America's Motel Generation: Child Poverty Critical as GOP Pushes Divestment in America's Children

For all the hotting and hollering the GOP likes to do about "who will think of the children!" they sure as heck aren't telling you the story of America's Motel Generation - children whose families are losing their homes and are being forced to move into motels to live week-to-week, nor are they doing anything about it. If you haven't seen this segment of 60 Minutes from earlier this month, please watch it now. It will break your heart.



This CBS news story tells the story of the video above, but in written words. And do you know what the Republicans are doing about it? They want to eliminate foreclosure prevention aid for families, so that even more children will be added to America's Motel Generation.

Twenty five percent of America's children are at risk of growing up in poverty. 25%. That's one in four. I have some experience with this, although not even close to what the children you saw in the video are going through. Almost thirteen years ago when my family moved to the United States, I was still a teenager. As my family struggled financially in our early days here, I had free school lunches to help me out, and I had MediCal (California's Medicaid program) to take care of me if I got sick.

But children today are in much more dire stress than I ever was, and the Republicans in positions of power seem dedicated to squeeze them even more. "Oh we can't pay for it," they say. Yet, they are giving huge tax breaks to large corporations and shifting the tax burden to the middle class and the poor. They are going around creating budget crises by giving tax giveaways to corporations and then suggesting we pay for it by literally taking food out of the mouths of children. They're figuring, hey, why not help more kids drop out of school by cutting school budgets by cutting a billion or so out of the public schools?

And just what is the Republican plan to bring jobs so that parents who have always been able to take care of their families can do so once again? They are so fond of telling us that there are no better anti-poverty program than a job, and that's true, but can anyone please point us to anything that the Republicans have done since gaining a tremendous amount of power in November that actually would help create jobs? They have, however, thus far done the following:
But they have not done a single thing to create a single job. And to top it off, the House GOP has proposed the largest cuts to education in history. Among these are severe cuts in Pell grants, Title I cuts and of course, cuts in Head Start:
Under the GOP proposal, Title I [i.e. funding for academic achievement for the disadvantaged] would be cut by $693.5 million. It's not clear if that means just Title I grants to districts, which got $14.5 [b]illion in fiscal year 2010 [correction from budget appropriations here], or if the cut would also effect Title I School Improvement Program, which got $545 million in fiscal 2010.

Special education, which is typically a Republican priority, would be cut by $557 million, below its $11.5 billion funding in fiscal 2010.

Head Start was targeted for the one of the biggest reductions: a $1 billion cut below fiscal 2010.

And Pell grants would be cut as well, resulting in an $845 cut to the maximum per-student grant of $5,550.
And they managed to block funding of school lunches even before they ascended to power.

So let's recap, shall we? As Republican policies melted down our financial system and crashed our economy, creating more disadvantaged and poor children in America, their next big idea is to cut funding for children who need it most: from disadvantaged kids, from kids who need special education and from head start programs. And if you managed to wade through all this and get to college? Sorry, your Pell grants just got cut as your school in all likelihood hiked its tuition and fees. And they want you to forget any help to keep your house that your children were born in. That's caring for America's children for you, GOP style.