16 April 2012

Republicans to slash food stamps - David Rogers - POLITICO.com

Food stamps moved front-and-center in the budget wars Monday morning, as House Republicans began rolling out a first wave of $33.2 billion in 10-year savings that will have an immediate impact in the farm bill debate and come November, the 2012 elections.

An average family of four faces an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1, and even more important is the tighter enforcement of rules demanding that households exhaust most of their savings before qualifying for help. This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, many of whom never before used the aid –now titled SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)—but have found it valuable in trying to stay afloat in the current recession.

Indeed food stamp enrollment and costs have exploded since the financial collapse four years ago, making SNAP a target for the right— but also far bigger political issue in swing states like Florida, Nevada and Ohio.

National food stamp enrollment reached 46.4 million people in January 2012, a nearly two-thirds increase from the average participation in fiscal 2008. The annual costs—now running in excess of $80 billion—have more than doubled in the same period. And even the most ardent food stamp proponents will sometimes say SNAP is a program “asked to do too much.”...

If you are anything like me and was raised properly, you know that greed is a Very Bad Thing and in some faiths a Very Great Evil.  As a Taoist I try not to attach labels to things or to define them or to judge greedy people, yet even so, my inner compass tells me that greed is a remnant of our ape ancestor's days in the trees where survival of the fittest was the law of the land, not all this liberal idea of equality for all, and ought be a thing firmly planted in the graveyard of humanity's past.
Yet,  at least in America today, there are a lot of folks on the right who have a veritable shrine to greed and they find it to be as virtuous as the old practice of letting the old or infirm apes of the tribe to fall to our ancient predators in order to save their own hides.
For reasons that cannot be fully understood by someone like myself raised to have standards and ethics, the right, while claiming the mantle of Christ and liberty really, really love money, which the Bible declares the Evil's Root and this has led to the mess we have today in America because rich people have been redistributing the wealth upwards in the grandest entitlement scheme of them all.  And as this wealth flows upwards to people who don't really need it but gladly gobble up the excesses while children in this nation go hungry, we see the end results because more and more people on the bottom have to resort to food stamps that the rich bitch about because they don't want to part with their wretched, ill gotten, filthy lucre.  It would be enough to start riots and revolts if the masses weren't so fat and lazy, content to watch TV instead of getting as angry as they ought be by this slight of hand.
The real, moral, ethical question is how much money does one need before it's enough?  How many mansions or yachts or solid gold umbrella stands does one need to own before the plight of one's fellow brothers and sisters becomes a serious issue for contemplation.  True religion and philosophies know that answer instinctively yet the right, professing God out one side of their mouth while asking for still more tax cuts to inflate their wealth to an even more unconscionable figure that the lower classes will have to pay for out of their pockets because --haha!-- the money has to come from somewhere.  It is a great game of 3 card monty that has a lot of well intentioned people snookered into believing that they too can be as obscenely wealthy as say the Romney's even though the odds against schleps like you and me making that sort of cash are astronomical to say the least.
And speaking of the Romney's, Ann Romney needs to sit down and shut the fuck up.  As a wife of privilege she cannot honestly compare herself to other stay at home moms because she has maids, butlers and nannies to do most of the heavy lifting for her.  I should imagine that if you spoke with a normal stay at home mom (read as: a mom not so rich she could buy her own country kinda like she and Mitt are trying to do now with this presidential bid) and she listed her day to day chores and Ann Romney listed hers, you would find Ann spent an inordinate time by the swimming pool while normal moms are pulling their hair out at the supermarket stuck with her bratty kids, cleaning the house, making dinner, getting oil changes et al.  Regular stay at home moms work their asses off; I've seen them.  But if you suggest Mrs. Romney works that hard (and worse, believe it when you said it), I would have no choice but to suggest a professional therapist because you my friend are fucking insane.
Yet if the Romney's and the Republicans have their way, they would steal much needed food assistance from a good many stay at home moms (and working moms for that matter) so they could give the savings to-- you guessed it!-- rich folks who don't need it, already have too much and yet greedily, strangely, unethically, hunger for more.  
I don't think much of either political party, the Democrats enabled the illegitimate Bush White House to cut taxes in a time of war (that Bush created when he allowed 9/11 to happen purposefully or otherwise) but at least the Dems want some sort of social safety net, which is more than I can say for the money grubbers of the Republican party who just want all of us in the lower classes to be out on the streets begging for their spare change, which they wouldn't give us anyway because they would tell themselves we would spend it on booze or drugs and not our hungry kids at home.

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