Child Homelessness and Poverty Are Rising So Republicans Plan Harsh Program Cuts

child-poverty-rates-rise

There have been several encouraging economic reports over the past two years, and compared to directly after Republicans crashed the economy in 2008, they are indicators of recovery for the nation, and simply outstanding for Wall Street, corporations, the oil industry, and the richest  Americans. Along with every good economic report over the past year, there has been an accompanying shameful report for the richest nation on Earth revealing that the least advantaged Americans are sinking deeper into despair. There have even been reports that America’s storied middle class continues losing economic ground due to stagnating wages, and is declining at about the same pace as the poor who are getting much poorer. Despite the good economic news, the poor particularly find nothing whatsoever encouraging about the “outstanding recovery for the rich.”

In October, 78% of voters said they were worried that their financial situations will continue getting worse while the wealthy, Wall Street, and corporations get richer and richer. Some financial experts and pundits cannot understand why the poor and middle class are not celebrating the good news about the economic recovery. Despite promising economic trends, millions of Americans who have found work are barely surviving with poverty wages that are not keeping up with inflation, much less afford very modest housing for their families. A new report should clarify why most Americans, particularly poor Americans are not impressed, or encouraged about the recovery; no matter how good economic news appears.

The shocking report on the plight of the poor by the National Center of Family Homelessness (NCFH) revealed that as of 2013, one out of every 30 children in America is homeless. That works out to a shameful 2.5 million children (and rising) who are living on the streets, in cash-strapped shelters, in tents, in cars, or crammed together in “unstable housing with other families, relatives, or friends who are suffering equally financial and housing instability.” According to the NCFH director, Dr. Carmela DeCandia, “The impact of the Great Recession has really lingered for poor families despite other positive turns in the economy. Poverty is the driving factor behind family homelessness.” In fact, according to government statistics included in the report, 45-million Americans live in poverty and struggle to survive on an income at or below $19,530 for a family of 3, according to government statistics highlighted in the report. Of that 45-million, nearly half, or 22-million Americans, live in extreme poverty with incomes less than $11,157 for a family of four.

Family homelessness was not a big problem in America until the 1980s when cuts to social programs, particularly programs for low-income housing, sent many poor families into the street. Those who have a memory likely remember that it was in the 1980s that Republicans’ man-god, Ronald Reagan, told Americans that “government is the problem,” and their mortal enemy, and promptly slashed social programs for the poor. Reagan pulled a similar inhumane stunt while governor of California and ordered all of the state’s mental institutions shuttered killing countless jobs and sending thousands of mentally ill patients, en masse, into the streets. It is the Republican  lack of humanity for those least advantaged, particularly America’s children, that Republicans pant to repeat when they take control of Congress.

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the number of homeless children increased temporarily, but the statistics appeared to decline as victims found housing. However, thanks to the Bush-Republican Great Recession destroying millions of jobs, and GOP banking deregulation that created the housing crisis, child homelessness shot back up to a sickening 1.6 million by 2010. Due to Republican obstruction and cuts to housing assistance, and failure to even consider raising the federal poverty wage, the rate of child homelessness continues to climb. According to the report, child homelessness surged by 8% nationally by 2012 and it is down to poverty wages that are declining against the rise in the cost of living. Coupled with inhumane austerity cuts, the GOP is getting precisely what they apparently live for; more despair and destitution among the poor, especially children.

Obviously, child homelessness, like child poverty, is rampant across the former Confederacy where Republicans enacted right-to-work for less laws keeping wages at poverty levels. For example, 59,349 Alabama children were homeless during the 2012-2013 school year up from 35,239 the year before. Alabama’s minimum wage is $7.25, while a two bedroom apartment requires that tenants make at least double that rate; food is another issue altogether. 27% of Alabama’s children live in dire poverty and the incoming  Republican Congress will make sure that percentage rises. In Mississippi, 26,108 children are without homes and with the minimum wage at $7.25, the child poverty rate is 35% and rising. In Arkansas, 29% of children are homeless, live in dire poverty, and like New Mexico and most of the South, the income required to rent a tiny two-bedroom apartment is at least double the minimum wage.

The NCFH report offered a “very simple solution” to address the nation’s epidemic of child homelessness. The solution starts with “agreeing as a nation that children living doubled-up in basements and attics with relatives and friends are homeless and need our help. The next step is to ensure an adequate supply of safe, affordable housing combined with essential services. To remain housed, parents need employment opportunities that provide adequate income; this necessitates education, job training, transportation, and childcare.” President Obama has called on Congress to address all of those “simple solutions,” but they have instead offered up tax cuts for the rich, environmental and workplace deregulation, and threats to eliminate the federal minimum wage.

