Sunday, January 18, 2015

Not By Choice: Hungry, Homeless, Living Poor in Poverty

The Ugly Truth and, Yes, in America


First, some numbers: Hunger and Poverty Fact Sheet - it speaks for itself, and Homelessness / Poverty Stats.

The story and question that deserve tracking over the next few weeks and months is here in part from Alternet.org here:

The question: “Will escalating Republican attacks on Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) cause an increase in homeless people across America?” 

Short answer: Quite possibly.

So say some advocates for disabled and mentally ill Americans, citing the growing attacks on the program in Congress and on the presidential [2016] trail. GOP threats to curtail spending on Social Security have many worried that tens of thousands of people could be pushed into the streets, primarily because they would (1) either lose access to subsidized housing or (2) could not afford rent.

One view from New York State: “It’s hard to assess how many homeless people would be affected by it — it’s more like how many people would become homeless.” Says Shelly Nortz, the deputy executive director for policy for the Coalition for the Homeless in NYS when asked how potential SSDI cuts could affect homelessness.

Finally this re: the 2016 run for the White House: It is hard to disagree with this article from the Brookings Institute – here in part: The mismatch between the two parties and governing institutions is exacerbated by the fact that the polarization is asymmetric

The GOP: “They have become a radical insurgency — ideologically extreme, contemptuous of the inherited policy regime, scornful of compromise, not persuaded by conventional understanding of facts and evidence, or about science; dismissive of the legitimacy of their political opposition, and generally bunch of sour pusses who advocate change but can’t seen to accept any other than their own.” 

Yet, now, some like Mitt Romney say they feel for the poor, the hungry, the sick, those at or below the poverty line (a line the GOP keeps redrawing I might add with harsh policies) say they will fight like DEMS for those Americans. I have to admit BS does come to mind.

A look back at 2012 with this in mind: Are they truly honest about helping the poor in America...

Q: Gentlemen: do you stand with and for low-income, hard-working, low-wage Americans, many at or below the poverty line by asking the upper crust taxpayers to pay a bit more?

We probably would have seen this reaction then:

Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney

The question regarding this GOP change of heart is simple: Will the massive GOP PR machine be able to sell that this new, retooled message and win? Probably. Look at the results in 2014. I rest that case.

Thus, the evidence about the GOP asymmetry is overwhelming, for those who bother to pay much attention.

All in all, these are worthy subjects to track for sure. If you don’t think so, then try and image yourself in their shoes: hungry, homeless, and living in poverty even by holding two low-income wage jobs with no health care provided by employer and living day to day.

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