Thursday, January 28, 2010

Somebody Forgot to Tell Us

Somebody from the White House forgot to tell some East Tennesseans that the recession is over, as the President would have us believe:

If the recession is over, as the President would have us all believe, someone forgot to bring the glorious news to my home in Jefferson County. While national unemployment hovers around 10%, in Jefferson County unemployment moves somewhere between 12% and 15%, depending on the month. Every day I meet someone who has just recently found themselves down and out in ways I can't even imagine. Just when I think things are bad, I find someone in a far deeper and more immediately pressing set of circumstances, and find myself uttering the prayer "thank you Lord, that I know where my next meal is coming from. Thank you that I have a roof over my head, and shoes on my feet, and a way to heat my home-I have discovered a neighbor who does not have those things." This past Christmas, families called our fire department looking for Christmas gifts for their children in numbers so great that some days it seemed as though the phone rang off the hook with people in need. It pained me to tell folks that we were just the drop off point, we didn't handle distribution-even so, we tried to connect the people that we could with the help they needed. Each day I meet, or hear the story of a new person or family in the community in a very desperate situation. Someone forgot to wire the message to these folks that the recession is over.

While myself and my neighbors are trimming away small and trivial niceties in order to try and meet large and important necessities, we discover that the United States Senate has voted to lift the national debt ceiling by a whopping $1.9 trillion and reject the very spending freeze the President says he supports. It ought to be pointed out that it was the President's allies, and not his opposition, that rejected the freeze.

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