest fee from pensions and salaries to cover the costs of managing the program.

Should such a scheme prove workable it would likely be adopted by a majority of the the states. It could even spread to the federal government. Indeed, limiting Social Security payments to government approved use, and Medicare payments to reimbursements for treatment of  diseases and conditions not caused, in whole or in part, by the patient’s imprudent behavior, would quickly lead to a balanced budget and an eventual elimination of the massive deficit (even after additional tax breaks for job creators).

Some might ask why I do not propose applying the law to recipients of tax cuts. First, of course, a reduction in a person’s taxes is not government largesse. Second, citizens making more than $250,000 per year are obviously wise enough not to need guidance (as are corporations that might receive necessary assistance for government).

Frankly, I am confident my modest proposal based upon the wise actions proposed in South Carolina would, if universally adopted, vastly improve the lot of the 99% of Americans who lack the wisdom and intelligence of their betters.

One Sweet Treat I’d Never Give Up!

Photo by LB & Roberto Sena, remixed by me, both images subject to this creative commons license 

Roberto’s Set Victoria Secret Fashion 

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