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No Baby Formula for Poor Kids? Sequester Cuts Are Tragic Blow to the Poor

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: , fiscal cliff, budget cuts, deficit reduction, sequestration, spending cuts, Republicans, President Obama, medicare, medicaid, poor, social security, food stamps )

- 2263 days ago -
The sequestration cuts contain billions of dollars in mandatory budget reductions in programs that help low-income Americans including one that gives vouchers for housing to the poor, disabled, and another that provides fortified baby formula to the poor.


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Bill K (3)
Thursday March 7, 2013, 4:09 pm
the headlines whenever budget cuts occur are always about something tragic for the poor. someday i'd like to see a headline that says tragedy for the rich. it's their turn to shoulder some of the burden. maybe they'll have to pawn a few diamonds to make ends meet.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday March 7, 2013, 4:49 pm

This keeps pressing the over-present question . . . "How much cruelty and lack of empathy will be tolerated before people stand upright and say "ENOUGH! You do NOT represent me nor my values!"


Julia R (298)
Thursday March 7, 2013, 5:54 pm
"One of the broad generalization you hear about the sequester is that it exempted the big programs that benefit the poor and elderly, notably Social Security, Medicare (the benefits, not the provider payments), Medicaid, CHIP and SNAP (a.k.a. food stamps). It’s largely true, and progressive unhappiness over the erroneous belief in the White House that sequestration would never actually happen should be balanced with appreciation that the president (and more specifically, his chief negotiator Jack Lew) insisted on these exemptions.

But as the New York Times’ Annie Lowrey explains today, the exemptions hardly insulated needy Americans from the sequester’s willy-nilly destructiveness:

The $85 billion in automatic cuts working their way through the federal budget spare many programs that aid the poorest and most vulnerable Americans, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program and food stamps.

But the sequestration cuts, as they are called, still contain billions of dollars in mandatory budget reductions in programs that help low-income Americans, including one that gives vouchers for housing to the poor and disabled and another that provides fortified baby formula to the children of poor women.

Unless a deal is reached to change the course of the cuts, housing programs would be hit particularly hard, with about 125,000 individuals and families put at risk of becoming homeless, the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated. An additional 100,000 formerly homeless people might be removed from emergency shelters or other housing arrangements because of the cuts, the agency said….

Other programs that assist low-income families face similarly significant cuts, including one that delivers hot meals to the elderly and another that helps pregnant women. Policy experts are particularly concerned about cuts to the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children known as WIC, which provides food and baby formula for at-risk families.

It is considered one of the most effective social programs in government, reducing anemia and increasing birth weights. But up to 775,000 low-income women and their children might lose access to or be denied that aid because of the mandatory cuts, according to calculations by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit research group.

These are effects from mandated cuts that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calls a “pittance,” which is cold comfort to the people we are talking about. And that’s aside from the particular vulnerability of low-income folk to cuts in non-means-tested programs, not to mention a slowed or stalled economic recovery."

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 7, 2013, 9:58 pm

Dan H (0)
Thursday March 7, 2013, 11:15 pm
My word... this is rather pathetic. If they had sequestered the salaries of congress, none of this would have come about.

Helen Porter (39)
Friday March 8, 2013, 2:38 am
I didn't know about vouchers for housing. I do live in affordable housing where I pay less rent and it's on a lease, year to year. I live in the senior part of the housing. That doesn't sound like a voucher to me.
I hope not.

. (0)
Friday March 8, 2013, 5:11 am
As an Englishman living in Canada, and because I should not want to offend my very dear American friends, let me say that there are plenty of lunatics and incompetents in the governments of the EU, notably in Britain. Having said that, sequestration is one of the aspects of American politics that makes Europeans think just about everything in American governance is utterly perverse. Who in their senses would implement a policy that reflexively, without due thought and consideration, cuts budgets and programmes indiscriminately? The article is generally spot-on, though I shouldn't myself include Medicare among programmes left intact. Yes, some programmes are exempt, but only because the Repubs don't want to see a mob advancing on the Capitol carrying pitchforks. In truth, the life-supporting programmes left intact are ones the Repubs would like to see abolished altogether. The vital programmes NOT exempt are so because the Repubs, now that the moderates have gone, to a man and woman are utterly incapable of sympathy, let alone empathy, for the plight that so many Americans are in re housing, nutrition, etc. I'm a retired academic and very far from given to rash judgements, but I must say that inability to make any emotional connection with the pain of others is the essence of sociopathy.

But now comes a shock. A big one. James Inhofe, as reactionary and 'bought' a Republican as I know of in the Capitol, is one of two senators who proposed a bill that would have allowed the President to red-pencil the cuts, or as one columnist put it, use a scalpel instead of a hatchet. Politcally there are small disadvantages in that for the WH, but those vastly outweighed by the advantages. We might, e.g., see those ludicrous farm subsidies cut instead of medical research, rather than vice versa as it is now. But also, if the Repubs would agree to let the WH phase in the cuts over time, in other words think for once, the looming impact of the Bill on the still-ailing economy would be greatly mitigrated. And, to return to the gist of the article, those programmes that sustain the lives of the elderly, the poor, the sick, children and babies, could be retained. And so too the Foreign Aid programme, a trifling amount relatively and the one thing that puts a beneficent smile on the profie of the U.S. abroad. If the Repubs agreed. But there is a second shock, and that is that Obama rejected the Inhofe-Toomey proposal, insisting still on a bill that balances cuts and tax increases. As no Repub will accept any tax increase unless hell freezes over, there is another impasse, and the sequester goes ahead, the budget of the United States in the control of an automaton with anarchic tendencies. Obama has made a mistake here. He's too intent on replacing sequestration and having a balance of cuts and tax increases. Also, it's been said that the WH doesn't want to 'own' any cuts. But it wouldn't, for if Obama accepted the 'scalpel' proposal, cuts would still have to be approved by Congress, so the House and Senate would ultimately 'own' whatever emerged. I criticize Obama here, but the impasse in its entirety over past months belongs to the Republicans without a doubt. Their fixation on no tax increases is the stuff of Hoffer's 'True Believer', government according to ideology, and pathological, as are other of their policies. And I'll say again, their utter lack of emotional connection with suffering, their 'unattachment' as it's sometimes called, is plainly sociopathic. The article is good, but it deals with only a part of the suffering sequestration will cause, including that of those who will pay the price if it triggers a renewal of the recession. I much hope charity tax exemption is retained, for the charities may be facing a rush.

Past Member (0)
Friday March 8, 2013, 5:29 am
Wonder how many children and adults that this sequestration will actually kill. Why don't we send all Washington home and stop their fat paychecks, save a lot of money as they do nothing for the people anyway. Welllllllllll they do ride the planes and trains often---that is inserting money into the system. Noted with thanks

Past Member (0)
Friday March 8, 2013, 6:18 am
S & N! Bless your heart my precious friend Julia! you are a wonderful example of all that is good in this world!!!
Much love to you always!

Helen Porter (39)
Friday March 8, 2013, 1:53 pm
When morning came and I checked with my apartment complex manager. She told me that they do not accept vouchers.Therefore, I, myself am safe.

Hallelu YAH!!!

But that's not enough. My heart, my prayers, my visualizing is going out to those who are seriously affected by this cruelty. I'm signing petitions and making phone calls and doing what I can to stop that greedy
monster formed by the greed of the wealthy.

I myself, seem to be safe and secure but what affects others affects me. In truth we are one. We are one people of Earth. Our technology has made this real. I belong to Care2 because your sorrow is my sorrow. Your victory is my victory.

As Tiny Tim said, God bless us everyone.

Katie & Bill D (90)
Friday March 8, 2013, 1:59 pm
Of all things to take away! Baby formula?? The very thing babies need!! I think Big Corporations, Oil, Fracking, there are many others that could be cut for subsidies! Terrible gutless cutting! Even make a cut to those who don't do their job as Politicans!
Thank You

Arthur Riding (32)
Friday March 8, 2013, 5:18 pm
As has been said many times by many people in recent weeks, the sequester cuts are utterly insane and generally affect the worst off in Society, ie those least able to compensate for the cuts from reserves or other sources. Part of the trouble is that both sides are to blame. The Republican politicians, as we all know, are mainly completely out of their minds and are being totally manipulated by their big business masters, dancing at the end of their strings to the music of big business interests. In fact most of them are not nearly bright enough to have their own ideas, they mainly just do as they are told. Democratic politicians in Congress though also dance like puppets to the music of their masters, including their own big business interests, just different ones to those of the Republicans and the problem now is that both sides are so entrenched and blind because of their own propaganda that they loose sight of what is the purpose of Government. It is becoming just like the First World War, both sides well entrenched and firing bullets and dropping bombs on each other with no effect other than the death of thousands, even millions of largely innocent people.
What is really needed in America nowadays is the moral re-education of all politicians. But not only politicians, American Society as a whole has also lost its way and needs a moral re-education. Nothing to do with all that nonsense which some promote like being anti-sex, anti-gay, anti this that and the other. Morality is nothing to do with anti, it is all about being pro real human values including helping the weak and disadvantaged. The mainstream media are little help, being also part of the big business propaganda machine. However, until America wakes up to real human values, life for the poor and disadvantaged (indeed for everyone except the top 1%) will get worse, not better.

