In an editorial in the NY Times on Wednesday the editorial board noted that “the sheer scale of poverty — 15.7 percent of the country’s population — is unacceptable.”
But to keep millions more Americans from falling into poverty during a deep recession is a genuine accomplishment that holds a vital lesson: the safety net, fortified by stimulus, staved off an even more damaging crisis.
Congress should take a good look at those numbers, and consider that lesson carefully, before it commits to any more slashing and burning.
The slash and burn department of Congress that the editorial board refers to is no doubt the Republican controled House who are more than happy to spend an entire in pursuit of voting on a repeal of the Healthcare Act, even if the repeal was nothing more than symbolic.
Back on subject… Poverty and Recovery, the NY Times editorial board also notes:
Federal aid is being scaled back, even though growth is not yet robust enough to make a sizable dent in unemployment. Late last year, Republicans blocked the extension of a successful stimulus program that had created 250,000 subsidized jobs for young people and low-income parents. They claimed the stimulus was an expensive failure, even as they pressed to renew the high-end Bush tax cuts. As part of the tax-cut deal, President Obama and Congress agreed to extend federal jobless benefits in 2011, but the checks will be $25 less a week than under the stimulus. That reduction could push an estimated 175,000 more people into poverty in 2011. The deal also included a one-year payroll tax cut that will benefit most workers, but it is less helpful to the lowest-income workers than a now-expired tax break in the stimulus.
I’m hoping to hear about more voter remorse from the crowd that handed control of the House last Novemebr, back to the GOP because, they truly do not have the fix America needs right now and folks who thought they do, unfortunately bought into a whole lot of tale tales and lies.