Lewiston, Maine mayor Robert Macdonald wrote in an op-ed in the Twin City Times that he wants to publish the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected of all welfare recipients in town.
Macdonald said that he and his colleagues plan to submit a bill that asks for the creation of a site where his humiliating goal can be carried out.
“After all, the public has a right to know how its money is being spent,” Macdonald wrote.
His argument is that welfare recipients should be treated in the same way that those receiving state pensions are treated in the state of Maine.
"Why are they treated differently than pensioners?” Macdonald wrote.
"The answer: Our liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made them a victimized, protected class. It's none of your business how much of your money they get and spend. Who are you to question it? Just shut up and pay!"
Hate to burst your bubble Macdonald, but that's not exactly accurate. They aren't a "protected class" because they are victims or because it's "none of your business" (even thought it really isn't) but they are protected because they are often families coming from disadvantaged, marginalized communities in vulnerable positions financially.
There is a negative stigma associated with financial hardship, receiving welfare and government assistance that is not the same for those receiving pensions.
Not to mention, welfare recipients are often major identity theft targets.
Macdonald also said he wants to limit the time allowed for receiving assistance to 60 months and prevent people from receiving benefits for children born after they go on General Assistance.
Macdonald has targeted welfare recipients before, declaring back in 2013 that anyone who came to Lewiston for welfare would be prosecuted.
His proposed bills would need to be endorsed by a state lawmaker to hold any weight since he is not guaranteed to remain in office as mayor, but let’s hope there isn’t one cruel enough to actually support this idea that exploits people in a vulnerable position.