Not too long ago, the federal government cut $5 billion from the coffers of the food stamp program. If some have their way, another $39 billion will be cut over the next ten years. How does that happen in the most blessed country in the world?
It begins with a bunch of individuals who have more interest in staying in office and accumulating wealth than in making sure that people don’t go hungry. These politicians pander to constituents who say “no work, no eat.” In essence, these representatives are playing games with the health of those who are now receiving benefits. Isn’t part of serving the people taking on the responsibility for the welfare of ALL?
Oh, I am familiar with all the old lines that are used. Sure, all individuals should be required to do some kind of work. However, we can’t expect both parents to work unless childcare is provided. How much will that cost? Additionally, the incentive to work is squashed if a person’s benefits are cut proportionately to the money that he brings in. How can he ever get ahead when things are stacked to keep him right where he is?
How much money has been cut from the subsidies that are doled out to corporations in
What hunk of money went to the oil companies or to corporate farms? How much
money is paid out to discourage farms from producing food? How much food spoils
in storage facilities across the land? What is the total expenditure of the
defense department as it overpays for the simplest items or allows contractors
to fall years behind in developing systems while they continue eating from the
trough of flowing money?
Yes, abuses occur in the food stamp program, and yes, some who don’t qualify for assistance fraudulently make the lists. What the so-called leaders of the people should do is tighten up the screening of recipients. They also might rework the list of acceptable items that can be purchased with EPT cards. Allowing individuals to earn money while maintaining their assistance level is the best way to put the food stamp program on the right path.
Our economy took a major hit in 2007-2008. Folks lost their jobs and savings. The rich suffered some, but not to extent that the middle and lower classes did. The jobs haven’t come back because businesses either see a shaky forecast or, more disconcerting, they like the extra profits they rake in.
The number of visitors at food banks increased dramatically as folks who had never needed help lined up with those whose lives are filled with shortages. The resources dwindled at these banks, and only the contributions of the “regular, everyday Joe” helped them restock. The future for these helping agencies is in question as the numbers needing food increases and the funds only stay at unacceptable levels.
Too many of our leaders love to invoke patriotism and religion. Their bible-quoting ways wear on us. I ask them to remember what Christ said when the disciples asked when they did things for him and he answered,
“I was hungry and you fed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you came to see me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you came to see me.”
Those verses should be guiding all of us as we consider the food that is available to those who need help. It’s time to stop judging others as to whether they are scamming the system. Instead, the food stamp program should be refined to oust cheaters and to ensure only items necessary for a healthy diet can be purchased. No one can argue that the biggest shame that could occur in the
is that even one man, woman, or child goes to bed hungry.