Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Warm Up For Snake Of The Nation

Susan Madrack at Suburban Guerrilla pointed out these two articles, both today, in the NY Times. One is about a single mother whose children were sent temporarily to foster care until she dealt with anger and parenting issues. But now that she's been ruled fit to parent, she can't get them back because she can't find an apartment big enough to satisfy Social Services. Meanwhile, back at the ranch,
The Bush administration, which created a record budget deficit partly through tax cuts for the rich, is threatening to make up some of the difference by cutting desperately needed programs aimed at the poor. One candidate for the chopping block is Section 8, the federal rent-subsidy program whose main purpose is preventing low-income families from becoming homeless.
As Susan says, "Apparently no one thought to make a connection between them. But then again, who's working at the Times who even gets such things? They write about sweaters."

Meanwhile a colleague (what would I do without my staff of readers?) pointed out another pre-SOTU NY Times article about Caroline Payne:
Caroline Payne embraces the ethics of America. She works hard and has no patience with those who don't. She has owned a house, pursued an education and deferred to the needs of her child. Yet she can barely pay her bills. Her earnings have hovered in a twilight between poverty and minimal comfort, usually between $8,000 and $12,000 a year.

She is the invisible American, unnoticed because she blends in. Like millions at the bottom of the labor force who contribute to the country's prosperity, Caroline's diligence is a camouflage. At the convenience store where she works, customers do not see that she struggles against destitution.
I can hardly wait to see how he's going to handle these problems. I'm sure they're on the top of his list. I'm sure of it.