The entire premise of admitting refugees is that there are people who are in serious danger in their home countries because they’re the victims of targeted oppression and violence, and that those people deserve a chance to live safely somewhere — and the United States should be one place they can do it. It’s an affirmation that people have intrinsic worth regardless of whether they can make a contribution in the countries that take them in.
That’s why refugees and asylees are allowed to use food stamps to begin with, while most legal immigrants aren’t.
Republicans have called President Obama the “food stamp president” because enrollment in the program has increased 70% since he took office. Despite the past Republican successes in labeling food stamps as a black program, whites make up the largest share of food stamp recipients at 40%, followed by blacks at 26% and Latinos at 10%. Last year, Owsley, Kentucky was identified as the food stamp capital of the country, a 99% white and 95% Republican community. Moreover, the shaming and criminalization of Americans on food stamps obscures the fact that there is a hunger crisis in America, the land of plenty, and millions really need food stamps to survive.
Conservatives will have you believe these are lazy black people, welfare cheats and drug abusers who are dependent on out-of-control, wasteful government programs, and buy cigarettes and alcohol with their SNAP benefits card. But when the GOP is no longer able to rely on race-baiting and racial stereotypes to attack food stamps and other antipoverty programs, what do they have left? We are left wondering what Republicans would do to address the problem of massive poverty and hunger in America. The myth must end now.
Fox News bashing Mario Batali: good morning, and you’re welcome. The folks at Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld addressed Mario’s recent week-long foray into food stamp living, more specifically, his blurb about how he hopes he’s not coming off like a yuppie. Greg and Co. argue that’s exactly it looks like.
Some suggestions from the Red Eye crew about how Mario can actually raise awareness about the impending food stamp cuts? Open a successful restaurant that employs all the people on food stamps. Donate some food from one of his posh restaurants. Accept food stamps at one of his posh restaurants. Hmmm, seems like they’re missing the point here about raising awareness. People on food stamps know how much being on food stamps sucks. The point is for everyone else to know how much it sucks.
The moves by Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — with the possibility that more governors could follow — cheer social service advocates who say the deep recession and weak economic recovery have pounded low-income workers and the unemployed who rely on heating assistance and food stamps.
In surprise to no-one, the heritage foundation sees encroaching altruism everywhere:
“The extra money being spent is an artificial boost of an amount that a household is receiving, but they’re doing so though a scheme, basically,” said Rachel Sheffield, a policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.
read more @ The Vindicator
The irony in the ‘perspective’ from the Heritage Foundation is striking…..they long claimed charity is effective, as long as the ‘sourcing’ for the charity came from the private sector….the inherent evil they suggested lay in the muddled fantasy that bureaucracy equals immorality, or worse, tyranny….
Class warfare notwithstanding, their tactic here is to claim that charity is unethical and ineffective not due to the ‘sourcing’ but instead due to the ‘receiver’ of said charity as incapable of managing the increased income adequately.
And that is not entirely elitist?……..
“Lord” Christopher Monckton recently had a column published by WND, only this time he wasn’t shilling for the climate change denial industry. It seems that he has broadened his horizons and has now decided to push birtherism and voting rights restrictions in order to support his (GOP) mealticket.
Nearly everyone who is unemployed votes “Democrat.” Nearly every immigrant, at least in the first generation, votes “Democrat.” Nearly every non-white American votes “Democrat.” The GOP know that so intellectually and financially bankrupt an administration should never have been re-elected - indeed, given the scale of electoral fraud practiced by the “Democrats,” he may not actually have been re-elected (always supposing that he had the constitutional right to hold the office of president in the first place).
Houston, we have a problem. America as we knew her and admired her is going down, sinking financially and politically under the tide of takers. For takers are also voters, and that is the problem. The taxpayees can vote themselves more and more and more of the taxpayers’ money.
Yet so little attention has been given to the death of democracy via the growing cost and reach of federal welfare programs that the word “taxpayees” has not existed until this moment. Google it and the search engine will assume you have made a spelling mistake. It will give you thousands of references to “taxpayers.”
