Tag Archives: subsidies

get informed. get angry. get involved.

How can anyone support America paying tax subsidies or giving hand-outs to oil companies that pay ZERO taxes and NOT support  subsidizing the poor, hungry people in America.:

How is it that we do not have the financial resources to provide relief for the most vulnerable among us, but we always have the means to subsidize our largest and most profitable corporations? The answer is not that difficult. In fact, it is fairly straightforward.

It’s about wealth and greed. It’s about what we value, and it’s about our political leaders feathering their own nests. It’s about not caring enough to get involved.

And when we continue to elect leaders who vote for allowing millions of our citizens to be stalked by hunger, we need to be honest with ourselves. We are complicit.

it’s all about our priorities, isn’t it?

All one has to do to see what is important to a person is to look at their checkbook. We spend our money on what’s important to us, don’t we?

Our federal budget reflects the values of our nation. What is very clear is that the values reflected by our spending do no match up with the values of Christ. The way our government spends our money (and remember, the government does what we direct them to do), reflects the values of selfishness, greed and fear. And none of these are Christian values.

We can act as if we are disciples of Jesus Christ, but our checkbook says we talk better than we follow.

“set my people free”

All this, plus a bloated military budget that is larger than the next five highest  countries combined. Surely there are others who agree that we need a serious readjustment of our priorities.

It is starting to remind me of Egypt before the exodus. Where is Moses when you need him?

“a terrible thing to behold”

In the days since the passing of the Farm Bill I have struggled to understand the motivation of leaders who display such a seemingly callous disregard for those among us who are most in need. The Republican Party’s relentless attack on the poor of our nation demonstrates an almost unbelievable lack of compassion, while also totally ignoring the need for justice for the powerless among us.

I have reprinted the following NY TIMES article of Paul Krugman without editing as it captures my own dismay at the lack of decency so blatantly obvious in Washington. Is this kind of leadership reflective of the true values of our nation? If so, may God have mercy on us all.

Hunger Games, U.S.A., by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.

The occasion for these observations is  … the monstrous farm bill the House passed last week. For decades, farm bills have had two major pieces. One piece offers subsidies to farmers; the other offers nutritional aid to Americans in distress, mainly in the form of food stamps…

Long ago, when subsidies helped many poor farmers, you could defend the whole package as a form of support for those in need. Over the years, however,… farm subsidies became a fraud-ridden program that mainly benefits corporations and wealthy individuals. Meanwhile food stamps became a crucial part of the social safety net.

So House Republicans voted to maintain farm subsidies — at a higher level than either the Senate or the White House proposed — while completely eliminating food stamps from the bill. …

Given this awesome double standard — I don’t think the word “hypocrisy” does it justice — it seems almost anti-climactic to talk about … the theory, common on the right, that … we have so much unemployment thanks to government programs that, in effect, pay people not to work? (Soup kitchens caused the Great Depression!) The basic answer is, you have to be kidding. Do you really believe that Americans are living lives of leisure on $134 a month, the average SNAP benefit?

Still, let’s pretend to take this seriously…, what’s going on here? Is it just racism? No doubt the old racist canards — like Ronald Reagan’s image of the “strapping young buck” using food stamps to buy a T-bone steak — still have some traction. But these days almost half of food stamp recipients are non-Hispanic whites… So it’s not all about race.

What is it about, then? Somehow, one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness, a contempt for what CNBC’s Rick Santelli, in the famous rant that launched the Tea Party, called “losers.” If you’re an American, and you’re down on your luck, these people don’t want to help; they want to give you an extra kick. I don’t fully understand it, but it’s a terrible thing to behold.