Wisconsin's Republican-led Legislative budget 'writing' committee basically threw out Gov. Evers' document - and 400 or so of its specific proposals - and will craft their own budget which will only further distance this gerrymandered GOP gang from what people in Wisconsin want and need (my analysis), as the AP reports:
Republicans Scrap Evers' Priorities, Start Writing Budget
And Assembly Speaker and shadow Governor Robin Vos's spiteful and continuing "#Never" refusal in 2019 to allow more low-income citizens into the Medicaid program means the state is passing on Federal Medicaid expansion funding that would save Wisconsin taxpayers more than a billion dollars.
Agaln, as the AP explains:
The items Republicans killed would have brought in $3.4 billion to the state, mostly through higher taxes on capital gains and manufacturers, and by accepting federal Medicaid expansion. That alone would have saved the state $1.6 billion, when including federal money that would have come to Wisconsin....Committee co-chair Rep. Mark Born called Democratic criticism of the rejection of Medicaid expansion “crap,” saying they were being dishonest in not calling the initiative a welfare expansion.
|State GOP Rep. and Finance Committee Chair Mark Born said efforts to expand Medicaid health care coverages in Wisconsin were "crap" because the Democratic proponents won't call it a welfare expansion. Classy!|
Brings to mind Walker's rejection of a jobs-and-development Federal grant of $810 million to extend Amtrak service to and through Madison even though Wisconsinites pay Federal taxes, yet saw none of their dollars coming back to the state for expanded passenger rail and new jobs.
But back to Beaver Dam Republican Born, who tried to divert attention with the bogus notion that Democrats failure to adopt Republican red meat rhetoric to justify Medicaid expansion plan is the issue, or any issue at all.
One real outrage is these GOP #Never legislators are guaranteeing that Wisconsin Federal taxpayers will not see any of their dollars routed back home to bring new help for ill Wisconsinites.
That kind of 'we're-all-in-this-together/Golden Rule assistance.
And when the state has to spend more of its own money/our money paying for healthcare that Federal funds could have covered, well then, there's less state funding available for other services - so, do ya see, Bucky - the public sector isn't there to help you - as Republicans have been saying and proving through self-fulfilling prophecies and flat-out meanness forever, or at least since Ronald Reagan said government IS the problem.
Also among the items that the #Never caucus is robotically excising from the Evers budget is a long-overdue increase in the legally-required Wisconsin minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
An action which will keep some people trapped deeply in poverty, and which I believe is more than just a disgusting sop to business lobbies and the rightwing advocacy groups they finance.
Enforcing poverty through official action is public service by perverse stratgery - much like the willful and callous Medicaid restriction - that deliberately adds to the stresses which already weigh down thousands of Wisconsin's least powerful and most vulnerable citizens.
Something Rep. Born et al, with their guaranteed salaries, receipt-free meal reimbursements, top-shelf health insurance coverages and other perks do not have to contend with.
And why would the GOP, or any political party, let alone any human do such a thing?
Because the people running an authoritarian political party know it's easier to stay in power and maintain control over people who must work two or three minimum wage jobs to survive, or who are hobbled by untreated health problems that can turn a simple errand into a time-consuming and fraught endeavor.
Cold-heart politicians with a distorted commitment to ideology and incumbency also know that people scrambling to pay the rent or put food on the table or take care of their slowed or sick relatives or friends have less resources or time for political work - the very activity that could help defeat punitive, self-serving and empathy-free legislators who are always eager to stick out a foot and trip someone instead of offering a helping hand to a person who's just trying to get by.
Now that's crap politics.