COLA MEANS TAIL, COLA MEANS COST OF LIVING. COLA refers to a NON-NUTRITIOUS, JUNK DRINK. COLA MEANS THOSE LAST IN LINE!

CALIFORNIA LAWS REGULARLY SCREW the DISABLED.
NO COLA RAISES FOR USELESS, DISCARDED CITIZENS
THIS YEAR for the UMPTEENTH TIME. In 2013 COLA uptick
of AID MONEY is 1.5% NO FOOD STAMPS ALLOWED
for disabled, crippled, SENIOR SSI RECIPIENTS  !


Californians on Disability get a stipend which is already too low,
and cannot get food stamps. There are no COLA increases.
Our best geezers are starving to death and never tell
their children a thing. Too much pride. KIDS? Step up to the plate!
 

NO COLA INCREASES

 May 11, 1998 By Diana M. Williams SACRAMENTO BUREAU TRIBUNE

SACRAMENTO -- Confined to a wheelchair and dependent on a ventilator,
Mark Beckwith is one of about a million disabled Californians who live
on $650 a month from the government. You think that would cover rent?
Food? Utilities?

To save money, the Berkeley resident shops for clothes at the Ashby flea
market. Because he can't afford coins for a clothes dryer, he hangs his
laundry on a line outside his home.

"It's ridiculous," said Beckwith, 40, who attended the University of
California, Berkeley, but can't hold a job because of muscular
dystrophy. "If I go to the store and say, 'Hey, I haven't got an
increase in my check,' they're not going to let me have my groceries any
cheaper."

Now that California's economy is booming and the state faces a $1
billion surplus, a Republican lawmaker has proposed bolstering benefits
for people like Beckwith. Since 1990, he and others on Supplemental
Security Income have been hit hard by state cuts and the virtual
elimination of cost of living increases. The bill by Assemblyman Roy
Ashburn would give roughly $28 a month more next year to SSI recipients,
about 50,000 of whom live in Alameda County. Good idea, said Democratic
Assemblywoman Dion Aroner of Berkeley -- only, she has essentially
killed Ashburn's bill.

Preserving the guts of his proposal, Aroner has added a far more
controversial element: Granting similar increases to welfare recipients.

To Aroner, it's unconscionable to extend benefits to one group without
helping the other. Both suffered deep cuts during the recessionary early
years of this decade, and both groups are disadvantaged, she said.

To many disabled and their advocates, Aroner's well-intentioned move is
a kiss of death to the modest increase they hoped to finally see this
year. Republicans -- traditional foes of increasing welfare benefits --
have vowed to block Aroner's bill if she insists it be linked with hikes
for welfare recipients. Aroner, a staunch defender of the poor who
represents one of the state's most liberal districts, has blocked
Ashburn's attempt to give increases to SSI recipients only, saying it's
a political ploy in an election year.

The result is a nasty and unusual fight between groups representing
disabled people and those on welfare, groups that are more often allies
than enemies. The two were pitted against each other at a raw, emotional
hearing before the Assembly Committee on Human Services last month,
where dozens of disabled, elderly and blind recipients on SSI balked at
being linked with welfare recipients, insisting they are categorically
different.

The phrase "unworthy poor" was used several times by disabled people,
referring to those who are physically capable of holding jobs but don't.
"We were rather shocked," said Sherry Novick, an aide to Aroner. "It got
set up as an either/or situation, and a lot of ugly things were said
about poor people -- talk about some people being worthy and others
not."

Ashburn is not backing down. Today , the Republican from Bakersfield
will ask the full Assembly to hear his bill, which includes a cost of
living allocation increase for SSI recipients only. It is a
parliamentary move, because his bill died in the Human Services
Committee and chances are slim the Democrat-controlled Assembly will
agree to override that group's decision to hear Ashburn's measure.
Ashburn wants to make the point anyway.

"We're talking about two very different groups of people," Ashburn said.
"Those who receive CalWORKS (California's version of welfare) have the
ability to go to work, to change their circumstances on their own
initiative. They can gets jobs, earn more money. That's very different
for the blind, disabled, and elderly, because for the most part they
don't have the ability to go to work and change their economic
circumstances."

