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Military food stamp use
When you think of someone who receives food stamps you generally do not think of someone serving our nation in uniform as being a recipient of food stamps. Surely we pay our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines enough money each month to support a family. Well, the sad truth is that no, junior enlisted do not make enough money to support a family. Which is why so many military families qualify for food stamps and is also why food stamp use in Commissaries (a grocery store on post) have gone from $26.2 million in fiscal year 2006 to $103.6 million in 2013.
Some of the growth in soldiers' redemption of food stamps reflects the weak economic recovery, especially for spouses looking for jobs. In 2012, there was a 30% unemployment rate among spouses off active-duty military who were 18 to 24 years old, according to the Military Officers Association of America, which released the survey last week.
Cuts in the food stamp programs will only make things worse for many military families. But, that is not the worst part. Coupled with cuts in food stamp programs...
...the Defense Department subsidy [for commissaries] would drop from $1.4 billion annually to $400 million under a defense budget proposal the Obama administration plans to deliver to Congress next week, Pentagon officials announced Monday. The commissary cut will be accomplished not by eliminating any commissary locations, but by reducing the amount of savings over civilian markets that service members enjoy.
Talk about a double whammy. Congress makes cuts to benefits that junior enlisted troops need in order to feed their families and at the same time the DOD is cutting one billion dollars from the commissaries budget. Which puts many young military families at risk.

It never ceases to amaze me; our government blows billions of dollars on weapons systems that don’t work and that we don’t need – yet we expect these young men and women to put their lives on the line day in and day out and we pay them so little that they have to use food stamps to make ends meet and to top it all off we whittle away at the benefits they receive costing them even more money that they do not have.

Instead of the Pentagon pissing away more money on an aircraft carrier, fighter jet, or some other weapons system we don’t need, how about making sure the young men and women who put their lives on the line every day are adequately cared for.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The rethug chickenhawks strike again! nt (5+ / 0-)

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:09:29 PM PST

  •  As a military veteran (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the commissary didn't save me that much money over what I could get with members programs and coupons. There is a 4% surcharge and the baggers tip. The baggers always got a big smile on their face when they saw my wife.  

    The best part of winter is watching it on my tv in Hawaii.

    by UTRepub on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:37:49 PM PST

  •  There Is No Draft.... (0+ / 0-)

    While we all absolutely appreciate & honor the troops, they don't have to reup if their salary doesn't cover their families expenses.  I grew up in the Navy.  My dad did 20 years.  He found other work w/ the trade he learned while enlisted.

    There is life after the military.  More than 60% of food stamp recipients are women.  The average age of a food stamp recipient is 35 years old.  My concerns are with them also, not just the military who do have a choice to find other work.  

    •  So that's your "solution"? (6+ / 0-)

      If they don't love being used they should just leave military service?  Many joined the military because THERE ARE NO JOBS except at McDonald's.  Where would we be if they all just didn't reup?  There would be that many more to apply for the few jobs there are.  And this congress doesn't love unemployment benefits.

      The answer, of course is to force the Pentagon to stop supporting the military industrial complex with unnecessary weaponry, streamline their middle level command positions and keep the faith with those who lay their lives on the line every day, including those disabled, and the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who retired after serving for 20-30 years.

      I have been that woman, abandoned with three small children, but never did I think I needed help more than military families.  My father was KIA in 1944, I understand their sacrifices.

      •  Unfortunatly that is.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the solution for a lot of people. "They volunteered, so fuck them."

        I am sorry, but if you are serving your country, draft or not, you should be paid enough to not need food stamps. Seems kind of apparent to me, but what the hell do I know, I was only a NCO when I got out of the Army.

        "Republicans only care about the rich" - George W. Andersen - my late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

        by Mark E Andersen on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:55:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  People have funny ideas when it comes to service (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chickenfarmerwood, jcgarcia

          It's a really painful job at times but somebody has to do it. The quote "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance" is not inaccurate. We all need these kids where they are (even if we don't like that they went there in the first place they're there now) and they deserve respect and dignity which they're being denied when a 3 tour vet has to rely on food stamps to buy food for their kids, that the wife or husband have to do the same while their partner is on tour.
          There is nothing right about a system that pays the top dogs BS amounts that next to nobody needs to live, while the rank and file (and this doesn't merely apply to the military) have to struggle to survive even when they're not under fire.

          I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

          by Ceri Cat on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:06:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They volunteered (4+ / 0-)

          Yes, I have heard many on the right, in the House and Senate, stand up and say exactly that, as well as those Democrats, who also owe their allegiance to corporate dollars rather than their constituents. They stand up there spouting off about "supporting the troops" while fighting to get another war started, meant ONLY to boost the profits of Lockheed/Martin, for building planes that can't fly on cloudy days, or even near a cloud on sunny days, because the engine cuts out, (see F35), and can't get near lightning, among other corporations that build tanks, guns, etc., but none of them give a nickel's worth of care for the lives, and those who love them, of human beings they ship out for slaughter.

