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Walker Proposes Deep Cuts to State Health for the Poor

March 1, 2011

This is right out of the John Birch Society, i.e. Koch Brothers playbook. Anything that resembles collectivism is to be eliminated. No public funding for the poor, indigent, elderly, sick, or disabled. This is intolerable.

Democracy Now reports:

AMY GOODMAN: Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is scheduled to address the state legislature today and call for deep cuts to the state’s health programs for the poor as well as aid to local governments. Walker says the cuts are needed to balance the state’s more than $3 billion budget deficit over the next two years. Despite the deficit, Walker is refusing to consider increasing taxes on the wealthy. In fact, he recently approved more than $100 million in tax cuts.

The Governor has also threatened to start the process of laying off 1,500 state workers today unless the 14 Democratic senators return to the state and vote to refinance millions in debt. The senators left the state nearly two weeks ago in an effort to prevent Senate Republicans from passing the governor’s budget bill that would have removed the collective bargaining rights of most public-sector workers.

Meanwhile, the Walker administration is coming under intense criticism for largely shutting off the Capitol to protesters ahead of his speech. For the past two weeks, hundreds of students and workers have slept inside the Capitol to protest the anti-union legislation. While dozens of protesters slept inside last night, police barred any more protesters from entering the building on Monday. The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin called the banning of protesters during business hours unconstitutional.

To protest the shutdown, several dozen people camped outside one of the entrances to the Capitol last night despite the freezing weather. Police barred the use of tents, so the protesters were forced to huddle together in sleeping bags on the concrete.

On Saturday, Democracy Now! senior producer Mike Burke spoke to Frank Emspak, founder and producer of Workers Independent News. They spoke inside the Capitol just before Saturday’s massive protest that attracted more than 100,000 people to Madison, Wisconsin.

Go to Democracy Now for the entire interview and video.

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