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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The "recovery"...? HA...!! How about 36M folks on food stamps...
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The "recovery"...? HA...!! How about 36M folks on food stamps...

seeing light at the end of the tunnel...? me neither... guess it's probably because i'm not a member of the super-rich elite...

food stamps...

With food stamp use at record highs and climbing every month, a program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children.

It has grown so rapidly in places so diverse that it is becoming nearly as ordinary as the groceries it buys. More than 36 million people use inconspicuous plastic cards for staples like milk, bread and cheese, swiping them at counters in blighted cities and in suburbs pocked with foreclosure signs.

Virtually all have incomes near or below the federal poverty line, but their eclectic ranks testify to the range of people struggling with basic needs. They include single mothers and married couples, the newly jobless and the chronically poor, longtime recipients of welfare checks and workers whose reduced hours or slender wages leave pantries bare.


From the ailing resorts of the Florida Keys to Alaskan villages along the Bering Sea, the program is now expanding at a pace of about 20,000 people a day.

There are 239 counties in the United States where at least a quarter of the population receives food stamps, according to an analysis of local data collected by The New York Times.

The Obama administration on Monday plans to announce a campaign to pressure mortgage companies to reduce payments for many more troubled homeowners, as evidence mounts that a $75 billion taxpayer-financed effort aimed at stemming foreclosures is foundering.

“The banks are not doing a good enough job,” Michael S. Barr, Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, said in an interview Friday. “Some of the firms ought to be embarrassed, and they will be.”

Even as lenders have in recent months accelerated the pace at which they are reducing mortgage payments for borrowers, a vast majority of loans modified through the program remain in a trial stage lasting up to five months, and only a tiny fraction have been made permanent.

meanwhile, as citizen anger at the incredible amount of our money being thrown at those who already have way too much of it continues to grow, the likes of the fed's bernanke simply can't stop defending the very system that precipitated this hellish mess...
In a column published on The Washington Post’s Web site and scheduled to appear on the op-ed page on Sunday, the chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, sharply criticized a Senate provision that he said “would strip the Fed of all its bank regulatory powers” and a House provision to repeal a 30-year-old law “to protect monetary policy from short-term political influence.”

The Federal Reserve’s jurisdiction to regulate banks has come under increasing attack in Congress in recent months, reflecting the anger of voters at the huge taxpayer costs of the bailout of Wall Street.

Mr. Bernanke repeated, as he has many times before, that while some of the measures in response to the financial crisis were “distasteful and unfair,” they were necessary.

ol' ben is such an obvious tool... admitting that things are "distasteful and unfair" but still "necessary" is akin to the old parental adage - "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" - while strapping the hapless kid with the business end of a belt...

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