So, the Republican crazies have voted against food stamps for the poor, the SNAP program. But they have no problem with the far more troubling farm subsidies. So it's not about the money, not really.
Conservatives have suffered for years from the stereotype that they are heartless Scrooge McDucks more concerned with our money than other people’s lives. Yet in this case, conservatives make the taking of food from the mouths of the genuinely hungry a top priority. What gives? And why are conservatives overlooking a far more egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars in the farm bill?The concern is that it has expanded so much. But Paul Krugman explains,
Of course, it’s exploded for a very good reason, namely a once-in-three-generations economic crisis, and the program has stayed large because our so-called recovery hasn’t trickled down to the bottom half of the income distribution. But the right doesn’t care about any of that; in food stamps, it gets to see what it wants to see — surging government spending! Millions of takers! And so food stamps become public enemy #2. [with #1 being Obamacare].
A senior fellow at the Family Research Council says there’s “nothing more Christian” than gutting America’s food stamps program.
I think they need to re-read the Bible.
“Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.What can justify this? An Andrew Sullivan reader comments,
You can’t have a post about Republicans attempting to gut food stamps without including race in the conversation. To the Tea Party base, “food stamps” is code for “handouts to lazy black people,” and nothing gets the base more riled up than their hatred of any social program that helps “those people.” I think you’d agree that right now the right-wing GOP is much more motivated by placating and energizing its base than by any other factor. That’s what the votes to repeal Obamacare are about, and that’s what the food stamp votes are about.It it really still all about racial politics? Sadly, I think this has a strong grain of truth. The Obama presidency has exposed a really horrible streak of vile racism in this country.
Meanwhile, let's look at "those people" on food stamps, and assess just how "deserving" they are.
83% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 100% of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013), and these households receive about 91% of all benefits. 61% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 75% of the poverty guideline ($14,648 for a family of 3 in 2013).[ii]How on earth is anyone expected to live with a roof overhead and food on the table for $19,530 for a family of 3?
This is obscene. And yet they congratulate themselves. They don't even try to hide it any more.