Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

Hey, Let’s Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients

Walker and Vos love the idea. So what will it cost and what will it accomplish?

By - Feb 24th, 2015 01:06 pm
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

Are Food Stamp recipients in Wisconsin failing to get jobs because they are on drugs? That’s the story Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) is peddling. He favors drug testing all working age adult welfare and food stamp recipients to send a message to recipients to “get yourself productive and stop asking the taxpayers to help subsidize your lifestyle,” as he put it.

Gov. Scott Walker has also embraced this proposal and wants to expand it to include all adults receiving Medicaid and unemployment benefits. “This is not a punitive measure. This is about getting people ready for work,” he noted. “I’m not making it harder to get government assistance, I’m making it easier to get a job.”

To the casual observer this might sound sensible. But the closer you look at the proposal the more nonsensical it appears. For starters, many recipients of Medicaid and even Food Stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) already have a job, but it pays so little they need assistance. Statistics show that as high as 58 percent of those getting food stamps are employed. As for Medicaid, the data shows that 83 percent of this funding to goes to the elderly, disabled, or working poor. If the goal is to help the working poor and lower government subsidies, raising the minimum wage would accomplish far more than giving a drug test.

The idea that public assistance recipients have are prone to drugs or have a “lifestyle” problem, as Vos puts it, has been disproven in other states that tried testing. In Florida, just two percent of welfare recipients failed drug tests of their urine, compared to 8 percent of the general population that uses illegal drugs. In Tennessee, just one of 800 tested had a positive result, a rate of 0.12 percent.

Then there is the cost of doing drug screens. In Florida, it cost $30, and the cost of the tests has pretty much equalled the small savings realized by throwing a tiny percentage of welfare recipients off the rolls.

Walker, however, is thinking big and wants to also check those on Medicaid and unemployment benefits. Wisconsin has 1 million people on medicaid and more than 826,000 people on food assistance. I could not find figures on unemployment insurance, but based on national figures Wisconsin probably has at least 225,000 receiving it. Many in the first two groups of aid are are children, but even if you assumed that less than half of people in these three groups were able-bodied adults, this would cost perhaps $25 million to administer the drug tests — all state money we would be spending to assure we received less federal dollars, as 100 percent of Food Stamps money and the vast majority of Medicaid spending is federal.

“We’ll be spending state dollars in order to forfeit federal dollars and all that money drives the local economy,” notes Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force. Many studies have shown that subsidies to low-income people have the most immediate impact on the economy because they need and spend this money quickly.

One way to spend less tax money on drug testing would be to use a written test first to ferret out potential drug problems. Utah tried that and spent about $1.26 per written test but caught only 12 drug users for a cost of about $30,000.

Walker, however, has recently suggested a different tack, saying applicants for aid programs would be asked questions and if their answers indicate a possible drug problem they’d be required to take a drug test, according to a report by Green Bay radio station WBAY. How many staff will be required to administer these interviews and what will that cost? Hard to say since Walker has so far offered few details.

The state will also face legal costs, because what Walker is proposing will be contested in the courts. The Florida law requiring drug testing of all applicants for welfare programs was struck down in December by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The three-judge panel unanimously ruled the law was an unreasonable search because Florida officials had failed to show a “substantial need” to test all people who applied for welfare benefits. “The state has not demonstrated a more prevalent, unique or different drug problem among… applicants than in the general population,” the court declared.

Does that decision leave the door open for more selective drug testing, as Walker proposes? Alan Shannon, communications director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the SNAP program, says any drug testing would be illegal under federal law. “Section 5b of the Food and Nutrition Act prohibits states from adding any conditions of eligibility for assistance,” he says. “Requiring a drug test would be an additional condition of eligibility.” So you can expect a legal challenge and court costs for Wisconsin.

Beyond all this, the Walker/Vos proposal is built on a lie that poor people who receive government aid have a lifestyle problem that makes them unemployable. The statistics in states that have done drug tests suggest the contrary, that aid recipients have less of a problem than the general population. As state Rep. Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee) has argued, this proposal adds to the “the stigma” poor people already suffer, suggesting  “people who are in need, who are poor, are drug users. Which is not the case… The majority of them want to better their lives. They understand bettering their lives doesn’t include abusing drugs.”

But the truth won’t matter. Once you start drug testing recipients of Food Stamps, Medicaid and unemployment benefits, the message to people across the state is that these are degenerate drug users who are cheating the taxpayers. It’s an ugly way for Walker to win political points.

