published Monday, July 23rd, 2012

A tree withers in D.C.

What a difference a century makes.

Betty Smith's marvelous 1943 novel "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" opens in the early 1900s and details the struggles of an impoverished but determined New York family.

Destitute and frightened after the father's death, mother and children alike pitch in to make ends meet and to get the youngsters educated. And despite a level of want that the generally well-fed, air-conditioned, car-driving, cable television-equipped poor in modern America could scarcely imagine, the family survives and ultimately thrives.

One of the most remarkable facets of the book, given its themes of intense poverty, is the family's rejection of unearned assistance. Even when it comes to feeding her family, the mother cannot abide the thought of outside help.

"I don't want to live to get charity food to give me enough strength to go back to get more charity food," she says. And it presumably would have been inconceivable to her that taxpayers had a legal obligation to furnish her with welfare benefits.

That gritty attitude wasn't just the stuff of novels. It was generally understood for much of this country's history that families had a duty to work and support themselves and that aid was reserved for those who genuinely could not help themselves. America owes much of its success as the greatest nation in history to that approach. Yet it is a view that is disappearing in rapid order today. There is an all-too-common eagerness to let somebody else pay for one's keep if the alternative is a regular work schedule that might cramp one's style.

Tragically, government encourages that mindset.

Current legislation in Congress that deals with food stamps is as remarkable for what it does not contain as for what it does. The Senate rejected a plan by U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that would have stopped giving bonuses to states that get more people to sign up for food stamps. You read that correctly: Washington perversely rewards states for increasing dependence on government.

Sessions should know: One in five residents of his state now gets food stamps, and Sessions no doubt realizes that the longer so many people remain on assistance, the harder it will be for them to break free.

President Barack Obama seems to have little problem with that. And why would we expect him to? Consider something Obama said, as quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times column in 1992, years before he became president: "All our people must know that politics and voting affects their lives directly. If we're registering people in public housing, for an example, we talk about aid cuts and who's responsible."

The push to expand the food stamp rolls or to expand government aid in general is not mere partisan mischief, though. The administration of George W. Bush also ran a recruitment campaign to boost food stamp usage, CNN reported.

Efforts to expand government reliance are a kick in the shins to the notion that people have a responsibility to support themselves -- and to seek outside assistance only when even their most diligent efforts make it impossible to get by.

Flouting that worthy principle makes us a weaker nation.

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raygunz said...

Poverty on track to reach highest level since 1960s

by Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

Does the editor ever read his own papers headlines??

July 23, 2012 at 12:36 a.m.

There's a lot of stuff in novels that isn't actually true, but is really just a lot of fiction.

It's funny, it's almost like an author has a complete ability to make whatever arguments he or she wants in the space of a book, and there's nobody there to effectively contest it.

Here's why the food stamp campaign exists makes more money for Wal-mart and other retailers. They like it when they get money. The quality of food? Not so much. Same reason why we have millions put into standardized test in schools, instead of actually fixing schools.

Somebody sees dollar signs.

July 23, 2012 at 1:07 a.m.
EaTn said...

With poverty and hunger on the increase and the worst farm-belt drought in decades, our government continues to support our basic food stock being pumped into making ethanol to substitute for gasoline while we are exporting oil at record levels.

July 23, 2012 at 5:50 a.m.
conservative said...

There is no way the much publicized 47 million on food stamps is warranted. I personally know and have witnessed scores of adults who are on food stamps who also smoke and drink alcoholic beverages. I also know a few who use illegal drugs. These are not free.

The monthly totals for these drugs will easily equal and many times exceed the cost of their food stamps. These should take this money and buy their own food. It is not complicated.

Testing for tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs should be required before receiving other people's money in the form of food stamps.

July 23, 2012 at 7:55 a.m.
anniebelle said...

