The Starving Of America

Welcome back, My Dear Readers, to another edition of The Sequester blues. Readers over the next few weeks and months I will do my best to put a face on The Sequester. This problem, that is reaching epidemic proportions in America, will harm millions of Americans, from every walk of life every income level every educational level. They are being harmed by the Republican sequester. Let me correct that, The Sequester itself was the idea of Pres. Obama. However, the Speaker, Rep. Cantor, Rep. Ryan and a majority of House Republican Congressional Republicans supported The Sequester. However, it is House (tea-party) Republicans that are preventing the end of the sequester, and are demanding further cuts.

In order to avoid a complete collapse of America’s economy Democrats signed on, unwillingly, to The Sequester as well. My Dear Readers nobody was really actually supposed to have to live under The Sequester. When The Sequester  deal was reached, and this was back around the holiday season 2010, nobody sitting at the table ever imagine a Congress so entrenched in intransigence that it could not reach a budget deal prior to the trigger being pulled of The Sequester . It was flipping unthinkable people.

Yet here we are. I am writing about The Sequester because it is literally taking food off my table. Full disclosure! However, this punishment is hurting; parents with college-age children, teachers, Wal-Mart workers, firefighters, policemen, students, seniors, veterans, the disabled, and the poor. Like a virus this sequester has infected an epidemic level of Americans. You know what the crazy part is? The crazy part is that is just 85 Republicans in the House that have forced this atrocity on Americans.

Well now, My Dear Readers, you may well ask why you say that Daniel? Shortest possible answer is: 21st-century McCarthyism. Let me explain something, My Dear Readers. The United States Congress, the House of Representatives, on its best day is like dealing with a dear stuck in headlights. And on the worst day is like herding cats. Right now in the House of Representatives there are 85 Republican members that are tea party promoted candidates.

These 85, first and second term, Republicans were swept into power in Congress with the tea party and the last two elections. Quote from tea party Rep. Michele Bachmann “if you don’t work you don’t eat…”. That, My Dear Readers, is the very essence of the tea party as it is playing out in our US House of Representatives. Why else would America be turning its back on the now 55 year-long ‘War on Poverty’? Why else would House Republicans be getting away with additional cuts to food stamps?

That’s right, My Dear Readers, this is not a dream run article at the other shoe. This is Republicans taking a second Apple off the table of the poor. Today 30 Democratic House members have taken a pledge. They have pledged that for the next month they will live on what the average food stamp allotment is for an average American. Like a Wal-Mart worker. Let me share that with you:

To protest nutrition assistance cuts this week, nearly 30 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are limiting their food budgets to what a person gets from food stamps.

        It’s called the SNAP Challenge, and they’re doing it because the House will soon consider legislation that cuts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by 2.5 percent, likely depriving nearly 2 million Americans of benefits. Currently 47 million Americans receive an average monthly benefit of $133 from the program. [1]

Well no hang on a minute, My Dear Readers, this sounds really familiar. Doesn’t it, yes, it should sound familiar. If you are paying attention yes it will sound familiar. If you’re just paying political lip service then you won’t remember this:

        “Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) along with eight other congressional Democrats are eating on a budget of about $4.50 a day to show solidarity with food stamp recipients who receive $32.59 a week.

The personal thrift, which is part of a challenge organized by Fighting Poverty With Faith, was reported by Pacifica Patch.”[2]

That, as you can see from the footnotes below, came from October 31 last year. So, let me get this right, the least advantage of our nation gave up tens of billions of dollars worth of food benefits last year to satisfy rabid Republicans. And here it is now not even a year later and the same; seniors, disabled, veterans, children, and poor have to give up another 20 billion? This is about 10 steps past cruel and unusual, right?.

Since I am writing for a bit of a targeted audience, I am going to take a liberty here… I may end up regretting this… but journalism is about taking risks to make a point. Please read the following:

“I don’t think they ought to be balancing their budget on the backs of the poor.”  George H.W. Bush (Said while running as a ‘compassionate Conservative’)

Source: US News & World Report, p. 36 Oct 18, 1999[3]

That was Texan loved George Bush, Jr. while running for President his first time. Yet, right now today, Congressional Republicans are demanding ANOTHER multi-BILLION dollar cut to food stamp benefits. The United States budget FELL SHARPLY over the past year. Calendar year 2012 the U.S. budget decreased SIX HUNDRED FORTY-TWO BILLION DOLLARS!

Let that sink in a sec. …

The dreaded deficit decreased nearly ONE TRILLION DOLLARS and there is some genuine need, today, to cut food benefits to the least advantaged right now? N o. No, there is no genuine reason for Congressional Republicans to further cut food subsistence programs for the; disabled, seniors, children, veterans and the poor. I do not even want to think of the real why. It makes me sick in my soul. It makes me afraid… afraid of the darkness that is moving through our society as… Republicans.

I am a ‘Reagan Democrat’. I voted for Ronald Reagan. I am a centrist Democrat and have known many Republicans (still do) and have a great deal of respect for them and their beliefs. And in the pit of my soul… I know this is wrong.

Thank you, My Dear Readers, for dropping by and sharing. I know that there are a lot of places you can go for content, and something to read, and I am honored that you came here to The Other Shoe.

James Radcliffe

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