Short Take

Walker has also argued that a drug test is “a basic entry to the workforce; it’s a requirement that you are drug free.” Which is also misleading. Nationally, 29 percent of employers do not give drug any tests and another 14 percent do not give them to all employees, one survey found.

The whole issue of drug testing employees remains a controversial one, as a column in Forbes has noted. Dr. George Lundberg, former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, has called it “chemical McCarthyism” and argues it is costly to administer and is not justified by any cost-benefit analysis.

Categories: Murphy's Law, Politics

107 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: Hey, Let’s Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients”

  1. PMD says:

    It seems like Vos and Walker and others of their ilk don’t really know any poor people. Of course people can find some anecdotes that prove otherwise, but in my experience people don’t want to be poor and live off government assistance. I just don’t think it’s true that there are tons of people out there looking to smoke weed, live off the “government teet,” and do nothing whatsoever. I believe in Florida (or a different state that’s done this), the people on government assistance smoking weed turned out to be far less than the number of weed smokers in the general population. Also, I was not drug tested at my last few jobs, including my current one.

  2. PMD says:

    OK found it. In Tennessee 0.2 percent of welfare recipients flunked a drug test compared to the state’s overall drug use of 8 percent. In Arizona, out of 87,000 people tested, a total of 1 person failed a drug test.

  3. Sam says:

    In Tennessee, just one of 800 tested had a positive result, a rate of 0.12 percent.

    This doesn’t mean anything. The Tennessee “Drug Test” was a multiple choice questionaire. One person out of 812 decided they didn’t want aid, or couldn’t read, or I don’t even know. Why would you think that people elligable for aid did so many fewer drugs than the general population?

  4. PMD says:

    I don’t know Sam. Maybe because it’s a lazy stereotype that lots of welfare recipients just sit around doing drugs, one that isn’t actually true? Is that not possible?

  5. Sam says:

    The Florida numbers are also nonsense, for slightly more subtle reasons. It cost money to take the test, that would be refunded if you passed. The “Failures” mentioned don’t include those who opted themselves out, and “voluntarily” stopped recieving benefits. If only 40% of those who opted out of the test were drug users, then the difference is made up, and the drug user rate is the same as the general population.

    Good arguments against this are ideological. I don’t care if aid recipients are using drugs. It may be unconstitutional, or against existing law. The idea that aid recipients use drugs far less than everyone else is bizarre and goes against the polling on this topic.

    Scott Alexander’s blog discusses this in more detail

  6. PMD says:

    Who’s that? A respected authority on welfare recipients and drug testing?

  7. Sam says:

    Applicants have to answer three questions about drug use to get benefits, and if they answer yes to any of them, they get referred to urine testing.

    That is a quote from the Thinkprogress article this cites. Does this sound like a functional test to you?

    And the Scott Alexander mention is a link, unfortunately it’s not a different color or anything, sorry.

  8. Robert R says:

    Drug testing the poor is based on a logical fallacy. Drugs cost money and the poor don’t have spare money to spend. At least the poor that actually will apply for programs like food stamps.

    I’d bet money that testing suburban high school students would turn up a higher percentage as that group combines immaturity with money to spend.

  9. PMD says:

    Sam Utah actually gave drug tests to 466 welfare recipients. 12 failed. That’s 2.5 percent. 8 percent of the population uses drugs. So there are examples of actual tests being administered and not just multiple choice questions being asked.

  10. PMD says:

    And in Florida, from 2011 to 2012, the state actually tested 4,086 people, with 108 failing. 2.6 percent.

  11. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    This is a prevention program. Inner city runs on welfare and drug money. I cannot tell you how many times people called me in the pharmacy and asked me for something to “clean their systems”, how many people getting or trying to get opioid Rx’s to get high, and how many called to ask how long it took for pot, oxy to get out of system. There are reasons that the drug trade centers on inner city and this is one way to break it.

  12. Sam says:

    Utah doesn’t randomly test applicants or require them to all undergo a drug test, but instead requires them to complete a written questionnaire that is meant to screen for drug abuse. Those who have a high probability are then given drug tests.

    From the Thinkprogress article linked in this very article. Utah uses questionaires too. More tricky ones obviously, but questionaires are NOT drug tests. I don’t think you will find any state not using questionaires, because its a probable cause based constitution sidestep.

  13. PMD says:

    Your anecdotal evidence doesn’t really prove anything. I’ve known tons of white potheads. That doesn’t mean that most white people are potheads.

    Do you support mandatory drug tests for every person applying for a job in Wisconsin if the company they are looking to work at received some form of government assistance (tax break/tax credit, etc.)?

