It used to be that the monied classes sought to impose poll taxes and literacy requirements on voters in an effort to suppress the vote of the socialistically inclined working class. Today the imposition of a literacy requirement would just as likely inconvenience our political class. Readers will recall that Sarah Plain, for instance, when interviewed by Katie Couric, was unable to name even one newspaper that she reads regularly. Now voters in Texas can feel proud to call their own a State Representative who might just give the Alaska Governor a run for the money in the contest for dumbest Republican politician now serving:
Give state Rep. Gary Elkins some credit for being honest.
At a hearing Thursday of the House Committee on Human Services, Elkins and other members of the panel considered more than two dozen bills related to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Three hours into the hearing, Elkins asked: "What's Medicaid?"
The Houston Republican continued: "I know I hear it — I really don't know what it is. I know that's a big shock to everybody here in the audience, OK."
He could have kept quiet. He could have asked an aide. He could have Googled it. Instead, he asked the question into the microphone in the middle of a public hearing.
Medicaid, for the record, is the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people and people with disabilities. Elkins is new to the Human Services Committee. However, he's served in the House since 1995, where one of the main tasks is crafting the state budget.
A quarter of the state budget is Medicaid.
— Corrie MacLaggan