Aroner said Ashburn is simply posturing. "Where were the Republicans for
the last seven years when we talked about giving cost-of-living
increases" for people on SSI, she asked last week. "Nowhere. Now it's an
election year and 22 Republicans have decided it's time to give
increases to some people and not to others."

"Financially speaking, giving increases for one group does not preclude
increases for another, because they would come from two different pots
of money. A raise for SSI recipients would come from the General Fund.
Increases for welfare recipients, on the other hand, would come from the
state's CalWORKS budget, which will have plenty" of money, Novick said,
because of a decrease in case loads.

Politically it's a different story.

"We're blessed that we have this one sliver of common ground to play
with," Frances Gracechild, executive director of Resources for
Independent Living, said of the SSI increase both Ashburn and Aroner
support. "I think it's very unfortunate the Democrats decided to play
hardball on this. To have Dion insist it be linked to welfare was sort
of a dead-on-arrival strategy."

Democrat Gracechild asked Ashburn to carry the legislation.

In a show of support for Ashburn, nearly two dozen other GOP Assembly
members and senators signed onto his bill, AB 2468, as co-authors.
Aroner's version, AB 2563, has passed out of the Democrat-controlled
Human Services Committee and, because it proposes spending money, will
be taken up as the 1998-99 state budget is hammered out.

Beckwith, who has worked with Aroner on other disability issues, said he
empathizes with her position: "She says the money will come from
different sources, that we're not competing with each other. But I feel
caught in a political football game here."

California law requires COLA increases be given each year to recipients
of both SSI and welfare. But that was suspended by Republican Gov. Pete
Wilson in 1990 in the midst of severe budget cuts. Since then, the state
has also carved into basic benefits for both groups.

The result is a net loss to SSI recipients of $121 each -- money they
would be receiving now had the cuts and COLA not been eliminated. For
welfare recipients, the hit was harder. A family of three on welfare,
for example, received $694 each month in 1990; that check is now down to
$565 -- nearly $300 less than it would have been without cuts and
eliminating cost-of-living increases.

FACTS are boring
Maybe Enlightenment will come via a new t-shirt in a catalog with a bar
graph titled "Who's really on welfare?"

Corporate tax breaks and subsidies 104.3 billion,
tax breaks for rich 40 bil,
food stamps 28 bil,
housing 23 bil,
AFDC 17 billion.

That figures. The children last. Who do these jerks think holds the
furture in their hands?


Mom, I'm working two jobs to pay our rent.
I'm in school partime. And we have no food?

Two wars at 90 Billion each are going on in the year 2003. 180 BILLION DOLLARS. The amazing COSTSOFWAR website has figures of total recent wars, 3 TRILLION. Add that expenditure to tax breaks, subsidies TO THE OLIGARCH RICH... We have a hemorrhage of money going to KILL THE POOR of the third world, and ENRICH THE BILLIONAIRE CLASS. And none left over so we KILL our own disabled and poor. The American system is a FIRST CLASS DEATH SYSTEM. Is that going to make a world you want your grandchildren to live in? In 200 years you'll have 1,000 descendents living a horror. You must stop the war against LIFE with ACTIVISM.


 In 200 years you'll have 1,000 descendents living Hunger Games horror. You
must stop the war against LIFE! That is done with YOUR ACTIVISM  NOW.
Fail to do it, they lose brain health, education, cozy family life.

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

<=== BACK TO CREATIVE JOYFUL POVERTY, the FRUGAL LIFESTYLE

<=== BACK TO SENIOR SURVIVAL, HOW TO DO IT

<=== BACK TO THE HARD TIMES INDEX

<=== BACK TO THE COUCH POTATO EFFECTIVE ACTIVIST

COLA MEANS TAIL, COLA MEANS COST OF LIVING. COLA refers to a NON-NUTRITIOUS, JUNK DRINK. COLA MEANS THOSE LAST IN LINE! Are we gonna tolerate A KICK IN THE COLA??? We NEED COUCH POTATO ACTIVISM.