The GOP can no longer ignore the state of disunion that exists because taxpayees now so greatly outnumber taxpayers. It will need a short-term strategy and a long-term strategy.
The short-term strategy is to confront the American people with the scale and intractability of the problem, and to recommend solutions with the aim of reducing the number and influence of taxpayees.
The takers need to be confronted, boldly but politely, more in sorrow than in anger, with the fact that the unbridled expansion of federal welfare cannot continue because the money has run out. Therefore, unless urgent steps are taken to cut the handouts substantially Uncle Sam will find himself in the bankruptcy court, and when that happens those taxpayees who would otherwise get something will very suddenly end up getting nothing.
First, the federal authorities need to know who is getting welfare benefits - everything from food stamps to Medicaid and Medicare. In the future, if you want a handout from Uncle Sam, you will need to prove to him who you are. If you are an illegal immigrant, sorry, but no more handouts. If you are a lawful immigrant, sorry, but no handouts in your first five years in the United States. Period. If you don’t like that, don’t come.
Very important: If you are claiming any handout, you are not entitled to vote. Taxpayers will have the right to vote, but taxpayees will not. That way, no one can vote himself a handout.
I suppose that he rightly infers that if he can get so many Americans to ignore or question the 99% rock solid scientific proof for global warming then he can probably be even more successful in the much more nebulous field of bitherism. Advocating for voting restrictions, poll taxes, what-have-you is also a flavor of the minute sure-fire way to receive GOP base support.
Once a grifter always a grifter it would seem, he is just trying to change the con a bit now that the old one is getting stale.
At a luncheon for the Chamber of Commerce in Lexington, KY, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) floated the idea of capping government benefits for women who have children out of wedlock, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
While he said that preventing unplanned pregnancies should be in the hands of communities and families, he added, “Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount.”’ He went on to say, “I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer.”
The idea of withholding benefits from women who have more than a certain number of children is actually current policy in many states. While most programs through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or welfare) give families more money if they have more children, 16 states cap the assistance and don’t give any extra money for new children if someone in the household is already receiving aid.
These policies were initially adopted in an attempt to dissuade low-income women from having more children out of wedlock. But the results haven’t panned out. A 2001 Government Accountability Office report on whether or not they change birth rates couldn’t conclude whether there was any impact. In California, for example, where the state has been considering a repeal of its family cap policy, most women who receive welfare from the state have a similar number of children as those who don’t. What the policies do end up doing, however, is pushing people further into poverty. That can have serious health risks, with one study finding that some limits on benefits lead to a higher death rate.
The caps also get assumptions wrong about the people who rely on public programs. Overall, those who use public assistance have the same average family size as those who don’t. There’s little evidence that low-income women on welfare are having far more children than those who aren’t enrolled.
BUT NO BIRTH CONTROLS OR ABORTIONS FOR TEH SLUTZ!!11!!! HURR HURR SMALL GOVERNMENT!!!!1!!!
In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in U.S. households that rely on food stamps — a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.
Some of the change is due to demographics, such as the trend toward having fewer children. But a slow economic recovery with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs also plays a big role. It suggests that government spending on the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program — twice what it cost five years ago — may not subside significantly anytime soon.
Food stamp participation since 1980 has grown the fastest among workers with some college training, a sign that the safety net has stretched further to cover America’s former middle class, according to an analysis of government data for The Associated Press by economists at the University of Kentucky. Formally called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP, the program now covers 1 in 7 Americans.
The findings coincide with the latest economic data showing workers’ wages and salaries growing at the lowest rate relative to corporate profits in U.S. history.
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night is expected to focus in part on reducing income inequality, such as by raising the federal minimum wage. Congress, meanwhile, is debating cuts to food stamps, with Republicans including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., wanting a $4 billion-a-year reduction to an anti-poverty program that they say promotes dependency and abuse.
Economists say having a job may no longer be enough for self-sufficiency in today’s economy.
“A low-wage job supplemented with food stamps is becoming more common for the working poor,” said Timothy Smeeding, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in income inequality. “Many of the U.S. jobs now being created are low- or minimum-wage — part-time or in areas such as retail or fast food — which means food stamp use will stay high for some time, even after unemployment improves.”
