Friday, September 07, 2012

The Least Of These

Editorial cartoon by Joel Pett / Lexington Herald-Leader (September 6, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image to enlarge and then come back.)

Well, the talk finally got around to the economy on Wednesday. Several speakers made it a point to talk about the mess President Obama inherited four years ago and what he has been doing to clean it up. That clearly was the featured speaker's job and Bill Clinton delivered. However, I tend to agree with rmj over at Adventus:

For my money the better speech last night was delivered by Elizabeth Warren. Bill Clinton did what Bill Clinton does: he eloquently defended the status quo. Elizabeth Warren delivered the truly radical concept that whatever you do for the least, you do for all. [Emphasis added]

That said, at least the Big Dog moved in that general direction with this line:

"The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility – a we're-all-in-this-together society – you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden." [Emphasis added]

President Obama will hopefully do likewise (this is written before I've watched or listened to his speech, which I won't do until later today anyway). Apparently he will refer to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which in itself is a marvelous improvement. The question is whether he and his party are ready to do more than reference FDR, whether they will lift not just the middle class but also the poor. Quite frankly, they have not shown any interest in doing so, as this horrifying report shows.

Record numbers of U.S. households struggled at times to feed their families last year, according to a report Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the state of hunger in America.

A lack of resources forced others to cut back on meals and disrupt their usual eating patterns, it says.

A record 17.9 million U.S. households – 700,000 more than in 2010 – didn’t have enough food at all times last year to sustain active, healthy lives for all family members, according to the USDA.

This “food insecurity” affected a record 14.9 percent of U.S. households and more than 50 million people, about one in six U.S. residents. ...

The effect on children was significant. Nearly 9 million children lived in food-insecure households last year, and 845,000 were in households with very low food security.

And you can't just blame the Republicans and Paul Ryan:

The survey data comes as congressional Republicans, led by GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, push for massive cuts in food stamp-program funding to curb enrollment growth and to help balance the federal budget. The Democratic-controlled Senate also voted in June to cut food stamp funding, but by a smaller amount. [Emphasis added]

FDR would be appalled, as we all should be.

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