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What is big in politics?

August 12, 2012
John Clayton, Grinnell , Times-Republican

Recently, a Mitt Romney commercial struck an emotional chord by describing President Obama's plan to end a welfare reform provision stating you must be finding work or doing volunteer work to be eligible for welfare food assistance. This ad follows Congress failing to pass the new Farm Bill. Drought relief and other essential farm programs are not being implemented. Why the impasse? A large number of Republican congressman want to cut the food stamp program by 35 billion dollars, not the 5 billion Democrats are offering to support. Now, the latest unemployment figure of 8.3 percent, a slight increase, provides fresh debate on political talk shows.

This election is a big one about little things. First, food stamps account for a very slim slice of the entire federal budget. Second, a majority of the unemployed and those drawing unemployment compensation did not graduate from high school. Does the future of our great nation rest on mustering successful political battles to manipulate the effects occurring on this one demographic group, high school dropouts?

Republicans can get Americans upset about fairness issues and angry over social issues. Yet, wages are flat. Retirement pensions are flat due to poor stock market performance. Our Social Security program needs to be fixed so it does not run out of money. And in Iowa, our farm families need to be financially prepared for next year's growing season. These are real concerns of main-street/rural-street families.



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