Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Sequester, Where The Poor Become A Sacrifice To The Civilized Conservative's God

I believe it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who said he liked to pay taxes because with them you buy civilization. The problem seems to be in the definition of civilization by today's society. It appears that a bully segment of society have determined that civilization is allowed only for those who are capable of enjoying the material richness of civilization and don't want to pay for it. Somehow or other they, in the name of their God, take it upon themselves to judge those less equipped to enjoy material richness and find them unworthy of the fruits of their civilized existence. Well, the words God and Greed do start with G.

I suppose if I researched it long enough I could find some ancient people who refused to care for their old and infirm. When times were rough, they left their burdens alone to die and feed the prey animals that were needed to feed the rest of the tribe. There were, of course, human sacrifices to appease whatever gods they held dear. They seldom used the elderly in those, having the notion that only the best and brightest of their clans would be considered worthy of the gods. However, those civilizations died out and if mentioned at all today are usually thought of in terms of lacking civilization. They are termed barbarians, savages or to be somewhat kinder, primitives.

If you've been kind enough to read this far I'm assuming you are asking yourself what all this has to do with the Sequester? Allow me to list just a few of the cuts for you and maybe you'll see what I mean.

$175 million will be cut out of Low Income Home Energy Assistance funds (LIHEAP)

$65 million was cut from Impact Aid at the Department of Education

$60 million was cut in salaries and expenses at the Farm Service Agency at USDA

$57 million was cut from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Account at HHS

$56 million was cut from State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grants at the Justice Department

$53 million was cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service

$50 million was cut from the Home Investment Partnership Program at HUD

46 million was cut from the Rental Assistance Program at the Rural Housing Service

$40 million was cut in Science and Technology at the Environmental Protection Agency

$33 million was cut in money for Native American Housing Block Grants

$28 million was cut from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at the Dept of Labor

15 million was cut from FEMA's Disaster Assistance Direct Loan Program Account

12 million was cut from the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor

2 million from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

Instead of closing loopholes in the tax code which continue to allow the civilized the joy of making a choice between the red Mercedes or the blue, we CUT the ability of our nation's poor not to have to make the choice between paying rent and having heat. For 2 of my 80+ year old clients, that Rental Assistance Program allows them to actually have a roof over their heads that isn't from a cardboard box or some rat infested slum, but in order for the civilized to remodel their mansions to include car elevators, my clients are being forced to face that risk.

I suppose that the Conservative notion that families or churches need to do more to care for their elderly and infirm is going to be trotted out as a justification for those cuts. The problem I see with that is some of those cuts affect the family's ability to earn enough money to manage to feed, house and clothe their children let alone take on the extra mouth to feed. With the cuts in OSHA, job safety will become a real concern. When workers have accidents due to the benevolence of their employers whose responsibility it will be to see to it that the work environment is "safe", where will the income to care for them come from?

Well, at least all this should resolve the illegal immigrant problem. Why would anyone want to sneak into the US where if the assault weapons don't kill you, the e coli in our food or an accident at our workplaces will?


  1. Replies
    1. Market value rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in the Senior Citizens buildings here is $550/month without heat or utilities. The size of the subsidy that allows people to live in them depends on their income. My clients make between $800 to $1200/month. The cuts in the rental assistance program may put them out on the street. Safe bet these building owners aren't going to subsidize them by lowering the rents. They might be able to find a slumlord with a cheaper apartment, but I seriously would be afraid to see them live there. No effort to keep the roof from leaking, the plumbing in order or the vermin kept out.

      They are facing losing the MOWs and their Home care aides. Which, of course, will put me out of a job. I'm appalled at all of this. Defeated as well since I can see no resolution to the problems.

    2. Sherry,
      Once again I started to post a comment that turned into a ramble. One day soon I suspect my bile toward the GOP is going to spill over. That party strides farther and farther from mainstream thought with virtually every action yet seems to think the solution is to piss off even more people and become even more radical. Makes the National Party-led New Zealand government seem almost sane by comparison - and maybe it is.

  2. The world is nuts. But, these cuts may not happen, at least not to the fullest, as they are phased in and chances are our illustrious leaders will settle something by then.

    1. As it stands now, the GOP want to roll back ONLY the cuts to Defense. They won't even meet POTUS half way. No closing tax loopholes, no rolling back any cuts except for Defense. Sequester is all Obama's fault because he won't lie down and play dead letting the inmates run the asylum.

      Client case managers started contacting them on Friday to give them a heads up that they will, not may, will be losing benefits. Even Catholic Charities. Brian, my schizo male has been told he won't be going to the free county mental health clinic for his meds and counseling.. it's being closed.

      I spent the day trying to comfort crying people with no idea what they'll do and no words to help.

    2. Madam,
      I love your venon and I concur with all that you wrote! What we have here is a failure to cooperate and legislate. And, Republicans like my US Representative who signed those pledges to Grover Norquist, rendered themselves not only unwilling to cooperate and legislate but unable to do so.
      I for one American an tired of this our way or no way politics in ths nation.

      Sherry, It is time to clean out the barn!