Democrats Accept More Cuts in Food Stamp Program

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We’re proud to collaborate with The Nation in sharing insightful journalism related to income inequality in America. The following is an excerpt from Nation contributor Greg Kaufmann’s “This Week in Poverty” column.


Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, during the committee's hearing on the Farm Bill, officially known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, during the committee's hearing on the Farm Bill, officially known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

I always expect the worst from the House Republicans when it comes to SNAP (food stamps) and the Farm Bill. So while much attention and anger has been focused on the $20.5 billion cut proposed by the House Agriculture Committee — which would take food stamps away from nearly 2 million people and result in several hundred thousand low-income children no longer receiving free school meals — my reaction was more along the lines of… yeah, what did you expect?

I was actually more disturbed that the Democratic Senate Agriculture Committee would vote for a $4.1 billion cut in food stamps — even though the average benefit is about $1.46 per person, per meal, and a recent Institute of Medicine report demonstrates that benefit levels are already too low to stave off hunger. The cut “would mean $90 less a month for 500,000 families already struggling to make ends meet,” according to Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Berg noted that an amendment by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand would have prevented the SNAP cuts “by instead cutting subsidies for crop insurance companies, many of which are foreign owned.”

Unfortunately, the committee failed to pass Sen. Gillibrand’s amendment, and Senate Democrats proved yet again that the party’s commitment to those who are the most economically vulnerable is about as thin as Republican cut proposals are deep.

But the party outdid itself on Wednesday when the Farm Bill was debated on the Senate floor. As Center on Budget and Policy Priorities president Robert Greenstein describes:

Senator David Vitter offered — and Senate Democrats accepted — an amendment that would increase hardship and will likely have strongly racially discriminatory effects. [It] would bar from SNAP, for life, anyone who was ever convicted of one of a specified list of violent crimes at any time — even if they committed the crime decades ago in their youth and have served their sentence, paid their debt to society, and been a good citizen ever since…. The amendment would [also] mean lower SNAP benefits for their children and other family members. So, a young man who was convicted of a single crime at age 19 who then reforms and is now elderly, poor and raising grandchildren would be thrown off SNAP, and his grandchildren’s benefits would be cut…. Senator Vitter hawked his amendment as one to prevent murderers and rapists from getting food stamps. Democrats accepted it without trying to modify it to address its most ill-considered aspects.

Antipoverty advocates suggest contacting your senators — particularly Harry Reid, Debbie Stabenow and Richard Durbin — to tell them that you oppose this provision. They suggest doing it as soon as possible since it’s unclear how quickly the Farm Bill will move.

You might also suggest to them that the party check Lost and Found for its spine, too.

But at Least We Have Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer introduced the Half-in-Ten Act of 2013, which would establish the Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Poverty. The working group would develop and implement a national strategy to reduce poverty by half in ten years, integrating federal policies on poverty reduction, and also provide regular progress reports to Congress.

“Our policies and programs addressing poverty have not kept pace with the growing needs of millions of Americans,” said Congresswoman Lee, who chairs the new Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity and consistently represents the interests of low-income Americans. “It is time we make the commitment to confront poverty head-on, create pathways out of poverty and provide opportunities for all.”

I would imagine this bill has about as much a shot at passing the House as this blog has at becoming Speaker Boehner’s favorite bedtime reading. Nevertheless, I’m always thankful for Representative Lee — I’m glad the Democratic whip is supporting her efforts — and it’s always worthwhile to keep up with her work and listen to what she has to say.

And That Goes for Senator Bernie Sanders, Too

Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, introduced legislation last week to reauthorize and strengthen the Older Americans Act, which supports Meals on Wheels and other critical programs for seniors such as in-home care, transportation, benefits access, caregiver support, chronic disease self-management, job training and placement, and elder abuse prevention.

“With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, our country’s growing population of seniors includes many who rely on these critical programs to help them stay in their own homes and communities,” said Sanders, speaking at an Older Americans Summit.

Funding has not kept pace with the growth in need or numbers, and recent cuts before the sequester hit have further eroded investments in key services.

In a letter endorsing Senator Sanders’s bill, National Council on Aging president and CEO James Firman writes that the legislation “can empower seniors and improve their health and economic security, bend downward the long-term entitlements cost curve, and promote greater program efficiency and coordination.”

