The Republicans’ Plan for Poverty? Starve.
On June 21, Republicans escalated their war on the poor.
The Senate that day passed a draconian bill that cuts $4.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program). This could affect 500,000 families and reduce monthly SNAP benefits by $90.
Once again, poor people are being sacrificed for a few wealthy farm interests. And, once again, self-proclaimed “pro-lifers” who want to inspect women’s vaginas, proved they have no concern for the children who come out of them. The Republicans are advocating a Haitian style government: starvation.
This is uncompassionate conservatism on steroids.
Among the reasons why millions of Americans have to go on Food Stamps, handouts are at the bottom of the list. Food Stamps and other Social Programs did not cause the Great Recession. I am disgusted when Republicans claim that “safety-net” programs, as described by their presidential candidate, will lead America to financial armageddon. So, when Republicans talk about debt, the poor better look out because they want your Medicaid and Social Security while asking for welfare themselves with tax breaks.
What disturbs me is someone like Mitt Romney, whose wealth comes from daddy’s money, considers any aid for the poor as handouts. That is why Mitt Romney has never been to a 7-Eleven. He doesn’t even know what a doughnut is.
I received Food Stamps periodically, as did my parents. Dad worked for 15 years until his boss moved the factory to Bangladesh. He was not enthusiastic about having to go to government for aid. I remember how tough it was for him.
I was five and my brother was two. Without this great program, we would have starved. I had to go on Food Stamps because of illness, homelessness and being incapacitated. The process is humiliating. You have to wait for hours. You are interrogated rather than helped. If you are single, you may have to wait months to qualify.
Many people agree that there is abuse and the program should be reformed. However, claiming that food stamps drain the budget while we are paying for war and bailouts are preposterous.
Social programs for the poor such as SNAP may be a stronger stimulus for the economy than deficit reduction. Subsidizing these programs enables poor people to buy goods, which help businesses create jobs that help people become self-sufficient.
I do not know how many in Congress can sit with a straight face knowing that with these devastating cuts may make a child go hungry while refusing to sacrifice themselves.