It is a sad fact of the human condition that there are people, a frightening number of people, who are predisposed to inflicting pain and suffering on other human beings that informs their sadism, brutality, and lack of humanity. It is likely most Americans believe that savages with a natural inclination to inflict suffering on other people are incarcerated to protect society, and that would be a fair assumption, but it ignores Republicans in Congress and the states who see the condition of struggling Americans and with malice aforethought wage a ferocious battle to inflict more suffering in the name of conservative fiscal ideology and apparently, religion. The cruelty inherent in 21st century Republicans cannot be understated or ignored any longer, especially when in the richest nation in the history of the world, as the rich are getting richer by the minute, the number of Americans living in poverty is growing by leaps and bounds due to Republican allegiance to the rich and contempt for everyone else.
According to Census Bureau statistics, nearly one in six (15%) Americans live in poverty and struggle to feed their families on paltry wages or pathetic retirement incomes, but the truth is that nearly half the population is at or near the federal poverty line. The bottom 50% of income earners highest wage is approximately $34,000 per year according to the IRS, and to qualify for poverty SNAP (food stamp) assistance a family can bring in 130% of the federal poverty line or roughly $30,000 for a family of four. The Census Bureau contradicts its own number of 15% of Americans in poverty because its Supplementary Poverty Measure increased by around 50% the number of Americans’ with incomes between one-half and twice the threshold to be considered living in poverty and qualify for food assistance including children, senior citizens, disabled Americans, and the working poor.
As more Americans were driven into poverty courtesy of no jobs, middle class jobs replaced with minimum wage jobs, and declining wages, twenty rich Americans earned more from investment income than the cost of the entire food stamp program Republicans are fighting to slash to make room for more tax cuts and advantages for the richest 1% of income earners. The income inequality ravaging more and more Americans “increased by more over the past three years than in the previous twelve,” according to a report from the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) while Republicans call for lower wages, less food assistance, and more job-killing cuts to enrich the already obscenely wealthy and their corporations. While the rich got richer, the Economic Policy Institute revealed that the parasitic 47% Republicans detest have no assets whatsoever, and belies Paul Ryan and Republican’s contention that Americans receiving assistance are taking the wealth and assets from so-called makers the GOP claims are burdened by programs to alleviate hunger. The truth is that the GOP’s beleaguered “makers” earned more from the stock market last year than the total budget for food stamps, housing assistance, and education combined that House Republicans’ budget targeted for drastic cuts to make room for a 15% tax cut for the one-percent. In fact, just twenty of Republican’s tortured wealthy Americans earned as much from investment income alone than the entire SNAP budget that Republicans are seeking to cut and it inspired one Republican to defend drastic cuts to SNAP by citing the Christian bible.
Last week during discussions on how much Republicans can slash from food assistance for 47-million Americans in poverty, Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher cited the bible as divine permission to take food from hungry Americans claiming that according to the word of god, “Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” It was just a matter of time before some Republican cited the bible as a reason to deny poor children, seniors, disabled Veterans, and working poor Americans food, and it informed the cruelty that permeates the Republican Party and their machinations to starve poor Americans. First, the majority of the 47 million Americans who receive food stamp are children or the elderly, and most are employed at poverty-level, part-time minimum wage jobs. According to a USDA report, in 2012 45% of food stamp recipients were under 18 years of age, 9% percent were 60 or older, and over 40% lived in households with income earned from low-wage jobs. According to Fincher and his ilk, 54% of 47-million Americans receiving food stamps, including children and retired Americans, “should not eat” because they are “unwilling to work,” and the 40% who work at poverty wages should go hungry for the general crime of being poor in America. The cruelty is exacerbated when one considers that Republicans have been on a job-killing tear with their “celebrated” sequester and rejection of job creation legislation President Obama has all but begged Republicans to pass, and their goal is apparently to starve more Americans by design and killing jobs to justify cutting food stamp assistance.
There is also the issue of disabled Americans, many of whom are Veterans and the elderly, who are unable to work that Republicans imply are lazy parasites and “should not eat,” and it explains why the GOP made no effort to stop sequester cuts for programs like Meals on Wheels, school lunches, and Head Start. Republicans, or their supporters, can no longer claim their objective is not starving poor Americans or creating an entire population of peasants to enrich their wealthy donors. During the campaign for the White House last year, Republicans complained President Obama’s attempts raise taxes on the extremely wealthy was a class war, and yet they have spent the past four years assailing 95% of the population to increase the wealth of their precious makers that reaped the lion’s share of the President’s economic recovery. Apparently, knowing that half of the population is living in poverty emboldens Republicans to increase those numbers until the great majority of Americans are starving peasants and all of this country’s wealth rests with the richest Americans.
The level of Republican cruelty to deny food assistance to those they claim are “unwilling to work” as they kill jobs to enrich the makers is beyond comprehension, and that there are lunatics supporting their policies defies reason; especially when the 47% includes staunch Republican supporters who themselves are part of the 50% drowning in poverty. One cannot help but marvel that for the second time in a week Republicans have assailed those barely surviving on Social Security, disability, food stamps, and poor children who are threatened with starvation because they are “unwilling to work” so they “should not eat,” but that is the definition of cruelty. Remember, cruelty is defined as a person who is “predisposed to inflicting suffering on other human beings” out of sadism, brutality, and lack of humanity and if it does not accurately define Republicans then the Sun rises in the West.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.