Scott Walker (R) has made it pretty obvious during his tenure as Wisconsin’s governor that he doesn’t really care that much about poor people. He’s said that the minimum wage “serves no purpose,” that $7.25 hour is a living wage, and of course, has refused to accept the federal Medicaid expansion offered as part of the Affordable Care Act.
During an interview on MSNBC last week, Walker “suggested that denying healthcare to additional low-income Americans helps more people to ‘live the American Dream’ because they won’t be ‘dependent on the American government,’” ThinkProgress reported.
Walker was asked on Morning Joe if he felt those Republican governors who had accepted the expansion were not really “genuine conservatives.” He replied that every state has different needs and then offered 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? 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.”
This ideological babble might sound simple enough – give people jobs and they won’t need help from the government – but the fact that even Americans who DO have jobs can’t afford healthcare is a major part of the problem.
GOP lawmakers consistently vote against bills that would help the average American make more money. They vote to keep the minimum wage low (if even at all), they vote down paycheck fairness legislation, they vote to keep tax cuts for the wealthiest that could pay off almost every American’s debts.
One of Walker’s campaign promises in 2010 was that he would create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin during his first term. He even told Politifact to “bring it on” when they said they’d be keeping track.
In September, they reported that Walker had fallen incredibly short of reaching that goal. “Our tally stands at 102,195 jobs — or about 40 percent of what Walker promised.”
Because of Walker’s failed policies, people in Wisconsin did not get what they needed most: steady work with a liveable wage and benefits.
Give Americans good paying jobs with good benefits, and the need for the public assistance programs the GOP loathes so much will go way down. Continue to destroy the middle class and more and more people will need them. It’s not that hard of a concept to grasp, but it somehow continues to evade the Republican party.