Archive for the ‘Food stamps’ Category

Dead [Red] to the Roots

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

art-gop-fascism-posterAt a time when demographics show a trend toward a growing numbers of Democratic majorities in America, in Tennessee, Republicans have concocted a scheme to turn everyone into Republicans. The scheme is not based on logic, facts or sound legislation, but it is important to remember those things don’t matter to Republicans.

The plan focuses on electing more Republicans in county and judicial positions. Is the plan a logical counter response to growing demographic changes and unpopular Republican Ideology or a Supermajority Legislation gone amuck?

Republicans believe deceptive actions to entrench their supermajority status will erode bipartisan efforts in elections at the local level. The recent effort by Ron Ramsey to recall three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices failed miserably with Tennesseans voting overwhelmingly to retain the Judges. Ramsey attempted to use dark money to defeat the Supreme Court Justices.

Thanks to dark money, not the “dead [red] to the roots” program, Republicans have enjoyed great electoral success that built a supermajority Republican Legislature, elect a Republican governor, two Republican U.S. Senators and seven of the state’s nine U.S. House seats.

The GOP, through dark money, has enjoyed huge success in fundraising compared to Democrats.

The TNGOP false claims that Tennesseans want the success we’ve seen at the state level brought to the local level is an illusion. The TNGOP also falsely claim that Tennesseans are tired of Democrats and [liberals] who have mismanaged taxpayer funds and failed to provide the service Tennesseans expect and deserve while they [the TNGOP] dismantle the very services and protections that help Tennessee families. Mismanaged taxpayer funds language is code words for providing funds for public education, food stamps, unemployment compensation and other public assistance that the TNGOP feverishly works to dismantle in Tennessee.

Tennessee Democrats are quick to point out that the majority of Tennesseans are not content with imposing TNGOP Tea Party agenda and ALEC legislation through the state’s backwoods Legislation. Republicans are now intent on pushing their brand of rigidity and extremism, at the expense of the common good of the people, onto local governments and government services.

Republican claims that “dead [red] to the roots” has resulted in growth of the TNGOP is an empty illusion, especially when you look at their efforts to “make it harder for Tennesseans to vote,” such as requiring photo identification to cast a ballot. Preventing every Tennessean the right to vote does not indicate that the “dead [red] to the roots” effort is a successful program that has turned everyone into mindless [zombie] Republicans, it simply points out voter suppression and other tactics to prevent voter’s full access to voting by the TNGOP helps the TNGOP to suppress the Democratic vote.

Any tactic that makes it harder for Tennesseans to exercise their constitutional right to vote is wrong and unpatriotic. It is outrageous to claim such tactics {dark money buying elections and voter suppression] are proof that “dead [red] to the roots” is a successful program or anything other than dirty politics gone astray. Tennessee was recently voted the most politically corrupt state for good reason. Last year Tennessee was voted the worst state legislation.

A Greed Driven Budget or April Fool’s Joke?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

WASHINGTON — Todays unveiling of Paul Ryan’s newest Republican budget exposed what Republicans will do if they gain complete control of Congress. His greed driven budget will allow the rick to harvest a windfall of tax cuts while the poor and middle class would be burdened with the painful costs. This budget will also allow Democrats to broaden the political difference between the two parties beyond health care, minimum wage and unemployment benefits.

Ryan laid out a budget plan that slashes $5 trillion in spending over the next decade on the backs of the poor and middle class. He falsely claims he would bring federal spending and taxes into balance by 2024, through drastic cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, and the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act just as millions are reaping the benefits of the law.

Domestic programs would be reduced to the lowest levels since modern government accounting while defense spending would increase. Medicare would be converted into a “premium support” system, where people 65 and older could purchase private insurance with small federal subsidies instead of government-paid health care. Subsidies in truth could not pay for health care of these people.

“We need to be a proposition party, not just an opposition party,” said Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. “We believe we owe it to the [rich] country to offer an alternative to the status quo. It’s just that simple.”

Even with those tough political choices, the budget would balance in 2024 only because Ryan is assuming his cuts would prompt a burst of economic growth to raise tax revenues above what independent economists forecast. Back to trickle-down economics. He also does not adjust the government’s revenue ledger to reflect the cost of repealing the health care law’s tax increases and Medicare cuts, which could add an additional $2 trillion.

The Ryan budget will be formally drafted on Wednesday in the Budget Committee and brought to a House vote on Friday — if Republican leaders can find 217 votes to pass it over the concerns of moderates who say it goes too far and conservatives who say it does not go far enough.

Regardless of the vote, the budget will be front and center in the coming campaigns.

