Friday, June 26, 2015

Poors are eating too much

So in an effort to further humiliate and hopefully starve them out of existence, several Republican controlled House committees are taking another look at SNAP. Under the banner of "reform" smug, self righteous bastards like Lyin' Paul Ryan will seek to further restrict the program that helps millions of Americans and boosts the economy.
The House Agriculture Committee has been staging hearings on the effectiveness of SNAP for months. On Thursday, the Ways and Means Committee — chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. — got involved. Subcommittees from Agriculture and Ways and Means held a joint hearing titled “Past, Present, and Future of SNAP: How Our Welfare System Can Discourage Work."

Ryan, a former vice presidential candidate and influential figure on economic policy, has made overhauling the federal safety net, including SNAP, one of his signature issues. Last year he took a very public tour of impoverished U.S. neighborhoods and followed it up with a comprehensive proposal for reforming the country’s welfare system. That proposal included a call to fund SNAP through block grants and institute tougher work requirements for SNAP recipients.

But over the past two years, the program has lost billions due to a series of legislative actions. First, Congress borrowed from SNAP’s coffers to finance a separate nutrition program, triggering an automatic $5 billion SNAP cut in November 2013. Three months later, President Barack Obama signed into law an agricultural spending bill that slashed billions more in SNAP benefits by targeting the relationship between food stamp benefits and low-income energy assistance subsidies.

At the same time, some governors have acted independently to shed food stamp beneficiaries from the rolls by reinstituting work requirements in their states.

Under federal law, able-bodied adults without dependents (or ABAWDs, as they’re known to the Department of Agriculture) must either work at least 20 hours per week or participate in a workfare program in order to access full SNAP benefits. Those who do neither are typically entitled to just three months’ worth of SNAP benefits every three years. However, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) may permit states to waive those requirements during periods of high unemployment.

As of last year, 36 states were eligible for such waivers according to the USDA. But more than a dozen of the governors who initially sought those waivers during the Great Recession have since asked for them to be rescinded.

Yet while the number of people served by SNAP and the average monthly benefits they receive have both dwindled, household food security — defined by the USDA as access to "enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members” — has never returned to pre-recession levels. The most recent USDA figures show that 14.3 percent of U.S. households suffered from food insecurity in 2013, a nearly 30 percent increase compared to 2007. Meanwhile, food pantries around the country continue to report record levels of demand for their services.
And all the Republicans will call themselves good Christian men and praise Jesus in church on Sunday. If God really existed, according to his rules he would fry their asses when they crossed the threshold.


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