Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I'll Take the Empty Combo Plate

Nothing like when all the news stories add up to form one big scream. Oddly enough Katrina originally washed this story from the news, for according to the BBC:

The number of people classed as poor in the US has increased - despite strong economic growth, say official figures.

An extra 1.1 million Americans dropped below the poverty line last year, according to the US Census Bureau.

There were 37 million people living in poverty in 2004, up 12.7% from the previous year.

[...]

The last time poverty fell in the US was in 2000 when there were 31.1 million people officially classed as poor. [Blogger's note: Hmm, what happened in the U.S. in 2000 that suddenly made it worse for the poor?]

Of course, then Katrina gave us images to go with the statistics that we probably would have ignored anyway, becuase a number is just a number, while a poor person is someone better off living in the Astrodome (right, Babs?).

Today we learn that Congress has decided the best way to help the poor is not to feed them (this is a parallel to the Bill Bennett stop crime abortion plan). The AP reports:

Under orders to cut agriculture spending by $3 billion, Republicans in Congress propose reducing food programs for the poor by $574 million and conservation programs by $1 billion.

[...]

The $574 million cut in food stamps would come from restricting access to this benefit for certain families that receive other government assistance. The restriction would shut an estimated 300,000 people out of the program.

So I guess the poor get to decide--do you want a housing subsidy or do you want to eat? This is America, where we get ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and only give you a roof or a meal. Unless your family is rich, and then you get a couple of shots at business, a major league baseball team, and 40 years to quit drinking and doing coke. Get with the program.

It's also good to know that Congress and the Bush White House won't touch the $20 billion in subsidies to the big agricultural firms. Rumor has it that they're not making anywhere near the profits oil companies are raking in, and it truly hurts their egos.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Tessitura said...

Damn...I don't know if I should laugh, cry, be shocked or just shake my head. You have had some great months here george...is it sad that they make it so easy for you??

9:53 PM  

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