Paul Ryan’s budget is close to the heart of core Republican values and beliefs: Deliver Wealth to the wealthy, Power to the powerful, and suffering to everyone else…

In all, Ryan said, spending would be cut by $5.1 trillion over the next decade. More than $2 trillion of that would come from repealing Mr. Obama’s health care initiative, the Affordable Care Act, a political move that may be much more difficult now that more than 10 million Americans have gotten health insurance through the law, either through private policies purchased on insurance exchanges, through expanded Medicaid or private policies purchased through brokers but subsidized by the law.

Such an [Ann Rand] approach “empowers recipients to get off the aid rolls and back on the payrolls,” Mr. Ryan wrote. More importantly, it stuffs money in the pockets of the rich and powerful.

The toughest cuts would come from domestic programs that have already been reduced steadily to rubble, since 2011, when Republicans took control of the House. Nor did Ryan shy away from hot-button issues.

Education funding would be cut by $145 billion over 10 years. Pell grants for college students would lose $90 billion. University students would start being charged interest on their loans while still in school, reaping $40 billion.

Under the greed driven world of Republicans, Federal subsidies for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting “can no longer be justified,” Ryan said.

Not even big bird and Sesame Street will be spared the pain of Ryan’s cuts. The arts, in addition to public television, will be wiped off the face of the earth.

Content in Tennessee

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

In 2010, the political landscape in Tennessee changed. A large stash of “dark money” sweeps the Tennessee Democratic Party from power, for the first time since Reconstruction. Candidates of the Republican Party were elected in mass, based on empty promises of job creation and a focus on education. It did not seem to matter that many of these candidates were not vetted; more less qualified to hold political office or even hold a regular job in the common job market. The voters did not seem to care they were electing unqualified people to office.

Unfortunately, the lack of qualification of candidates was not the only thing wrong with the “political winds of change” that affected Tennessee and many other southern states that created the perfect political storm. This political change was driven by much darker forces and was not based on the normal issues that affect most elections or spark most political up evil. This change was fueled by racism and hatred of President Obama. And it occurred at a time when control of political power was up for grabs for ten years, not just for an election cycle.

It occurred at a time when the political party who won the state, would control the state for ten years, and be allowed to redistrict the political landscape and reallocate the political power of a state. The masterminds of this political up evil had more important goals in mind than just political victory and they were more than happy to use hatred to achieve their vile agenda. Nor, did it matter that mindless teabaggers would serve as minions to assist the rich in reaching their goal.

We have since seen the devastation of this political change and the damaging impact it has had on the poor and middle class in our state and nation. It did not take long to realize the promises of job creation and focus on education were empty words “lies” by the GOP to simply gain power and control.

And since the election, the GOP has taken undemocratic steps to entrench their political power. Adopting measures to ensure voter suppression on the vary people their vile agenda has harmed the most: the old, young, poor, women, sick and minorities. They have attacked women healthcare, workers’ rights, gay rights, minority rights, civil rights, and dismantled the safety net that has successfully protected the poor, old, sick and middle class since the Great Depression, while continuing to give large tax breaks to the rich and corporations.

It does not seem to matter that they have lost national power as a party, they seem happy with the short term state power and/or regional power they have achieved and they have used this power to undermine national laws and political legislation.

Four years later, the attacks on women’s rights, voter’s rights, workers’ rights immigration, and civil rights has escalated by the GOP. Attacks on the poor and middle class have also escalated as the GOP attempts to dismantle and gut public education and social programs like Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and unemployment compensation.

Not since the Great Depression, has the GOP agenda been so void of a moral compass.Republicans are attempting to dismantle the vary programs designed to help those in need, during tough economic times, like now, when 40 million Americans need government subsidized food assistance to simply live and 1.3 million Americans lost their unemployment compensation, yesterday, because of GOP cuts. In months, another 1.9 million will lose their unemployment compensation. The GOP don’t even seem concerned about the additional loss of 240,000 jobs that will occur from this loss of this money from the economy. Nothing, not even the welfare of the nation, is more important than their vile agenda.

In Tennessee, more than 20% of Tennesseans receive government assistance for food and experienced cuts in SNAP assistance. More than 18,000 Tennesseans lost their unemployment yesterday.

The GOP faithful calls these expenditures on humanity – waste and too expensive to afford, yet, they don’t hesitate giving large tax breaks to the rich and corporations. They spoke not one objection when it came to the costs of twelve years of two “unfunded” wars and giving corporate “welfare” to the greed driven military contractors. They never seem to have a problem with waste when it comes to giving large tax breaks to their rich friends but God forbid – we help the poor or middle class during tough economic times.

Four years later, unemployment in Tennessee is 8.1% while it is 7% nationally. The Tennessee legislature has not passed nor discussed one act of legislation related to job creation. Nothing has been done to strengthen public education, in fact the GOP works feverishly to dismantle it. The Republican “super majority” legislation has been more concerned with catering to their gun lobbyists’ friends and other special interest groups. Our governor is too busy handling his messy shady dealings to something that would actually help middle class folks like extending Medicaid for 170,000 Tennesseans.

