We like big data here. We apply metrics and massage it for messages. Here’s some big data of an unsettling sort.
I visited El Palo Alto the other day. It’s 1073 years old. That’s an impressive number. Kind of like Apple’s cash store or …well, enough of comparisons. Both are impressive and congrats to both.
Here’s another impressive number: according to a recent article in The New York Times: 24% of California children live under the poverty line.
That is unacceptable. Who are we to live side by side with hungry children and let them be unseen? Do we really know hunger and fear? see my post: Between the Lotus and the Lambroghini on Palo Alto poverty. (Getting uncomfortable? I don’t want you to be. That’s not what this is about. )
From Robert Greenstein, Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. we find out: (and please, take the time to read this – Bob has been called one of Washington’s least known but top 10 most influential people)
… the Republican leadership’s bill to cut SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) by almost $40 billion over the next decade marks a new low for an already dysfunctional Congress. It would increase hunger and hardship all across our country.
By cutting food assistance for at least 3.8 million low-income people in the coming year — including some of the very poorest Americans, many children, senior citizens, and veterans — this cruel, if not heartless, legislation could jeopardize a vital stepping stone to many families who are still struggling to find work or who depend on low-wage jobs. As the nation slowly climbs out of the deepest recession in decades — with 22 million people still unemployed or underemployed — millions of families rely on SNAP to help feed their children.
SNAP recipients already are preparing for an across-the-board cut in their SNAP benefits beginning in November that will reduce their modest benefits to less than $1.40 per person per meal.
For decades, policymakers have shared a bipartisan commitment to reducing hunger and hardship. This legislation turns its back on that commitment.
What are we going to do? We who like to massage the data, disrupt the status quo and find new answers to old problems? How about 1073 million to celebrate the tree and feed the kids for a start?
“The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs. It is supported primarily by foundation grants.”