“Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount … I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer.”
Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky is making it his personal mission to shame moms on welfare for continuing to get pregnant. Sen. Paul, who has a decent shot at the 2016 Republican nomination, wants to put a cap on the government benefits for which low-income mothers are eligible. His aim is to dis-incentivize mothers by economically punishing them for having a number of children that is over his ambiguous personal threshold of what he considers to be “too many.” Basically, he’s fairly certain that the way to save the United States’ future is for women to keep their legs closed. (Oh, you didn’t think he supported reproductive rights, did you? HAHAHAHA. Rand opposes abortion unilaterally, even in the cases of incest or rape.)
Senator Paul floated this suggestion at a Chamber Of Commerce luncheon in his home state of Kentucky. He was speaking, generally, about a popular idea, especially amongst Republican politicians: limiting welfare for needy families. For example, TANF is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal cash assistance program. Sixteen states already have a cap on TANF benefits and will not increase the amount of money a family receives when they have another child if they’d already been receiving aid. Other states (the ones without this cap) apportion the funding based on how many children they have and increases if they have more children. Blogger Bryce Covert over at Think Progress does a good job explaining how these policies, which were part of welfare reform, have had mixed success.
The pros and cons of Rand’s view are debatable. However, it is absolutely absurd that he is staunchly anti-abortion AND also believes women on welfare should not receive more financial support for having more children. It is using poverty as punishment. All this is coming from a guy who may have a serious chance at the White House in a few years. Not too comforting, is it?
[Image via Getty]