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Sen. Sanders writes: "I want to focus on an enormously important point. And that is that poverty in America today leads not only to anxiety, unhappiness, discomfort and a lack of material goods. It leads to death. Poverty in America today is a death sentence for tens and tens of thousands of our people, which is why the high childhood poverty rate in our country is such an outrage."

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the issue of deficit reduction, 06/28/11. (photo: LA Times)
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the issue of deficit reduction, 06/28/11. (photo: LA Times)

FOCUS: Is Poverty a Death Sentence?

By Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

14 September 11


he crisis of poverty in America is one of the great moral and economic issues facing our country. It is very rarely talked about in the mainstream media. It gets even less attention in Congress. Why should people care? Many poor people don't vote. They certainly don't make large campaign contributions, and they don't have powerful lobbyists representing their interests.

Here's why we all should care. There are 46 million Americans - about one in six - living below the poverty line. That's the largest number on record, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. About 49.9 million Americans lacked health insurance, the report also said. That number has soared by 13.3 million since 2000.

Moreover, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States has both the highest overall poverty rate and the highest childhood poverty rate of any major industrialized country on earth. This comes at a time when the U.S. also has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth with the top 1 percent earning more than the bottom 50 percent.

According to the latest figures from the OECD, 21.6 percent of American children live in poverty. This compares to 3.7 percent in Denmark, 5 percent in Finland, 5.5 percent in Norway 6.9 percent in Slovenia, 7 percent in Sweden, 7.2 percent Hungary, 8.3 percent in Germany, 8.8 percent in the Czech Republic, 9.3 percent in France, 9.4 percent in Switzerland. I suppose we can take some comfort in that our numbers are not quite as bad as Turkey (23.5 percent), Chile (24 percent) and Mexico (25.8 percent).

When we talk about poverty in America, we think about people who may be living in substandard and overcrowded homes or may be homeless. We think about people who live with food insecurity, who may not know how they are going to feed themselves or their kids tomorrow. We think about people who, in cold states like Vermont, may not have enough money to purchase the fuel they need to keep warm in the winter. We think about people who cannot afford health insurance or access to medical care. We think about people who cannot afford an automobile or transportation, and can't get to their job or the grocery store. We think about senior citizens who may have to make a choice between buying the prescription drugs he or she needs, or purchasing an adequate supply of food.

I want to focus on an enormously important point. And that is that poverty in America today leads not only to anxiety, unhappiness, discomfort and a lack of material goods. It leads to death. Poverty in America today is a death sentence for tens and tens of thousands of our people which is why the high childhood poverty rate in our country is such an outrage.

Some facts:

  • At a time when we are seeing major medical breakthroughs in cancer and other terrible diseases for the people who can afford those treatments, the reality is that life expectancy for low-income women has declined over the past 20 years in 313 counties in our country. In other words, in some areas of America, women are now dying at a younger age than they used to.

  • In America today, people in the highest income group level, the top 20 percent, live, on average, at least 6.5 years longer than those in the lowest income group. Let me repeat that. If you are poor in America you will live 6.5 years less than if you are wealthy or upper-middle class.

  • In America today, adult men and women who have graduated from college can expect to live at least 5 years longer than people who have not finished high school.

  • In America today tens of thousands of our fellow citizens die unnecessarily because they cannot get the medical care they need. According to Reuters (September 17, 2009), nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year - one every 12 minutes - in large part because they lack health insurance and cannot get good care. Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday."

  • In 2009, the infant mortality rate for African American infants was twice that of white infants.

I recite these facts because I believe that as bad as the current situation is with regard to poverty, it will likely get worse in the immediate future. As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street we are now in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Millions of workers have lost their jobs and have slipped out of the middle class and into poverty. Poverty is increasing.

Further, despite the reality that our deficit problem has been caused by the recession and declining revenue, two unpaid for wars and tax breaks for the wealthy, there are some in Congress who wish to decimate the existing safety net which provides a modicum of security for the elderly, the sick, the children and lower income people. Despite an increase in poverty, some of these people would like to cut or end Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, home heating assistance, nutrition programs and help for the disabled and the homeless.

To the degree that they are successful, there is no question in my mind that many more thousands of men, women and children will die.

