Tuesday, September 24, 2013
I'd Hammer Out Warning
this past week, the united states house of representative voted to cut funding for the affordable care act, commonly called "obamacare" here, and to drastically cut the food program for the poor, which is popularly referred to as "food stamps." both votes were passed pretty much along party lines, with almost all republicans voting in favor of the cuts and almost all democrats voting against them. the state health care exchanges that are the central feature of the affordable care act are set to begin enrolling people on october 1, and republicans are desperate to see that the law is gutted, even though the only way to do so is to threaten to shut down the federal government and even though they have no proposals to enable the millions of uninsured americans to have access to health care.
the vilifying of the poor by suggesting that the food assistance program is riddled with fraud and waste, a suggestion that is demonstrably false, ignores the widening gap between the wealthiest and the poorest americans. even as income disparity grows, welfare for prosperous farmers in the form of subsidies is maintained at the expense of millions of the hungry in our country. as republicans become increasingly out of touch with the lives of so many in the usa, they look for scapegoats for the problems of the country, and those who are least able to defend themselves are convenient for their purposes.
republicans suggest that the unemployed should not get extended benefits, as this only encourages them not to seek employment according to the republicans; republicans refuse to address the problem of an inadequate minimum wage, using the prospect of employers hiring fewer workers if the minimum wage is increased as an excuse; republicans insist that cutting taxes for the wealthiest among us will increase prosperity, though every time such a tactic is tried the poor are hit once more and the national debt increases exponentially; republicans are more concerned with thwarting the agenda of president obama than in caring for the american people. the constant ploy of the "party of no" is to create an enemy in the form of what they would have us believe is the lazy, unproductive poor at the bottom of the economic ladder, while extolling the virtues of the "producers," those who have the wealth and power in our economy.
my prayer today is that the american people will awaken to the deceptions being foisted on us by those who are so filled with greed that they are willing to take food from the mouths of the hungry and to deny health care to those who can least afford it. may we "do unto the least of these," our brothers and sisters, and enable those who labor to produce the wealth of the united states to participate in its prosperity. shalom.