General Question

janbb's avatar

So - what do you think about Kansas's so-called "HOPE Act"?

Asked by janbb (57185points) April 16th, 2015

Governor Sam Brownback has just signed a law that will prohibit people on government assistance from using welfare money for such things as movies, entrance to swimming pools, etc. Read the link for more details. What’s you reaction?

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29 Answers

longgone's avatar

Once more, I’m shaking my head at America’s “social” system.

Over here, people who live on social security are able to get an ID which allows them to visit state-owned pools, museums, libraries, and theatres for a reduced fee. In some areas, zoos and planetariums are included as well, and during the summer holidays, kids belonging to low-income families have even more options in my town.

Cinemas are not included, and I get that. Neither should they be banned, though!

ragingloli's avatar

What a bunch of fucking Nazis. Is my reaction.
And the gall to call it the “hope act”. Remember “Arbeit macht frei”?

janbb's avatar

And a side question, have the Republicans mastered the art of “doublespeak” or what?

@ragingloli I totally agree with you.

talljasperman's avatar

It’s the government’s money they can make any rule with it . Render onto Ceaser. Remind me not to move to Kansas. If people don’t like it they can vote someone else into government or run themselves. Also they can go to court with a class action sute.

gorillapaws's avatar

Kansas is one of my favorite states right now. It is implementing as many Republican ideas as it can and it’s going right down the shitter. It will be nice to respond to Republicans with “sounds great, just look at how Kansas is doing with that.” It’s currently in horrible shape and dependent on “welfare” from other states. link

marinelife's avatar

It is disgusting. Why do we continue to throttle the poor while the rich go completely unregulated?

johnpowell's avatar

The cruise ships part is my favorite. I’m sure the 800 bucks a month you get from welfare is keeping Carnival Cruises afloat.

How the fuck can you police this? And does the cost of policing this cost more than what is now labeled as fraud? (See Florida drug tests)

This is a waste of time and pretty much a expensive joke to pander to idiots.

flutherother's avatar

Very mean minded. The can’t go to the cinema or buy cigarettes but they can buy guns!

Darth_Algar's avatar

Petty and mean spirited. About what I expect from today’s “compassionate” conservatism. Beyond it will be an even larger drain of taxpayer dollars if they try to enforce this.

talljasperman's avatar

The government should practice what it preaches before
going after the most vulnerable.

1TubeGuru's avatar

The neocons can and will find any reason to light their hair on fire over any GOP manufactured non issue. Based on the teachings of Jesus how can the party of the fundamentalist Christians be so judgmental and show so much distain for the poor? based on his teachings what would Jesus do?

dxs's avatar

What @marina said. Demonize the vulnerable. Do anything to keep the public eye away from big businesses.

talljasperman's avatar

….edit a free budgeting course would help.

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dxs's avatar

@talljasperman @johnpowell Another important thing I take from this act is not to be unnecessarily judgmental of people’s lives.

Jaxk's avatar

Welfare is supposed to be a bridge not a life style. No one is saying you can’t do what you want, only that the taxpayer shouldn’t have to pay for it. Policing is pretty easy in that it’s all done on the computers. If you’re getting food stamps, you can’t use them to go to the topless bar. Why is that so controversial?

johnpowell's avatar

@Jaxk :: The machine at the topless bar doesn’t take food stamps. The machines are already so strict you can buy a hot pocket at 7–11. But if you want to heat it up in the microwave they provide you can’t with food stamps. You can’t buy hot foods with food stamps at 7–11 or anywhere.

That is why the law is so fucking stupid. No tattoo place can take a EBT card. It is absurd.

Jaxk's avatar

@johnpowell – I can’t tell what your complaint is. Do you want the tattoo parlor to be able to accept EBT cards? If they already don’t take the EBT cards for superfluous items, it sounds like the laws are already in place. Any quick search for EBT fraud shows a plethora of abuse. The cards are designed for a specific purpose. What the hell is wrong with making it fit that purpose.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I could be mistaken but I don’t think the question is over food stamps, but rather cash assistance. How do you police where and how cash is spent?

Jaxk's avatar

^^ The state doesn’t give you cash, it’s usually an EBT or some such thing.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, and these EBT cards can be used to withdraw cash and such (since, for example, most landlords don’t take EBT cards). So how do you police where and how that’s spent?

Jaxk's avatar

My understanding is that you can only get small amounts of cash ($25). Once you have cash, there is no tracking. They limit where you can get cash on your card. The assumption is if you are getting cash in a titty bar, you’re probably spending it there. I think that’s a good assumption, so they don’t allow that. Same with going to Vegas or a tattoo parlor.

ibstubro's avatar

Either I don’t understand the question, or the legislation.

What mechanism is in place to enforce the law?

EBT cards can draw CASH?

Uasal's avatar

The bit that bugs me is the daily $25 cash withdrawal limit. Good luck paying your power bill at Amscot when you have no car and have to pay for a ride to the ATM for six days in a row in order to have enough cash to pay the bill.

stanleybmanly's avatar

We here ridicule (justifiably) the absurdity of such crap, but let’s think about it. What’s the REAL purpose of such silly nonsense? You push legislation forbidding the spending of welfare money on luxury cruises, lobsters and 10 million dollar homes ONLY if you have a base of constituents STUPID enough to be convinced that this is what the poor are doing with public assistance money. The purpose of these laws isn’t to prevent welfare fraud. These measures are being pimped around to convince bitter people with plummeting standards of living that their plight is the result of government pampering of the “undeserving” poor. It’s simply cynical misdirection aimed at people too stressed out to to consider that it is the folks who DO take the cruises, eat the lobster, and live in the mansions who make the claim that it is the POOR who are robbing the rest of us.

Darth_Algar's avatar


And yet one could easily go a block down, get the cash from a bank ATM, then go to the titty bar. Illinois is similar in that the state disallows ATMs in certain locations from accepting these EBT cards. That’s fair. It’s ultimately not a solution if someone chooses to abuse it, but it’s fair. What is not fair is the $25/day limit when the cash assistance is meant to help people pay utility bills and rent. Let’s say the person’s rent is $400/month. That means they have to work out some way to get to the ATM 16 days in a row in order to withdraw the funds necessary to pay their rent. And does this include the usual fees ATM owners place on transactions? If so, let’s say the fee is $2 (that seems to be the average as far as I can tell), so that’s an additional $32 dollars the person who has the misfortune of relying on this loses that provides no benefit to them (it benefits the banks nicely though). Also, inconvenience and monetary penalties aside, how many landlords are willing to wait over 2 weeks to get their rent?

Jaxk's avatar

@Darth_Algar – You may have a point but I’ve never had an EBT card so I’m not familiar enough with it to know for sure. Right or wrong once they have cash it can be spent anywhere. by no allowing cash withdrawals in places the shouldn’t be used, it makes the person have to deliberately game the system. Obviously not fool proof but not difficult enforce either.

Darth_Algar's avatar


As you may have read in my post I take no issue with disallowing the use of EBT cards at certain locations, so I’m not really sure why you responded to that particular part of my post (in fact, you’ve only restated what I said) while ignoring the rest of my post.

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