People are broke and hungry in America and the food stamp program has been the only thing between many and starvation. Food stamps are successful, it has an incredibly low fraud rate and most importantly, America doesn't have starvation filling the streets as a result. Yet for some reason House Republicans, with Majority leader Eric Cantor leading the charge, want to cut food stamps and force people to starve. Such evil doings are unabashedly promoted claiming somehow people who are broken and hungry don't really need food. House Republicans want to deny food to adults period as outlined in Cantor's memo:
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has ballooned since President Obama took office with one in seven Americans now receiving food stamps. As SNAP has grown, working middle class families are footing the $80 billion bill for a safety net gone well beyond assistance to children, seniors, and the disabled. That is why, with Chairman Lucas, a working group of our conference came together to address the major problems to reform SNAP while still preserving the safety net for those who truly need it. The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act restores the intent of the bipartisan welfare reforms adopted in 1996 by ensuring that work requirements for able-bodied adults without children are enforced - not waived - and eliminates loopholes exploited over the last few years to avoid the program’s income and asset tests. It also empowers states to engage able-bodied parents in work and job training as part of receiving food stamps to help move them to self-sufficiency. Most importantly, no individual who meets the income and asset guidelines of the SNAP program and is willing to comply with applicable work requirements will lose benefits as a result of these reforms. It is expected that these simple reforms will save taxpayers an estimated $40 billion over ten years.
House Republicans as well as some Democrats want to deny food stamps to adults, ages 18 to 50, by limiting eligibility for 3 months only in three years, plus demand they work or get into a job training program at least 80 hours a month. Since 2009, these requirements, coming from the disastrous 1996 welfare reform, have been waived. According to the Atlantic, 6 million people will be yanked from food stamps by the Farm bill alone. Yet these conservative crazies won't stop there, they want to cut food stamps further. What's worse is their claim there is work or job training out there is actually a lie. There is no funding for jobs to be provided or job training. Additionally many people receiving food stamps are working, but wages are so low one cannot survive on them, often foregoing food to pay for heat.
Eric Cantor is pushing through this travesty in the House of Representatives, trying to take away food stamps from the most vulnerable in American society. Not a single Congressional hearing has been held and GOP leadership even bypassed the Agriculture Committee, where food stamps are under their purview. At the moment most attempts to deny people food stamps are going through the Farm bill, H.R. 1947 with Lucas (R-KS) tacking on devastating amendments into the Farm bill with almost no press.
Next week the House will vote on legislation to cut SNAP by roughly 5 percent. The bill is bypassing the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees food stamps, because it is a priority of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
The Center on Budget and Priorities showed just how much harm to millions of Americans the Republican attack on food stamps would cause:
The new House proposal is harsh. It would deny SNAP to at least 4 million to 6 million low-income people — including some of the nation’s most destitute adults — as well as to many low-income children, seniors, and families that work for low wages. The people the proposal would cut off SNAP include but are not limited to:
- 2 million to 4 million poor, unemployed, childless adults who live in areas of high unemployment — a group that has average income of only 22 percent of the poverty line (about $2,500 a year for a single individual) and for whom SNAP is, in most cases, the only government assistance they receive;
- 1.8 million people, mostly low-income working families and low-income seniors, who have gross incomes or assets modestly above the federal SNAP limits but disposable income — the income that a family actually has available to spend on food and other needs — below the poverty line in most cases, often because of high rent or child care costs. Some 210,000 children in these families also would lose free school meals;
- Other poor, unemployed parents who want to work but cannot find a job or an opening in a training program — along with their children, other than infants.
As of June 2013, 47,760,285 people are on food stamps. That's 15.1% of the United States population, or 1 out of 6.6 people are needing food stamps. Additionally about 20% of America, one in five, has trouble affording enough food. The ranks haven't swelled because America is a bunch of slackers, the reason is wages have not grown and there are not enough jobs.
The average food stamp benefit per person is $132.89 a month, or $4.36 a day. Assuming most people need three squares, this amounts to $1.45 per meal. Think about making a meal for $1.45 if you cook and if you can't cook, lord help you trying make a nutritious meal on a buck 45. Cooking also has expenses, energy costs, ingredients to cook with, pans, utensils.
The real question is why, when America just saw the super-rich get 19.3% of all income, a level not seen in a 100 years, iare these crazies in the House of Representatives so hell bent on attacking the hungry in the United States?
Some of these characters in the House and Senate believe allowing people to starve is the moral thing to do. In other words, cruelty and suffering are good in their minds and helping people, being responsible to those around us is wrong. This is hard to fathom that some states simply elected sociopathic narcissists to make our laws, so what is the real reason conservatives go gunning for the most vulnerable in our society? Why do these conservatives feel compelled to kick a man when he's down, over and over again?
Food stamps are actually a drop in the budget bucket, about 2%, so making sure a segment of America's population suffers cannot be due tor budget reasons. Open Secrets says the Farm bill has had over 70 groups lobbying Congress, yet most of these will benefit from expanding SNAP, not reducing it. So where does this desire to screw the poor at every turn come from?
First, the poor and working America are always first up for attacks by government for they cannot make multi-million dollar campaign donations and have teams of lobbyists writing legislation for corrupt politicians. Isn't any Congressional agenda in the last 20 years simply a matter of following the money for when it comes to the right thing the only moral code Congress seems to know is the passcode to their bank accounts.
It seems the battle where the hungry are pawns is over proposed cuts to farm subsidies and the attack on food stamps is in retailiation. These same conservatives pushing starvation in America happen to live in districts where farm subsidies pull in $3 billion a year. Additionally farm subsidies are a boom to Wall Street.
The plan is clear, in the past the FARM bill included food stamps in order to pass it. Farmers get taxpayer money when they don't need it in order to feed the poor The clear plan is to break up the tie in between farm subsidies and food stamps in order to gut the food stamp program and probably tie corporate farm subsidies to some other must pass legislation.
After all is said and done, the attack by Cantor and his gang on food stamps doesn't add up, until one looks at the farm subsidy lobbyists. The $40 billion cut on the annual $80 billion spent on food stamps seems to be much more than the agriculture business lobby demanding their subsidies be preserved at the expense of people starving in America, This is the new America, same as the time of Oliver Twist, where asking for food will result in further abuse and indentured servitude.
Eric Cantor, have you no sense of decency sir?