In their latest attempt to punish poor people for being poor people, last week Republicons on Wiscossippi's Joint Finance Committee approved a measure in Gubnah Scooter's budget that would require childless able-bodied adults to work at least 20 hours per week or attend 20 hours of job training per week to continue receiving federal food assistance.
On it's face that's sounds reasonable. We all believe in the dignity of work and that able bodied people should work to support themselves. And job training, well that's a good thing, right? Well of course the devil is in the details and a little critical thinking can expose some of those devils and their devilish intent.
For example, since the FoodShare program is available to individuals under 200% of the federal poverty level ($39,000 for a family of 3), we all know that lots of people receiving food assistance are already working. But suppose your job doesn't offer you 20 hours per week on a consistent basis. Will these people be able to find another job to make up the additional hours needed? That's very unlikely in Wiscossippi where Walker's jobs agenda has failed miserably due to his ill-willed and politically motivated austerity and anti-worker policies. Walker's Wiscossippi Sucks at Job Creation!
Now suppose you're among the estimated 63,000 unemployed or under-employed Wiscossippians receiving federal food assistance who will be required to get the training to continue receiving food. Twenty hours per week, that's two full eight hours days per week plus an additional 4 hours. So the question is WHERE will the training be offered and HOW will people get there and back Three Times Per Week?Take a look at the map up above. Many of our fellow citizens that rely on federal food assistance live in rural parts of the state where there is no public transportation and the training center will likely be Many Miles Away. IF YOU DON'T HAVE JOB HOW IN THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO AFFORD A CAR, INSURANCE AND GASOLINE!?
ABAWD work requirement, there is considerable uncertainty regarding what percentage of nonexempt ABAWDs in Wisconsin would comply with the new requirements. DHS assumes that 50%
of non-exempt ABAWDs would participate in FSET and continue to receive FoodShare benefits,
and 50% of non-exempt ABAWDs would not meet the requirements, and would stop receiving
FoodShare benefits program after reaching the three-month time limit. This assumption was based
on Delaware's experience imposing the work requirements, and the decline in participation in
Wisconsin’s FSET participation when the program was made voluntary in 2008.
NOTE: ABAWD means able bodied adults without dependents.
And seriously, how valuable will the training to be offered be? Especially after it has gone on for months! You know, I remember when Private Employers provided job training and didn't look to the Public Sector to do it for them at Public Expense.
To add insult to this injury this measure is expected to cost the citizens of Wiscossippi $17,000,000 over the next two years. And because the FoodShare program is paid entirely by the federal government, increasing hunger in the Badgered State won't save the people of Wisconsin ONE PENNY! The only jobs it will create are the projected 36 government jobs that will be required to oversee this slow motion train wreck. And making it harder for people to find food will not make it any easier for them to find jobs.
Republicons bristle when they're called Mean-Spirited. But this act is nothing but an Ill-Willed means of putting up barriers that are designed to kick poor people while there down and push them further down by kicking them off the food assistance that they need. But then, we all know that everything the Republicons do has a hidden agenda, EVERYTHING! The Republicons are Sneaky, Underhanded and Ill-Willed. They are slow-motion terrorists and are NOT working for the public good. And this is just another in a long line of very bad GOPunitive ideas from these GOPeople.
According to the GOPster play book, Desperate Times require Desperate People. Well maybe the Republicons should put their "genius" to work in creating a Cheap Labor Pool that they so Desperately Desire, that isn't dependent on inconvenient little things like food.