Wascally Walker waffles, weaves, wiggles and weasels | WisCommunity

Wascally Walker waffles, weaves, wiggles and weasels

" Say that quickly five times.

What Scott Walker's doing is not even mildly amusing, however.  It could mean taking away health coverage for as many as 350,000 Wisconsin residents.

For a year now, Walker's been bashing BadgerCare, one of Wisconsin's proudest accomplishments, which gives access to health care coverage for children, expectant mothers, and people whose employers don't provide health insurance coverage.

It's one of the state's real success stories.  But Walker has repeatedly attacked it, calling the program "an example of government waste," and callilng for time limits on how long people can be on the program.

He hasn't just said it once, and it was no slip of the tongue, as he tried to say after his debate with Msrk Neumann this week.  Here's what he said in the debate:

It was supposed to be a temporary safety net for people as they went from welfare into the workforce and it was [sic] be a temporary step up as they moved into permanent employment. Instead, under this governor, we’ve had the time limits go away and we see a permanent entitlement created, and that has brought about all sorts of fraud and abuse, and problems not only there, but with the childcare component as well. That will stop when I’m the governor.

When the Journal Sentinel followed up with him the next day -- to point out that the program, first proposed by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, never had time limits -- Walker said he didn't want to impose them, anyway.

His excuse was that there was a time limit on answers in the debate, so he only had enough time to say something wrong and propose something he doesn't support.

When he was questioned by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about this call for time limits, the newspaper wrote,

“On Thursday, Walker said he did not want to put time limits on BadgerCare Plus as he appeared to indicate in the debate a day earlier.” 

Research compiled by our friends at One Wisconsin Now shows that Walker has called for time limits for BadgerCare recipients, in various media outlets in the state, dating all the way back to October 2009, including:


Reporter: Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for governor, said he thinks BadgerCare has become an entitlement program, rather than temporary assistance.

Walker: I think it has to be not just a pure time limit, but progressions for, “You’ve got this amount of time; here's what we expect you to do; here’s the options you should have by that time.” So that there are clearly defined expectations of how you’re going to ease off assistance from the government. [WISC-TV, 10/9/09, #0000ff">http://www.channel3000.com/politics/21245471/detail.html]

“On the Issues with Mike Gousha”

Gousha: Would you eliminate something like BadgerCare?

Walker: Wouldn’t eliminate it. I’d streamline it down so you had time limits on things of that nature and so that you were really helping people who need to get into the workforce.  Have a temporary stepping stone to get into the workforce, which is what it was originally intended to do.  [“On the Issues with Mike Gousha,” 3/11/10; #0000ff">http://law.marquette.edu/cgi-bin/site.pl?2130&pageID=3012]

Appleton Post-Crescent

Reporter: On BadgerCare, are you talking about setting a time limit for assistance and then knocking people off when they reach the time limit?

Walker: I think you have to have time limits in place, as we did under Gov. (Tommy) Thompson's original proposal, and the state has to work more aggressively for ways to plug people in on the W-2 side, working with local counties, into work opportunities. In most cases, you're talking about 24 months, depending on the threshold there. [Appleton Post-Crescent, 6/16/10, #0000ff">http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20100616/APC06/6160364/Q-A-Republica...


Reporter: You brought up Wisconsin Shares today. You voted for that when you were in the legislature, correct?

Walker: That and BadgerCare were supposed to be things that allowed people to temporarily have a safety net, a stepping stone, if they went into the private sector, into the workforce. The problems then, by lifting the time limits on W-2, you open the door to making this a permanent entitlement and as governor, I’d like to rein that in. [Wispolitics.com, 3/10]


Sykes: Can you realistically cut government spending, I mean sorry cut taxes and balance a state budget that is this deeply in the red and isn’t there a risk that it would just shift the cost to huge property tax increases? 

Walker: I think to balance this next budget it’s going to take two parallel strategies.  One is to reduce spending and that means going after government waste, specifically things like BadgerCare and looking at how extensive it has become looking at Wisconsin Shares and Child Care Program.  We’ve all read stories where they were both supposed to be... But the reality is that both of those were supposed to be temporary safety nets and they’ve become permanent entitlements. We’ve got to pull back on those. [“Charlie Sykes Insight 2010,” WTMJ, 3/1/10, #0000ff">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z26bnc_8zM]  

There may be a record amount of weaseling by candidates going on this year, with Senate candidate Ron Johnson  showing the way.

And they keep getting away with it.

By the way, why does Walker need to propose things like cutting people off BadgerCare?  To pay for almost $2-billion in tax cuts he wants to give to corporations and the wealthiest people in Wisconsin.

It's about priorities, and Walker has the priorities of a weasel.



August 27, 2010 - 5:26pm