Did Tennesseans get what they bargained for when the voted red in 2010? Is there any buyer’s remorse or are folks in Tennessee simply content with the sad state of affairs of our state as a result of that vote?

House Republicans Vote to Slash “SNAP” Food Assistance for Poor

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

ebt-cuts-oh-snap-marty-two-bullsWASHINGTON — While most agree that additional food stamp cuts will significantly worsen hunger problems, House Republicans cold heartedly pushed through a bill on Thursday that slashes 40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The vote was 217 to 210, largely along party lines.

House Democrats objected over the cuts and President Obama threatened to veto the legislation if it comes to his desk. Republican House members from Tennessee argue that the program has enough waste to justify large-scale reductions. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, said the larger cuts could be made “without significantly impacting those most in need of food security.” Other Republicans across Tennessee who voted for the cuts attempted to say they supported SNAP but not the waste in the program.

The legislation passed does not address any “GOP claimed” waste in the program. The legislation had more to do with a GOP response to pressure from Tea Party-backed conservatives who see any public assistance to those in need as wasteful spending.

But Democrats, many of whom held up pictures of people they said would lose their benefits, called the cuts draconian and said the legislation would plunge millions into poverty.

The bill, written under the direction of the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, would cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years. The bill was one of the most heartless bills to come to the floor for a vote in memory.

The future of food stamps — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — remains the big sticking point in House-Senate negotiations to finalize a new farm bill before the end of the year.

In September, the House approved a farm bill that cuts almost $40 billion from food stamps over 10 years — about 5 percent a year. The Senate earlier approved a bill that would cut $4 billion over that time.

The cuts would be in addition to the expiration of some benefits that occurred in November. Those had been part of the 2009 economic stimulus package that ended on November 1.

At $80 billion a year, food stamps remain the single costliest item in the farm bill. The program serves almost 48 million Americans and 1.34 million Tennesseans — about 20 percent of the state population.

Among House members from Tennessee, all but Reps. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis — the two Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation — voted for the bill making $40 billion in cuts.

Implementation of this bill will result in denying benefits to 3.8 million low-income Americans in 2014.

“Those who would be thrown off the program include some of the nation’s most destitute adults, as well as many low-income children, seniors and families that work for low wages,” the CBPP said in an analysis of the House bill. “The House SNAP bill is harsh.”

Fortunately, the measure has little chance of passing the Senate.

The SNAP program was created in 1964 in an effort to end hunger in the United States. Conservatives and Republicans have never supported SNAP and see assistance to the poor as wasteful. Now, corporate welfare is another story… it is the kind of assistance [for the rich] that they support. When you confront them about the hypocrisy , they scream “class warfare”, as a smoke screen to their greed.

Sadly, it is class warfare… on the middle class and poor.

Happy Holidays

Friday, November 29th, 2013

As the holidays approach, many of us have so much to be thankful for. As a nation, we have been blessed with an abundance of food, good health and wealth. Unfortunately, many in our nation are not faring so well.

Over 47 million Americans go hungry daily. Over 101 million Americans currently receive government food assistance. Approximately 40 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Over 44 million Americans do not have health insurance but most of these people will be able to get affordable health care on January 1 under the affordable health care act . Millions of Americans are still unemployed. 633,732 Americans are currently homeless. Over 20 million Americans say they have experienced homelessness once in life.

These are sobering facts, and sadly, some try to ignore or gloss over these facts. Millions of Americans are struggling to survive and these people need help.

Some people say it is the place of the church to help these people; but the church does not have the resources to help everyone. Some people say it is up to charities to help; but charities are struggling to stay open. Food pantries are empty. Some people say those in need are lazy or a victim of their own bad choices. These are a few of the excuses used to justify not giving help. In reality, the only entity that is large enough to provide the level of help needed is the federal government.

This was proven during and after the Great Depression, and when it comes to past, the same will be the result in the current economic conditions. This is probably unwelcome news for those who spend their time assaulting the federal government and protecting the 1%.

It seems some who attack the federal government only do so with their party is not in the majority. It is even more interesting that when they are in control of the government, things seem to collapse; the economy fails, financial institutions collapse, greed and self indulgence runs rampant.

Many people have demonized the act of helping those in need by using the word liberal or calling those in need lazy. Greedy people love the word Liberal. Liberalism is what made this nation great. You have your social security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, disability insurance, Veteran benefits, consumer protection, food protection, food stamps, environmental protection, worker protection, and many other benefits because of the acts of liberalism.

The bankers stuffed their pockets full of taxpayer dollars. Large corporations stuff their pockets full of stolen taxpayer dollars and corporate welfare. Elected officials misuse taxpayer money. Greed permeates our society at every level. The 1% get tax breaks while the middle class is carrying the burden and/or being crushed. Some even suggest that the Bible should be revised to remove the sections that direct people to care for the poor.

