Thursday, January 6, 2011

GOP Hitting the Poor When They're "Up"

No sooner did the Republican's intention to reduce the size of our government at the expense of schoolchildren, sick people, the elderly, crime victims, travelers, and the poor become apparent than we learn that the Census Bureau has revealed that revised figures for 2009 place the number of poor people in the U.S. at 15.7% or nearly 48 million. The poverty rate for those over age 65 is even higher--16.1%. So, in the richest nation on earth, almost 1 out of every 6 people is mired in deep poverty (in the Western states, it's 1 out of 5). According to the Census Bureau's analysis, had true comprehensive medical care for all been enacted prior to 2009, it would have kept 10 million people out of poverty. (The Bureau estimated that the poverty rate would have been only 12.4% but for out-of-pocket medical expenses.)

And what do those champions of the Common Man, the true-blue, red-blooded American electorate plan to do about poverty? Well, judging by their announced intent to slash $100 billion from six months of government spending without touching defense, the military, veterans, or national security, I would say they, should they get their way, will do their best to "grow" poverty. This will create massive numbers of jobs in the health care, burial, and social worker industries. This is the price we pay for caring more about repealing the "job-killing, death-panel-creating Obamacare" bill than we do about lives shortened by poverty.

If Jesus met a battered Republican on the road to Damascus (or Detroit) would he stop to administer aid?

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