Skip to main content

Black and white photo of big crowd waiting for free breakfast
America can't get back here fast enough for congressional Republicans.
Senate Democrats 2010: We will totally put back this $14 billion in future Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamp) funding that we're taking now to use for other things.

Senate Democrats 2012: This $4.5 billion in SNAP cuts that 22 of us voted to leave in the farm bill is closing a loophole, see? And we fought more cuts, so let's let bygones be bygones on that earlier $14 billion.

Yes, the Republicans are the real bad guys in this. In 2010, they forced Democrats to trade future food stamp cuts for teacher funding and Medicaid assistance that the states badly needed. Now, they're looking for much bigger cuts to SNAP than just $4.5 billion, even proposing to eliminate the program and replace it with block grants. And the specific $4.5 billion being cut is a loophole through which some states are getting food aid recipients "extra" benefits. And we know that if Republicans don't get their way on this, they will hold something much bigger hostage, because that's what they do.

But this is an average of $90 a month to 500,000 families poor enough to meet the program's extremely stringent requirements. Think about the food you can buy with $90 and picture cutting it out of your family's monthly diet. Now imagine your family's monthly diet was already cut to the bone, before taking that $90 out.

It's not like this is a cut in isolation. What we're seeing here is the latest step in the Republican campaign to shred the safety net. For the longest time, they were going after programs that offered cash payments, raising the specter of taxpayer dollars spent on alcohol and drugs, of welfare queens driving Cadillacs. But food stamps can only be used on food, so that program wasn't targeted. That was then. Now, so many of the strands of the safety net have been sliced through that aid for food, and only food, is one of the few targets left for Republicans, and they've gone for it. So we hear about lottery winners receiving food stamps—well, make that one lottery winner, who was faced felony charges for not reporting her winnings. But as an example of food stamp fraud, it's always lottery winners, plural. And the implication that the government gave her nutritional assistance knowing that she was a lottery winner is let stand, rather than the point being made that it was a fucking felony for her to continue taking benefits rather than reporting her winnings to the state.

Republicans are the bad guys, but it is beyond frustrating, it is ... infuriating and tragic that Democrats allow themselves to be led step by step, cut by cut, through the Republican agenda. Republicans up the ante, Democrats push back a little. They don't give up everything. But the next time around, the cuts that last time represented upping the ante are now somehow the starting point, and to show that they're tough on waste and fraud, that one lottery winner has gone from being a Republican talking point to being a Democratic one.

Yes, we've seen it before on issue after issue. There's nothing new here. But there's something almost primal about the fact that now we're talking about food. Nothing but food, for our country's poorest people—many of them working full-time jobs and still needing help to afford the most basic diet. It's absolutely monstrous. And at the same time, it's business as usual in Congress.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, Occupy Wall Street, German American Friendship Group, and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

jbou, Renee, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, Doug in SF, itsbenj, slinkerwink, glitterscale, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, Shockwave, Pescadero Bill, Andrew C White, hyperstation, OLinda, LEP, Aspe4, eeff, xynz, LeftHandedMan, devtob, Dumbo, opinionated, bronte17, Zinman, susakinovember, whenwego, Ignacio Magaloni, antirove, Eddie C, psnyder, pat bunny, 2laneIA, wordene, agincour, yet another liberal, Noisy Democrat, lonespark, rapala, Skennet Boch, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, wsexson, democracy inaction, Irons33, grimjc, Simplify, ChemBob, YucatanMan, reflectionsv37, sofia, Ice Blue, Isara, WisePiper, sodalis, coolbreeze, xaxnar, Jim R, skywriter, Shirl In Idaho, detroitmechworks, Debbie in ME, flying shams, Medium Head Boy, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, Russgirl, tonyahky, Gorette, rl en france, kestrel9000, luckydog, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, DarkestHour, triv33, praenomen, TalkieToaster, gooderservice, Libby Shaw, PapaChach, JVolvo, middleagedhousewife, bumbi, democracy is coming, profh, fiddlingnero, blueoregon, shaharazade, markthshark, cpresley, tegrat, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, bear83, bluicebank, Russ Jarmusch, SpecialKinFlag, blue armadillo, terryhallinan, puakev, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, Matt Z, dclawyer06, aliasalias, bnasley, HCKAD, jayden, millwood, gchaucer2, GeorgeXVIII, leonard145b, sable, on the cusp, gizmo59, rmonroe, JDWolverton, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, TruthFreedomKindness, Roger Fox, Chacounne, wayoutinthestix, treesrock, Akonitum, Lujane, dewley notid, icebergslim, alnep, codairem, Gemina13, petulans, palantir, watercarrier4diogenes, shortgirl, squarewheel, postalblue, prettygirlxoxoxo, McGahee220, J M F, Ravenstream, nchristine, maryabein, War on Error, RageKage, zaka1, Shelley99, sfarkash, GWinkler, Larsstephens, Just Bob, coppercelt, FogCityJohn, flitedocnm, indie17, Proud Mom and Grandma, TimmyB, cordgrass, gulfgal98, 2020adam, Maverick80229, elengul, ericlewis0, Floande, Nada Lemming, cany, Actbriniel, annieli, Mike08, angstall, masswaster, StateofEuphoria, slowbutsure, henrythefifth, FarWestGirl, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, RfrancisR, MRA NY, Hayate Yagami, DRo, quill, Only Needs a Beat, jacey, Talking Union, anodnhajo, Williston Barrett, greenbastard, IndieGuy, a2nite, FloridaSNMOM, Trotskyrepublican, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, Mike RinRI, oldflowerchild, Spirit Dancer, BusyinCA, lunachickie, wxorknot, rat racer, Victim of Circumstance, marty marty, wasatch, Phoebe Loosinhouse, Candide08, Illinois IRV, countwebb, jbob, quince, GPMOAT, dear occupant, Says Who, Noctem Aeternus, Demeter Rising

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site