It seems that Republicans are now in a competition to see who can kick poor people the hardest just because they are down.
In Wisconsin, they are attempting to shorten the list of “acceptable” foods to the point where it would be almost impossible to survive.
Here’s a list of just some of the ways Republicans are trying to punish people who are on food stamps:
This Republican in Maryland wants people on food stamps to lose the First Amendment right to free assembly.
This Wisconsin Republican wants to make poor people shop in separate grocery stores.
This Missouri bill would ban poor people from buying steak and seafood.
This Wisconsin Congressman wants you to spy on food stamps recipients.
Of course, virtually every Republican wants to cut food stamps, despite the fact that the average food stamp (SNAP) recipient receives only $125 a month.
The state that seems to have the biggest beef (no pun intended) with food stamp recipients is Wisconsin. A bill proposed by state Rep. Robert Brooks would ban lobster, shrimp and shellfish, which granted, are expensive, but it would also ban a lot of kitchen staples, like beans and spices.
To be clear, Brooks doesn’t want to look completely heartless. He’s only dictating how people don’t spend the majority of their benefits. He’s letting people make their own choices on 1/3 of their benefits.
It’s even more complicated than that. The state will be issuing separate checks for each type of food. Is this supposed to be government efficiency?
Many of the things on Brooks’ banned list include items that healthy people might live on. The rest of it is just bizarre and random. It disallows red and yellow potatoes but allows sweet potatoes and yams. It also disallows nuts, trail mix, herbs and seasonings.
No jarred spaghetti sauce for poor folks, or soups, salsa, or ketchup. No canned beans, except for green, wax or yellow beans. Actually, beans can be purchased, but with a different check. For some items, the bill specifies certain brands. It would also eliminate bulk food, which are generally the least expensive.
To demonstrate the perils of food policing at Thursday’s hearing, a Democrat on the committee held up a plate of four different kinds of cheese. Although they are nutritionally indistinguishable, three of the four cheeses would be prohibited. “When you look at something like this cheese plate, there’s no evidence of sharp cheddar fraud. People are not buying sharp cheddar in order to defraud FoodShare, and there’s no nutritional difference. So if those are the stated goals, the bill is not accomplishing either,” Rep. Mark Spreitzer said.
Source: Think Progress
During Brooks’ time in office, he has authored just two bills. The first is a state and local tax cut for people wealthy enough to take capital losses. The second is to force poor people off their potato and oregano habit. There’s no word on how he’s forcing the rich people to spend their tax cuts.
Featured image via Wikipedia.