If the banksters had not been gifted $800 billion dollars by the Bush/Cheney cabal, we might have enough money in our treasury to help our citizens who paid into their pension plans (robbed by wall street), out state treasuries (robbed by wall street). I'm surprised we don't have many more depending on food stamps because of this robbery. The so-called 'job creators' are sitting on trillions of dollars or investing in Switzerland, The Grand Caymens, Bermuda and various other off-shore accounts in order to drain every last drop from the working poor and the extremely poor. If you check your recent history, you'll find these facts. They've been going relentlessly the last 30 years to dry up the middle-class in this country so they can stuff their greedy fat cat pockets. All I heard in 2010 from the repukes was, "we want to create jobs". O.K. where are they? We've had 12 years of this 'trickle down' tactic, to the casual observer, it's not working.

July 23, 2012 at 8:51 a.m.
conservative said...

"Here's why the food stamp campaign exists makes more money for Wal-mart and other retailers. They like it when they get money. The quality of food? Not so much"

I laughed and laughed at this. Walmart is the reason food stamps "exists!" Walmart so loved by the Liberals. Walmart so loved by the mess media. Walmart so loved by the unions. Walmart so loved by the Demoncrats. Walmart so loved by Obama. All these have conspired to funnel money to Walmart in the form of food stamps!!!

Bulbs, like all Socialists hate corporations and Walmart is their primary target of hate, so Bulbs takes two desperation shots at Walmart and misses. Shot 1) Walmart and other retailers "like it when they get money." Now who would have thought that? Only a brainwashed Socialist would find fault liking money. 2) The quality of food ? Not so much - they carry the same U.S. government inspected food as everyone else. What hate filled desperation.

Thanks for the laughs Bulbs.

July 23, 2012 at 9:46 a.m.
Livn4life said...

FOOD STAMP PROGRAM: Many people genuinely need them. We see such persons each week as we engage in a food for needy program where I work. Far too many who do not really need them, are getting them. Here is the crux of the matter for all on both sides of the issue: How do we maintain a level to supply the truly needing while identifying and ushering those who do not into a better lifestyle whereby they no longer depend on them? Answer that question, putting aside all political advantages by giving more and more aid to more people, and we might come up with a common sense way to, help those really in need and force those who could do better to move in that direction. FOUL: Please forgive me for actually using some common sense on this matter. I know elected officials WILL NOT.

July 23, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.
EaTn said...

The food stamp program has cost somewhat less annually than what the wasted Iraq war cost annually in dollar (not counting lives and limbs). Currently Iraq is aligning with our prime enemy Iran. So don't tell me that providing nutrition to our country's most needy is not more important that things like the Iraq war.

July 23, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.
annisisbell said...

Walmart readies for midnight on the first of the month when it is overwhelmed with blacks who have run out of everything and hit the Walmart when their EBTs cards work again.

The reason the food stamp program exists may not be directly to benefit Walmart but Walmart does benefit.

I hate corporations. They are helping to bring about the one world order and destroying our civilization. Our forefathers didn't believe in corporations and warned that they would do just exactly what they are doing and take away our freedom and oppress us and control our government for their own benefit. Corporations have no country or loyalty.

I believe in small business and entrepreneurship. Not corporations.

We live under a soft communism which is where welfare, food stamps, affirmative action, political correctness, headstart, unions and all social programs come from.

We used to be the greatest nation in the history of the world. So what happened? Diversity. We have people who run our government who have no psychological or biological connection to the people they rule and who have historical grudges against us and who hate Christianity.

Anglo Saxon Protestants created and built this nation but surely we cannot expect jews and other races to share our traditions and values, they don't.

jews created Communism. We created a Republic and capitalism. So how is diversity good for us? Of course our country is falling apart. That is the logical result of diversity.

We once had the greatest schools in the world. Then the jew funded and drove the Civil Rights movement. Contrary to their polices in israel which they claim they have a right to a state of their own even if they kill Palestinians to get it.

Jesus has been removed from our once great public schools but kids are not allowed to deny The Holocaust, which we are not allowed to investigate with modern forensic technology, research, debate or question.

Our jobs are outsourced which builds the need for more welfare which will eventually bankrupt us as California is already bankrupt. Look at places like Detroit. What will these blacks do when we're broke and they don't get their food stamps? They are dumbed down through the subsidizing of brawny double digit IQ baby mamas and they are already the dumbest race on Earth.

