Letter: Republican agenda is immoral, anti-poorThe late Hubert Humphrey once said that the moral test of government is how it treats the young, the old, and the needy. By this measure, the budget passed last week by the Walker/Harsdorf Legislature is entirely immoral.
By: Diane Odeen, River Falls, River Falls Journal
The late Hubert Humphrey once said that the moral test of government is how it treats the young, the old, and the needy. By this measure, the budget passed last week by the Walker/Harsdorf Legislature is entirely immoral.
One of the starkest examples is how the Walker budget increases taxes on low-income working families.
Senator Harsdorf voted to cut $500 million from Medicaid, including BadgerCare Plus, which provides subsidized health insurance for low-income workers and their children. The result will be increased co-pays and deductibles to those who can least afford them.
The Walker budget also cuts $15 million from Wisconsin Shares, a program that provides child-care assistance. This will make it harder for unemployed workers with children to return to the workforce, or for current low-income parents to make sure that their kids are properly cared for.
Then there’s Earned Income Tax Credit, decreased by $56.2 million. This program is intended to offset the Social Security tax for low-income workers and increase the incentive to work. But instead of helping lower the barriers to employment, Senator Harsdorf voted to significantly increase the taxes paid by low-income families.
Cuts to these three programs will take more than $570 million from Wisconsin workers with the least ability to bear this financial burden. This, on top of devastating cuts to public education, makes it harder for those without means to move up the employment ladder.
People don’t want handouts, but they sometimes need a break in order to keep a job or get a better one — especially in these tough economic times.
Instead of big tax breaks for out-of-state corporations, Governor Walker and Senator Harsdorf should be investing in Wisconsin workers. It’s time to give them both a pink slip.
Vote for Shelly Moore on July 12 and Aug. 9.