The bill would also require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to create a consumer price index for the elderly that would account for spending on high-inflation goods and services like healthcare, prescription drugs and heating homes.


Greg Kaufmann is a Nation contributor covering poverty in America. His work has also appeared on Common DreamsAlternet, Tikkun.org, NPR.org, CBSNews.com and MichaelMoore.com. He serves as an adviser for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
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  • Anonymous

    By denying human beings food, you drive them to desperation. The people who cannot find a way to live in and by the system will be the people who are denied food, who then turn to “crime” and end up back in the for-profit prison doing slave labor. That is what Congress is promoting nationally by doing this. It is important for Americans to understand that the for-profit prison industry and the politicians are conspiring to imprison as many of us as they can. Already the US has more people in prison than any country ever in the history of the world.

  • http://twitter.com/DrLearnALot DrLearnALot

    Such a betrayal of our values.

  • Anonymous

    Go visit the Senior Centers across the country. Also visit the VA Hospitals. Talk and listen to fellow Americans. Strengthen America by helping people, who have worked all of their lives, supported their children, and need your help now.

  • http://www.topospartnership.com/ Andrew@topospartnership.com

    Punishing former criminals by denying them safety net programs is not only inhumane and un-Christian (shame on Sen. Vitter and his colleagues) but it’s supremely bad policy. SNAP is about ensuring basic nutrition in the population – not about imposing some imaginary discipline on the people that the Vitters of the world disapprove of. We have a criminal justice system for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terri-Prince/100001256790563 Terri Prince

    I am on social security disability. My disability payments are garnished for student loans. Over the last year I have had to stop buying my medication because I cannot afford the co-pays with the rising price of food. Food prices have risen so high I am forced to survive on very little. My illness is not being treated and I go to bed hungry every night. I feel like my government doesn’t value me. I feel like my government would rather I just died.

  • cowboyally

    What kind of a creep would deny fellow human beings food as punishment for already-paid debts to society? That is some hard-core righteous cruelty right there. It’s hard to watch the shell of what democrats have become if they can’t even field an argument against this tough-guy retributive justice fantasy Republicans have cooked up here as an excuse to prevent cuts to something they like.

  • rich crowe

    great article greg! keep telling it like it is! you are da man!

  • shannon oakley

    I’m not a Christian, I’m a humanist. From what I understand Jesus too was a humanist. So many of these politicians profess to being Christians. Well, what would Jesus do? Deny food to hungry people? These politicians have raised the bar of hypocrisy to a sickening level and at the expense of those in need.

  • ccaffrey

    I am sorry for your suffering. Sorry you are forced to make a choice between medicine and food, while the corporations and the wealthiest people in the world steal what is rightfully yours as a human being and an American. The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves at the heartless, greedy behavior that has infected this country like the Black Plague. Please know that there are people who care out here, and people who will continue to fight for your rights as well as their own.

  • Anonymous

    Keep the faith … in yourself and in the will of liberal progressive Americans to turn this around by lobby, and by vote in next elections, and keep trying. Try your local Food Bank and other community organizations (e.g., faith based), and contact your Congressional representatives and two US Senators. Can you grow a vegetable and fruit garden? Join with neighbors in doing so?

  • Anonymous

    And ironically, the GOP who own the increasing number of private prisons are thrilled to take government money to run meals programs for prisoners who have committed crimes far worse than many who, once released after paying their debt to society, will find no food outside prison, so commit crimes to get back into prison to eat again. And the crimes they will commit are robbery, mugging and murder of more noncriminals outside prison. So ultimately, denying food to anyone outside prison, as Sen. Vitter’s amendment will do, will drive up crime and the government tax monies to expand prisons for people driven there, to get food in our Depression 2. A vicious ploy that will regress USA to a Les Miserables, “nasty, brutish and short” predatory jungle.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.

  • Anonymous

    Hunger in America: The
    Myth

    One should imbibe alarms about pervasive hunger skeptically.
    ·
    Free school lunch kids waste 46% more food than regular price kids. How can poor
    kids be hungrier?
    ·
    School lunch waste is about 30%. Where’s the hunger?
    ·
    School breakfast, snack and lunch provides all the calories a kid needs; then poor
    kids go home and eat the food stamp pop, candy bars, take-and-bake pizza and
    donuts.
    ·
    A family of 6 can get $23,900 per year in food stamps, free school food and food
    bank food. A non-recipient family of 6 usually spends $11,500 per year on food.

