Defending his fellow Republican governors’ decision to block Medicaid expansion in their states, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Friday suggested that denying health coverage to additional low-income Americans helps more people “live the American Dream” because they won’t be “dependent on the American government.”
Walker has recently leveled some criticism at other GOP leaders for accepting Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, saying they shouldn’t necessarily trust the government to come through with the federal funds to cover the policy. During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, Walker was asked whether his position stemmed from an “ideological criticism,” and if he believes the handful of Republican governors implementing this provision of the health law are not “genuine conservatives.”
The governor didn’t explicitly answer that question, pointing out that every state has different needs. But he did offer a broader criticism of the public health program.
“Beyond that, I just ask the basic question: Why is more people on Medicaid a good thing?” he said. “I’d rather find a way, particularly for able-bodied adults without children, I’d like to find a way to get them into the workforce. I think ideologically, that’s a better approach, not just as a conservative, but as an American. Have more people live the American dream if they’re not dependent on the American government.”
In reality, however, the majority of people who stand to benefit from the Medicaid expansion are already in the workforce. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has been closely tracking the policy effect of states’ decisions on this Obamacare provision, most of the people in this coverage gap are part of a demographic group known as the “working poor.” Two thirds of them are part of a family where someone is working, and more than half of them are working themselves — often in sectors like the agricultural and service industries, which have a history of failing to provide insurance benefits to their workers.
Last fall, the New York Times analyzed the data about the coverage gap and confirmed that the Americans being denied Medicaid are cashiers, cooks, nurses’ aides, waiters and waitresses, and janitors. Most of them are people of color, and many are single mothers. They don’t fit the conservative trope of the lazy individual who is overly dependent on the government programs — and, as the New York Times reported at the time, they are actually “the very kinds of people that the [Medicaid] program was intended to help.”
If Walker survives once more on Tuesday, it will represent another win for the divide-and-conquer strategy he has used since 2010 to become the dominant political figure in this traditionally Democratic state. It will also mark a downward revision of Walker’s own aspirations: Instead of realigning Wisconsin behind a new vision for conservative reform — and perhaps vaulting himself into the White House in the process — Walker is struggling to assemble a bare majority that will keep him in the job he has.
Mary Burke, Walker’s opponent, is running as a McKinsey moderate, the anti-politician with business savvy who will jump-start the state’s economy and heal a divided Wisconsin. She believes her pro-business message can win over those key undecided voters. In a nonpresidential year when turnout could decide the election, Burke’s strategy is a gamble—and it just might work.
A fourth-generation Wisconsinite, Burke is a former executive at Trek Bicycles, the Waterloo-based company founded by her father that rose to the top of the business by selling made-in-America quality. After graduating from Georgetown and Harvard Business School, Burke ran Trek’s European division, got talked into serving under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle as secretary of the Commerce Department (Walker would later scrap the agency), and later devoted her time to education and philanthropy, including launching a nonprofit that helps low-income students attend college.
Scott Walker Wants to Drug-Test the Poor: The GOP’s Agenda Is About Solving Problems That Don’t Exist.
Our goal here is not to make it harder to get government assistance; it’s to make it easier to get a job,”
I’d love to hear an explanation of how drug testing SNAP applicants makes it easier for anyone to get a job.
Maybe the plan is to hire the unemployed to work in drug testing facilities. ///
A week or so ago, we noted that a federal judge named Rudolph Randa — a Poppy Bush hire to the bench — effectively shut down the investigation into the chronically hinky campaigns of Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. I argued at the time that, as bad as the outcome was, Randa really was operating in the brave new world of campaign law, where if you don’t have video of a CEO handing a politician a bag of money with “$$$$” written on the outside, then no corruption exists. I stand by that and say thank you once again to Justice Anthony Kennedy, for deciding that, “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Jesus God, is that still stunning.
Since then, Randa’s order has been stayed by one court, and litigation is ongoing. (In the latter decision, the court blocked Randa’s attempt to have the records of the investigation destroyed.) In his ruling, Randa added his own delightful flourish to Kennedy’s fan-dance by congratulating the Walker campaign on how cleverly they had violated the law and declared that the campaign’s efforts in that regard were covered by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free expression. So, we may conclude, a stick-up kid can declare his arrest invalid because the phrase, “Give me your money” is protected speech.
However, as time has marched on, it has come to widespread attention that Randa and his wife are the very beau ideal of the judicial moles planted by the conservative movement all over the federal judiciary with the help of various Republican presidents.
A “state sovereignty” resolution the state GOP tried to kill actually made it to the Wisconsin State Republican Party convention for delegates to vote on. Gov. Scott Walker says it “doesn’t align” with party officials, but this may be another case of party officials saying “pay no attention to those kooks behind the curtain.”
To secede or not to secede.
That will be the question for Wisconsin Republicans at next month’s convention.
Earlier this month, the party’s Resolutions Committee voted in favor of a proposal that says the state party “supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.”
A version of the so-called “state sovereignty” resolution was first OK’d last month by one of the state GOP’s eight regional caucuses as an assertion of the state’s 10th Amendment rights. The measure also calls for ending all mandates that go “beyond the scope of the constitutionally delegated powers of the federal government.”
Top Republican officials hoped to kill the fringe proposal during a meeting of the resolutions panel at the Hyatt Hotel in Milwaukee on April 5. Instead, the committee made a few edits to the resolution and adopted it on a split vote.
