How Much do Poor Kids Matter Compared to Corporations and the Rich?

Chuck Sheketoff

I’ve written about the terrible proposal that Governor Kitzhaber put before the legislature that would slash assistance to poor families with children. The legislature hasn’t made final decisions yet on the cuts, but the Oregon Department of Human Services, taking its cue from bills moving forward, has nevertheless started revving up the chainsaws aimed at very poor families with children.

On June 2, the Department filed a “temporary” rule — a rule that goes into effect immediately without a notice and comment period — announcing that a host of services will end on June 30. I am reprinting the items in the temporary rule below (after the jump).

You don’t have to be conversant in public assistance-speak to realize that the bottom line is that poor children don't matter as much as corporations and the rich.

The following activities and services specific to case plans will end on June 30:

Stabilization, intervention and other activities, including

Payments made on behalf of an individual participating in one or more activities or services:

The Department of Human Services isn’t waiting for hearings by aggrieved clients to cut people off, because the new rules state, “Support services ended under this rule are not continued after June 30, 2011 regardless of whether a hearing request is submitted or pending.”

While the program that protects Oregon’s most vulnerable children faces a big budget ax, the subsidy program that enriches Hollywood moguls (who create only temporary jobs) and rich Oregonians looks like it’s going to get extended and possibly expanded. That's right, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program gets whacked, but the Timeless Assistance for Non-needy Filmmakers program might very well get a boost. Add to that other subsidies for corporations and rich Oregonians that are still in play and that the legislature may very well approve, and you have to ask "how much do poor kids matter compared to corporations and the rich?"

Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at

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    "How Much do Poor Kids Matter Compared to Corporations and the Rich?"

    Based on the last few decades of government action at all levels, I would conclude - not much.

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