Posts tagged food stamps
Posts tagged food stamps
I’m tired of the idea that people on different types of government assistance are shiftless layabouts who are thrilled to receive it.
I don’t want to be poor enough to qualify, but guess what? I’m thrilled to receive it, not because it’s OMG FREE MONEY, but because it allows me to exist without fear of hunger and as a healthy, functioning human being who contributes to society, and would love to make enough income to pay taxes to help others do the same. Never mind those who aren’t able-bodied, children, and the elderly — who actually make up the bulk of recipients and are the most vulnerable to any sorts of cuts or reductions. We all deserve basic sustenance and health care as a human right.
So stop acting like everyone’s just SO STOKED to get welfare. Yeah, maybe they are, but it’s because those few hundred dollars mean maybe, possibly, barely surviving, you judgmental fucks.
I’ve been seeing this image pop up now for awhile and it irritates the shit out of me. I’ve never received food stamps, but this image is just stupid for a few reasons:
1. The iPhone. A pretty nice phone and it can be pretty expensive. However, it is a one-time purchase. Some people get them at pretty low cost for renewing a contract. AT&T sold 3GS models for $50. (I’m not sure if they still are.) Secondhand iPhones can be purchased for dirt cheap via craigslist. Monthly contract prices vary with the type of plan you have, but it can also be reduced to a fairly reasonable price. Finally, the iPhone could have been purchased prior to a food stamp recipient having the need to use food stamps. But did you think of any of that? No, because you’re too busy thinking of ways to fucking judge people. As an addendum, I’ve heard people say that the poor “shouldn’t even have a cell phone.” Are you fucking kidding me? How is an unemployed or underemployed person supposed TO FIND A JOB WITHOUT A PHONE?
2. Multiple tattoos. Again, one-time cost for tattoos. Could have been done before a person lost their job. Maybe it was a gift. But no, poor people shouldn’t have tattoos, piercings, or nice clothes. The clothes weren’t mentioned here, but that’s another stupid thing people say. I have a pretty nice closet of clothes I’ve built up over the last six years (since I stopped dressing grunge shortly after high school). Purchased a little bit at a time. So if you see someone wearing a decent outfit using food stamps maybe you should keep that in mind. Also, one can find pretty nice clothes at Goodwill for really, really cheap. I’ve found sweaters that would normally retail for $40 for $2.
3. Seriously, a mani and pedi? I had that done for my brother’s wedding last summer and it cost less than $20. Granted, I didn’t go to the most fabulous salon, but…really…you’re going to bitch about that?
In conclusion, fuck you for judging someone when you don’t know what circumstances led to their need for assistance. I’m sure there are people out there that abuse the system, but you don’t fucking know that just because they’re wearing a nice sweater. May you never have the misfortune of losing your job and not knowing how you’re going to make rent or feed yourself.
Honestly, this debate probably made me the angriest of any debate. Juan Williams was booed because he asked about Gingrich’s racist and classist comments regarding the black community and those living in poverty.
This is just tragic:
A desperate Texas mother who was denied food stamps is dead after taking a state welfare worker hostage and then taking her own life. According to police, Rachell Grimmer walked into a Laredo, TX welfare office with her two children Monday and pulled a gun. Over the course of the seven-hour standoff, Grimmer released her hostage but then fatally shot herself and wounded both of her children.
"They were all barefoot," said Esther Jaimes, who saw the family waiting at a gas station in October. "They looked dirty, like they hadn’t showered in days, and the little girl was holding a puppy. They were just looking around just trying to see if anyone would help them or something," she said.
The family of three moved to Laredo in July and lived in a small RV in extreme poverty.
Desperation can cause people to do horrible things. Reports also state she had attempted to qualify since July and was first denied because her 18 page application lacked some information, though what was lacking isn’t clear. Her mother said she may have been dealing with mental illness as well. This is an all-around awful event and I hope her children make a full recovery.
As a side note, the benefits in Texas are typically $294 a week for a family of three. It’s not much, but for many, it’s the difference between starvation and barely adequate sustenance. It’s horrifying that Rachell Grimmer felt she had to take the route of shooting herself and her children after this benefit was denied.
From The Maddow Blog:
This sign - and commentary - is hanging outside a food pantry in Manhattan’s East Village. Maybe it’s time we did something about the economy.
Food banks all over the country are seeing record demand and having difficulty keeping the shelves stocked. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a few cans to my local food banks this week. And there’s this:
The number of Americans receiving food stamps reached a record 45.345 million in July, the government said. The number was 0.4 percent higher than the previous month and 8.4 percent more than a year earlier.
Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program had set records every month since December 2008. Texas had the most food-stamp recipients in July, 4.051 million.
A record 1 in 5 people in the US receive federal assistance to feed themselves once WIC is factored in. The average monthly allotment per household is $283.68. Of course, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) thinks the program is out of control. Here’s what he said in an interview with ABC News:
"Well, look, do you think there are four times as many people that need food stamps today as they did in 2001? This year, they are proposing another 14 percent increase in food stamps without any real reform to understand how it is that it surged so dramatically. We cannot do this. We don’t have the money. If Congress doesn’t understand that we can’t continue to double the food stamp program every three years, they don’t understand how deeply we are impacted by the debt. The debt is already pulling down economic growth, costing jobs. We need people working with jobs, not receiving food stamps."
The past year was an excellent one for Sen. Sessions. His net worth increased 124% in 2010 - raising him from millionaire to multimillionaire - which is likely why he said it was "rather pathetic" to expect multimillionaires to shoulder a little more of the burden. Meanwhile, in his state of Alabama, 36% of people receive food stamps and the unemployment rate is 9.8%.
Yes, we need to have people with jobs - though Sessions voted against the jobs bill - and I have a hint as to the why this “surge” occurred: We have a government, specifically Congress, that cares more for dick waving contests and petty infighting than giving a damn that the food stamp usage rate has dramatically risen. American families are going hungry while Congress collectively twiddles their thumbs or butts heads over to what degree the richest 1% deserve to be subsidized.
American exceptionalism? How about being the most unequal industrialized country? How’s that for number one? This is unsustainable and unconscionable. Period.
Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” cuts government aid that he says creates a culture of dependency. The plan snips the threads of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that Americans contribute to during their working years and count on for retirement or disability.
His plan also slashes Pell grants, which help students from low-income families go to college, and unemployed workers return to school to sharpen their skills or train for new careers.
"By continually increasing Pell funding, we are feeding education inflation," said Ryan.
Ryan also proposes a 20 percent cut to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), pointing to reports that the food stamp program is “rife with fraud.”
Ryan’s budget proposal, called the “Path to Prosperity” – and which some Democrats refer to as the “Road to Ruin” – spotlights the deep fiscal-policy rift between the two parties.
Rob from the poor to give to the rich? That’s what 30 years plus of neoliberalism will do for you.