Monday, January 4, 2010

America the Beautiful

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. . ."

About six million Americans receiving food stamps  have no other income, according to an analysis of state data collected by The New York Times. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, they described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid — no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay.

For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain. . .

Food stamp use is at a record high in the United states and surging by the day. In the western states alone, nearly 3 million families are receiving food stamps.  That's a 37 percent increase since August of 2008. In more than 30 counties in Colorado, Idaho and Utah, food stamp use has increased by more than 70 percent since 2007. The average monthly benefit per person is $101.52.  Food prices have risen about 2.5% since 2008.  A greater increase is projected for this year.

America, America, God shed his grace on thee. 

The number of Americans dependent upon food stamps as their only income began to rise with the massive reduction in welfare programs.  According to the Times, the number has soared by 50 percent or more in the last two years.  One in 50 Americans now lives in a household with an income that consists of nothing but food stamps. 

Isabel Bermudez, a Florida mother of two who lost her job months ago and has no cash income, told the Times: "It's the one thing I can count on every month -- I know that the children are going to have food."

The Times reports: "The surge in this precarious way of life has been so swift that few policy makers have noticed. But it attests to the growing role of food stamps within the safety net. One in eight Americans now receives food stamps, including one in four children.

And crown they good with brotherhood. . .

President Obama threw a fund raiser for the Wall Street crowd late last year.  Its chairman was Daniel Fass, a rich, rich New York Lawyer whose firm specializes in debt collection.  He told the crowd of fat cats -- and the President and his top financial advisors:

 "The investment community feels very put-upon. They feel there is no reason why they shouldn't earn $1 million to $200 million a year, and they don't want to be held responsible for the global financial meltdown."

From sea to shining sea!

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