Rep. Steve King’s statement that a $20 Billion cut in food stamps won’t be noticeable fuels the hypocrisy of why so many acquainted with poverty believe that Congress doesn’t give a damn about the working poor.  This same Congress refuses to cut programs that favor the wealthy but are always seeking ways to cut programs that provide aid to the least of these.  It is very interesting how the ones who are for the rich make decisions and assumptions for the working poor. I speculate the ones making such statements have never experienced loss or walked a day in the shoes of those who need assistance, not to abuse but to survive. The subtlety to mention urban as if there are more people on food stamps in urban areas versus rural areas, plays on Rep. King’s stereotype that the working poor in urban areas waste spending and therefore must be penalized to live with less. If the premise is less food stamps for the working poor will go unnoticed, then please Rep. King, inform how these demographics will be able to survive off less assistance.  Tell the children who will miss out on breakfast and food to help them focus in schools based on a system designed to incarcerate them if they can’t read, write or do basic arithmetic. Tell the seniors who are already living on a fixed income and are weighing whether to pay bills and buy medicine versus eating. Tell our soldiers who fight for your freedom, lost limbs protecting our countries interests and after the all flag waving, God bless American singing, come home to no income, no job and need assistance to make ends meet.  Tell the disabled that they have to defend for themselves and that money that barely paid for their needs is now cut.

According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, the Senate Farm Bill would result in an average cut of $90 per month for nearly 500,000 households nationwide. The average SNAP benefit is $4 a day per person, or $277 per household/month. This cycle continues in poor areas where cuts would mean one less week of food on the table each and every month for a typical family.  The proposed cuts could force families with children to skip meals, ration food, purchase cheaper but less healthy food, and/or choose between food, rent, medicine, and the gas needed to get to work.  This makes them less likely to maintain good health, excel in school, or increase their work productivity. This systematic approach isn’t accidental, but is a way for the rich to get richer off  impoverished programs that make it difficult for generations to escape poverty.

Taft Cleveland

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