Diversity a good thing? Mexicans get on welfare as soon as the government knows they're here? Its amusing the way you attempt to figure out the cause of the problems. Like we just somehow got ourselves into a big mess because nobody could figure out where we were going.

You think welfare is an accident? You think the government CAN'T defend our borders? You think industry is being outsourced because corporations are doing it? The congress made laws that forced corporations off shore. None of this is accidental.

Who owns and controls all our media? Whose wars do we fight and our kids die for? Diversity a good thing? What's good about it?

July 23, 2012 at 10:55 a.m.
annisisbell said...

Speaking of welfare - for the rich - for the richest and most powerful race in America and the world

When have the terrorists attacked jews in the United States? Most jews didn't even show up for work on 9-11 - for some strange reason.

How many jews have put on a uniform and served in the war for israel in the middle east? If American jews belong to the military its the israeli military.

We wouldn't even have the middle east problems on our shores if not for American jewry. We wouldn't have to pay taxes to subsidize other races in our country and give them food stamps if not for American jews and their power and control over our government, media and other vital institutions.

Anglo Saxon Protestants are treated like criminals by jew run Homeland Security at our own airports, we do the dying and we're the victims of Arab blow back and we pay taxes so the jew controlled Homeland (IN)Security can keep the jew safe.

Its in their Talmud that we exist only to serve them. We do the plowing and growing and they sit at the table. That's in their Talmud.

The jew controlled media is using the shooting at the movie theater in Colorado as an excuse to take our guns so that WE continue to be treated like criminals in our own country. Its Lautenburger and other jews in congress who wrote a bill to take our guns before the blood was even dry in the movie theaters.

So I suppose we'll continue to pay taxes so minorities and foreigners can get food stamps. We will have no way to defend ourselves from the government that is doing these things to us.

July 23, 2012 at 12:26 p.m.

conservative, read what I said. Notice how I used three words "food stamp campaign" and you cut out one?

Wal-Mart (and other such retailers) have lobbied long and hard for that campaign. And yes, they have lobbied against the food covered by the program to meet any kind of quality standard. Not to mention the whole food regulation period.

Notice how you're so dedicated to your cause that you can't even see what the current anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist can recognize.

Wal-mart benefits from the program, far more than they pay in taxes.

July 23, 2012 at 3:07 p.m.
Leaf said...

Wow, annisisbell is quite the racist, anti-Semitic oxygen thief.

July 23, 2012 at 4:02 p.m.
annisisbell said...

Ok Leaf, now its time for you to tell everyone One thing I've ever done to jews that justifies you calling me that.

July 23, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.
Easy123 said...


Look at your previous posts, dumbass.

They are the definition of anti-Semitism AND racism.

Please, I dare you to attempt a rebuttal.

July 23, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.
anniebelle said...

annisisbell, when I looked up the word antisimetic, it had your picture there. You are unhinged at best. It is possible that some who wish to believe that 9/11 was an Israeli conspiracy will not accept a reliable account of who died in the horrific 9/11 attacks. If that is the case, the plainest evidence that many Jews died in the World Trade Center is the list of the names of the dead: "How many Jews actually died in the world Trade Center attacks is not known with any precision. The official New York City 'Missing Persons List' does not categorize victims by their religion or nationality. But ask families with names like Adler, Aron, Berger, Bernstein,Cohen, Eichler, Eisenberg, Feinberg, Friedlander, Goldstein,Greenstein, Horwitz, Jablonski, Kestenbaum, Kirchbaum, Kleinberg,Levi, Levine, Mayer, Rosenberg, Rosenblum, Rosenthal, Sachs,Safronoff, Schwartz, Shulman, Shwartzstein, Silverstein, Solomon,Steinman, Temple, Weil, Weinberg, Weingard, Weinstein, Weiss, Zukelman what they wouldn't give to see their loved ones again. Why didn't they get a conspiratorial cell-phone message warning them to stay home? By all appearances, the 9-11 hijackers were equal-opportunity murderers."

July 24, 2012 at 5:08 a.m.
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