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Politics House Republicans Cut SNAP

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by snowy, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member

    I'm pretty livid over this. SNAP is a fundamental part of our social safety net, and in terms of the larger budget, SNAP is a very small part that does a lot of good in this country. Here's an opinion piece from the Editorial Board of the NYTimes that I think captures the problems with the attempts to cut SNAP.

    As someone who has actually been on SNAP in recent history, I can tell you that at least in my county, the system is NOT open to abuse, as they constantly follow up to check your income hasn't changed, and they require a LOT of documentation. It goes a long way towards helping people. When I was on SNAP, I could use my EBT card at the farmer's market, where they had a matching program, and make my money go farther. There are limits on what can be purchased with SNAP--no prepared food, and no non-food items. For us, SNAP freed up money while my husband was unemployed, allowing us to keep our heads above water on our bills and obligations.

    People in a country as well off and developed as ours should not be going hungry, period.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    In the Senate version of the farm bill, and in the spirit of compromise, Democrats agreed to cuts of $20 billion, which was bad enough.

    The House Republicans claim the additional $20 billion in cuts will not impact benefits to the needy, but are directed at loopholes and waste, fraud and abuse, in callous disregard of the facts. SNAP is among the most efficient of support programs, with something like 95% of funding going directly to benefits (with the remaining 5% going to administration and programs like educating recipients on health eating). Contrary to another baseless argument by the right, only about one penny on the dollar is being abused through trafficking (where recipients sell the food stamps), made even more difficult by recent initiatives to move away from "stamps" to electronic payments.

    Lets be honest and call it what it is.....just another example of Republican disdain for social safety net programs for the working poor.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    At the risk of sounding alarmist, this, in combination with the fallout from 2007, merely steers America closer to neofascism.

    As things get worse, the scapegoats will be unfortunate groups besides those actually responsible. Those responsible will continue their happy, comfortable lives behind sturdy gates.
     
  4. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    So to summarize this link below, with this action, the GOP are shooting themselves in the foot with their own constituents.
    Which makes sense for a party that caters to the NRA. :rolleyes:

    Who do the GOP represent anymore? They seem to be pissing everyone off these days.
    Even the 1% are scared they'll default.
    One side will starve, the other won't get to their ATM.

    Link - Red State Pain
     
  5. fflowley

    fflowley Don't just do something, stand there! Donor

    The other amazing part of this story is that the Republican House passed the other half of the Farm Bill (the massive wealth redistribution/welfare bill that directs money from taxpayers to industrial agriculture and wealthy farmers) in the middle of the night, with no debate, and nary a spending cut.
    I could proudly describe myself as a Reagan Republican in the past.
    I am now utterly bewildered by who these lunatics are that have taken over the party.
     
  6. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    Reagan Republicans have been added to the endangered species list.

    Today's Republicans cite the Bible to support cutting food stamps. Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee quotes the Book of Thessalonians: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."

    Fincher has received $3.5 million in crop subsidy payments since 1999.
     
  7. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    Location:
    The Windy City
    It's an absolute outrage. My chiefest complaint with programs like SNAP has always been that they didn't go far enough, that they weren't expansive enough to provide a reliable and maximal safety net to those who truly need them, in order not merely to keep the poorest of the poor from abject starvation, but to aid the working poor in vaulting themselves up to the middle class. The answer is clearly not to viciously cut the program.

    How do these people sleep at night? Especially considering it's not just that they're cutting vital support to the poor, but they're then turning around and enriching huge corporations and agribusinesses; and, of course, living lives of luxury themselves, as pointed out by Rep. Jackie Speier of the California 14.

    It makes me sick, especially, that these people all seem to call themselves Christians. And, granted, I'm sure no expert on Christianity, but I seem to recall from reading their scriptures that Jesus spent the majority of his time trying to feed the poor, heal the sick, and otherwise comfort the underclasses and dregs of society. Something about it being easier for a camel to thread the needle than for a rich man to make it into heaven, or whatnot. Or for those who want to follow him to first sell their precious possessions and give the money to the poor. Fairly hard for me to imagine Jesus billing taxpayers for vodka and caviar, taking private flights around the world, having top-notch healthcare for life, and then turning around and screwing the poor and the desperate at every turn in order to make the rich and powerful even more rich and powerful.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member


    Well, and as someone who works for a church, then the burden falls on us to take care of the poor--even more than it already is. Our resources are stretched thin right now. I can only imagine how much worse it will get if these cuts to SNAP go through. We support a local food bank, and they are likely to need even more support should this happen.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Indigo Kid

    Indigo Kid Getting Tilted

    The 1% won't starve. They'll get a job, any job and start carrying their own wait. I know, I work at Head Start and most of the folks who use us are scamming the Gov't BIG TIME. I do the data entry and see their input.
     
  10. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    Yes, because obviously there are no hardworking poor people. Same as there are no hardworking middle class people who are making 10,000 dollars a year less than they were 7 years ago. And your blanket anecdote obviously should be the standard observation made of anyone struggling to get by. Thanks for the authoritative opinion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
    • Like Like x 4
  11. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    A majority of SNAP recipients have family members presently working (but working at or below the poverty level) or worked in the year prior to receiving benefits. Of those that dont work, the majority are either disabled or elderly.

