This classist asshole takes the far-too-common rhetoric of "poor people deserve nothing nice ever" and steps it up another notch, by saying that foster children in his state should only be allowed to purchase clothes from Goodwill and Salvation Army.
You know, it's unfair enough to dump on poor adults and insist that adults struggling financially not ever spend a single penny on anything anyone watching might deem frivolous or pleasurable, but at least with adults in poverty there's a chance that it was their own choices that led them into poverty. Maybe they gambled a lot or ran up credit-card debt on shopping sprees or whatever. I still don't believe it's any of anyone's business to try to police their spending, as if the mere fact of their financial situation gives everyone better-off a right to pry and comment and judge. But I can at least see some kind of internally-consistent logic in the kind of mindset that believes people should suffer for their irresponsibility, whether that irresponsibility is real or imagined, even while I think it's a bunch of judgmental bullshit.
But it's another thing entirely to take out one's resentment at having to let the government help those who need help on foster children, who are in the position they are because of the choices and fuckups of the adults around them, not because they did something wrong.
Much like Wisconsin's union-busting fiasco, where Walker couldn't say how much money his union-busting would actually save the state despite claiming it was all about the budget, Sen Caswell has yet to give hard evidence that his plan would save the state any money or how much, despite claiming it's about the budget. Which is basically the modus operandi of the slash-and-privatize GOP: wait for (or manufacture, ahem) a crisis, then use it as a boogeyman to force through cuts in the name of "what must be done right now" while people are willing to put up with more without demanding much justification. Hand-wave in the direction of the Budget Gremlins, and most people will let it go.
So what it basically is, is Caswell using the excuse of the current economy to punish foster children for being foster children. For absolutely no reason that I can see, except mean-spiritedness. Because really, what's this going to save the state? A few thousand dollars, perhaps? Is a few thousand dollars really worth further stepping on children on whose necks Life has already stomped plenty hard?
It's not like foster kids are rolling in piles of state dough as it is. When you talk about foster kids, you are by definition talking about people who have already been pretty badly screwed over by life. Most of them have experienced some kind of abuse. They're already trying to move through the world and negotiate the process of growing up without any reasonable sense of stability - they can get bounced from home to home on the whims of the families, relocated from one county to another for no particular reason except overcrowding, constantly having to start over in some new place. What possible purpose could it serve to add another indignity by mandating that they buy hand-me-downs instead of spending a couple more dollars to buy a brand-new shirt at Walmart or Target?
Sen. Caswell: Your heartlessness is showing. You might want to do something about that.