The Walmart cycle.

               One meme or article after another tells us to avoid Walmart. Which is absolutely right! They subsidize their company by paying low wages, thereby forcing their employees to receive Federal Benefits. That alone costs American tax payers billions of dollars a year. Not to mention the money they receive from Federal and State governments to build stores or warehouses in their areas or the tax breaks and tax havens they use to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

The Walton family are worth a couple hundred billion dollars. While making these billions of dollars they bemoan employees who ask for a higher wage or the right to unionize. All the while purchasing product from China, a Communist dictatorship that not only manipulates their currency but also subsidizes their companies. The Walton maintain that if they raise pay, they have to raise prices. While saying this they reap profits that have rarely been seen in American history.

Now here is the conundrum. The average person making even $12 an hour is that they do not have alot of disposable income. Electric, gas, phone, taxes and even sewer have all seen precipitous increases, all while this person has been stuck at $12 an hour. A family of 4, with mom and dad both working, will in many cases qualify for Federal Benefits. The failure of corporations to raise peoples pay while making record profits has presented these people with a pickle. Do I shop at a cheaper store and get more or shop at more expensive and get less. Where does this leave them?

At a time when Americans need more help then at possibly any time in our history, we have also found ourselves in a period of hyper-polarization. While these people need help, Paul Ryan and Republicans want to cut Federal Benefits while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Democrats led by Elizabeth Warren are trying to extend unemployment benefits, raise taxes on the wealthy, reel in to big to fail and fix income inequality. Bernie Sanders, the only Independent who really matters, my little joke, is fighting along many of the same fronts as Elizabeth Warren. It has become class warfare. Rich saying the poor dont work hard enough and poor asking for a fair share. All of this while 47 million Americans are on Food Stamps because of low pay or no jobs.

Here is where it comes full circle. These people on the bottom end up shopping at Walmart because of their low pay. By shopping at Walmart they are putting people like themselves out of work, as well as giving the Waltons a false sense that their model is a good thing. The person shopping there doesn’t want to do these things, but what company can compete with a monolithic corporation like Walmart. Of course it would be another corporation. What option do these people have? Even if you dont shop at Walmart, the majority of products are made somewhere else.

Why do people think the poor are ruining our country?

       I find it odd that people attack the poor for asking for a living wage. I find it odd that a poor person is demonized for getting food stamps or heat assistance.  I find it odd that people complain about a poor family getting a large income tax check. Why are the poor being so scrutinized?

How many poor people write checks to lobby a politicians? How many poor people have money in tax havens to avoid paying taxes? How many poor people can pay $10,000 to sit at a dinner in order to get an audience with a politician? How many poor people write bills that are brought to the floor of Congress for a vote? How many poor people are convicted of ripping people off for millions? Killing their retirement? Draining their nest egg? NONE.

Most working poor are making $9 or less. They are working 40-60 hours a week trying to care for their family. Yet these are the people that are destroying America. These are the greedy ones because they want a living wage. They are working for Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and other large Corporations. Corporations making billions of dollars a year in profits but cannot afford to pay $10 or $11 an hour. Paying upper management a couple million or billion dollars a year and giving out major bonuses. I am sorry, that is the greedy fools on Wall Street and the Financial Sector who decimated our economy. But it is the poor who are getting to much.

These same people who complain about the poor support Republicans. Believe our country is moving away from the Constitution. They believe that the Free Market is in the Constitution. In fact they do not know anything about the Constitution except part of the Second Amendment. These are people who are lower middle class, which the Republicans destroyed. They believe the American Dream is dead because of Democrats, President Obama giving everything to the poor. These poor ignorant fools know oh so little.

Republicans want to abolish the minimum wage, they voted against the VAWA, they voted against every jobs bill and short changed the Administration every chance they had. They have blocked more Presidential nominees than ever before and have passed less bills than any other Congress. Did the poor do this? Did the poor create and give millions of dollars to SUPER PACS? It has to be the poor, right? It couldnt be the party that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck support. Those really loud Tea Party people say President will take our guns. The poor have alot to do with that as well.

Class warfare has taken an ugly turn. The less poor are now attacking the lower poor. People are not concerned about the rich fleecing us. But are upset about another poor person getting more than them. This is what Conservatives want. They want the peasants fighting amongst themselves. I know the $80 billion used for welfare hurts our country more than the $200 billion used for corporate welfare. Yes, these billion dollar corporations get subsidized by your tax dollars, then get large bonuses but cannot afford to pay $10 an hour. Seriously, before you speak, THINK. RESEARCH and LEARN. Spouting what FOX NEWS says is ignorant. Considering they went to court to make it ok to falsify news. And won. HAHA! I bet the poor had a lot to do with it.

The Republican government shutdown.

           I spent yesterday awestruck at how people would blame President Obama for this shutdown. As odd as it sounds these people are saying Republicans are doing the right thing. Shutting down the government to shutdown a law you don’t like is incredible. The ACA is law and that will not change. Why is helping people get affordable health care such a problem?

