Denying Food to Hungry People

Craig McCord

Craig McCord › Craig possesses 23 guitars and cannot play any of them. He likes fresh grilled sardines with a ...

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They are at it again.

They want to cut a hundred billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

They think it’s OK to deny food stamps to hungry people.

They believe preserving tax cuts for the wealthy is their job.

They are wrong.

Who are ‘they’?

The House Republicans, of course.

They are poised to present a budget this morning (3/17/2015) that has the potential to sever, cut off, eliminate over $1,000,000,000 (that’s what a hundred billion looks like) from the food stamps program (supposedly, over the coming decade).

Alan Pyke has written an insightful column on ThinkProgress.org wherein he exposes The Republican Plan to Sabotage the Food Stamp Program. Be sure to read his whole post.

In his column, Mr. Pyke quotes New York City Coalition Against Hunger executive director Joel Berg, who says this:

“They should be loving SNAP,” said Berg, who is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “It’s a voucher program that’s not spent in other government entities and not even spent in non-profits. It’s spent in private enterprises, private stores. It helps keep families at work and it helps keep families together.”

House Republicans love vouchers when it suits them, but when they want a certain result their ‘values’ are out the window.

They’re for more Washington control when it takes money away from poor people. –Joel Berg

Mr. Pyke continues:

The last time the GOP proposed food stamps cuts in a budget rather than pursuing them through the farm bill, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) proposed cutting about $125 billion from the program over 10 years by converting it to block grants. Both Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-IN) are reportedly modeling their SNAP proposals on that idea rather than the narrower changes resulting from the farm bill.

Such a large cut would inevitably take hundreds or even thousands of dollars away from food stamps families each year. “There’s no way to achieve that level of savings without cutting benefits to currently eligible people or restricting who is eligible,” said Stacy Dean of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, because fraud and administrative overhead are already so low for food stamps that targeting them “cannot generate significant savings.”

This group of lawmakers is proposing states take over the food stamps program, gutted as it would be. What a transparent ruse!

That baked-in vagueness looks rotten to NYCCAH’s Berg. “It’s not a sincere attempt to give power to the states. It’s a smokescreen to find yet another way to protect tax breaks for the rich,” he said, pointing out that the mechanism GOP lawmakers used to effect significant SNAP cuts in early 2014 relied on taking program control away from state officials.

“They’re for more Washington control when it takes money away from poor people, and they’re for more state control when it takes money away from poor people,” Berg said. “That’s the only form of ideological consistency here.”

See? They are at it again and hungry people are their targets.

They are acting as though not all Americans are due their . . . what’s the word?

Fair share.

Photo credit: Craig McCord