From a moral perspective, it is not acceptable that we allow so much unnecessary suffering and preventable death to continue. From an economic perspective and as we try to fight our way out of this terrible recession, it makes no sense that we push to the fringe so many people who could be of such great help to us. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+136 # BradFromSalem 2011-09-14 14:44
If there are any Right Wingers that read this article, explain to me again how giving more money to persons that make over 250K a year is going to help. Explain why keep noting that 50% of Americans do not pay taxes as an indictment against the poor. Did you all fall asleep in math class? What that number means, and the facts bear it out, is that 50% of Americans do not get wages high enough to pay income taxes. And even still (most of) you want to get rid of the minimum wage. The minimum wage should be a living wage, enough to support a person so they can purchase shelter and food and maybe a movie once a month. It should be enough so that they can buy the necessities of life and still afford a little bit toward income taxes. That, of course would on top of the sales taxes they pay, their share of the landlord's real estate taxes, federal "sin" taxes on gasoline, tobacco, beer, and pot. Oh yeah that's right they can't pay taxes on pot because the government won't print the stamps that show that the seller paid his taxes.

And we are not even discussing how they should and do just die when they get sick. Is this what you Right Wingers want? Because that is what you have.

If we share the wealth, we expand the wealth. Do the math. Oh yeah, you were asleep dreaming of a world created only in the hypocritical mind of Ayn Rand.
+49 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 15:38
Most of the right wingers are very careful which articles they respond to.
+52 # jon 2011-09-14 17:21
We all do better, when we all do better.
+62 # DLT888 2011-09-14 17:32
I got into a loooooong discussion with a right winger about this very thing -- and I got NOWHERE. It was like banging my head into cement. Everytime I brought up a point as you did, he veered off into some other place that had nothing to do with my question. Trying to veer him back was useless. So trying to make sense with rightwingers is a lost cause and a waste of energy. They cannot reason. The refuse to reason. They cannot comprehend things that are so obvious to us. It boggles my mind how their minds work. So I give up. They are a waste of time.
+8 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 18:32
You should coach me to do the same thing when I get into it with "forparity".
+22 # readerz 2011-09-14 20:08
When I do, I mention such things as savings accounts used to be 6 percent (in my childhood), and the banks are getting away with price gouging. I also mention that helping the poor is a mandate from God (if they are religious) no matter what the poor person is like, and no matter whether or not they expect to be repaid. Or they will go to hell. (Essentially, I'm telling them to go to hell, which I consider redundant, because it already says that in the Bible.)
+9 # RLF 2011-09-15 05:58
You can't talk facts with a is a religion and the only way to fight it is with emotional arguements. If a Nazi says he hates Jews, you can't say to him...'but that doesn't make sense'!
-134 # charsjcca 2011-09-14 14:50
What these statistics indicate is nothing significant. People do not eat low statistics or high statistics. They eat food and food is abundant. One just has to know what food is available and where it is. I am not listening to this hogwash. What I am willing to listen to is a statement about the distribution system for food products and the availability of known freely growing items. To suggest that a parent should be bailed out who decided to live in or stay in a high rise does not pass the test. I have known of hydroponics for 50 years. So the problem is not lack of food. The problem is lack of knowledge. Obesity is a continuing issue in America. It is in our Congress-take a look. Who is to blame? I think it is not our government.
+14 # readerz 2011-09-14 20:10
So, you want to go to the forests and strip the trees? Just be careful in deer season.
+15 # readerz 2011-09-14 20:14
I also guess that you do not live in a city... or maybe you do and want to eat rats. If we took everybody out of the city, they would trample the rural areas (what happened in Cambodia) and destroy the land so that no food would grow. You obviously do not live on our planet, or you are communist.
+28 # Lloyd Wagner 2011-09-14 22:34
It sounds as though you have land, and can grow your own stuff.
Good. Can a few hundred people who "decided" to live in or stay in a high rise change their minds and decide to come and live and plant some veggies on your land, enough to "pass the test"?
Nah, I didn't think so. Not on anybody else's land, either. So what should they do, know-it-all, plant potatoes in their ears?
BTW, it's people like YOU who are to blame.
+20 # reiverpacific 2011-09-15 00:09
Quoting charsjcca:
What these statistics indicate is nothing significant. People do not eat low statistics or high statistics. They eat food and food is abundant. One just has to know what food is available and where it is. I am not listening to this hogwash. What I am willing to listen to is a statement about the distribution system for food products and the availability of known freely growing items. To suggest that a parent should be bailed out who decided to live in or stay in a high rise does not pass the test. I have known of hydroponics for 50 years. So the problem is not lack of food. The problem is lack of knowledge. Obesity is a continuing issue in America. It is in our Congress-take a look. Who is to blame? I think it is not our government.

