• Congrats America! One Out of Five of Your Kids Needs Food Stamps

    January 30, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Economy, Minimum Wage, Post-Constitution America



    Data released by the Census Bureau Wednesday showing a staggering 16 million children in the U.S., about one out of five kids under the age of 18, received food stamp assistance in 2014.

    Overall, more than 46.5 million Americans were on food stamps last year, according to the Department of Agriculture. Food stamps are officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP.



    More and More Hungry Kids in America

    The census numbers show while one percent of Americans wallow in obscene, record-setting amounts of wealth, large swaths of the country remain in real trouble. In 2014 more American kids relied on food stamps than at any time since the 2008 economic crash. In raw, hungry mouth numbers, nine million children received food stamps in 2007 compared to 16 million now, and 26 million Americans of all ages received assistance compared to the 46.5 million now. It’s a new personal best, a new record and thus a new low for America.

    These statistics come from the 2014 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families and living arrangements for more than 60 years.


    Congress: Parents are Lazy

    “The spike in food stamp spending has caught the attention of Congress, and House Republicans tried to cut the program by around $4 billion a year in 2013,” the Associated Press reports. “In an eventual compromise, Congress agreed to cuts of around $800 million a year. The food stamp program will be under scrutiny in the new Republican Congress.”

    But really, lazy is what lazy does. Why shouldn’t we cut public assistance and force people into the job market?


    So Cut the Damn Handouts

    At some point in this kind of discussion, someone will drop the nuclear option: cut federal and state benefits and do away with most public assistance. That’ll motivate parents to find jobs or watch their kids starve. Why should tax dollars be used to give food to people who won’t work for it? “If you’re able-bodied, you should be willing to work,” former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said discussing food stamp cuts.

    The problem with such statements is 73 percent of those enrolled in the country’s major public benefits programs are, in fact, from working families — just in jobs whose paychecks don’t cover life’s basic necessities. McDonald’s workers alone receive $1.2 billion in federal assistance per year. It’s not complicated. Workers in the minimum-wage economy often need them simply to survive.



    Mother’s Day

    In Ohio, where I did some of the research for my book Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent, the state pays out benefits on the first of each month. Pay Day, Food Day, Mother’s Day, people call it. SNAP is distributed in the form of an Electronic Bank Transfer card, or EBT, which, recipients will tell you, stands for “Eat Better Tonight.” EBT-friendly stores open early and stay open late on the first of the month because most people are pretty hungry come the Day.

    A single person with nothing to her name in the lower 48 states would qualify for no more than $189 a month in SNAP. If she works, her net monthly income is multiplied by .3, and the result is subtracted from the maximum allotment. Less than fifty bucks a week for food isn’t exactly luxury fare.

    Sure, she can skip a meal if she needs to, and she likely does. However, she may have kids; almost two-thirds of SNAP children live in single-parent households. Twenty percent or more of the child population in 37 states lived in “food insecure households” in 2011, with New Mexico (30.6 percent) and the District of Columbia (30 percent) topping the list. And it’s not just kids. Households with disabled people account for 16 percent of SNAP benefits, while nine percent go to households with senior citizens.



    What’s for Dinner?

    So, to recap. In a time when some 20 percent of our own children need help just to be fed, Congress wants to cut further the thing that stands between those kids and malnutrition. Our system is trending toward asking kids (and the disabled, and the elderly) to go to hell if they’re hungry. Many are already there.

    Yep, that’s us today in America.

    BONUS! A 2013 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, on the well-being of children in 35 developed nations, shows the United States ranks 34th of the 35 countries surveyed, above only Romania and below virtually all of Europe plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. We love could care about our kids!



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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Well, I hope you’re happy. Mitt(47 percent)Romney just announced he’s not running and he had the answer to ending poverty in Amerika: as two-thirds of SNAP children live in single-parent households, their parents should get MARRIED. Oh SNAP.

      01/30/15 5:04 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      The good news is Mad Man McCain could run again. I will only vote for him if Sarah is his VP. Here’s his slogun: http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2015/01/29/john-mccain-henry-kissinger-protesters/

      01/30/15 5:13 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      3

      Empires eventually fold because they don’t “do” self correction.. Self correction needs self reflection. America’s ruling elite are incapable of uncomfortable self reflection.

      The rich despise being forced to care for the poor and wish they would all just die. Robots eventually doing all the estate chores is their hope. Doing well means one is doing good in the eyes of their Darwinian Diety. They are incapable of empathy and compassion.

      01/30/15 5:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      “The rich despise being forced to care for the poor and wish they would all just die.”

      I used to think this, BUT the best thing about being RICH is looking down at the poor.

      01/30/15 5:33 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      5

      Yes Rich, Having the poor around does reinforce their sense of an elevated status and righteousness. Surely a merciful God would not reward the corrput and punish the good. Being able to send in a $100 check to relieve the suffering of those poor duskies who saw everything they owned swept away by a “natural
      act of God” (a tsunami) gives them great satisfaction.

      01/30/15 7:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Ordinary joe said...

      6

      And what galls me about this is that no one is going hysterical over corporate welfare. When politicians start eliminating tax breaks and taxpayer subsidies for Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, agribusiness corporations, pharmaceutical companies, banks, and the military-industrial complex (which is about as likely as a million pigs flying over Washington), then maybe funding for food stamps should be reduced.

      01/31/15 2:18 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck nasmith said...

      7

      Food not Bombs. . .

      01/31/15 1:19 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck nasmith said...

      8

      Every time Obama sends a bomb from a drone or jet, how many loaves of bread are lost to chew on? Vote D or R to feed the MIC and P.N.A.C., not kids and others. Is hunger a choice, or does lesser evil voting make you feel good??

      01/31/15 1:33 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      Ordinary Joe- The elite and corporations are at the head of the government tax fuinded welfare line-we all know that. They just don’t like the lower class queuing up behind them. It makes them nervous is the only reason I can think of to explain their anger.

      01/31/15 3:54 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      10

      quote”A single person with nothing to her name in the lower 48 states would qualify for no more than $189 a month in SNAP.”unquote

      I’m envious. That’s $10 a month more than BOTH my wife and I get…in this miserable asinine state of Michigan.

      Meanwhile, it won’t be long until Piketty’s prophesy comes to fruition. Here’s living proof..

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/panicked-super-rich-buying-boltholes-5044084

      But some of the 1% have other ideas…

      http://exiledonline.com/escape-from-america-the-strange-scary-billionaires-behind-the-libertarian-inspired-sea-castles/

      Then again, the .1% don’t want those poor white 1% trash as neighbors…

      http://www.justluxe.com/lifestyle/luxury-yachts/feature-1958046.php

      http://www.justluxe.com/lifestyle/luxury-yachts/feature-1958281.php

      http://www.justluxe.com/lifestyle/luxury-yachts/feature-1958157.php

      http://www.justluxe.com/lifestyle/luxury-yachts/feature-1958263.php

      Meanwhile, where did I leave that pitchfork? Oh yeah, by the grinder. Two tongs left to sharpen and 2000 AK-15 rounds left to reload. Won’t be any SNAP when the SHTF. And it IS coming. Nothing can stop it.

      01/31/15 4:27 PM | Comment Link

    • No Food on the Table, No Place to Call Home | The Contrary Perspective said...

      11

      […] Van Buren’s article below details the vicious social policies the Republican Congress with some Democratic support is […]

      02/3/15 1:20 PM | Comment Link

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