Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Maybe California needs more than a rule change

Here's a little tidbit from the Los Angeles Times about a rule change that Schwarzenegger has ordered for state welfare reform.
California officials are cutting off use of state-issued welfare debit cards at casinos across the country and on cruise ships, in the wake of Times reports that the aid cards have been used to spend or withdraw millions of dollars in benefits at popular vacation spots including the Las Vegas strip and on ships sailing from ports around the world.

More than $69 million meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children was accessed in all 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services.
This follows an earlier rule change to cut off the use of the welfare cards at California casinos and strip clubs.

Maybe the problem isn't that recipients were using their cards to vacation or gamble. Shouldn't the California government be asking themselves about their screening devices for giving welfare benefits out in the first place? If people take those benefits and then feel comfortable enough to spend it at a casino or on a cruise ship, perhaps they didn't need the money in the first place?