Will Wisconsin GOP Make It Harder For Workers To Qualify For UC?


There is never an end, it seems, to the Republican attempts to undermine the average worker in Wisconsin.  

The whole state has been caught up in the political frenzy over Governor Walker’s desire to end collective bargaining for state and public employees.  That matter has not only produced political gridlock in the Capitol but now is creating legal maneuvers from all sides as it winds though the courts. 

There is no doubt that the assault on collective bargaining strikes at the heart of worker’s rights, and the broad middle-class of this state’s citizenry. 

Now comes word that unemployment compensation may be adjusted to make it harder for people to qualify in Wisconsin. 

At a time when the economy still is jaundiced and sputtering, and people need economic assistance to stay afloat comes word that some are thinking of pulling back needed relief options. 

Wisconsin has borrowed $1.56 billion from the federal government in order to keep unemployment insurance checks arriving in the mail.  Some 30 states have also borrowed much as Wisconsin has.  That is to be expected in these harsh economic times. 

Naturally, this money in some fashion will need to be repaid.  But instead of recognizing the need for the cash to be spent on workers, and finding ways to pay for the federal funds, comes a most dreadful tone when it comes to the unemployed

Bill Smith, state director of the Wisconsin Federation of Independent Businesses, said the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, which consists of representatives of both labor and management, will make a recommendation on how best to pay back the money.

“We will have to examine the benefit levels and tax structure,” Smith said. “It might be a change in the tax structure, or it could be changes in benefits that would make it harder for workers to qualify.”

Wisconsin must do better for those who are stressed over the possibility of losing a job than complicate matters with threats about unemployment compensation.

The cold-edged style of Bill Smith and the Republican Party are not being met kindly around many a kitchen table in Wisconsin where economic reality sits every day.  While it must seem nice for Smith to toss out ideas on making it harder for workers to get UC,  he might want to consider who cast the ballots for his Republican friends to win the election in the first place.

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