It’s hard to believe that it has come to this: that deep cuts in spending that make underfunded attempts to level the playing field are a relief. This is because there is a bad moon rising in American politics, an ominously mean streak that suggests we’re all on our own, that if you can’t make it, tough. It’s the wild, wild west: fend for yourselves and let me have my guns so that I can defend myself when you get desperate enough for food. If you think I’m exaggerating, read up on some of the stuff the Sharon Angles of the world were saying in last year’s campaign. Read the looney comments posted on the websites of the local papers.
Community Action will lose $50,000 in or core funding, plus housing counseling funds and other losses, too; these cuts are enough to force us to close programs. We just don’t know yet which ones.
These cuts are not nearly as bad as we feared, thus, we offer our thanks to Congressman Charlie Dent, a long-time friend of the agency, for his work protecting our funding against much worse.
The tens of thousands of people whose lives are made whole, whose neighborhoods are made more viable and whose ability to have hope is boosted by Community Action owe our congressman a round of applause for speaking up on their behalf. While the CR cuts too much funding for low-income programs, Charlie Dent played an important role in protecting those programs from a far worse fate, saving the day for Community Action, Head Start, and other programs for low-income people seeking little more than a level playing field. His new position on the House Appropriations Committee is a vehicle for moderation in the face of extremism and for advancing the needs of the district in the face of cynical attacks on the poor. Charlie, we thank you for your service.