“SNAP Judgement”

Republicans’ are dying to kill the Food Stamp Program!

As a part of the farm bill Republicans push to strip $20 billion from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) leaving as many as two million people hungry in the richest nation in the world.

The cuts, two billion dollars a year, will also knock 200,000 children off the school lunch program. At a time when education is eroding throughout the country the right-wing believes leaving thousands of students hungry is the answer.

So what happened to humanity?

Humanity has been on a slippery slope for more than three decades to the point where even the appearance of humanity from the Republicans’ is phony.

What’s happened is the right-wing nut jobs have turned their backs on the poor and are giving to ‘the takers,’ the wealthiest in this country. They continue to squeeze all the blood they can from the proverbial turnip and taking money from food stamps has become their latest quest.

Food Stamps?

Leaving people hungry in a country where big Ag companies are still receiving subsidies to slow production of food, or even dispose of some to keep prices stable, is a Shakespearian tragedy.

Yet, Congress will squeeze the poor for another two dollars out of their already inadequate $31.50 per week while still giving wealthy farmers subsidies.

Heartless and incompetent Congressmen like Steve Stockman, Louie Gohmert, and Michael Conaway justify their positions with incongruous, sometimes incoherent comparisons and analogies.

Representative Conaway believes Democrats used fearmongering to derail the farm bill despite 64 of his Republican colleagues voting against it. Tragically some of his colleagues voted against it because the cuts to food stamps were not deep enough! Representative Gohmert, standing on the House floor was disturbed by an alleged food stamp recipient in front of him in the grocery line buying King Crab Legs.

Instead of using Republican hyperbole 14 Democrats took the Food Stamp Challenge and found it difficult, if not impossible, to subsist on the average weekly benefit provided by SNAP.

Instead of seeing the value in what concerned Democrats were trying to prove, Representative Stockman called it a publicity stunt.

The real publicity stunt was Stockman’s Communications Director, Donny Ferguson’s attempt to prove that he could live on the paltry sum recipients received and set out to show the world frugality could win the challenge. He found little problem purchasing groceries for a week at a Dollar Store and, in fact, had a little left over from the $31.50 he started with. But Donny’s attempt to disprove the left’s claim actually validated part of their argument and left Donny on the way to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a multitude of other maladies that would cost potentially thousands of taxpayer dollars in future healthcare costs.

Donny did answer my request for information and stated that he ate only what was on the menu he prepared and did not cheat during the week, though someone in the office did bring in BBQ. He further stated that these are the foods he likes to eat. Whether his is a healthy diet or not is left up to the observer.

His trip to the grocery store and his eating habits exposed everything that’s wrong with nutrition in America.

Top Chef, Tom Colicchio, has made it his project to battle Hunger in America. He has spent the last 25 years, along with others in the food industry, trying to heighten the public’s awareness of the struggle of the 50 million food-insecure people in this — our — country. Colicchio is glad the bill did not pass because of the damage cuts to SNAP would do to the millions who are hungry and barely surviving on the current benefits.

His newest project, “A Place at the Table, a documentary film documenting hunger in the U.S., is now out in theaters. Co-directed by his wife, Lori Silverbush, the film is bringing attention to a growing problem in America at a time when legislators’ like Stockman, Gohmert, Conaway, and their corporate supported Republican colleagues are trying to reduce the food stamp (SNAP) program.

The irony in the Republicans’ callous and uncaring position is that their policies caused the Great Recession, the increase in poverty, and the greater need for food stamps.

Their priorities are completely backward.

While more families slip into poverty or bread-winners are forced into lower paying jobs and big oil companies make billions of dollars in profits — they subsidize big oil.

Meanwhile, Congress quietly tries to find ways to sneak in their own pay raise, despite receiving $174,000 a year as a useless member of Congress, they vote to take more food from the mouths of children.

The three vocal Congressmen, all from Texas, represent a state that currently has over 3.6 million recipients of food assistance, or 13.4% of their population. Statistics from Texas HHSC seem to indicate that the number of recipients of both SNAP and TANF decline as employment improves. So the answer to food-insecurity is jobs not cuts!

When are we, as a nation, going to wake up to understand that we are only as strong as our weakest citizens?

When is Texas going to wake up to the fact that Congressmen like Stockman, Gohmert, and Conaway are the root of our problem and not our poor? The problem in this country lies at the feet of the rich and legislators that serve them!

It’s fairly obvious who these three Congressmen care about — corporate donors — and who they’re willing to sacrifice, ‘the people!’

And, if, “A Place at the Table” doesn’t move them to fight against Hunger in America — move them to fight for their 3.6 million Texans receiving food assistance, then they must be removed and replaced by someone who will — someone who cares.

We should be feeding America, not subsidizing multi-billion dollar oil companies.

Believe me, that is no snap judgement!

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4 Responses to ““SNAP Judgement””

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