    No, they probably wont starve. They will just live with greater food insecurity and more working class families on the margin will slide further into poverty. And, their kids will suffer further detrimental effects on their health and nutrition.
    --- merged: Sep 22, 2013 at 10:46 PM ---
    As to the "scamming" charge:
    The error rate represents over payments or payments to ineligible recipients and most is cause by honest mistakes made by recipients or program staff.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Very Tilted

    Location:
    Yucatan, Mexico
    You think the 1% is the 1% due to hard work? The real 1% don't work at all. Most have family money and don't need to work.

    And if you know the people using the program you work at are scamming have you reported the fraud?
     
  13. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    A nice attempt by the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development to shame the Republicans: Bishop Tells House any cuts in food aid has 'human, moral consequences

    Unfortunately, the good Bishop failed to consider the Republican mantra...."we only protect and care about life inside the womb...once it pops out, its no longer our concern"
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    "Even some conservative pundits worry that the war on food stamps, especially combined with the vote to increase farm subsidies, is bad for the G.O.P., because it makes Republicans look like mean-spirited class warriors. Indeed it does. And that’s because they are. "

    Free to Be Hungry By PAUL KRUGMAN — The New York Times
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    When will we realize this system of welfare is self-destructive? When will we realize that it is a system that can not be fixed with superficial fixes? I have personally been on both sides of this issue and I personally know people currently in need of food and other assistance. The system, on a net basis, is not helping those in need and is not serving as a benefit to society. I use the term "net" - no doubt we can point to benefits, but we can also point to costs (cost is not only measured in dollars) - net costs outweigh the benefits. We can provide welfare assistance in a better way.
     
  16. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Location:
    Florida
    They exist in such a fantasy world of righty rightness that they fail to recognize implications that seem obvious to the rest of us. They came to power riding a (confounding) wave of popular support among the underpaid and undereducated yet seem to suffer from no awareness of the consequences of taking food off the table of those very same people. A lot of regular folks don't understand exactly how our social service system works, but they will understand right quick what it means to have less money to spend at the grocery store to feed their families. I say, let them have their fun. They're morons, all of them.
     
  17. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Krugman? In my opinion he has no credibility. A recent quote from one of his commentaries.

    7th paragraph.

    It’s been a rich man’s recovery | CharlotteObserver.com

    Yea, only 1% can be in the 1% category and that means less than 1% of college grads can make it into the 1%. But, to Krugman somehow those that don't make it, are done a disservice! That is class warfare. How does his logic work - I am not in the 1% or capable of being in the 1% therefore the 1% are a bad, bad group of people???

    --- merged: Sep 23, 2013 at 5:16 PM ---
    If I give my sister $1 to buy food, it is a dollar I have earned and is after taxes. Or, another way to look at it is if I plan on giving my sister $1 for food, assuming 30% tax rate, she would get $.70.

    If I have temporary work for my sister so she can earn $1 - she risks a loss of assistance from the government, potentially assistance greater than $1. Not to mention that if I actually pay her $1 through payroll - it will cost me more than $1 - in taxes, insurance and other costs.

    This illustrates a few problems with our screwed up system. If people with brains actually think this through, it is clear we can do a better job - and has nothing to do with fantasy or righty rightness.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2013
  18. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    Ace...I might agree with you to some extent as it applies to the general welfare program and the 90s reform that resulted in TANF replacing AFDC, the results of which have been fewer lifetime and generational recipients...BUT at the expense of less job training funding, resulting in welfare recipients more often than not ending up in dead end jobs, barely above what they would receive in benefits....and this will be further compounded by the House Republicans attempt to gut the Workforce Investment Act.

    But when it comes to SNAP, you're dead wrong.

    Putting aside the efficiency of SNAP, which has the lowest administrative costs and lowest error rates among all social service programs and a "trafficking" rate (recipients selling their food stamps) of just over one penny on the dollar, there have been numerous studies on the multiplier effect of SNAP to the tune of "every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 of economic activity" :
    But even beyond the positive economic impact of the program, the Republicans have no "better way" of helping those in need other than discredited trickle down policies.

    As is the case with nearly all of the Republican budgets cuts in non-defense domestic programs, it has been simply a policy of "cut and gut" and not "replace and improve."
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'm interested to know why you've highlighted that one particular line and then proceeded to mischaracterize Krugman's arguments with it.

    This is more about your credibility, not his.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    It is dead wrong to believe we can deliver food assistance in a better manner?

    There are some methods of assessing efficiency that you are not considering. I agree that SNAP funds are spend on food on a high percentage basis.
    --- merged: Sep 23, 2013 at 5:47 PM ---
    Are you saying I did not understand the sentence? If my interpretation is incorrect, please clarify what he meant. To me the statement was absurd on its face with the intent of promoting class warfare. Of course not everyone can make it to the top or even has the ability to - so what! Paraphrasing MLK - if a man's destiny is to be a street sweeper be the best damn street sweeper you can possibly be, be the Micheal Angelo of street sweepers. And of course a street sweeper is going to be compensated like Micheal Angelo. That is the message to send.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2013