From Mad World: Take a seat, Pennsylvania welfare gluttons… you’re done.
Republican state Representative Mike Reese is joining other legislators around the country in slowing the flow of welfare funds to people who abuse it on things they don’t need, things that taxpayers don’t want to pay for. Reese wants to stomp out cigarette purchases paid for with welfare money, which will likely save his state truckloads of tax cash, while freeing up funds to be used to help people in ways that really matter.
The proposed legislature, House Bill 1038, takes it a step further than just preventing welfare smokers from buying a pack of cigs. It would also punish venues licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board by making it illegal to accept public assistance as a form of payment.
From the outset this probably seems like businesses will take a hit that likely earn some decent coin from welfare recipients that use your money to smoke, drink, and gamble in their spare time while they’re not working. But considering the amount these businesses pay in taxes, maybe it will be more of a help, rather than a financially harm.
“As a state legislator, I feel it is incumbent upon us to help ensure that publicly-funded benefits intended to support the basic necessities of life are used in a responsible manner,” said Reese. “Most of our public assistance programs are designed to support families with children, and every dollar spent on tobacco is one less dollar for their care.”
This seems like an obvious decision that is long overdue. Not only is smoking not life-sustaining, which is what public assistance is supposed to support, but it creates more of a financial burden on government budgets. The habit can cause numerous health issues, and when welfare gluttons get sick, they use up medicaid money to treat their ailments.
The fate of this bill is dependent on a decision by the State House of Representatives and is being considered by the House Health Committee.
Welfare is about helping people for a short period of time, not handing out vices to takers that they don’t need in the first place. Nobody is telling them not to smoke or that they can’t smoke, but hardworking Americans just don’t want to pay for it and shouldn’t have to. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it.