Monday, April 8, 2013
The Reverse New Deal: Destroying Millions to Benefit a Few
Journalist Jennifer Bendery has an interesting piece on the Huffington Post today, "Missing in Action: Congress Ignores America's Poverty Crisis."
Bendery writes: "...tens of millions of the nation's most vulnerable are taking hits on all sides. The nation's poverty rate is frozen at a high of 15 percent. And lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, for the most part, aren't even talking about it...Obama, too, has been largely silent on the issue, and has even proposed cutting Social Security -- a key tool for combating poverty......According to the Census Bureau, the nation's poverty rate is at its highest level in decades. More than 46 million people -- one in seven Americans -- are living below the poverty line, 16.4 million of them children. Another 30 million Americans are just a lost job or serious illness away from joining them. And in the last six years alone, more than 20 million people have joined the ranks of those relying on food stamps to get by...Meanwhile, the rich are only getting richer. Income inequality in the United States is greater now than at any time since 1929. It has gotten so severe that, according to a report by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, low-earning workers in the United States are actually worse off than low-earning workers in all but seven similarly developed countries."
Hmmm...as many wealthy Americans--and many wealthy people around the world--have put $21-32 trillion dollars in offshore, tax-evading bank accounts (see here), our political "leaders" are working hard to cut Social Security, lay off public sector workers, and gut social programs because "we can't afford it." Even the people who faced bullets and bombs for us are not safe from the wrath of our wealthy Congressmen. In 2012, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have created a CCC-type program for unemployed veterans (see here). Get it? The super-wealthy are enjoying a historically high share of our nation's wealth--and many have secret bank accounts in foreign countries--but we can't afford to hire the unemployed men and women who risked their lives and lost their limbs for us.
The Reverse New Deal has arrived.