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Posted by on Apr 25, 2011 in Politics | 0 comments

Michigan Republican State Senator: Let Foster Kids Buy All Their Clothes in Thrift Shops

I’ll be very interested to see in 2012 how the tone of what some Republicans are suggesting will play with independent voters. Here’s the latest idea that a mainstream elected public official would never have dare voiced even two years ago:

Foster children in Michigan would use their state-funded clothing allowance only in thrift stores under a plan suggested by State Senator Bruce Caswell.

Caswell says he wants to make sure that state money set aside to buy clothes for foster children and kids of the working poor is actually used for that purpose.

He says they should get “gift cards” to be used only at Salvation Army, Goodwill or other thrift stores.

The post on Michigan Radio’s blog includes this quote from the self-esteem blind state Senator:

“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.


And here’s the kicker:

This will NOT save the state one cent of money.

In other words, it seems somewhere between a proposal based on ideology or a way to hammer into foster kids’ heads that they are not the the same as other kids and that money from the state for clothes must be purchased in thrift shops so they know their real “place.”

Instead of “let them eat cake” it’s now “let them be required to go to thrift stores.”

The questions thus become:

  • Just where is this great epidemic of foster kids using money allotted for clothes taking place? How many foster kids have done it who get clothing allowances and what percentage is this of the total number of foster kids? I bet a)there aren’t many figures b)the percent is miniscule.
  • How will this play not must in Michigan but, if it gets more publicity, how will it play in Peoria, Syracuse, Phoenix and Imperial Beach?
  • I will give you one indepedent voter’s reaction: As someone who was a foster parent for a few years, I find this an utterly stunning proposal.

    h/T Little Green Footballs