So, who is in charge of the distribution systems? Who is in charge of health care? Who is in charge of almost anything you care to name which might trickle down from the tables and altars to profit the wealthy? Who is in charge of mainstream media which spreads ignorance and shoves nutrition-free crap and material objects down the gullible and numbed -often by poverty- throats and into the stomachs of everybody, especially the poor, via commercial programming interrupted occasionally by content-free programming and makes them like it? Corporate-owned government sound familiar?
+18 # NanFan 2011-09-15 05:23
Are you friggin' on that pot you grow, charsjcca, or over-drinking something you can afford to buy?

Equal to the 1 in 6 poverty rate is SURPRISE, 49 million people in America are on food stamps! They're homeless or elderly or mentally ill or newly poor because they lost jobs they maybe had had for 20 years. And even if they aren't on food stamps, the little money they have for food is being spent at fast-food joints. There they can get a greasy hamburger for $1 for their children, greasy fries for $1 for their elderly mom, contributing massively to the (you're right) burgeoning death by obesity rate in America: 330,000 per year, second only to deaths per year from smoking related illnesses (440,000 per year), which the Feds REFUSE to regulate in terms of what gets put in them!

Fast foods kill. A cigarette has 599 additives. Most are toxic. They kill. The percentage of people in poverty who smoke in America is 31.5%, and 50% of all smokers are mentally ill and in poverty. They're going to die from obesity or smoking, surely: poverty. So get real if you're going to be part of the solution. Urge Congress to vote to tax the rich HIGHLY, to produce revenue and health resources for the poor now, and to regulate what's in what we ingest. America is becoming a Mexico.

Hydroponics, indeed!
+13 # suzyskier 2011-09-15 19:12
Unfortunately many people like Charsjcca blame the poor for being poor. It's their own fault so goes the message. They want to be poor and live on food stamps and let their children suffer. How they come to this conclussion is a mystery, have they even talked to any truely poor people?
+6 # BradFromSalem 2011-09-15 06:11
While the issues you bring up regarding our food supply chain. From sourcing to distribution to your dinner plate, the overlap is primarily an economic problem.

Solving the issues regarding food will not bring back the middle class, especially in the current economic environment.
+8 # suzyskier 2011-09-15 19:07
You completly boggle my mind Charsjcca! Hungry people and children should go out searching for food, perhaps in dumpters, behind supermarkets? Why don't you name some of these organizations that give out free food?? Where are these places?
+5 # soularddave 2011-09-15 20:53
Quoting charsjcca:
So the problem is not lack of food.... The problem is lack of knowledge.... Who is to blame?...

