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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: PA
Member since: Wed May 11, 2005, 10:48 PM
Number of posts: 10,577

About Me

I love spending time with my grandchildren and gardening.

Journal Archives

Almost Half Of U.S. Households Live One Crisis From The Bread Line

Alexander Eichler
Working Poor: Almost Half Of U.S. Households Live One Crisis From The Bread Line
Posted: 1/31/12 12:00 AM ET | Updated: 1/31/12 11:52 AM ET

What does it mean to be poor?

If it means living at or below the poverty line, then 15 percent of Americans -- some 46 million people -- qualify. But if it means living with a decent income and hardly any savings -- so that one piece of bad luck, one major financial blow, could land you in serious, lasting trouble -- then it's a much larger number. In fact, it's almost half the country.

"The resources that people have -- they are using up those resources," said Jennifer Brooks, director of state and local policy at the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group. "They're living off their savings. They're at the end of their rope."

The group issued a report today examining so-called liquid asset poverty households -- the people who aren't living below the poverty line, but don't have enough money saved to weather a significant emergency.

According to the report, 43 percent of households in America -- some 127.5 million people -- are liquid-asset poor. If one of these households experiences a sudden loss of income, caused, for example, by a layoff or a medical emergency, it will fall below the poverty line within three months. People in these households simply don't have enough cash to make it for very long in a crisis.

The findings underscore the struggles of many Americans during what has often seemed like an economic recovery in name only. While the Great Recession officially ended more than two years ago, unemployment remains high and wages have barely budged for most workers. For more people, whether they draw a paycheck or not, a life free of deprivation and financial anxiety seems perpetually out of reach.



Poverty in America likely to get worse, report finds

Poverty in America likely to get worse, report finds
Indiana University study says 46 million Americans are living below the poverty line up 27% since start of recession
Chris McGreal
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 January 2012 11.12 EST

Millions of Americans will be forced into poverty in the coming years even as the US hauls itself out of the longest and deepest recession since the second world war.

A study from Indiana University, released on Wednesday, says the number of Americans living below the poverty line surged by 27% since the beginning of what it calls the "Great Recession" in 2006, driving 10 million more people into poverty.

The report warns that the numbers will continue to rise, because although the recession is technically over, its continued impact on cuts to welfare budgets and the quality of new, often poorly paid, jobs can be expected to force many more people in to poverty. It is also difficult for those already under water to get back up again.

"Poverty in America is remarkably widespread," concludes the study, At Risk: America's Poor During and After the Great Recession. "The number of people living in poverty is increasing and is expected to increase further, despite the recovery."

The white paper, drafted by the university's school of public and environmental affairs, which is among the best ranked schools of its kind in the US, says that six years ago, 36.5 million Americans fell below the poverty line. By 2010, the number of people living in poverty rose to 46.2 million and continued to grow over the past year.


DeMint's deficit-cutting plan targets poor

DeMint's deficit-cutting plan targets poor
Posted on Tuesday, 12.20.11

A plan by Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina to slash the federal budget deficit would hit the poorest Americans especially hard, directing 70 percent of its $4.2 trillion in spending cuts at safety-net programs intended to help tens of millions of low-income people.

The plan proposes $20 billion in cuts that would affect the affluent. It suggests almost $3 trillion in cuts that would affect low-income Americans, leading one liberal economist to call the plan "cruel."

But DeMint, a leading figure in the national tea party movement, says the cuts - including eliminating the earned income-tax credit and child tax credit for Americans who don't earn enough money to owe federal income taxes - are needed.

"During the Clinton years, during the Bush years, even when the economy was booming, we were still adding to the welfare rolls," DeMint said. "We have not helped the people we're supposedly helping. Poverty has gone up in America.

"We have trained several generations of Americans to be dependent on government rather than trying to get them off welfare."

DeMint's plan won't pass this Congress. Democrats, who control the Senate, easily could kill it if it came up for a vote.

However, the budget cuts proposed by DeMint - known as Sen. Tea Party - provide insight into the thinking of one of the Senate's most archconservatives and his tea party allies. DeMint helped raise money for many of the tea party-backed GOP freshmen in Congress.

DeMint released the plan last month alongside Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, though the bulk of its spending cuts would come from the Welfare Reform Act, a bill that DeMint also introduced last month.

Paul and Lee are first-year senators who are indebted to DeMint because he helped them win election by contributing a combined $603,520 to their campaigns from his Senate Conservatives Fund.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/20/2554475/demints-deficit-cutting-plan-targets.html#storylink=cpy

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Corporations Are Not People and They Shouldn't Be Allowed to Buy Our Elections

AlterNet / BySen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Corporations Are Not People and They Shouldn't Be Allowed to Buy Our Elections
Bottom line: Corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries and spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to buy elections.
December 9, 2011 |

The Constitution of this country has served us well, but when the Supreme Court says that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger. That is why I have introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

I did not do this lightly. In fact, I had never done it before. The U.S. constitution is an extraordinary document. In my view, it should not be amended often. In light of the Supreme Court's infamous 5-to-4 decision in the Citizens United case, however, I saw no alternative.

I strongly disagree with the ruling. In my view, a corporation is not a person. A corporation does not have First Amendment rights to spend as much money as it wants, without disclosure, on a political campaign.

Corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries and spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to buy elections.

The ruling has radically changed the nature of our democracy. It has further tilted the balance of the power toward the rich and the powerful at a time when the wealthiest people in this country already never had it so good. History will record that the Citizens United decision is one of the worst in the history of our country.

At a time when corporations have more than $2 trillion in cash in their bank accounts and are making record-breaking profits, the American people should be concerned when the Supreme Court says that these corporations have a constitutionally-protected right to spend shareholders' money to dominate an election as if they were real, live persons. If we do not reverse this decision, there will be no end to the impact that corporate interests can have on our campaigns and our democracy.

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