Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fiddling While Floods Rise

The $819 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulus bill passed last week in the House without support from a single Republican and lack of GOP support in the Senate threatens it's ultimate passage there. It appears that the Republican opposition, centers not around social service provisions but around their traditional laments of too much spending and too little in the way tax cuts, representing only a small percentage of the legislation that is problematic for them. In the meantime the basic needs of low-income families become more and more overwhelming as the poor are caught in the crossfire of this Congressional 'keep it gangsta' ideological showdown.

As new job losses are announced daily, addressing poverty becomes more urgent. Particularly crucial to the survival of the poor and working poor are resources to meet their basic needs and help ease their hardship while also stimulating the economy. These families and individuals are more likely to spend any additional income at once to buy goods and services which helps put money back into the economy immediately.

Recovery package proposals that target direct assistance to low-income households include the following:

1. Food. $20 billion to increasing food stamps, $200 million for nutrition programs for the elderly and $150 million for food banks.

2. Heat. $1 billion to ensure that households who spend a higher share of their income on utility bills, are able to maintain healthy temperatures during the winter and summer months.

3. Shelter. Help to prevent homelessness which will ultimately relieve the strain on the budgets of state and local governments as 1.5 million additional Americans could experience homelessness over the next two years from increases in unemployment. Homelessnes also is associated with drops in resources for rent or mortgage payments and the rise in foreclosures.

4. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. The bill appropriates $4 billion to poor elderly and disabled recipients.

5. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
A new emergency fund to cover 80% of the additional costs faced by states that have increased expenditures for cash assistance, subsidized employment, or temporary help for poor families.

As increasing numbers of individuals and families have nowhere else to turn and rely on a broken safety net which cannot adequately meet their dire needs in a turbulent economic storm, it is crucial to not hold up 98% of a bill which is unchallenged over a problematic 2% as the flood waters continue to rise unabated. For many, there is no time to wait!

Every day is borrowed time. You want to be able to use life as well as death as a form of service to something bigger than you; that makes life meaningful.
Cornel West


Luis Delgado said...


"And because wickedness increased, the love of many cooling. But he that endure to the end will be saved. "(Matthew 24,12-13)

Glaciation, is a term that refers to a geological period characterized by the cooling of the earth, during which the ice glaciers cover large tracts of land beyond the alpine and polar regions.
But the ice is not only in geological terms but also in spiritual terms, ie a form of spiritual Christianity globally suffering from one of the largest that has been cooling since the appearance of the church 2000 years ago.
This cooling is the low temperatures reached by the Christian faith to the point there is no difference between the believer and the unconverted. Both are frozen spiritually. Not only that, many places and nations that were considered bastions of Christianity and missionary active today are so icy that they are becoming major cemeteries to Christianity.
But this is not a new ice age. Christianity had already suffered other glaciations.
The first occurred when Vivian apostles themselves grappling with the permissiveness in their churches. (Revelation 3,15-16) .
The second occurred when Emperor Constantine declared Christianity as its official religion, combining pagan with rioja rioja Christian.
The third occurred at the beginning of the Crusades and the corruption of Catholicism in the Middle Ages.
The fourth and last originate after the two world wars that marked the final decline of Christianity, something that until now and is continuing acceleration. The last glaciation is referred to the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24.12.
What is causing this cooling of the Christian faith? The Lord Jesus Christ provides the answer: the increase of wickedness.
This evil is the cause of all the Christian glaciations. An evil that is penetrating the churches and that cools the believers' faith, leading to the final cooling is apostasy.
It is necessary to combat this evil, to fuel our faith in the heat of the spirit and the Word of God and if possible make that faith in Christ is not the privilege of a few

underOvr (aka The U) said...

I'm opposed to giving money to the auto industry and other businesses for their failure to manage the stewardship of their companies. They had an ethical obligation not just to stockholders, but more importantly their employees. Too often the "bottom line" for American business has been corporate greed.

I would prefer to see the funds re-distributed to American families. If we're going to invest in anyone it should be our citizenry. In doing so, we would address poverty, housing, education and healthcare issues.

That to me, would be a strong message for a change from the traditional form of Washington politics.


Anonymous said...

Hey Rev.

As you well know the opposition of the Republicans is not about common sense and what's good for the country. And it's most definitely not about what's good for poor people. It's about political gamesmanship, scoring points, and licking wounds that are still sore. The problems of real people are nothing more than chess pieces to them.

Vérité Parlant said...

I like the allusion to Nero fiddling while Rome burned with the reminder of Bush's slow Katrina response because he was out of touch with poor people. Both apropos. I think that the Republicans are considering Rush Limbaugh's advice, that they not support Obama's proposals because should he succeed they will be further behind in the electorate.

BTW, did you know that some historians believe Nero set the fire himself and blamed the Christians? I'm not sure I buy that but it's an interesting theory upon which to build an analogy if we follow the blame game for the economic crisis.

Kymberly said...

There should be a picture of people standing in water up to their chins with their heads cocked back because that's where a lot of people are right now. How about redefining the poverty line so we have a better, truer idea of who the poor really are?

These games people, namely the Republicans, are playing with other people's lives are detestable. Teamowens313 is absolutely right. They don't seem to care on wit about the people who hired them. If you look at larger cities like New York, the local governments (Bloomberg) aren't doing much better in terms of addressing poverty, housing issues or healthcare.

Kel-Bell said...

Well said Sir!

And don't you worry, we are not going to let the next eight years be anything like the past eight.

Now is our time to RISE.