What in the heck are you jabbering on about??? Did you get these random and disjointed 'notions' by watching TV or what???
+43 # artful 2011-09-14 14:51
But Bernie, this is now the republican way. Their solution to all such problems is, "let'm go." This is the country in which we all now live. It didn't used to be this way, but that was before the Koch's bought the GOP. We all need to get used to it.
+96 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 15:10
If Sanders is a socialist, then so am I. Most of the people I've ever met are too. Just don't tell them that. They've been told it's a naughty word.
+39 # Susan W 2011-09-14 15:58
It is up to us socialists to make the words Democrat and Republican too naughty to be spoken in public even though it seems they are doing that on their own.
+31 # DLT888 2011-09-14 17:34
Me, too, Billy Bob!! And I'm as proud of it as Bernie is! One right winger attacked Bernie for it and me -- and I told him I was proud of it and that it was better than what HIS party was -- Fascists!
-17 # readerz 2011-09-14 20:16
Sanders cannot be a socialist, because it is the socialists that told people from cities to move out to the countryside to strip the trees, farms, and try to farm for themselves. No, he is a realist, which means that cities serve others when the people in them do not try to forage for their food, but expect a balanced economy.
+63 # NeoGeo 2011-09-14 15:26
Isn't it about time Bernie Sanders ran in the primary against Lame-o-crat Barack Obama? There sure are a lot of my fellow progressives out there who have had it with the BO sellouts, let me tell you.
+12 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 15:36
He'd have to change to the Democratic Party first to run in the primary. He's not a Democrat.
+12 # wcandler1 2011-09-14 15:54
Quite so. Step 1, Register as a Democrat. Simple Really.
+28 # conniejo 2011-09-14 15:57
Not so. The Republicans ran Republican candidates as Democrats in the recent Wisconsin recall election primaries. I SO DESPERATELY want to see Obama challenged in the primaries. If we have to do it via write-in campaign, we need to do it. Let's decide on a candidate (Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Russ Feingold) and agree to write in that person when the primary is held in our states.
+16 # gizmoSD 2011-09-14 18:09
Conniejo - Do we really want to take the chance that a primary challenge will further weaken already lame support for the Dem side and toss the election to one of the throwbacks the Reps are going to nominate? How about we work to shore up the senate & congress and provide people that will support the pres rather than run scared like the previous majority did? Just a thought...
+4 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 18:36
Someone will still win the primary. If it's the challenger, we get who we want. If it's Obama, then the people who would have voted for him without a primary will still do that.
+8 # readerz 2011-09-14 20:20
In what way does the President need more support for the banks, the coal industry, wars, etc.? What needs reform is the Senate rules, because the Senate already is ruled by states with such low populations they are like those top 1 percent rich who own everything; exactly, but those low-population states get: 2 free Senators, elected by industry contributions, shored up by Senate rules. It is an oligarchy. Reform the Senate or abolish it.
+3 # chick 2011-09-14 21:16
gizmoSD I agree with you and not conniejo. That is the problem with our left side people. We keep trying to weaken our side instead of standing strong.

Just today in New York a district that has been Democratic for 200 years has just elected a Republican instead of the Democrat running. We keep doing it to ourselves.

The Republicans no matter how horrible they are stick together like glue. When will we learn?
+3 # Billy Bob 2011-09-15 07:26
They only stick together like glue because they're candidates are under constant threat from their base. They give the base what it wants and the base votes.

Democrats are no different. Our candidates are ALSO trying to please the REPUGNICAN BASE!
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 18:35
I would nominate Feingold or Dean. I think they are the best politicians of the possible write ins.
0 # chick 2011-09-14 21:18
Billy Bob that would be a positive new Republican president. I like both very much but they would never win.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-15 05:14
So we're stuck with republican light?

The whole point of elections is to win on policy. If we can't do that, what's the point of the capital D mext to their name?
0 # Califa 2011-09-17 01:14
Earlier today I was talking with a friend and he said he wished someone would challenge Obama in the primary because they would win. Feingold and Dean along with Kucinich were mentioned as good contenders but only after our first choice, Sanders.

