if their clothes didn't smell how would you know they're orphans?

Michigan Solves Deficit By Forcing Foster Kids Into Thrift Store Clothes

When you think about it, the state really can't afford NOT to just gas them all.The state of Michigan is facing a budget deficit of $1.4 billion this year. How did Governorissimo Rick Snyder decide to fix this problem? By giving businesses $1.8 billion in tax cuts. Whoops! Silly governor, that makes the deficit bigger! This must all be a huge misunderstanding! How could somebody be presented with a problem of this magnitude and decide the best solution would be to double it? Because Michigan Republicans have a plan, that’s why. There’s a thing called “foster kids,” food-and-shelter fat cats who get their kicks being able to exist and hoping that someday somebody will love them. Did you know Michigan gives these children a stipend to spend on clothes to wear to school? Not anymore! The deficit/new business tax cuts cost will be fixed on the backs of foster kids, by making them buy all their clothes at thrift stores.

Orphans, who have set themselves up for disaster in our capitalist meritocracy by choosing to not have parents, should have to wear rags like they did in the days of our founders. (They should also have to work if they can’t afford school, but, you know, one thing at a time.) But you know how children without parents are, they always expect BIG GOVERNMENT to provide them with things to keep them from dying in gutters.

A small part of the DHS savings, about $200,000, would come from adjustments to the clothing allowance for foster children, or children of the working poor, of $79 for school clothes. Caswell said children will still get close to that $79, but would be issued gift cards that can only be used at the Salvation Army, Goodwill or other thrift stores.

“Close to,” meaning “less.” Would this further ignominy anger foster children? Like most things in their pitiful lives, probably, yes. But maybe it would also lead to more of them finally killing themselves, which would save the state even more money. And, after all, foster kids can’t vote, and nobody really cares about them personally, so they have absolutely no political power. Why weren’t Republicans making cuts to foster kids before? This is the best way ever to hand businesses money. [Detroit News]

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Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

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324 comments

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Eh, I've been getting my clothes at Goodwill for years.

      I just always thought Michigan was classier than me.

        1. Lascauxcaveman

          Yes, indeed. But seriously, why does Snyder think this is a good idea?

          a) he's not saving the sate any money
          b) he's pissing off WalMart

          Seems like he's spending a lot of political capital just to humiliate the poors.

          1. ShaveTheWhales

            Yeah, this appears to be one of them "unintended consequences" deals.

            The state will save some money by giving the foster kids less, depending on how close "close" is.

            But now, instead of the money going to retail stores, it will go to charity.

            The state government is giving tax money to charity. Fucking socialists.

          2. tessiee

            "why does Snyder think this is a good idea?
            Seems like he's spending a lot of political capital just to humiliate the poors."

            Well, if you're going to answer your own questions, then I guess I'll just go home.

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya

    Parasite orphans. Next to teachers and firemen, history's biggest monsters.

    How can the Dagny Taggarts and Hank Reardens of today invent their super trains (and such as), when they're at the mercy of Big Orphan, Inc.?

    We need a final solution, people!

    /our GOP overlords
    ~

  2. corig123

    Does Salvation Army sell underwear? Is making kids buy second hand underwear -ever- going to be socially acceptable? I, for one, hope not.

  3. BarackMyWorld

    Republicans really seem to suck at this "governing" and "passing laws" stuff, and yet people still keep voting for them.

    1. DaRooster

      They have these voting machines that do the voting for you. Hell, they count the votes of people that didn't show up because they are FUCKING DEAD. Canada tried voting machines for 2 elections and scrapped 'em… Holland… 1 election. This is why these Repug fucks have no worry about doing what they are doing… re-election every time.

      1. Nothingisamiss

        As long as we have state leaders who keep getting elected (see above comment re: machines) there is no worry that this black guy or any other will be able to stop this dismantling of our lives.

    2. OneDollarJuana

      If people who vote Republican could actually think through the consequences of their votes, there never would be a Republican in office.

  4. James Michael Curley

    General. Tell me, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
    Pirates. (disgusted) Oh, dash it all!
    King. Here we are again!
    General. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
    King. Often!
    General. Yes, orphan. Have you ever known what it is to be one?
    King. I say, often.
    Pirates. (disgusted) Often, often, often. (Turning away)
    General. I don’t think we quite understand one another. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan, and you say “orphan”. As I understand you, you are merely repeating the word “orphan” to show that you understand me.

      1. James Michael Curley

        Its a sad state that so many present day Republican policies were treated as laughable absurdities by G&S.

  5. BaldarTFlagass

    Fuck all that "foster home" shit, get the little fuckers to build their own workhouses to live in. Win/win!!

    1. GOPCrusher

      Agreed.
      Besides, why do they need nice new clothes? They'll just get destroyed while they toil in the sand pits under the Ford Motor Company foundries.

      1. tessiee

        Sand pits?
        I thought they were turning the thing in a circle while the shirtless guy in the hood whips them.

  6. Rev_Lemonjello

    Yet, by forcing an 8 yo stray boy to wear a pink "world's best soccer mom" tshirt, how will the GOP distinguish the disgusting poor from an illegal messican?

        1. riverside68

          Triangles: Red for commies or black for vagrants. They gotta be one, the other or both.

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      I think it's purely economical, the thrift store lobby is very powerful in the country's most pleasant peninsula.

      1. ChessieNefercat

        "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."

        The official state motto, stunning in its vacuity.

        1. Lascauxcaveman

          OK, Mr Marketing Genius, what other fine qualities does MI have to tout, other than its pleasant peninsularity?

          Exactly.

