Congress Ignores America’s Poverty Crisis

Ryan2“The Ryan budget kicks 12 to 13 million people off of nutrition assistance, cuts off pathways to opportunity, slashes job training and education, and makes draconian cuts to Medicare, which serves a majority of the disabled and the elderly,” said Boteach.

“That’s how House Republicans have outlined their priorities.”

Among those who voted for Ryan’s budget: Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, whose district has a roughly 28 percent poverty rate and 38 percent child poverty rate; Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), whose district has a roughly 26 percent poverty rate and 37 percent child poverty rate; Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), whose district has a roughly 17 percent poverty rate and 25 percent child poverty rate; Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), whose district has a roughly 16 percent poverty rate and 19 percent child poverty rate; and Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), whose district has a roughly 16 percent poverty rate and a 26 percent child poverty rate.

Source:  d

‘Missing In Action’: Congress Ignores America’s Poverty Crisis.

I am a strong believer in our representative form of government. It is what has made us strong over the centuries. But the recent problem has been that many who go to Washington as our representative end up clinging to a party line rather than doing what is best for those they represent. To me it is shameful to see so many of the strongest backers of the GOP/Ryan budget coming from areas that have the highest rates of poverty.

It is a hard fact for me to face but the reality is that poverty in this country just doesn’t have much of a priority when it comes to our government processes. The poor simply don’t have the political power or lobbies that many other things have. Because of the power brokers in the country our military establishments drain so much of the resources away from programs to help the least of these. It seems if they have a choice of making another $50 million war plane or helping 100,000 rise above the poverty level they always choose the former.  I know the Republican party is trying desperately to re-brand themselves in to something that shows they have compassion but given the latest Ryan budget their actions simply don’t live up to their re-framed rhetoric.

One of the easiest ways to help the poor in this country is to raise the minimum wage. It has not even come close to keeping up with inflation in the last 30 years. Of course raising the minimum wage has some very fierce advocates among the GOP. They, like they always have throughout my 60+ years on the earth vehemently claim that raising the wage will result in millions of jobs lost.  To me that ancient rhetoric has been disproved so many times in the past as to have lost all credibility but there are still millions of conservatives around today that  parrot those words.

Lets be clear that the majority of the 46 million who are now living in poverty work, do not lie back and expect life to be given to them. Most are working at  minimum wage jobs, often time more than one.  If the Republican party is really serious about taking on the mantel of being “compassionate conservatives” as Mr. Bush futilely tried to label himself so many years ago they need to recognize that until the minimum wage is raised to something at least remotely resembling what it should be poverty will continue to have a strangle hold on millions of households in this country.

We are almost reaching a third world status when it comes to the number of our citizens living in poverty. Shame on us!!!

3 comments

  1. That we have given another government another $123 million to fight a war in which we have no idea of the people “who win” will actually be on “our side”. We really need to look at this garbage.

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  2. It is truly embarrasing. Not only are we more violent that most of the Western world, we are commiting slow social suicide. We are caught in a cyle of education that fails, job shortages, low wages, dismantling of our saftey nets, and policy makers who can’t see the forest for the trees. The nations with the lowest number of children/families in poverty are all ….here comes the evil words …social democracies. These societies value educations, health, and the common good above nation building and protecting the wealthy and privileged. I would gladly pay higher taxes and live life on a smaller scale if we could make our country safer, saner, kinder and more concerned with it’s own citizens than being a global superpower. I know…socialism is a dirty word. But, couldn’t we look at these countries and ask why there poverty rate is so much lower than ours and maybe take some lessons from them?
    Are we just to stubborn and self-rightous to try? After all, we have nowhere to go but up.

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  3. Long day at the soup kitchen today; my back and knees are killing me……

    Yes, Jane I believe much of the rest of the world could teach us a thing or two about this and many other topics if we would get down off our high horses. The thing that appears to be mostly missing in our society the last couple decades is our morality. We seem to be so fixated on “self” now. I just don’t know what it is going to take to make the pendulum swing back to the center?

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