Nearly 48M Americans, which is about 15 percent of the population, got a cut in food stamps today. That means a family of four would receive $632 in monthly food stamps, down from $668.
More cutbacks are on the way. Republicans are looking to ax almost half of the $76B Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Democrats, the former champions of the underclass, want to shave $4B over the same 10-year period.
There’s another storm on the horizon for the down and out.The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which extended jobless benefits to 73 from 26 weeks expires Jan. 1. There’s little hope that the GOP-controlled House will extend the program.
Meanwhile, the American Affluence Research Center (Atlanta) say the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans see rosy days ahead. Its survey released Oct. 24 found the view of the economy by the affluent has never been better. Eight-in-ten of the surveyed believe their net worth will be either the same or higher over the coming months.
There are good signs for upscale retailers. Two-thirds of the AARC respondents have no plans to cut or defer spending during the next year. The average rich household expects to send $2,175 for Christmas gifts. That’s four times the average household spending projection by the National Retail Federation.
The food stamp cuts and AARC survey illustrate the sharp differences in the future prospects of the “have-nots” and the “haves.”
There’s an opening for a PR-savvy politico. Bill DeBlasio will be elected New York City Mayor next week, succeeding billionaire Mike Bloomberg. Based on his “tale of two cities” campaign theme, DeBlasio will win in a landslide of about 40 percent. His message resonated. Geez, even Donald Trump threw in the towel, saying Bill D. would be a good mayor.
Granted New York is a liberal Democrat city, but a U.S. presidential candidate with the guts to adopt DeBlasio’s theme would win by at least 10 percent.
It would just take the right PR message.