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During the debate on the Republican bill to gut the food stamp program, Rep. Jackie Speier detailed how Republican members of Congress use taxpayer funds for lavish meals.
All but 15 House Republicans voted yesterday to slash food assistance for our country's neediest citizens. The New York Times calls it a "act of supreme indifference":
In what can be seen only as an act of supreme indifference, House Republicans passed a bill on Thursday that would drastically cut federal food stamps and throw 3.8 million Americans out of the program in 2014. [...] It is nothing new that poor people are stuck and those in the middle class are struggling. The poverty rate, though steady last year, has worsened or failed to improve in 11 of the last 12 years. [...]

Against that backdrop, there is no justification for savaging the safety net and decimating the budget.

The Los Angeles Times:
Data from before the recession show that few people stop working after they start receiving food stamps. And states and cities have been reimposing the work requirement as their economies improve. By pushing that process ahead prematurely, the House bill would force some laid-off workers off the rolls because they can't find a job, and there are no other ways for them to satisfy the work requirement.

The real solution to the high demand for food stamps is to get the economy growing faster, not to force more Americans to go hungry. Unfortunately, the former is hard to do, and the latter seems all too easy for the House GOP.

Timothy Egan at The New York Times:
A Republican majority that refuses to govern on other issues found the votes to shove nearly 4 million people back into poverty, joining 46.5 million at a desperation line that has failed to improve since the dawn of the Great Recession. It’s a heartless bill, aimed to hurt. Republicans don’t see it that way, of course. They think too many of their fellow citizens are cheats and loafers, dining out on lobster. [...]

Republicans have more pain in store for their base in poor white America. Shutting down government, for one, will cause a ripple effect that will be hardest on those living paycheck-to-paycheck. The biggest obsession, the Moby-Dick of the right wing, is making sure millions of people do not have access to affordable health care. This week, Republicans drew the line for any doubters: they will wreck lives to blow up the health care law.

You have to wonder where this animus for those in the economic basement comes from. It’s too easy to say Republicans hate the poor. Limousine liberals can seem just as insensitive. And if Republicans were offering some genuinely creative approaches to helping the 26 million Americans who self-identified as “lower class” in a recent survey, they would deserve a listen. Tax cuts, the party’s solution to everything, do nothing for people who pay no federal income tax.

What’s at work here is the poison of ideology.

More below the fold.
Intro

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Paul Krugman boils down the GOP's governing philosophy:

In recent months, the G.O.P. seems to have transitioned from being the stupid party to being the crazy party.

I know, I’m being shrill. But as it grows increasingly hard to see how, in the face of Republican hysteria over health reform, we can avoid a government shutdown — and maybe the even more frightening prospect of a debt default — the time for euphemism is past.

Jim Wallis at The Huffington Post:
If you know the facts and faces of the hungry families that are helped by SNAP, I believe it is a moral and even religious problem to vote to cut funding for the program.[...] I would be happy to debate that with any of our conservative Congressmen who keep telling our churches that we are the only ones who should care for the poor. To vote against feeding hungry people is un-Christian, un-Jewish, and goes against any moral inclination, religious or not.

Finally, for politicians to defend these SNAP cuts because of our need to cut spending in general is un-credible and incredible.

These same politicians are not willing to go to where the real money is: the Pentagon budget, which everyone knows to be the most wasteful in government spending, or the myriad subsidies to corporations, including agribusiness subsides to members of Congress who will be voting to cut SNAP for the poor.

The House Republican discrimination against the poor is also a cornerstone of their Obamacare maneuvering. Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post gives his take:
Republicans in the House are like a bunch of 3-year-olds playing with matches. Their hapless leaders don’t have the sense to scold them and send them to their rooms — which means President Obama has to be the disciplinarian in this dysfunctional family.

Mature adults in the GOP should have explained reality to these tantrum-throwing tykes long ago: It simply is not within their constitutional power to make Obamacare go away. They can scream at the top of their lungs, roll around on the floor, hold their breath until they turn blue, waste everybody’s time with 41 useless votes — whatever. All they can really do is hurt themselves or others.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 04:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hunger in America.

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