Ronald Reagan made my mother's and my siblings and my economic situation that much worse after my parent's divorce. My mother, after 17 years out of the job market, despite some college education- 3 years as a psychology major in the late 1950's (dropped out to work full time after her marriage so my dad could go to college full time and get his degree. Both had met at night school- the type college course path lower middle class young people who slowly paid their way got a degree back then.) The first couple of years after my parents divorce during the Carter administration we did okay, despite my mom not getting much in child support, and her working minimum wage clerk jobs. We qualified for food stamps, free lunches at school, and my mom for the CETA program for "displaced homemakers" CETA paid for my mom to go to a junior college and get an associate accounting degree.
After my mother got her associates degree in accounting she finally got a job that paid more than minimum wage- 1 dollar more, and my oldest brother, who had just recently turned 16, got his first minimum wage part time job. During the Carter administration we still qualified for $30 a month in food stamps. But when Reagan got in we were determined to be too high an income for food stamps.
Luckily, the free lunch program was funded mostly by the state and the Governor were Democrats. It never was cut during the time my siblings and I went to school. Our family income was so low under state guidelines we were well below the qualifying family income limit for free lunches. Even my aunt, who was also divorced but due to having a bachelors degree had a job that paid twice as much a year- by state guidelines her kids qualified for reduced(half price)lunches.
Despite the continual cuts during the Reagan and Bush 1 administrations my younger sister and I were well below the income limits for Pell Grants, so got our bachelor's degrees.Every year was a major round of humiliation though, going through the grant process, each year the red tape and humiliation to get a grant for the next year, got worse. The last two years my sister went through the process the grant had become so small that it only paid for the classes, not textbooks or fees. My last year it only covered less than $20 of the $120 dollars my textbooks cost. (and that was with me buying mostly used books)
When the Clinton administration came in, my mom's job environment improved. Within a year they got a better health insurance policy and she got a raise that finally got her income near the top of poverty level. The environment at my workplace improved markedly during the Clinton administration- a union was formed, health benefits and pensions improved, wages were raised, it became easier to advance to higher job positions if you had the qualifying education level. I went from poverty level to lower middle class during the Clinton administration.
During the Bush administration the health benefits have decreased in coverage while sharply increasing in cost. My employer has put into place a hiring freeze because the money we get from the city and state have been cut because Bush cut the money going to the states to pay for his tax cuts for the rich.
And Hillary, much like Eleanor Roosevelt, has always had a more liberal heart than her spouse.
Interestingly, Eleanor Roosevelt was attacked in much the same way by the media both during and after FDR's presidency. Even now she doesn't get the credit for many of the progressive things done during FDR's presidency- under her strong urging. ER was a later first wave feminist, and Hillary is a later second wave feminist. Hillary took ER's activist First lady role as her model and expanded on it.
I think Eleanor would have been a better president than Franklin, the same as I believe Hillary will be a better president than Bill.
I'll also note Rosalyn Carter did a similar thing- being a more activist responsible First Lady (rather than the pretty side adornment which the only role that even many "progressive" males will tolerate from a First Lady.) and was also attacked. Rosalyn is an older second wave feminist and also holds more liberal views on issues than Jimmy. And yes, I also think Rosalyn would have been a better president. (Although I think Jimmy Carter is grossly under-rated as a president, he was one of the most progressive minded presidents we've ever had, and made some great accomplishments- he should be ranked as one of the best presidents we ever had, frankly.)
Thank you. I'm sick and tired of Obama backers spouting the same old nonsense about Hillary's plan because all they read is what the Obama campaign says, not the reality. If they really cared about health care they'd be backing Hillary's plan.
Tears came to my eyes when I read your story. Tears of sorrow for your pain, and tears of rage for how you were treated.
The system stinks even if you have insurance. Twice I've had to fight an insurance company for months to pay for what my policy said it would cover. They played all kinds of games with me. I kept fighting and they finally paid. That shouldn't happen either. I saw them play the same game with my mother after a hospital stay. I've heard far to many stories like that too, for people that have insurance but the companies play games to try not paying. In the past couple of years I've also seen a severe cut in what policies cover for anyone.
Hillary's plan is best for stopping all these abuses from the insurance companies.
And every single one of you Obama trolls that came on here should be ashamed of yourselves. Trolling this diary was definitely really low. You should apologize for your behavior to Catriley.
It's reality. This election has shown just how virulently misogynist so many of these so called progressives in the media (from Olbermann to Kos, etc...) that back Obama really are. It's a reflection of the reality in our society that if you aren't of the upper economic classes you already knew. It's amazing that in 2008 people still want to pretend that misogyny doesn't exist. It's good that we can talk about racism and homophobia and prejudice against the disabled (but only as it affects males, not females) but it's well past time to wake up and recognize misogyny affects females of all ages, races, physical abilities, and sexual orientations.