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Saturday, December 18, 2004

Fine welfare smokers?

Rep. Marty Seifert, one of the more outspoken conservative Republicans in the House, has proposed that people on welfare be fined if they smoke. The state shouldn't be subsidizing bad behaviour for these people, he argues.

Seifert has had some wacky ideas in the past. He has put forward bills to ban dessert in prisons (dessert has to be included to give prisoners the minimum nutrition stipulated by law, so that one didn't go anywhere), divest the state from French companies (remember Freedom Fries? I unfortunately do), and so on. But perhaps his most well-known goofy bill was his proposal last year to give driver's tests in English only. I don't know if he thought that would be a cakewalk when he proposed that amendment to the Transportation bill, but he was pounded so relentlessly by questions from all sides that at times he looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

This idea is probably going to go the way of those previous defeats, and with good reason. Although, I have to admit that the idea strikes me as good on a certain level. If we fined people whose suburban housing developments, roads, and sewer systems were subsidized by the government, I think that would be very amusing. But it's best to probably leave that one on the back burner too.

1 Comments:

At 6:31 PM, January 19, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in the retail industry and when I see people purchase cigarettes and other questionable items with public assistance. Oneday a lady sent 100 dollars off her ebt card to a prison.
Is this money being spent correctly, are we really helping people with this program. This goes deeper than just smoking.

 

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