Saturday, December 12, 2015

Like Common Cripples

Prison riots will probably break out all over the country very soon. It’s only a matter of time before criminals revolt because they’re tired of being treated like common cripples.

State governments have an increasing appetite for confiscating the assets of inmates to help pay for the cost of their incarceration. Last year in Illinois, a court ruled that the state could seize $20,000 a soon-to-be-released prisoner received as part of his mother’s wrongful death lawsuit settlement. Another Illinois prisoner got a nearly $14,000 inheritance when his grandmother died. After he was paroled, the state took all but $4,000 of that.

Yep and apparently there are confiscation laws like this on the books in 43 states. The idea is to reimburse the state for providing a public service, which in this case was a prison cell.

Cripples have gotten garnished for decades for using public services. Like for instance, when you sign up for a program like the one I use, where the state pays the wages of the people I hire to put me on the crapper and whatnot, you can only have so much in assets. So suppose someone dies and leaves you some money. Whenever that happens, it’s always a bittersweet bad news/ good news type of situation, right? But in this case it’s bitter and sweet and back to bitter again because if that windfall suddenly puts you over the asset limit, you have to set up a trust. And whatever money is left in that trust after you die goes to the state as payback for the cost of your care.

If you’re a cripple on Medicaid, you can’t have assets of more than $2000. Two thousand scrawny little goddam bucks! And if you’re a cripple on Medicaid in a nursing home, the nursing home will swipe away your Social Security and give you back only $30 a month. Thirty little puny-ass anemic–looking pathetic bucks!

And since no one wants to be taxed anymore and governments have to come up with creative new revenue-raising contortions, hell, pretty soon the punitive garnishment strategy may be applied to everyone who uses a public service, which is everybody every day. Whenever we walk down a public sidewalk, we’ll all have to wear special shoes will odometers embedded in the heels and so much per mile will be deducted from our bank accounts. All toilets will have a flushometer and every flush will be another debit to help pay for the public sewer system.

But I don’t know how long John and Mary Public will tolerate having such strict austerity penalties imposed on them for using public services. At some point they’ll rise up in protest and say, “Hey, you can’t treat us like that! We’re not crippled!”

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)