The newer food stamp recipients include Maggie Barcellano, 25, of Austin, Texas. A high school graduate, she enrolled in college but didn’t complete her nursing degree after she could no longer afford the tuition.
Hoping to boost her credentials, she went through emergency medical technician training with the Army National Guard last year but was unable to find work as a paramedic because of the additional certification and fees required. Barcellano, now the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, finally took a job as a home health aide, working six days a week at $10 an hour. Struggling with the low income, she recently applied for food stamps with the help of the nonprofit Any Baby Can, to help save up for paramedic training.
“It’s devastating,” Barcellano said. “When I left for the Army I was so motivated, thinking I was creating a situation where I could give my daughter what I know she deserves. But when I came back and basically found myself in the same situation, it was like it was all for naught.”
HURR HURR!!!11!!! GET OF UR LAZY ASS & PULL URSELF UP BY UR BOOTSTRAPS U LAZY MOOCHERS!!!111!!11!!!!! IF UR GETTIN MINIMUM WAGE IT’S CAUSE UR WORTHLESS!!!11!! NOW THOSE WALMART SHELVES AIN’T GONNA STOCK THEMSELVES.
North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Greg Brannon has an interesting argument for eliminating food stamps: “slavery.” In a videotaped interview with the North Carolina Tea Party in October, Brannon, a Rand Paul-endorsed doctor who is top contender for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, cited James Madison in making the case for abolishing the Department of Agriculture—and with it, the $76 billion-a-year Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. Brannon has a real chance of winning: A December poll from Public Policy Polling found the GOP primary field split but showed him leading Hagan, 45-43.
“We’re taking our plunder, that’s taken from us as individuals, [giving] it to the government, and the government is now keeping itself in power by giving these goodies away,” Brannon said in the interview. “The answer is the Department of Agriculture should go away at the federal level. And now 80 percent of the farm bill was food stamps. That enslaves people. What you want to do, it’s crazy but it’s true, teach people to fish instead of giving them fish. When you’re at the behest of somebody else, you are actually a slavery to them [sic]. That kind of charity does not make people freer.”
It’s something of a mixed metaphor, because Brannon is suggesting that people on food stamps are lazy, while also conflating them with a system of labor exploitation in which people were literally worked to death. (Also: Madison liked slavery.)
Embarrassed because sub-“living wage” stories often played in left leaning media outlets (including Mother Jones) to demonize companies such as MacDonalds and Walmart, the magazine had to clarify their position:
That’s actually not true, we’ve never advised interns or fellows to sign up for food stamps. It is true that the stipend level qualifies them for food stamps, as do most internships, and our HR director has, in the context of explaining their stipend, said as much, but we’ve never encouraged anyone to sign up.
Perhaps sensing that it wasn’t as satisfactory explanation, Mother Jones again clarified:
As a nonprofit investigative news organization, this is an issue that Mother Jones has always felt strongly about, which is why we have been paying our interns a substantive stipend longer than many the industry. It’s also why, as of January 1, our 2014 budget increases the base fellowship stipend to $1,500—an amount equivalent to slightly more than California minimum wage.
Which would put their new and improved intern wages pretty close to the hourly wage of the average chain fast food/big box retailer. Whom have been pilloried for suggesting to their employees that public assistance may be viable options to make ends meet.
Those who rely on food stamps will have to make do with a little less beginning today as a boost in funding from the federal stimulus package is set to expire.
The change will affect more than 2 million low-income residents in Illinois who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services. Nationally, about 47 million people are expected to feel the pinch.
The move marks the end of an extra $45.2 billion the federal government funneled into the food stamp program beginning in 2009 to offset a higher demand for help during the recession.
Reductions vary, but for a family of four in Illinois currently receiving the maximum benefit of $668 per month, that amount will drop to $632. Meanwhile, a single person will see benefits lowered from a maximum of $200 per month to $189.
Advocates for the poor say every penny counts in households already struggling to make ends meet.
“It seems like a small decrease, but it will have an impact on those who depend on it,” DHS spokeswoman Januari Smith said. “People will have to make tough decisions, including choosing between necessary medicines and putting food on the table.”