Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

Which one of these things is not like the others?

Example #1:

The Illinois governor’s budget proposal would scale back home visits to ill-equipped first-time mothers, who are given advice over 18 months that experts say is repaid many times over in reduced child abuse and better school preparation.

“We spend $1.2 billion a year on child welfare,” said Diana M. Rauner, director of the Ounce of Prevention Fund in Chicago, which channels government money to private agencies. “You’d think we’d spend a lot of money to keep people out of that system.”

Ohio’s proposed budget “will dramatically decrease our ability to investigate reports of abuse and neglect,"…

Example #2:

The $787 billion stimulus act and major spending proposals have ratcheted up the lobbying frenzy further this year, even as President Obama and public-interest groups press for sharper restrictions on the practice.

The paper by three Kansas professors examined the impact of a one-time tax break approved by Congress in 2004 that allowed multinational corporations to "repatriate" profits earned overseas, effectively reducing their tax rate on the money from 35 percent to 5.25 percent. More than 800 companies took advantage of the legislation, saving an estimated $100 billion in the process, according to the study….

…The now-beleaguered financial industry also benefited from the provision, including Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, all of which have since received tens of billions of dollars in federal bailout money.

The researchers calculated an average rate of return of 22,000 percent for those companies that helped lobby for the tax break.

Example #3:

After learning that a camp that connects siblings in foster care would be hit hard by state budget cuts, Tyler Harlow decided to take his bike out for a ride.

This week, the 23-year-old camp counselor will begin what he hopes to be a 55-day journey, logging more than 3,000 miles from Boston to San Francisco to raise $20,000…

Example #4:

Faced with a $3 billion budget deficit, legislators are making cuts that we will all pay for dearly. It runs the gamut, from kids whose education gets shortchanged, to adults struggling with mental-health problems, to thousands of neglected and abused children.

The next time Newt Gingrich opens his yap and whines about the need for more top tier tax cuts, think about example #2 and whose pockets he wants to line…and who gets the shaft. 

And why. 

Do poor, abused children have the money to lobby Congress for humongo benefits, favors and breaks?  Nope.

Why is it that the rest of us foot the bills for this perpetual shortsighted anti-good-government mismanagement and all of its craptastic aftereffects, while corporations get to "repatriate" their profit margins offshore?

Why is it okay to transfer wealth to entities who then shift it to offshore accounts for a legal tax maneuver or to manipulate the corporate bottom line, but odious to even mention any social contract duty to poor, abused and neglected children — something which actually saves public money down the road instead of pouring it down a creative accounting rathole?  Someone explain that one to me, please.


Prior articles in this child poverty series:  making child poverty a priority;  mortgaging the nation’s future Part I and Part II; better childhood nutrition Part I and Part IIgive kids a head start; bringing poverty to the table Part I and Part II; true compassion; will children be casualties of the stimulus compromise?; and bass-ackwards: who tells at risk children they aren’t worth our effort?.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com