Sunday, November 29, 2015

WI Republicans find new way to screw the poor

[Updated] Not content with freezing the minimum wage at the rock-bottom level of $7.25-per hour, and  mandating drug tests for food stamp recipients after already cutting that funding - - or limiting the number of years to four total in which public aid in Wisconsin can be received in a lifetime, or raising three taxes in the 2011-'13 state budget on low-income Wisconsinites while also turning back federal medicaid funding, or slashing public school financing, or cutting public bus system funding and ending routes from Milwaukee to suburban job centers - - the GOP's legislative Urban Hostility Caucus has a nasty new brainstorm: seizing vehicles from people caught driving without valid drivers' licenses.

And mandating that those seized vehicles be sold after 30 days if not claimed - - which means the ticketed driver would have somehow quickly pay a costly citation for the ticket, plus the towing and storage fees.

So - - pulled over for a broken tail light, or failing to yield, etc. - - can end up with a punitive and unconstitutional vehicle seizure that will further disconnect lower-income Wisconsin citizen from jobs, child care, medical appointments and other life necessities.

Read: Deeper, embedded poverty through government action.\

[Sunday Update - - Republicans are touting the recent removal of 15,000 Wisconsinites from the food stamp program as reform-in-action.]

Somehow the vehicle seizure proposal arose from a plan to finally and substantively reform Wisconsin's lax drunk-driving laws.

Fat chance, that, given the history of failed proposals and the power of various alcohol-centered special interests - - but let's hope there are not enough votes to take yet another shot at people already struggling by seizing and selling their cars.

I'm not saying it's OK to drive without a proper driver's license, but hammering poor people further down the socio-economic ladder instead of supporting creative and positive approaches to the intertwined problems of marginal incomes, municipal citations and disappearing public services is the mark of bigoted, authoritarian and hard-hearted governance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is terrible. How are people supposed to get to work? They cut public transportation and now they are going to take away their cars and sell them. So much like a third world country where people pile into cars and trucks and pay a little money for an unregulated ride. Bad for the driver and bad for the passengers. Why do they want to us live like they do in less developed countries?