    ·
    A family of 6 can earn up to $55,000 and qualify for food stamps and Women,
    Infants and Children, WIC.
    ·
    The poor are adding weight faster than the non-poor.
    ·
    Arguments as to why the poor make bad choices with food stamps do not stand scrutiny.
    ·
    The food stamp program this year costs $77 billion. A healthy food list reform, along the lines of the WIC program, could cut spending in half; no recipient would go hungry and the nation’s deficit would be substantially reduced.
    ·
    At least 57% of food stamp spending is for foods high in high fructose corn syrup,
    cholesterol, fat and sodium. Food stamps buy unhealthy food.
    ·
    The USDA and the Obama Administration are aggressively expanding food stamps, free school lunch and after school supper.

    ·

  • Anonymous

    The food stamp program COSTS nothing, except to most people who are illiterate as to how our monetary system operates, how banking operates, how govt spending operates.

    That $77 Billion is ADDED to our total aggregate Net Worth. Taxes DESTROYS private net financial assets (the govt does not ‘store’ that money somewhere). Spending CREATES private net financial assets.

    the MONEY from SNAP (food stamps) — ZERO of that money goes to recipients. Recipients get a swipe card and some of our over-abundant food supply. the MONEY goes to food retailer corporations — management shareholders employees and vendors, to food wholesalers, to food manufacturers, to food growers.

    That means JOBS — lots of jobs. And lots of people with jobs that buy stuff from other people who have jobs. My local Big Grocery Store would have to close at least two stores in this town if Food Stamps were eliminated.

    The ONLY sources for financial instruments in the US economy are (a) bank loans which are NOT “net financial assets” and (b) Govt Spending which IS “net financial assets”. Maybe nobody has mentioned this recently, since the Bubble-Crash and Credit Meltdown, banks are NOT in the habit of creating loans for the real Main Street economy — just for speculative gambles.

    Bernanke adding many Trillions to banks’ idle “reserve accounts” on the Fed’s own mainframe computers cause no incentive whatsoever to increase lending volume via monetary policy.

    We knew this was a false paradigm back in 1969, when Alan Holmes of the Fed explained that to Milton Friedman, that the Fed has no control over the volume of money (bank-created credit), only the interest rate.

    Bernanke himself told Congress that the Fed *cannot* fix the economy just by tweaking interest rates, while Congress decides it’s a great time to stick a knife into the US economy and bleed it like Olde Tyme Medicine of leeches and blood-letting.

  • Ann Bair

    You could not have said it better. Too many claim to be ‘Christians’ yet act opposite of the way Jesus acted. Someone should tell these politicians who purport to be Christians, “Don’t claim to walk the path of righteousness while you stray from it.”

  • Anonymous

    It is unconscionable. You are correct, that Neoliberal economics is more concerned with the most bang for the buck for the Financial Sector elites, and relies on the IDIOTIC understanding that the US Govt is “broke” and must borrow Dollars from some outside entity, when the US Govt is the *ONLY* entity on the entire planet that legally creates US Dollars.

    There’s no Dollar factory in China. The Dollar Tree doesn’t sell Dollars. Only the U.S. Govt has the power and means to create the sovereign non-fixed free-floating currency for the USA, and there’s no hard limits whatsoever to the amount they can create and spend …. or reduce taxes or write off student loans.

    In Tea Party gatherings, you are correct, some of your fellow Americans have chanted and cheered that YES, people like you should just die. Of course that’s a cult movement … not “America”. So don’t listen to them.

    At the same time, they are viciously opposed to Obamacare because they heard from Palin there might be “death panels” deciding who has a right to live or must die. But that’s what they WANT. It’s just hatred for liberalism and what they call socialism to such as degree that former Reagan Admin officials like Paul Roberts and Bruce Barnett are appalled and shocked.

  • Anonymous

    Mercy! Can’t They Get Anything Right?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-mosler/mercy-cant-they-get-anyth_b_903742.html

    [multi-millionaire life-long banker and money-trader, economist]

    Business doesn’t create jobs — consumers do!

    It is an article of faith by all parties involved that businesses are
    the job creators, particularly small businesses, and hence their every
    move is predicated on helping businesses create jobs.

