Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trump, like Walker, aims kicks at the poor

There's something scarily defective about Republicans who win perk-and-privilege elections so quickly wielding their power against those with the least - - even limiting the food the poor can eat.
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, suit
In Wisconsin, those perks include taxpayer-paid meals - - deductible to legislator-recipients as business expenses - - and, for career-politician Governor, Walker, a taxpayer-provided lakefront mansion. With a kitchen he said others need to upgrade with a half-million-dollar upgrade to better meet his standards:
"This is a busted-up old commercial kitchen that needs to be fixed."
Walker's latest election-year proposal for those of lesser means would add drug testing and work requirements for adult recipients with school-age children without knowing if the recipients have access to transportation or childcare.

The dog-whistled inference behind his changes: that able-bodied people are living high off the hog- - but a look at the facts showed that cutting access to food is going to hurt a lot of already vulnerable Wisconsinites:

...about two-thirds of the people who benefit from food stamps are unable to work as far as the program's rules are concerned.
In a monthly report released Dec. 26, 2016, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services found that 43 percent of the individuals in the state with FoodShare assistance were children and another 25 percent were "either elderly, blind, or disabled." Among the total recipients, that left 32 percent covered by the work requirements.
Yet Walker is proposing the changes knowing the mechanics of making and enforcing the changes will cost state taxpayers at least $90 million.

Earlier Walker-crafted restrictions explained here are said to have helped more than 24,000 people find work, but cut nearly 86,000 from the rolls.

And people seem to have forgotten that Walker in his first budget seven years ago laid down a purely-punitive-because-I-can hit to thousands of low-income families' most basic needs:

I am referring to an item buried in his first budget - - an across-the-board $20 per month cut from W-2 recipients.
I'd written about it here, with language taken directly from the budget's text, on page 65, in the "Health and Human Services" section:
"To further encourage W-2 recipients to recognize that the goal of W-2 is for participants to secure unsubsidized employment, reduce the monthly benefit check by $20."  

And the negative impact was multiplied by other Walker budget changes that reduced the value of two tax credits that helped low-income families stay in their homes and on a payroll.
Now Walker's ally Donald Trump - - he who claims to be a billionaire, and with an even fancier kitchen than Walker's, and with a nearly-obese body-mass-index and preference for Big Macs and buckets of KFC - - has an even crueler proposal: Cut funding for the food stamp program nationwide by 22% and require recipients to obtain half their monthly allotment in a government-issued box of government-selected food items. 

Can you imagine the uproar, the vitriol that would have been directed at President Obama, and no doubt also at First Lady and healthy-food advocate Michelle Obama, if the previous administration had suggested that then government decide what millions of Americans already down on their luck would eat?

Important to note also that Trump's budget is a full broadside against the poor.
President Trump proposed a budget Monday that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies while pushing legislation to institute broad work requirements for families receiving housing vouchers, expanding on moves by some states to require recipients of Medicaid and food stamps to work.

No comments: