Betsy Reed on what Obama’s Inaugural Address got wrong about poverty:


Liberals seeking affirmation for their faith in President Obama believed they found it in his second Inaugural Address, with his passionate invocation of Stonewall and Seneca Falls, his soaring rhetoric about government “of, by and for the people” and an American creed forged “through blood drawn by lash, and blood drawn by sword.”
But amidst the warm words for equality and collective action, one sentence stood out:
“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”
However much we might like to imagine otherwise, a little girl born into the bleakest poverty will never have “the same chance to succeed as anybody else.” If you take a step back, could anything be more obvious? And yet this notion is so thoroughly woven into the “American creed” that we barely notice how misleading it is.

Betsy Reed on what Obama’s Inaugural Address got wrong about poverty:

Liberals seeking affirmation for their faith in President Obama believed they found it in his second Inaugural Address, with his passionate invocation of Stonewall and Seneca Falls, his soaring rhetoric about government “of, by and for the people” and an American creed forged “through blood drawn by lash, and blood drawn by sword.”

But amidst the warm words for equality and collective action, one sentence stood out:

“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”

However much we might like to imagine otherwise, a little girl born into the bleakest poverty will never have “the same chance to succeed as anybody else.” If you take a step back, could anything be more obvious? And yet this notion is so thoroughly woven into the “American creed” that we barely notice how misleading it is.

The Poor Will Be the First Over the Fiscal Cliff

[The “non-defense discretionary spending” portion of sequestration] represents public investment: in education, transportation, children’s health, etc. And many of these programs directly impact the poor. Housing assistance, child care and education, nutrition assistance, home heating assistance and income security for the blind, disabled and aged all together make up 17 percent of this spending—more than the largest category in that chart. This money goes to job training, Title X family planning services and Head Start, among other things. It’s anything but discretionary for those who rely on these critical programs.

—Bryce Covert (read more)Chart: Economic Policy Institute 

The Poor Will Be the First Over the Fiscal Cliff

[The “non-defense discretionary spending” portion of sequestration] represents public investment: in education, transportation, children’s health, etc. And many of these programs directly impact the poor. Housing assistance, child care and education, nutrition assistance, home heating assistance and income security for the blind, disabled and aged all together make up 17 percent of this spending—more than the largest category in that chart. This money goes to job training, Title X family planning services and Head Start, among other things. It’s anything but discretionary for those who rely on these critical programs.

—Bryce Covert (read more)
Chart: Economic Policy Institute 

Hot off the presses—the latest issue of The Nation is here!
Inside this week’s issue:
The Other America, 2012: Confronting the Poverty Epidemic: To restore the American Dream for the 99 percent, we must first bring the “invisible poor” out of the shadows.
A Fight Bigger Than ALEC: As campaigns against the right-wing group continue, we must fight its sabotaging of voting rights across the country.
What Teachers Want: New studies show that many teachers are unhappy in their jobs—and in this climate of austerity, it’s no wonder.
Defending Israel (and Waiting for a Miracle): American Jews could play a useful role in aiding our Israeli cousins to see that they are destroying what was noble about their country. Why won’t they?
Will People Power Defeat Scott Walker and His Cronies? The protests in Wisconsin have inspired a new generation of candidates—and they’re winning.
New Rules Mean New Hardship for Poultry Workers: The USDA proposes to increase line speed in poultry plants, but the debate is only about food safety. What about the workers?
& much more

Hot off the presses—the latest issue of The Nation is here!

Inside this week’s issue:

& much more

Just three months before [Mitt Romney] said all stay at home Moms are working moms, he said he wants to make parents of kids as young as two ‘go to work’ so that they could ‘have the dignity of work.’ This genuinely angers me… It seems to me that there’s a double standard about what we call work: that when it’s a very poor mother with three kids at home, it is not work. She needs to learn the dignity of work. But when it is an extremely wealthy woman with five kids at home, that is work…. I just find the double standard that has crept into this conversation and not been identified really maddening.