Jon Stewart Gleefully Trashes the Welfare State of Kansas

We associate Kansas with flat dry plains, Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz, heartland America. As Jon Stewart said, Kansas has long been our “standard-bearer for normalcy.” Under the governorship of extreme right-winger Sam Brownback, Kansas can better be understood as an example of what the GOP envisions for our country. Kansas has become a veritable “righttopia,” complete with low taxes, deregulation, and strict limits on social welfare spending. It is a state where gun owners no longer have to take a required eight-hour training course, and which has a long laundry list of establishments where welfare recipients can’t spend their money.

In last night’s episode, Stewart called Brownback out for insisting that the people of Kansas know how to spend their money better than the government, even as he tells poor people exactly where they can spend theirs. The governor is borrowing money from the federal government even as he relinquishes the state’s responsibility to provide basic tax-based services for its residents, like public school funding and highway repairs. For every dollar Kansas contributes to the federal government, it takes $1.29.

“You’re on the dole, Kansas,” Stewart said. “The fact that you’re accepting government assistance shows you can’t be trusted to make your own decisions.”

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