“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” took aim at Kansas again Thursday, blasting lawmakers’ recent moves to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit and to tighten restrictions on welfare recipients.
Stewart spent about eight minutes – the show’s entire opening segment – skewering the state, which he said used to be “our standard-bearer of normalcy … the good old average American state.”
Gov. Sam Brownback, Stewart said, has transformed Kansas into “a veritable right-topia, with low taxes and deregulation for everyone.”
The Comedy Central host criticized a law signed by Brownback earlier this month that will make Kansas the sixth state in the nation to allow “constitutional carry,” which allows residents 21 or older to carry concealed firearms regardless of whether they’ve had training or obtained a permit.
The governor supported the measure, Stewart said, because Kansas gun owners have demonstrated that they’re responsible.
“That’s a reason you allow your children to get a hamster,” Stewart said. “But even then, you’re going to want to keep a couple of shoe boxes around, know what I mean?”
Stewart also mocked a proposal being debated in the Kansas Legislature that would tighten welfare restrictions. The measure extends the list of things recipients couldn’t pay for with welfare money, including concert tickets, psychics, theme park tickets, cruises or nail salon services.
“So if you’re on welfare in Kansas, you can cross this mall off your list,” Stewart said, pointing to a photo of a shopping center labeled, “Anything That Might Possibly Bring Joy Into Your Life.”
The comedian said Kansas policymakers’ recent decisions are “a little strange,” because data shows that for every dollar Kansans contribute to the federal government, they get $1.29 in benefits.
“That’s the fact, Kansas: You’re on the dole,” Stewart said. He then suggested Kansas roads be paved with used condoms rather than “all that extravagant asphalt” and that crops be irrigated with urine.
“Kansas, these rules may feel petty and unnecessary and, quite frankly, insulting,” he said. “But maybe they’ll motivate you to escape your culture of federal dependency. Until then, let’s see how you like being treated like the welfare queens you are.”
This isn’t the first time Stewart has focused his sights on Kansas. In October, during the gubernatorial campaign, the satirical news show skewered Brownback in a five-minute feature titled “Laboratories of Fiscal Disaster.”