Squeezing Blood From A Particularly Poor Stone

Arizona is one of 22 states facing a budget shortfall for fiscal year 2016 (surprise, most of them have Republican governors and/or legislatures) and in tried and true tradition, the Grand Canyon State’s billion-dollar budget hole is going to be plugged by tossing in those awful Poors.

Facing a $1 billion budget deficit, Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature has reduced the lifetime limit for welfare recipients to the shortest window in the nation.

Low-income families on welfare will now have their benefits cut off after just 12 months.

As a result, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will drop at least 1,600 families — including more than 2,700 children — from the state’s federally funded welfare program on July 1, 2016.

The cuts of at least $4 million reflect a prevailing mood among the lawmakers in control in Arizona that welfare, Medicaid and other public assistance programs are crutches that keep the poor from getting back on their feet and achieving their potential.

“I tell my kids all the time that the decisions we make have rewards or consequences, and if I don’t ever let them face those consequences, they can’t get back on the path to rewards,” Republican Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, said during debate on the budget. “As a society, we are encouraging people at times to make poor decisions and then we reward them.”

I wonder which red state will be the first to eliminate TANF altogether, since we’re busy freeing the Poors from their plight of dependency. Also, $4 million in saving achieved, and $996 million to go. Certainly Arizona can find some more ways to punish people for the crime of being impoverished in a red state.

Cutting off these benefits after just one year isn’t fair, said Jessica Lopez, 23, who gave birth to her son while living in a domestic violence shelter and has struggled to hold onto jobs because she has dyslexia and didn’t finish high school.

“We’re all human,” said Lopez, who got $133 per month for about a year until she qualified for a larger federal disability check. “Everybody has problems. Everybody is different. When people ask for help, we should be able to get it without having to be looked at wrong.”

There are millions of angry Real Muricans out there who openly dispute Ms. Lopez’s status as “human” and don’t believe she and her son qualify for a myriad of reasons.

Arizona’s Legislature cut the budgets of an array of programs to meet the governor’s no-tax-increase pledge. The bill that included the welfare cuts received overwhelming support earlier this spring from Republicans, with just one Democrat voting in favor.

The Legislature also passed a law seeking to force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job, and cutting off those benefits after five years. And Republican leaders are suing their own state to block a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which expanded Medicaid to give more poor people health insurance.

If they prevail, more than 300,000 poor Arizonans could lose their coverage.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s office called all these cuts necessary to protect taxpayers and K-12 classrooms — even though the source of the money is the federal government.

And of course Republicans want to abolish the Department of Education and end that federal money going to states for schools. And 300,000 people losing health insurance certainly won’t be a long-term problem for an aging state like Arizona.

After all if those awful Poors die or move somewhere else, they’re no longer Arizona’s problem, are they?

186 replies
  1. 1
    Keith P says:

    “Do not become too dependent on water. You will become addicted.”

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    this is who they are. doesn’t surprise me in the least. they are complete sociopaths, and those who vote for them are too.

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    @rikyrah:

    This.

    I hate these people, I hate these people, I really hate these people.

  4. 4
    Tone in DC says:

    So the wingers see the impoverished as less than human.
    As usual, the wingers have it backwards.

    Hope those families receiving TANF manage to head west to the land of Jerry before the AZ legislature finds more ways to show everyone just how fucked in the head those Galt fans are.

  5. 5
    Scott S. says:

    @rikyrah: On the nose. We’re not, as everyone likes to say, a uniquely compassionate nation. We’re a nation of monsters. We’re led by psychopaths who get their marching orders from the commenters on newspaper websites. We despise the unfortunate, we organize fundraising campaigns for murderers, we work so hard to tear down civilization and society and replace it with a slaughterhouse. We’re a nation of monsters.

  6. 6
    The Golux says:

    Maybe they should just round up all the poors, and sell them into slavery. The proceeds from that would probably have a bigger impact on the deficit than the paltry amount they are saving by simply starving them.

  7. 7
    Seanly says:

    Concur with comments 1 through 5. Imortan Joe seems familiar to us because he was probably an R Senator or Representative before the Apocalypse.

    RE: Medicaid, aren’t you on that when you are on disability for a couple of years and can’t work? What am I not understanding?

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    The Legislature also passed a law seeking to force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job

    So the more you need benefits, the less you qualify for them, and the less you need them, the more you’ll get. Yep, sounds like conservatism.

    Same with this ACA-but-no-Medicaid-expansion bullshit. I couldn’t believe it when it was explained to me that yes indeed, I could get subsidies through the ACA, but only if I had an income of at least $10,000 a year. Asshole, if I made $10,000 a year… I’m not going to say “I wouldn’t need any help,” but I’d be in a lot less trouble than with the $0 income.

    Sometimes, people are going to go through patches in life when they have no income. And these people still get sick. What fucking part of that is too complex?

  9. 9
    Botsplainer says:

    Fuck me -THAT was unpleasant as meeting with small office employees go. She delivered a shitload of attitude. I nearly said “hit the bricks”.

  10. 10
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Point: this won’t save Arizona one dime.

    As a result, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will drop at least 1,600 families — including more than 2,700 children — from the state’s federally funded welfare program on July 1, 2016.

    Important point bolded. The program being cut is federal bucks, not Arapio bucks. This is all about optics, not saving money. It’ll be interesting to see what Arizona actually decides to cut.

    ETA: let me just add, having been there a few times, that I have no idea why anybody would want to live in Arizona in the first place. It’s a complete shithole.

  11. 11
    wmd says:

    I have a friend that works as a lead cashier at Safeway. She posted a “drug tests for welfare” picture on Facebook recently; I pointed out that she’s in favor of giving millions of dollars to some rich asshole that owns a drug testing company in exchange for cutting maybe half a million going to someone that took a hit off a joint when it was passed to them.

    Her response was she sells sirloin steaks to lazy drug addicts and she busts her ass and can’t afford to buy sirloin. Now it’s true that there are drug addicts getting public assistance, and on occasion they may buy steaks. What’s the alternative?

    Cutting assistance means further degradation of an already very low quality of life (steak notwithstanding). In many cases in means an increase in petty crime, and/or the cost of incarceration (which is more expensive than public assistance).

    I kept on it and pushed back – said I was raised Christian and still have some values that say help those afflicted and not rich assholes. Which got through on a temporary basis, but the need to resent and punish the afflicted is almost certain to come back; it’s kind of a ground state. I don’t know if framing it in terms of being contrary to Christian morals will help – perhaps if it’s repeated enough times it will get through.

  12. 12
    Chris says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    It’s fucked up enough that states get to decide what federal money should be spent on. If you’re not the ones collecting it, it’s not your money, pisspots. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

  13. 13
    Knowbody says:

    Meanwhile fast track authority for the terrible Trans-Pacific partnership passed the Senate cloture vote, 62-38.

    So many new lucky duckies who will be joining the ranks of the “Poors” soon.

  14. 14
    Patrick says:

    @rikyrah:

    this is who they are. doesn’t surprise me in the least. they are complete sociopaths, and those who vote for them are too.

    They also maintain they are more Christian than the rest of us…

    BTW – isn’t infuriating that we are spending billions on nation building in Iraq, while at the same time we apparently don’t have enough money for our very own citizens. Talk about patriotism…

  15. 15
    Lizzy L says:

    Evidently — in Arizona, promoting the general welfare has been abandoned in favor of screwing your less fortunate neighbors. I don’t understand how people who make this decisions (and then defend them!) can stand to look at themselves every morning in the mirror.

  16. 16
    redshirt says:

    I’d move to New Mexico.

  17. 17
    Chris says:

    @wmd:

    Her response was she sells sirloin steaks to lazy drug addicts and she busts her ass and can’t afford to buy sirloin.

    And she’ll continue to vote against all the people who are trying to help her remedy that situation.

    I don’t know if framing it in terms of being contrary to Christian morals will help – perhaps if it’s repeated enough times it will get through.

