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Bipartisan Victory as Republicans and Democrats Agree Poor People Should Go Hungry

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, children, corruption, culture, dishonesty, education, family, food, freedoms, government, politics, poverty, society )

- 1777 days ago -
Experts say the safety net for the poor and vulnerable should be strengthened, not cut. Not even a little.

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Kit B (276)
Friday June 7, 2013, 5:56 am
Photo Credit: A worker unloads a pallet of food at a warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/MCT)

The Senate pushed its version of a Farm Bill through a procedural cloture vote on Thursday, paving the way for a full Senate debate on the massive piece of legislation that will guide agricultural and food policy over the next five years.

Advocates for the poor, however, are up in arms as representatives from both major political parties are readying dramatic cuts to the nation's food assistance program that will negatively impact millions of the nation's most vulnerable families.

As the new Farm Bill moves towards its final stage in the Senate, proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) threaten to cut at least $4 billion from the key program over the next decade.

Michigan's Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who authored large portions of the Senate's bill, has defended the slashed funding to SNAP by saying the cuts are not nearly as drastic as those put forth by the GOP-controlled House.

But anti-poverty advocates, not to mention numerous economists, say the current economy demands increased support for those living on or near the edge of hunger, not an erosion of the life-saving assistance.

According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), eighty-three percent of all SNAP benefits go to households with a child, senior, or disabled person. Another 83 percent of SNAP households have gross income at or below 100 percent of the poverty guideline – that’s $19,530 for a family of three in 2013.

Following the Senate's cloture vote, the Associated Press reports:

Food stamps have for decades been part of the farm bill in a bid by rural lawmakers to gain urban votes for the measure. But this year, food stamps have made passage more difficult. Conservatives in the House have argued that the program, which has doubled in cost since 2008, needs an overhaul. Senate Democrats have been reluctant to touch it.

Last year more around 47 million people used SNAP. The rolls rose rapidly because of the economic downturn, rising food prices and expanded eligibility under the 2009 economic stimulus law.

But, as McClatchy reports:

The anti-hunger lobbyists are especially disappointed by Democrats who in recent weeks have voted for the cuts in legislation that passed the House of Representatives and Senate agriculture committees last month, measures that also contain controversial aid to farmers.

“Food stamps have been protected for decades,” said Ellen Teller, the head of governmental affairs for [FRAC]. “This is the first time they’re being cut for deficit reduction. We think it’s wrong to pay down the deficit on the backs of the poor.”

Teller and others who work to protect low-income Americans are dismayed because food stamps were among the safety net programs that Congress exempted from the forced across-the-board cuts now in effect under the system known as sequestration.

Further reading: Congress' Farm Bill Readies to Kick Poor Off Food Assistance

By: Jon Queally, staff writer | Common Dreams Magazine |

Jo S (619)
Friday June 7, 2013, 9:27 am
Very sad situation. Everyone should put their political affiliations aside to get this problem fixed.
Thanks Kit.
Noted & shared.

Gene J (290)
Friday June 7, 2013, 9:38 am
"Michigan's Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who authored large portions of the Senate's bill, has defended the slashed funding to SNAP by saying the cuts are not nearly as drastic as those put forth by the GOP-controlled House."

Oh, yeah, that's a GREAT reason. We're not as bad as the other guys always makes for good policy. Is it time for a real third party in this country? Not associated with Tea? Because it appears neither of the two major parties gives a fig about anyone but themselves and their rich puppeteers. They can't even back down from this because they support it. Even if they change their minds, please, never forget what your Senator's did on this bill. And don't re-elect them. I am beginning to think Washington needs a house cleaning of every politician and bureaucrat presently in charge of anything as none of them seem to care about anything but their own interests, certainly not the peoples. Occupy Washington should be next and should stay until this whole bunch of clowns is gone. I don't think I've ever been this disgusted with the entirety of Washington in my entire life and as a Viet Nam veteran who opposed that war, that is saying something, believe me.

Alice C (1797)
Friday June 7, 2013, 10:27 am
Let them eat cake ?

Nancy M (197)
Friday June 7, 2013, 11:11 am
Yeah cake.