    Mercy! Can’t they get anything right?

    [...]

    How do we get back sales and all the lost jobs, and then some? How about
    we stop taking FICA (Social Security and Medicare taxes) out of the
    paychecks of people who work for a living, so sales can resume from
    income rather than from consumer debt? What’s wrong with that?

    How about suspending FICA for businesses as well, to lower their costs
    and help keep consumer prices from rising? That would also be a good
    thing.

    So why don’t our fearless leaders just do it? Because they think they need those taxed dollars for Social Security and Medicare.

    Can’t they get anything right?

    Federal taxes regulate demand (our spending); they don’t ‘bring in’
    anything. The federal government ‘collects taxes’ simply by lowering the
    balance in our bank account. No gold coin drops into some government
    bucket. It’s just data entry, just the Federal Reserve changing numbers
    on their spreadsheets.

    Federal government spending doesn’t ‘come from’ anywhere. Everyone inside the Federal Reserve knows it, and has always known it. They know that suspending FICA taxes does not alter their ability to make Social Security and Medicare payments. They all laugh off the idea that FICA actually funds anything — a ‘useful fiction’ as it’s been called since the program began in the 1930′s.

    That ‘useful fiction’ is no longer seems very useful, unless you’re trying to destroy the US economy.

    ——————–

    Taxes for Revenue are Obsolete!

    NY Fed Chairman B. Ruml, January 1946

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-mosler/taxes-for-revenue-are-obs_b_542134.html

    ——————–

    PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

    UNDERSTANDING MODERN MONETARY THEORY (MMT) & OUR MODERN MONETARY SYSTEM

    http://pragcap.com/resources/understanding-modern-monetary-system

  • Elias

    Add to that a 50% increase in Utility bills in Puerto Rico, ( call that genocide ) of the poor .

  • Elias

    You think GM corn and low calorie diet trash feeds kids ? better look for fathead documentary & face the truth , we are starving & weakening our kids ..

  • medcannabis1

    this is nothing short of shameless conduct on behalf of the ” fascist part of the GOP” . And the Dems are no better by standing silent and allowing this rider to be attached to the bill. They are gutless beings who are so insulated in their ivory towers that they no longer care or support the suffering masses. TIme they all had to live on $740 a month and food stamps… make the elected officals AND THEIR FAMILIES exist as they demand others do….then let us see how they act…

  • Klatu ferrata niktu

    The money wasted in weapons in America suffices to give every American a palace to live and food for 200 years ! free medical care and secure job for every citizen. But no one votes for Jesus if he reveals himself & postulates for president , “not even those believing in him” ….

  • Killroy was here 99 years old

    If everyone on that condition raises an unholy “dung” by destroying something valuable to the system , they will recapitulate their thinking as inmates in jail cost the government $24,000 a year as average ……Jail = free food & medical care
    so the thought of burning a bank , a government office will be common in a near future , as people that loose it simply loose it ! it will start slowly but as it takes pace the system will be forced to change or collapse under a bloody second American revolution , if system gets militarized so the revolution , people simply cant take it anymore …

  • bill@sdap.com

    SNAP needs to repaired, it is full of waste and abuse. I am sick of standing in line behind someone who has plenty of money for alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets but needs their SNAP card for soda pop.

  • Dan

    What ever happened to accountability? People choose not to educate themselves, not to work hard, abuse alcohol, drugs and commit crimes and then everyone is supposed to feel sorry for them because they need food stamps, welfare, rent vouchers, and various other hand-outs. Granted that not everyone caught up in poverty is solely responsible for their situation but to act as if the “poor” have no responsibility for their plight is BS. Hand-ups are always in order but hand-outs do nothing to fix the problem. Being convicted of a violent crime has its consequences. They are not proposing to take away food stamps from jaywalkers.

  • Tweety Byrd

    Look,i understand that we all hate freeloaders.

    And

    It would be nice if everyone works honestly and that folks take the money to better themselves.

    But

    That’s not really needs to be cut.

    *What about the TARP which includes offshore Bankers including Barclays,Bank of America,Goldman Sachs who aren’t loyal to America but to Israel who did 911 and The Uss Liberty back in 1967.

