Monday, March 01, 2010

Dear President Obama:

During your first year as president something has happened, and it's not a good something. It's something that didn't happen under George W., and he was pretty fucking awful.

In 2000, the year that Bush was appointed to the presidency, I made a reasonable salary of 35k per year. I was middle class. I owned a car, had my own apartment, paid an outrageous amount in money for childcare fees. But I always had enough money to buy my kid new shoes when he out grew them and I didn't get a dime of child support or public assistance. I had health care that actually covered things. I went to the dentist. It was good.

Then there was a recession that was only moderately, kinda declared a recession. I got laid off, the only time I have ever been let go from any job. After that we never really recovered, though the news bunnies all declared the recession over. Since then I have never found a full time, non-temp, benefits eligible position.

The first year under Bush my income dropped by a third.

Every year after that, my income dropped by another third, until about 5 years ago when I bottomed out at the poverty crushing level of 7k a year. And there we stayed.

It was tough. I needed a shit ton of government assistance including: medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, LEAP grants to keep the lights on. We even sometimes had to rely on the kindly readers of this here blog for donations.

We survived. Well, physically I mean. I am now prone to bouts of serious depression and years of dealing with Welfare workers pretty much kills your dignity. But for 5 years, my income didn't change, no more sinking. No raising either,but we floated along on the crappy Styrofoam beer cooler that passes for a life preserver in this country. I thought to myself, well if this is the bottom then we will get through it. It sucks, but we will get through it.

But that wasn't the bottom.

I'm reminded of how far from the bottom that was by my tax return. See last year, 2009, the year you became the president of hope and change and bipartisan leadership (of the United States of Kleptocracy), I made a grand total of $3500.

That is less than $300 a month for a family of 2.

That is a 50 percent drop, bigger than any Bush level third. And it's the most painful. I can no longer say "well if this is the bottom, it sucks but we'll get through it".

Thank you, President Obama, for destroying any hope (or should I say delusion) that I had about our government's efficacy.

Thanks for giving me the change (and by change I mean the spare change I'm going to start asking for on street corners) I can believe in.

I am just one little person in a sea of millions of little people all drowning in this financial crisis. I do not have the clout that say a few "savvy" banksters do. I'm just a mom, with no income, no health insurance and a kid who has a toothache and can't go to the dentist.

And what I need from my government is for it to work for me. I don't give a flying fuck about bipartisanship. I don't give a tiny fuck about "the tone" of Washington politics. These things don't do anything as far as getting food on the table.


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