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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: PA
Member since: Wed May 11, 2005, 09:48 PM
Number of posts: 10,659

About Me

I love spending time with my grandchildren and gardening.

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President’s Budget Shreds Hope for Low-Income Americans

President’s Budget Shreds Hope for Low-Income Americans
February 13, 2012 07:06 PM Eastern Time

WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--President Obama’s proposed cut, of nearly 50 percent, to the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) would be a devastating blow to more than 1,000 community action agencies (CAAs) that help low-income Americans find employment, housing, education and emergency services. With America’s poverty rate at 15.1 percent, its highest level since 1993, these cuts threaten the economic security of families living in or near poverty and the rebuilding of America’s middle class. “Cutting Community Service Blog Grant funding in half will shred vital State and local programs and services for the most vulnerable Americans at a time when they are needed more than ever”.

“Cutting Community Service Blog Grant funding in half will shred vital State and local programs and services for the most vulnerable Americans at a time when they are needed more than ever,” said Steve Payne, President of the National Association for State Community Service Programs Board of Directors and Director of the Department of Commerce, Community Services and Housing Division in Washington state. “We urge Congress to reinstate level funding of $677 million and preserve this essential block grant for the more than 20 million low-income Americans served by CSBG last year.”

CSBG has measurable results that reduce or eliminate poverty by helping individuals find job training, obtain employment and remove employment barriers, such as safe and reliable housing and transportation. During the last fiscal year, the CSBG network effectively allowed 5.6 million low-income participants to acquire a job or reduce barriers to employment; assisted 3.2 million low-income vulnerable individuals to maintain an independent living situation; and 3.9 million people participated in child and family development programs, among other accomplishments.

“During an era when Americans are struggling with high unemployment, underemployment, and financial burdens lingering from a deep recession, we’re appalled to see this attack on vulnerable Americans looking to contribute to the economic health of the country. In order for people to move out of poverty and into the ranks of the middle class, we need to ensure that they have access to available jobs and livable wages, and not create further barriers to their economic security,” said Payne.

As part of its ongoing effort to ensure that CSBG funds are used efficiently and with the highest impact to participants, NASCSP released an accreditation proposal for improving performance measures and accountability of CSBG-funded agencies. The Obama administration’s proposed funding cuts will effectively make these recommendations moot by dismantling programs with proven results and direct impact to people most in need.

Please Welcome My New Grandson to the World


Even Critics of Safety Net Depend on It Increasingly

Even Critics of Safety Net Depend on It Increasingly
Adam B. Ellick/The New York Times

LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government. He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region’s long-serving Democratic congressman.

Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice.

There is little poverty here in Chisago County, northeast of Minneapolis, where cheap housing for commuters is gradually replacing farmland. But Mr. Gulbranson and many other residents who describe themselves as self-sufficient members of the American middle class and as opponents of government largess are drawing more deeply on that government with each passing year.

Dozens of benefits programs provided an average of $6,583 for each man, woman and child in the county in 2009, a 69 percent increase from 2000 after adjusting for inflation. In Chisago, and across the nation, the government now provides almost $1 in benefits for every $4 in other income.


The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.



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