  14. PMD says:

    Sam I know states use a questionnaire, but they also actually perform drug tests as well. Utah and Florida (and others) didn’t only use a questionnaire. They also drug tested people.

  15. Casey says:

    So called fiscal conservatives should be against this idea. The administrative cost far exceeds any savings from preventing the few who are actually caught.
    It’s not a bad idea in theory but in the real world this just doesn’t work. Where are they going to find the funds to admin and monitor this when they are looking to gut other DHS programs such as Family Care and IRIS?

  16. Casey says:

    WCD…..once again…you really need to get into the northwoods and not just a weekend visit to your cabin or family’s farm. Drug abuse is rampant up there. I just got done working on one were the mother was running the house while her late teens children were selling the meth. They supplemented their income with state assistance.

  17. John Wintheiser says:

    The money spent on this foolish idea would be better spent expanding drug treatment programs and making them more available to people with a drug problem. The fact of the matter is that a treatment program can be very difficult to find for people who want help.

  18. jessica says:

    the part i find most worrisome here is that a court already found this to be unconstitutional in Florida. what will make Wisconsin any different? sounds like we will be spending money on lawyers and drug tests, and will eventually not be able to proceed with the tests anyways. this is not a successful way to find savings…especially the dollar amounts that walker needs. this is purely political. and wasteful.

  19. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    That is what the program does is give people that have problem on food stamps, welfare into rehab programs and off drugs. We know that those on drugs are causing major problems and the Left never has any answers for anything.

  20. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    there are plenty of drugs up north, they should be tested,put into rehab so that they can get jobs.

  21. tim haering says:

    Drug test all food stampers? Sure, right after we round up and deport all our illegal aliens. Brother can you spare a dime? Dream on, dreamer, ‘til your dream comes true.

  22. Lill says:

    The problem with this idea is that welfare benefits are issued in the name of the person who applies for them. So, for example, it may not be the single mom on welfare that’s that druggie – it could be her live in boyfriend or her mother or her teenaged kid. So how is this test any reliable measure of the extent to which government benefits are funding drug use?

    And I do personally know three people who collect various government benefits. None of them use drugs. All three just don’t feel like working. So how would this test weed out those who are un-or under-employed and truly need some help from those who are just lazy?

  23. PMD says:

    So if someone fails a drug test, you take away their food stamps, force them into rehab, and then give them a job? Or you take away their food stamps and hope that motivates them into getting a job? How does this wonderful program work exactly WCD?

    And do you support mandatory drug tests for every person applying for a job in Wisconsin if the company they are looking to work at received some form of government assistance (tax break/tax credit, etc.)?

  24. Paul says:

    Casey….Of course you did the right thing and went to the local authorities and turned in these Meth dealers

  25. Paul says:

    This testing is a great idea, you bring up the point that it will cost state dollars to take away federal dollars, sounds like you are for wasting fed money forgetting that it is all our tax dollars. Getting people off drugs is the best for society and for their own life’s.

  26. PMD says:

    So Paul would you advocate for mandatory drug testing at any company in the state that receives any form of government assistance? I mean if getting people off drugs is so important, surely that doesn’t mean just getting poor people off drugs. We need to get everyone in the state off drugs, rich white people included. It’s so nice too that you know what is best for other people’s lives. I hope that means you don’t consume alcohol. It kills thousands of people every year in this country and I say it’s best that people don’t drink it.

  27. Paul says:

    PMD…Yes random drug testing across the board. So you think it’s OK for people to be on drugs, seeing you’re jumping on me with the, you know what’s best line? Actually there are benefits to drinking alcohol in small controlled amounts, please show me the studies that say the same about Meth or cocaine

  28. PMD says:

    While I don’t smoke it, I don’t have a problem with people smoking weed. It’s far less dangerous than alcohol. But when you say you know what’s best for people’s lives, well, you’re on an awfully high horse.

  29. PMD says:

    And if there should be mandatory random drug testing across the board, why aren’t Walker and state legislators proposing it, as opposed to singling out welfare recipients?

  30. John Michlig says:

    In Nixonland, it’s all about creating a class of “those people” for whom hard-working taxpayers share blessed contempt. MATH is meaningless here: the GOP (and Walker) are consolidating their constituency.

    Regardless of his policies or ineptitude, Walker’s followers will support him because hates the people they hate.