          1. ChessieNefercat

            Ooh, ooh, wait, I've got it!

            If you seek a pleasant place to drown yourself as the country (and Michigan esp.!) goes to hell in a handcart, look about you; we're surrounded by water!

          2. tessiee

            "OK, Mr Marketing Genius, what other fine qualities does MI have to tout, other than its pleasant peninsularity?"

            "Home of Motown".

            My, but THAT was easy!

        2. Geminisunmars

          Wow. I looked up MI state motto, and that really is it. Of course, in Latin it is even more pleasant.

          1. ChessieNefercat

            But eleetist. With all that fancy Romish stuff. Best to use English just like Jesus did.

        3. Sophist [غني عن ذلك]

          The official state motto, stunning in its vacuity.

          I think it just barely edged out "Peninsula: you're soaking in it".

        4. Negropolis

          If you think that one's a keeper, go look up Detroit's. Yeah, we are still waiting for that renaissance…

  7. HateMachine

    I have it on good authority that most of these kids crawled away to a random doorstep as babies or tricked their parents into dying in tragic house fires, specifically so they could get on the government dole.

    1. comptoneffect

      What are you doing? Stop giving the MI-GOPers any more ideas. I live in MI and don’t relish the idea of buying Amway detergent from one of these little urchins out of pity when they come to my front door later this year.

    2. V572..whatever

      It's impossible to find out, even after 30 seconds of exhaustive Wikipedia-ing and Googling, but I believe that other icon of free-market individualism, "Tupperware," originated in Michigan as well. So those impecunious leeches could do both.

      I was able to learn that the founder moved to Costa Rica to escape paying taxes, so that fits quite well.

  8. DaRooster

    Why don't they all just get together and put on the best production ever of Oliver Twist?
    What a money maker that could be. Since only richers can afford to go to any type of show these days they would definitely show up to see and laugh at poor orphans in a safe environment where they wouldn't be threatened with them brushing up against them… like on the street.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      They could do Twist with a twist, and have the grandfatherly figure find some way to exploit young Oliver for profit, after separating him from Fagin and the boys.

    1. TheSheriffsNear

      You mean from the charlatan that admitted that it was just bullshit he made up and people believed him because a) it fit their ideology and b) they were desperate for someone to have an authoritative answer for them? I present you David Stockman!
      http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/The-Vote/20

      PS – It's both Christian AND Science, so it's a trusted source.

  9. SorosBot

    As I said last night, he's also proposing all the clothing be embroidered with a yellow star, to identify the undesirables.

      1. AJW@[redacted]

        No, we'll make them earn a teardrop tattoo on their face, after serving a 5-year stint in the penitentiary.

    1. riverside68

      As I said above, undesirables had triangles, red for commies Black for vagrants etc.

      He who does not study history is doomed to repeat it.

      Actually I don't think studying makes any difference at all, we are all doomed.

  10. facehead

    "This must all be a huge misunderstanding! How could somebody be presented with a problem of this magnitude and decide the best solution would be to double it?"

    America is basically one long episode of Three's Company.

    1. $exy$murf

      Image the shenanigans we're going to have to pull once the Chinese (Mr. Furley) realizes we can't pay our rent.

  11. freakishlywrong

    Holy fuck. Given our awful media, the Repugnants will just cold decide to kill poor people as a way of cutting down the deficit, and will be hailed as "brave" and "serious".

    1. GOPCrusher

      Considering, the Republiklans believe that people choose to be poor, making them wander the streets in used clothing is just a way to shame them into becoming more productive members of society.
      Tough love!

    2. tessiee

      "the Repugnants will just cold decide to kill poor people"

      Wasn't this a Dead Kennedys song?

  12. Thurman Munster IV

    Don't be suckered by their sweet little orphan faces. These bastards, and I do mean bastards, were raised by wolverines. Soon as they get to a year old, they'll rip your face off.

    Motherfucking wolverine orphans.

    /s/ Bucky badger

  13. [redacted]hse

    I don't know what to say. I'm simply aghast at what this ugly society has become.
    I can barely express my outrage any longer, but these fuckers are shameless anyway.
    I imagine they sit around and laugh and laugh when this shit is actually enacted.

    1. Nothingisamiss

      And when they hear complaints about it. Oh, how funny! The clubhouse fills with laughter at these hijinks.

  14. littlebigdaddy

    Well Victorian England knew what to do with its orphans. Rent them out to toffs for fun n' games. I am sure many, many members of the GOP would avail themselves of such services. This could, possibly, solve the deficit.

    BTW, I am guessing no one in the MGOP has ever read Swift.

  15. comptoneffect

    Next MI-GOPer proposal: Foster kids must sell their own organs to cover the cost of their care. Hey, you can get a lot for a healthy kidney or cornea.

  16. DustBowlBlues

    Oh, god, what next? It's rainy, I've been coughing since 5 AM (oops. The Old Man says 4:49 AM, when I woke him up with the coughing), I'm exhausted and instead of looking forward to the one joy I have left as an American, 30 minutes of pulsating, scaldingly hot, high quality shower, the system is fucked up and all I have is a hot dribble to look forward to.

    Please, before I just kill myself and get it over, please, someone, tell me I'm right when I think that the Republicans have overreached by showing their true selves—worthless, pond-scum sucking excuses for human beings–and the Kock brothers and all the rest of their Dickensian villainish ilk cannot buy enough media gimmicks to fool Americans into voting for these monsters? That the voters will realize what the fuck is really going on here? That they're being turned into a nation of serfs?

    Who am I kidding? They're paying $4.00 at the pump. Fuck the widows and orphans.

