too bad "none of the above" is not running for president
DrMarty | February 3, 2012 at 04:05 amby
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The oligarchical principle was in full sway this week in regard to White House and Republican comments on how Americans are doing so well in their impoverishment.
Speaking for the dinosaurs, Mitt Romney told CNN that, "I am not concerned about the very poor," since there is a "very ample safety net." Michelle Obama said Jan. 31, that there is "remarkable progress" being made on the economic front.
The actual physical social situation shows spreading destitution. Even CNN provided specifics, in the scandal ensuing from Romney's remarks:
* One in six Americans depends on Medicaid, Federal food relief, and housing support to even survive. Under Obama, spending on these areas rose by a third, to $900 bil, which shows the scale of the crisis, not his concern. In 2010, 46.2 million Americans were under the poverty line, and many millions more are so today.
* Medicaid. There are 56.3 million people enrolled, and millions more qualify, but aren't signed up. In fiscal 2011, $275 billion was spent for this medical care for the poor, one-third of which went to long-term care for the elderly, a demographic cohort which Obama considers unworthy to maintain.
* Federal food relief (food stamps, under SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, of the Agriculture Department) now has 46 million people signed up, but a quarter of all those eligible (by low income) aren't enrolled. In 2011, $75 billion went to food stamps for the poor.
* Housing support: 5 million Americans get help from the government, costing $18.3 billion in fiscal 2012. Millions more qualify, and have waited for years for help that doesn't come.
The number of people now homeless is soaring across the nation. The annual "Point-in-Time" Homeless Count, taken in mid-January, in accordance with Department of Housing rules, counted heads of those in local homeless shelters. There were huge increases over last year, with more overcrowded shelters now having to turn people away.
In Kansas, for example, the state's homeless number jumped up by 40%, from 1,811 in 2009 to 2,570 in 2011, and now will be up far higher as of January, 2012.
The latest tallies are not yet available. Meantime, Federal aid to localities to cope with the situation is terminating, under the phase out of the HPRP -- Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. Counties are also in the process of trying to count homeless people living in woods, parking lots, and elsewhere in their borders.
The backdrop to the situation -- in terms of job losses and impoverishment -- was indicated in a new report out yesterday, documenting how family income levels fell in all 267 metropolitan areas nationwide, 2008 to 2010 (and since), except for a few locations in the energy-boomlet areas (e.g., Pennsylvania counties in the shale-gas belt).
The worst region comprised the Great Lakes states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, whose family incomes fell 5.7% 2008-2010, and since then, much more. (Report by former Census Bureau statisticians Gordon Green and John Coder, Senier Research.)
Michigan now leads the nation in implementing a new program, premised on the idea that if you are poor, you freeload, and must have all government aid cut off.
Over only 3 months (October-December, 2011), Michigan cut off cash-assistance to 15,700 poor families (54,000 people, mostly children), which is 20% of its state roster getting aid. Nationally, the Federal government has mandated an arbitray cut-off at 60 months, which at the state level many governments have worked to extend.
But a new law in Michigan mandates a 48-month cut-off, no exceptions. Now thousands more people are showing up homeless, hungry, and helpless. State sponsors of the legislation boast that they expect to "save" $10 million a month by the cut off.
Good news for Gingrich? He'd be worse than none of the above.
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