Mike Pence, Asshole of the Day for October 20, 2014
by TeaPartyCat ()
Long ago Justice Brandeis said that states are the laboratories of democracy. It’s a nice thought, and sometimes it even works out. But since states have latitude to implement policy and their own laws, sometimes the laboratory is more evil scientist than noble experimenter trying to improve the fate of the nation.
Case in point: Indiana has high unemployment, with more job seekers than jobs. So those people out of work have it bad. But Gov. Mike Pence wants to make it worse for them:
Gov. Mike Pence (R) has decided to join seven other states in reinstating work requirements for food stamps despite being eligible for a federal waiver from those rules for the coming fiscal year.
Federal rules require able-bodied, childless people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for more than three months a year to demonstrate that they are working or attending a job training program for at least 20 hours a week. But those rules can be waived during times of high economic strain when the work requirements cannot reasonably be fulfilled. Nearly every state requested and received such a waiver during the Great Recession. But a growing number of states have begun reinstating the work rules even though the Department of Agriculture has said their unemployment rates are still high enough to justify waiving the rules.
The state estimates that 65,000 people will be affected by Pence’s change, according to the Indianapolis Star. Previous similar moves in Kansas, New Mexico, Maine, and other states have left tens of thousands of people without access to food stamps. The network of food charities that picks up the slack when hungry people are underserved by government programs is already overstretched around the country, according to the people who run those charities.
There’s a lot there, but it boils down to this: the federal government will waive rules requiring those receiving food stamps (SNAP) to work when unemployment is too high in the state, meaning that there aren’t enough jobs for all those who are on food stamps to work. But Gov. Pence won’t ask for the waiver.
To be clear— these work rules were set in the late 1990s when jobs were plentiful and paid well, but now there aren’t enough jobs for everyone who wants to work. Common sense says accept the waiver so people don’t starve. It’s not their fault there aren’t enough jobs in Gov. Pence’s state.
But Gov. Pence doesn’t want a waiver— he’d rather let these people who can’t find jobs starve. And for that, he is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Mike Pence's second time being named Asshole of the Day. His previous win was for lying about the cost of Obamacare premiums.
Full story: Think Progress.