The Watchdog.org Virginia bureau wrote today about an in-depth investigation into what Virginia does to prevent poor-people welfare recipients from using public monies to go to strip clubs.
That’s right. If you’re on poor-people welfare in Virginia, you could use your $257 monthly stipend to purchase a lap dance, booze, tobacco, whatever, with impunity.
Those on rich-people welfare can also purchase lap dances, booze, tobacco and whatever, too, but nobody really cares about what rich people who get richer because of public policies that redistribute wealth from the poor, working and middle classes upward do with their money.
Back to the important story about poor-people welfare abuse: Reviews of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families payments in Maine and Tennessee revealed transactions at Strip Clubs and Disney World. And so it was that Watchdog.org’s Virginia bureau requested information under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act for records related to welfare recipient spending in the Commonwealth.
The response was that Virginia does not collect such information. Then it gets worse: there aren’t any penalties on the books to enforce restricted uses of welfare monies.
These prohibitions took effect July 1 of last year thanks to a bill patroned by Harrisonburg Republican Del. Tony Wilt.
So folks on poor-people welfare can go to strip clubs, casinos, ABC stores, wherever, and use the paltry sums that they get monthly through TANF to fund their good times.
As to whether the rest of us should be spending money at strip clubs, casinos, ABC stores, wherever, well, it is a free country, and we’d hate to stifle anyone’s opportunity to make money selling lap dances, rolls of the dice, liquor and the like.
That’s not what we’re supposed to be mad about. We’re supposed to be mad about how we give poor people public money, and how some of them squander it. Don’t pay attention to how we give rich people a lot more public money, through tax breaks, business development grants, sweetheart land deals and the like, and they squander it, but that’s OK, because they earned it, sorta, kinda.
Column by Chris Graham