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quote of the day

"In the 1960s we fought a war on poverty. Our intentions were good, but sometimes we expected government to do things that only individuals and communities can achieve. Sometimes we gave too much money to bureaucracies, not people. Yet those efforts still helped cut the poverty rate by 43 percent from 1963 to 1973.

Again, in the 1990s, the Earned Income Tax Credit and welfare reform helped lift 7 million more people out of poverty. If we are going to fight poverty, we have to commit ourselves once more, more deeply than ever before.

To be true to our values, our country must build a Working Society - an America where everyone who works hard finally has the rewards to show for it. In the Working Society, nobody who works full-time should have to raise children in poverty, or in fear that one health emergency or pink slip will drive them over the cliff.

In the Working Society, everyone who works full-time will at last have something to show for it - a home of their own, an account where their savings and paycheck can grow.

In the Working Society, everyone willing to work will have the chance to get ahead. Anyone who wants to go to college and work will be able to go the first year for free.

In the Working Society, people who work have the right to live in communities where the streets are safe, the schools are good, and jobs can be reached.

In the Working Society, everyone will also be asked to hold up their end of the bargain - to work, to hold off having kids until they're ready, and to do their part for their kids when the time comes.

The first test of the working society will be in the Gulf. And the central principle of our effort should be the one I just outlined: We can only renew the Gulf if we renew the lives of the Gulf's people by encouraging and honoring work.

The President doesn't get that. At a time when a million people have been displaced, many already poor before the storm; when the only shot many people have is a good job rebuilding New Orleans, the President intervened to suspend prevailing wage laws so his contractor friends can cut wages for a hard day's work.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the President never suggested cutting million-dollar salaries for the heads of Halliburton or the other companies profiting from these contracts. A President who never met an earmark he wouldn't approve or a millionaire tax cut he wouldn't promote decided to slash wages for the least of us.

But will this attention to poverty be sustained or transient? That depends on our leaders - whether we step up and sustain our moral commitment as the country's conscience would naturally want us to do. I hope we all do.

So, today, I implore all Americans - don't turn off the television and put the disturbing images out of your mind. Don't let yourself think that because the levees in New Orleans are being repaired, we have built all of America's levees high enough.

Rather, stand with me today and pledge to work for an America that doesn't ignore those in need and lifts up those who wish to succeed. Pledge to hold your government accountable for ignoring the suffering of so many for far too long. And pledge to do your part to build the America that we have dreamed of - where the bright light of opportunity shines on every person - an America where the family you are born into, or the color of your skin, will never control your destiny."

John Edwards
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9/20/2005 07:53:00 AM

Will our seniors pay for Katrina? now that our prescription plan is on the chopping block, our part b coverage increased by $11 a month to $88, our deducatable increased from $100 to $120, will we see a small meager cost of living increase to cover the cost of our part b coverage or will we have to live on less money next year then this? Our rent, electricity, heat, food, medications, auto insurance, and gas all increased well above this years increase. We worked forty or fifty years, we paid our taxes, we paid into medicare. now some physicians are refusing to see us if we have medicare. We are becoming second rate citizens.

Who will be next to be cut, the WIC program for children and other programs to help the lower middle class and the poor.

We want to help the victims, but does NASA need $100 billion to go to the moon right now or can that wait a few years till we regain our financial status. Why won't congress withdraw the highway bill and take out the pork? Why won't congress stop the tax breaks for the wealthy? Why won't congress increase the tax breaks for seniors from $32,000 to $35,000, these are all options. If congress won't give seniors a cost of living increase to cover the increase in our part b coverage then give us a tax break so we don't fall further behind.

If you don't think this can happen to you, just wait a few years.    

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