    1. [redacted]hse

      Sometimes I even hope the same thing, but I am not a fan of Mankind and have little faith in the institution.

    2. anniegetyerfun

      Remember – a persistent cough is best cured by warm whiskey with honey and lemon, sprinkled lightly with the tears of children who have been taken away from their families due to drug abuse, unlivable conditions, or worse.

      1. DustBowlBlues

        And the tears are salty, which is also good for a sore throat. Holistic medicine on the backs of miserable children. The perfect Republitard health plan.

    3. GOPCrusher

      If they are called out on their evil acts, they just claim they are doing the work that the voters wanted.
      Somehow I don't see a campaign strategy of forcing orphans to wear second hand clothing, being a winning strategy.

    4. tessiee

      "It's rainy, I've been coughing since 5 AM … I'm exhausted and instead of looking forward to the one joy I have left as an American, 30 minutes of pulsating, scaldingly hot, high quality shower, the system is fucked up and all I have is a hot dribble to look forward to. "

      What? Are you me, somehow? It's been raining for at least a solid month, I've been coughing from allergies for at least two weeks, and now my shower has two (2) settings: No Hot Water or No Cold Water.

      I blame Bob the troll.

      1. DustBowlBlues

        Supposedly, misery loves company. Are you feeling better yet? Now? Nothing? No?

        It isn't working for me, either. Good luck on scoring some cough syrup somewhere, or at least a fix for your plumbing. This is as close to camping, or living in a developing country, as I ever choose to be.

  17. weejee

    Damn orphans always spillin' their gruel on the floor as opposed to refined Rethug legislators spilling their seed on their interns.

  18. Doktor Zoom

    Please, sir, may I repost?

    'Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

    'Are there no prisons?"

    'Plenty of prisons,' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

    'And the Union workhouses.' demanded Scrooge. 'Are they still in operation?'

    'Both very busy, sir.'

    'Oh. I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,' said Scrooge. 'I'm very glad to hear it…. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned–they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.'

    'Many can't go there; and many would rather die.'

    'If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, 'they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.'

    1. HistoriCat

      To the modern Republican mind A Christmas Carol is a tragedy unless you follow the story back to front.

    1. emmelemm

      Honestly, seriously, as with the Wisconsin thing: you'd think the Republicans would be crafty enough to fudge up some statistics and numbers to make it look like this shit saves money. The fact that they actually are plain admitting it doesn't is the craziest part of all.

      1. hooray4anything

        After the fifth or sixth time stuff like this gets people elected, I guess they feel they no longer have to pretend anymore

  19. CapeClod

    They need these "clothes" so that they can go to "school." So the solution is simple. Don't let them go to school and put them to work, preferably in a job that doesn't require them to wear clothes. (Elephant washer, something like that.)

  20. Doktor Zoom

    Please, Sir, may I repost?

    'Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

    'Are there no prisons?"

    'Plenty of prisons,' said the gentleman, laying d0wn the pen again.

    'And the Union workhouses.' demanded Scrooge. 'Are they still in operation?'

    'Both very busy, sir.'

    'Oh. I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,' said Scrooge. 'I'm very glad to hear it…. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned–they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.'

    'Many can't go there; and many would rather die.'

    'If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, 'they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.'

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      Then why wouldn't the conservatives support Zero Population? "Life Happens" was the gleeful 2008 GOP platform.

      But it seems representing the voiceless only goes toward zygotes. . .confound it!

  21. SorosBot

    You know, we've got these damned orphans dragging on the economy, and these idle coal mines with shafts too small for adults to fit down. Why not solve both problems at once, 19th Century-style?

  22. CliveWarren

    It won't take long before I see one of these young strapping foster-bucks buying Armani t-shirts with their Salvation Army gift cards…

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      The quality of the stuff I buy at Goodwill usually surpasses what is available at the local Walmart or Target.

      I don't know where all this Nordstroms* and Edie Bauer* and Lands End* stuff is coming from, but it all seems to end up at my local Goodwill.

      (*Yes, I'm a middle aged white person.)

  23. 4TheTurnstiles

    Does this rule also apply to the occasional white kid that messes up and gets run through the Michigan foster care system, or do they get an easier sentence like normal?

    1. Ducksworthy

      No no, or course not. This rule is established for the sole purpose of humiliating young black males.

      1. anniegetyerfun

        Well, we can't have them buying their FUBU shirts and Timberlands (or whatever it is that those young black bucks are wearing these-a-days) on the state dime, can we? No, sir, they might spend my tax dollars on a colored bandana, for the gangs! Colored, I said!

  24. JoshuaNorton

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.

    -Voltaire

  25. BarackMyWorld

    I'm pretty sure that the folks who don't see a problem with this will fit into two categories:
    -people who don't understand why everyone doesn't shop at thrift stores because they once got a "perfectly good" 19" console TV and betamax VCR at one; or
    -people who have never been to a thrift store in their lives, and don't realize that thrift-stores are limited to selling what other people donated, a system of supply completely independent of whether that's what consumers of children's clothing actually need.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Goodwill = shitty for TV's

      But actually not too bad for clothes. When I was a poor, my kids were all covered by hand-me-downs and Goodwill. I imagine in an area of ongoing poverty (say, Michigan) the selections are a little more picked over than in my fat little town.

    2. anniegetyerfun

      I write for a website whose readership is composed entirely of people who feel like Goodwill is the greatest place ever (and them poor (black) kids should be grateful that they get anything at all, dagnabbit). I actually enjoy thrift store shopping (for clothes), but I am a white woman in a wealthy city with disposable income and plenty of time to try to find vintage stuff (ie I am an asshole). I can see where this would be slightly less-than-thrilling for a kid who has next to nothing going well in his or her life.

