<\body> Stories in America: Screwing the Poor

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Screwing the Poor

Here's my latest AlterNet article:

The Budget and the Damage Done
The 2006 budget clipped the wings of many organizations that provide basic services to the poor. Bush's 2007 budget could ground them permanently:
Every month, 80-year-old Sally Shaver pays someone to drive her to the Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, S.C., to pick up a box of fresh produce, baked goods, dry cereals, juice, canned goods and cheese. "It really helps me out because after paying for my rent, phone bill and medication, I barely have enough for food," she says. "If I could work, I would, but I have an artificial knee and a pacemaker, and I can't get around."

Shaver, who worked as a nurse's aide for most of her life, brings in $451 a month in social security. Her fixed income qualifies her for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which is designed to improve the health and nutrition of low-income senior citizens, pregnant women, postpartum mothers, infants and children.

Last year, CSFP provided 536,196 people with a monthly box of food. Bush's proposed budget for 2007 calls for a nationwide elimination of the entire program.


At 3/22/2006 9:06 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

"The Republican Party is now principally moderate, if not liberal!"

Sen. Arlen Specter, after the Senate -- including a majority of Republicans -- approved his budget-busting amendment to spend an extra $7 billion on domestic programs.

At 3/22/2006 9:18 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

Some facts regarding Food Assistance:

Since 1969, Food Stamp rolls have expanded from 3 million recipients to nearly 26 million. In that time, the inflation-adjusted average annual benefit per person also increased from $424 to $1,112. In the first four years of the Bush Administration, Food Stamp spending surged 71 percent to $33 billion as 8.4 million new recip­ients enrolled and the inflation-adjusted average benefit increased by 12 percent.[11]

Food Stamps are not the only antipoverty food program. Child nutrition programs such as School Breakfasts and School Lunches have experienced a 24 percent budget increase since 2001; funding for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is up 22 per­cent; and the Commodity Assistance Program is up 44 percent. Total food assistance spending increased by 49 percent from 2001 through 2005


U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Food Stamp Program Participation and Costs,” at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fssummar.htm (Feb­ruary 2, 2006).

At 3/22/2006 9:21 AM, Blogger storiesinamerica said...

Timmy, you're insulting people who can't afford food, can't afford to pay for childcare and AIDS patients who can't afford drugs. This article is about PEOPLE, not numbers.

At 3/22/2006 10:01 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

"This article is about PEOPLE, not numbers."

I'm not sure what you mean, Rose. Numbers, (like the numbers 536,196 and 451 in your post), are very important if there's going to be an honest/informed discussion of these things.

Talking numbers is a part of understanding and addressing problems...not an insult.

At 3/22/2006 10:07 AM, Blogger storiesinamerica said...

The 80 year-old woman who wonders whether she'll have food next month doesn't care about statistics. I know this is a very liberal thing to say timmy, but for once, eat your numbers and show some compassion.

At 3/22/2006 10:38 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

I certainly feel compassion for anyone that doesn't have food. But to ignore numbers and statistics, especially the numbers that reflect how much money and how many people are affected by poverty spending, seems irresposible. And again, I've noticed that you have used numbers and statistics quite often to make a point, even in the post we're commenting on right now.

I have to admit that I'm a little taken aback by the sudden hostility towards citing data that might indicate positive news. It's not like we haven't seen numbers and statistics cited here quite often to indicate how bad things are. Yes, a starving woman deserves our compassion, but can we not celebrate some good news at the same time?

At 3/24/2006 10:32 AM, Blogger chameleon said...

You can never win an argument with a heartless member of the corporatocracy.


At 3/28/2006 1:28 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

Are they like awesome debaters or something?


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