There is a reason Republicans have ignored indicators of economic recovery that primarily benefited their wealthy supporters over the past five years. Despite the stock market is at record highs, the budget deficit at a record lows, taxes and spending lowest in 60 years, they intend to slash spending on social programs and cut taxes for their wealthy supporters. It is why the Republican Congress will expedite passage of the Path to Prosperity budget to inflict more, much much more, damage on the poor and middle class and give more wealth to the one percent. It is just what Republicans do regardless that their precious donors have reaped all the economic recovery, and with this latest report that their inhumane austerity has increased child homelessness and poverty, they will be emboldened to do what they do best; inflict more harm on the poor, especially poor children.

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34 Replies to “Child Homelessness and Poverty Are Rising So Republicans Plan Harsh Program Cuts”

  1. Knowing this how can anyone that voted for the Rs be able to look at themselves in a mirror and not be ashamed for what their dear Repigs are about to do to the children. To let children starve is barbaric. Now how do you feel about your vote or non vote.

  2. I do hate to mention this but REQUIRING non custodial parents to actually pay their child support would help. By there being such lax support laws with non custodial parents in the tens of thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in owed child support. If the custodial parent had that money when it was owed to them maybe they could afford a place to live. But custodial interference is illegal when paying for your child isn’t.

  3. And its about to get worse. In January, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is slated to take over as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the federal workforce and the entire Postal Service. Johnson has said that the Postal Service should go through a bankruptcy process that would result in a downsized, private corporation that would lose the benefits of governmental oversight and regulation. It could also allow the revised entity to terminate or substantially modify its contracts, including its collective bargaining agreements with various postal unions.
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/11/18/3593389/congress-postal-service/

  4. As a former employer I can attest to that. Also, in my city the police conduct a round-up every 3-4 months of “deadbeat” dads and moms who aren’t paying their child support. Then they publish who it is they picked up, with photos. It works.

  5. For the most part the people on this site can talk about how bad the republicans are, however how many on this site did not bother to vote? If that’s the case then there’s no reason to complain. You will reap what you sow.

  6. It was the non vote that bothered me the most. Where were the Democrats in this last election? Blaming Republicans is easy, but if Democrats and Independents don’t bother to vote, who is really at fault? Democrats allowed this to happen! Can they now look themselves in the mirror? This is why I remain an Independent. I can’t stand the clod blooded, greedy policies of the Republicans and I can’t stand the apathy of Democrat voters, nor the backboneless Democrat politicians.

  7. They’ve been out to privatize (destroy) the Post Office for years. Hopefully the President will be able to stop it.

  8. I voted Democrat down the ticket here in Maine, then I went home after work and watched my local NBC affiliate declare Susan Collins the victor within a half hour after polls closed. She received one-third the vote of registered Democrats and so called independents. Turnout matters but loyalty to party is killing democrats nationwide. Remember the 1980’s and them Reagan Democrats?

  9. Morgan,

    Do you work in the legal field in family law? Thought NOT.

    Cites or you are just ‘making this up’ because that is NOT the BIG problem. Lack of jobs with a living wage are the problem. Unemployed people are automatically given the $7.25 x 40/hr pay scale for child support.

    You obviously know little to nothing about how child support works; sounds like you were COURT ORDERED to pay it and are still bitter.

  10. Only when the Reich Wing (Republicans) are completely gone from this world will we be a free nation where poverty is a thing of the past. Voting them out is not enough! We need to systematically remove their income and curtail the propaganda in a material way. They must be utterly destroyed!

  11. Darrell Issa and others started going after the post office along time ago by forcing them to Pre fund future employees retirement they haven’t even hired yet up to 75 years. No company in the world operates this way! It would throw you into bankruptcy. The republicans are responsible for destroying thousands of post office workers lives for creating a fake problem. They’ve blocked new ways to generate money. Why? To turn it over to a big private business because it’s a success. Now, they just make their money on stamps, imagine how it will be when the republican privatize it. We really need to fight this.

  12. Rick,

    Fortunately, the constitution requires that we fund a post office and it would need a amendment to change that.

    I’d like to see Fedex or UPS deliver a letter across the country for 49 cents.

    They would ask for federal subsidies to make a profit and the Conservatives would gladly pay it as was a private corporation.

  13. Sir, in response to your statement regarding child support…the problem with a lot of the “Dad’s” is…they get paid cash under the table, so it appears they have no, or very little, income. For instance, the Father of one of my Grand Sons is a painter. He is paid via Cash under the table..He currently owes my Daughter thousands in back child support. She will report him and they will lock him up, but then lets him out with just a fine…The City/State’s just do not MAKE these dad’s do a thing, and the cycle is repeated.