    Conservative are well aware of the potency of the “it’s a Christian obligation” message, which is why they’ve spent so much money and energy over the last seventy years trying to co-opt Christianity, with no small degree of success. Glenn Beck rants about “social justice churches” being satanic and un-Christian and a communist plot, and even in the allegedly social justice churches there are plenty of people who’ve been happy to sell out and now just sit silently and twiddle their thumbs while the debates rage. (Looking at you, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops).

  18. 18
    Keith P. says:

    @wmd: Jeez, that cashier makes it sound like sirloin is some exotic cut of meat.

  19. 19
    Patrick says:

    @wmd:

    I have a friend that works as a lead cashier at Safeway. She posted a “drug tests for welfare” picture on Facebook recently;

    Has she made any posting demanding drug tests for other folks that get welfare from our government? How about all the farmers, how about all the bankers, how about all the defense contractors? Or was she not concerned enough about those folks and thus not taking the time to post?

  20. 20
    PaulW says:

    force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job

    JESUS.

    Do you know who is supposed to qualify for Medicaid?

    PEOPLE WHO ARE TOO SICK TO WORK.

    I’m talking about the poor elderly stuck in nursing homes and ALFs.

    I’m talking about kids in poor families.

    These politicians don’t know, don’t CARE TO KNOW who it is they’re hurting. All they see are The Dreaded Other, the Non-Rich cluttering their paths to Personal Richly Godhood.

    These jackals will be the first to stand up in church to PRAISE MAMMON, uh Jesus, in glory to their Prosperity Gospel, and the first to vote in office to sentence poor people to a dusty death.

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    @Patrick:

    BTW – isn’t infuriating that we are spending billions on nation building in Iraq, while at the same time we apparently don’t have enough money for our very own citizens. Talk about patriotism…

    Well, that, but we’re really not spending that much money on nation-building in Iraq – the bulk of it disappears in defense contractors’ Swiss bank accounts, and what isn’t lost to corruption is mostly squandered by incompetence. The invasion finished the job of turning Iraq into a failed state, and practically nothing was done to remedy that.

    It’d be one thing if it actually was being spent on nation-building, where at least the money would be going to help someone who needs it. They’re not even doing that.

  22. 22
    PaulW says:

    @redshirt:

    I’d move to New Mexico.

    It costs money to move. And New Mexico is a libertarian hotbed. If you can move, move to Minnesota.

  23. 23
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I don’t know if framing it in terms of being contrary to Christian morals will help – perhaps if it’s repeated enough times it will get through.

    @wmd: You’re joking, right? When Christianity decided to jump into bed with this nation’s hard right back in the mid-70s, the only responsibility they took on was to help insure that the richer stayed rich.

  24. 24
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @rikyrah: I could not agree more. I know some people think it is bad manners/unfair to hold people accountable for the actions of the people they voted for, but they really need to be called out on it.

    And I don’t want to hear that shite that “I never thought they would do that or be like that”. Everyone knows who they are and what they stand for, so don’t be surprised when they act like the greedy, racist, hypocritical monsters that they are.

  25. 25
    bemused says:

    @Keith P.:

    Sirloin steak is usually cheaper than other cuts of steak and goes on sale quite regularly.

  26. 26
    walt says:

    I moved from Arizona 18 months ago to get away from my native state’s meanness. Arizona, of course, is not unique but it blazed the trail other troglodyte states like Kansas are following. This right-wing fervor doesn’t depend on evidence. Just the opposite. The worse things get in Arizona, the better Republicans do. Arizona used to be a middle-of-the-pack state in terms of median income. Now it’s in the bottom quintile, rubbing elbows with Mississippi and Alabama. If its future looks dystopian, well, that’s because the haves don’t live anywhere near the have nots. Arizona is Big Sorting its way to Apartheid.

  27. 27
    bemused says:

    @PaulW:

    I wonder how many people who qualify for Medicaid are physically able to work even if they could find a job. Can’t be many. Seems like a lousy money saving idea.

  28. 28
    redshirt says:

    @PaulW: True, but if I lived in a red state hell hole I’d do everything I could to get out.

  29. 29
    satby says:

    @Botsplainer: If she projected bad attitude in a corrective meeting you should have. Now you guys are enabling the enabler. But YMMV

  30. 30

    @Chris:

    Sometimes, people are going to go through patches in life when they have no income. And these people still get sick. What fucking part of that is too complex?

    The part where rich people have to give up some of their money to help poor ones. They just refuse to understand that no matter how you explain it.

  31. 31
    Punchy says:

    @wmd: I’m just glad that Gubbnah Brownback solved the scourge of The Pawrs using their T-BoneBucks on cruise ships. That was getting out of control….all those inner city moochers bum-rushing the pristine beaches of Costa Rica and St. Kitts.

  32. 32
    Scott S. says:

    @wmd:

    I don’t know if framing it in terms of being contrary to Christian morals will help – perhaps if it’s repeated enough times it will get through.

    I don’t have a lot of faith (heh) in American Christianity to start embracing compassion and concern for their fellow humans. If you showed the gospels to your average Christian in America, they’d pretty much react like this.

    I’m still fairly amazed that Andrew Schafly’s Conservative Bible wasn’t embraced by wingnutia. The best way to kill off empathy would be to get rid of a book that none of them had ever read and replace it with something Fox News would approve of.

  33. 33
    bemused says:

    How many Republican controlled states have big budget deficits. Other than Arizona, Kansas and Wisconsin come to mind.

    @PaulW:

    I suspect they believe the children must suffer the “sins” of the parents.

  34. 34
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @wmd: It is a known fact that so called Christian morals are extremely flexible as to who, when, and how they are applied.

    I was raised a Christian, continued to practice and participate until my late forties, when I finally reached the limit of bullshit and hypocrisy that I could stand. The current form of Christianity is completely foreign to me. Fortunately, the missus agrees with my synopsis. She informed me that she had reached her tipping point about a year earlier but was hanging on for my sake.
    The rest of my family, and my wife’s have similarly abandoned the church having all been raised as Catholics.

  35. 35
    wmd says:

    @Patrick: I
    No, the corporate welfare folks probably aren’t on her radar at all.

    I thought about making it personal – a mutual friend that also worked in her Safeway just moved 300 miles so she could get housing assistance – still working at Safeway.

    Should she get that assistance? What if she’s passed a joint and she inhales?

    The really ironic part is both are single mothers and likely getting EITC. Even lead cashier/assistant manager wages aren’t enough to make a single head of household not qualify. But it’s not possible for her to see herself as getting benefits in that fashion.

    Sigh.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @redshirt:

    I live in a red state hell hole. (Purple state, actually, but for the purposes of this conversation, red). I’ve given serious thought to moving back to DC/Maryland – it’s the area I’d like to end up working anyway – but I have a relative in his red state hell hole who’s willing to let me live there rent free for the moment, which I can’t afford to turn down at least until the master’s is finished (if all goes to plan) at the end of fall. Nobody like that in DC/Maryland. We’ll talk again at the beginning of next year when I’ll (hopefully) have accumulated a little bit of money from the part-time job I have down here.

    This sort of stuff is complicated. And I’m not exactly starting from the bottom of the barrel, so I can only imagine how much more of a bitch it is for those who are.

  37. 37
    satby says:

    It’s all racism, and I don’t say that glibly. They may give lip service to the idea that white poor people might suffer, but in their heads they just know this sticks it to those lazy moocher brown and black folks, and in Arizona double bennies for shafting Native Americans too.

  38. 38
    bemused says:

    @wmd:

    She probably thinks she deserves them because works hard, yadda, yadda, while those other people don’t.

  39. 39
    srv says:

    We must all make sacrifices.

  40. 40
    Mike with a mic says:

    @Patrick:

    As a former defense contractor I was piss tested. Also polygraphed and investigated constantly. Comes with the required security clearance you need to do the job.

  41. 41
    Tone in DC says:

    I’m just glad that Gubbnah Brownback solved the scourge of The Pawrs using their T-BoneBucks on cruise ships. That was getting out of control….all those inner city moochers bum-rushing the pristine beaches of Costa Rica and St. Kitts.

