Please tell the GOP and Tea Party that the poor and unemployed are also patriotic Americans who also believe in freedom and love our country just as much as they claim to --- but just as during the Great Depression, many of our government "leaders" have been treating the poor and unemployed with complete and utter disrespect. Now they want to starve us too, with cuts to food stamps.
Please sign my petition (pending review) that I posted at MoveOn.Org (text below)
September 20, 2013 --- A message from Bud Meyers (a private citizen) on behalf of millions of long-term unemployed Americans (including the 99ers and older workers) who are no longer counted in the unemployment rate, as well as the other 11.3 million jobless Americans who are still being counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Arguing for a drastic cut to the food stamp program (SNAP) Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) had said, "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."
Dear Mister Congress Man Huelskamp:
As you very well know, because of very strict "means testing", SNAP benefits are not just given away to anyone who applies for them. Americans who receive food stamps don't have incomes to meet a basic standard-of-living. They either have low-paid jobs, are unemployed, or are elderly (and/or disabled) and rely on a small Social Security income (People such as your friend Jason are a tiny minority, and he may also be mentally disabled).
You know all this, or at the very least, you should. Obviously you like to use anecdotal stories from Fox News to back up your arguments and use tainted studies from right-wing think tanks to enforce your ideological beliefs. But please try to expand your intellectual horizons a little more. As a representative of THE PEOPLE, try to see both sides of the food stamp debate.
As for most of us, we did earn our food stamp benefits --- many of us have worked and paid taxes for 30 years or longer before being laid off during the Great Recession. 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 still are not enough jobs (and even if there were, would you hire Jason?)
And speaking of jobs, how many job bills have you voted for or introduced to Congress, and how many have you voted against? And please, tell us where 11.3 million (counted) unemployed Americans can sign up for job training? Most of the corporations that you represent no longer offer on-the-job training; and any form of government-sponsored job training would only defeat your purpose of "smaller government".
You said "improve your skills", but please tell us --- what specific skills do 11.3 million unemployed Americans need to fill 3.7 million job openings? The "lacking job skills" argument has been proven to be a corporate myth to expand the guestworker program to hire more foreigners (for less money) in an already over-saturated job market --- a labor market that already pays stagnant wages. And besides, we already have plenty of skills. College graduates (saddled with debt) and those with advanced tech and engineering skills, are still working at places like Walmart and McDonalds (if they're lucky). Either that or they're unemployed.
And if people like you and others hadn't allowed for the outsourcing of all our good-paying jobs with "free trade agreements" --- and also stopped insourcing foreign workers with H-1B visas --- maybe then we'd have enough jobs for everyone (jobs that paid a "living wage"). And maybe then, all us "takers" wouldn't need any "government hand-outs" from all the other hard-working Americans who were lucky and managed to keep their jobs.
Also, most of us do not ride surfboards. And we also don't "expect" that you personally would have to feed us (just like we don't expect the churches to bail out the big banks) --- but it sure would be nice to eat food after we've exhausted all our resources while looking for all those non-existent jobs that you keep ignorantly babbling about --- jobs that you never helped to create.
Instead, you and your ilk repealed Obamacare 40 times! Talk about a waste of time, how moronic is that? Maybe it's people like you who should first be drug tested before collecting your government check.
So who's the real pimple on the ass of society? Air-heads like you Mister Congress Man Huelskamp, who receives $174,000-a-year (as a government worker) from hard-working American taxpayers for doing little-to-nothing; or the poor and unemployed people like us, who might only receive a measly $150 a month to eat?
And most people who do work pay Social Security taxes on 100% of their earnings (50% of all workers only earn $27,000 a year or less). You however, do not --- your Social Security taxes are "capped", as well as your wealthiest political donors --- those who earn millions of dollars every single year with capital gains and don't pay any Social Security taxes at all. And they also pay a lower tax rate than does a factory worker who's only earning $40,000 a year in hourly wages. So who is it that's really "gaming the system" --- people like you and your corporate sponsors? Or people like us (who are poor) and were forced out of work --- and now need food stamps just to eat?
We think it's very repugnant and tasteless that you and your Tea Party brethren find it so easy to hurl insults at the poor (those who have so very little), while collecting unearned campaign donations from the "upper-class" --- because if not for them, you'd have no class at all. Especially while everybody else is paying for your generous salary, your healthcare insurance and for your congressional expense accounts. And that also includes those who receive an unemployment check, because they too have to pay federal income taxes (depending on their annual adjusted gross income at the end of the fiscal tax year).
Mister Congress Man Huelskamp...why don't you do millions of struggling unemployed Americans a really big favor: Either introduce a REAL job bill (without any earmarks, pork, or any other unrelated amendment --- such as more tax cuts for the ultra-rich). Or just shut the hell up --- because otherwise, you might as well just be sitting on your couch too.
That, or look up your old pal Jason in California and go surfing with him --- because you're not doing anybody any good with your lazy ass sitting there in Washington surrounded by high-paid corporate lobbyists. Do your job and create a job bill for us, instead of just worrying about keeping your own over-paid and under-worked job.
Finally, just so that you know, the vast majority of us are not beach bums, nor are we sitting around the pool all day long drinking Margaritas and eating steak and lobster for dinner every night. We're usually just constantly worrying about how to pay next month's rent, keeping the lights on and getting ourselves fed. We weren't the ones on vacation, you were.
My Most Recent Posts About Food Stamps
Food Stamps: The GOP's Moral Hypocrisy
The Anti-Food Stamp King
The GOP wants Breadlines, not Food Stamps
Tea Party Congress to Starve the Poor