  14. The Republicans claim that President Obama has caused the United States to lose our standing on the world stage. I disagree, what has caused the United States to lose our standing if the unadulterated greed and the uncompromising dislike of people who are different, by the so called Conservative party. These people hide behind God, and use their religion as a weapon to hurt people who do not agree with them. They can’t stand the fact that a black man is President.
    Our President has shown that he represents all Americans not just the rich Americans. To hurt this President the Republican Party has caused unmitigated suffering to millions of middle class, working and poor people. The way they treat the elderly and our veterans is shameful. They have fought tooth and nail to defund the “Affordable Care Act”, why? This is not a free service; people have to pay for it. 45,000 Americans died each year because they could not afford health care. They have gutted public education; t…

  15. This interesting and if true then an Executive order should issued

    They are an endangered species, but there are a few capitalists who see the income inequality of the New Gilded Age as a threat to capitalism, as they should. One is Nick Hanauer, who was an early investor in Amazon. He writes a lengthy essay in Politico about how awful it is that overtime for workers has gone away and what President Obama can do about it:
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954.html#.VGzb02x0xy1

    Its a long read but go for it.

  16. Maybe if Democrats started running as Democrats and gave up the stampede to the right? Something other than watered-down Tea Party-ism to vote for might get peoples’ interest. It’s impossible to get excited about this kind of milque-toast crap.

    I voted, haven’t missed a vote since 1972.

  17. Republican Ethics: Teach Someone to Fish, Then Fuck ‘Em It’s really one of the dumbest, most meaningless things anyone can say and other dumbasses will think it profound: “Give someone a fish, and they’ll eat for a day. Teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime.” What the fuck? How is this still a thing people say? Because, see, as the Rude Pundit has explained before, how is that poor bastard going to fish without a fishing pole, a line, perhaps a net, and, in most places, a license? Are you sure that this newly-minted fisherman is living near a body of water that has edible fish? And, while he’s getting all that shit straight, what the fuck is he gonna eat? The knowledge you gave him? You’re just setting someone up to starve to death, but you can pat yourself on the back and tell yourself, “Goddamn, I’m a good person ’cause I taught a dude to fish.” – See more at: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/?tw_p=twt#sthash.TXAQ208I.dpuf

  18. djchefron…Give a man a fish and he eats for a day..give a man a religion and he will starve to death praying for a fish..

  19. another part of the problem is the state makes sure they get any money owed from wage garnishment before giving the child any money….a least that’s the way it is in oklahoma

  20. Sometimes a solution to a problem is so simple

    Vacant Houses Outnumber Homeless People in U.S.
    Since 2007, banks have foreclosed around eight million homes. It is estimated that another eight to ten million homes will be foreclosed before the financial crisis is over. This approach to resolving one part of the financial crisis means many, many families are living without adequate and secure housing. In addition, approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are homeless, many of them veterans. It is worth noting that, at the same time, there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country.
    http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/more_vacant_homes_than_homeless_in_us_20111231

  21. How is it possible to have ‘homeless’ children when we spend $956 billion annually on welfare? Are priorities wrong in the public aid offices?
    And why on earth would we encourage Central America to dump their unaccompanied children here when we can’t take care of our own?

  22. No, we don’t spend $1 trillion on welfare each year
    Cash and cash-like programs: As Michael Linden of Center for American Progress told me, there are five big programs in the Cato list that are most analogous to what people think of as “welfare”: The refundable part of the Earned Income Tax Credit ($55 billion), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ($21 billion), Supplemental Security Income ($43.7 billion), food stamps ($75 billion), and housing vouchers ($18 billion) and the Child Tax Credit. All together, that’s around $212 billion dollars.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/12/no-we-dont-spend-1-trillion-on-welfare-each-year/

    So you are either ignorant or a liar and please don’t cite Cato FOR YOUR FACTS

  23. We never did encourage central America to dump their kids here. Thats the lou dobbs fox news breitbart garbage line. In fact many have been deported and this administration has negotiated with these country to keep their kids at home. How do we have homeless? There are certain qualifications to getting welfare. It not just handed out. Perhaps you could research why children are homeless. Just dont tell your news sources you are doing it

  24. An Alternative to Capitalism (since we cannot legislate morality)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to my essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published in the OPEDNEWS:

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/An-Alternative-to-Capitali-by-John-Steinsvold-130326-864.html

    John Steinsvold

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    ~ Marianne Williamson

  25. There are ways around wage garnishment. In my case, my ex-husband’s employer was ordered to collect the child support from his pay. There was a court date set for three months after the court hearing contingent upon the child support having been paid in accordance with the court order. When the three months elapsed, the employer transferred my ex to the payroll of one of his other companies.

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