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Black and white photo of big crowd waiting for free breakfast
Poverty is never a life status to aspire to, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to avoid, and increasingly punishing if you're there. With austerity so in vogue these days, it's getting even worse. Last month, the Senate passed a Farm Bill that slashes food assistance through the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) by $4.5 billion over the next decade.

"Oh, yeah?" said the House Agriculture Committee. "We'll just up that by about about $12 billion more." In that post, Laura Clawson explained who exactly this would hit. If you're a family of three, and have total income of more than $24,100 annually, you'd be out of luck. And food.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities expands on that.

The proposed cuts would cause significant hardship to several million low-income households.
  • The bill would terminate SNAP eligibility to several million people.  By eliminating categorical eligibility, which over 40 states have adopted, the bill would cut 2 to 3 million low-income people off food assistance.

  • Several hundred thousand low-income children would lose access to free school meals. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 280,000 children in low-income families whose eligibility for free school meals is tied to their receipt of SNAP would lose free meals when their families lost SNAP benefits.
  • Some working families would lose access to SNAP because they own a modest car, which they often need to commute to their jobs. Eliminating categorical eligibility would cause some low-income working households to lose benefits simply because of the value of a modest car they own. These families would be forced to choose between owning a reliable car and receiving food assistance to help feed their families.
The CPBB also points out that the argument that making sure people in the U.S. simply have enough to eat on a regular basis is breaking the country is bullshit. Except they don't say bullshit.
Contrary to proponents’ claim that the bill’s SNAP cuts are needed to rein in program growth, CBO has found that SNAP’s expansion in recent years primarily reflected the severe recession and that SNAP spending will fall significantly as the economy recovers. CBO projects that the share of the population that participates in SNAP will fall back to 2008 levels in coming years and that SNAP costs as a share of the economy will fall back to their 1995 level by 2019.
So this amounts to just punishing people for the sake of punishing people. Punishing children. The $4.5 billion cut by the Senate Democrats was too much. The $16 billion proposed by the House is insane, as will be any "middle ground" they might come to in conference when they reconcile the two bills. Any cuts to this critical program, while unemployment is still above eight percent and wages remain totally stagnant, are criminal.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Food banks are all beyond overwhelmed. (6+ / 0-)

    So they are taking away the bread and hoping circuses work?

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 01:52:14 PM PDT

  •  This is a bipartisan bill (0+ / 0-)

    Not just GOP.

    Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act. - Al Gore

    by Burned on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 01:52:27 PM PDT

  •  first Death Panel, now it's Starvation Panel... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jwinIL14, lcrp, marina

    ...House Repubs should just go ahead and officially change the party name to Punitive Party.

  •  This is the way they see it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jwinIL14, marina


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 02:07:22 PM PDT

  •  My Sandwich Saturdays aren't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jwinIL14, Burned, Joieau

    going to be enough.  Maybe it's time to think about starting some Penny Restaurants again.

    All knowledge is worth having, so consider supporting OctopodiCon's Kickstarter

    by Noddy on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 02:08:05 PM PDT

  •  The ultimate voter suppression scheme. (6+ / 0-)

    Just a little bit tough to cast a ballot if you've starved to death.

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 02:29:46 PM PDT

  •  They want riots, bad ones (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Troubadour

    That's the only explanation.  That's what food scarcity leads to.  That's what we'll have here in the US:  Food riots.

    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 02:44:20 PM PDT

  •  The only thing that would give them more joy (0+ / 0-)

    would be to be able to take food from starving kids with their own hands.

  •  The Criminals in Congress are Well Fed (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, nellgwen, KJG52, greenbell, thomask

    They have No Need to worry about Food.

    They Just Invite a Lobbiest to Dinner and have Them
    pick up the Bill.

    If those Poor people had Lobbiests on speed dial
    like the Criminals in Congress, they wouldn't be Hungry.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 08:04:24 PM PDT

  •  Not to downplay (7+ / 0-)

    the lack of humanity of the GOP, cutting off people's FOOD, ferchrissakes, but there's an additional cost; SNAP is one of the most effective stimuli there is, after unemployment insurance, in our ongoing economic crisis.

    The GOP has become evil.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:34:06 PM PDT

  •  Steve King's latest Brainfart (8+ / 0-)

    Steve King: People Not Working 'Should Do Their Fair Share'

    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's plan to let Bush-era tax cuts expire on earnings above $250,000 is part of a "class envy" plan to make people who aren't working feel okay about not contributing to the nation's economy, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said on Tuesday.

    "There are more and more people that are looking at others saying they shouldn't be making that much money because I'm not. And they don't feel as much guilt about the 72 different means tested welfare programs that we have," King said on CNN's "Starting Point."

    "Today it's almost a government guarantee of a middle-income standard of living from all these [government safety net] programs we have. I like an America where people feel some guilt about that and they want to step up and help and carry their fair share of the work."