    You know what the TARP has been used for?To bailout Naked Short Selling,Derivatives and Credit Default SWAPS.

    If you look up those terms and especially read the Matt Tiabbi articles in the Rollng Stones you’ll find that the Bailout Money has been used to Bailout The Shareholders of the Federal Reserve’s Gambling Addiction.

    Then

    There’s a Book Medel of Honor winner,Retired USMC Smedley Darlington Butler called”War is a Rackett”about that the troops are fighting for Wall Street’s and Big Corporations PROFITS NOT FREEDOMS.

    Since

    Israel did 911 not Iraqi,not Afghanistan,Certainly not Syria,not iran

    What the hell are the troops doing over in those Murdering and Butchering Innocent Men,Women and Children.

    Certainly those Banks and the Corporations don’t pay for the Troops clothes,Meals,Flights,Weaponry,Armets

    It’s you Taxpayer!!!

    1000 times more tham the foodstamp program,and the Traitors are the only ones that stand to profit.

    US has the largest Military buget at $711 Billions.

    Nearly Zillions of Dollars have been spent on:

    *Banker Bailouts

    *Military and Defense Budget to Murder and Butcher innocents.

    Which cost Trillions more than the Foodstamp Program.

    I leave off with Eisenhower’s Military Industrial Complex Speech

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWiIYW_fBfY

    Why not focus on those

  • me

    ditto!!! Walmart thrives on food stamps, and pays their employees hunger wages, so a lot of them (and I know more than 1) are actually on food stamps, because they cannot make ends meet working at that corporate behemoth!

  • Ucanblome

    Food Stamps are the LEAST of our problems.

    We have a Kenyan born President.
    We have wars caused and supported by a Kenyan born President.
    We have jobs sent to China by the Congress and a Kenyan born President.
    We have a surveillance orgy in this country because of a Kenyan born President.
    We have a banking system that should have hundreds of banking executive in prison for 20-50 years for steal American’s money, retirements, and investments but, out Kenyan born President supports them fully.

    We also have a gay Kenyan born President…just ask Reggie Love. His meat stick and the Kenyan born President’s meat stick know each other really well.

    So, feeding people seems like the right thing to do since, the Congress seems to enjoy being paid by us and the lobbyists, who are keeping bankers out of jail; defense contractors build death weapons; and drones are watching and listening to everything including our farts.

  • shannon oakley

    Yeah Dan, the world is just full of people who wake up one day and say, ” I want to be a drug addict.” Denying food stamps to violent criminals released from prison? That may create more innocent victims as the criminal may violently rob for food.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arttoegemann Art Toegemann
  • http://www.facebook.com/Aanna1123 Anna Gregory

    Your first sentence took all credibility away from your comment! Go get educated and then come back with a comment that has truth and sense in it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Aanna1123 Anna Gregory

    * * * Terri, I just recently found out that because I am disabled too, I can be forgiven of my loans. Call the bank/institution where your loans came from. Ask them for a form (I forgot the name as I have a TBI) to forgive the loan. You will then take it to your doctor and send it back to them. I was told I would get a notification that they received the form and then after, their determination. Best of luck dear.

  • Anonymous

    The ‘Sequester’ is one of the biggest shams in modern history thrust on the American people. Never in American history have we seen $85 Billion stretched so far and wide. It takes 1,000 Billion to equal 1 Trillion. We are somewhere north of $17 Trillion on debt; Obama and the democrats waste $85 Billion in a weekend.

  • Johnny Glenn

    Oh, great. Another government agency is just what we need. More money for the government, more jobs for their cronies, less money for social programs they are supposed to be benefiting.

  • danny z

    You’re right on Terri. We don’t have a national democratic government anymore. What we now have is a radically militarized corporate state using laws to protect the very scared, but politcally powerful 1%. I wish you well in these horrible times.

  • Johnny Glenn

    And someone forced them to smoke that crack or inject that heroin. I wish breathing wasn’t an involuntary action as you’d definitely die from stupidity. There are people that collect disability because their drug addiction makes them unemployable. What a crock.

  • Boeing

    And that’s just for the wars started before 2008.

