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With Nation Starving, Republicans Try to Slash Food Stamps

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky

Conservatives are waging a strange, scary, immoral war on the federal food stamp program at a time when it is needed most, argues writer Jordan Weissmann in a compelling essay on the Atlantic Monthly website.

The Great Recession has plunged millions of American families into poverty, where they are dependent on the modest subsidies in the food stamp program literally to stay alive and feed their children. But Republicans in Congress have decided that the program is full of fraud—with absolutely zero evidence to back up that claim—and they have been attempting to take an ax to the program and significantly reduce the number of families who receive aid. And it’s important to note the word “kids” with this program, because it is children who are the primary beneficiaries of the federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the official name for the food stamp program.

An astounding one out of every seven Americans receives food stamps, about 45 million people—Weissmann points out this is roughly equivalent to the population of Spain. In the richest nation on earth, one of every seven people could starve if not for government assistance. There has been a 70 percent increase in those receiving food stamps in the past four years—while there has been ZERO change in the eligibility rules. In other words, the numbers have exploded because so many more Americans are poor. That’s what’s going on in America right now—previously comfortable families pushed to desperation. The average monthly income for food stamp families is a measly $731, and 85 percent of recipients were below the poverty line—$18,500 a year for a family of three.

But yet, these numbers mean nothing to Congressional Republicans. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is trying to push as many Americans as he can off the food stamp rolls, while Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wants to slash the food stamp budget by 40 percent. The Republican-led House has passed a bill that would cut $34 billion from its $770 billion budget, but the Democratic-led Senate won’t go along.

Clearly, our nation is being “led” by a group of rich, out-of-touch white men who have no connection to the actual lives Americans are living, have no contact with the pain and suffering occurring in our communities. They want to blame President Obama for every ill in America, yet they come behind him and propose to devastate the people being hurt by his supposed failures. But of course Republicans have been against food stamps from the beginning—even though the states where Congressmen are the most vociferous opponents, such as most of those in the Deep South, have the highest percentages of recipients because they have the most poverty. For example, both Alabama and Kentucky, the states where the senators are so intent on slashing the rolls, are in the top ten of the states with the highest percentage of recipients. In both states, about one in five residents receives food stamps. One out of every five people!

Oh well, so much for Congressmen actually serving their constituents.

 

What people are saying

7 thoughts on “With Nation Starving, Republicans Try to Slash Food Stamps

  1. Anonymous says:

    "With Nation Starving" – do you mean the tattoo covered 300 pounders I see waddling out of WalMart with their $200 worth of free junk food?

  2. Stephen Ellis says:

    where is the evidence that these people would " starve" if not provided food stamps?

  3. Debbie Gurrieri Maloney says:

    The evidence that I see is when we fill children's backpacks with food for the weekend! Otherwise, they would "starve" over the weekend.

  4. Stephen Ellis says:

    would they really or would the parents get rid of cell phone and cable?

  5. Stephen Ellis says:

    dont get me wrong I believe there are families who really need it as did mine when I was growing up. But even still I dont think we would have starved had food stamps not been provided.

  6. Stephen Ellis says:

    why do corporations spend millions lobbying for food stamp increases and why does the govt. refuse transparency regarding the use of the food stamps. Can you say Fascist corporatism.

  7. Stephen Ellis says:

    The kids taking the food isnt evidence they would starve just that they will take free food if you are giving it out. Very similar to the 1000 CT gov employees who collected food stamps though they didnt qualify.

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