Run Bernie run!
+2 # wcandler1 2011-09-14 19:32

1. Right on!
2. But which states allow for write ins? In MD, I gather you have to be a Delegate and preferable pledged to someone. MD Delegates have to vote for the person they are pledged to, in the first round, so we need a national candidate that we can all support in the first round. What about forming an ABO (Anybody but Obama) committee? Let me know if you will serve as President. Will 14/9
+19 # GaryE 2011-09-14 17:20
Bernie Sanders should run for president as an Independent. However, I also think some well-known Democrat should run in the Democratic Party primaries for president primarily as a strategy to bring in enough convention delegates to radically alter the Democratic Party's platform. This way we might be able to get important planks into the platform such as taking away human rights from corporations and getting single-payer health care seriously discussed.
+12 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 18:38
The repugs actually take their platform seriously. Maybe we could get the Democratic Party to do the same. Right now, the guiding principle seems to be capitulation at all costs.
+5 # readerz 2011-09-14 20:22
Plank? Platform? Pres. Obama ran on a Plank and Platform, and laughed at it as soon as he was elected. Sure we need challengers, to keep him honest. Also to keep the media honest, because they are only covering Republican debates. They would cover Democrat debates IF anybody were running.
-2 # chick 2011-09-14 21:19
Again another way to weaken the Democratic party. We sure know how to weaken our party, I am sure the Republicans would be very happy.
+2 # Billy Bob 2011-09-15 05:18
By your logic they've weakened their own party so much more by FORCING their candidates to do what their base wants. This is why they even win when their out of office. We weaken our party when we don't expect anything from it.
+1 # Vardette 2011-09-14 17:46
He won't I asked.
+21 # Jeff C 2011-09-14 16:05
These terrible facts are no doubt sobering to so many who have for so long viewed the now defunct American Dream from the top down. But as more and more and more of us are shoved out of a once vibrant American middle class and into poverty - and at the very same time that our once precious social safety nets are being threatened, these sad statistics become even more alarming. The view from the bottom up is once which should sicken and frighten the hell out of all of us. And incite us to act now.
+2 # readerz 2011-09-14 20:27
I'll say this once, but not again. Pres. Jimmy Carter (you know, the one who builds housing for the poor) put a "wage-price freeze" in the 1970s that made college grads be paid at the then minimum wage if they worked while studying. My husband and I slowly did a little better (such as working for the military at military pay, which believe it or not was a RAISE). But I was always hungry, and my rheumatoid arthritis started then. I would eat about every other day. All our money was needed for rent and the transportation to get my husband to work, and the landlord didn't always put the heat on in the winter. My husband now has cancer, and it was probably because we couldn't afford to eat fruit for many years. It will kill some people today, but this will also kill people at a young age 40 years from now.
+41 # Rara Avis 2011-09-14 16:07
Charsjcca should get a close look at the children. He should consider what happens when you have no ability to live in an adequate home or apartment, to work a job that is not there. In 1983 I was on the bad end of a divorce and was a responsible dad who saw to it that my child had what she needed. In my case it was giving blood plasma so I could get the next meal. I was in the worst apartment in town and was only fortunate to hold on to a decent job.

It was tough. It is a strange and horrible feeling not to be able to come up with the money to pay for a hole to live in and to have to wait to scrape some money together to eat. It would be worse if the poverty was hitting a child that way. It often does.

It is no coincidence that poverty incresed by half just as millions of people lost their jobs and the economy tanked. Yes sir, we know where food is. But if the local food pantry is empty and the shelter full then I suppose Charsjcca is suggesting we follow the plot line of a Victor Hugo novel Les Miserables and steal what we need. We'll start with his place and see what's in the fridge.
+18 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 18:41
I think Charsjcca is suggesting we learn to eat whatever we can find in the park. It's pretty tough to feed a human on about 50 calories of pesticide a day, though.
+17 # AndreM5 2011-09-14 16:20
I feel sorry for a serious leader like Sanders having to sit next to such an unserious feather-weigth.
+36 # fredboy 2011-09-14 16:29
Sanders is a Positivist. He believes in goodness, helping others, and that great people--great nations--advanc e in championing such noble and essential qualities.
+13 # Gnome de Pluehm 2011-09-14 16:45
Several questions come to mind. How do poverty conditions in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Chile,Czech Republic, Switzerland,and Mexico compare with the poverty conditions in the United States? How do those countries define poverty?

Some complain that persons receiving governmental assistance in this country own a car, an HD TV, a computer, and that we should not be giving support to persons this well off. Is that a fair assessment? Perhaps an HD TV is not a wise investment for a person below the poverty line, but are the other items basic necessities in today's world?

One poster commented on obesity as a sign that these persons are well fed, but it is generally recognized that this is the result of a fatty fast-food diet that is the only food available to these persons.l Protein is expensive and families with little money skimp on protein.

This debate is carried out in the abstrct and it is pointless until these and other probing questions are considered.
+13 # laurele 2011-09-14 16:56
In today's society, a computer, even an older model that can connect to the Internet, is a necessity for those looking for work and for children to get their homework done.
+28 # laurele 2011-09-14 16:46
Bernie Sanders for President! Who cares about the two major parties; both have sold out the corporate greed that is destroying this country and this planet. Run as an independent! And here's a reminder to the conservative Bible thumpers: "The wage of sin is death." In the US, the wage of greed, unfettered capitalism, and supply side economics is just that--death.
-4 # chick 2011-09-14 21:45
laurele, I think you are rooting for Republicans to win because that is what would happen if people followed your suggestion.

I love Bernie Sanders but to vote for him is not good because you would still have some Democrats voting Democratic some Democrats voting for Bernie and !00% Republicans voting Republican.

Guess who would win? God Forbid we would have another Republican President and we would go back to the 1900.
thank you but no thanks.
Vote Democratic.
+2 # Billy Bob 2011-09-15 05:22
I agree with that. We have to replace Obama with another Democrat in the primary.
0 # Califa 2011-09-17 01:19
Probably not 1900. More likely the country would go back to 1838.
+29 # seeuingoa 2011-09-14 16:48
Dear Bernie

Why don´t you talk to Elizabeth Warren,
join the same ticket for the oval office,
and it would be a win win!

+20 # angelfish 2011-09-14 17:00
You're preaching to the Choir here, Bernie, it's the ReTHUG majority in the House and the Blue Dogs in the Senate that need to return to Humanity! I want all these "Christians" to quote chapter and verse in the New Teatament about everyone pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, unlike the Koch bros. whose FATHER did, leaving his Wealth to his greedy, self-serving sons! What ever happened to simple human kindness and charity? Having programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, by the way, is NOT charity. People pay into these programs. The Government IS the People! What's so wrong about taking care of ourselves, which is what these programs do!? I was horrified listening to the last two ReTHUGlican Debates hearing their conservative followers CHEER Rick Perry for his murderous execution Record, and then again when Wolf Blitzer put the Question to DOCTOR Ron Paul about the hypothetical 30 y/o man with out insurance, MORE cheers for his lame answer about "taking responsibility" and "Let him DIE"! Suppose it was THEIR son, or daughter? WHERE do these people come from? Unwilling to TAX the Mega-Wealthy, their concerted effort is to TOTALLY ANNIHILATE our Economy so THEY can rule like Oriental Potentates! Wake from your Coma, Americans! They WILL do this if they can and right now, They THINK they can! Let's rally together and show them that they CAN'T! ELECTION DAY 2012!
+5 # Peacedragon 2011-09-14 17:13
Seeuingoa; Elizabeth Warren is running for senator from Massachuetts. If we respect her so much, we should respect her decision on what office ti run for now.
+16 # Regina 2011-09-14 17:17
Death because of poverty is the Republican system of population control. After all, they scream about abortion even when there is no fertilization, and some of their zealots have been making noises about forcing women who miscarry to prove that they had not had an abortion. Most of all, they are literal religionists, and demand that we "be fruitful and multiply," so that attrition by death through neglect is their only means of population limits. Keep in mind that screaming mob at a recent Republican candidates' "debate" who answered the question about allowing a destitute accident victim to die with a screaming"YES!! !"
+6 # Lulie 2011-09-14 17:19
I can imagine the person who gets a serious diagnosis, who can't afford the necessary care, just going home to die. The teabaggers would be just as glad -- one less freeloader to mess with.
+12 # jwb110 2011-09-14 17:37
If the RIght WIngers can push their agenda thru they will decimate the Boomer Generation. They see this as less of a drag on the American economy and potential social services. It will assist their agenda to kill of the best educated generation in the history of the Nation. Smart people vote smarter. Less well educated vote Republican because they respond to emotional campaigning pushing fear and hate. Smart people aren't spoon fed by an elite ruling class. Ergo get rid of the smart people to secure a Republican Single Party rule. The Boomers and the Educated in this country are the enemy. The Right Wing wants them out of the way.
This is what a "Death Panel" really looks like.
+4 # Maryelizmc 2011-09-14 17:49

The SAW team!


-5 # chick 2011-09-14 21:47
Plese read my comment to laurelle above. that is what would happen.
+13 # Vardette 2011-09-14 17:51
Funny how we just saw the Tea Party do their thing. Hold town meetings, find nobodies to run and yet Progressive Independents around the nation and Progressive organizations just can't wrap their mind around doing the same thing and packing the hosue and senate with Progressives and people we can trust will work for us. But I have talked to the people at Progressives United and emailed them a list of all Progressive organizations and told them they need to get organized and recruit people to run. hold town hall meetings and get known because now is the time to take back our congress!!!
+5 # Billy Bob 2011-09-14 18:50
There's no liberal John Ensign to invent and fund a liberal "grass roots" movement with billionaire money.

That's why the Twit-Party is widely known to be "astro-turf".

True grass-roots movements are rare, because they AREN'T funded by billionaires behind the scenes.