    Plenty of unemployed workers do feel guilty and ashamed that they aren't working. In fact, the stigma of unemployment is so intense that the Congressional Budget Office says it actually might increase the national unemployment rate, because long-unemployed workers' skills and confidence erode while at the same time employers become less willing to hire them.

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:34:09 PM PDT

  •  Don't you know?.. (8+ / 0-)

    ..the SNAP program "creates dependency."

    Actually, it alleviates dependence.

    But since anybody signing up for SNAP is not going to vote for a Republican--therefore is an illegitimate human being--it "creates" dependency.

    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate. ~ Proverbs 22:22

    by wyvern on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:34:55 PM PDT

  •  is GOP hoping crime increases from more poor /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:39:14 PM PDT

  •  They are America's worst. (7+ / 0-)

    What kind of immoral hellspawn would be eager to slash food assistance in a recession with over 8% unemployment?

  •  Anti-poverty anti-hunger was my job before... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I digresed into what I do now.

    These people are truly the worst America has to offer and the fact that they are elected is just deeply depressing to this son of immigrants who believed in that better America...

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:44:06 PM PDT

  •  Feed the kids. (5+ / 0-)

    Anyone who wants to call themselves human and a member of a human community will feed the kids. I want to scream, before anything else feed the kids!

    Feed the kids, you selfish bastards, feed the kids.

  •  HOW in the heck does the GOP see this as a winner? (5+ / 0-)

    Now I'm convinced they have all gone batshit crazy!  

    If you cannot be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

    by Zinger in VA on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:53:37 PM PDT

  •  They're really playing with fire here. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, AoT, skyounkin, MusicFarmer

    Not completely up on my history, but that's one of the things that the GOP damn near did in Hoover's day - actually bring mass famine to American shores.  The Okie migrations included people starving to death, but they were isolated incidences - at first.

    The specter of actual mass famine and food riots was one of the things that finally tipped the scales in FDR's favor, and helped with the genesis of the New Deal.  There is no more revolutionary force on Earth then deliberate mass starvation of the populice.

    •  Yep. But now Oklahoma is riding high on the hog (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      so many of these latter generations truly believe that this could never happen to them, and that their GOP would never turn on them.

      They have no idea.

    •  We already have GOP bringing disease to Fl. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, skyounkin

      Tuberculosis.   We have kids getting by on very little food
      and an idiot I want to expeience some sort of just wander off in his psychotic state of mind and find himself in one of his own hospitals with an underpaid staff and too out of his mind to know who he is and has money.  That or spontaneous combustion episode.   I pesonally think the dude is on meth.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 09:21:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These cuts are heartcrushingly insane. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txcatlin, skyounkin

    I sometimes imagine what it would be like if we took, say, half the defense budget and used it toward the betterment of our society ... safety nets, rehabilitation of the nation's infrastructure, arts, education ...

    The government used to grant people money to MAKE ART!

    Now, the republicans are all, like, fuck art, let's fart.

  •  Republican plan from 1938 NS Germany: (0+ / 0-)

    "Die Alte und die Arme zur Zwangsarbeit!"

    I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. -- S.I. Hayakawa

    by tapu dali on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:02:29 PM PDT

  •  $4.5 billion over a decade, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that $450 million a year. So we're in a country where people rather see others go hungry than pay an additional $1.50 per year.

    Republicans believe you need an ID to vote but you can donate millions to any candidate completely anonymously. (h/t jbou)

    by Calouste on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:02:41 PM PDT

  •  Pedantic nitpick: The picture you've used to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Duck, Zornorph

    illustrate this story is of the Yonge St. Mission in Toronto, Ontario during the Depression.

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:06:16 PM PDT

  •  This Is An Outrageous Sin Against Human Kind (0+ / 0-)

    This has me so enraged I could spit!

    That this type of callousness is beyond repentance.  Give to the rich and steal from the poor.  I’ve been taught in my Catholic upbringing how Jesus felt about this type of behavior.  And the Republicans are backed by the Religious Right?  

    I hear by nominate the following members of the House Agricultural Committee – THE SCUM OF THE EARTH
    Congratulations to  Frank Lucas (OK), Bob Goodlatte (VA), Timothy V. Johnson (IL), Steve King (IA), Randy Neugebauer (TX), K. Michael Conaway (TX), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Jean Schmidt (OH), Glenn Thompson (PA), Thomas J. Rooney (FL), Marlin Stutzman (IN), Bob Gibbs (OH), Austin Scott (GA), Scott R. Tipton (CO), Steve Southerland, II (FL), Rick Crawford (AR), Martha Roby (AL), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Renee L. Ellmers (NC), Christopher P. Gibson (NY), Randy Hultgren (IL), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Robert T. Schilling (IL), Reid J. Ribble (WI), Kristi Noem (SD)

    Go to Hell!!!
    Now I have to go to confession and ask for repentance.

