Lewiston, Maine’s Mayor, Robert Macdonald, has some news for society’s leeches — you know, the ones who work for insufficient pay and are forced to rely on safety net programs. He wants conservatives, who hate the poor with a passion, to know exactly where those who receive government benefits live and sleep. Yes, it might seem insane, even for a Republican, but it’s true. In an op-ed for the Twin City Times, MacDonald argued that the location and identity of poor people was of public interest because the names of pensioners are already public.
“[O]ur liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made them a victimized, protected class,” Macdonald complained. “It’s none of your business how much of your money they get and spend. Who are you to question it? Just shut up and pay!”
Macdonald whined that the identity of pensioners who receive a monthly check from the State of Maine are public, but that “those known as welfare recipients” are “shielded” from having their personal information revealed.
“Well, the days of being quiet are gone,” he announced. “We will be submitting a bill to the next legislative session asking that a website be created containing the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected by every individual on the dole. After all, the public has a right to know how its money is being spent.”
In other words, insane conservatives, if you receive any kind of assistance, will know where you live, your name, and how much of “their” money you have “taken.” What is especially frightening is that these individuals are probably armed.
Not to worry, though, poor people. At what is probably a rough time in your lives, the Mayor also intends to limit your General Assistance to 60-months lifetime, so let’s hope that the job market is (and remains) strong! If you listen to Republicans and opt to bring a child into the world rather than have an abortion, the Mayor has promised to submit a bill that would prevent the state from paying benefits “for any additional child born after the recipient has been accepted into General Assistance.”
Macdonald says that his suggestions are intended “basically to stop these people from coming here. We’re just getting overwhelmed here.” He explains that he’s “not talking about refugees,” but poor people he says move to Lewiston to “play the system.” Zero evidence has been provided to support this assertion.
The mayor says that he’s not sure his plan to plaster recipients’ information all over the place would “stand up” but he is certain that shaming the poor would “cut down a lot on welfare.” Macdonald claims the web site would not be intended to shame anyone because welfare recipients already “flaunt it in public.”
Thankfully, federal law would prevent the mayor’s stupid, stupid plan. Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook) explained that “there are specific provisions in federal law that would prohibit the posting of that information.” Gattine suggests that Republicans stop focusing on the $100 million — a small fraction of the state’s $2.7 billion budget — that is allocated to state welfare budgets, an amount that literally amount to a rounding error in the state budget.”
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.