It’s rather late to join this conversation. I usually jump in much earlier, but the subject of children in poverty literally breaks my heart. There is no way to be brief in my response.
Twenty years ago I had the extreme good fortune to be …a stay at home mom. Not being one for bonbons, manicures and soap operas, I volunteered at the smallest, poorest elementary schools in one of the largest school districts here.
The school was next to the largest public housing complex in our city. Nearly 95% of our students qualified for free or reduced lunch. Not all of them qualified for breakfast but those who did shared with those who didn’t because almost everybody came to school hungry.
Our kindergartners arrived on the first day of school not knowing the alphabet, how to write their names, how to use a pair of scissors. Many of them had never seen a box of crayons or a Disney movie. However, most of them had seen a dead body on their way to school one morning.
When we won a small grant for a school gardening project, we discovered none of them knew how to dig a hole in the dirt. They didn’t know vegetables came from the ground. They lived within sight of downtown but had never been there.
We organized a Monday Morning Coffee Club. We never had coffee though. We picked up broken wine bottles, used condoms and syringes from the playground. We met the neighbors. We met good hard working people trapped in an unbreakable cycle of poverty and hopelessness, people who still managed to cling to the hope their children would have a better life.
I don’t live in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. I live in North Carolina. What I found in that tiny little school was the importance of compassion, of understanding how hard it is to be a teacher, of learning what it really means to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, of realizing that poverty is not the exclusive domain of large cities or rural farmlands, of knowing that I can make a positive difference in someone else’s child’s life.
Tonight I’m breaking my rules of not calling names, not passing judgement and not using any form of profanity. Tonight there were a couple of close minded cold hearted bastards who commented here, in essence, condemning children because their parents made poor choices or perhaps, never had any choice in life at all.
There is an old African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I’d like to add that even the village idiot serves a purpose. The village idiots reminded me tonight that tiny little school next to the housing project is still there. Twenty years later only the faces have changed.
You know the assault on the workers of this country is only going to increase the poverty level of this country. More people that live paycheck to paycheck with less money in their pockets means less purchasing and more small businesses failing. When small business fail it means less taxes that are able to be collected by the federal government which means more people on public assistance which is being cut at the federal level but will still [lead to] increased national debt and will also make the budget issues on the state level worse. This too will affect large corporations as the purchase[ing] power of the American people [will] go down. No matter what the big businesses want to think the USA still has the largest economy in the world so they are only hurting themselves by undermining the poor and middle classes of this society with their purchasing the politicians to destroy living wages and worker rights.
I remember when Bob Dole ran for president and I looked at his record so I could make an educated vote. He made no significant contribution to legislature during his time as a Senator. What I did find out was that he gave a full year of tax… breaks to a major trucking company who was going to purchase a new fleet of vehicles. So you and I are running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying pay our bills on time and keep our credit good and our representatives in government are lightening the burden for big business. Why have we allowed our selves to play their game? We need to do just what Wisconsin workers are doing. Stand up for what is right. These people at the top should not be considered elite when it comes to paying taxes. You and I would have all our worldly possessions taken from us if we didn’t pay our bills but if you own a savings and loan bank and lend money to wealthy friends without requiring them to pay it back, there’s no accountability. The laws are being written to benefit the wealthy and to push the burden to the middle class. If you live, work or own a business in this country, you should have to pay your share of taxes. Stop allowing millionaires to setup businesses for a few years and write them off as tax credit when they fail. Living a life free from the worry and fear of losing your home and not having enough money to pay for basic needs should not be exclusive to those of us earning more than 250,000 a year.
Provide for the common defense, promote general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty. Our legislative body needs to be reminded of their responsibility, plain and simple!
George Carlin video : Who Really Controls America?
Bobby A Kearan Better ways to stop “Spending Waste” is to stop fighting all the wars overseas. Stop subsidizing Oil companies. Curtail “Foreign Aid” until we have our own house in order. Tie the salaries of Federal Elected officials to the Median Income of the state they represent and stop letting them set their own salary. Cut their staff and staffing budget in half. Stop handing out “tax cuts” to billionaires and big business then trying to claw if from the hands of hard working citizens (employed by the government or not).
.com/2011/03/sharing-sacri fice.html There are LOTS of other ways to cut spending that do not involve screwing over the poor, the elderly and the hungry.
This article is great and I’m pulling some quotes from it :
“I don’t think it’s a moral decision, because taking money from people who don’t have much money and giving it to people who have more money than the people you took it from seems, well, greedy,” she said. “Greed is frowned upon in every major world religion — and I don’t think agnostics and atheists look too kindly upon it, either.”
Victor L. Rodgers When the government, (paticular conservatives) stop trying to protect billionaires, and big corporation, take from the poor then we can balance the budget.
William Robert Hagen @Victor L. Rodgers, that is what upsets me the most. For 30 years, the Republicans have cut taxes and raised spending. Now, they have convinced the morons of this country that it is government spending and not the transfer of public wealth to the top 2% that is the problem. Taxes need to be raised on everyone. Clinton raised taxes and the economy exploded into one of the greatest expansion in US history while Bush cut taxes led to one of the greatest economic contractions in history.
When the republicans speak of Exxon needing tax breaks that only the USA gives them or they will go out of business and no democrat rebuts them. The fight is lost. The adult conversation is really translated to treating the working class as… children who should be seen and not heard and hopefully not even seen. The real budget busters with the least return are the military and the corporate tax breaks. At least SS and medicare go to millions of Americans. The military budget goes to police foreign countries as does most of the corporate tax breaks.
Dick Cheney said that Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. And, in fact, they didn’t matter to the Bush admn. when they began 2 wars (not included in the budget) and cut taxes twice, in 2001 and 2003. Thus, Obama inherited the largest deficit in our history. Facts, people, like it or not. Now, all of a sudden, deficits do matter to the Repubs. And what do they propose to fix this mess? Improve the “income” of the government by raising taxes, closing loopholes? No! Now, they can implement their long-standing agenda of tearing down government agencies and programs that benefit the average person. There is no “shared” consequence of their behavior. We, the working people, will bear the price of their greed and Wall St. criminality.
Well, I guess I’ll wrap this up… been fun though! What ya’ll think?