LOUISIANA REPUBLICAN BACKS POOR STERILIZATION…. I can appreciate when elected officials try to think outside the box with creative ideas. But I’m pretty comfortable concluding that this is not only truly insane, it’s painful to think anyone would articulate such an idea out loud in the 21st century. (via memorandum)

Worried that welfare costs are rising as the number of taxpayers declines, state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said Tuesday he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied.

“We’re on a train headed to the future and there’s a bridge out,” LaBruzzo said of what he suspects are dangerous demographic trends. “And nobody wants to talk about it.”

LaBruzzo said he worries that people receiving government aid such as food stamps and publicly subsidized housing are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more tax revenue to the government. He said he is gathering statistics now.

“What I’m really studying is any and all possibilities that we can reduce the number of people that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare,” he said.

LaBruzzo serves in the same legislative district that sent David Duke to the legislature in 1989. Try to contain your surprise.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Oh, he’s a racist, ‘ ” LaBruzzo said. “The hard part is to sit down and think of some solutions.”

Hmm, can one say he’s a racist and talk about solutions?

LaBruzzo acknowledges that some prefer tackling poverty through education reforms and family planning programs, but he says he’s looked into this, and found these traditional approaches to be ineffective. It’s led him to think the whole pay-for-poor-women’s-sterilization tack might be a good idea.

The mind reels.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.