Fixing The National Debt, One Meal At A Time

Tuesday’s Joplin Globe editorial noted the effect sequestration, which has become reality at last, is having on “our area senior centers,” as they try to “meet the demands of a growing homebound meals program” :

Now, federal cuts that went into effect on Friday could result in an 8.5 percent reduction in funding for the Area Agency on Aging. Stan Heater, the executive director for our agency, said that could reduce the annual number of meals served by about 12,000.

The Globe didn’t publish this editorial, however, to criticize sequestration, President Obama, or, God forbid, the real cause of the sequestration mess, the Republican Party. Nope. The paper was merely urging folks to donate to the local senior centers to help offset the cuts.

Fine. If local folks want to do that, good for them. The Area Agency on Aging, a 501 (c)(3) organization, does good work. But the Joplin Globe at least should explain to folks who happen to read this editorial why it is that 12,000 fewer meals may not be served. Perhaps the paper should also tell us if it endorses the sequester, the result of austerity-drunk conservatives holding President Obama and the nation’s credit rating hostage in 2011.

In its endorsement of “severely conservative” Mitt Romney last year, the Joplin Globe also endorsed austerity-drunk conservatism. The paper explained to us that we should be very worried about the national debt and “unchecked government spending,” which it called “the issue that most threatens our nation’s future well-being.”

Perhaps it is. And perhaps it is so serious that it is worth reducing funding to organizations that serve meals to old folks. What’s missing a meal or two when we have all that debt to worry about?

In the mean time, we have this:

House Republicans are proposing this week to restore upward of $7 billion to operations and maintenance accounts for the four military services hit hard by the automatic cuts that went into effect Friday night.

I just wonder how many meals organizations like the Area Agency on Aging could serve to seniors with that $7 billion?

Yeah, I just wonder.



  1. Jane Reaction

     /  March 6, 2013

    What perverse austerity. From the taking of meals from shut-ins, to making railroad system employees put out 9.4% more from their own pockets for benefits, we are at the point where it won’t be long before everybody is broke.

    Just when I hoped they had become extinct, I had to laugh yesterday at the Globe’s front page story about a developer that wants to put an “upscale, gated community” at 20th and Rex, for mixed-use and 8-plexe renters? A Joplin oxymoron.


    • Your comment led me to the article. There will be 72 of those “most luxurious town-house-type apartments” on grounds that used to be where Pepsi was. As you know, that’s just a rock’s throw from Walmart, where I’m sure those folks who rent those luxurious town houses will undoubtedly get their groceries and socks.


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