  31. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    I hate to tell you John, but Conservatives do not hate the people on welfare, food stamps but want to motivate them, get them jobs, off of drugs and this is one way. To date I have not seen the left promote programs that do that, all they do is whine and keep people in bondage. Look at unemployment. WE kept it way too long. We dumped the people off, after a year and they went out and got jobs stimulated the economy and are now working.
    If the Left has put forth any programs in the last 50 years, they destroyed the families and kept people in bondage.
    They are really white liberal racists. Inept as they both are, I have never hated Doyle or Barrett but marvel at their incompetence and that people kept them in office.

  32. John Michlig says:

    “wisconsin Conservative Digest,” I am not speaking of conservatives as a species, nor am I speaking from mere conjecture. I have conversations with people who define themselves as “Walker supporters,” and, barring characteristics like wealth or even more wealth (a class for whom supporting Walker has more immediate financial advantages), they skip right over policy and jump to “He’s kicking the ass of those overpaid teachers,” or “He’ll make sure those welfare cheats stop buying lobster with their food stamps.”


  33. John Michlig says:

    …And I’ll go even further. For you to deny the Nixonland strategy used quite openly and successfully by Walker and the Wisconsin GOP is just disingenuous. Your dogma is reflected in the language you use, and dogma is notorious for being impervious to reason, math, science, and observation.

  34. PMD says:

    I know conservatives who hate people on welfare. One of them was even on welfare for years during layoffs from his employer, and he still hates people on welfare.

    How would you motivate someone on drugs to quit them and get a job WCD? Just take away their food stamps? That will be the magic fix? They’ll immediately get off drugs and get a job?

  35. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    What BS, the haters are the Left. They do not have any sense of humor and create problems that never get solved. When I see some people on this site with answer, proposals to solve the problems in Milwaukee I will be impressed. In the meantime it is not my interest to waste any energy on hating people. You save hate for socialists like Hitler, Stalin, Mao.

  36. John Michlig says:

    Let me assure everyone here that I lack the technical ability to hack this message board in order to create a fake massage by “Wisconsin Conservative Digest” designed to lampoon his attitudes.

    The above is authentic — “Hitler, Stalin, Mao” and all…

  37. Casey says:

    @Paul….yes of course I did….I am “the authorities” just state though not local.
    That’s why I laugh when people beat up on Milwaukee but I’m far busier dealing with people in the northwestern part of the state.

  38. PMD says:

    Yes WCD not a single conservative in America hates people on welfare. Also, not a single liberal believes the government should tax the rich more.

    How would you motivate someone on drugs to quit them and get a job? Just take away their food stamps? That will be the magic fix? They’ll immediately get off drugs and get a job?

  39. Paul says:

    Casey. …Keep up the good work, I just don’t beat up on Milwaukee, I see the problems with drugs, mostly heroin all over the state and through every class of people, this testing is a step in the right direction.

  40. AG says:

    I’m still on the fence about the idea… but lets inform people of the statistics properly. Merely citing the number of positive results is misleading because many people avoid taking the tests altogether if they know they’ll fail. For example, in Florida’s case, I seem to recall something around a third of all applicants refused the test.

    I doubt the best course is to test everyone… but if you can narrow risk factors and only apply it to those who show indicators of drug abuse, then it may be worth while, not just for minimal savings to taxpayers but to help address drug abuse.

  41. George C says:

    @WCD, can’t find any solid numbers, but I would not be surprised if opiate abuse among adolescents in the north shore and tosa was equal to or greater than that of their peers in the central city.

  42. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    We have two main things that we want to accomplish with drug testing around state. First get people off drugs in several ways so that they can take care of their families and get jobs.
    Breakup the drug cartels in Wisconsin.
    There are more but these two are paramount. Conservatives would love to her the left put forth proposals to do that. But, the Liberal, white racists want to keep the Blacks and Hispanics in bondage, so they can keep power.
    The Left does not want to solve the problem, stop the drugs, teach kids to read, reduce crime.

  43. Observer says:

    I think anyone circulating petitions should be drug tested just to make sure they are on the up and up. Oh and more people that are addicted get their fix at a pharmacy than on the street.

  44. PMD says:

    AG would that only apply to welfare recipients (testing those who show indicators of drug abuse)? I don’t see the benefit of singling them out.

  45. John Michlig says:

    I’m certain “the Blacks and Hispanics” are grateful for your concern, “wisconsin Conservative Digest.”

    I read about other kinds of “concern” from the right in amusing jokes told via email among Walker’s aides. Also, In Glenn Grothman’s admonition to watch what people on food share buy at the grocery store.

    Soooo concerned.

  46. PMD says:

    Is there any evidence drug testing welfare recipients in other states has been successful at all? I’ve read a few stories claiming it hasn’t saved money. Has it actually gotten people off drugs and into employment? Maybe this would make more sense if there was a track record of success elsewhere, but as far as I can tell that is not the case.

