Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I have long said that poverty is the biggest problem in America. It is bigger than terrorism, abortion, education, and health care. In fact if you work on poverty you solve three of the four problems listed.

So when I read that some Washington Politicians were taking the "food stamp challenge" by living on food stamps for a week, I was encouraged. Here is some of their story. These guys tried to live on $21.00 a week. They found it is all but impossible.

I had to listen to a person this weekend say that many people on welfare are just lazy. Yeah right. You try to live on welfare sometime.

This brings me to the Poverty guideline for a family of four. It is just over $19,000 per year. I suggest some of these politicians try to live on that for a year. It will quickly bring into focus the plight of 18% of our population. What makes it worse is that many of these people are children.

If you live on $19,000 per year try to get health insurance for your family. That will cost you at least 7,200/yr
How about rent, another $7,200 per year.
How about transportation, $720 per year for one person.
How about electricity and phone, $900 per year.

You are now left with $248 per month for food, clothing, and entertainment. If we assume you buy no clothes, or toys, or any entertainment you will have $28 per person per week for food.

It is very clear why people in poverty do not get health insurance. There is no way they can afford to be "responsible." Should they save any money and have a health care issue, the money is gone to pay bills.

For those who say, "get a job" I say OK. A job pays at most $10 per hour at a convenience store or McDonalds etc. That is $20,000 per year. Oh, and by the way, they will cut your welfare if you get a job so now you will also have day care costs and no more income. You don't need to wonder why people are stuck in poverty.

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