Also, do you think liberal protests with tens of thousands of participants can ever generate as much media attention as 20 twit-partiers getting together to compare misspelled signs?
+9 # Vardette 2011-09-14 17:54
As Grayson Just told us all the GOP want is for us to die quickly or be impoverished and as dfumb as possible! Do we want a Tea Party Nation - They all enjoy free medical care and safety nets but they don't give a damn about anybody except their doners. Legal bribery among our reps has been one of the major problems that has created the current crisis and must be regulated!!!!
0 # Carolyn 2011-09-14 18:25
The Republicans and all those who support them, including Obama, have the same policy, the same philosophy as Scrooge. It's about reducing the population.
+21 # angelfish 2011-09-14 18:39
My Father worked SICK all of his working life. Unable to get Health Insurance after a bout of Pneummonia when he was 19 y/o, and B/C DROPPED him like a hot potato, he was left to fend for himself. No other company was willing to take him on unless paid exorbitant Premiums which he could ill afford. Finally, his end of the building trades became Unionized and he was able to afford decent and preventive Health Care. Sadly, it was too little, too late. After eleven years, he suffered a debilitating Stroke at age 53 and lingered another 12 years with a useless Right side, arm in a sling, leg in a brace, until he finally succumbed. He died too young, in too much misery and it was needlessly brought about because of the inane Insurance Company "rules"! ALL Americans deserve DECENT, AFFORDABLE Health Care, regardless of income or ability to pay! Health Care is no longer Service oriented it's PROFIT driven like EVERYTHING the ReTHUGs find marketable, from inferior body armor for our soldiers and $600.00 toilet seats to HMO's and FOR Profit Medical Conglomerates to drain our citizens dry. I had ROUTINE blood work last week. $2, to have some simple, basic blood work done! WHAT is WRONG with this picture? When Health-care became a profitable BUSINESS, HEALTH-CARE went into the Crapper for those who can't afford it! Luckily, I CAN, but I don't want anyone to die that CAN'T!
+5 # angelfish 2011-09-14 20:16
Sorry folks, that was $2,200.00 NOT $2,2000.00. I GOTTA learn to type better! Sorry!
+7 # angelfish 2011-09-14 18:41
Addendum: We were considered "Middle Class" then and were NOT poor. WHAT do people do today? Alan Grayson is RIGHT, They DIE, some NOT so quickly either. Disgraceful!
+22 # molinarico 2011-09-14 18:46
This article is spot on. I live is a very affluent community and just yesterday learned of a suicide by a man who was dealing with his second year of unemployment. The issues are real, and are happening in every community in America. The lack of ANYWHERE to turn to for help is the most distressing part of being an unemployed American right now. We need a revolution.
+6 # futhark 2011-09-14 20:46
Contrary to their own protestations, the "conservatives" who oppose taxing the rich to subsidize life quality of the poor are practicing a vicious sort of social Darwinism. They are, in effect, telling the poor "fine, you want to survive, have a full, healthy, enjoyable life, and reproduce? Then don't be poor, because the wages of poverty (not sin) are death. You're genetic lineage will have proven inadequate to the tasks of continuing and so will deservedly become extinct. That's the way the world works and that is how humanity will continue to evolve so that only the wealthy UBERMENSCHEN will survive and carry on the human species. Humanity as created by God does not deserve to survive and prosper, but the inferior lineages need to be pruned from the family tree to continue to insure continual improvement."

Does it sound rather Nazified? Yes, because that's exactly what it is. Humanity as created by God does not deserve to survive and prosper, but the inferior lineages need to be pruned from the family tree.
+1 # suzyskier 2011-09-16 08:35
You are spot on. This is very much like National Socialism, which since it has the word social would be denied by the right. But that is what it is. In Nazi Germany social misfits mentally retarded were culled in the form of murder. These folks do imagine they are Ubermenschen,
+7 # TruthSeeker 2011-09-14 21:52
Angelfish...tha nk you for sharing your story. It is painful watching those we love suffer needlessly because our health care is run for profit.
+4 # giraffe 2011-09-14 23:36
I agree with Bernie and wish he would run for President -- but please folks - if Bernie is NOT running for President PLEASE PLEASE vote for President Obama. If you do NOT then we will have our worst nightmare "Perry" or "bachman" or Rush?

Do not NOT vote just bc Obama has not been what we expected --

And do as Michael Moore has said "get out in your neighborhoods and get the old, minority, whatever - REGISTERED with mail-in ballots so they too vote Democratic.

