Published on Intrepid Report, by Bev Conover, Dec 19, 2013.
… Three days after Christmas, some 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. How’s that for a Christmas present? It’s fine with the critters in Congress and especially fine with South Carolina state Senator Lee Bright, who is among a handful of Republicans challenging Senator Lindsey Graham.
At a recent fundraiser in Tulsa, Okla., Bright, in essence, “argued that recipients of unemployment benefits shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” Said Bright (or is that not so bright?), “We’ve got a lot of people who won’t work. And they won’t work because we’ll provide their food, and we’ll provide their housing and we’ll provide them their spending money and we’ll provide them their spending money. We’ve all seen it, the folks in line who are using [food stamps], yet they’ve got the nicest nails and the nicest pocketbook and they get the nicest car.” Shades of Ronald Reagan’s welfare queens in limos driving up to liquor stores.
Oh yeah, Bright also thinks immigrants should self-deport. But I digress.
Bright is not alone in his twisted thinking, earlier this month on FOX News Sunday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said it would be “a ‘disservice’ to jobless individuals” to extend unemployment benefits.
According to Paul, “When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”
So where are all the jobs for the unemployed? You, Senator Paul and your fellow Congress critters allowed all the once decent paying jobs to be offshored at the behest of your corporate and bankster masters, where they can exploit Third World workers by paying slave wages.
If that weren’t enough, Congress delivered a mighty hit November 1 to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a.k.a. food stamps, “resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household. For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month—a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014. That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits will average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014. Nationally, the total cut is estimated to be $5 billion in fiscal year 2014.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we could force the Congress critters to dine exclusively on $1.40 meals? No more filet mignon. No more chateaubriand? No more fine wines or bubbly?
While some 47 percent of Americans rely on SNAP for food, the Congress critters opposed to food stamps are joined by the likes of Forbes columnist John Tamny and others who would totally do away with the program.
On Tuesday night’s Daily Show (watch the video), Tamny told correspondent Jessica Williams “food stamps are cruel” and he doubted that Americans were literally starving, because if they were “you would see a massive outpouring of charity.”
Asked by Williams, “What does ‘literally starving’ look like?” Tamny replied, ““This is going to come off the wrong way. But I guess it’s where literally people have distended bellies where they’re getting almost nothing. We don’t hear about the poor in this country starving on the streets” … //
… (full text with hyper-links).
SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013, on Center on Budget and Policy Priorities CBPP, by Stacy Dean and Dottie Rosenbaum
Revised August 2, 2013.