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No Rich Man Left Behind: Link to Homelessness

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There are great discussions about our economy and how vast the United States deficit is and it seems that the United States Congress finds itself in a quandary as to how to fix it. Yet, there are those representatives who want to use this problem to further advance their careers and positions of power. The easiest way to accomplish this is to sooth the feathers of the rich, a population in this country that is in the top 1% of earners. According to an AP report by CNBC in 2013, based upon economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University, the top 1% reaps the largest rewards from corporate profits and stocks. Since 2009, 95% of overall income has gone to the 1%.

Knowing these facts unravels the answer to a not so mysterious riddle. Why do some in power of the United States Congress seem to relentlessly attack programs that assist the middle class and those in poverty? The answer held by many Liberals is that since the 2014 midterms are around the corner, politicians need to appeal to the extremely wealthy donors and the Tea-party. It is no secret that many Republican and Conservative candidates benefit from political donations made by the very rich. It is reasonable therefore, that by promising to balance the budget through the cutting of programs that do not affect the top 1%, those donations are a lock.

The following are items proposed to be cut in Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.” The Affordable Care Act is high on the agenda where he intends to again make healthcare out of reach for the majority of Americans. Ryan’s budget also targets SNAP (food stamps), by cutting that program $125 billion, poor students will be less likely to obtain Pell Grants because the proposed budget cuts Pell Grants, it recommends the removal of some government departments and the pruning of pensions for public sector workers. According to the Congressional Budget Office,

“An analysis of how Chairman Ryan’s budget resolution would affect poverty in our nation would help Congress understand the full impact its severe domestic spending cuts would have on the most vulnerable Americans. Specifically, funding for nondefense discretionary accounts, a category of spending that includes public education, home heating and rental assistance, nutrition assistance, health, and other critical investments, would be dramatically reduced by Chairman Ryan’s budget resolution. The budget resolution would shift Medicare costs onto seniors, restrict funding for a Medicaid program that largely benefits lower income seniors, . . . These and other policies will undoubtedly impact millions of Americans living in or near poverty today."

Without a doubt homelessness will worsen if this kind of assault continues on the middle-class and impoverished citizens in the United States. Poverty in the United States has become and will be a social condition with veiled ramifications due to the unwillingness of those in political power to grasp or to care about the bottom wage earners in U. S. society. These buried explanations will stay buried until people in power and those who have the greatest wealth want to step up and make necessary economic changes requiring the equal distribution of wealth, and/or the realization that in a capitalistic democracy good life chances depend upon fair wages that reflect cost of living increases, fulltime employment and benefits. “Homeless persons anchor the low end of a vast and growing wealth disparity in the United States.” (Barrett A. Lee, Tyler, K.A., Wright, J. D., 2010)

There are solutions if those in power would only listen. Pursuant to an article published today in Brookings, The Hamilton Project, June 18, 2014 by Kearny, Harris and Anderson from their introduction to their paper, “Policies to Address Poverty in America” it suggests attention to four main areas; 1) the promotion of early childhood development, 2) the support of disadvantaged youth, 3) attention to the adaptation of building skills, and 4) an increase in the availability of safety nets and work support. All of these require less political promotion and more consideration and devotion to all people who live in the United States. The only way to improve America is to become inclusive of the needs of everyone who lives within its borders. Political division is polluting the advancement of a great country falling behind the rest of the world.

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