David C (75)
Friday March 8, 2013, 6:48 pm
always the irony, care more about the unborn than the living.....

Anne S (14)
Friday March 8, 2013, 6:54 pm
Instead of taking from the poor why can't the rich pay higher taxes?

Barbara Y (47)
Friday March 8, 2013, 10:01 pm
Noted! Thanks Julia!

Mike M (8)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 9:16 am
A lame government keeping its masters happy and punishing the rest of the country.

. (0)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 9:21 am
This is beyond shameful. No baby formula for the poor? What the hell is wrong with the government? They must know that these cuts ultimately affect the poorest among us, not the fat cats at the top who have no financial worries. Do they care? seems not. Take more from those who can afford it. Time to care about those who suffer each day in poverty and have to scramble just to obtain the essentials of life. Thank you Julia for this important post. Will share.

Elizabeth Fuller (134)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 11:08 am
Noted, the rich just keep getting richer while everyone else suffers.

Past Member (0)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 11:14 am

Patricia C (825)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 11:32 am
So discouraging to read about things like this. Also to think that things aren't moving in the right direction is so sad. The rich get richer and the poor............well it seems to hell with them. What a world, what a world. I pity the next generation. Arthur Riding you said a mouthful but it certainly was worth reading. I do agree with you though. All this from the great and all mighty U. S. of A. Disgraceful............

LaurenBackSoon K (173)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 12:17 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting.

Aletta Kraan (146)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 1:04 pm
Noted terrible unfair !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christeen A (300)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 1:54 pm
We have got to stop punishing the children of people that are in poverty or close to it.

Iveta C (38)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 2:05 pm
Noted , thanks for posting Julia

Kelly Rogers (303)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 3:36 pm
What is new

Catherine Turley (192)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 5:12 pm
the system is dysfunctional at all levels. fraud and waste are rampant, but it's quicker and easier to raise taxes. there are truly needy people who deserve help, but they are getting short-changed because nobody wants to put in the effort to clean up the system. i was buying formula and diapers for a woman whose husband went to jail while she was battling cancer. she finally started getting government assistance and i was relieved. come to find out, she was able to give her husband $100 per month to pass out amongst his buddies, and she had enough for a new tattoo. we need major changes... right now.

Laurie H (818)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 5:26 pm
Thanks for sending, Toni & Julia for posting.~~ The craziness continues~

Past Member (0)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 7:13 pm
S & N!

Agnes N (703)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 7:31 pm
Thanks Toni, Julia

P A (117)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 9:19 am
Boehner 'I got 98% of what I wanted - I'm happy' is the cause of this misery - along with his Reich wing cohorts.

Thanks for this Julia and Toni for forwarding.

P A (117)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 9:25 am
Forgot to say - stars to Julia and Catherine and Toni and Zee and others - but especially to Philip Amos whose post is VERY worth reading!

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 9:57 am
TY, Julia & Toni / Toni & Julia.

got & did

. (0)
Monday March 11, 2013, 9:39 am
I really believe that there is an order over sovereign states, this is the "power of finance" and every fact like this and what is happening almost daily in Europe confirms this hypothesis of science fiction.
About global conspiracies and choices incomprehensible to the people there are hundreds of books, certainly many are totally fanciful and devoid of evidence, but among hundreds of books written in many different countries of the world, at least one truth exists

Our only strength is to talk about these things and inform all the people close to us, ignorance today is the best ally of the strong power

Noted Thank you my unique friend Julia - green star to Philip and Toni
Totally agree Chaterine - we need major changes... right now - and I'll add, changes yes, but global

Beth M (138)
Monday March 11, 2013, 2:42 pm
Any budget cuts always seem to affect the poor the most.

Süheyla C (234)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 12:48 pm
Noted , thanks for posting Julia
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