Over one trillion dollars is being pumped directly into the coffers of some of America's most fiscally irresponsible companies at the very same moment that the politicians who so blithely give away our money are denying an increase in food stamp allotments to the poorest of the poor in our country.
Claiming that the United States could not afford to give the poverty stricken more food purchasing power due to budget shortfalls, recent Congressional votes ran along Party lines, with Republicans threatening to filibuster the very bailout bill that would hand over to the bankers and lawyers of Wall Street the wealth of the entire nation, unless the Democrats removed an earmark to the bill that would have given a measly ten dollars per month to struggling families.
A March, 31st, 2008 article in the New York Times warns of the rising number of families with the sole provider being put out of work, being forced to turn to the food stamp and welfare programs of their respective states, only to discover the shocking truth that the system is designed to cause misery and not relief any more, thanks to the likes of the Republicans in Congress since 1994.
When Newt Gingrich and his corrupt cohorts wrestled control of the House and the Senate, one of their first actions was to enact laws that cut maximum benefit levels, and ordered a freeze in the standard deduction. Instituted in 1996, the frozen benefit levels and reduced standard deduction levels have caused such a lowering of available food purchasing power among America's poor that the Fiscal Policy Institute, an ultra conservative group, has decried the frozen benefit levels as actually hurting the economy. Twelve years of lowered benefits, and eight years of job losses has eroded the American dream into a long forgotten shadow of a whisper.
Yet another conservative group, the Center On Budget and Policy Priorities, has put forth reports showing the impact on the cuts in cash assistance, food stamp benefit allotments, and the reduction in medical care being provided due to the massive giveaway to the insurance industry in the form of privatizing Medicaid.
One of the very first sounds you'll hear from the far right is a bleating whine about government not being in the business of helping the poor and that they shouldn't be receiving benefits of any kind. But the very same heartless losers will actually sit and justify the redistribution of wealth to banks and mortgage brokers, who then take our money and go off laughing in our face on half a million dollar vacations. The whiners and begrudgers don't even know the basic fundamental fact of economics. That is, if the poor had more benefits, there would be more money flowing through the economy, more jobs would be created, thereby lowering the need for those benefits naturally, and yes, it would help spread the wealth around to taxpayers, not corporations.
With the Presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle calling for another 'vote buy' stimulus package, once again, before the bill is even put to paper, or any details worked out, the Democrats once more attempt to push for a hike in food stamp levels, pointing out the alarming rise in food prices, and the lowered ability of poor and even middle class families to feed their children due to even faster rising costs of fuel, but once more into the fray come the neo-cons, demanding no increase whatsoever for people they label as a drain on the system. Why anyone would consider hungry children a drain on anything is beyond all reason and should reveal to everyone once and for all just who the Republican Party represents. The rich and the corporate interests.
What is to be done? The answer, according to every single advocate for the poor, and across the board at conservative think tanks, is to lift the standard deduction freeze, and raise the cap on food stamp benefits. To push aside those who stand in the way of economic recovery for all, and who would allow their fellow citizens to go hungry while they gorge themselves at the Congressional cafeteria for free. Only the best for those who make it to the pinnacles of power, but a let them eat cake attitude towards the multitudes who scramble for the falling crumbs.
Other think tanks decry the cuts in funding that have been implemented at vocational rehabilitation centers for those who have lost jobs. It used to be that one could go to these places and get training for another job that paid a comparable wage. No longer. Due to more Republican budget cuts, the name of the game at these mills is to place a worker in virtually any job available, in most cases, a minimum wage, no benefits, dead end, no hope for the future job, that forces the person onto the welfare rolls any way.
It's time for this evil to end. The time has come to push aside those who have foisted misery and suffering on their fellow Americans in order to cater to the whims and desires of rich corporate fat cats. It is time to restore our nation to a place of compassionate helping hands, and do away with the mentality that says it's ok to swat away those who reach out for help. No nation's soul can survive very long under a cloud of death and treasure for the few. Congress would do well to note their suffering citizens and react accordingly. For should they not understand the growing anger and desperation that is beginning to grip this country, they may well find themselves with a conflagration on their hands that makes the Boston Tea Party look like a fireside chat. End the corporate welfare, and help starving Americans. End the corporate welfare, and bring a dying nation back to life by giving help to those who can in turn breath life back into the economy. The alternative is becoming intolerable and the consequences unthinkable.