Lost in the circular blame game media hype of the GOP vs. the White House vs. the contractors vs. HHS are an estimated 30 million people who'll still be uninsured even if the website worked like a charm from Day One. This includes the 8 million desperately poor people deliberately barred from expanded Medicaid in GOP-controlled states.
These same 30 million are joining nearly 20 million others who, starting Friday, will have their SNAP benefits cut by an average of $32 a month for a family of three. That's a week's worth of thrifty meals. And since most Food Stamp households contain children, it kind of does bring the political malpractice up to the level of felony-grade child abuse.
The looming cuts don't even factor in the $4 billion already agreed to by the full Senate. That's peanuts, compared to the $40 billion the clinical sadists of the House GOP want to inflict, just to hold up poor people as Old Testament pariahs deserving of scorn.
So where's the outrage over the deliberate slow starvation of a fifth of the population? Where's the anger over the fact that half of all public school children now live below the poverty line, and that a third of all adults are deemed officially poor in the "one exceptional nation?" How about the insanity of both parties even discussing chained CPI for retirees when the level of extreme elder poverty jumped another 16% in the last year alone?
A website glitch is the least of it. Where are the jobs? Where's the humanity?
And continuing in that vein is my response to Paul Krugman's piece on "War on the Poor":
War on the poor? It's looking an awful lot like a planned annihilation of the poor.
Starting today, SNAP benefits for more than 45 million people are being slashed for the first time in history. It amounts to the loss of about 16 meals a month per person.
Is Congress done yet? Of course not. The Caligula Caucus won't rest until they literally snatch an additional $40 billion worth of sustenance from the mouths of children, the old, the disabled, veterans and working poor families.
And not content to simply starve people, the Grand Inquisitors of the GOP demonize them, demanding they be drug-tested before consuming their rice and beans. And, they proclaim as they thump their Bibles, if you want to eat, go get a job. They callously ignore the fact that it's the lack of jobs created by their own political malpractice that's forcing record numbers of people onto food stamps in the first place.
Are they done yet? No way. Unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless will expire in two months, throwing even more millions into outright destitution.
It's not only a war on the poor. It's a counter-revolution against the New Deal. Wall Street gets billions every month in quantitative easing (a/k/a corporate welfare for greedy hoarders.) The downtrodden get a kick in the teeth. Or should I say gums, because poor people can't afford to see a dentist. And if people can no longer chew, food becomes a choking hazard.
And that is probably all part of the grisly GOP plan.Mind you, I'd been watching The Pit and the Pendulum, part of TCM's Vincent Price-Edgar Allan Poe bloodbath Halloween marathon at the time Krugman's column came up. Nothing like Grade B cinematic horror to make you realize how tame it is compared to the real thing.
My only regret is that I didn't sufficiently chastise complicit Democrats in my Krugman comment. (Blame it on the 1500 character count allotment and my chocolate sugar buzz) They are the wimpish, craven technocrats feebly trying to control the plutocratic monster by petting it and calling it Fluffy. Rather than control the beast, they strive to placate it. And of course, we know what historically happens when those ineffectual types working in the laboratories of democracy fail to do their jobs:
* The Times finally got around to writing an article on the subject and placed it prominently on the homepage. For the time being. Let's see if it's just a one-off or part of a continuing series on Down and Out in America. Of course, they make sure to appease the consciences of the plutocrats by headlining mass slow starvation as "trims to the program." Gotta watch those waistlines, poor folks!