    3. tessiee

      I, personally, have gotten some terrific buys at Thrift Shops, Dollar stores, etc.
      However, it's a pretty big leap from there to, "Poor kids shouldn't be allowed to buy their clothes anywhere else".

  26. NorthStarSpanx

    When did Michigan become so anti-Abstinence?

    How can Candies support Bristol if the wayward, unparented, unsecure children with the lowest measures of self-esteem can't whore it up with that brand's slut-wear?

  27. ManchuCandidate

    “I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”

    Someone's got childhood trauma issues.

  28. jus_wonderin

    Wait just one goddamn minute. Salvation Army IS a faith based organization. Forget defunding NPR. How 'bout we fuckin' not give my tax money to a "church"!!!

    Whew. Thanks Wonkette for this little commenty box.

    1. SorosBot

      It also discriminates against gay people, unmarried couples, non-Christians, and others who don't fit their 50s-style traditional family ideal; don't give money to the dudes with the bells around Christmas, there are other charities out there that are not actually run by total douchebags.

    1. DaRooster

      I don't know about where you are but there ain't no orphans around here lookin' like that. He is hardly starving and I'll bet he can sing too.

  29. not that Dewey

    Goddammit, Jack! You're supposed to be some kind of inhuman monster, and now you're EMPATHIZING and CARING about CHILDREN? This violates the entire narrative that some asshole moron spent all last week trying to construct.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      None of these Michigan orphans are the spawn of Sarah Palin, so they simply aren't on the radar.

  30. Dr_Zoidberg

    Ok, seriously…..do Republicans even realize what they say and do? Are we positive that the Republican't Party isn't a joke that just got way out of hand? How do these people sleep at night?

  31. BaldarTFlagass

    Actually, this is just the first phase, soon they will have to make their own clothing, using old copies of USA Today and the cornstalks not ground up for silage after the harvest. In this way we will raise a generation of self-reliant foster children that will not be a continuing drain on the productive members of society.

      1. tessiee

        Because slave owners have to feed, clothe, house, and care for slaves. Unofficial slavery is cheaper for our corporate masters.

  32. $exy$murf

    If orphans need some extra scratch I'm sure Detroit has some dirty chimneys that need sweeping. Two problems solved.

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      Since LIHEAP has been cut, and heating oil is so dear, and burning glossy cardboard builds up creosote which is a common fire hazard with wood burning stoves, and you most likely have to keep up with your Subscription-based firefighting in your neighborhood – then yes, the demand for youthful Chimney sweeps must be high.

  33. NorthStarSpanx

    There is no pride in dumpster diving anymore, not since Sarah Palin criticized those Stanislaus students for digging up details of her six-figure speech complete with first-class tickets and bendy straw prerequisites in the recycling bin on campus.

  34. Oblios_Cap

    I'm sure there will be no costs associated with the transition to the new plan and issuance of said "thrift shop credit cards". No costs even close to $200,000.

      1. Rarian Rakista

        Prison made furniture is just the beginning, just wait till prisoners – maybe you! – are making our 6th generation iPods after China births out a middle class.

  35. widestanceroman

    Surely someone has figured out how to bundle bastards for Orphan Default Swaps so they could make money for God's chosen rich, instead of picking their pockets.

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      We are doomed to repeat history.

      The great Ronnie Reagan shut down all those costly mental hospitals, unleashing a tide of anti-social homeless to rub elbows with businessmen, causing an upswelling of violent robberies and manslaughter, what are these ill-dressed children going to do when they age-out of the system?

  36. bumfug

    If they'd just get rid of the job-killing child pornography laws these kids could be bringing in some real money.

  37. arihaya

    yes yes .. but what about those scary Muslins in Dearborn?

    they will institute Shareea and force convert all of Michigan ??!!!

  38. Frost/Nixon/Robocop

    The real solution is to end unconstitutional child labor laws. That way orphans can make their own clothes while working in textile mills.

  39. SorosBot

    You know, those foster kids are completely unproductive and my coal mine could use some workers, just saying…

    1. V572..whatever

      They can get in those narrow "galleries" the bloated adult union miners are afraid to crawl down, and bring out lumps of coal with their cute little hands. Win/win!

  40. DaRooster

    " Caswell said children will still get close to that $79…"

    Close? $7 or $9 would be close… they are only missing one digit.

  41. chicken_thief

    I wonder which of Snyder's pals are in the "card that only works at Goodwill, SA, etc" biz….

    BTW, if you notice the extreme care that little sponge on the government's teat is taking of that bowl – once he eats his ration of gruel he can use the bowl for a haircut guide.

  42. littlebigdaddy

    WaPo take on this: "Although we believe the Michigan GOP proposal goes too far, we welcome their injection of a serious policy proposal into the fraught debate about the pros and cons of feeding and clothing orphans."

    1. OvertonWindolt

      The worst thing about this comment was the fact that I wasn't entirely sure it was a joke. Oh WaPo, what have you become?

    2. Nothingisamiss

      WaPo believes there is "fraught debate about the pros and cons of feeding and clothing orphans?"

      So highly charged! Why, there are protestors on nearly every corner. Americans are divided! "Do orphans deserve to live?" CNN will debate this subject soon.

  43. thedeathofirony

    I'm confused. Wouldn't a republican governor want tax money to go to a corporation (Target, Wallmart) and not to a thrift store?

    1. emmelemm

      As someone noted above, many thrift stores (such as the Salvation Army) are faith-based; thus, they fall into the umbrella of "things GOPers will funnel money towards".

