Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nanny State Diaries - Not Just For Republicans!

When Michelle Obama, acting as First Lady came out with her "Let's Move!" initiative to highlight exercise and healthy eating habits among America's youth, conservatives were apoplectic over her nerve.

Who is Michelle Obama to tell us what to eat - she's no skinny minnie!

When Michael Bloomberg tried to get Big Gulp tanker sized soda pop banned in New York, Sarah Palin showed up sipping one at CPAC.

(Thanks to "Game Change" we know it was probably a Diet Dr. Pepper.)

They called it "Nanny State" politics - when government thinks it can tell you how to live and what to eat - even if that means your uninsured fat ass keels over requiring a trip to the emergency room that raises health care costs for everyone else.

Republicans hate the "Nanny State" which is weird when they champion causes that define it - ultrasound up the hooha ladies?

When Jim Doyle signed the cigarette ban, Wisconsin conservatives vowed to repeal it because citizens should have a right to kill themselves and everyone else around them with second-hand smoke if they want. Don't like it? Go somewhere else, this is the free market in action, bro.

Of course all those tax subsidies to corn (corn syrup) and tobacco growers don't count, right?

So what do you do when you've been elected to office in a state that is dead last in job creation and you have no fucking idea how to create more? Mess with shit, that's what.

Here comes the FoodShare bill, known as AB 110. Introduced by Republican Representative, Dean Kaufert, AB 110 is design to tell people on food assistance what they can and cannot eat.

Here's the gist - if you are poor and you get public money, you don't get to spend it on crap. Fair enough, even though the list is already pretty restrictive, Mr. Kaufert sought to make it more so. The bill passed the Assembly yesterday with some help from area Democrats.

Interestingly, FoodShare is paid for with federal dollars. Legislators, including those Democrats who helped out with the vote don't even know if they will get a waiver allowing them to say how much junk food a person can buy. (Although Kaufert's bill doesn't allow organic milk or eggs - because we'll give you food, but not organic food. That's just greedy.) Previous states who have tried similar moves were struck down.

The entire vote may very well have been a waste of time.

A waste of time in which legislators got to submit a per diem yesterday to expense their costs beyond their regular salary - paid for by thee and me, kittens.

If you are a single person and you qualify for food assistance - the maximum amount you can get is $200 a month or about $6.60 each day - and we are going to tell you exactly what you can spend that money on.

If you are Peter Barca and you voted in favor of a bill that may not even be legal - the maximum per diem you can claim is $88.00 each day and no one is gonna ask you what you spent it on.

Peter Barca gets more an hour for his per diem than a poor person gets for food all day. Why is that? It doesn't seem fair that poor people should be more accountable than legislators for how they spend public dollars that are significantly more generous.

This is why no Democrats should have voted in favor of AB 110, but 13 did, including Barca and Cory Mason.

Public money, is public money. Peter Barca claimed $37.00 for every single day in addition to his salary in 2011 and didn't have to account for how he spent it. Requiring a poor person who gets less than $7.00 to subscribe to a higher standard is wrong.

Barca is editing his Facebook page to avoid the backlash - but he can't do it forever. It's time to explain your vote, sir.