    Ha. Can’t have that.
    Princess Cruise Lines is doing just great with that shipping hub in Topeka.

  42. 42

    @bemused:

    My coworker’s sister is on Medicaid and disability. She appears to be healthy (if a bit underweight) but in reality she has grand mal seizures hat are poorly controlled by medication, so she can’t work. McDonald’s ain’t gonna hire anyone who might go face-first into the deep fryer during a seizure, and she got fired from Subway after she had a seizure on the job. But, hey, let’s cut her off her medication and medical care!

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @Mike with a mic: But that’s a job requirement you knew about in advance and elected to put yourself under (I avoided security clearance jobs working at my old IT shop, not because I couldn’t pass, but because I just didn’t want the hassle. The regular pee-to-get-hired was enough). The point about the “drug tests for welfare” scam is that it doesn’t save the state any money, States tend to lose money on it while fattening the wallets of the owners of the drug testing firms.

  44. 44
    fuckwit says:

    the final solution to this “poor” problem is very obvious! just dig a big ditch, line them up, get a firing squad with automativ rifles, and just kill them all! when will the republicans simply quit fucking around with these expensive half-measures and just solve this problem once and for all?

    if your bank balance, credit, and income fall beneath a certain floor, simply shoot the moochers.

    wait, i have a better idea. to save even more money on bullets, and to keep those ditches with bodies becoming an environmental burden, we can simply gas all the poors to death, and then cremate their bodies. if we recover their gold teeth we might even be able to make the whole operation revenue neutral.

  45. 45
    satby says:

    @satby: OK, link fail. Here it is

  46. 46
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Scott S.: Exactly. @Amir Khalid et al: when I say “Kuala Lumpur looks better every year,” this is what makes me say that.

  47. 47
    SenyorDave says:

    @wmd: ‘I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.’ – Gandhi

    Were truer words ever spoken?

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Have a friend in her mid-60s who was raised in Arizona. Her parents were Democrats; she’s quite liberal, and had moved from AZ decades ago for work.

    She asked her dad why Arizona had turned so mean.

    His short response: “Sun City.”

    It’s the conservative retirees from other states, who bring their mean, cruel attitudes and don’t want to pay a penny to enhance or support their adopted state.

    Not saying this true for all retirees, but my friend says it changed Arizona for the worse.

    You can see the same element at work in SoCal, where some areas are known as “Iowa on the Pacific”, etc.

  49. 49

    @bemused:

    I suspect they believe the children must suffer the “sins” of the parents.

    Then they need to re-read Deuteronomy 24:16.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @bemused: Florida has a ginormous budget shortfall entirely due to Governor Batboy and the wingnut-controlled statehouse’s refusal to expand Medicaid because Obamacare. Seriously, they want the feds to give them billions of dollars to fund indigent care, but they don’t want to enroll the poor in Medicaid (which would be more cost effective!) because it would look like they were caving in to Kenyan tyranny. The HHS secretary recently told Governor Batboy to go pound sand when he showed up with his hand out again, and I hope she sticks to her guns on that.

  51. 51
    Zandar says:

    @fuckwit:

    the final solution to this “poor” problem is very obvious! just dig a big ditch, line them up, get a firing squad with automativ rifles, and just kill them all! when will the republicans simply quit fucking around with these expensive half-measures and just solve this problem once and for all?

    Arizona already has the big ditch on hand.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Huh.

    I’ve thought for a while that the South gets from Northern transplantation is the worst of the North – but I was thinking at the institutional, not individual level. As in, those Northern businesses that moved to the Sun Belt since the mid-20th century are the people trying to profit from the poorly paid and protected workforce that results from lower wages, lower regulations and lower unionization – in other words, the very people who would exacerbate the worst tendencies of the South and Southwest. (Same with some politicians, as you see with the Bush brothers, scions of a Yankee old money dynasty, moving south to a climate that’s more receptive to their right wing brand of bullshit).

    Never occurred to me that the same might be true of individuals.

  53. 53

    @Betty Cracker:

    Seriously, they want the feds to give them billions of dollars to fund indigent care, but they don’t want to enroll the poor in Medicaid (which would be more cost effective!) because it would look like they were caving in to Kenyan tyranny.

    Maybe they don’t like Medicaid because it’s more efficient. Too much of the money gets spent on medical care for moochers and looters and not enough lining the pockets of fat-cat hospital owners.

  54. 54
    bemused says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet):

    Republicans don’t care. About a year or so ago, there was a sad letter to ed in Mpls Star Tribune. A Republican woman was disabled enough that people were encouraging her to try to get on SSDI which isn’t easy to qualify for. She put it off and put it off because she didn’t want to go on what she thought of as a welfare program and that people were able to get assistance too easily. She had bought into that propaganda and didn’t want to be seen as a moocher. She was finally did apply and found out there were a lot of hoops to go through. She did meet the criteria and was glad she had applied. It kind of opened her eyes that people just can’t walk into in an office and they hand assistance to you.

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @wmd:

    but the need to resent and punish the afflicted is almost certain to come back

    I think that explicitly teaching that there are NO deserving poor would help in Christian teaching. People are horrible, but you help them in spite of that.

    (And it is Christian Theology. It teaches that we are not deserving of justice (because of the bad things we do) or mercy, but we get them anyway. Go and do likewise.)

  56. 56
    Mandalay says:

    @Scott S.:

    We’re not, as everyone likes to say, a uniquely compassionate nation.

    Many countries cannot help their most disadvantaged simply because they don’t have the resources. This country wilfully chooses not to, even though it could easily afford to.

    That’s American exceptionalism for you: we’re exceptionally cruel.

  57. 57
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @Tone in DC: You know, every time I hear someone complaining about all the homeless people in San Francisco, I want to grab that person and scream at them, “All those homeless people are there because other cities deal with THEIR homeless problem by giving those people a bus ticket to San Francisco!”

    I would really like to see the State of California sue some of these other states for not taking care of their poor and indigent populations and instead fobbing the whole problem off on their neighbors.

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Were truer words ever spoken?

    Never sniff a gift fish?

    A twelve year old girl. Two if possible.

    Some chicken. Some neck.

  59. 59
    bemused says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    How could I forget Florida!
    MN and WISC are being compared a lot. Very similar states in many ways until Scott Walker and Republican got control. MN has a budget surplus (which MN House is working hard to disappear into tax cuts for the usual suspects) while WI has a deficit. Same contrast in unemployment rates and job creation. The difference is that we have a Dem governor and Dem Senate.

  60. 60
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @wmd: Recently, some design student created a “flag for Earth” as a school project, and it got some small amount of media attention. Perhaps kind of a silly thing, but well-intentioned enough.

    Anyway, I participated in a discussion about this flag on Google+, and there were various reasonable objections (including the observation that Americans seem to really go for flags and it doesn’t always turn out well). But there was also this one guy who got strangely incensed at the idea of an Earth flag, on the grounds that there were freeloader countries in the world who would be represented by the flag even though they somehow didn’t do enough work to contribute to the society that produced the flag. He went on and on about it, about how there needed to be some minimum standard of effort to deserve being represented by a flag.

    It struck me as the reductio ad absurdum of this attitude: he was so comically wary of slackers that he got angry that someone might get undeserved representation by an arbitrary symbol that some design student just invented as a class project. Maybe he’d read too many get-off-my-lawn rants about kids these days getting trophies just for showing up.

  61. 61
    Belafon says:

    They’re doing exactly what their god tells them to do. Their god isn’t the Christian god of the New Testament.

  62. 62
    Mandalay says:

    Only slightly OT since this is a “World’s Best Healthcare (If You Can Afford It)” thread, there is a bizarre update from Luis Lang on his gofundme page:

    “Now to put things straight I never said that I did not like or blamed president Obama for what has happened. In fact both me and my wife have very close friends that are gay.”

    His brain works in a way that I just can’t comprehend.