Nancy M (197)
Friday June 7, 2013, 11:12 am
(and then blame the kids for being on a sugar high while in school)

Arielle S (313)
Friday June 7, 2013, 11:52 am
Must be all those "unnecessary eaters" Henry Kissinger used to talk about....I'm with Gene - let's get rid of every body and start over with some actual HUMAN beings...

Kit B (276)
Friday June 7, 2013, 12:13 pm

The problem is the media reports this as business as usual. There is giant sucking sound where once there was human compassion. Steal from the poor to protect on taxation on the rich, oh does this country need a revolution.

JL A (281)
Friday June 7, 2013, 2:52 pm
When the least moral and greediest voices set the bar, ghastly things happen in response with an attitude of not being as bad as it could be (e.g, 10 fewer children will die).

Angelika R (143)
Friday June 7, 2013, 2:53 pm
The perfect headline-only it is sadly NOT in the NYT and other MSM. I don't know what's the bigger scandal, cutting off SNAP or the PRISM scandal...

Sheryl G (363)
Friday June 7, 2013, 3:50 pm
Advocates for the poor, however, are up in arms as representatives from both major political parties are readying dramatic cuts to the nation's food assistance program that will negatively impact millions of the nation's most vulnerable families.

There you go folks, the Tweedle Dee Party or the Tweedle Dum Party. How about next time looking into the Justice Party or the Green Party or some other Independent Party. My goodness how long must we suffer with these two slice the children, Elders, Disabled and everyone else's throat except the 1%?

83% of all SNAP benefits go to households with a child, senior, or disabled person.

Seriously folks, what kind of a sick society do we live in. Deny those who are least able to go hungry. This is a basic ingredient of!

Perhaps when children are passing out from hunger in the classrooms, or showing up with their bones sticking out, we might have the rest of America saying enough! Maybe the Disabled will have to form a wheelchair march in front of Congress, with the Elders pulling up the rear with their walkers and some good solid canes to beat some sense into the Heartless Ones heads.

"It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped."
Hubert H. Humphrey

For a Country where many claim they are Christian and drag out the bible all the time. How moral is this, cutting food back on those who can least do for themselves in a time when the economy is in the crapper.


Theodore Shayne (56)
Friday June 7, 2013, 4:07 pm
I agree with Gene and I do advise instead of voting for the two standard parties that offer no real solutions or options; vote for the independents who want to deal with the issues that matter to all Americans and not the boys on Wall St. or in Berne or Berlin. Then you can appoint a committee that governs for the people and by the people.
The problem of course is the system wherein Wall St. actually is the defacto government and the WTO has enough clout to cause the US government to amend its tax laws to their liking and has done so on at least one occasion. If you don't play ball with them the issue trade sanctions and send in the economic hit men.

Ravenna C (20)
Friday June 7, 2013, 4:47 pm
We are all being played. There is no real democracy anymore....Democrat or Republican is a scam to placate us and make us think that we have choices. Why should anyone go hungry when 1% of the population control all of the wealth and therefore make all of the rules. The same 1% that pollute our water and price fix gasoline prices. The same 1% that poison our food with GMO's and HFCS. The same 1% who spend far more money on propaganda packaging of these poisons, passing them off as affordable food and selling them in grocery stores.

The The United Corporations of America can spend Billions of $ on Black Ops projects that we the lowly tax payer don't ever get to know about. Banks and Corporations that are "Too Big To Fail" rob and pillage without accountability of any kind. And yet at a time when the corrupt CEO's and Politicians are raking in bigger bucks than ever here we are talking about our children and elderly going hungry.

The Corporations run everything. They feed us propaganda through the square propaganda machine in everybody's living room. They keep trying to take away the last vestige of free speech that we have, the internet. Remember SOPA?? Until they have complete control they use our tax dollars to pay for multimillion $ computer programs to go onto websites and try to "steer" the internet in the direction they want. (of course the Navy swears it only uses said program on our enemies)

I wander what Ben Franklin would say if he could see us now? It was he who said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Drones to watch us and the NSA to listen to our phone conversations. When is it enough?

