GOP Legislators Scapegoat, Squeeze The Poor, Treat Themselves To Similar Benefits
GOP legislators poised to do Scott Walker's bidding and service their reactionary base voters at the same time through budget measures that jam the poor and unemployed do not give the proverbial flying fig over their hypocritical, self-serving, punitive behavior.
Bashing the poor is so easy: no high-powered lobbyist is going to call and say, 'hey - - back off - - my people don't like this bill or that amendment.'
No association spokesperson is going meet you for drinks or coffee or golf and pass the word that 'you know who is thinking about going the other way come fundraiser-time' unless that special interest gets served.
So the administration and GOP legislators running the Committee on Joint Finance on behalf of their solid majorities are likely to cut unemployment compensation access and food stamp participation, limit the number of low-income people on health care insurance that could be federally-funded, and further slash transit options used principally by minority and lower income city-dwellers trying to get to jobs in suburbs.
These are survival program cuts levied on people with lesser political clout by powerful, privileged and well-connected legislators who themselves enjoy - - at taxpayer expense - - Cadillac health insurance coverage, mileage reimbursement for in-district driving, and $88-per-day in tax-free meal, mileage-to-work and, if needed, lodging expenses (Madison-area legislators get half.).
So legislators from upscale Milwaukee and Waukesha suburbs an hour or so from the State Capitol can punch in - - even car pool to get there for a single meeting and file for $88 - - without declaring the money as income.
Do the math: that $88 is worth far more if, say, you're in the 28% tax bracket.
And whom else gets reimbursed by you and me or the boss for driving to the office?
Or gets paid to eat lunch or dinner on your dime, tax-free?
Who are the welfare queens, really?
To be fair, there are a lot of bars in the Capitol Square area that depend on that per diem to stay in business, although I hear that the tipping is lousy. Republican legislators sure do work up a thirst while thinking of ways to screw the working class and the poor.
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