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Roger Moore: There may be an element of that, but from what I understand, hospital executives are begging state officials to accept Medicaid expansion because it would result in more revenue overall. The governor, a former hospital executive and Medicare-bilker extraordinaire, was on board with expanding Medicaid (after running on an anti-Obamacare platform), but courageously flip-flopped when his teaturd base threatened to turn on him prior to the most recent election, in which he again prevailed with less than 50% of the vote.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    @Mandalay:

    I’ll give him time. He’s only begun to wake up.

  65. 65
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    After all if those awful Poors die or move somewhere else, they’re no longer Arizona’s problem, are they?

    Seriously, I want to see someone sue these bastards. Their refusal to adequately provide for their poor population is creating an undue burden on other states. That’s how to fight this kind of crap…

  66. 66
    Cckids says:

    @PaulW:

    The Legislature also passed a law seeking to force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job

    Wow, THAT’S a winner. My 32-year old son is on Medicaid; has been for most of his life (the moocher).

    Of course, he’s quadriplegic, non-verbal, uses a ventilator & a feeding tube. Sounds like every employer’s dresm, doesn’t he?

    What tools they are in AZ.

  67. 67
    dogwood says:

    @Elizabelle:
    The term “ugly American” doesn’t simply apply to American tourists anymore does it?

  68. 68
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Scott S.:
    I’ve got family in America who say otherwise

  69. 69
    Linnaeus says:

    @Patrick:

    Has she made any posting demanding drug tests for other folks that get welfare from our government? How about all the farmers, how about all the bankers, how about all the defense contractors?

    They’re different because they “deserve” it.

  70. 70
    Tone in DC says:

    @Ridnik Chrome:

    I would really like to see the State of California sue some of these other states for not taking care of their poor and indigent populations and instead fobbing the whole problem off on their neighbors.

    Got plenty of homeless around here. Governor Hogan in MD and that right wing state legislature in VA will not do jack shit to help, of course. Hoping (very faint hope, right now) that the MD legislature and McAuliffe can find a way to work around the wingers in their respective states.

    Having just shown that I am pretty much waiting for unicorns to spring, fully grown, from my rectal area I will now play George Harrison tunes and sit in the lotus position.

  71. 71
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @bemused: And it’s not just what they don’t care about, it’s what they do care about. It’s not just selfishness; they’ll actively injure themselves and their own societies to punish freeloaders, and sometimes to reward people richer than themselves. The need to insure that there is never any such thing as a free lunch gets elevated to something like a religious principle.

    I suppose part of it is a belief, impervious to evidence, that society really is on the verge of collapsing entirely because of the dead weight of unproductive eaters, supported by the sweat of people like themselves through government handouts.

  72. 72
    Elmo says:

    The wingnuttia are fond of saying that nobody starves in this country. Then they do their level best to make sure that’s no longer true.

  73. 73
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Amir Khalid: Even quite conservative Americans are often personally generous in their face-to-face relations with individuals. But they are haunted by visions of a faceless phantom multitude of freeloaders picking their pockets, hovering in some vague distance, who have to be put down somehow. And it distorts all their political attitudes.

  74. 74
    Linnaeus says:

    @bemused:

    Sirloin steak is usually cheaper than other cuts of steak and goes on sale quite regularly

    Especially if you can buy it a day or two before the expiration date. Then you can cook it right away or freeze it for later. That’s how I often buy meat.

  75. 75
    japa21 says:

    @Belafon: Interestingly enough, a pretty consistent message in the OT is that it is government’s responsibility to take care of the less fortunate, something these folks tend to overlook. Read several of the prophets and they frequently will condemn the princes and kings for not protecting and taking care of the poor and talk about how God will judge them in a not nice way for their behavior.

  76. 76
    bemused says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    That is a better way to put it. Look at what they do care about.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Scott S.: Alas, I can’t dispute this. I spent a good chunk of my life in uniform, ostensibly to defend an ideal that so many of my fellow citizens reject with stunning contempt and hatred.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Those freeloaders are blah. That makes all the difference in the world.

  79. 79
    bemused says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Yes. For the two of us, I buy of package of 4, freeze 2, grill the other 2 for fajitas, steak salad, etc. and you have several meals.

  80. 80
    Face says:

    Purely devil’s advocate position here, but should there be a time and/or money limit to bennies? 12 months seems obscene, but on the other hand, bennies of life for an able-bodied person seems extreme, too. Do states currently have longer limits and these are being shortened, or did states have no previous limit and now there are limits being instituted?

  81. 81
    Cacti says:

    The kids always come after the poors, via the education budget.

    Although I’m not sure how much lower AZ can get with that one. They’re already 48th in the country in per-pupil funding.

  82. 82
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The new social compact between the GOP and the individual is: “I can no longer promise to make your life better — not if I’m to deliver on tax cuts for the wealthy.

    But I can promise to make someone else’s life worse, and let you watch instead. Deal?”

    And America says ‘Yeah, sure…’

  83. 83
    Paul in KY says:

    @SenyorDave: I tell ya, it’s got to be top 5 or 6 all time.

  84. 84
    mak says:

    @walt:

    This right-wing fervor doesn’t depend on evidence. Just the opposite. The worse things get in Arizona, the better Republicans do. Arizona used to be a middle-of-the-pack state in terms of median income. Now it’s in the bottom quintile, rubbing elbows with Mississippi and Alabama. If its future looks dystopian, well, that’s because the haves don’t live anywhere near the have nots. Arizona is Big Sorting its way to Apartheid

    We all get rightfully incensed at the meanness, but I take some comfort in the fact that they are ultimately fucking themselves. The intent appears to be to force all poors/browns to leave the state, which means in large part younger people. Before long, all the youngsters and creative types have fled, and you are left with the geriatrics and glibertarians. They’re already in dire financial shape (didn’t AZ close a bunch of their highway rest stops a while back?) and things are only going to get worse as the Sun City “keep yer gubment hands off me Medicare) mentality takes over the whole state. Meanwhile, the socialist mecca next door is running a surplus. Should be interesting to compare and contrast in a generation or so.

  85. 85
    Cacti says:

    @Face:

    Purely devil’s advocate position here, but should there be a time and/or money limit to bennies? 12 months seems obscene, but on the other hand, bennies of life for an able-bodied person seems extreme, too. Do states currently have longer limits and these are being shortened, or did states have no previous limit and now there are limits being instituted?

    Able-bodied adults without children account for about 10% of public assistance expenditures, with the majority of that going toward unemployment benefits to those between jobs.

    Of working age adults who receive benefits of some kind, the majority are working poor with minor children.

    The young buck eating T-bone steaks is a myth of the right wing.

  86. 86
    Linnaeus says:

    @Face:

    There have been time limits for years. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1996 has a lifetime limit of 5 years, but some states have shorter periods than that.

  87. 87
    Paul in KY says:

    @catclub: Not getting your comment.

  88. 88
    boatboy_srq says:

    @mak: If that approach worked, we’d see marked improvement in Mississippi, Alabama and other Deep South Red states by now. They’ve been on that track for considerably longer, and are showing exactly zilch in awareness of the conscious deliberate self-fvcking they’ve given themselves, let alone the inclination to do anything about it. The mean streak only gets meaner and broader. AZ is in for a real shock when the only income comes from the retirees and the careviger community (ALF/hospice/hospital/etc).

  89. 89
    Botsplainer says:

    @satby:

    If she projected bad attitude in a corrective meeting you should have. Now you guys are enabling the enabler. But YMMV

    I get your meaning, and ideally it should have happened, but ours is an intimate and super friendly environment and we’re just not used to it. Plus, we felt bad about finally having to say something while her drunk is in ICU and she was an hour or so from meeting with the police detective working the case. We basically told her to walk it off, go to her meeting with the detective and to start working harder this afternoon. Basically, she was told that this is her first and last actual warning about the extent of the distractions, the mistakes, the lack of effort, the late shows, the texting and the like. I really feel like shit about it, as does the other sharer, but we had to.

  90. 90
    Eolirin says:

    The ‘funniest’ thing about all of this, putting aside the horribleness of kicking people in desperate situations, is that cutting off those benefits are likely to *worsen* the budget situation, not improve it.

