I didn't risk my life in Afghanistan so I could come back and watch people go hungry in America. I certainly didn't risk it so I could come back and go hungry. Anyone who genuinely supports cutting food stamps is not an intellectual or an ideologue -- they're a bully.
There's a common myth that people are forced into poverty because they squander their money on consumer goods. The fact is that it's harder to buy food, heat your home and put clothes on your children's backs than it used to be.
It is therefore somewhat amazing that the last 40 years of experience, and the trillions and trillions of dollars spent, have done nothing to alleviate poverty. Which begs the question, have anti-poverty programs supported by Republicans and Democrats for decades been a colossal failure?
The U.S. is no longer considered a nation defined by social mobility. My organization, the Family Independence Initiative (FII), recently released an independent study conducted in Boston that shows the impressive impact our family-led approach has on economic and social mobility.
America can and should be better than Paul Ryan envisions it. Our nation should be a place where we are our brother's keeper, our sister's keeper. We are not a morally bankrupt nation, and so we must oppose Paul Ryan's proposals.
The gap between the household wealth of black and white families is massive. There are lots of reasons for this difference and a new study offers great data on one of them: the need to assist poor relatives.
As we gear up for more deficit-reduction negotiations and potential across-the-board cuts to vital safety-net programs, our charge to President Obama is that he work with Congress to reduce the deficit in a way that strengthens protections around programs vital to vulnerable people.
We don't need a national discourse on poverty but a shift in attention away from disadvantage toward an examination of the concentrated advantages provided to those already flourishing in our society. It then becomes clear that it is not only poverty but inequality that plagues the poor.
It is all well and good, but when I read the story of the "café riche" immediately after the story of a struggling Nancy Scott and of the abject poverty in Miami County, Ohio, it just left a bitter taste in my mouth -- and it wasn't Caffè Misto.
The discussion we are having about "the fiscal cliff" is really a debate about our fiscal soul. What kind of nation do we want to be? We do need a path to fiscal sustainability, but will it include all of us -- especially the most vulnerable?