The Poor Would Suffer Under a Republican Majority

If the Tea Party, also known as the GOP, gets its way, the life of poor Americans will get even worse.

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Democrats discuss the struggles of the middle class while Republicans whine about the problems of wealthy Americans. But who speaks for the poor? Nobody.

Well that needs to change because the middle class is shrinking while the number of poor people is growing. The U.S. Census Bureau released a report Tuesday on poverty and the results are shocking.

Surprise. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Only 5 percent of all Americans live in households where the total income in more than $180,000 a year, but they had good reason to break out the bubbly since they got even richer last year. The median income in the United States was $50,000 last year and predictably working families lost ground in 2009. If working families celebrate at all, it will be at McDonald’s if they are lucky. Maybe not, since Mickey D’s doesn’t take food stamps.

The number of Americans living in households below the poverty line rose to over 14 percent last year. According to the Census Bureau, almost 1 of out every 3 children live in households below the poverty line. And to cap it off, the number of Americans receiving food stamps grew by 2 million last year to a total of almost 12 million people.

If the Party of Tea, also known as the GOP, gets its way, the life of poor Americans will get even worse. The Republican budget proposals revealed in the “Pledge to America” last week will slash discretionary spending. I don’t think that poor Americans think food stamps are discretionary but the Republicans do; so the poor will take an even bigger hit if the Party of Tea takes control of Congress. What will happen to these poor hungry people? Does anyone even care what happens to them?

[See a roundup of editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.]

The only Democratic presidential candidate who has made poverty in America a focus of his campaign since Bobby Kennedy in 1968 was John Edwards, and like the dark Lord Voldemort, we can’t even mention his name publicly any more. Barack Obama will have to rise to the challenge in 2012 or there will be big trouble in River City.

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