    That money gets spent! And a lot of it is coming from federal sources. It’s stimulus to the state, and they’re making it go away, which is only going to reduce revenues further. Less spending is less income is less taxes, is more cuts, is less spending, etc.

    Hello economic death spiral.

  91. 91
    bemused says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    That sums it up very well. It really is a cult.

  92. 92
    Cacti says:

    @Eolirin:

    This.

    Food Stamp/SNAP benefits get circulated into the national economy on a daily basis.

  93. 93
    Belafon says:

    @Face: Contrary to popular belief, most people are not lazy moochers, no matter which country you are in. So, the choice is to have a system that punishes those who will work if they can find a job just to get at thew few who are lazy, or help everyone when they need it, which means enabling the lazy. My choice is to do the latter, since there are many benefits to helping those in need.

  94. 94

    “As a society, we are encouraging people at times to make poor decisions and then we reward them.”

    This cannot be stressed enough: Racists think blacks are inferior. They have a whole laundry list of things they believe about blacks. There’s a history to this, a very long history, and these same arguments you hear Arizona using are the arguments White Supremacists use – just with ‘because blacks are animals’ cut out.

    They believe blacks are lazy and irresponsible, young black men are naturally criminal, black women are sluts, and black families are negligent and usually the father skips out. These are not vague assumptions, they are specific memes with a long history.

    When you hear conservatives talk about thugs, lazy poor people, and bad families, understand this: They mean black people. Don’t propagate racism by giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  95. 95
    sparrow says:

    @wmd: I would say the ground state is partly that your friend really does work hard, and gets very little pay for it. That tends to build resentment, but since channeling it towards the proper target (the bosses, unfettered capitalism) is understood to probably lead to getting fired, she finds the outlet of hating people who aren’t her. (The few that are in a lower position in society.) Makes sense to me, sadly.

  96. 96
    Goblue72 says:

    Since Arizona is a distillate of old white people, none of this is surprising.

  97. 97
    Cacti says:

    The Legislature also passed a law seeking to force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job, and cutting off those benefits after five years.

    Nursing home care is covered by Medicaid, not Medicare.

    AZ is setting itself up to have a large octogenarian homeless population here in a few years.

  98. 98
    Eolirin says:

    @boatboy_srq: Oh, it doesn’t work, in terms of getting them to change policies. What it does do is reduce population growth and lead to population flight, which, long term, reduces their ability to control the House. They still get to have equal representation in the Senate and fuck things up that way, but it diminishes their political power significantly, over enough decades.

  99. 99
    Cacti says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    This cannot be stressed enough: Racists think blacks are inferior. They have a whole laundry list of things they believe about blacks. There’s a history to this, a very long history, and these same arguments you hear Arizona using are the arguments White Supremacists use – just with ‘because blacks are animals’ cut out.

    AZ doesn’t have a large black population. Their racist ire is directed mostly at “Messicans”.

  100. 100
    chopper says:

    @wmd:

    tell your friend that she can afford sirloin. all she has to do is the same thing her EBT customers do. SAVE UP.

  101. 101
    Paul in KY says:

    @Botsplainer: Don’t feel like shit. She’s the one who has gotten herself in this predicament.

  102. 102
    Valdivia says:

    @Mandalay:
    He thinks Obama is not only Kenyan Muslim Communist but also gay?
    Is this a new thing? I keep seeing it reported on wing it Twitter.

  103. 103
    guachi says:

    Sorting that list of state budget deficits by dollars per capita shows Alaska is in a world of hurt. I had to check to see that the numbers were correct.Their budget deficit is 10x worse than the #2 on the list, Illinois.

    But what really struck me was how bad the situation is in New England and the mid-Atlantic. Except for New Hampshire, all the New England states are on the list at positions 4 (Connecticut), 6 (Massachusetts), 7 (Vermont), 8 (Rhode Island), and 9 (Maine).

    The mid-Atlantic is also hurting with 11 (Pennsylvania), 13 (Virginia), 18 (Delaware), and 19 (Maryland)

  104. 104

    @Cacti:
    While they do love to treat browns and blacks the same, you should also never underestimate how few blacks are needed for their racism to function. Like the cashier above, they believe in vast hordes of welfare queens that don’t actually exist.

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Valdivia: It might be an old meme that’s been revived. I remember back in the 2008 primaries some of the crazy PUMAs were spreading stories about Obama’s alleged relationship with a male prostitute. In some versions of the story, Obama had the hustler murdered to silence him.

  106. 106
    Mandalay says:

    I’m a bit surprised that Arizona’s government hasn’t already implemented the cunning plan that freshly reelected Prime minister David Cameron proposes to implement in Britain:

    “…we’ll make illegal working a criminal offence in its own right. That means wages paid to illegal migrants will be seized as proceeds of crime…”

    Strange that he forgot to mention that during his election campaign.

  107. 107
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: Do they also plan to seize the profits of businesses that hire undocumented immigrants? Funny how so little of the anti-immigrant fervor is directed at the companies that provide the incentive for undocumented immigration.

  108. 108
    SenyorDave says:

    Just in case anyone doubts the wingnuttery of Arizona, the aforementioned state senator Kelli Ward has this on her Wikipedia entry:

    Ward is considering a run against incumbent Senator John McCain, who is viewed by some political analysts as a top target of the Tea Party movement. On May 5, 2015, Ward attended a political event at which one of the speakers called for McCain to be put to death. Ward did not object to those comments at the time and, as of May 16, had yet to publicly renounce the speaker.

    People like Ms. Ward don’t belong in a state senate, they belong in a state mental institution.

  109. 109
    p.a. says:

    “As a society, we are encouraging people at times to make poor decisions and then we reward them.”

    Like voting Rethuglican.

  110. 110
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    the final solution to this “poor” problem is very obvious! just dig a big ditch, line them up, get a firing squad with automativ rifles, and just kill them all! when will the republicans simply quit fucking around with these expensive half-measures and just solve this problem once and for all?

    if your bank balance, credit, and income fall beneath a certain floor, simply shoot the moochers.

    wait, i have a better idea. to save even more money on bullets, and to keep those ditches with bodies becoming an environmental burden, we can simply gas all the poors to death, and then cremate their bodies. if we recover their gold teeth we might even be able to make the whole operation revenue neutral.

    @fuckwit: This really is the next logical step. Once you’ve deemed a class of people who need help as unworthy of that help, it’s a VERY small step to then declaring they’re not worthy of life.

    We’ve seen that movie play out before.

  111. 111
    piratedan says:

    well speaking (or typing) as a resident, I can say that I didn’t vote for Doug (Douchbag) Ducey but he’s only doing what he said that he would do. He’s raising state tuition and running the state like he would a business (and he ran a bunch of Cold Stone Creamery franchises). The problem is, you can’t run a state like all of its employees are a bunch of 17 year old part timers yet, that is the model in place here. Plus, this environment is fostered by the extreme gerrymandering of the state legislative districts where all them dems are herded into liberal ghettos and giving the GOP veto free worries even if a Dem somehow gets into office at the statewide level.. There are some nice ground level efforts to register latino and tribal voters to rebuild a more sane voting coalition but rest assured our GOP brethren are doing everything they can to place more hoops to jump thru and set them afire where applicable. Plenty of sane folks here, but there is a decided Mormon conservative mafia that controls the East Valley suburbs and a lot of liberal slices of suburbia are siphoned off into the libertarian rancher counties that enthusiastically vote with the GOP to keep those brown people in check. Add to that the Faux fans of the recently retired who live in fear constantly thanks to REASONS!. It’s a tough coalition to break at the state level. In federal elections, the congressional districts are drawn thanks to an independent districting commission that was established by state referendum to draw them fairly, which is how we actually have blue representatives in place. Naturally the GOP is hard at work in the courts to have that reversed because they thinks it’s unfair that they can’t rig that as well.

    It’s a long slog to fight the good fight here and calling our state a shit hole doesn’t help and is counter productive. I will probably spend my time phone banking again and trying to find more time to work with the local precinct. Problematic of building our political bench.