  47. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    John, really more stupid comments do any of you have any substance what so ever? that is why you have been rejected by the state. Create problems, no answers.

  48. John Michlig says:

    “wisconsin Conservative Digest,” I took the time to type out actual real-world facts that support my position and statements; you are breaking up drug cartels with platitudes.

    You know what IRONY is, right?

  49. PMD says:

    The man who repeatedly calls liberals nothing but white racists keeping poor people in bondage says another commentator’s posts are stupid. I mean, I just, I’ve got nothing.

  50. John G. says:

    I will forever rue whichever grandchild taught him to sign onto the internet.

  51. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    The white liberal racists that have destroyed all of the black and Hispanic leaders in Milwaukee the last 50 years should stand up. Tell me how many black and Hispanic leaders hold any positions of power in the city? Only Clarke and they have done everything they can to destroy him, even spending millions to do that, but he still got 80% of the final vote. Who is in charge of police? Where is the crime? Who is in charge of schools, kids cant read. Where are the abandoned houses? Where is the crappy city management? Who is pushing the trolley and the Arena but ignoring the inner city? If the crime was on the east side how fast do you think it would be fixed?? Unless a Black is a “steppin fetchit” or house “boy” to the whites he is destroyed.

  52. Observer says:

    Listen you old bigot, if you read more than 4 lines of the USA Today you’d know that the election result was not 80%.
    “Just after midnight on Wednesday — race results at showed 100% of precincts reporting — Clarke with 52% and Moews with 48%.”
    You’re no better with facts than that brave war correspondent Bill O Really.

  53. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Better to have people think you ignorant than enter and remove all doubt. Primaries are only the white liberal racist voting against him, in the finals everyone voted and he got 80%. What a dope.

  54. Bruce Murphy says:

    Bob, as you know, the Democratic primary is the only election that has any meaning, not the general election, which the Democrat always wins in Milwaukee County. So yes, the Clarke/Moews battle was the real election.

  55. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Sorry Bruce, your ignorance of the campaign process is inexcusable. The million or so spent to get out the racists, like they did down south for century, was not evident when the finals came and everyone expressed their votes. The racists were drowned out. Read your history and try: AFLCIO Cope book.
    as a vet of 110 or more camapigns I speak with expertise in Milwaukee county.

  56. PMD says:

    “History Lessons with WCD.” Should be a show.

  57. bruce murphy says:

    Bob, I’ll refrain from name calling. You should, too. Its beneath you.

    As to the November general election for sheriff, little money was spent on it, the media wrote almost nothing about it, because there was no real battle. It’s always about the primary in county partisan races.

  58. PMD says:

    It sure doesn’t seem beneath him. He’s done it every day all day long since I’ve been posting here.

  59. Observer says:

    While I marched with Father Groppi, I never much believed in Dr. King’s Gandhi-like approach (or Barack Obama’s similar silence towards bigots and fools). If I’m slapped, expect a harder slap back. However that is not the real me so I apologize for losing it. PMD is right. Bobbie’s lack of civility is nothing to emulate so I do apologize for posting my inner thoughts. They should have remained there. It’s the project boy in me that pops out occasionally in my senior years.

    Jim, it’s possible our paths crossed. My failing memory doesn’t remember the sub station number, but it was near the go cart track near the old Capitol Court. Peace.

  60. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Bruce, the only thing beneath anyone around here is you inability to recognize the obvious truth. You are not stupid. The group headed up by such hammers as Gimbel, Drew others have run things forever. Any Black, no hispanics have ever reached any position of power and never will unless they are dopy house girls like whats her name 400th worse Congressman in country. Everyone out state and in Madison knows what is going on, you sure are not that stupid. what do you think SanFelippo is doing. A couple of years back there was a black Assemblyman that showed some independence and you guys dumped him.
    Speaking the truth about white racist liberals and lots of people agree with me, is not name calling, it is putting the frosting on the cake where it belongs. If Sowell was congressman you would dump him. As for primaries, any body with any knowledge knows that the was the way the south, Chicago manipulates everything is through primaries and they tried but lost. If Clarke was so bad 80% would not have voted for him or just passed him by. did not happen. You check the polls 75%like him.
    If the processes were not manipulated that means that these Black, Hispanic kids are stupid and they are not. That is proved around the country.They are kept in bondage on purpose. Friends talked to Thornton who was good man and the unions, Left, Barrett fought him on everything. No one wants to upset the cart, You guys, the white liberals, just want to keep sucking at the teat.