Republicans want to negotiate, at the last minute. The 18 times Democrats tried to negotiate and go to conference since April were apparently not good enough. Republicans shot it down everytime. Why negotiate at the last minute? To fool gullible Americans into thinking they care. They are not negotiating, they are trying to force an issue through hurting the American people and economy. That is not governing, I don’t know what it is. Sadly people buy into this.

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and all these other right wing radio host spread hate. They dislike President Obama’s policies, so they spew vitriol in order to polarize the public that listens to them. They spread lies about the ACA, which host Chuck Todd said the main stream media does not need to correct. Isnt the media a vehicle for the public to learn the truth or is it just a vehicle to spread Republican rhetoric. Sadly it seems to be the latter. They, those who are closest to the mess that is Congress know the truth. But the truth doesn’t seem to matter.

The American public is being duped by a party of hate. This is a party that was against medicare, social security, food stamps, extending unemployment, the Veterans Jobs Bill and VAWA. Isn’t it obvious that these people do not care about the American public. These are the people who give rich farmers free money, $200 billion to corporate welfare and believe corporations are people that aren’t governed by the same laws as people. This is a party controlled by corporate interests. The Tea Party was created by the Koch brothers, who have ties to the NRA and ALEC. How is that grassroots?

Republicans were giddy about shutting the government down, their own words. Michelle Bachman came out and said how proud she was of the stand they are taking. Do they not realize they lost the election? The people spoke, overwhelmingly in favor of the ACA and President Obama. Get over yourselves and move on. Govern our country and stop holding the people hostage. America does not negotiate with terrorists. Especially ones in our own government.

Republicans plan on holding the Debt Ceiling Hostage again, the Ryan Budget is their demand.

                 Even though in March Speaker of the House John Boehner acknowledged that there is not an immediate debt problem, Republicans plan on holding the Debt Ceiling hostage again. They demand that the Ryan Budget be put in place or they will vote against the Debt Ceiling. This is unprecedented in American history.

Until 2011 no political party had the votes or the intent to stop the President from raising the Debt Ceiling. Which will cause a lowering of our borrowing ability and cause problems economically worldwide. Despite the National Debt being lowered and our slow but steady climb out of an economic abyss, the Republicans seem more than willing to sendvus back there. This is a House that refuses to vote on the Senate Immigration Bill and Student Loan Rates. The do nothing Congress led by Republicans seems to want to hurt America.

The Paul Ryan Budget, a cruel joke against middle class and poor Americans. He cuts Food Stamps and other parts of the SNAP program by $125 billion, while giving larger tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations. It is a joke of a Budget Proposal that promotes Austerity, but only in the programs that help poor Americans. Austerity doesn’t work. Paul Ryan’s budget repeals the ACA yet uses the savings to balance the budget. That is unlikely to work.

President Obama and Democrats caved last time on the Debt Ceiling to save America’s credit rating. They better not cave this time or Americans will suffer worse than before. Republicans are again holding the American public hostage in order to forward some backwards agenda that benefits 3% of the population. To forward a corporate agenda, because a lobbyist paid them to do so. The Republican party’s disdain for President Obama is destroying any credibility they ever had. Now to retake the House and push them further down. 2014 is the year of the Progressive. For that we need to thank Republicans for their actions.

Austerity, the Republican destruction of our country.

      Austerity measures have been used for several years in Europe. The Austerity measures have crippled many of the economy’s. Greece is a shining example of the damage Austerity does. They needed to be bailed out by the rest of the European countries. There were protests because of the measures that were being taken and the effect it was having on the people.

The fact that Republicans do not see the example Europe set for us is disturbing. Republicans only wish to use Austerity on programs they don’t like. The Austerity measures they fight for are a blatant attack on the poor and middle class. They support cutting aid to the SNAP program but refuse to raise taxes anymore. The Bush Tax Cuts have cost us over $3 trillion, their support of Corporate Welfare cost us $200 billion in 2012 alone. Food Stamps cost us $80 billion a year and for every dollar spent on Food Assistance Programs returns $1.84 to the economy.

They want to cut safety net programs, yet found a 5.8% increase for the Pentagon, which isn’t even asking for it. They want to cut Food Stamps by 25%, yet find another 3% to help subsidize fossil fuel programs. While doing that they want to cut the alternative energy budget in half to $1 billion. These cuts are selective and aimed at businesses that do not contribute to Republican campaigns.

Austerity itself doesn’t work, but selective Austerity has less of a chance of working. The Sequester itself has been a drag on our economy and jobs. It seems as if Republicans are pulling for failure, anything to hurt the Democrats and President Obama. The fiscal and foreign policies of the last administration has done some irrepairable damage to our country. It is going to take many years to repair what can be fixed and a balanced spending cut , tax raising policies. Otherwise we will be stuck in the mud for many years.

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-Pa) takes the Food Stamp Challenge, living on $4.50 a day.