        •  The party of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          southingtonian, chrisculpepper

          deniers.  They are the worst Congress in history and display total disregard for the office of the POTUS!  They don't have any problems collecting their paychecks or benefits,  HYPOCRITES!  Then they will go home to campaign for the next round of negativity!

  •  War is a Racket (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Smedley Butler pointed out a long time ago what the US military was: a group of muscleman working for corporate interests.  Taking care of the thugs is not a corporate priority.

    Serving their country?  No way.  That myth is propagated as a form of psychic pay to the dupes.

  •  I hope I'm wrong (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dot, chrisculpepper, jcgarcia

    I  have a few friends in the military. What I find ironic is how much they hate Obama, and Democrats in general. I guess they're afraid they will lose their job security of unfettered, endless wars. Is it a soldiers duty to die? No,it shouldn't be that way. Our enlisted troops have always been underpaid. Something in the order of a barely compensated conscription force. I propose that the PENTAGON'S budget be cut in half. The money that frees up be used to give the enlisted troops an immediate raise, out of poverty level. And as for the pompous assed brass they will face a pay cut. No drivers or cars for Generals, Admirals etc. No fancy housing. In fact, no benefits at all. Let them pay for their health care. We need to turn the military paradgim upside down. It's the ground pounders, grunts, and jarheads that make our military work. Not the bureuacratic ass suckers at the top. I would even endorse a law that no command staff ever be allowed to become, or work for any lobbyist outfit that benefits the military/industrial complex.

    •  I can't recall who said it now but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "It is not your duty to die for your country, it is your duty to make your enemy die for his".

      Definitely many of the grunts and non coms have an odd fascination with Conservative politics and rile against any "Liberalist agenda". I don't fully understand it myself even with my own background in and around the military complex my entire life, especially when most of my personal friends are quite liberal themselves.

      I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

      by Ceri Cat on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:11:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They have been fed a line about how dems hate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the military, that they don't do well under the dems.  I have heard it.  The facts speak otherwise.  Yes, military does well under republicans in some ways, as in they start wars and the military get all kinds of shiny new hardware.  But under dems the wars get ended, and they come home, to no jobs and no future unless they can stay in.  The republicans spout their patriotism, but cut funds, not to the shiny new hardware, but to the troops themselves, their benefits, their income. But they make it look like the dems did it!  I have seen it happen like this since Reagan, who was and still is the militarys sweetheart.  They didn't notice how their benefits eroaded during that time, how our free medical care became tricare we had to pay for, how taxes went up for us, and our quality of life declined.  How deployments got longer.  My husband spent at most 6 months at sea under Carter before coming home, during Reagan, it became 9 months to a year.  It is insidious, creeping, every republican has added more ways to screw the military personell and us all. I don't know if Inmytime's idea's would work, but I know some who would like to see it.  My husband was enlisted, Vietnam vet, who got treated like crap by some officers who had never been to war and were years younger.  

    •  Propagandized (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My take on it is this:   The troops live in closed, military communities where they probably are all fed right wing propaganda day and night.  Disproportionately, they come from southern and western rural areas, where education and opportunities are not all that great.  Their attitudes reflect those of the families and communities they come from.  Professional military officers have more than high-school educations, and thus belong to the same class as the rest of us who are more liberal and critical.  That's my bet, anyway.  I've never been in the military.  I'd like to hear from those who have.

  •  No One Will Protest This (2+ / 0-)

    I hate to say this, and risk the ire of the Maddow Millions, but I am a little tired of the Left (for the purpose of full disclosure I was a Liberal before it was cool- like the Reagan Hypnosis Years) failing to keep the issues of vets front and center.  And here is where I differ with so many current left friends of mine-Vietnam vets never got a parade.  IEDs wasn't the big killer in Vietnam- it was hand to hand combat. Korea vets never got a parade.  So, encouraging a parade for Gulf War II or I vets does not an activist make.

    "This is our version of capitalism: a system of economic policies that benefit the extremely wealthy, and the rest survive as best they can."-- Chomsky

    by truthronin on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:35:36 PM PST

  •  Easy solution (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    southingtonian, chrisculpepper

    Cancel the F-35 program and save a trillion dollars.

  •  The argument (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    shouldn't be that the military men and women should get more money but that they shouldn't have their food stamps reduced or eliminated. When I was in in the early mid 60s as an enlisted man I got 70 bucks a month and there was no such thing as food stamps. My wife supported us as a waitress. I don't think soldiers have ever gotten much money. Fair enough. In many other ways they are cared for. But denying them food stamps is really disrespectful at this point considering what they do for America (and by America I mean Wall street and the oil companies, their real bosses). They began getting food stamps because they were underpaid. But it doesn't make any difference which govt entity that money comes from. Just give it to them.

