James Rowen
Op Ed

Less Food For the Poor

Walker, Trump have fancy taxpayer-paid kitchens, cut food for the poor.

By - Feb 20th, 2018 11:17 am
Scott Walker and Donald Trump.

Scott Walker and Donald Trump.

There’s something scarily defective about Republicans who win perks with their positions wielding their power against those with the least – – even limiting the food the poor can eat.

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 – – 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 percent 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 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.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

13 thoughts on “Op Ed: Less Food For the Poor”

  1. Terry says:

    The ever shrinking middle class and working poor in the USA MUST subsidize the mega-rich and corporations. That’s just how it works in Career Politician, Big Government moocher and fulltime Corporate Frontman Scott Walker’s Wississippi, as well as in trust fund baby and “5 deferments for flat feet” Donald Trump’s USA.
    Republican modus operandi. Afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable and when in doubt or in trouble, kick the poor, the powerless, the downtrodden, the elderly, the disabled and the meek in the face while handing out BILLIONS to foreign corporations and their mega-rich campaign donors. These Republican charlatans and con-men know no shame. They are as crooked and rotten as they come folks.

    Dump Walker 2018
    Dump Trump 2018
    Dump ALL Republicans 2018!!

  2. Troll says:

    Look at the worker participation numbers. Approximately, one third of adults are not employed. I will grant you approximately half of the the non participants are retirees or school bound but there are still many citizens that are not employed. Hand outs are not cheap. Badgercare is not cheap. Liberals can pretend benefits are free but most experienced adults no the costs of living. We also have a drug crisis in rural and urban counties. Junkies need to find work. We also have a lot of adults between 40-60 years of age particularly white males that need to get off there Netflix asses and find a job. Contribute to society.

  3. John Casper says:

    @Troll #2

    Why isn’t Foxconn hiring?


    On the thread in the link below, you said, “I think I have daddy issue.”


    Did you think it was appropriate to comment that at Urban Milwaukee?

  4. Jacob pickard says:

    I think Troll is another rightwing racist thug.

    Talking point. Probably Jerry Bot or Dan Odonell.

  5. Troll says:

    Jacob, by you r logic the more people we have on food stamps the better? Is that how we measure a strong economy? Jacob will direct you to Badgercare since he gets the warm fuzzy when “free” healthcare is used. Over half of all Wisconsin children were born with Badgercare costs in 2017.

  6. Terry says:

    @Russian Troll, having a healthy educated society is a good thing for everybody. Everybody gets old and everybody gets sick. The fact that so many people rely on Badgercare does not mean they are “on welfare.” In fact, quite the opposite. Most are working their as#&es off but make far too little in Career Politician Scott Walker’s low wage Wississippi to even come close to covering the outrageous and ever growing costs of the private healthcare industry. Avarice when mixed with healthcare is a disaster. Much like ignorance when mixed with power as we see with Trump and Walker. Educate yourself lest you sound even more stupid than yiu already do.

  7. Terry says:

    @Russian Troll, Before all the “junkies get off their netflix asses” we first need to dump the biggest moochers in the entire state Career Politician Scott Walker (in office and mooching since he was 22 years old) and Republicans. As far as we know THEY could very well be junkies, they certainly don’t work for the people. Why won’t Scott Walker and Republicans pee in cups for their government welfare food as they wish others do? Truly? What do they have to hide??

    You want to know what is NOT an indicator of a “strong econony?” A Career Politician like Scott Walker, who has never worked a single day in his adult life in the private sector, a charlatan with NO business experience whatsoever, handing out 4.5 BILLION of our tax dollars to a Chinese company for a few low wage, no benefits and soon to be obsolete TV screen maker factory jobs at a cost of over $200,000.00 PER JOB charged to taxpayers! Is this truly “fiscally conservative?” No!
    Is this truly embracing the “free market?” No! I repeat…
    Educate yourself!

    Dump Walker 2018

  8. Troll says:

    Terry, Mexican nationalist had more influence over 2016 elections than any significant the Russian s did. Mexican nationalist own the New York times. Mexican nationalist knocked on voters doors, put up signs and ansewred phone s for Democrats. The state of California will not allow the United States government to look at their voter rolls.

  9. Terry says:

    @Russian Troll, Mexican nationalists have nothing to do with Career Politician Scott Walker and “5 deferments for flat feet” Trump mooching off of our tax dollars while blaming the poor and disenfranchised for everything. These Russians need to program their bots to stay on subject!!

  10. John Casper says:

    @ Troll #8

    You wrote, “Mexican nationalist own the New York times.”

    Have you told Nasdaq?

    They don’t know.


  11. John Casper says:

    @ Troll #8

    Since you brought it up, what media aren’t controlled by the elites?

  12. Terry says:

    @John Casper, I can answer that one for Russian Troll. Info Wars, Fox News and Breitbart. All the rest are owned by those Mexican Nationalist elites!

  13. Jacob pickard says:

    Funny how troll is going right for the anti Mexican angle.

    However, we can see by its commentary that it prefers poor people starve and die.

    It acts like a tyrant, enjoys punishment.

    I’d say the warm fuzzies to know you helped someone, is by far a better principle than its selfish self centered me me me right wing hatred.

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