Nobody can believe it is best to cut social programs at the same time those programs are most needed.
Even more striking are the proximate causes of rising mortality. Basically, white Americans are, in increasing numbers, killing themselves, directly or indirectly. Suicide is way up, and so are deaths from drug poisoning and the chronic liver disease that excessive drinking can cause.
It is suggested that middle-aged whites have “lost the narrative of their lives.” That is, their economic setbacks have hit hard because they expected better. Or to put it a bit differently, we’re looking at people who were raised to believe in the American Dream, and are coping badly with its failure to come true.
Elderly and disabled persons programs are also being reduced or eliminated. So are services for home and child care, rehabilitation, and other essential needs for the poor and low-income households. The most vulnerable of all are affected, yet more cuts are expected as new budget pressures arise.
Pre-school, K-12, and higher education cuts are being made as well. Public payrolls and hours worked are being slashed, exacerbating the growing unemployment problem, worse still by cutting pay for the still-employed. Tax increases may also be considered at the worst possible time.
"Expenditure cuts and tax increases are problematic policies during an economic downturn because they reduce overall demand and can make the downturn deeper. When states cut spending, they lay off employees, cancel contracts with vendors, eliminate or lower payments to businesses and nonprofit organizations that provide direct services, and cut benefit payments to individuals."
Demand is then reduced because households have less to spend. As a result, the economic crisis deepens. CBPP said federal assistance is crucial, yet the Obama administration declined while providing trillions to Wall Street and other corporate favorites. That's the state of governance in America today under Republican and Democrat administrations, each no different from the other.
People read about 'economic recovery' and sense that it is all a trick with numbers. They don't understand, but know it is not really true. They haven't recovered. Their family hasn't recovered. They are unable to see the road ahead toward recovery. It's a political trick. People are left to wonder, how can we get help? Where, if anywhere, can we turn for answers? To add insult to the injury, it is becoming illegal to be poor. And as the average citizen looks around, it appears that it is only going to get worse. Yes, suicides are up... and that's the truth !!!