NEW YORK — Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino said he would transform some New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients, where they would work in state-sponsored jobs, get employment training and take lessons in "personal hygiene."
Asked at the meeting how he would achieve those savings, Paladino laid out several plans that included converting underused state prisons into centers that would house welfare recipients. There, they would do work for the state — "military service, in some cases park service, in other cases public works service," he said — while prison guards would be retrained to work as counselors.
"Instead of handing out the welfare checks, we'll teach people how to earn their check. We'll teach them personal hygiene ... the personal things they don't get when they come from dysfunctional homes," Paladino said.
Hmm, putting welfare recipients in state prisons, well that's a novel approach. But come to think of it, Carl, I think we kind of already do that. Certainly our prisons could just as easily be filled with rich real estate developer assholes, but somehow when they’re caught doing something wrong they rarely suffer the consequences. I wonder why that is? Oh well, let’s not worry our pretty little heads about inequities like that, instead let’s have another big gulp of Kool Aid and tell ourselves the reason people are on welfare is because they are dirty, lazy, and don’t know how to work. Not, you know, because there aren’t any fucking jobs out there!
Jeeeezus this Tea Party stupidity is not just offensive it’s criminal. Meanwhile, some facts for Mr. Paladino:
New York, like other states, receives a federal block grant to provide cash and other forms of welfare to very low-income residents. Federal law already requires welfare recipients to do some form of work to receive benefits.
New York's welfare rolls have grown slightly during the recession, while food stamp eligibility has almost doubled, according to the state.
Well, at least Paladino is trying. At least he’s got an idea, heinous though it may be. The rest of the Republican Party doesn’t even have that.
ADDING ... as I stated in comments, outside the prison nonsense and the hygiene instruction and other ignorant BS, what Paladino is suggesting is a classic "Big Government," Rooseveltian, WPA-style idea. I'm trying to imagine what Tea Partiers and Paladino-types would say if President Obama suggested the government pay people to work. Which is exactly what their beef was with the Recovery Act -- that it created government jobs, which somehow are not "real" jobs. There seems to be a bit of a cognitive disconnect here.