Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Walker’s Death Panel Policy: Starve the hungry, let the sick die.

When you hear the decree “Those who need the programs most” is essentially Scott Walker handing down a death sentence. A person’s access to food dies if you don’t grovel at a menial job or get empty job training for 20 hours a week.

What we're talking about here is FoodShare changes that'll cost state taxpayers, do little for employing anyone, and starve the jobless. "Those who need the program most" will still get food stamps we're told.

You've heard other Republicans use this same logic before: Health care under Medicaid is only for "those who need the program most;" if you’re not ultra poor enough, health care goes away and you gamble with your life. Of course, you can just go out and get a job after the Great Recession. Despite there being a lack of jobs, go out and get one anyway.

This Republican cruel streak is getting little media notice because most conservative’s envy the poor’s extravagant living arrangement. They have refrigerators, cars...a phone. They never think that they too are one health care event or job loss away from joining the huddled frightened masses.  

Paul Ryan has described his plans for Social Security and Medicare as safety “hammocks” that must be saved for “those who need the programs most.”  

I've noticed the pattern, anyone else? Republicans are so caring, gracious and humane. The voiceless poor who are dropped from these programs will just fade away and never be heard from again, and Republicans will say see, we saved taxpayer money and nothing horrible happened.
Requiring a job — or basic training for one — from able-bodied participants in the state's food stamp program would cause about half of them to drop out, a total of tens of thousands of people statewide and 14,500 in Milwaukee, according to a new report. The new projections come from the Legislature's nonpartisan budget office, which last week released its analysis of Gov. Scott Walker's plan to require 62,700 able-bodied adults without children in Wisconsin's FoodShare program to work or attend bare-bones job training. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau puts the cost of implementing the program at $35.8 million over two years, including $16.8 million for state taxpayers, and the rest by federal taxpayers. As part of the move, 36 state jobs would be added. The federal government won't allow benefits to be cut off if training doesn't continue to be made available to those affected by the provision.
Here's great audio from WPR's Shawn Johnson, and Rep. Cory Mason's poignant observation:
"Taking their food away isn't going to make the job opportunities and the skills gap any less real...it's just going to make more people, more hungry."  

Make sense? I wish more Democrats could be this honest in our legislature when Republicans trot out food rationing. Here's two other comments that hit the mark:
Jon Peacock, research director for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, said there wasn't much research to support the idea that the amount of training provided under the proposal would boost participants' employment.

"I don't think that training was the point of this," Peacock said. "It's making them jump through hoops to weed out people."

Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Hunger Task Force, said she expected as many as 70% of current FoodShare recipients to leave the program, "Starving the unemployed doesn't make them go away and doesn't make our communities better places to live."
Walker’s response: Spokesman Tom Evenson said, "The governor's proposal provides a safety net for those who need it most." 

No comments:

Post a Comment