I would like to challenge the LePage administration and the Republican Party to publish, in black and white for all to see, the definition of an “able-bodied” person. What does it take to be not “able-bodied”? At least two limbs? What about four limbs but suffering from a severe sickness? What about perfectly healthy but a history of extreme child abuse, several suicide attempts and homicidal hallucinations?

Using ambiguous terms to win political points and push agendas is a well-worn strategy. They are smokescreens designed to dodge real issues. Yes, there are lazy people with no intention of working, but there are also many barriers to employment: low wages, transportation, mental illness, abuse, lack of good jobs.

And businesses do regularly discriminate based upon poor credit, physical appearance, age, weight, sex and race — though for liability reasons they would never admit it.

While any fraud is wrong, when is it rampant enough to add additional resources to fight it: 5 percent, 3 percent? All of LePage’s “victories” have revealed less than 1 percent.

Republicans should come out from behind their “able-bodied” smokescreen. Just what does make a person qualified and unqualified to work? Just how many of these so-called lazy leeches, who happen to have at least three limbs, have no mental health issues, are in good health, are not caretakers for someone else, have a dependable vehicle,and have been offered training for an above-poverty wage, really do exist?

They should give us a clear definition.

Brad SherwoodWaterville


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