Now, the matter will go for final approval to the delegates attending the state Republican Party’s convention in Milwaukee on May 2-4.
Gov. Scott Walker, the leader of the state party, distanced himself from the resolution last week.
“I don’t think that one aligns with where most Republican officials are in the state of Wisconsin — certainly not with me,” Walker said at a press event on Friday.
While the right whines about oppression, those who have suffered real oppression stand with Wisconsin against Scott Walker.
Members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot are calling on Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to dismiss cases against protesters arrested for singing in the Capitol building.
Two group members appear in a video released Tuesday calling for a petition to drop the more than 400 arrests made last summer.
The video is here:
Walker has told the national media he’s not ruling out a White House bid, and he headlined a Republican Party fundraiser last month in Iowa, which traditionally hosts the first presidential nominating contest, followed by New Hampshire. The governor is also writing a book about his triumph in the 2012 recall election after he revoked collective bargaining rights and set off a political firestorm.
This positioning for the national stage comes as no surprise to Wisconsin Republicans, who joke that Walker has been running for president since he was an ambitious politician-in-the-making at the American Legion’s Badger Boys State. He was picked to represent Wisconsin at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. and, in a moment he describes as seminal to his political career, met President Reagan. He was only 22 years old when he ran his first campaign for the State Assembly.
Democrats have also been taking shots at Wisconsin’s economic record in the wake of Walker’s fiscal reforms. Wisconsin was recently ranked 44th in private sector job creation. In another potential blemish on Walker’s record, an audit last month found financial mismanagement at the state’s economic development agency.
“Walker has put himself in a perilous position to pander to caucus-goers in Iowa rather than creating jobs and fixing the economy,” said Danny Kanner, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association.
Last week, Walker gratified the religious right and provoked the Democratic Party when he said he would sign a bill requiring women seeking abortions to get ultrasound exams. The legislation is similar to the controversial law signed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Eager to keep flogging the GOP’s alleged “war on women,” Democrats linked Walker’s promise to sign the abortion bill with the recent vote by a all-male House committee to ban abortions after 20 weeks and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks’ comment that rape victims infrequently get pregnant.
Once again, it hasn’t been a good week for Scott Walker, the twice-elected goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwestern subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. As you know, Walker’s great promise in both elections was that he would turn the state around and make it a friendlier place to despoil the wildernes…er…do business. He’s certainly done any plutocrat could have asked on that score; I’m surprised they aren’t digging for iron ore under the dome of the state capitol by now. The problem — and anyone who’s thinking about him as a presidential candidate in 2016, as I certainly am, should recognize it — is that Scott Walker is really rather bad at this.
Those are the numbers provided by the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, which is basically a trade organization for oligarchs. And they show that Walker has managed to place Wisconsin dead freaking last in short-term job growth and 44th out of 50 states in its overall ranking. It is very hard to get nominated for president as a Republican if the U.S. Chamber is throwing tomatoes at your resume just for laughs. Luckily, though, Walker established a special agency to monitor job growth in the state, so he’s right on top of this problem.
Except, well, no. They’re pretty much screwing up, but they’re having a grand old time doing it.
Auditors also said employees of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., a quasi-private entity, made a number of questionable and unexplained purchases, including season tickets to UW-Madison football games and iTunes gift cards, and contracted for services without conducting open and competitive selection processes.
Unexplained! Suddenly, Camp Randall is infested of a Saturday afternoon with ectoplasmic cheeseheads. Unexplained! This looks like a job for…The Most Awesome Man On Television.
Auditors found a number of serious problems with the agency, among them that WEDC didn’t have sufficient policies - including some that were statutorily required - to administer its programs effectively. It also found that WEDC awarded some money to ineligible recipients, for ineligible projects, and for cash amounts that exceeded specified limits.
Wait. If I don’t put in “sufficient policies”that include those that are “statutorily required,” the police come and take me away. I mean, isn’t that what we outside of the world of quasi-private entities call “breaking the law”? Wait, let’s let the agency head explain what this means:
But Reed Hall, the CEO and secretary of WEDC, said in a letter to auditors and again in an interview that agency leaders have already begun implementing changes and working on improvements. He said there were no “intentional violations” of state statutes…
Which is something you can hear said every day in all the finer arraignment courts in the country.
I’m telling you, don’t sleep on this place. Wisconsin is the lab rat for what they want to do everywhere. That they are also screw-ups is comforting, but it’s not a real defense.
If you want to know how much worse our economic recovery could be, check out Scott Walker’s austerity-rocked Wisconsin — which has gone from 11th in job creation to 44th in just two years.
Walker stormed into office in 2011 on the crest of a Tea Party wave and immediately added $117.2 million to the budget deficit with a series of tax cuts that did nothing to spur job creation. He “paid” for these cuts in part with an attack on public workers that he failed to mention in his campaign that he was going to pursue.
The governor and his Republican majorities cut workers’ salaries by about eight percent across the board, eliminated collective-bargaining rights and essentially tied any future wage increases to the rate of inflation.
The growing budget deficit Walker inherited was mostly the result of the financial crisis. Investors enabled by conservative politicians had collaborated to create the worst economic crash since the last time investors and conservative politicians had crashed the economy.