  61. Observer says:

    Hey, it was 79% against someone named Angela Walker. Are you capable of EVER making a true statement? She ran as a n independent as there was no “Republican” candidate. Now why was that?

  62. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    It is incredible how stupid the people are on this site. People were not required to vote for Clarke. They voted for him not against Angela. If people do not like someone they often do not vote for them even if un-opposed. People often do not vote for unopposed people unless they like them. No one was required to vote for Clarke. That is a little of my 50 years of election analysis. Lots of people have done polls on Clarke, from Walker on down. All the ones I see show 75% approval about 15% or so opposed and the rest do not care. The 15% were brought out by the million Abele and company spent, to get rid of the troublesome N—-, in the primary.

  63. Observer says:

    Oooh, Bobby throws out the n word erasing all doubt.

    In case you forgot Dohnal, Republicans poured $45.6 million into the recall election and Democrats spent $17.9 million. The cash disparity was even greater when comparing what the two campaigns raised, without factoring in all the outside cash: Walker had a nearly eight-to-one advantage.

    My mayor fought off a man with a pipe outside of State fair while your man puled a Palin at Marquette.

    I’ll take Tom Barrett as a better human being any day.

  64. Paul says:

    Observer …If you figure in all the union money in the recall plus the articles in the papers everyday against him, Walker was outspent in the recall. The way the Mayor is more worried about a streetcar than the real problems in his city, doesn’t make me think of him as a better human being.

  65. John Michlig says:

    Reporting on consistently bad policy results, a corrupt and/or inept WEDC, and outlining sketchy administrative practices currently under John Doe investigation is compartmentalized as ” articles in the papers everyday against him”?

    Walker the victim, again.

  66. Paul says:

    John…Reporting on a witch hunt of a John Does, and not on the school districts that are saving money and doing better because of policies like ACT 10, is very onesided.

  67. John Michlig says:

    Paul…Reporting (barely) on the observable world and actual, measurable facts rather than wishful Act 10 thinking (look – the number is lower on this week’s expense sheet. WE MUST BE SUCCEEDING!), is CLOSER to reality. The MJS toes the line with Walker as per their advertisers’ instructions. (Christian Schneider – he of the pay-for-play school of “journalism” – exists for no other reason. Go ahead – defend him. Then defend lint mixed in peanut butter while you’re on a roll.)

    Like him or hate him, NO ONE can deny that Scott Walker has surrounded himself with unsavory individuals and has no qualms about bending the rules as he sees fit. When God is whispering in your ear, the rules made by mere mortals (and the constraints created by math and logic) are laughable.

    Stop paying your cable bill. It’ll be a great month, and you can talk about your SURPLUS! Just don’t try watching THE WALKING DEAD next month, though.

  68. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Three judges now have stated that the John doe is essentially a with hunt, vendetta by public employees, cause the state made them pay a little into their health and pension, like the rest of us. Least people that get money from the govt. is to assure the rest of us that they are not using or money to enhance the drug trade and the crime that goes with it.
    I know that all of you junkies out there feel that it is your right to blow your minds but it should not be with our tax money.

  69. Observer says:

    Paul, sources please for your statement; any credible source.

    I. and this isn’t easy, applaud the Journal for mentioning that the Elmbrook School District is facing a $1 million dollar loss in the upcoming post Act 10 budget. Here’s my source:

  70. John Michlig says:

    “Wisconsin Conservative Digest,” has anyone told you how judges get their positions? Am I going to break your heart if I tell you THAT sordid story?

    Also, you eloquently illustrate the GOP “those people” tactic that Nixon/Reagan pioneered and Walker is wielding like a samurai: Public employees who have (had) a NEGOTIATED COMPENSATION PACKAGE – – who were essentially laughed at by the private sector for many years when there was no raise in salary offered, but an incremental uptick in pension or insurance contributions offered instead (“Suckers!”) – – are now routinely characterized by your ilk as “those people” who don’t pony up “like the rest of us.”

    Get it printed on a t-shirt.

  71. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    One thing is for sure the Leftists on this page can speak in circles forever. No answers not even aware of the problems. Cannot solve problems if you do not know what they are. All of you cannot even realize what the real problems are in this city, you think that they are the trolley, the Arena and David Clarke. The people on the street have different ideas.

  72. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Do I know about judges?? was on several committees picking them around her for Dreyfus and Knowles.
    So what.

  73. John Michlig says:

    Always a pleasure to see someone take the long view.

