"A Short War on Poverty"
That Was a Short War on Poverty
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, October 14, 2005; Page A19
It has long been said that Americans have short attention spans, but this is ridiculous: Our bold, urgent, far-reaching, post-Katrina war on poverty lasted maybe a month.<-----I said this very thing in another forum!!:banghead:
As soon as President Bush announced his first spending package for reconstructing New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the Republican Study Committee and other conservatives switched the subject from poverty reduction to how Katrina reconstruction plans might increase the deficit that their own tax-cutting policies helped create.
Unwilling to freeze any of the tax cuts, these conservatives proposed cutting other spending to offset Katrina costs. The headlines focused on the seemingly easy calls on pork-barrel spending. But some of their biggest cuts were in health care programs, including Medicaid, and other spending for the poor.
Thus, the budget Congress is now considering would cut spending by $35 billion and cut taxes by $70 billion. Excuse me, but doesn't this increase the deficit by a net of $35 billion?
If it didn't matter, I'd be inclined to salute the agenda-setting genius of the right wing. But since we need a national conversation on poverty, it's worth considering that conservatives were successful in pushing it back in part because of weaknesses on the liberal side.<-----:cussing: :pissed:
Right out of the box, conservatives started blaming the persistent poverty unearthed by Katrina on the failure of "liberal programs." If there was a liberal retort, it didn't get much coverage in the supposedly liberal media.
...consider that a recent Census Bureau report found that the percentage of Americans getting private job-based health insurance fell from 63.6 percent in 2000 to 59.8 percent in 2004. What held down the number of Americans without insurance altogether? The proportion insured under government programs -- Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- rose from 10.6 percent in 2000 to 12.9 percent in 2004. A time when more Americans than ever need government-provided health insurance is when we should expand government assistance for health care, not cut it back. It's also a good time for raising the minimum wage and increasing the help the earned-income tax credit offers the working poor.
But liberals also need to seize the initiative by speaking candidly and not defensively about the social causes of poverty. These include family breakdown and the heavy concentration of very poor people in a small number of neighborhoods in our big cities. Just because some conservatives are tempted, wrongly, to blame all poverty on problems in the family doesn't mean that liberals should shy away from talking about the difficulties faced by children in fatherless homes.<----------NO shit! Thank you Clinton you mofo :mad:
I was naive enough to hope that after Katrina the left and the right might have useful things to say to each other about how to help the poorest among us. I guess we've moved on. You can lay a lot of the blame for this indifference on conservatives. But it will be a default on the part of liberals if the poor disappear AGAIN from public view without a fight.
All emphases mine :sadshake:
I just read some articles from Democrats.gov
In it, Ms Tauscher calls herself a New Democrat as she addresses the CAFTA issue. I read articles on "How the dems are fighting for affordable healthcare"...Celebrating 40 years of Medicare Medicaid, warnings about the Medicare drug benefit fiasco (who knew :boy:) etc. Subjects on helping the Katrina victims; polls, yadda yadda yadda...
The word "Middle Class" poppped up A WHOLE LOT! NOTHING referring to the "working class" the low income families the very poor nor any mention of what it would take to help this catagory of citizens...........ZIP!
I'm NOT against middle class families per se. They've ended up supporting with their taxes almost everything else while the uber rich do NOTHING. My problem is with this: 'We don't address the underclass issues because it's just too complex and might cost us something to deal with' attitude. :mad:
The quick exit strategy from the short war on poverty
allows them to sweep poverty in America under the rug (again)
but it'll come back up - just in time for elections.
Katrina pulled that carpet back, exposing an ugly truth about America....amazing how quickly it flipped back into place ain't it?