Mitchell D (104)
Friday June 7, 2013, 4:48 pm
A pox on both their houses!
But, voting for the independents usually backfires, as that only draws votes from the lesser of two evils: Al Gore lost to Bush, in part because of votes that went to the guy who wrote "Unsafe at Any Speed." I'm almost glad that i can't recall his the egotist bastard's name. It will probably pop up, in my mind, as soon as I post this.

Mike M (43)
Friday June 7, 2013, 4:48 pm
The current government which entails both parties and any others has done nothing in the last six years except to provide comedy, drama and utter stupidity so the local. nationwide and global news communities can have something to talk about and keep there ratings and money rolling in so at least someone is making money in the good old USA.

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday June 7, 2013, 5:00 pm
Why all the argument about a few dollars for SNAP or Meals on Wheels when there's literally billions to be spent by the Military-Industrial-Corporate Complex on funding the war machine and surveillance? Just quit funding the beast and shift that money (my tax dollars and yours) to SNAP and other necessary programs. If Congress keeps this up, pretty soon there will be much less of an American population because of starvation and lack of medical care.....but they will have all those nice war toys!

Vivian B (169)
Friday June 7, 2013, 5:38 pm
Where did these heartless, useless pieces of skin come from? How can they slash Food Stamps when so many are going hungry? And the Democrats?? Come on, people!! Clean House in 2014!!

Judith Hand (55)
Friday June 7, 2013, 5:51 pm
Noted. Great sarcastic headline. Living in one of the hungriest states of the US. and living in a distinctly poor area, this FACT horrifies me! Add to that our Governor turning away $51 million in Federal aid recently, I just don't know what to think!!

Tim M (0)
Friday June 7, 2013, 8:06 pm
well lets see... In my house we have whats called a budget. We follow said budget. Why does the government not have said budget. I know politicians making promises to the public to get elected. We will give you everything if you vote for us. Hmmm well he good news is while your going hungry you can use the obama phone to tweet it out. Or you can get the new obamacare to cover your health while being treated for malnutrition. Or you can go help build the new spy center. Or you can becomes a TSA agent, eat and do nude pat downs. the list just goes on and on.

Seems to me we have a over bloated government and a underfed country. Thank you democracks and repubs for your love of constitution, and country.

Past Member (0)
Friday June 7, 2013, 8:10 pm
Horrifies me too Jude. We have to use food banks and churches to supplement our food. And then we only "qualify" for one tiny bit.

Pardon me while I go eat my GMO corn tortillas, my GMO 'organic' beans, and GMO bread. Oh yeah, and the potatoes won't state how they're grown.


~L. ;-))

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Friday June 7, 2013, 8:50 pm
I thought they were all prolife! How many will die here in this country as a result of hunger? I see protests and civil unrest. There may well be violence in the streets. People can only take so much before they rise up and react to hunger and poverty.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Friday June 7, 2013, 8:51 pm
We have to vote the monsters out of office!

Dee C (229)
Friday June 7, 2013, 9:10 pm
Truly sad..

Terrie Williams (798)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 8:35 am
Anyone got a spare Guillotine in their basement we could use? It is no longer 'Let them eat cake (actually Brioche)' now it's 'Let them eat GMO's'. Many millions WILL awaken and I think it will be sooner rather than later when their bellies tighten and they watch their kids slowly starve before their eyes. We will repeat history and it will not be a reality show. Sadly, it will not be bloodless.

We do NOT have to live this way........

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 12:49 pm
Democrats and Republicans are corporate stooges!!

lee e (114)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 1:31 pm
I can't comment - words fail me - I think maybe some of us in the building I live in may get together to make meals - from god knows what to survive - fortunately there are plenty of us who are poor - misery loves company!

Esther Z (94)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 2:10 pm
Shameful!! I'm feeling pretty betrayed by all the Dems that voted to slash SNAP! If all social programs are going to slashed due to deficit, then, by God, Congress better stop all subsidies to oil companies, and Apple better start paying all taxes due, without ANY loopholes. If nothing is done to make corporations or the 1% responsible for taxes due without loopholeS, then America is no longer a Democracy, but a Plutocracy!

Kathryn Niell (112)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 3:14 pm
Absolutely, completely, thoroughly disgusting. Is this happening in "our" America? Why are we letting this happen?!

Ingrid A (524)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 3:15 pm
How very sad.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 4:51 pm
Disgusting! Thank God I believe in karma.