  112. 112
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Face: I don’t personally think any absolutely fixed limit makes sense, because the fundamental assumption behind them is that able-bodied people can always find work of some sort if they apply themselves, and that may not be the case. (Or possibly the work does exist, but it’s something so degrading that no human being should actually do it.)

    Long-term, widespread automation and skyrocketing productivity may even make this the permanent norm for most people. The conservative/libertarian assumption is that the production we need to keep society going is in constant peril from the unwillingness of people to work, but maybe this simply isn’t true, or isn’t any longer. It made sense in a labor-intensive agricultural society.

  113. 113
    Valdivia says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I had totally forgotten about that one! I think there was a cocaine binge involved too making it a hat-trick of a scandal. I think it’s been revived by the crazy right wing Chuck Johnson (not the one of LGF) because I saw something about just that this morning.

  114. 114
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Frequently, they’ll be face-to-face generous even to black people …if these black people present as sufficiently nonthreatening and do not do anything that raises their hackles. The standards for this are, of course, set unfairly high. But, even so, it doesn’t change their fears about the vague multitudes somewhere off in welfareland.

  115. 115

    @Face:

    Define “able-bodied.” There’s nothing wrong with my co-worker’s sister’s body, it’s her brain that goes on the fritz often enough that she can’t hold down a job. If you saw her, you would assume she was one of those looters and moochers, because her disability is not visible to the naked eye.

    Part of the problem with people’s view of welfare is that we changed society and didn’t bother to change welfare to match. Things like TANF were originally created specifically so women could stay home with their children and not have to work. Now society has changed and mothers who stay home are looters and moochers, but we never updated welfare to make it possible for working mothers to get child care and health care. We just cut them off.

  116. 116
    Bobby Thomson says:

    OT. Senate Dems have predictably caved on TPP.

  117. 117

    @Botsplainer:

    It seems like you should at least be able to make her take a family or personal leave and get a temp while she’s gone, but I don’t know what the laws in your state are.

  118. 118

    Meanwhile, Kansas is limiting welfare beneficiaries to no more than $25 (effectively $20) in ATM withdrawals in a day. Which of course means they’ll have to make more stops at ATMs, and pay more in transaction fees. They also only get two fee-free purchases on their benefit debit cards per month.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....-the-poor/

  119. 119
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    No mandatory anything – our office group is too small, which is why it’s been such an issue.

  120. 120
    Mandalay says:

    @piratedan:

    It’s a long slog to fight the good fight here and calling our state a shit hole doesn’t help and is counter productive.

    Amen to that. Having a state government with right wing policies doesn’t make Arizona a shit hole any more than Illinois and New York are “shit holes” because of their long history of corruption with Democratic politicians.

  121. 121
    shell says:

    The Legislature also passed a law seeking to force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job

    I’m in the process of helping my mother apply for Medicaid, to help with expenses. She’s 93. Exactly what kind of job do they envision for her?

  122. 122
    Svensker says:

    “As a society, we are encouraging people at times to make poor decisions and then we reward them.”

    Completely agree. Those bankers and hedge fund managers need to lose their jobs and spend time in jail, rather than getting bonuses.

  123. 123
    piratedan says:

    @shell: well as far as this state is concerned (AZ), my snarky response would be nurses aide, teaching assistant, crossing guard, long haul trucker and stunt double…..

  124. 124
    Calouste says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Long-term, widespread automation and skyrocketing productivity may even make this the permanent norm for most people.

    The Western World has had widespread mechanization/automation and skyrocketing productivity since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and unemployment is at a relatively low rate historically. Of course what has happened over the last 2 centuries or so is that the required education levels for pretty much all jobs have gone up significantly, and the current anti-education slant of parts of the country is going to leave a lot of people without the required skills to perform a job in the future.

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    @mak:

    Don’t underestimate the power of sheer spite to overcome all common sense. Just look at the South for about seventy years from Reconstruction to the New Deal and to see just how shitty a situation white conservatives are able to tolerate as long as they’re convinced to just blame the Yankees and Darkies.

  126. 126

    @Botsplainer:

    You’d probably have to check with your state department of labor, but you may be able to give her a “take a personal leave or be fired” ultimatum. In most states, a personal leave is up to the discrection of the employer and doesn’t have a federal mandate like FMLA. Just a thought, but it might allow you to walk the tightrope between keeping someone who’s doing bad work and firing her outright.

  127. 127
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Senate Dems have predictably caved on TPP.

    @Bobby Thomson: Yeah. The bad news is that this will hurt labor in the US even more. The “good news” is that nobody in America gives a shit about labor’s needs anymore.

    The Democratic party has reached the same level of accommodation with labor that they have with African-Americans – they can totally ignore them, because what are they going to do, vote Republican?

    Fuck, this country sucks.

  128. 128
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:
    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Not to diminish the power of racism in any way, but I also do think that at this point, hatred of the poor is a thing in and of itself.

  129. 129
    Chris says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    J. K. Rowling had the best response for this “face to face niceness” thing; You call everyone of my birth a Mudblood. Why should I be any different?

  130. 130
    Kropadope says:

    I wonder which red state will be the first to eliminate TANF altogether, since we’re busy freeing the Poors from their plight of dependency.

    The goal isn’t to reduce dependency, it’s to change whom they’re dependent on. Instead of the government, the Rs would have people dependent on their own families, their employers, and car/gasoline manufacturers.

  131. 131
    Belafon says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Except who caved were the Democrats that were going to cave as long as the senate looked at the bills they were offering. But this wasn’t a TPP vote, it was a Trade Promotion Authority (ie, fast track) vote.

  132. 132
    Chris says:

    @Kropadope:

    The goal isn’t to reduce dependency, it’s to change whom they’re dependent on. Instead of the government, the Rs would have people dependent on their own families, their employers, and car/gasoline manufacturers.

    Churches, churches, churches. Never forget churches. In fact, that’s probably the first thing they’ll cite as their version of a safety net.

    They want to go back to a time when they could hold your very survival over your head as a way to control your behavior. Conservative churches, which fondly remember the days of “want to feed your children? Then you’d better sit through this sermon!” and still do that where they can get away with it, are crazy about this.

  133. 133
    Fishfry says:

    @Elizabelle: That is sooooo true! I live in AZ and blame a lot of the crap that comes from our elected idiots on the snowbirds that ruined my state. They retire here, mostly around Phoenix and then proceed to vote red. Fortunately, there are areas of blue in this state and I am happy to live in one of them. Eventually AZ will start to turn blue as the older people die off and the younger, more openminded people start to vote. We will see come 2016 when we have the recreational pot vote put on the ballot.

  134. 134

    Is it a cynical ploy to reduce the state population before continuing drought and rising global temperatures make the state increasingly uninhabitable? No. Republicans are not capable of planning anything with that much foresight or that subtle.

  135. 135
    Kropadope says:

    @Chris: The thing that links most of these things? It gives the right people dominion over your personal life (employer, church, car/oil). The outlier is the family situation. This, of course, helps impoverish more families.

  136. 136
    Chris says:

    @Kropadope:

    The family situation? How so? The family is part of the hierarchy too as far as they’re concerned – “dependent on the family” in their ideal world means “dependent on the father.”

  137. 137

    @guachi:
    Link, please? BTW, the reason Alaska is in such a world of hurt is because so much of their government is funded by oil money. When oil prices are high, Alaska does very well. When prices crash, so does the state budget. They do, IIRC, have the advantage of having a serious rainy day fund to even out the ups and downs.

  138. 138
    goblue72 says:

    @guachi: And for a lot of those states, you can’t blame crazy tax-cutting Republicans. New England by and large is solid blue country – except for New Hampshire, which has no state income tax, a part-time legislature and yet isn’t facing a budget deficit.

    For a number of those Northeastern states I’d expect its combination of low population growth rates, single party control leading to entrenched corruption and public sector unions that the state can never say “no” to. When I was a Masshole, there were some election years where my hand would hover over the “R” lever for a few moments just because the statehouse on Beacon Hill resembled nothing so much as the cantina at Mos Eisley.

