Two great items in the news today: as has been discovered in other states, Oregon’s “Trail” cards, ostensibly given to the poorest of the poor to help them pay for utilities, rent, and food (to the tune of $16 million a month) are being used by some folks to get cash at strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores. What a surprise! Hey, it’s free money, and as one commenter brilliantly notes:
“Kim”, it seems, is a graduate of Portland Public Schools. Note the excellent command of the English language. The article goes on to observe that the practice isn’t illegal,
But Oregon officials along with those in other states say this kind of activity undermines the integrity of government safety-net programs. Some states, including Washington, have passed laws to restrict such abuse.
Undermines the integrity of the programs? The hell you say! That’s really not possible, as they have no integrity to begin with. The Oregon Trail cards are issued primarily so that recipients don’t feel “stigmatized” when using them, as was so often the case a few years ago, when the state issued booklets of food stamps. Oh, the horror! It borders on abuse for people to feel stigmatized – it might motivate them to go find a job.
It gets better: as Oregon Catalyst reports today, the state wants to impose a fee upon people who draw water from their own private wells. Oregon Water Resources Department has increased its staff by nearly 20% over the past decade – they need to pay for the overhead somehow. So in addition to paying to drill the well, pump the water, maintain the system – Oregon’s WRD thinks it’s a good idea to charge users a fee in addition. They just never stop coming up with creative ways to steal your money.