  • Disappointed

    As someone who has worked in health & human services for 20 yrs (and also bartended and waitressed for almost as many), I can tell you that most citizens are not aware of the dynamics of American Poverty that cause people to struggle so. The media itself has done a poor job of highlighting the typical struggling individual or family struggling to get by, instead reinforcing stereotypes that misinform by using quick and easy footage of street addicts. Not that I wish to reinforce another inappropriate stereotype (concepts of deserving poor vs undeserving poor) either. But i can see from the comments here that people don’t understand that the people getting services are folks just like you and I. Watch the film or even at least the trailer for “American Winter” and you will understand who comes in for help, it is us, it is you. Emergencies happen to everyone, and many folks work harder than anyone here and still cannot make ends meet- not because they did anything wrong.
    http://www.americanwinterfilm.com/

  • tiretriptaste@yahoo.com

    No the criminal justice system does not imprison our lawmakers.

  • http://twitter.com/CitizenObservr OccupyYourLocalMedia
  • http://www.activistsdiary.com/ Activists Diary

    I just called my Senator Dick Durbin’s office. It is true that he supports a “voucher program” that provides a “limited number of vouchers to ex-convicts” (according to staff in his D.C. office). Here is the message I just left with him and I encourage all to leave with him, Reid and Stabenow:
    “Senator Durbin has no business being in the Democratic Party much less being its leader if he continues to support this disgusting proposal. It looks like he’s saying that criminals deserve to be punished their entire lives, and even worse, he is forcing ex-convicts – who have a hard time finding jobs in the first place – to continue to commit crimes so they can go back to jail where they can get 3 meals a day. In a country that already has a 65% recividism rate, this looks to me like Dick Durbin is supporting the privatized prison industry, which lobbies for laws that will increase our criminal populations.”

    And, for special effect, you can remind these DINOs (Democrats in Name Only) (also standing for Dinosuars, if I had my way), that they are hurting their own party when they betray the values and standards of their party!!! They are in for rude awakening this next election cycle, I believe. I think the Green Party stands a good chance of increasing its following and these Dems acting like Republicans are single-handedly responsible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1578168779 Darius Dpas Deepazz Smith

    That’s not how it works. Have you been watching much FOX News lately?

  • twinkiedooter

    why are you whining about getting disabilitgy and having to repay your student loans? You should have thought twice before acquiring those loans as they HAVE to be paid back. You have a young child (as pictured) so you should have some kind of husband/mate/partner to help you with bills. You get free medicare if you”ve been on disability for 2 plus years so your illness should not be that expensive any more. Did you have a disability attorney help you wish your case? Your student loans will be paid off someday so there IS a light at the end of the tunnel for you. Student loans do not take 100% of your disability check. You are eligible for food stamps with a child.. Also your CHILD should be receiving her//his own disability check – you need to go down and add them to your disability payment and their check won’t be touched. If they are under aged 16 they get their OWN disability check which is a percentage of what you get monthly. Check it out.

  • Anonymous

    So, what you are saying is you support punishing criminals, for life. Making it hard for them to get decent jobs for life. Making it hard for them to get any sort of public assistance, for life. Making the temptation to fall back on crime a very compelling one, for life.

    Your black-and-white worldview is part of what holds us back as a society, as a species. You want a simple world with easily defined limits, rules, and borders. You like simple, because it makes your choices simple and you don’t have to think to much. Simple solutions for the simple-minded. Yeah, that will fix EVERYTHING.

    Suffice it to say, you are a spiteful and hateful excuse for a human being with no empathy, no sympathy, and no sense.

  • Anonymous

    The myth here is your assumption that your points are valid.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully the bank the loans came from still handles that loan, or at lest knows who does. That’s not always easy to navigate.

  • Anonymous

    The GOP way: Feather the nests of those who already have virtually everything, and do so at the cost of the most vulnerable among us. Take from the poor their jobs, their homes, and their food, and give it to the rich.

    The GOP and those that cooperate with them and capitulate to them are sponsoring the REAL “death-panels”.

  • Anonymous

    Yet how many writers here, who express a measure of concern about the poor, would dare to call for establishing a legitimate welfare system? This generation of liberals only call for job creation (as we’ve been doing for decades). You can’t rent a room with promises of eventual jobs. How do you get a job without a home address, phone, clean clothes, bus fare?

