For decades, Congress has wrapped the SNAP food stamp assistance program in with the gigantic subsidy program given to super-rich corporate farming corporations to appease urban voters to go along with it. Everyone was happy.
The right-wing Republican obstructionists have chosen to split food stamps from the Farm Bill so they can kill the program, leaving hundreds of thousands of families hungry. They have taken advantage of an ancient racist anti-reconstructionist mentality to justify claims that these programs are abused by blacks. These darkie parasites, they have called them on FOX News. But, as with literally EVERYTHING they say, the right wing echo chamber is blowing hot air up their base’s behind. Five times as many poor white recipients will be having this lifeline ripped from them as African-American families. The disabled. Children.
And, these emergency relief benefits don’t NEARLY cut it to begin with. As the raw data from the US Department of Agriculture shows, nearly 80% of a family’s aid is gone by the second week of the month. After that, it’s the Hunger Games, begging, borrowing, or stealing to eat.
I propose that it’s as simple as it is sinister; a story as old as Les Miserables. A disgusting lesson learned in reverse, where evil, new profit centers are being created and exploited. In this Farm Bill, there is certainly a new crop being farmed. A crop of new tenants for the wealth of new and expanding private prisons across the US. In Les Miserables, a novel written in the mid 19th century as a dire warning as to what we were becomming, a man spends 19 years in prison for stealing bread for his sick young sister.
We were supposed to learn something vital about our own humanity.
“So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless.” ~From the preface of Les Miserables
We learned nothing except how to allow the gilded super-wealthy to actually profit from the misery and suffering of fellow man. Please, PLEASE take a minute and sign this petition urging your Congressman not to DARE take ANYTHING from the SNAP program as they “negotiate the new Farm Bill.
And, just as quick and easy, enter your zip code and send a mail to your Congressman telling him / her to stand up and do the right thing. It will provide you with their DC phone number, as well, so consider calling and telling them, as well.
For more information on the fight taking place right now over Food Stamps and the Farm Bill, there is an excellent article in Talking Points Memo: