Money for missiles, but nothing for our kids
March 29, 2002 | Page 4
Dear Socialist Worker,
When George W. Bush went to South Korea a few weeks ago, he took the opportunity to chastise the North Korean regime for "building its military, while its people are going hungry." The idiot president has some nerve.
June 5 has been newly dubbed "National Hunger Day" in the U.S. This day is supposed to encourage Americans to donate food to pantries across the country and is sponsored by Second Harvest, which provides food to the pantries.
One would think that, in the face of the highest unemployment in a decade and few meaningful job opportunities, more money would be spent on making sure people can at least eat and have their basic necessities taken care of.
But not in Bush's world. Instead of spending money on the poor and hungry, he is pushing a budget that calls for a $48 billion increase in the military budget.
As it stands, one in five children are hungry and malnourished in this country. Given Bush's priorities, this number will rise.
Moreover, Bush recently announced his plans for updating the disastrous welfare "repeal" bill of 1996. Despite the fact that this country is in recession, Bush wants to increase the number of welfare recipients who will be forced to work for their already puny benefits.
States will now be forced to have 70 percent of welfare recipients working--up from 50 percent--or they will lose money that is supposed to be allotted to those on welfare. Recipients will also now be forced to work 40 hours a week instead of 30, which will mean the vast majority of them will be working for wages well below minimum wage.
These proposals would be cruel in a good economy. The time to fight Bush's war at home is now.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Chicago