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GUEST OPINION

Evers should be encouraging work

By Rep. Janel Brandtjen

It didn’t take long after Tony Evers was elected governor to signal that he may remove the work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults receiving Medicaid benefits.

This is an inexcusably horrendous idea. What’s wrong with requiring able-bodied people to work for taxpayer- provided benefits? Work is good. People are much happier when they feel a sense of purpose. Why in the world would Tony Evers want to remove incentives to work? It’s almost criminal. Work determines who we are and who we become, it’s our identity; our contribution to ourselves and the greater community. Work should be encouraged because it’s healthy. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports that being employed reduces a wide variety of health risks including stress, heart disease and stroke.

Evers certainly can’t complain about a lack of jobs. Scott Walker’s policies took care of that argument with unemployment under 3 percent. Getting a job is the first step for anyone to improve their position; we want people to find gainful employment. Why would we want to encourage people to sit at home? Do we want people to just become part of the government system? It’s almost as if the governor is pushing dependency.

For Wisconsin to succeed we need to have a majority of our families working, paying taxes and being productive members of our communities. Wisconsin is in an age of changing demographics. With baby boomers, our largest population retiring, the next generation of businesses will need young people to work. Governor Evers telling people to stay home is a virtual death sentence for the state of Wisconsin.

Why wasn’t this issue brought up during the campaign? It’s simple; no one supports encouraging people to fail. This is just another example of the soft bigotry of low expectations. If Tony Evers can justify this position I’d love to hear his rationale.

It seems to me Democrats simply do not value work, jobs or anything else that might make their voters free from the economic chains of government programs. It certainly would explain their vehement opposition to the Foxconn project, which would bring thousands of jobs to Wisconsin. Where am I wrong?

(State Rep. Janel Brandtjen, RMenomonee Falls, represents the 22nd Assembly District, covering parts of Waukesha and Washington counties. She can be reached at 608-267-2367, or toll-free at 888-534-0022, or via email at Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wisconsin.gov.)

For Wisconsin to succeed we need to have a majority of our families working, paying taxes and being productive members of our communities.Wisconsin is in an age of changing demographics. With baby boomers, our largest population retiring, the next generation of businesses will need young people to work.

Brandtjen

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