I was honored to accompany a group of average citizens to visit Madison this week to testify in support of Governor Walker’s welfare reform package. The good folks at Americans for Prosperity helped coordinate our little day trip so my gratitude goes out to them especially. If you are interested in watching the whole session you can visit the video archives at http://www.wiseye.org/
Before we were able to speak, there was about 2-hours of discussion between the committee and the authors of the legislation and departments who would execute it. One very excellent point that was made by Senator Kapenga was something to the effect of, "How many promotions and pay raises will someone get if they never get a job? Of course the answer is zero. The best way to get people into prosperity is to get them into work."
To sum up our comments; Doug did a really great job kicking off our group’s testimony by stating,
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Andrew sited studies showing that people who work full time are statistically healthier and happier and spoke about his own personal experience with that. Steffan spoke about the idea of considering how people treat their own adult children when they fall on hard times. Do parents encourage them to find work and become self-sufficient or do they coddle them like children for the rest of their lives? I spoke about my experience working on software projects around the country and our legendary work ethic in Wisconsin and why I’m proud to support reforms that embrace that awesome part of our culture.
People testifying against these common-sense reforms consisted mostly of representatives from various progressive special interest groups. These are all people living inside their own echo chamber of government worship. It reminded us all just how important it is for average citizens to show up and remind legislators about the real world.
It is difficult to articulate the vibes we were getting from a room filled mostly with progressives. The word disdain keeps coming to mind but also a degree of hatred could be seen in their expressions as we spoke. We were sitting in a hearing room paid for by taxpayers like us inside a capitol building paid for by taxpayers like us and surrounded by government worshiping agencies and special interest groups whose salaries largely come from taxpayers like us through grant programs at the state and federal levels. We are the people who pay all the bills and we could see the disdain and hatred in their body language, in their behavior, and in their words especially when they were snickering and sneering during our comments. It is a very uncomfortable feeling to be in a room filled with people who hate you and I am truly grateful to the conservatives who do that every day in their various professions whether they are elected officials or watchdog organizations.
You must understand that we live in the REAL world. The world where if a friend, relative, or neighbor falls on hard times we open OUR wallets and our homes to lend a hand and get them back to self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. That is charity.
The progressives live in a fantasy world where they think they have the right to confiscate any amount of money from our paychecks then give that money to whoever they deem worthy. That is NOT charity; It is tyranny.
Many of those opposed to work brought up asinine arguments like how difficult it is for people to find reliable transportation. Yup, welcome to the world of responsible adults who sometimes must go out of our way to ask friends and relatives for some help every now and then. Grow up!
One young woman who courageously told her story stated that she did not like the reforms because she didn’t want to be in a situation where, if she refused to work, she would have to ask friends and family for assistance. If I had an opportunity to address her comments I would simply point out that while it may be uncomfortable for her to look someone in the eye and ask for help what gives her the right to DEMAND a portion of my wages to support her lifestyle?
It’s time for some tough love in our state. There are more jobs than ever before and more on the horizon with companies like Foxconn moving here. It’s time for people like that young woman to grow up, accept the realities of life, and get to work to become successful by recognizing the challenges and overcoming them. Just like everyone else in the real world does every day.
If we start treating adults like adults instead of coddling them like children then I am confident they will rise to the occasion and make us proud by finding work and becoming successful again. It sickens me that Democrats and their progressive special interest groups want to do everything they can to retain control over the poor through government programs. Let adults take responsibility for their own behaviors and you will be surprised how quickly they will make us proud of their achievements.