  139. 139
    goblue72 says:

    @Roger Moore: Did you even bother to read the article that the blog post is ranting about? Its literally the hyperlink making up the first sentence in Zandar’s post.

  140. 140
    Chris says:

    @goblue72:

    the cantina at Mos Eisley.

    Thanks for triggering an earworm! :D

  141. 141
    Gravenstone says:

    So they want to force Medicaid recipients to work. Medicaid? The program that pays substantially towards elder care and nursing homes? Good fucking luck there, folks.

  142. 142
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I remember back in the 2008 primaries some of the crazy PUMAs were spreading stories about Obama’s alleged relationship with a male prostitute.

    Talk about republicans projecting! Doesn’t that description fit Karl Rove?

    http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.....igned.html

  143. 143
    piratedan says:

    @Gravenstone: these are the same guys who said it was too soon to talk about gun control post the Giffords shooting and yet strangely enough since then they were able to designate a state handgun and it’s never been brought up again since…. being able to be professionally obtuse is a feature, not a bug.

  144. 144
    Spanky says:

    @PaulW:
    Well said…

  145. 145
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Zandar:

    Arizona already has the big ditch on hand.

    This would also encourage obedience to one’s parents. They could get rid of you permanently by kicking you out of the house in a down economy. This is biblical too, in keeping with the old testament death penalty for talking back to one’s parents. (Paraphrased very loosely).

  146. 146
    Chris says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Funny how so little of the anti-immigrant fervor is directed at the companies that provide the incentive for undocumented immigration.

    I think they’d tell you that the poor businessmen just had to hire them because otherwise they’d be unable to compete with the other businesses who hired them.

    They have an interesting tendency towards flip-flopping when describing our Captains of Industry, where if there’s any credit to be had, they’re portrayed as the mighty and all-powerful titans who moved mountains, all by themselves, to provide us with all the good things we have because they’re just that awesome… and if there’s any blame to be had, they’re portrayed as helpless slaves to forces greater than themselves.

  147. 147

    @shell:

    I’m in the process of helping my mother apply for Medicaid, to help with expenses. She’s 93. Exactly what kind of job do they envision for her?

    State Legislator. She’s probably more qualified than the people making these suggestions.

  148. 148
    Seanly says:

    @Face:

    Some people may look able bodied but aren’t. After her bone marrow transplant, my wife almost died from a severe lung infection. She’s still on immune suppressants for the BMT and has doctor’s orders not to work for at least another year. Plus, a pulmonologist told her that she’d probably never be able to run based on the damage to her lungs. She looks pretty normal now and walks reasonably well.

    She is eager to go back to work, but in the meantime, we’re very happy to have the disability payments. We do want her to go back to work before she has to get off my employer insurance and use Medicaid (after 24 months on disability she has to go to Medicaid).

  149. 149
    Gene108 says:

    @guachi:

    Why dollars per capita?

    Would not as a percentage of the state’s GDP make more sense?

    @goblue72:

    I think the Democtratic Party controlled states have promised more services, but refused to raise taxes sufficiently to pay for it, because no elected official wants to be accused of raising taxes

  150. 150

    @Chris:
    It’s true that the GOP’s embrace of racism, and their freakout as the demographic timer ticks, has created a culture of hate for hate’s sake. However, who do they flock to, pour money on? Anyone who publicly hurts blacks. How do they describe their attacks on the poor? With the specific language cultivated by racists to denigrate blacks.

    Most importantly, they’ve gotten away with this for decades because white people gave other white people cover. We went ‘it might not be racism’ so much that racists have been able to pretend racism is almost gone and get away with literal murder. Now a black man is president, and more than half the white people in America have lost their shit. So, no, there are probably non-racist assholes in the gaps, but rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt, racist-seeming behavior should be assumed as racism until proven otherwise. They have specifically exploited our giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    @Chris:
    ‘Churches’ mean ‘white power’. It means ‘us giving to us’. The people who think churches should take care of charity are specifically the people who use Christianity as an identifier rather than faith, and do not include any branch of Christianity that does not exactly conform to their prejudices. These churches rose up and became political during and right after desegregation. That is also just another pretty sounding slogan they’ve found that in practice means racism.

  151. 151
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Chris:

    Churches, churches, churches. Never forget churches. In fact, that’s probably the first thing they’ll cite as their version of a safety net.

    And when times are bad (when people need help the most), church donations go down, and there’s less to go around.

  152. 152
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @goblue72: That link shows budget deficit in raw numbers, not budget deficit per capita, as guachi was referring to. That requires either outside research, or refers to an article that isn’t linked anywhere obvious.

    But looking at it on a per-capita basis, that $1bn deficit for Arizona works out to around $150 per person, which doesn’t seem like a large number; nor does it seem large compared to a state GDP north of $288bn.

  153. 153
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    They have an interesting tendency towards flip-flopping when describing our Captains of Industry, where if there’s any credit to be had, they’re portrayed as the mighty and all-powerful titans who moved mountains, all by themselves, to provide us with all the good things we have because they’re just that awesome… and if there’s any blame to be had, they’re portrayed as helpless slaves to forces greater than themselves.

    @Chris: Oh. Like evangelical Christians.

  154. 154
    weaselone says:

    @guachi: it would probably look a little better if you looked at the deficit as a percentage of state GDP.

    Also, Massachusetts and Connecticut could make up some of the revenue through tax increases. That is not an option in most of the red states.

  155. 155

    @goblue72:
    I was asking for a link to the per capita data, which was not in the AP article, and which I couldn’t find with a quick search.

  156. 156
    goblue72 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m not sure what Roger expected if that’s the case – for gauchi to upload his/her Excel spreadsheet.

    Sometimes people can be lazy. Which is fine, but don’t go criticizing or calling people’s statement’s into question on the basis of the critic being the lazy one.

    Just sayin’.

  157. 157
    goblue72 says:

    @Gene108: They could always just promise less unfunded services. That’s actually an option.

  158. 158
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @goblue72: Trouble is those promises accumulate over time, and leave a state like Illinois now sitting on a pension plan that’s underfunded by well over $100bn.

  159. 159

    @goblue72:

    They could always just promise less unfunded services.

    Or maybe they’re trying to be good Keynsians by running deficits while the economy is in bad shape- which it still is, BTW- in order to help demand. It’s a perfectly legitimate thing for governments to want to do.

  160. 160
    Gene108 says:

    @goblue72:

    But how can you position yourself for a Democratic Presidential run, without putting in universal pre-K?

    Balancing the books and providing a decent level of service is boring. It requires a certain willingness to piss off some group here or there, ie someone is not getting benefits expanded, while someone may have taxes go up.

  161. 161
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    They could always just promise less unfunded services. That’s actually an option.

    @goblue72: Didn’t work out so well for Orange County.

  162. 162
    mak says:

    @Chris:
    Don’t disagree with either you or @boatboy. I can see one scenario where they continue happily down the path to broke-ass confederate-style Darwinocracy, in which case we can point and laugh. On the other hand, since the geriatrics aren’t going to reproduce, if basic services and amenities (like highway rest stops) continue to dry up, the snowbirds will stop coming. I don’t see flocks of snowbirds moving to MS or AL, for example. In that case, if browns continue to immigrate, demographics may tell a different tale. And there’s always the possibility, however faint, that sane people will get fed up with the teatardery, and push back (the same hope I hold out for, say, Indiana in 2016 and beyond).

  163. 163
    goblue72 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m not exactly sure how making LESS promises turns into MORE promises accumulated over time.

    What I am saying is, its always an option for these state to just say “no” – either to expanding services or to making overly generous concessions to public sector unions. For every state like Wisconsin burning pubic sector workers in effigy there’s another state on the opposite end of the spectrum that just can’t say “no”. See – California and the prison guards union.

