In the latest of lame-brained, poor shaming ideas from Wisconsin's Republicans war on the poor, Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) has a doozy. He wants to put poor people receiving food stamps to go on a Jim Crow diet:
Food stamp recipients in Wisconsin would be required to use photo ID cards for their purchases under a bill being proposed by two Republican lawmakers.
Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, says the proposal is an effort to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse and to make programs like FoodShare more efficient. But detractors say it would shame those living in poverty, with no discernible benefit.
The bill, currently being circulated for co-sponsorship, would require the state Department of Health Services to submit an implementation plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval to issue electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards with photo identification to participants in FoodShare, the state's successor to the food stamps program. Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, is the Senate's lead sponsor.
Of course, like most of the dreck brought up by the state's Republicans, this proposal runs afoul of a number of laws, including the fact that any member of the family can use the EBT card, not just the head of the household. Federal law also forbids food stamp recipients to be treated differently than anyone else. I can't recall any time that I was carded to buy a loaf of bread.
But there's more. There's always more.
Kremer really wants to make sure the poor are shamed thoroughly by forcing them to shop at poor people-only stores:
Kremer also wrote in his "term paper" about an idea he'd raised during his campaign: limiting the use of QUEST cards to privately-run food pantries overseen by the government.
"Yes, it may be humbling to go into the pantry to purchase 'needed items,' but as I mentioned earlier, most people understand that this is meant to be a crutch and not a lifestyle. I would also love to see photo lD's (sic) on all Quest cards and will continue to work this angle," Kremer wrote.
The pantries could be set up on grocers' property, Kremer said, but they would not sell items like junk food, liquor or cigarettes.
"The fact that the author of the bill would, in his perfect world, require poor people go to segregated grocery stores to get food for their families, makes it clear that it's seething contempt, not legitimate public policy concern driving Kremer and supporters of this bill," Ross said.
Apparently Kremer has been hanging around with Scott Walker so much, he caught the same delusions about St. Ronnie and his fairy tale of welfare queens.
I just wonder what they are going to try to segregate next.