How long will we have no compassion or sympathy for those in need? Some people seem to have no problem with fellow Americans having no health insurance coverage. Many have no problems with American families sleeping in tent cities under bridges. Republicans and conservatives have no problem slashing money from the SNAP programs although millions of Americans are hungry and need food assistance.

We have much to be thankful for but how long will it be before we become one of the less fortunate? We are the 99% and many are one pay check away from the streets. If you loose your job, home, health insurance or food, do you want to be told, “I will pay for mine and you pay for yours”?

The Teabagger Shutdown: Its Effects on America

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

1234866_570391279663222_1579568118_nThe government shutdown continues because wing-nut members of Congress refuse to reach an agreement on legislation to authorize funding for a new fiscal year. Republicans appear to be moving away from their original demands to defund Obamacare as the reason for the shutdown. Republicans scramble to find a way out as the effects of the shutdown slowly take hold and move across the nation as the suffering grows.

As the pain index grows, as a result of the Government shutdown, many in the Republican Party take cover and begin to back pedal on the ideal of the shutdown being a good idea as Republican poll numbers plummet nationally. The furry of the American people grows as the ill effects of the shutdown take hold. Every day more and more people are affected by results of the shutdown.

Here are but a few effects of the shutdown:

National Parks

Across the nation, national parks have closed because of the government shutdown. As fall color explodes, it will do so unseen as many national parks closed last week at the height of tourism season across the nation.

Welfare

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding is cut off by the shutdown, but many states have funding available for carryover into the new fiscal year.

Unfortunately, the WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) program is out of funds. In North Carolina, the WIC program closed two days ago leaving over 269,000 people (mostly children) without food.

Veteran’s benefits

ap_transfer_remains_ceremony_ll_120914_wmainAnger swept across the nation, as death benefits were not available for the families of five young Americans killed in Afghanistan this past Sunday. Today, the US Government took emergency action to immediately implement benefits to the families of these fallen Americans.

As with most federal agencies, some services will be temporarily shut down or slowed down: The Veterans Affairs website will be updated only “intermittently,” the VA says, and vocational and educational counseling for vets will be limited.

Veterans cannot receive federal tuition assistance.

States where the military presence is heavy are being hit hard by the impact of the Government shutdown. South Carolina has been hit especially hard.

In Tennessee

Y12 and Oak Ridge National Labs announced that 4,800 workers would be laid off because of the Government shutdown. The affects will be devastating to Tennessee. The furloughs will begin October 17th.

Senior’s benefits

Meals on wheels, a program that gives good assistance to seniors closed last week due to the shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of seniors stopped receiving this daily food assistance.

Small Business Assistance

Loans to small business have stopped because of the Government shutdown affecting their ability to expand and create new jobs.

National Guard Furloughs

Several states have laid-off National Guard members. Kentucky has been hit especially hard.

Government Workers

Across the nation, government workers have been laid off because of the Government shutdown. Virginia has been hit especially hard with hundreds of thousands of workers laid off.

Companies performing work related to Government contracts are also laying off employees as a result of the Government shutdown. Boeing furloughed over 3,000 workers.

FEMA and other Government Agencies have also furloughed workers.

Farm Bill Defeat: Democrats Refuse to Cut Food Stamps

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Washington – Thursday, the farm bill was defeated in a shocking lack of leadership by the Speaker, John Boehner of Ohio. The defeat highlights the division between the teabagger conservatives in Congress and their leadership.

The vote against the bill was 234 to 195 as conservatives were not pleased with the weak cuts in the bill, while Democrats voted against the bill because of the cruel cuts in the food stamp program. The current bill, as it stands, would cast over 2 million Americans into a food crisis.

The defeat was a major blow to the speaker of the house who has been reduced to weak figure head. His main purpose is protecting his position as speaker. Boehner continues to fail at any attempt to pass major legislation.

The farm bill has traditionally passed easily with bipartisan support. But, since the wing-nut teabaggers come to town, all attempts to pass legislation have come to a complete stop. They have basically shutdown the government.

Conservatives insist of massive cuts to the farm bill that will fall squarely on the backs of the poor by slashing $20.5 billion from the food stamp program.

Conservatives were successful in passing two amendments, one to require food stamp recipients to meet federal welfare work requirements, and another to allow states to drug test food stamp applicants. Obviously, it remains a high priority with conservatives and Republicans to punish and attack poor people.

Several of the Republican members of Congress who voted to cut food stamps receive farm subsidies themselves. It is shocking that conservatives and Republicans insist on making cuts for those who are suffering the most.
Unfortunately, poor people are unable to fill the pockets of the greedy conservatives and Republicans. Teabaggers remain loyal to their wealthy owners.