  •  Hagel's corporate military (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brokeagain, chickenfarmerwood

    budget will further devastate our enlisted men and women as they are asked to do more with less (staff and benefits).  He is following the same game plan that corporations have been implementing for years.  Actual spending will remain almost the same, the only reduction will be in troops and spending for the troops.  That leaves more money for contractors to provide services enlisted men once provided.  

  •  funny the same thing happened in th private sector (0+ / 0-)

    The above graph could be a pin register overlay of what was happening in the private sector . I was involved in the snap program and noticed some odd occurrences in those years.

    around 2010 2011 the people in my community had their snap benefits reduced to 16$ by the thousands . The enrollment numbers shot off like a rocket . It was almost like somebody had said we need x amount of enrollees for a GOP talking point to make Obama look bad, but only have this much funding,  so give eveyone $16 LOL  

  •  Thank you for your service doesn't feed our troops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and vets....
    SOME people think they are supporting our troops by passing on sappy e mails that make them feel good or by thanking an active duty service person or military vet for their service. Well, neither does anything to put food in their and their family's mouth or provides the health care, education, job training and other benefits they deserve for their service to our country. Yet the same people who feign gratitude and concern for our troops and vets can't be bothered to challenge, to demand their Representative and Senators pass legislation and provide the funding for the support and programs our troops need. The cuts to food stamps / SNAP and subsidies to military commissaries coupled with the filibuster in the Senate of S1982 (Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 ), reflect the hypocrisy of the gop and democrats and the president regarding the support and welfare of our troops and vets. Failure of everyone who claims to support our troops to contact their Representative and Senators and Pres Obama and demand better for our active duty military and our vets and less for the brass and military-industrial complex will expose their hypocrisy too. More at #HelpVets VETS BILL DIES IN SENATE, HOW YOUR SENATOR VOTED & With just 41 votes, Republican senators block veterans benefits bill 27FEB14 ( )

  •  The federal government... (0+ / 0-)

    MUST begin addressing the plethora of problems that our military families are enduring and improving the future welfare of our troops by passing legislation, such as the bill recently proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders, rejected by Senate Republicans last week, which would have provided enhanced health care, employment and job-training benefits for our veterans. The needs of the men and women who were willing to fight and die for their country and our freedoms must come before ANYTHING else, and NOT ONE MORE FUCKING DIME in U.S. military aid should be given to foreign countries until ALL of our veterans' needs have been met. Congress sure does have its priorities backasswards, for real.

    •  And isn't it fascinating ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... that the one of the major programs that DOES support our military families is overseen by FLOTUS and SLOTUS (the VP's wife is the Second lady, right?), who have NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY whatsoever?

      OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

      by mstaggerlee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:21:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  *** (0+ / 0-)

    I would think if a soldier is moved from military base to military base that would also make it more difficult for a spouse to find work.

  •  Stupidity of the elites (0+ / 0-)

    A great example of how short sighted and just plain stupid those who who start wars for their own gain are. Gee, lets start a war for no real good reason, train a lot of people on how to use deadly weapons, send them into combat for a few years and then discharge them and leave them with no economic future. If we ever do have an armed revolt in this country against the elites (and I truly hope it doesn't come to that) it will probably be these veterans who start and lead it and the wealthy's private security forces won't stand a chance.

    •  "the wealthy's private security forces" ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... aka BLACKWATER, etc, are better trained, better paid, and better ARMED than our poverty-stricken vets.  As a matter of fact, most of those guys ARE "our" vets!  The ones left for us are the ones that didn't join up with the "military contractors".

      OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

      by mstaggerlee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:14:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a vet, however ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I served in the Army - Viet Nam era ... and I can assure, you that calling our nation's military men and women hero's and the like is an insult to reality. My tour of duty exposed me to the realities of what our military men (few women then) were really like about. My take - more than 50% of them were less than socially desirable. About 25% of them had some very questionable backgrounds, much of which was criminal, and at least 10% of them were IN FACT -  criminals.

    Hero's ... okay, but only if they do something that is HEROIC.

  •  "... weapons systems that don’t work ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and that we don’t need".

    /snark Careful, there, Mark - YOU might not need those weapons, but the congress-critters whose districts they are manufactured in need them REALLY BADLY!  Paying people to build tanks to store in parking lots may look like paying me to dig holes every day, and my neighbor to fill them back up every night, to unejjikated punks like YOU, but they're obviously VERY different.  The military spending is the AMERICAN DREAM writ large for those who actually build them, but that hole-diggin' crap is just PURE SOCIALISM!  /endsnark

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:09:35 AM PST

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