  • Anonymous

    Actually, liberals/progressives of this generation have been as apathetic as the hard-nosed right-wingers — esp. since Clinton made it cool to target the poor.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, no, our government doesn’t value you or anyone else who is struggling with poverty. Hopefully, enough ordinary people (myself included) DO value you, and continue to advocate on behalf of the seriously ill/disabled. Attacks on the disabled have become as routine as the changing of seasons as legislators want the money in Social Security to be used for other purposes.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Democrats, not Republicans, did the most harm, especially since Clinton. Interestngly, two of the presidents who did the most to establish legitimate welfare policies/programs were Republicans, Eisenhower and Nixon. Reagan had no love for the poor, but he did take the time to explain to the public why the welfare system was necessary to protect middle class wages/jobs, growing the middle class. It was Dems that room an ax to poverty relief. Even those legislators who once advocated on behalf of the poor (Howard Dean, etc.) have dumped the issue. Media marketed the liberals, with rare exception, focus on appealing to middle class consumers (with rare exception). It took a Dem, Bill Clinton, to eliminate poverty relief without invoking the outrage of otherwise-progressive people. Heck, he made it cool to throw the poor off the cliff. Funny thing about Clinton: As the world observed the anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Bill Clinton enacted a set of policies against the poor that directly contradicts this human rights agreement — and even liberal media didn’t catch on to that (although some of the international media did point it out). So, let’s list those Dem legislators who are actually taking a legitimate approach to poverty, starting with… um… Bottom line: How can you get a job when you no longer have a home address, phone, bus fare, clean clothes?

  • Jane Claymore

    Totally disgusted with Dems too, these last ten years which is why I’m Independent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Aanna1123 Anna Gregory

    Thanks for that heads up corvus1970

  • cowboyally

    It’s so cruel. Why bother having defined punishments at all when we can just move the “release date” to never?

  • Anonymous

    I read a few comments, and I am trying to figure out why some commentators are assuming that only convicts are in SNAP program? Since the recession that started in 07, has affected even those who subscribe to the concept “personal responsibility.” Do a search on Americans on food stamps, you will be surprised at the number. They are not all convicts or “welfare queens.” People lost their jobs, their homes and some their pensions. These are the new kids on the block when it comes to being new members in the SNAP program. I am sure neither of these individuals who see themselves collecting food stamps ever thought they would find themselves in such situation until the rug was pulled out right from under their feet. If they have been paying attention since the banks bailouts and all things that came after, they should have come to the realization that their corporate owned government had bamboozled them. Now, they are being punished further with these austerity measures.

    Can we stick with reality and not feign about the people who are on this type of government help? It gives me the impression that some folks are in denial about some things. Yes, we have some once upon a time middle class families that are now in the SNAP program. Thank you, corrupt politicians.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Debbie Stab-em-now! Anyone who votes for R’s or D’s, I’ve got an old rusty jagged edge knife you can use to cut your’s and you’r children’s throats!

  • Arianna

    That makes two of us Terri with the added fillip that my spouse is now a Reservist in the Armed Forces and because we missed (by 2 days, heck banks give you 5) an insurance payment to the military insurance we now have to BUY instead of his having earned it with the 20+ he’s put in, we’ve been dissenrolled for a year, with no appeal and one of my medications costs $3.90 a pill at wholesale! Yes, if we’d not gotten SNAP, we’d not be eating and soda and such are NOT on the menu in my house!

  • OldBoatingGuy

    Both Democrats but mostly Republican’s couldn’t care less that the less fortunate are hurt more and more to the benefit to the rich and powerful in America. Cutting food programs to anyone that is going hungry is unconscionable. Until “We the People” come to the realization that “all of Congress” needs replacing with politicians that put people before Trans-National Corporations, we are destined to become a third-world, fascist controlled economy one day.

  • Anonymous

    There’s plenty of bipartisanship in this country. Both parties fervently support theft by the super-rich. Both parties fully support the starvation of the elderly, disabled, and children and infants.

  • Anonymous

    The U.S. is a third-world fascist country with the trappings of advancement.

  • anne page

    I get 710.00 in ssi a month,my food stamps were already cut 50.00 dollars on aug 1st,my rent goes to 710.00 a month,what the hells going to happ4n to me

  • anne page

    I am 70 yrs old mentally and physically challenged,with hep c bi polar congestive heart failure ,copd,asthma, big butt little boobs,(smile)that 710.00 a month is all I get,my landlady takes 1/3 0f my check towards the elect bill as does she to her other tenant,adds it to rent and came out to 710.00 as of aug 1st, my whole check,food stamps cut me 50.00 already,is it the pres intentions and the New order of the Communist republican party ran by john Boehner to starve all low income,and disabled people in merica to death is this Social Genecide by our GOOD President and his buddies?

