A time out for some politics.
Last week, the Dems introduced a bunch of proposals for peeling back some of the changes Walker had had made to unemployment, including an end to the ban on unemployment benefits for SSDI recipients.
As noted here previously, around 158,000 SSDI recipients work in some way in Wisconsin. As a result, one out of every twenty workers in this state is a disabled worker receiving SSDI benefits. This statement is not a mistake. One out of every twenty workers in this state is receiving SSDI benefits.
So, this ban is sucking money out of the recovery for one out of every twenty workers in this state. No wonder the UI trust fund did so well under Walker. One out of twenty workers is barred from ever collecting unemployment benefits no matter what happens to them.
And, this ban completely undercuts the whole of an unemployment system that is supposed to provide economic stimulus and support when times get tough. It makes no sense from any perspective except that of a greedy banker.
Yet, the Republican reaction to the Dem proposals was that these changes would somehow undercut the “economic success” of the last decade. Really? What economic success? The numbers for Wisconsin and the mid-west in general have been just awful. But for Dane County, Wisconsin has been losing jobs on the whole for the last several years. And, rural Wisconsin has been dying a slow death under these policies.
Ken Lonnquist has a column in the Isthmus about this idiocy:
These statements from Vos and Walker demonstrate ignorance, indifference, and even cruelty toward Wisconsin workers with disabilities. COVID-19 threw millions of people out of work, but it’s the Wisconsin Legislature that is throwing people with disabilities to the wolves.
Dealing with COVID-19 is hard enough for people with disabilities. Why deny these residents who lose their jobs the pandemic assistance that other workers are receiving? Why deny the Wisconsin economy the significant cash infusion this would bring?
Since mid-March, I’ve done a Facebook Live half-hour show for kids and families every weekday morning. It helps keep me in practice, entertains folks of all ages, and offers a resource to teachers seeking topics and themes for virtual study-units.
It gives me a little semblance of normalcy, and makes me feel like I’m doing something positive as we all endure this pandemic.
Our Legislature needs to do something positive, too.
If Republicans are serious about fixing the unemployment, they need to get the Legislature in session NOW and fix the UI system. Yes, DWD is not helping matters. For some reason DWD is still following the agenda of the previous administration. But, fixing some of the legal mistakes of the past should be a no-brainer.