Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Few Things To Consider

While you are stuffing yourself with some great food, enjoying time with family & friends, and maybe even watching a bit of football today, here are a few things you should probably remember:

* The Labor Department says there are 16.5 million people unemployed in the United States (and that is undoubtably an undercount), and another 8.9 million who are working part-time because they can't find full-time work.

* There are at least 100 million Americans living below or near the poverty line (that's nearly one out of every three Americans). And more than 15% of the U.S. population lives below the poverty line.

* The number of children living in poverty in the U.S. grew by 1,000,000 between 2009 and 2010 (from 14.7 million to 15.7 million). This means more than one in five American children are currently living in poverty.

* About 49 million Americans aren't sure where their next meal is coming from, and more than 15% of the population is now receiving food stamps (a jump of about two-thirds since 2007).

* The Bush tax cuts in 2011 for the richest 1% of Americans is more than the average income of the other 99%. The average tax cut for the 1% is $66,384, while the average income for those in the 99% lucky enough to have a job is $58,506.

* While the wages of workers are still stagnant (with buying power diminishing), the cost of a Thanksgiving meal increased about 13% over what it cost in 2010.

And just to put things in perspective, here are a few more facts:

* The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing the American people about $13 million every 40 minutes this year.

* The multi-billionaire Koch brothers increase their wealth by about $13 million every eleven hours.

The Republicans want to continue both of those wars and give the Koch brothers a massive tax cut -- and they want to do it by cutting the programs that help hurting Americans. I can't think of anything more ridiculous or mean-spirited than that.

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