Once again, the GOP proves that they really do wish that poor people would just die and decrease the surplus population. In a bill that passed the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday afternoon, there are $4.1 billion in cuts to the SNAP program, which provided federal food aid. That’s bad enough, what with the federal aid provision in the Recovery Act expiring in November, but the House wants more cuts. A LOT more: $21 billion.
The House Agriculture Committee is looking to kick 2 million people off of the SNAP program. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that the average federal aid for food will drop to $1.40 per person per meal should this bill pass. So, for a family of four that would be $16.80 per day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I don’t know about you but I know that I couldn’t feed my family on that. Not healthy food, anyway. This is one reason why Americans are fatter than ever now, you just can’t buy healthy food on a budget like that.
But House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) doesn’t care. The bill he’s proposing for the House targets SNAP for more than half of its cuts. The CBPP report states:’
The proposed legislation would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) by almost $21 billion over the next decade, eliminating food assistance to nearly 2 million low-income people, mostly working families with children and senior citizens. The proposal reduces total farm bill spending by an estimated $39.7 billion over ten years, so more than half of its cuts come from SNAP.
Here’s the way the cuts work: a provision of SNAP allows states to include citizens who fall below the poverty line after certain expenses – like child care – are taken out rather than looking at their gross income as the cut-off (130% of the poverty line). Lucas wants to cut this exception. That means millions of the working poor and others who rely on SNAP to help feed their families will be left out of the program. These are people who are working or on social security, who will no longer be eligible for the program yet can’t really be considered as making too much to qualify. They will fall into a crack that feels more like a crevasse.
That bastion of GOP warm fuzzies, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, says that these cuts will not be noticeable:
Over the time period of 10 years, there would be $20 billion trimmed off of $800 billion. What comes to about a 2.5 percent decrease in the overall projected expenditures of the food stamp program known as SNAP. After all of that technical gibberish, the bottom line is a $20 billion cut is a $2.5 billion cut in the increase. $20 billion spread out over ten years is not something that is going to be noticeable.
Since he wouldn’t notice it, I guess that means poor people won’t, either. What an asshat. Get past his numbers and what you see is people who will go hungry now. Nobody really cares about 10 years from now when they are going to bed hungry or can’t feed their family. Just ask Cory Booker if he noticed trying to eat well on $33.00 a week. Yes, you may be able to buy some food on that but, as I mentioned previously, eating healthy on so little is nearly impossible. Which means the poor have to eat processed foods, which leads to health problems which, ultimately, will end up driving them to the nearest emergency room. Ten years from now, many of the people who would lose SNAP eligibility could be dead from obesity-related illnesses. People need to eat now. Children need to eat healthy now.
The only way to be able to make cuts to SNAP and other programs for the poor so that they won’t notice is to grow the economy. But we can’t do that because our Congress is beyond dysfunctional. The House has voted to repeal Obama Care 37 times but hasn’t once voted on a jobs bill. Not once! It’s disgraceful that the people who are charged with making this country work for every American are so effed up that they actually think it’s fine to waste money on useless votes. I have an idea – let’s put every Congressperson who would vote for these horrible cuts on the SNAP program challenge. See how they deal with having $1.40 per person per day (not including servants) to eat healthy meals. I bet they wouldn’t last two days. Yet they want to make millions of Americans do it for the foreseeable future. It’s sickening.
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…