Wednesday, October 21, 2009

America is failing to help poor children

At a time when the federal government is giving banks $700 billion in bailout funds, our country has 6.3 million children living in extreme poverty and we are doing little to help them.
The updated report, “TANF: Failing America’s Poorest Children,” details how cash assistance and food programs are underfunded and do not get families up to even half of the federal poverty level. Shockingly, over the last 11 years, only three states have increased their cash assistance funding to keep up with cost of living increases, and 23 states have not increased their cash assistance funding levels at all.
In Ohio, more than 160,000 children currently rely on the Ohio Works First cash assistance program. At the same time, Ohio has nearly 245,000 children who are living in extreme poverty, which means their family income is at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty level.
Welfare reform placed strict requirements on families receiving public assistance. But this newly-released report shows how people on public assistance fall further behind every year while our government actually reduces cash assistance funding in some states and turns its back on poor people all across America. Government leaders often argue that they do not have the money to increase TANF funding or other programs to help poor people. They say they have to make “tough choices,” but the choices almost always leave poor children out in the cold. Meanwhile, the government chooses to spend money in other areas:
· Financial institutions are allowed to hand out billions of dollars of the federal bailout money to pay for bonuses and special compensation for employees.
· The federal government chose to use more than $17 billion to bailout the auto industry. That $17 billion is more than the entire annual federal appropriation for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.
· States such as Ohio have chosen in recent years to roll back income taxes at a time when state budgets are losing money and welfare programs that poor families rely on are being cut.
· The federal government just chose to spend $79 million to see if there is water on the moon, while families all across the country don’t have water in their own homes.
The assistance programs that are supposed to help our neighbors are failing miserably simply because our government won’t adequately fund these programs. Too many families are going hungry. Too many children are living in extreme poverty. We need to greatly increase the funding for programs to help poor people. We need to choose to do the right thing.


poor said...

All countries must become one universe to save and help out those in need,don't we sleep under the same sky?

ChromeLightning said...

Thank you so much for caring. We have been told over and over we would have to have zero income, to qualify for cash assistance and they refuse to even process our application for it. We have a large family, I am an out of work IT tech on disability after a terrible bout with cancer. Then they mess up your food stamps for months and you have to fight to get properly awarded, which is embarassing, because I don't want to fight a place that I am so thankful for. It is terrible. Then the caseworker is out to get you because in her eyes you showed her up or maybe even got her in trouble and she would rather be on facebook posting her sexy work pics. I am not making this stuff up. It is unreal. I have asked over and over for help advise, agency referrals to help with other things like utilities or clothes for the family, on and on, she would just say call around and be bitter to me, but the pink form you fill out asks you to state any barriers and they were to my beleif to help you meet your needs to overcome. I also have been trying to get help with rehabilitation services, but am told they meet in the am when I can't move around yet. sigh. I just want to get somewhere from here and wish I could give the kids a wonderful Christmas like I used to be able to. I have no idea where to go for help and I bet they are all maxed out at this point. I tried to get help with clearing house, but have heard nothing back for a month. It is just the oldest one may not have years of childhood Christmas delight left anymore, as he is getting to old for those things, and I wanted this one to be special. We had our water shut off the other day and are way late on rent, nothing is paid on and hasn't been for months. Things are in God's hands, but here in my bill land, we are over stretched and nothing left for life. I really think our state is not using the funds like they are intended. If we had help with vehicles and utilities and rent for a few months entirely, we could probably get on our feet at least for awhile. Or, if they would help me start my business with my disability considered, I might be okay. I am not saying I should rely on them, but if they ran what was available better, I would not need them as much for as long. If anyone knows of Christmas help available now, please email me.