  74. John Michlig says:

    “was on several committees picking them around her for Dreyfus and Knowles”

    Are hard-right conservatives BORN without self-awareness and a sense of irony, or do those skills evaporate a little at a time?

  75. Paul says:

    Observer….Ask Mary Burke how her examples of school districts having loads of trouble after ACT 10 backfired on her when these districts reported that they now have more money and are able to hire more teachers

  76. John Michlig says:

    Dont pay your cable bill. You’ll have more money to buy Funyuns.

    Of course, next month you won’t be able to watch THE WALKING DEAD.

    See, it’s a METAPHOR.

    Good God, we are so easily fooled. We deserve all this.

  77. Paul says:

    John…Cut of the cable bill years ago when it hit $100 a month and I was laid off, with a HD tv and antenna I don’t miss it, it’s called trimming the fat

  78. Observer says:

    @Paul, I’m not Mary Burke supporter nor have I ever met the woman. You have a question for her, ask her yourself.

  79. Paul says:

    Observer. ..Don’t have to ask her, we all know the answer, either she lied or she’s clueless. You’re a Walker hater and not a Burke supporter, so you’re telling us you didn’t vote in the last governors election?

  80. Observer says:

    Hate is such a negative word. I try to avoid using it.

    Did I post that I don’t vote? Please point those words out and I’ll edit them.

    You still didn’t give me any source for your “Walker was outspent in the last election” posting. I hope you didn’t think I’d forgot.

    Truth will set you free. Words to live by. You, me, Bob Dohnal, Megyn Kelly, and Bill OReally.

  81. Observer says:

    Hey Paul, this came across my desk today from Pewaukee concerning the bounty in education that is ACT 10:
    A letter from the Pewaukee School District Superintendent asks parents to contact law makers and urge them to vote against the Governor’s proposed Bi-Annual budget because the district believes if the budget is passed they “WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE A QUALITY EDUCATION TO YOUR CHILDREN” because the proposed budget slashes school funding so bad!

  82. John Michlig says:

    “John…Cut of the cable bill years ago when it hit $100 a month and I was laid off, with a HD tv and antenna I don’t miss it, it’s called trimming the fat”

    So, “Paul,” even when I EXPLICITLY STATE THAT I AM DEPLOYING A METAPHOR about fooling the Funyun enthusiasts into thinking they got a Funyon surplus after not paying their cable bill (budget surplus!), and are consequently SHOCKED when they can’t watch THE WALKING DEAD the following month (budget crisis!), you got nothin’ loaded but a self-satisfied thrift-brag?


    You don’t miss cable TV. I think we will miss quality education.

    We are a bunch of rubes.

  83. Paul says:

    Observer. ..Same thing they said about ACT 10

  84. Paul says:

    John…The quality of education will not suffer

  85. Observer says:

    Paul, there you go again using that pesky word “they”. Who are “they”? And if you must use it, please supply some source for your blanket statements. WCD, when he is off his meds, likes to type bigoted musings using “they” when he describes everyone that lives in certain zip codes and never supplies any credible proof. I hold you to a higher standard.

  86. Paul says:

    Observer …Are you just playing stupid or are you really just that dumb that you have to be taken by the hand and shown everything? I’m talking about the protestors and the union leaders during the whining about ACT 10. I don’t know who WCD is, and if you think the word “they” is bigoted in the way I used it you have problems.

  87. C G B says:

    “Once you start drug testing recipients of Food Stamps, Medicaid and unemployment benefits, the message to people across the state is that these are degenerate drug users who are cheating the taxpayers.”

    ….so by that logic, employers are sending the message that employees are degenerate drug users? Because most employers I’ve come across require a drug test as a condition of employment. The author even states “Nationally, 29 percent of employers do not give drug any tests and another 14 percent do not give them to all employees”. Now, this is stated in such a way as to be misleading because if you do the math that statement REALLY says 71% of employers DO give drug tests. If you need to pass a drug test to get a job, why shouldn’t you need to pass a drug test to get federal benefits?

    And I do support giving drug tests as a condition of employment for all employees of companies that receive any form of government assistance or breaks, as was (unfortunately) sarcastically suggested in several comments above.

  88. kathy says:

    I think its stereotyping those who don’t do drugs. I receive food stamps and badgercare because of my low income. I don’t think its fair for !e to take a test. Plus some people have medical subscriptions for med marijuana. And like others said, raise minimial raise up to 10. I make 8.50 . and at times my hours have been lowered to 30 hours. People complain well get a higher paying job! No, I love daycare. And am going to be 50. 15 more years to retire!!!