  164. 164
    goblue72 says:

    @Roger Moore: The problem with that argument is that we are well on our way into the current business cycle. UE is getting under control and new UE benefit claims at a decade level low. Now is exactly when states need to be shoring up their finances, trimming back, and socking away cash in a rainy day fund. The current business cycle probably has around 24 months of growth left, quite easily less. States needs to be looking past the current horizon and start getting ready to deal with the next downturn – which we are all closer to now than we are close to the last downturn.

  165. 165
    goblue72 says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: OC went bankrupt because they tried to get away with not raising taxes AND offering same level or more of services. I’m not saying to do that.

    I’m saying being boring is always an option – that is, only providing as much services as the public is actually willing to pay for.

  166. 166

    @Gene108:

    Balancing the books and providing a decent level of service is boring. It requires a certain willingness to piss off some group here or there, ie someone is not getting benefits expanded, while someone may have taxes go up.

    It seems to have worked very nicely for Jerry Brown. California raised taxes, avoided blowing up the budget on new programs, and was rewarded by moving rapidly from an apparently intractable deficit to a modest surplus. Brown was rewarded by a massive reelection victory. Boring beats the pants off the bad kind of exciting.

  167. 167
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Eolirin: That doesn’t explain the migration wave to the South and Southwest, and that migration will prop the wingnuts up long after the native Other population is starved out.

    @Mandalay: Is “gay” the new “black”? Or is it the other way around? My RWNM translator is a version or two behind…

  168. 168
    Sherparick says:

    It is going be interesting to see the kind of jobs 85 year old Alzheimer patients are going to get once they are freed of the dependency of “Medicaid.” http://www.medicaid.gov/Medica.....llees.html Or the quadraplegics and other gravely disabled people on SSI. http://www.medicaid.gov/Medica.....ities.html

    These guys (and a few gals) have had their minds and souls rotted out by listening to Rush Limbaugh for 25 years. These are his people.

  169. 169
    boatboy_srq says:

    @mak: We saw a hint of that after Deal’s immigration fiasco in GA (LEOs empowered to check for citizenship with every other stop; after which nearly the entire agro labor force bugged out). Not sure the effects were permanent.

  170. 170
    boatboy_srq says:

    @mak: Geriatrics in FL have been playing this game for decades: starve all the services younger residents need because they don’t have kids and their careers are behind them. Education, Head Start, transportation, healthcare (especially prenatal/neonatal/maternity/OBGYN), you name it; if it doesn’t directly benefit a retiree, there’s a huge voting bloc that’ll oppose it on principle. They’ll actually argue that they paid taxes for their kids and grandkids (in another state) and that should be enough and they’re done paying for other people’s irresponsible procreation kids. FL differs from AL/MS/LA/GA in that it has a bigger tax base – and spends as little as it does on those things on purpose.

  171. 171
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @goblue72: And what I am saying is that saying “no” in 2015 is not terribly helpful if the state lege has been saying “yes” for the last 25 years.

  172. 172
    mai naem mobile says:

    I don’t mean to sound like an asshole but I would like to know if Jessica Lopez has ever gotten out and voted. Yes, we are a fucked up state but Gaby Giffords seat was lost by less than 200 votes. Flake won his seat by a pretty small percentage. If the Latinos would show their asses up at the polls, this shit would not be happening. BTW the state legislature Dems almost stopped this but.one of their own defected for a small piece of silver promised to him by Gov Douchebag which he apparently didn’t even end up getting(few transportation + education $$.) I don’t remember the details but he ended up getting screwed.

  173. 173
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I don’t mean to sound like an asshole but I would like to know if Jessica Lopez has ever gotten out and voted.

    @mai naem mobile: It’s a valid question. The answer is almost certainly “no”.

  174. 174
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Calouste: Sure… what happens for the most part is, we find new jobs for people to do. There was a time when most people worked on farms in some way, and now it’s a small sector of the economy in terms of employment.

    But it’s not clear to me that what happened before will keep happening in the same way. Automating farms and factories meant that the new jobs required more and more education. At the moment, though, it looks to me as if the current wave of automation is going to take away a lot of abstract tech- and information-related jobs, and the jobs that are hardest to automate are probably going to be ones involving face-to-face human interaction, most of which are currently lower-paid and some of which require relatively little in the way of book learning. The question is whether that’s going to be sufficient to pick up the slack.

    What I hope happens eventually is that the standard for how much we think people have to work to make a living goes down: not necessarily to zero, but down. That happened before, with the rise of industrial organized labor and the five-day, 40-hour work week. But unfettered capitalism has no motivation to move in that direction: the ideal is to employ as few people as possible and make them work insane long hours.

  175. 175
    mak says:

    @boatboy_srq: @boatboy_srq:

    Without knowing the specific demographics offhand, I would guess that AZ has more in common with FL than AL, MS, etc., with a lump of UT and a dash of TX thrown in. My only direct knowledge is anecdotal, in the form of an extended family of first cousins in and around Phoenix who, as transplanted Bostonians, remain good Democrats (or at least pretend to be on trips back east).

  176. 176
    agorabum says:

    @wmd: good for you for constructively engaging. Although my guess is that who she calls ‘drug addicts’ buying steak are working people with gopd or decent jobs who just happen to look different. Maybe tatted up or funky / goth looking.

  177. 177
    ruemara says:

    Ever wonder what the end result looks like? Not sure I want to see it up close, tho.

  178. 178
    The Lodger says:

    @SenyorDave: Of course, people like Kelli Ward would actually fund the state senate. State mental institutions, not so much.

  179. 179
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @goblue72: Man. What do you do if you just missed the opportunity to be good Keynesians during the slump, and people are still massively hurting through what little boom you’ve got? Maybe that’s the real problem with Keynesianism, the inability to recover gracefully after you’ve already screwed the pooch, absent a world war that kills eighty million people.

  180. 180
    Captain C says:

    @Zandar: I’m sure the Havasupai would love that.

  181. 181
    satby says:

    @Botsplainer: Hey, I had to go to work, and a warning is fair and reasonable. Her situation isn’t on you, it’s on her and her choices. Since you aren’t appreciating what a heroic martyr she’s being and aren’t willing to give her a paycheck just for showing up, she’s passed. Which shows how sick with codependence she is. She’s heading for a cliff, you’re giving her a chance to turn the wheel and not go over. Close family atmosphere or not, if she wants to crash the car you have to save the rest of your office. And I know it doesn’t feel like it could be a favor, but it could be the wake up call she needs to save her own life. If you guys really care about her, sounds like detached accountability is overdue.

  182. 182
    Ruckus says:

    @dogwood:
    The concept of the Ugly American was one of an American asshole who traveled. They didn’t become assholes because they traveled and they didn’t travel because they were assholes. They started out that way. The concept came about because others got exposed to them. They were always here for us to enjoy.

  183. 183
    Ruckus says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    This has been going on for decades, the idea of how labor intensive our workforce is. And mostly it isn’t true nor has it been for a long time. Yes there is construction which is reasonably labor intensive, and for sure a few others, but how many people on this blog have physical labor jobs? I have a sort of one, I operate manual machinery all day. It still is mostly brain work, not back work. And to ask a further question how many jobs in this country are labor intensive? OK to get the reasonable answer to that we have to define labor intensive but many jobs that were labor intensive even 20 yrs ago, no longer are. Not even some of those agriculture jobs. How many of us work in the production of or delivery of food stuffs (yes I’d consider being wait staff to be labor intensive)?

  184. 184
    J R in WV says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    The part of “Christianity” that jumped into bed with the hard right is as Christian as Saddam and Osama are. They don’t follow a single precept of Christ, they follow the rules of Caesar, totally, and don’t even know what the Christ told them to do.

  185. 185
    J R in WV says:

    @Face:

    Right now there’s a 5 year lifetime limit…. right now.

  186. 186
    J R in WV says:

    @shell: She should get a job on a farm, loading bales of hay into a flatbed trailer, and then offloading those bales into the barn loft.

    I used to do that when I was 25-35. Probably why my shoulders are shot, one has been replaced with a titanium joint, and I’m waiting for the surgeon to decide I’m healthy enough for the other shoulder replacement.

    But it was fun at the time, kinda.

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