Friday, December 16, 2011

Under-Reported News

These are two items which fall into the category of 'under-reported news' (not unreported). I'd say they are pretty important issues - how about you?
"Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income."
"The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families."
""Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too 'rich' to qualify," said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty."
""The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," he said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years.""
"Congressional Republicans and Democrats are sparring over legislation that would renew a Social Security payroll tax reduction, part of a year-end political showdown over economic priorities that could also trim unemployment benefits, freeze federal pay and reduce entitlement spending."
"Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, questioned whether some people classified as poor or low-income actually suffer material hardship. He said that while safety-net programs have helped many Americans, they have gone too far. He said some people described as poor live in decent-size homes, drive cars and own wide-screen TVs."
""There's no doubt the recession has thrown a lot of people out of work and incomes have fallen," Rector said. "As we come out of recession, it will be important that these programs promote self-sufficiency rather than dependence and encourage people to look for work.""
"Mayors in 29 cities say more than 1 in 4 people needing emergency food assistance did not receive it. Many formerly middle-class Americans are dropping below the low-income threshold — roughly $45,000 for a family of four — because of pay cuts, a forced reduction of work hours or a spouse losing a job."
"President Barack Obama marked the end of the U.S. war in Iraq with a salute to American troops at a military base central to the fight and a pledge to support veterans who are returning home to face a difficult economy."
“As your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I’m proud to finally say these two words,” Obama told soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the 82nd Airborne Division and the Army Special Operations Command. “Welcome home.”

"The conclusion of the war is “an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making,” he said. “And today, we remember everything that you did to make it possible..."
"The first bombs began exploding in Baghdad in March 2003, leading to more than 1 million Americans serving in Iraq at some time during military action that Pentagon figures show cost almost 4,500 American lives, with more than 32,000 wounded."
"When it passes a fiscal 2012 defense appropriation, Congress will have authorized at least $823 billion for Iraq military operations, $47.6 billion for State Department and Agency for International Development reconstruction and an additional $7.2 billion for Veterans Administration Iraq-related medical issues, according to the Congressional Research Service."
Both news stories with tremendous implications for the future of our  country. Both stories that should have tremendous implications for our politics going forward. 
Both 'under-reported'...

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