  44. OvertonWindolt

    Michigan is becoming a GOP paradise. Tax cuts for the rich and poor naked children? Mark Foley is selling his house and moving today.

  45. Thurman Munster IV

    Given when this bit of historical nonfiction came to light, we should have an Easter Carol story. Wherein Republicans can be crucified by Easters past, present and future until they learn something, anything about humanity. Mel Gibson to direct since he's such a sadist when it comes to these crucifixion things. I'd really like to see the Koch Bros and various GOP governors being tortured. Call it the Life of Snyder

    1. horsedreamer_1

      Unfortunately, the Left doesn't have the same unity as the Right.

      Today, we are all the Judean People's Front Popular People's Front of Judea Judean Popular People's Front Judean People's Front Suicide Squad.

    1. Ducksworthy

      Something I might have expected from Zoidberg. Shame on you sir or madam, assuming you are human.

  46. [redacted]hse

    This story just sticks in my craw, maybe because these drooling, half-witted toilet lickers are PROUD of themselves. I can't get past the sheer pettiness of the intent.
    WTF. Is this America? Then God, Jesus, and the world should despise us.

  47. Sue4466

    This is an idea from the same sort of people who complain that they once saw someone in a grocery store using foodstamps and buying a birthday cake. Poor people aren't supposed to have nice things. If they wanted nice things, they should not have been born poor, stupid bastards.

    1. BeWoot

      Wasn't it also a Michigan GOP-er who put forward a bill limiting welfare recipients to possessing $20 or less in cash? (Or maybe that was Minnesota … or Ohio. The "midwest" has gone completely to hell.)

      BTW–more image conscious party leaders have prevailed in Michigan for the moment, and Rep. Bozo the Scrooge has now withdrawn his bill. Shame? No. Discretion? Eventually.

      1. Sue4466

        Thanks for the update on the bill, but you're also right: it's hard to be terribly happy about this when it's for really the wrong completely beside the point reasons (i.e., party image rather than common fucking decency).

        You know, I also wonder how many calls he got from retailers complaining about dipping into their profits by directing business away from them? gotta think that's the dealbreaker for the GOP.

  48. Sue4466

    There's also the complete naked cynicism of politicians suggesting that this is the fiscally responsible thing to do. Paraphrasing here, but: "We have to make sure your tax dollars don't go to supporting the lavish lifestyle of foster kids, moms on welfare, teachers, undocumented workers, fire fighters, etc. Because those are the people who caused the economic collapse and all the problems in this country. We'll make sure folks on foodstamps can't buy their kids a birthday cake! Their kids will shop in thrift stores! That will solve all our problems. Meanwhile, please ignore all the money we fling at corporate welfare whores who donate to our campaigns and you poors keep fighting amongst yourselves. GodblessAmercia!"

  49. Terry

    Honestly, the GOP'ers are starting to sound like the writers at The Onion develop their ideas for them.

    1. littlebigdaddy

      Yeah, it does make one think there might be an agent provacateur in their midst, but, naw, they really are that pig-fucking stupid.

    2. ChessieNefercat

      Picture the poor Onion writers, tossing and turning, sobbing and unable to sleep: "Guys, we were kidding! Dont you understand? We do satire! It was a fucking joke!"

      Not a policy manual.

      1. tessiee

        Not to mention the stress they must be under from trying to come up with satire that actually outstrips reality.

  50. poorgradstudent

    I think these politicians are getting all the wrong lessons from Charles Dickens. (Hint: You're not supposed to root for Mr. Bounderby.)

    1. tessiee

      Just, for the love of all that is holy, don't let them read the fable of the ant and the grasshopper!

  51. Nothingisamiss

    Fucking fuck this story when I've already decided to have my own little depression today.

    I hate these fucking republicans [redacted due to R word not working] and have no snark at this time.

    1. DemmeFatale

      Yes, I tried to think of something funny to say but all my thoughts were blocked by: "kill me now!"

  52. Poindexter718

    Double whammy, as it will drive up prices paid by the goth/emo/hipster spawn of liberal elites who like to buy ironic duds at thrift stores.
    And win-win for the fashionable right, as, new flat-front Dockers prices will be unaffected, nor will that of Lane Bryant and Talbots merchandise.

  53. OneYieldRegular

    Oh come on – what's missing here is good old American ingenuity. With a $79 gift card for Goodwill, any kid with a sense of creativity and American can-do spirit could put together a dashing outfit made of ugly glass vases, broken Ikea furniture, dog-earred Jodi Picoult paperbacks, and a "Frampton Comes Alive" LP.

    (But seriously, whoever came up with this brilliant cost-saving idea needs to be called out, put in stocks, and endlessly humiliated).

    1. GOPCrusher

      While your idea of public humiliation, is a worthy one, I am quite sure that the person that came up with this idea is proud of the fact and can't understand why it hadn't been thought of before and wildly supported as the Greatest Thing Since Sliced, White Bread.

  54. PabaBritannica

    This is just a BAILOUT for BIG THRIFT STORE. Keep those hipsters fat and happy, morans!

  55. BZ1

    Let's see, $1.4 billion in the hole, take away $1.8 billion in tax cuts… Hey, we make .4 billion, (I think…)

    1. GOPCrusher

      It's not that Americans aren't taxed enough, it's that we spend too much. Why should the state spend any money on foster children? They should just have an weekly auction and sell them off to the highest bidder.