  89. Paul says:

    Kathy, if you don’t use drugs you should have no problem with this.Raising the minimum wage will result in more people getting laid off. You can blame the ACA for your reduced hours. I’d like to know how you can afford to retire at 65 if you’re only earning $8.50 an hour at 30 hours a week. PS medical marijuana isn’t legal in Wisconsin.

  90. PMD says:

    Paul you are clearly not an economist. Don’t quit your day job.

  91. Observer says:

    Paul, you never went to State Fair and got your drugs? btw, is Wisconsin going to be the last Republican run state to allow medical cannabis? It almost sounds like you would be willing to see that Kathy got $15 an hour so she could retire like you did.

  92. Paul says:

    Observer, no I never went to State Fair and bought drugs. And I’m hoping that I’ll be able to retire at age 65.

  93. Paul says:

    PMD, please explain to all of us how you can retire at age 65 working part time at $8.50 an hour

  94. kathy says:

    Well I have 401 k and will get social security. Plus with low income, rent will be free or close to,and food stamps will go up. And by then I may be living with my boyfriend.

  95. Paul says:

    Kathy, good to see you’ll be able to retire and live off the backs of those of us that work hard for a living and can only hope to afford to retire at that age

  96. Observer says:

    Paul, you are an incredible jerk.

  97. PMD says:

    That he is. Compassionate conservative he ain’t.

  98. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Who is compassionate, the lefties that cause the problems in Detroit, Baltimore, NO, DC by doing everything for people and removing their self esteem or the Conservative that want to see inner city kids educated get good jobs, get off welfare and restore families and not about 80% of the black babies?
    Barkley: “blacks have been voting democrat for 50 years. Thy were poor then and they are poor now”. Keep doing the same? The male white liberal racists that control Milwaukee and have been in power for 50 years want to stay there at any cot, even if they keep inner city kids in poverty forever. Bruce Murphy knows that I am right but will never admit it.

  99. PMD says:

    You are completely delusional if you believe anyone thinks you’re correct in stating that Milwaukee is controlled by “white liberal racists.” I don’t think compassion is limited to a single political ideology. Believing that would be insane. People and reality are much more complex than that.

  100. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    List me teh females, blacks, hispanics that are in charge of govt, associations, groups, power deciosn makers etc.

  101. PMD says:

    Wow point taken WCD. That post proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the leaders in Milwaukee are white liberal racists. I stand corrected.

  102. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Lefties, we should be on the same side on these things. My priorities are: Crime, MPS, corruption, 57% youth unemployment, worst poverty, worst management, heroin abandonded houses Milwaukee county govt a statewide joke, high taxes etc. all of these things can be solved, if we had leaders that were capable.
    Baltimore has just screwed itself for decades, chasing out middle class, jobs, businesses. schools joke, Milwaukee does not work.
    What should have been done? Henry Maier stopped riots in tracks in 1968. In other places they clamped down quick on the problems and showed max force, but then we need leaders not Al Sharpton but people who realize what are the real solutions and get leaders in Baltimore to back them up. Instead they all pander to the nuts and the city goes the way of Detroit. Why should conservatives care? Maryland is lost cause in elections and going nowhere economically so the capital leaves like they are bailing out of Venezuela. Stupid rhetoric from Sharpton, the Left,H illary does nothing to solve problems.

  103. PMD says:

    I don’t listen to Al Sharpton, and we share many of the same priorities. That’s why your overly broad generalizations and statements about “white liberal racists” are so foolish and inaccurate.

  104. Paul says:

    Observer, Why do you think I’m a incredible jerk? Is it that I pointed out that someone that proudly states that she’s looking foward to retiring early to live off the government is wrong in her thinking?

  105. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Time to adopt the Maine plan of making all all Welfare takers work 20 hours per week, do public service 20 hours per week and take job training. Also time to completely redo corporate taxes to dump all o fthe special deals and adopt a flat tax by taking revenue minus costs and have a small tax.

  106. Observer says:

    So a flat tax for all? No deductions for anyone? No deductions for the homebuyer? No deductions for business expenses? No deductions for offering health insurance to employees? No deductions for capital expenses? No deductions for having a home business? No deductions for donating to charities? No deductions for running a church? No deductions for replacing old machinery with new? One exception and the entire “flat tax” idea goes out the window. If every page in the IRS manual is tossed and replaced with a flat tax for all, I’d consider it but the right lives for their welfare and a true flat tax wouldn’t fly.

  107. Paul says:

    Observer, I’m still waiting for the answer of why you think it’s OK for someone to retire early to live of the government?

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