Monday, November 11, 2013

The Democrats War on the Poor

It was the Democrats and Obama who cut Food Stamps first, not the Republicans.

They say one thing, then do another. I've learned that I can almost NEVER believe what a Republican (or Fox News) tells me --- I expect them all to lie. But it's very disheartening whenever a Democrat lies.

And even though it's been shown that Republicans lie more than Democrats, it doesn't make make me feel any better if the Democrats lie less...especially when it comes to programs that hurt the most vulnerable.

According to the Washington Post, in 2010 the Democrats passed a bill to provide funding for states to reimburse them for Medicaid and teacher's pay --- and to pay for this, it was the Democrats who agreed to end the temporary boost to SNAP earlier than was originally planned.

And then later, to also pay for a child nutrition re-authorization bill that was championed by the first lady, the Democrats had also agreed to end the temporary boost to SNAP even earlier still.

So that year in the House, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) came up with the bill that passed through committee. And on the Senate side, they were going to make a bipartisan compromise and pay for it by cutting aid to SNAP and aid to cattlemen.

But then the Republicans said, "The cattlemen aid can't be cut!"

So Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), literally days after assuring advocates at a national conference she wouldn't cut food stamps, had went and cut food stamps.

So the Senate cut $1.4 billion from SNAP by ending the temporary boost to SNAP much, much earlier than was originally planned.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and the Congressional Black Caucus had objected and extracted a promise that Obama would fix this later --- but he never did. The Democrats lied, and the boost to SNAP died.

Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City (the largest food bank in the country) remarked about the recent cut in food stamps:

We were all told that these cuts for November 1st would not happen. When they decided they were going to take from some of the increases to food stamps to fund First Lady Michelle Obama's program, we were told by the president that these cuts will not happen. Well guess what? No one has restored that money.

And many Democrats in Congress and Obama are also considering cutting Social Security and Veterans benefits by using chained-CPI to calculate cost-of-living-adjustments. Any cut to Social Security would heavily impact the 40% of veterans who rely on the Social Security benefits they earned. But the chained CPI would not only cut Social Security benefits—it would also cut Veterans Disability Compensation, Military Retirement Pay and Veterans Pension.

We need a 3rd political party. In 2009 and 2010, the Democrats could have done much more than just passing Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank bill. They could have reformed the tax code and did a host of other things. The Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same in many ways when it comes to maintaining their power and status quo. And they ALL lie.

Now the Democrats want more of the same with Hilary Clinton...another political dynasty. Will she eliminate all the corporate tax loopholes, eliminate all the corporate tax subsidies and eliminate all the corporate corruption? Or will she be another crony capitalist like her husband on Obama?

Usually it feels as though elections are an exercise in futility. We live in a mirage democracy, one in which major party candidates are first vetted by the corporate machine before they can get on the ballot --- whereas third party candidates, who represent the values of real grassroots movements, are always undercut by actions in which the major parties collude against them.

We can't rely on either party to defend our interests --- those of the middle-class and poor. The only difference is, one party happens to be worse than the other and lies more.

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