  56. Sue4466

    There's also nothing in the current system that prevents foster kids from shopping at thrift stores. This bill is an attempt at shaming for more than just not being able to buy new. It's also we have to tell the poors what to do because they're too stupid to make their own choices. It's wrapped up in the idea that poor people are poor because they're stupid, worthless, lazy, etc. That's the shaming that bothers me the most.

    Not to mention the practical realities of WTF do the kids do when the store doesn't have anything in their size? Thrift stores don't have vendors supplying a wide variety of sizes, they're depending on donations. But that's the point, right? the poor should be dependent on the kindness of strangers. Let's never let them forget that.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Yeah, little Johnny is gonna look pretty odd in my 38/30 Docker's with the frayed cuffs and all them 2X t-shirts with the holes and used oil stains.

    2. tessiee

      "It's also we have to tell the poors what to do because they're too stupid to make their own choices."

      Well, obviously they *are*! It couldn't be because their families are paid crap wages, or because one illness can bankrupt an entire family, or because the kids got taken away from abusive or incapacitated parents. It's because they don't understand the value of thrift, saving, and hard work — you know, the way rich people do.

    3. Dudleydidwrong

      The slap in the face is also to the foster parents who are assumed to be too stupid to make intelligent choices for their foster child(ren). Over the years we kept six foster children and those kids were as savvy as our own three (one adopted) when it came to what to wear and how others perceived and thought of them. This Michigan "bright idea" is about as demeaning a thing as could be created. These people are just plain mean.

  57. WhatTheHeck

    Didn’t we just observe a holy day, yesterday, remembering a man whose mission was to help these unwanted children?
    Republicans have really short memories.

    1. Nothingisamiss

      They've never put "help the poor" and Jesus into the same sentence, unless it's "Jesus! Why are there so many tax-sucking orphans around here?"

    2. GeneralLerong

      "Suffer the little children" can apparently be transmogrified into the dictate to let "The little children suffer."

      That is, if you're a Republican. Slackass so-called "Independents" and Dems look on, chewing fingernails in lieu of action.

      1. DustBowlBlues

        General, you've put your finger on it. The conservatards all use the King James translation, so they are completely confused about what that passage means. (Are we not allowed to call people 'tards now?)

    3. Doktor Zoom

      No, no, no, you see, Jesus only wanted private individuals to help the poor. Manly Jebus knows that Gummint "help" for the poors actually harms them, because it just does.

  58. proudgrampa

    We are so freakin' doomed.

    If we can't take care of our children, … Oh, fuckit, we are so freakin' doomed. And I am going to get started on my cocktail hour. Hey, it's five o'clock somewhere.

  59. Gopherit

    This is a brilliant precedent. When will the government officials start taking gift cards to mcdonalds and thrift stores in lieu of pay checks?

    1. tessiee

      Hell, why bother with paychecks? Just pay 'em in scrip and let them buy everything at the company store.

  60. Steverino247

    Custer at Gettysburg: "Come on, you Wolverines!"

    Snyder in Michigan: "Feed them to the wolverines!"

    How things have changed in 150 years.

      1. Steverino247

        No, I'm pretty sure Custer got himself there without any help. He and his men hounded Lee into surrendering at the end of the Civil War, but then he gets himself killed in a major fuck up during the Indian Wars, ending and ruining his resume at the same time.

  61. natoslug

    The cards aren't free, so you're actually giving them more money when you give them cards. So really, the ungrateful little bastards should be thankful for the extra spending money (even if the extra just goes to whatever corporate sponsor thought up this plan and is supplying the cards at a premium).

    1. PubOption

      I assume that some foster parents will not use the cards, and buy new clothes with their own money. I very much doubt that the card issuers will refund the unused amount to the state, more probably recycle it to the politicians as campaign contributions. Win – win situation?

  62. Monsieur_Grumpe

    Hey Chuck Moss, did you know there is a surplus of burlap bags right now? Always in fashion, breathes like fine Egyptian cotton and machine washable. And if you can’t afford a washing machine river water and rocks are no problem. Don’t worry, the old potato smell will go away in a few weeks.

    1. GeneralLerong

      Lice like the fabric texture, too, so there's the bonus of always having little pets. If you survive the typhus.

  63. Cicada

    Wow. Are we sure Gov. Snyder isn't a secret liberal? Because I honestly can't think of a better example of what is wrong with conservatism than this fucked-up give to the rich and steal from the foster kids plan.

    Jesus fucking christ.

    1. Gopherit

      Since when is it a conservative value to tell people how to spend money. That's not capitalist transcendence. It sounds like a payoff to big thrift store to me.

  64. Redhead

    Well with the current GOP trends, the teachers are probably next in the budget cuts. No teachers, no school, no need for school clothes! Problem solved.

  65. LouBristol

    Instead of buying surplus military clothing for kids, sell the surplus kids to the military. Market-based solution FTW!

  66. Gorillionaire

    The Salvation Army, who we can assume would benefit from this scam at least a little, spent a shitload of money to build a summer resort for themselves not far from my old hometown, on land that was donated to them. Only "officers" (whatever the fuck that means) of the Salvation Army are allowed to use it. There is charity at work, suckers.

  67. zappadoo76

    $200,000 is a drop in a $1.4 billion budget bucket, but it's a huge amount to these kids. The point of this cut is humiliation, not budget-balancing. But then, that's the punishment every one of these children deserves for not having the sense to peddle the ass God gave him.

  68. SayItWithWookies

    And after the dear little urchins are properly dressed in their cast-offs and hand-me-downs they can start in on cleaning the ashes out of the fireplace.

    1. DashboardBuddha

      No shit, eh? I think that pretty much sums up the right in all of its tawdry facets. Ohhhh, widdle fetus needs our pwotection…widdle born child can go fuck himself.

