April 20, 2023 at 11:07 a.m.

Marklein is in the wind

Dear Editor,
It seems that Sen. Marklein has his finger in the wind and doesn't like the direction it is blowing. He continues to spin out more and more desperate nonsense in his E-Updates.
Says the Senator, "...the legislature has re-introduced eight bills to bolster Wisconsin's workforce by encouraging people to make an effort to find work...they want able-bodied, childless adults to be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits."
They are re-introducing these bills because Gov. Evers vetoed them in the last session - well, thank goodness for the Governor. The Senator says that "unemployed people should be looking for work rather than sitting on benefits." Enough of us have applied for unemployment benefits (much to our dismay, not glee) and know that you only get it as long as you prove you are looking for work.
He calls unemployment benefits "taxpayer-funded welfare benefits." My internet search indicates that it is employers who contribute to the funds used to pay unemployment benefits. He relates a story of an employer who told him that they are "competing with the couch." Are we to assume that the Senator believes that this employer has been spying on potential employees and has caught them sitting 24/7 on their couch? Does the story of an angry neighbor who sees the guy next door going fishing on a weekday mean that the Senator believes that a day off in the middle of the week cannot happen? Come on, Senator, you want us to believe that you're gullible enough to believe that.
The fact is, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is 2.7%, the lowest it has ever been. Yet, the Senator needs us to be angry at that 2.7%. My question for the Senator is" Who do you want us to be angry with? Should we be angry with the Gen Zer who was unable to get a higher education degree because affordable higher education options are rapidly disappearing in Wisconsin and because of that it is impossible for her to get a job anywhere that would pay the rent?
Should we be angry with the disabled man that has no ability to get the transportation that would allow him to take that out-of-town job? Should we be angry with those with chronic diseases that are not able to endure being on their feet all day doing assembly work or stocking a shelf? Come on, Senator, we are not that callous.
The Senator needs us to be angry at them because if we are not angry at them, we would soon recognize that we should be furious with him. The Senator has every reason to be shouting - SQUIRREL! He needs to distract us from the fact that he is doing absolutely nothing to help us.
Expand Medicaid - nope. Sensible gun reform - nope. Repeal an 1849 abortion ban - nope. Fight for the UW Center Campus in his own district - nope. Reverse years of underfunding public education - nope. Restore the local government control that the legislature has claimed for itself - nope.
The Senator's finger is in the wind as he writes his "skinny budget", and he needs us to be looking elsewhere when he releases it - SQUIRREL! However, I suspect that regardless of which way we are looking, the stench of his budget will reach us regardless of which way the wind is blowing.
"Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner Jr. ‚Äč
Beverly Pestel
Richland Center, WI