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Old 05-02-2003, 05:10 PM
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Gimpy Gimpy is offline
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Default Reurning troops find their government is "assaulting" services to the poor and needy!

Another article of importance from todays editorial pages.


THE MANY SOLDIERS who entered the military to escape poverty will discover low-income programs being slashed by states facing the most severe budget deficits in almost 60 years.
At the same time, the Bush administration is planning to make it much more difficult for low-wage families to
take advantage of a tax credit program that has been popular among Democrats and Republicans for nearly three decades.
To add more hurt to pain, these changes come as joblessness among single mothers has jumped sharply.
Taken together, it?s a bleak picture. The tough times are getting tougher. And certain administration proposals, such as more stringent work requirements for welfare recipients, would only aggravate the situation.
?At a time when deficit-ridden states have cut back on supports for children and jobs are vanishing right and left, Congress must not make matters worse by imposing unrealistic work requirements on single mothers trying to raise their children,? said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children?s Defense Fund. ?Welfare to steady work helps children. Welfare to joblessness does not.?

Edelman spoke as she released a CDF report in March that says 180,000 single moms lost work last year, the first unemployment increase for that group in six years. Before that, unemployment for single mothers dropped by about 162,000 annually.
A day after that report, the organization released another one that cites the impact the woeful condition of state finances is having on the poor children. ?Nearly two-thirds of the states have cut back or proposed reductions in supports for child care and early childhood programs in some way,? according to CDF. ?States have eliminated child care assistance for low-income working families, reduced payments to child care providers, increased parents fees, cut initiatives to improve child care quality and programs for infants and toddlers and made pre-kindergarten and after-school programs less available.?
In Ohio for example, child care assistance for 18,500 youngsters will be cut by September, saving the state $268 million over the next two years, CDF reports. Massachusetts cut $10 million from its School Readiness program and almost $12 million from early literacy grants. In Connecticut 30,000 kids would lose child care assistance because of $40 million in proposed budget cuts over three years.

On top of these cuts, Bush administration proposals would slash the successful Head Start program, drop 200,000 children from child care funding over five years and 570,000 kids from after-school activities next year, CDF says.

?Research demonstrates the importance of early brain development and high quality care in early childhood to children?s overall success in school,? Edelman said. ?Children are being forced to bear the burden of state budget shortfalls and the Bush administration?s budget proposals.?
The cuts on the state and federal budget fronts are exacerbated by administration plans to seriously undermine an effective tax credit program for low-income wage earners. Since 1975, the earned-income tax credit has provided the working poor small, but important, relief by refunding taxes already paid.
But now, the New York Times reports, the Internal Revenue Service plans to make it much more difficult to receive the credit by imposing onerous rules beginning in July. The requirements would call for extensive proof that those getting the credit are eligible for it by demanding documents that could be hard to obtain.
The IRS wants to cut fraud, which it should. But the $6.5 billion to $8 billion in tax credits received by those not eligible is dwarfed by the $54 billion in taxes corporations did not pay or the $38 billion in taxes the self-employed dodged, according to various estimates.
If the IRS is out to stop tax cheats, let it start where the big bucks are, rather than making it too hard for honest poor people to get a little relief.

Joe Davidson



"I ain't no fortunate son"--CCR

"We have shared the incommunicable experience of war..........We have felt - we still feel - the passion of life to its top.........In our youth our hearts were touched with fire"

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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