Public assistance agencies, like the rest of us, are attempting to make more use of technology. For example, instead of handing out "welfare" checks or food stamps, some distribute cards that can be used to "charge" items electronically, or at automatic teller machines.
That has opened new doors to abuse. For example, California officials learned ATMs in gambling casinos had been used to obtain $1.8 million in cash through welfare cards.
Now officials in many states want to bar use of such cards for a variety of purposes, ranging from gambling to cigarette purchases. And - you guessed it - opponents of limits say they stereotype the poor unfairly.
Baloney. Reasonable restrictions don't harm those who use welfare benefits properly. If West Virginia and Ohio lack such limits, legislators should put them on the books quickly.