One of the curious juxtapositions in yesterday's media: an MPR story about how a Possible elimination of General Assistance shocks advocates for homeless and a Waseca County News story about the reaction when Minnesota Majority's "Soup Truck" makes stop in Waseca.
In the first story, readers learn:
Advocates for the homeless are scrambling to respond to the unexpected news that a welfare program for disabled adults may be eliminated in a conference committee Thursday evening.
The General Assistance program is the only source of income for about 20,000 Minnesotans. It provides up to $203 a month for childless adults who cannot work because of an illness or disability. Many of the program's recipients are homeless and are awaiting approval for Social Security. They depend on the program to pay for medication co-payments, bus fare, and basic items like toothpaste and soap.
One friend who works for the homeless reports this morning that indeed, the committee report hammered out last night eliminates GA beginning next June and replaces it (w/ a cap and huge cuts) with a block grant to counties to fend for themselves as they see fit.
In the second story, the WCN reports:
Along with cups of soup, buttons that say “Minnesota is really in the soup!” and copies of the constitution, Brock handed out an “Economic Survival Guide for Minnesota Families.”
The guide includes “Money-Saving Tips” such as:
“Gas is expensive, so walk or bike to the unemployment office.”
“Recycle your toothpaste.” . . .
And why do the poor need these tips? Potential elimination of aid to the poorest of the poor?
Why no: Minnesota Majority wants people to fear tax increases at the top:
The Soup Truck, driven by Rick Brock, came to Waseca Thursday afternoon to make a point about Governor Mark Dayton’s plan to raise taxes on high earning Minnesotans, to hand out cups of soup and to take donations to the Minnesota Food Shelf.
The truck is decorated with a large picture of Gov. Dayton holding a bowl of soup.
Waseca County Republican Party Co-chair John Knotts was on hand to meet Brock in the parking lot at Waseca City Hall. He supports the message that taxing the top 5 percent of Minnesotans is a bad idea.
The Soup Truck aims to “raise awareness of the disastrous damaging effects if Gov. Dayton’s budget is approved,” Brock said. The response to the truck has been overwhelming and very positive, he said.
The paper noted some local responses, that aren't quite in agreement:
Elnora Ingram and her daughter, Michelle Ingram, pulled up alongside the Soup Truck to find out what it was about. They had decidedly different opinions about Gov. Dayton and his plan to tax the rich. Both women are unemployed.
“Taxing higher income people is better,” said Elnora Ingram. She said she and her husband live on Social Security and his part-time job at Walmart.
Michelle Ingram said she had been in the job market for 30 years and is now unemployed.
“I’m not a fan of the [truck’s] message,” she said.
Both women said they voted for Dayton for governor and are not sorry they did as he is “doing what he can.”
As for taxing the rich, Michelle Ingram said, “they make more so it only seems fair they should pay more.”
But leave it to Minnesota Majority to advise recycling toothpaste, when te funds are being taken away that allow homeless people to buy meds and toothpaste.
See an earlier MPR story for more responses to the Soup Truck in "Soup Truck" criticized by advocates for the poor.
Apparently, the nasty gimmick is coming to Hutchinson today; I'm sure God will forgive me if I don't rush out to see it.