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Infographic of how long it takes a minimum wage worker, median wage earner, and CEO to earn enough to pay for a gallon of milk -- 1/2 hour, 13 minutes, .01 seconds.
It is a harrowing truth to accept that since the financial collapse of 2007-2008 to present day 2013 there has been no recovery in the United States for the poor, working poor, lower middle class, and middle class citizens. Wages remain stagnant and in fact have fallen along with union wages.  Anti-labor legislation/right to work (for less)bills are making their way through states like Missouri right now and have all the trappings of ALEC generated "model" bills. The American dream has become an abstract concept that is obtainable for a few and not the many in our current situation. We as a nation are continually making those who have the least to give, pay the lions share of the recovery that bailed the banks out but left everyone else out to muddle through in the wilderness. We can at least take solace in the fact that they have paid for the massive fraud that they foisted upon the American public. The complete list of all the CEO's, Bankers, and people who took down the world economy and went to jail can be found here.

The only people who have recovered from the biggest economic crisis facing our country since the Great Depression has been Wall Street. In fact the richest 1 percent captured 93% of all the income gains in 2010. While the median income of most families fell by 6.7% during that same period. Now in our current year since the recession the 1% has managed to capture 121% of all income gains.  After a few months of mild chastisement when the world economy was brought to its knees - corporations began turning profits again and rewarding executive pay by leaps and bounds beyond what they were earning before the crash.  

Via Epi.org

Average CEO compensation was $14.1 million in 2012, using a measure of CEO pay that covers CEOs of the top 350 firms and includes the value of stock options exercised in a given year (“options realized”), up 12.7 percent since 2011 and 37.4 percent since 2009. This is our preferred measure.
CEO to peon ratio
Now you may be asking yourself why I am bringing up all these inconvenient truths about the crash, wage growth, CEO compensation and the subsequent non-recovery that the Obama administration has presided over - Well the answer is simple.

 

According to the Center on Budget and Priorities

The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is scheduled to end on November 1, 2013, resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household. For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014.[2]  That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits.  Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits will average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014.  (See Table 2 for estimates of the size of the SNAP cut in each state in fiscal year 2014.)  Nationally, the total cut is estimated to be $5 billion in fiscal year 2014.
It is insane to me that the meager assistance that the 2009 Recovery Act allocated to American's struggling to survive hunger and the biggest financial disaster is about to expire and there is no one in Washington willing to listen. It is insane that Democrats have to contrast their 4 billion dollar cut to the program against the 40 odd billion dollar cuts that the House republicans have proposed.
The issue is one of the central disputes in the congressional debate over the farm bill, which ramped up again this week. House Republicans have proposed nearly $40 billion in cuts to SNAP over the next decade. The Congressional Budget Office has said such a cut could end benefits for nearly 4 million people next year alone. Senate Democrats have backed a $4 billion cut.
Bold by me.

Why have further cuts to the program been included? There should be 0 cuts. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch - removed from these critical programs while people (like myself) are still struggling with food insecurity. Shame on republicans and shame on the Senate.

  A few democrats have protested against the cuts they voted for but with the republican house still batshit crazy there is little chance of actually helping people.

The recovery has happened for Wall Street. It has not happened for Main street. Instead of talking about cutting SNAP - the discussion should be about expanding it. Instead of talking about Chained CPI and cutting Social security further - the discussion should be about expanding it. Instead of talking about gutting unions and allowing "right to work for less" cause freedom - politicians should be talking about growing labor again. Wall street should not be allowed to capture 121% of all the income of our nation while families are still struggling to survive. There are about 48 million people on SNAP benefits now.  There have been millions within the United States that have been thrust into financial insecurity due to the actions of Wall Street.

It has been said that this is not a cut to SNAP considering that we have known for a while that the benefits from the 2009 Recovery Act would expire and that they were supposed to be temporary. To those people I say you have never lived on 1.40 a day to survive. To those people I say the Great Recession is not over and there-fore we still need the economic stimulus that food stamps provide. What better way to grow the economy in a time of economic depression than to provide supplemental assistance to those in need. Are we supposed to stand by and let Wall Street collect 121% of all the income of this nation, sit by and watch the stock market reach ever higher records (scary I know) while the least of us are still trying to find our way out of the mess they created in the 90s up till the crash?

SNAP was never intended to be the sole food source for people. Hence the word supplemental. Yet because of the reckless casino driven gambling of Wall-street by bundling, repackaging, dicing up, and then betting of mortgage backed securities - the average family has been forced to make due with less. We can do better as a people and as a nation then this. This is not a time to compromise with republicans on how much should be cut.  This is a time to demand that more be given to the American people. If only to make up for a fraction of the pain and misery that has been inflicted upon this country by the wealthy few and sociopaths who call themselves republicans.  Wealth/Income inequality has reached a fever pitch that has not been seen since the Gilded Age of the 1800's. We can not allow our country to slip back into that time - no matter how much the neo-liberals and conservatives want us to.

 Please contact your representative in Congress.

If you are on Foodstamps - tell them that the Great Recession is not over for you and that any cuts to this safety net will hurt your chance at the American dream.

Originally posted to Tool on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 04:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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