Opinion Columns & Blogs

Welfare reforms about taking out frustration?

There were plenty of pious declarations during a recent Kansas Senate debate about how adding more restrictions and limits on welfare is about helping poor people succeed. But a GOP political memorandum from Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, suggested less noble motivations. The memorandum said polling showed that voters were pleased with previous welfare restrictions, and that additional reforms could translate “into electoral success.” In an interview with the Topeka Capital-Journal, Bruce speculated that support for restrictions stemmed from Kansans feeling “anguish and uncertainty” about the new economy and wanting “to find something to alleviate it.” Welfare reform, Bruce said, “was a vehicle to take out some frustration.” – Phillip Brownlee