The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

July 23, 2013

Minimum wage, food stamps have their place

Actions by congressional Republicans this year show they apparently have declared an all-out war against low-income citizens and the poor.

The poor, it seems, have more of a right to have guns than decent meals each day.

A few weeks ago, the Republican-led House cut the national food stamp program from its new farm bill, setting up a fight sometime soon over what our government should be doing to help those who can’t afford to adequately feed their children or themselves.

And given the disdain the GOP has for those less fortunate, the prospects are not good. The poor, for many well-off Republicans, are just lazy moochers, as some lawmakers obviously agree with Mitt Romney’s assessment of the 47 percent of people who would never vote for him.

There may be some merit to severing food stamps from farm bills, since linking them was a political move back in the 1970s to gain urban lawmaker support for agricultural programs. The motive for the recent House action, however, was primarily to pursue cuts in food aid for the poor.

Lawmakers are so alienated from real-life situations that they don’t realize abusers of the program make up just a small fraction of those receiving food stamps. 

In April, more than 47 million people from 23 million households were beneficiaries. Nearly 50 percent are children, 30 percent are working poor who don’t earn enough to pay all their bills, and about a fifth are senior citizens or disabled. The average benefit is about $130 a month for an individual and around $270 for a household.

What irks the Republicans, especially those with Tea Party backing, is that the cost for the program, officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has doubled, understandably, since the economy crashed five years ago. Now, about one in seven Americans benefit. 

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column
Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Are you more or less religious than your parents?

More religious
Less religious
About the same
     View Results