Cumberland Times-News

December 13, 2012

It’s time for clarity and fact, not political ravings

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News


Beck, Limbaugh, and FOX continue their rant against government social services. 
Escaping obscurity, Sarah Palin blogs that “socialist programs” have become a “communist” agenda. Paul Ryan still insists that the lazy “47 percent” are “takers” draining our Nation’s resources.
It is said that the best editorial letters are clever narratives linking commentary with witticism or personal story; capture, entertain, and then surprise the reader with a political left hook — gotcha!
No. Now it is time for clarity and fact. Simply put, the following is from non-political sources.
 Dr. Emmanuel Saez, UC, researcher for U.S. Census, says “93 percent of national income goes to 1 percent of the population.
 Center for Labor Management at Northeast University: “37 percent of Young American families with high school diplomas and employment are living in poverty.”
Congressional Research Service:
1. The bottom 50 percent of the nation holds 1 percent of the wealth.
2. One of six Americans lives in poverty.
3. The U.S. is 73rd in global income.
 U.S. Census Office: 45.1 million Americans receive Food Stamps.
 Regions receiving the most food stamp subsidies are: entire Appalachian region, Mississippi Delta region, all of the Deep South, and Texas to boarder lines.
With great worry about rising beef prices, last February McDonald’s stated that the “$1 Meal” was to become a thing of the past. This December, McDonald’s announced a net yearly profit of 100 percent. The Associated Press reports that most workers at McDonald’s do not make a salary supporting a family beyond the poverty level.
Individuals/families serving in the military at the second year of E-6 ranking are eligible for food stamps and assistance, as they are at or below the poverty level. (
Sadly, at the same time, there are those abusing the system. UPI reports of some Appalachian families encourage children to fail in school in order to retain student disability funding. 
While producing an Appalachian generation of the prideful ignorant this also destroys public confidence, creates disdain for those who truly need, and provides fodder for the ultra-right “47 percenters.”
Laws and public policies do not arise in a vacuum. These programs exist because of failure in the private sector to employ and provide. 
Obviously, high ranking “Suits” get the golden parachute. Yet, even with corporate profits of 100 percent, the American worker languishes in economic limbo.
Now I ask my Appalachian neighbors and “FOX Friends,” what is it you don’t understand?
Robert Llewellyn