Mayor In Maine Wants To Put Names And Addresses Of All Welfare Recipients Publicly Online
Mayor Robert Macdonald
There are times when the method for curing the ill, is actually worst then the ill itself, and this is one of those methods.
Republican Mayor Robert Macdonald of Lewiston, Maine, said that during the next legislative season, there will be a bill submitted to create a website "containing the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected by every individual on the dole."
Macdonald questioned why the information wasn't public. "The answer: our liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made them a victimized, protected class," he wrote. "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!"
At first blush this may sound like a good idea, however there are laws protecting individual privacy, and rightly so. And if you’re a conservative then you should also believe in the concept of “small government” and individual rights for all, in short the mayor’s proposal is an intrusion on ones civil liberties.
However the good mayor stated; "After all, the public has a right to know how its money is being spent," and of course they do.
However simply collecting benefits isn’t a criminal act, and creating a government website may in fact suggest that and targeting individuals may actually put them at risk.
Macdonald said he is "not sorry" about his proposal. He said however that posting the information publicly could encourage people to go after welfare recipients who are "gaming the system."
Macdonald's Democratic opponent in the November election, Ben Chin, said that the proposal was just a political stunt.
So far the mayor has not found any legislators in Maine to take up the bill.
Source: Washington Post