            On Wednesday afternoon Rep.Matt Cartwright had a $.57 box of macaroni and cheese for dinner, with some iceberge lettuce topped with oil and vinegar and 2 slices of wheat bread. This was part of his 1 day protest designed to highight cuts in the proposed House Farm Bill. The plan is to eliminate $20 billion out of the $80 billion Food Stamp budget over the next decade.

Cartwright also ate 2 other small meals that kept his food intake under $4.50 for the day. That is the daily average for food under the SNAP Program per person. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Ok) said that it is the most reform minded bill in decades. He said it would make needed SNAP cuts as well as eliminate $5 billion a year in subsidies paid to farmers, whether they grow crops or not. Why would a farm not growing crops get money from the Food Stamp Program?

The legislation would achieve some cuts by partially eliminating categorical eligibility. That automatically gives you food stamps if you sign up for other programs. People would still be eligible, but would have to apply. That is a good change. The House is debating 103 Amendments to the bill, including a Democrat proposal to eliminate the SNAP cuts. About three quarters of the 47 million recipients are families with children. There are 1.77 million recipients or 14% of the population in Pennsylvania

The Republican led House proposal would kick 2 million families off of the SNAP Program. That would have long term affects on the health of the family, but most importantly the children. Thr fact that Republicans do not understand that austerity doesn’t work is very perplexing. Europe was falling to pieces because of austerity measures. Cutting spending without increasing revenue doesn’t work. But in Republican fantsy land it doesn’t matter because they are making things harder on President Obama.

Republicans said they wanted dollar for dollar spending cuts and tax increases. They have gotten $4.00 in spending cuts for every $1.00 in tax increases. Lets also talk about $200 billion in corporate welfare in 2012 alone. That is 2 and 1/2 times the Food Stamp benefits and still about $40 billion more when you add in heat assistance. So corporations that don’t need money get it, but people struggling because of corporations like this crashing the economy get hit with cuts. I guess it only makes sense when you look at their campaign donations. But campaign finance reform is a battle for another day.

The Senate votes yes to extend corporate welfare to Tobacco Growers and no to stopping Food Stamp cuts.

               The Senate voted down an amendment by Kristen Gillibrand (D-Ny) to restore $4.1 billion in Food Stamp cuts, by reducing corporate welfare to a handful of crop insurance companies, mostly based overseas. Only 26 Senators voted yes. We can’t just blame Republicans this time, 28 Democrats joined all Republicans in voting against the amendment. If our government moves forward with these cuts, 500,000 low income families will lose an average of $90 a month.

             There are already cuts being made to the Food Stamp Program because of Federal Stimulus money drying up. The part that is disgusting is that Democrats are voting against a large part of their base. The job market is slowly recovering, many of the jobs out there are low wage, part time jobs that don’t help people get off of assistance. The private market is creating those type of jobs, the government jobs are being cut by the Sequester. Now is not the time to cut Food Stamps, once the unemployment rate goes below 7% then you can start considering ot, until then you are hurting people that Republican policies already hurt.

Food Stamps until President Obama took office were a program tgat generally was left alone by both parties. Every $1.00 that is spent on foid assistance programs generates $1.84 for the economy. That is almost doubling your investment, what other Government program does that? It is a program that helps the working poor, which the Grear Recession created a lot of. To attack the lower income class while leaving corporate welfare alone, which cost taxpayers almost $200 billion as opposed to Food Stamps costing $80 billion, is a slap in the face of the American public. Many of these same Senators voted to continue subsidizing Tobacco Growers just days before voting to take food out of a child’s mouth. Tell me lobbying had nothing to do with either of these votes. This is a heinous act of cowardice by a Congress that obviously is more concerned with campaign donations than with their constituents.

This cut in Food Stamps will result in a loss of 56,243 jobs. Every $1 billion cut from the SNAP Program results in the loss of 13,718 jobs. The Center for American Progress notes that the job losses will have the greatest effect on young workers. They account for a large share of workers in the food related industries. Is now the right time to inact these cuts?

Paul Ryans latest budget calks for $135 billion in cuts from the SNAP Program. That is heating and food assistance for the poor and the elderly, these are the people that should we should be cutting aid from? Seriously? These cuts to the SNAP Program would result in 1,851,930 jobs lost, is that good for the economy Mr. Ryan? Republicans sell these cuts by saying those on assistance are lazy, contrary to this Republican intentional misconception, most workers return to the workforce within a year of losing their jobs. But the low wages and part time hours created by the Private Market continue helping prople qualify for the program. Republicans are betting on the working poor not showing up at the polls to punish their policy of hurting the poor to make the rich richer.

Upward mobility is nearly in the U.S. Our People are stuck in perpetual poverty without the means to improve themselves. Every policy or Bill proposed by Republicans benefit the wealthy abd step on the throat of the poor. President Obama has been trying to create steps up the ladder to the middle class, only to be obstructed by greedy Republicans. But this time Democrats sold him out as well. Good looking out for your people and your President.