Barbara V (51)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 5:43 pm
Well, folks, we voted in these reprehensible elitist monsters, and we are beginning to pay the piper as a result. We the stupid people. No wonder they want to "dumb us down." It will make it even easier for them. The workings of the American government today has caused our forefathers to turn over in their graves--I'm sure of it. Wake up, America, before it's too late. But you know we the people ain't gonna.

lee e (114)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 6:07 pm
Thanks for the support Ros, but here in NYC no one has the area or refrigeration/freezer to buy in bulk - that's one area they get NY'ers :(

Edith B (146)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 9:49 pm
Stars to Gene Jacobson and Dandelion. They are both right. Until we clean house and get rid of the mess in D.C. this is what we will have. Give to the corporations and war machine, starve the poor. My mother, who lives on Social Security and a small pension, paid more in taxes this year than several giant corporations.

Robert Hardy (68)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 11:27 pm
I hear the complaints. And who has the plan to change things?

Deborah k (15)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 11:56 pm
But we can send food to other countries where they feed it to their camels and donkeys because they don't like the food we send to them. I heard that food prices will be going up about 400% next year alone. In the past year and a half, food in my city has gone up about 25 to several 100%+. I use coupons when I have them, buy old out dated food that still looks good at the stores and worked for my disability and they keep cutting food stamps as food prices continue to rise. Sure makes sense to me.

reft h (66)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 12:13 am
thanks for the article

Sherri G (128)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 1:38 am
I agree with Bryna they all have to go. So far Senators Warren, Sanders, and regarding SS Harkin and Representative Grayson can be trusted. My own Democratic senators cannot be. There are true blue democrats who do care but the bill. You bet the people will only take so much. We have been eating cake for too long. Noted TY Kit

Sherri G (128)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 1:52 am
Excellent discussion. Sent out many stars.

Lindsay K (6)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 4:43 am
One way in which our generation will be judged by those who follow us is not how much wealth we amassed but by how we cared for the vulnerable in our society.

David Menard (43)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 6:02 am
Except for a couple congress serves Wall st billionaires,big oil.big agro,big oil,Banksters and themselves.Wake up America we mean squat to the GOP the Dems and their corporate masters. American democracy is dead it is all a scam! As long as congress is owned by lobbyists for the the aforementioned interests we are F*&^!@ plain and simple.

Gene J (290)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 9:36 am
I have already informed the DCCC, my representative, one of my Senators all of whom supported both this bill and the abolition of our constitiutional right to privacy to take me OFF their lists as they are not getting another nickel from me. I value my privacy and feeding children, indeed all children's and seniors programs, a whole lot more than they do. We have an incredibly bloated military budget more than 4 times the next highest which is China with more than 4 times our population. We need to get serious about putting people before dollars and I don't see that in either party nor things improving regardless which is running things at the moment. I think they are all shams and shadow figures pretending to be people. If they had a clue as to what it is like to live life in the bottom third of our society, they might grow hearts as well. But I don't see that happening. Republicans don't even pretend to try, they've written off 47% of us, but Democrats have written off nearly as many - you don't see poor people at THEIR fund raisers either. Third parties have never really worked here, but what we are doing isn't working either. There has to be a better way and if Jill Stein, with whom I do agree on virtually every issue, could have made a dent, perhaps things would have been different. But from now on, I vote the candidate I agree with, not for the lesser of two evils, and if that means I "waste" my vote, so be it. It also leaves me with a conscience clear.

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 12:01 pm

I second that, Gene. As long as the laws in place feed this corruption I see no reason to help it along.

Robert H.: We could begin with campaign finance that ignores or works around the Citizens United decision, giving only the human beings a voice in campaign money.

Stop the subsidies to corporations, clean up and properly finance the consumer protection agencies, enact some laws that finally will cover all the shenanigans from the banking and Wall Street. Seriously address the massive inequities in this country, to get started. There is far more to do, but we have to be willing to think in terms of new ideas and different paradigms for our political system.

Past Member (0)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 5:12 pm

Shirley B (5)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 5:30 pm
There is nothing I can add to all that you have said except I am honored to be part of this Care2 community and that your comments give me hope for us all.
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