'We need to hold together in difficult times'
"There are many moments in every generation when society must decide on its real moral principles," said Amber Joplan. "This is one of those moments in history - when our legislators put ideology over principle. It is time to sound the trumpets of justice and tell the truth."
Joplan was part of a small gathering of Storm Lakers who came out Wednesday at noon to share their protest against recent Congressional decisions on Medicaid and Medicare, and, they said, to stand up for those people who are "least, last and lost."
The protest was organized to be a nationwide event; Storm Lake was one of three Iowa sites selected to take part due to Rep. Steve King's office being located here.
The group stood at King's locked office throughout the noon hour, holding up signs and talking to passers-by.
Others in the group included Bob and Barbara Tollefson, Shari O'Bannon and Sue Morrow.
It was pointed out that the U.S. House passed an $11 billion cut in Medicaid and the Senate recently passed a $10 billion cut in Medicare and Medicaid.
"It is easy not to see poverty here but WE do see it everyday and it's not fair; it is apparent how much some of these people need. This should be a moral budget that needs to consider the people but instead the proposed budget is immoral."
People needing food stamps, medical assistance and student loans will all be effected by the cuts, the group contended.
"We are hear to speak on their behalf, on the problems our government is creating. We need to hold together in difficult times. Our tax dollars need to support the people and families."
These reductions, the group agreed, will hurt everyone. If Medicare and Medicaid can not reimburse the physicians in Storm Lake, they may pack up and leave; the group expects individual insurance premiums will also surely go up.
"In the next few years, people already struggling to make ends meet will have to pay more for health care and college loans and more than 200,000 people will lose food stamps," Joplan said. "When they return, after the first of the year, the House plans to pass a tax cut bill benefiting the wealthiest people in America. I'm not opposed to a tax cut but I am opposed to it being paid for by people who are hurting."
Many people in Storm Lake have read and discussed the book, "God's Politics" written by Jim Wallace, also the editor of the "Sojourners" magazine. Those talking part in the mini protest have been moved by the author's views and in fact, heard about the nationwide protest from the magazine's website, www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=SojoMail.h...
"We're all concerned with the social justice in our country."
For more information on this stand, check out the website.