The GOP Congress members got out of town this weekend without facing any airport delays. In just one day before leaving they had enacted a law to put the furloughed airport traffic controllers back to work and thus eradicate the tie-ups at the airports which had resulted from the infamous "sequester". Why, my gosh, these members had been back from Easter recess for several weeks - yes, weeks! - and just had to get another recess. So they unknotted the airports and went flying off.
Leaving America's seniors to go hungry. And its children to sleep in the open and the cold.
Four million meals will be cut from seniors' Meals on Wheels. Four million times seniors will go without food. Like the recent air traffic jam, that too is a result of the sequester, the across--the-board cut in federal funding forced on the nation in the summer of 2011 as the price for the GOP raising the debt limit so we could pay our EXISTING debts and not force the nation into bankruptcy. There has been almost two years since summer 2011 for Congress to modify the harshest aspects of sequester - just as it has now done for air travel - but because of GOP intransigence the sequester remains in its original form, a legislative ax that not only cuts deep but without any discretion being left to federal agencies as to which programs to cut. It is stupid and childish, a magnificent example of what Sen. Harry Reid (and I, in earlier blogs) have identified as the "anarchist" face of the GOP: "Government is despicable," the GOP believes, "so chop it willy-nilly."
In the richest nation in the world, old people will now go hungry. Maybe it will be 4 million seniors going hungry once, or maybe it will be the same 100,000 seniors missing 40 meals. That's the equivalent of 100,000 seniors missing a meal a day for about six weeks. That's two weeks longer than Congress went without a vacation. Clearly some folks are meant to suffer more than other folks because who can deny it's harder to go hungry than it is to sit for three days a week in the posh offices of Congress on a nice fat salary, with all the warm food you could want, with special interest lobbyists lined up to take you out for a meal.
Shame on Congress! Shame on them for not fixing the sequester's cut in senior meals. And its cut in housing subsidies that will now put 140,000 families out on the streets. Most of these families have children. They will now be sleeping under bridges or, if they are lucky, in the family car.
Shame on the Democrats for not explaining the suffering the GOP has engineered.
Shame on the media for not making a fuss about this national disgrace.
Oh, I forgot! The media was too busy this weekend with its annual tribute to gluttony, the D.C. press corps gala dinner. Too busy swanning around in posh clothes, mingling with movie stars, and EATING LOTS OF EXPENSIVE FOOD. Why should they care about seniors going hungry or kids sleeping in parks?
But the rest of us had better care.
Call your dad or your grandma and make sure they are eating. Do you even know if they need Meals on Wheels? Do you know if their meals are going to be cut? Do you realize that their generation is too proud to let anyone know if they don't have food?
I don't know what to tell you about helping the now-homeless children. I just don't know. They are virtually invisible. But try to find them. And help them. Please.
Somehow we will have to take back the House next year and get enough Democratic senate seats to overcome filibustering. How do we do this, with the rottenness of 2010's redistricting? Again, I just don't know. But, as with homeless children, things have to be put right. We just have to do it.