    I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.

    by cobaltbay on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:11:24 PM PDT

  •  I am rather shocked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    my own liberal dem senator signed off on the deal , I wrote him and politely told him it was ok to have a dem back bone on issues like this ... so the dems sign off on bloated defense spending without saying ANYTHING, then they conclude , along with the gop , that cutting food stamps will make everything all better , makes a person want to puke

  •  Anyone want to translate this into English? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Noisy Democrat
    By eliminating categorical eligibility, which over 40 states have adopted, the bill would cut 2 to 3 million low-income people off food assistance.
    So what is "categorical eligibility"?  If it's cutting off 2 or 3 million people to eliminate it, then seems like a bad thing...but it would be nice if the diary bothered to explain what it actually means instead of just throwing this phrase into the mix without defining what it is.

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:23:05 PM PDT

  •  Are there no workhouses? (0+ / 0-)

    Reduce people to beggars and put them into workhouses so Rmoney can make America more competitive.
    We can bring sweat shops back to the USA.
    It's all part of that Grand Old Party master plan.

  •  I tried to whip up support for calling Congress to (0+ / 0-)

    change the narrative on who's creating the SNAP "problem" with a "thunderclap," but it didn't get enough support to take effect in time for the Farm Bill vote tomorrow. :(

    Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

    by jillwklausen on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:26:05 PM PDT

  •  The Republicans have left the building (0+ / 0-)

    The real Republicans have left the building on this folks.  I have never seen a bunch of mean spirited people in my entire life.  Their argument for taking things like this away from people is "this will make you stronger."  And in a way they are correct.  Especially since the only thing left that people will have to eat are rocks.  Now one has to be careful when eating rocks.  They can fill up your stomach but one does not want to eat to many larger than a nickle.  If one does it might cause intestinal problems and there is another trip to the emergency room that one must pay for.  What upsets me more is that these people are the so called "Christians."  Remember those people who felt that one must help the unfortunate?  I am being sarcastic here but let's face it nobody wants to be poor.  I cant remember any career day at high school where this was an option.  Doctor, lawyer, farmer, insurance man, but not poor man.  And this plague of Republicans has gotten worse since the 1990s.  Whatever happened to helping our fellow man?  They say that they are for that, but there are strings attached.  However, I have yet to see any Republican say that they give more money to foundations that help the poor than to their political action committees.  Republicans did not always use to be like this.  Is it my imagination or are their ideals still stuck in the dawn of 19th century Social Darwinism?  Well, I hop the plan is not sacked.  But I think that all Congressman should have to be forced to live on the food and the amounts of food provided for welfare recipients for 6 months.  I bet they could not handle it.  

  •  Yonge Street? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Duck

    Yes, Republicans are crooks.

    But if that photo is where I think it is, Republicans didn't cause the line shown in the photo.  Not directly, anyway.

  •  This is a common method of punishing the working (0+ / 0-)


    Some working families would lose access to SNAP because they own a modest car, which they often need to commute to their jobs. Eliminating categorical eligibility would cause some low-income working households to lose benefits simply because of the value of a modest car they own. These families would be forced to choose between owning a reliable car and receiving food assistance to help feed their families.
    Just like getting health care assistance, you know if you have like, a house you paid for back when you were healthy, then you had to let it go to get assistance for a bill that was 6 times the cost of a home.

    Cause if you hadn't gotten sick, then we would know Jeebus loves you.

    And if you weren't poor, then we would know that jeebus loves you.

    These people who think this is okay are total shitbirds.

    Someday when it happens to them, the lightbulb will go off, but not til then. Of course we will then have to contend with teh-crazies that shoot up UU churches because they will blame the loss of their gubmint check on the Liberals, instead of placing blame where it squarely belongs: The Corporate-Churchists.

  •  If those children were still fetuses (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, Mike08, skyounkin can bet they wouldn't be punished this way.  They screwed up the day they were born.

    "Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by macleme on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 09:01:03 PM PDT

  •  They believe in torture precisely why they (0+ / 0-)

    want more births.  So they can torture them.   Fascists believe in starving kids, and soon they will want out blood so they can give to the DOD.  That too was used in Hitler's reign.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 09:28:12 PM PDT

  •  Last week PA governor signed to do away with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    CASH "D" for single people who cannot work due to illness and are waiting for SSI to kick in.  Thousands are without income and we were told not to tell them to call their senators or congressmen for information concerning this or else we will be reprimanded.

  •  Does the United Nations (0+ / 0-)

    soon have to step in and drop sacks of food over American cities? Seriously, is this where the right wing wants us to head towards?

    "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." - Honore de Balzac

    by mooremusings on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 11:12:02 PM PDT

  •  A new definition for the republican party (0+ / 0-)

    "... punishing people for the sake of punishing people."

    This is what they have become.  I keep waiting for my favorite bitch-Goddess, Hubris, to take these assholes out but nothing happens.

    •  They're the ones that crashed the goddamned (0+ / 0-)

      economy and they're punishing the poor people whose only bailout was unemployment and food stamps. Evil bastards need to be voted out of office in November and we need to make sure we are getting out the vote or we are sunk!

      "We love this goddman country and we're taking it back!" Saul Alinsky

      by mindara on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 06:38:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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