Yesterday the Tea Party radicals and other GOP members in the House just passed a bill to cut food stamps by over $40 billion, kicking almost 4 million Americans out of the SNAP program --- while also keeping their farm subsidies intact.
Jim Wallis, a public theologian, recently served on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships --- and as a writer, he recent wrote about food stamp cuts titled Just Picking on the Poor in the Huffington Post (which was excerpted and edited for this post):
Is it ignorance of how deep the problem of "food insecurity" or hunger is in America now? Is it just ideology against government per se? Because many poor people do have to turn for help to their governments, anti-government rhetoric can often turn to anti-poor rhetoric.
Have you seen the Fox News "face" of a SNAP recipient -- a young blond California surfer who brags about cheating on food stamps? Why is Fox News lying?
The politicians that defend cuts to food stamps are the same politicians who are not willing to go to where the real money is: the Pentagon budget, which everyone knows to be the most wasteful in all government spending --- or the myriad subsidies to corporations, including farm subsidies to many wealthy members of Congress, who are voting to cut food stamps for the poor.
For many House conservatives, this isn't really about food stamps, but about their opposition to the idea that, as a society, we have the responsibility to care for each other --- even during the hard times, or when resources are few.
Conservatives know their ideas for privatizing Social Security (and cutting funding to Medicare and Medicaid) are also politically unpopular, but their ideology of "individualism" (which is more like Social Darwinism) remains unchanged. So food stamps for the poor is a perfect target for them.
The image of what food stamps do, and whom they serve, has been widely distorted by the media (such as Fox) --- while the people who must rely on food stamps have little influence in the halls of Congress --- and so, pose little-to-no risk to the political careers of these selfish Republican members. The GOP and Tea Party radicals are going after cuts to the poor and hungry people because they think it is politically safe to do so.
So let's face these wealthy and powerful politicians (who claim they are Christians with family values) and call their ideology for what it truly is: moral hypocrisy.
Tea Party Mentality --- Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) says,
"If you're a healthy adult and don't have someone relying on you to care for them, you ought to earn the benefits you receive. Look for work. Start job training to improve your skills or do community service. But you can no longer sit on your couch or ride a surfboard like Jason in California and expect the federal taxpayer to feed you."
Back at you mister Congress man Huelskamp:
We did earn our food stamp benefits...we've worked and paid taxes for 40 years before being laid off during the Great Recession in 2008. And we have looked for work...for the past 5 years since the mass layoffs. In case you're incapable of doing simple arithmetic, there are not enough jobs.
And most of us do not ride surfboards. And we also don't "expect" that you will personally feed us (just like we don't expect the churches to bail out the banks) --- but it sure would be nice to eat food after we've exhausted all our other resources while looking for those non-existent jobs that you keep ignorantly babbling about --- jobs that you never created.
Instead, you and your ilk repealed the Affordable Care Act 40 times! How moronic is that? Maybe it's people like you who should first be tested for drugs before collecting your government check. It's so easy to throw rocks at the poor --- while the hard-working taxpayers pay your over-generous $174,000 annual salary, healthcare insurance, and congressional allowance.
So who's the real pimple on the ass of society...assholes like you, or poor people like us?
Today the Tea Party radicals and other GOP members in the House just passed a bill 230-189 to defund Obamacare. The bill will now head to the Senate, where the Democratic majority will amend it --- restoring Obamacare funding --- and send it back to the House. The government will shut down on October 1st if the Tea Party radicals and GOP members in the House don't approve the Senate's amended version of the House's bill.