  • Ken

    This is exactly how it works. I am employed by a national grocery store chain, and work multiple shifts per week on the cash register. Every single day, more people than I can count on all my fingers and toes use their cash — derived from whatever source — to buy the materials of vice, just as Bill said above. Booze and cigarettes. They then use the SNAP card to buy their crab legs and steaks (for the first few days of the month, when they first get their benefits), and their cheese puffs, bottles of soda, and Little Debbie snacks throughout the month. Just because one cannot use the SNAP benefits on the materials of vice does not mean the SNAP card doesn’t facilitate such purchases by freeing up the cash.

  • ernestomattaponi

    Please get a job…..stop waiting for me to pay for your life. Go ask your friends and family to help you. You are a freeloader and need to either take care of yourself or ask your network for help. I have a family to feed and it isn’t my fault you didn’t prepare for bad health, save your money or all of the above. Hep c is from injecting drugs…..period!

  • ernestomattaponi

    LoZZZZZer. I’m rich and didn’t take a dime from you but you want to take from me! DIE already.

  • ernestomattaponi

    HAHA you lozzzer. SO let me get this straight….punish the workers, business owners…us that took the risk, took the time to get an education are responsible for YOU?????? DIE already

  • ernestomattaponi

    Let me guess…you want me to send more of my hard earned money to your cum bucket face.

  • ernestomattaponi

    Government shouldn’t be in the business of taking and redistributing. I give ZERO and I am worth 7 million. I give ZERO because I figure they get it in taxes. Government is nothing but a group of people to week or to lazy to get a non free loading job.

  • John

    It is a system that needs to be repaired. we have to work 40 hours a week. They get Food stamps, rent vouchers, free phones , free health.

  • Anonymous

    I am against the cuts in the food stamp program..but am also wondering why there was hardly any comments or protests when the Democrats cut the food stamp program twice..since Obama has been president. It was easy to find the article on the food stamp cuts by the Democratic controlled congress, but difficult to find the amount of the actual costs. Several articles say that $8 billion was cut to fund Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity program previous cuts were made to fund a state aid program. Have no idea how much or what the program was:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/16/democrats-big-government-agenda-to-dip-into-food-stamp-program-again

    Democrats’ big-government agenda to dip into food-stamp program … again
    posted at 10:55 am on August 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

    When Democrats paid for their EduJobs bill last week by taking
    money out of the food stamp program, the media barely noticed it.
    Undoubtedly that has created an incentive for Democrats and the Obama
    administration to steal from the poor once again. This time, they will pull $8 billion already allocated to food stamps and other aid in order to fund Michelle Obama’s pet project, the anti-child-obesity bill:

    Democrats who reluctantly slashed a food stamp program to
    fund a state aid bill may have to do so again to pay for a top priority
    of first lady Michelle Obama.

    The House will soon consider an $8 billion child nutrition bill
    that’s at the center of the first lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. Before
    leaving for the summer recess, the Senate passed a smaller version of
    the legislation that is paid for by trimming the Supplemental Nutrition
    Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

    The proposed cuts would come on top of a 13.6 percent food stamp
    reduction in the $26 billion Medicaid and education state funding bill
    that President Obama signed this week.

    Food stamps have made multiple appearances on the fiscal chopping
    block because Democrats have few other places to turn to offset the cost
    of legislation.

    Really? In the entire panoply of federal spending, Democrats have no other area
    to find funds for their pet projects? The Hill, while doing a good job
    in reporting this, somehow glibly accepts this despite the existence of
    a $3.8 trillion federal budget.

    Eight billion dollars in a $3.8 trillion budget amounts to … 0.21%.
    What about the other 99.79% of federal spending? And let’s not forget
    that last year’s omnibus budget bill that completed the FY2010 budget
    contained in itself over $17 billion in earmarks. I guess Congress gets
    to pork out while the poor and unemployed sacrifice.

    Maybe we should be looking at Washington DC for our anti-obesity efforts.