SSI Cuts Hurt

As they say in local diners, “Somthin’ ain’t right.” 

As of 1 February, 340,000 of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, the impoverished elderly and persons with disabilities are dealing with a 24% cut to their monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

 For folks who rely on this modest $27 a month to supplement, the $5 cut is significant.  Persons will be deciding between eating and neglecting necessary medical care.

 Understanding that in this age of greed rewarded and wallet wisdom, it may be thought imprudent to veer from the economic argument, let me jump to the larger issue of what this says about who we are and where we are heading.

 In what is being labeled a brutal budget year, we have targeted those most in need of governmental support. Call me uninformed, yet I believe government can and does do good things.  Ever hear of Medicare? Medicaid? Social Security? Free public education?

 In bureaucratic bully fashion we have picked on those most unlikely to be able to defend themselves. As we shouted for months during last year’s budget impasse, we are better than this.

As a new budget is announced and in the months that follow, may we follow the counsel of Lincoln and call “on the better angels of our nature.”

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