Welfare – A benevolent society is one that cares for its weakest citizens, those least able to care for themselves. Legislation being considered by Kansas lawmakers risks making our society much the opposite. Senate Bill 372 would reduce the lifetime cap for Kansans receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families from 36 months to 24 months. Additionally, a family group in Kansas would no longer be eligible for TANF if at least one adult in the household received assistance for two years. These restrictions, in addition to work requirements implemented under Gov. Sam Brownback, don’t help the least fortunate among us. They undermine the financial security of women and children ensnared in a web of poverty.
Communist – Calling someone a “communist” often has nothing to do with a person’s political philosophy, but it’s handy shorthand to portray someone as dangerous and un-American. That’s apparently what Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was trying to do when he told a group at the state Republican Party convention that the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women Voters were “communist” groups. It wasn’t a casual reference; he said it three times to make sure that reporters in the room didn’t miss it. For more than 90 years, League of Women Voters volunteers have contributed untold hours to registering and providing information for voters. Their work hardly seems like a communist plot.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach used his time at the Kansas Republican Party convention to recall the glory days of American history – when anyone who disagreed with the majority could simply bear the label of a communist. But the real threat to liberty and freedom lies not in those who challenge the majority, but in a majority that fiercely works to silence dissent so that it might use its existing power to grow it further and secure it for another generation.
State hospitals – The state of Kansas is starving its state hospitals. Lawmakers of all stripes should wake up and realize their responsibility to provide needed institutional care for the severely mentally ill and the severely developmentally disabled cannot be understood when seen through ideological eyes. Nor is it acceptable to withhold funds from those institutions to fill gaps in the budget.