Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Budget plans disappoint
The Ryan and Obama budgets both call for deep cuts. Both target the elderly, the very young, the disabled and the very poor — easier targets, I guess, than the big banks and corporations, who are deemed too big to fail, too big to prosecute, and now, it seems, too big to tax (much).
Ryan’s plan is much worse than Obama’s but I won’t endorse either. It’s like asking: Would you rather be shot immediately or starved to death slowly?
Ryan’s plan would repeal the 2010 health care overhaul. And his plan cuts sharply from safety net programs for the poor and contains a plan to turn the Medicare program for the elderly in 2024 into a voucher-like system. It also includes, among other things, consolidating tax brackets from six to two.
Cut in half the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Cut $300 million from community development block grants and limit an expansion of the Pell grant program. Also cut Social Security payments for seniors by changing to the CPI method of computing cost of living increases.
Obama’s plan includes two modest tax hikes for banks and oil companies. It also calls for ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in 2013 and returning the estate tax to its higher 2009 levels.
The Pentagon will see modest cuts in its level of spending, but is 3 percent higher over fiscal year 2011. Another $118 billion is earmarked for wartime spending (?).
Kids called to ‘Soup’
We have extended the application period for Kids Gorge Soup, held May 15. We would love all the help possible to get the word out.
Ticket sales have been doing quite well so I’m hoping we can get more applicants.
Applications are to be mailed and postmarked by April 30, and sent to the following address: Gorge Soup, 14 Oak St., Ste. 302, Hood River, OR 97031. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
For details email email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: please turn to page A2 for details on Kids Gorge Soup.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge