Around the side or back doors and down 10 steps of the single-family homes in Ozone Park, Queens, lies a netherworld of illegal basement dwellings -- a byproduct of New York’s chronic housing shortage.
When Montoria Freeland separated from her husband of 15 years in 2008, she left a four-bedroom house and economic security. Before long, her pay and hours as a pharmacy technician were cut and she found herself and her son facing homelessness.
As the U.S. economy recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression, the explosive growth of food stamps remains a lingering legacy. And now the program comes with an irony, as the Republicans seeking to cut it also represent vast numbers of recipients.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ordered welfare officials to use state funds to restore assistance to thousands of families who lost the aid because of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government last week.
It’s tempting to call for a pox on both political parties in the deficit debate, but the fact is that President Barack Obama has been willing to give a lot to get an increase in the debt ceiling. His original proposal -- from which he now seems to be pulling back -- called for $2 in spending cuts for every dollar in increased revenue.