“Don’t romanticize charity, we can’t make up for these cuts,” Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, told MSNBC.com in September. “No one is more afraid of these cuts than charity, because we cannot cover it.”
Negotiations began this week between the House and Senate on the 2013 Farm Bill as the two sides try to reconcile their differences, including on food benefits for the country’s poor. The Senate version of the bill would cut about $4 billion more from food stamps over the next decade. But the House bill would cut $39 billion, causing nearly four million people to lose eligibility for the program.
I am on the front lines of the battle against starvation in America. Weekly I see hundreds of people come through our soup kitchen. We live on a shoestring budget to put out healthy meals to those who would probably not get one if we were not there. To cut $5 billion now and another $39 billion later while we continue to ramp out our grossly insane military budgets is more than stupid it is an utter disregard for humanity.
I recently heard a Republican Senator self-proclaim that he is really a liberator of the poor. He proudly states that our safety net has trapped so many people he is here to dismantle it in order to rescue them. He claims that if we can just tear them loose from the net they will all go out and get good paying jobs and then everyone can keep their own money and live happily ever after. I am hoping that this story makes you as sick as it does me. I am sure this person actually believes what he is saying or at least he rationalizes it being so. But if he were to actually get out on the front lines of our war against poverty he would see a very different story.
Many of my GOP friends seem to think that “those” people actually prefer to be poor and to not know where next weeks food will come from. They seem to think that people are just too lazy to get a job. I can honestly say that I have never met a person who wishes to be poor. Many without jobs would love to work if only they could find it and had a means to get to and from it daily as required. Of course all of us know that most jobs that would be available to them if they had a reliable car and good health are at minimum wage.
Of course I see and realize that there are those who have brought the problems they have on themselves. They made some poor choices in life that have resulted in addictions and often prison terms trying to support those addictions. Some of my friends are in that boat and I sympathize with them. But with that prison term around their necks for the rest of their life most employers, even minimum wage ones won’t touch them. There are just too many others they can choose to take on their roles.
Cutting food stamps instead of our obscene military budgets is total insanity and a gross lack of humanity to me.
But I am just a simple guy so what do I know……..