    2. Gopherit

      The republicans hate taxes but love tolls. The bitch will be getting booths installed next to every vaginia.

  69. ChessieNefercat

    By his own account, Caswell had a functioning, present father and family. The foster kids don't.

    To pick out a shirt brand new ($5 from China/Walmart, for crying out loud) in your size in a color you like or a crummy, but new pair of Payless shoes not painfully pre-shaped to someone else's feet is an experience to be treasured by kids with little reason to believe in the world, let alone themselves.

    We are talking $79 a year, people. Seventy nine dollars. A year.

    So a kid whose life is crap in so many ways can sit in his or her classroom on the first day of school and feel good about themselves, maybe good enough to think they might be good at this school stuff.

    Caswell is a an uncaring, unfeeling, ignorant brute. I'm at work on my lunch hour and I'm afraid I'm going to start crying.

    1. [redacted]hse

      It's even worse. They were already getting a $79 clothing stipend- this just tells them where to spend it. The evilness of these "Christians" is beyond comprehension. When your priority is to remove human dignity from disadvantaged children, you must be branded with the Mark of the Beast.
      GOP, Fuck you all to hell.

      1. ChessieNefercat

        "When your priority is to remove human dignity from disadvantaged children, you must be branded with the Mark of the Beast. "

        Oh, how I would like to see this on a huge signboard across the street from Caswell's house. Or outside the capitol building in Lansing. So perfectly stated.

  70. DahBoner

    "Mich. To Solve Deficit By Making Foster Kids Buy Their Clothes At Thrift Stores"

    Whaaat?

    And turn these kids into hipsters wearing vintage clothing?

    Well, the 90's are coming back into style…

    1. tessiee

      It's not beyond possibility that some of these kids are disabled.
      Maybe some of them are even mentally disabled or have a learning disability, or even a chromosomal abnormality.
      The boycott that is sure to result from this persecution of them will…
      Wait, what?

  71. mrblifil

    Wait, wait what is going on around here. Many people are advocating the deaths of these poor children. But I say to you: why gas or otherwise destroy them when it is eminently more practical to induce people to pay for the pleasure of fucking them?

  72. gef05

    $1.8 billion in tax cuts.

    This is further proof that there are few actual budget shortfalls, there are few actual financial challenges. Like Republicans – and Democrats – in many states, the Republicans in Michigan have defined what is a shortfall, and what is a challenge, and have acted in accordance with their own agendas.

    Cunts.

  73. Naked_Bunny

    The only question is what to do with all this extra money.

    $200,000 will get you two state-funded visits from Sarah Palin. Send the kids to listen to her speak. (Make sure they wear their good clothes!)

  74. schacht99

    I am may be signing my own death warrant on this forum by asking, but couldn't the governor's tax breaks for businesses help the poor and orphans, i.e. tax breaks for business = increased business vitality/growth = ability to create jobs = stable income for families = wealth to adopt orphans.

    Does this make sense to anyone besides me?

    1. DustBowlBlues

      "Does this make sense to anyone besides me?"

      How many times have you seen "The Blind Side" for chrissakes?

      One word answer to your question: No.

    2. ChessieNefercat

      Your first premise is wrong.

      Tax breaks for business doesn't equal increased business vitality/growth leading to more jobs, etc., etc.

      Tax breaks for businesses equals more profit to owners, dividends to shareholders, etc. All going to private pockets. The tax breaks are not plowed back into the economy.

    3. loulouroo

      We've had that "trickle down" nonsense in effect since the end of the Carter administration. Is the economy better? NO. Increased profits go into trust funds and off-shore accounts. These people can't possibly spend as much money as they are making, so it doesn't stimulate the economy. Furthermore, they use tax breaks and bail out money to move operations overseas. No jobs. But this doesn't even save Michigan much money. It's just to humilate children. As if being shuffled through state foster home placement wasn't stigmatizing enough, now they want to mark them by dressing them like waifs. My guess is it's a kickback to a donor, and a way to funnel money to churches without that pesky Church/State separation thingy getting in the way.

    4. GOPCrusher

      Where are the millions of jobs from the last ten years of the Bush Tax Cuts to "the job creators"?
      Guess you answered your own question. And the answer if "No.".

    5. imissopus

      HAHAHAHAHAHA! Someone still believes in trickle-down theory! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Seriously dude, put down the Paul Ryan budget proposal and back sloooooowly away.

    6. tessiee

      "Does this make sense to anyone besides me?"

      I'm thinking that perhaps you haven't been paying attention to the transfer of wealth that's taken place over the past 30 years, and its effects.

      Does it [your theory] make sense?
      Perhaps.
      Can anyone recall an instance in which a corporation has actually used their truckloads of money to benefit people, create jobs, or do anything else producing a positive result for anyone but their CEOs?

      *crickets chirping*

      However, credit where it is due to you for being polite instead of just calling us a bunch of commies.

  75. outragedcitizen

    See this is a win/win for the GOP in Michigan – foster kids are too young to vote AND they do not have relatives that vote! Sheer genius!

    I sure hope there is a Hell with a very special place for these bastards.

  76. Naked_Bunny

    What is it with Republicans reading Dickens and Orwell and thinking to themselves, "Hmm! That sounds like a great idea!"

  77. Sue4466

    And you'd be left feeling pretty bad about yourself, which is what Caswell calls a perk of the new program.

  78. Beowoof

    Newt Gingrich thought orphanages would be a good idea when he became speaker to cut down on the foster care costs. I bet we could really bring the costs down if the Catholic Church could run them for us. Win Win?

