Wisconsin Republicans are following through with their plan to be the cruelest state in the nation when it comes to the way poor people are treated by passing a bill that would ban them from eating a multitude of foods.
On Wednesday, Wisconsin Republicans in the statehouse took the first step in their agenda to punish people who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Assembly Bill 177 seeks to ban people who rely on food stamps to survive on a daily basis from buying a huge list of products deemed unworthy for the mouths of poor people and their children.
The legislation specifically bans poor people from buying any kind of shellfish, including lobster, shrimp, and crab. This particular ban, perhaps coincidentally, has a strong religious connection to it since the Biblical Book of Leviticus outlaws shellfish. So perhaps without meaning to, it appears conservative lawmakers are not only banning these foods for poor people, they are forcing only poor people to abide by an unconstitutional biblical law written thousands of years ago in a foreign land. That sure sounds like Sharia law to me.
But the bill goes on to mention a list of groceries that poor people will no longer be able to purchase and let’s just say it takes the war on the poor to a whole new level of heartlessness and stupidity.
As Addicting Info reported earlier this month:
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.
All of these items are generally inexpensive and are often the basic foods found in the pantries of many people. Many families literally live on spaghetti and soups because they don’t cost a lot and can feed many people. After all, the average food stamp recipient receives a paltry $125 a month. But this bill would take all of these items away from poor people.
And that’s not all. If you think this is bad, you haven’t seen nothing yet.
The list of “disallowed” foods, which you can view here, also includes the following:
- Cranberry sauce and pie filling. (Poor people can forget about making dessert for Thanksgiving dinner.)
- Creamed vegetables
- Baked beans
- Pork and beans
- Frozen veggies that come in packages featuring pasta, nuts, rice, cheese, or meats
- French fries and hash browns
- Sharp cheddar cheese, Swiss, and fresh mozzarella, shredded and sliced cheeses (except American cheese of course), cheese food, spreads, and products. Even Kosher cheese is banned unless you apply to get a specific check for it which basically could identify who the poor Jewish people are.
- Canned peas and green beans
- Albacore tuna, red salmon, and fish fillets
- Bagels, pita bread, English muffins
- White rice and wild rice
- Taco shells
- Almond, rice, goat, and soy milk.
- Brown eggs and any eggs produced by cage-free or free range chickens, which basically helps corporate chicken farms
- Several kinds of infant food
- Anything in bulk
- Anything organic or natural
Basically, Wisconsin Republicans are making it more difficult for poor people to buy food, let alone enjoy the food they eat.
Wisconsin GOP state Rep. Scott Allen claims his party designed the bill as a way to make poor people healthier.
“We as a country are spending a fortune on health care costs for largely preventable diseases, and a lot of that relates to our habits as people — we’re consuming the wrong foods.”
But that statement is clear hypocrisy (as well as total bullshit) considering that the food ban list supported by Republicans bans organic foods and a great many products that have nutritional value. Even shellfish has nutritional value in our diet. Banning it only deprives poor people of the benefits.
According to Joy Bauer, a nutritionist who delivers her expertise regularly on The Today Show, shellfish and fish are an essential part of a healthy diet.
Some fish and shellfish are high in vitamins and minerals like selenium, vitamin B12, niacin, iron, and zinc. The selenium in seafood is an antioxidant that can help manage arthritis and maintain healthy skin, while vitamin B12 may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and slow memory decline. Niacin is a B vitamin that may aid in cataract prevention. Iron-rich clams, oysters, and shrimp can help maintain healthy hair. The zinc in oysters and crab can also contribute to healthy hair and beautiful skin, while reducing the risk of macular degeneration.
She goes on to point out that canned fish, which is allowed on the list, is high in sodium, which is bad for people with high blood pressure. And considering how much stress Republicans are adding to the lives of poor people with this draconian attack, you can bet many will have higher blood pressure now.
And Wisconsin is hardly the only state trying to regulate the lives of poor people. Missouri Republicans want to ban them from purchasing steak as well as seafood. And Kansas Republicans are banning poor people from spending money at movie theaters, swimming pools, and other establishments, as well as limiting them to only withdrawing $25 a day from ATM machines. And Maryland Republicans are actually calling for punishing poor people who exercise their right to protest.
Make no mistake, this is what the Republican war on poor people looks like, and it will only get worse as long as Republicans have even an ounce of control anywhere in the nation.
Photo Credit: Acme Style Blog