We cannot afford a GOP/TP President.

I'm even going to take the day (or 2) off to "count" votes so I displace a GOP/TP counter.

And if your state uses machines, you can ask for a paper ballot.

I heard on the Olberman show today (he's on Curxrent) that a bill is going out to call on Scalia/Thomas / Aliota to face the music for taking $$ -- (didn't get all the details) - but 2 requirements in the Supremes Oath is "No $$" from litigants and "stay out of politics" (Scalia/Thomas have gone to the Koch's private TP/GOP meetings)

Bernie - please run in 2016
+3 # Christine 2011-09-15 08:34
I was an ardent campaigner for Obama and worked long hours in two states. I was thrilled beyond description to see him elected, however:

He didn't stand up to BP over the Gulf disaster and it is still leaking though the major media, not surprisingly, is not reporting.

He did not stand firm on the health care issue, no public option.

No change or regulation on the banking industry - it could happen all over.

No attempt to support Elizabeth Warren even as a token gesture he should have nominated her.

Tactical blunder regarding debt ceiling then Dems sell us out with no increase in tax on corps and wealthy.

Didn't get us out of war as promised. Planned draw down of troops still leaves massive military and support personnel behind at great expense to the taxpayer.

Didn't restore constitutional rights stripped during Bush reign.

Getting the vote out for Obama out of fear is not the hope I hold out for this country.

There needs to be a groundswell demanding a new democratic candidate. One thing I know with certainty is that Obama wants to win. If he thinks he has lost his base maybe he will change or maybe we will be offered a candidate we can believe in and support once again. Demand a new candidate from the DNC!
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-15 09:41
Well said.
+8 # Fraenkel.1 2011-09-15 08:12
Sanders is quite right. One more point is that during periods of high taxation for the rich the economy improved enormously. When marginal income tax rates were up to 95% during the Eisenhower administration government built the freeways. The benefit to the economy was enormous. Over several subsequent administrations Democrats and Republicans together put huge government investments into education, research, infrastructure and different regulations. In addition to the usual altruistic rationalization s all of this was wonderful for business. The business community came to rely on all of that. Now with low taxes the country can't afford to maintain all that was built up. The economy will keep deteriorating, we will suffer on all fronts - unemployment, ill health, crumbling infrastructure - general decline in the standard of living. All of that can be avoided and improved on with high marginal taxes, no loopholes and no special tax deals. The extra taxes the wealthy would have to pay would be more than made up by the increase in the value of their assets because expenditures from tax revenues are indispensable to maintaining and building a strong economy. So rather than using ethical arguments one must appeal to the greed of the rich.
+1 # 22dragon 2011-09-17 02:12
Friends, all your ancestors were illegal aliens...just check the 25 questions asked of an immigrant in 1900 and see if the Mexican painting your house does not qualify in every way that your Italian or Irish ancestor did. Yes, jobs are created by the right product reaching the right consumer, and your immigrant-ances tors built this country following that precise formula. Today, most posts here get it, i.e. CEOs do not create jobs and GOVs do not created jobs. People create jobs. And there are thousands of Americans of every race, creed and origin who desire and need products that are not forthcoming. There have not been affordable houses built in this country since the end of the Second World War. Today all production is geared toward cheap toys for those making less every day, and expensive toys for those making more every day. The remaining stock is supposed to be handed-down (to "trickle down") from the haves-too-much to the haven't ever had? I think not. Build it and they will come. Send them away and nothing will get built. Poverty begets poverty.And force keeps the poor poor. Enforcers are everywhere. Especially in Washington. They are having a cocktail with their Corporate Persons.
0 # 2011-09-17 20:24
Bernie Saunders is the best possibility of a Democratic winning in 2012. He is a man with integrity who speaks the truth and has the knowledge we need in a leader at this time. Obama has failed the people and the country and he needs to step down. Run, Bernie, Run!!! You have the courage, ingenuity and concern to turn things around as well as saving us from 4 more years of Obama who has proven his incompetence and demonstrated his sophistry OR a Republican like ick Perry who is a moron and a fascist. You can do it Bernie. You speak the truth and have the courage to speak out and you are the only politician who is more concerned with doing what needs to be done for our country than winning the election with rhetoric and lies.

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