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      I thought old barrels all went to Jack Daniels. Maybe when they're through with them…

  79. Naked_Bunny

    Why is the government involved with foster care at all? Can't we just give these kids to Catholic priests?

  80. DaSandman

    To hell with clothing. Make the little fuckers forage for their food in the woods. It will increase their sense of independance and self reliance.

    Just like Paul LePage, the great Franco American Teabag governor of Maine. No wait, yikes, he was a Lewiston rent boy.

    Bad example. Sorry.

  81. Limeylizzie

    This is why state schools in England have school uniforms, so even the poor and wretched kids look the same as the rich ones-trust me , I know of which I speak, so to make these kids have to wear super shitty clothes makes me want to strangle these bastards.

  82. OurHoboSenator

    These fuckers are thoroughly convinced that women keep getting knocked up just for a few extra food stamps. I guess it's not a huge leap from there to believing that sneaky kids force their parents to beat them up so they can go into foster care and get that SWEET SWEET $79 in free clothes.

    Ugh. I hate this world. If anyone needs me, I'll be crying under my desk.

  83. carlgt1

    O: "Please sir, I want some more!"
    T: SOCIALIST!

    Bill Sikes was a compassionate conservative…

  84. __kth__

    You can really see the gears turning in the wingnuts' heads on this one: everytime they see a black kid wearing FUBU or Sean John, they wonder, can't someone do something about this?

  85. El Pinche

    Is that one of Mitt Romney's kids asking for more Cookie Crisp cereal? Sorry, too much chocolate, bucko.

  86. DustBowlBlues

    Or spend over a hundred thousand dollars lobbying for Bush's ersatz "faith based initiative" so they could get federal money without sacrificing the right to discriminate against gays in hiring. I'm assuming not in clientele, but who knows?

  87. Ducksworthy

    And if you're careful about what you feed 'em the only grow very very slowly, if at all.

  88. WinterOuthouse

    We were foster parents. The 'state' doesn't give these kids enough to survive on. Families (most) that take in a foster child do it because they have hearts and social responsibility. Most foster families can ill afford taking on a(nother) child, but they do. I loved my foster child. We gave him all we could and all the love we had in our hearts, plus steady counseling, adaptive skills and support when he realized his parents were idiots. The child graduated high school, went on to college and became a computer genius.

    So, Shove it up your ass Synder. I hope you rot in a hell of your own making assface!

    1. GOPCrusher

      I ask again, how can a state in such economic turmoil like Michigan go from having Jennifer Granholm to Snyder as Governor?
      It just doesn't make any fucking sense.

    2. tessiee

      Bless your heart, you sound like good people.

      One of my co-workers used to be a foster mom. She and her husband had four kids of their own, and didn't make all that much even with both parents working full-time, yet somehow they found the wherewithal to feed, house, clothe, and get medical care for the foster kids, and believe me, some of those kids' histories would curl your hair.

      Let's just say that a good deer season kept that family eating through the winter.

    3. Dudleydidwrong

      Amen. We had six foster children (see my earlier post somewhere back in the pack). If you thought you could make money off of being a foster parent, I've got some old credit default swaps and Florida condo deeds to sell you.

      If you can find time to get to Snyder and shove something (large and second-hand) up his ass, let me know and I'll help.

  89. Sue4466

    Shame will keep them from become uppity workers who expect a decent wage, vacation time, benefits, retirement, or healthcare. Demonize the people who want those things as greedy undeserving bloodsucking socialists (but corporations who want more profits are patriotic Americans pursuing capitalist ideals).

    I have similar acquaintances, the ones who think everyone on food stamps or in assisted housing should be subjected to random drug tests as a condition of receiving government largesse. These are people who simultaneously claim to love the Constitution. Just not for "those people."

    1. GOPCrusher

      Not only drug tests, but also should not be allowed to own a cell phone, cable TV, or a decent vehicle.

  90. fuflans

    as i am very late to the 'MI orphan bashing extravaganza' thread and the wonkette is generally brilliant, i will only say this makes me very very sad for my country.

  91. XOhioan

    This is because all foster children will buy those big puffy hippity-hop coats with their 79 dollars. At Salvation Army, there are only respectable Republican cloth coats that smell like mothballs.

  92. frostbitefalls

    I'm thinking especially of teenagers who've been removed from their parents because of abuse and neglect. They are lonely and isolated and ashamed. But no, let's not give them a new pair of jeans, or let them select the latest fashion (tacky as it is) so they can fit in a little better with the other kids at school.

    I'm sorry, this just makes me want to cry. These kids are the so fucking vulnerable and shit on. By everybody.

  93. reliefsinn

    I stopped going to Goodwill long ago. The prices are too high ! They want 3 and 4 times what I sell the stuff for in my store !!!

  94. tessiee

    And if THAT doesn't kill off the little shits, we'll start phase 2 (hint: it contains the word "soylent").

  95. tessiee

    "Shame will force them into becoming productive workers."

    Or, since there aren't any jobs left, will at least make them feel like crap. It's all good.

  96. Negropolis

    The jokes on Snyder. The recall process has already begun.

    Less than this being something by Snyder, it's something proposed by are absolutely bat-shit insane legislature we elected in November. Snyder just hasn't had the balls to beat back all of their bat-shit insane legislation.

  97. ChessieNefercat

    What I noticed about this thread was how many people (myself included) just wanted to cry. I also noticed that it was pretty much uninfested by trolls.

    Evidently they couldn't think of way to make having the state step in to humiliate kids already abused by everyone else in their lives sound patriotic. They can all rot in hell with Caswell.

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