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Recently the Republicans in the House of Representatives tried to tie funds to deal with superstorm Sandy to cuts elsewhere - we'll help these people only if you help these others a bit less.  Congressional salaries, the military, military contractors, must not be hurt, because dealing with millions would be too easy.

Remember how every little thing after Obama became President became a big problem?  You want money for jobs?  Take something away from something else?  As long as that something else isn't defense or the banks or...

All of this, of course, was at the worst time of economic collapse, and all these things taken away took something out of the economy that we needed there.

So here I am, and this month I was suddenly eligible for $20 less in food stamps.  That is, instead of $54 I was eligible for $34.  In October I got a letter telling me that for that month I was still getting $54.  But this month it is $34, part of changes in who is eligible.  I vaguely remember Paul Ryan saying something about how there are more people on food stamps than ever, and so we need to make it harder to get them.  It had nothing to do with the fact that more people are unemployed for longer than six months, and more people are working for low wages and cannot live on their earnings.

He did not consider that the anti-union  that began with Reagan and the air traffic controllers, the anti-union laws that many states have passed, the fact that military families are told how to apply for food stamps.  He did not consider that Walmart also expects its employees to apply for Medicaid and food stamps - I suppose they think that is providing benefits.  He did not consider that the minimum wage he would like to wipe out was meant to be a living wage, and has not been that for decades.

I live by myself, and receive $951 per month from SSDI.  Between the COLA this year and the cut in food stamps because of the increase in my income, I was okay until something out of the ordinary happened.  (This community has helped me out of several of these crises.)

When the $20 makes the difference between an income just over or just under $1000 per month, it is an enormous amount.  I will miss it more than a military contractor would miss $20 million.  So this was the deal that got something else done.

This is just a small example of why we need to avoid any grand bargain that includes cuts to any human service programs, especially the big three, to avoid a fiscal cliff that will be fixed legislatively once the ball in Times Square falls.  Personally, I like the idea of a Wall Street transaction tax, and considering capital gains on short-term investments like income from work.  And the housing interest deduction that is so controversial could be fixed by making only one home per household deductible - it keeps the popular part for the middle class and does away with the regressive nature of the current deduction.

But plenty of solutions are there without making the kind of $20 cuts that actually hurt people.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

    by ramara on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 02:06:20 PM PST

  •  And this is only the first in cuts.... (0+ / 0-)

    But oh my heaven forbid we tax the rich so the poor can eat.....Jobs would go a long way in alleviating the "deficit" because there would be an increase in tax money as people go back to work...but nooooo says the Republicans...we can't have that....just lower taxes and cut spending.  Instead people who are barely getting by have less to get by on.  I have a friend on SS who was getting $28 per month in food stamps....and now has been cut completely from it....  It is sick sick sick.....

  •  Third Way (aka Turd Way) Democratic Think (Stink) (0+ / 0-)


    From six "facts" about the GB:

    And finally, in its entirety:
    Claim #6: President Obama promised not to touch Medicare and Social Security.
    Fact #6: The president has repeatedly endorsed a deal that includes reasonable savings to make Social Security and Medicare stable for future generations.

        President Obama has been entirely consistent on the deficit and entitlements. He proposes to cut deficits by $4 trillion, over ten years, “in a balanced way.” There is no question as to what balance means to the president. In the midst of the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, Obama said, “Despite what some in my own
        party have argued, I believe that we need to make some modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to ensure that they’re still around for future generations.”

        The president has maintained that position throughout the presidential campaign. In the first presidential debate alone, he referred to “balanced” deficit reduction seven separate times. And the transcript of his Des Moines Register interview is clear: “I am absolutely confident that we can get what the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs.”

    Google this to read more.  This is very serious, a threat to the foundations of society.  And PBO is on board with these shills on the board of Turd Way.

    Bill Black has more:

    I have explained in other articles the incoherence and ineptitude of the financial policies that Third Way (including Casey, who temporarily left Third Way’s board to serve as President Obama’s chief of staff, where he urged Obama to adopt austerity and the Great Betrayal. I have explained how those policies would have thrown the nation back into recession and doomed Obama’s chance for re-election. Third Way has learned nothing from their errors – they continue to push the Great Betrayal and austerity. Their overriding goal is to begin the process of privatizing Social Security. The fact that their policies would cause a gratuitous recession, immense misery, and terrible electoral losses to Democrats does not represent a policy failure to Wall Street. Wall Street would be the grand winner if we began to privatize Social Security as Third Way proposes.

    The “left” is not divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac. Opposition to austerity and the Great Betrayal is not a left v. center issue. Wall Street’s proposed financial policies are terrible for virtually all Americans.

    Do you this Kos will take this on?
    •  The thing is that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the ACA did nothing to cut the cost of healthcare, only for some people of health insurance.  A couple of things like government negotiating for meds would do more for Medicare than any cuts (or shifting more costs onto patients) would do, not to mention a public option.  I think we need Medicare for all, but that's not on the table.

      However, I recently read Master of the Senate, and its focus is largely on LBJ's achievement of the civil rights act of 1957.  It did almost nothing to make things better, but it was the first time any attempt at a civil rights act had made it out of the Senate.  (Filibusters used to take 3/4 of the Senate to break; it was largely because of the power of the South in the Senate that it was reformed to 3/5)

      Now we need to work to get real reform.  And remind Obama about who he is.

      Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

      by ramara on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:44:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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