Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

The House passed legislation to expand the school lunch program for needy children. The bill will now go to the White House for the president's signature. Sounds like a win for the impoverished, right?

The $4.5B plan will be partially offset by $2.2B in cuts to the food stamp program.

So let me get this straight. A program to feed poor children at school was offset by cuts to a program that will take food off their tables at home. 

At the same time we have an unfunded war in Afghanistan costing $5.7B per month

 This in the same week we saw a tax cut deal that will add approximately $900B to the national debt and overwhelmingly favors the wealthy.

The plutocracy reigns.


  1. Here is the only thing I can say to the credit of this decision:
    The food stamp program has been criticized because some of people who collect these extra food stamps for their extra kids, will sell them for drugs or use their money very irresponsibly. At least if they take it away from there and give it to the kids at the school, it a. encourages the kids to go to school because now they can get quality food there and their parents can't sell their food stamps for drugs and b. the parents who do that with their food stamps won't have those to sell. But i think the amount of people who actually use the system in this way are few and far between. But i'm trying to find any bit of logic to apply to this.

  2. Check out this article:

    This woman is on multiple forms of assistance, some gov. some non-profit. If she has no means, how come she has 2 kids, a nice couch (that couch is not the cheapest of couches), her kids are wearing nice clothes, she is wearing nice clothes, that brand of t-shirt - the imagine graphic t-s are 20 bucks each, and she has pre-ripped jeans (those are always more pricey).
    It's people like her that make it hard for anyone to feel bad for the "poor".
    Again, my family had no money growing up, and they never got aid. They worked 3 jobs. We had hand me downs that didn't fit, and our furniture was falling apart. But, we made it on our own.
    People need to learn how to stand on their own. And they have the means. They just don't want to do what they have to do sometimes. True, they need help at times, but sometimes, they get too used to it. I see it myself with certain people i know on unemployment.

  3. The SNAP (official term for food stamps) program is a nutrition assistance program administered by the USDA. Every 5 years, the congress has to approve the eligibility and benefit levels as part of the farm bill.

    As the unfortunate way budgeting works, obviously it has to be a zero-sum gain within the nutrition assistance program. So if you gain on providing better school lunches, you have to lose somewhere else. How sad.

    So it doesn't make any difference that war is $5.7B a month, or the top riches get tax breaks worth $900B, they are intangible to the poor SNAP or school nutrition programs. Even after this painfully passed funding, at the end of the day, public schools will get $2.7 to provide a meal for a kid. Even marginal improvement on nutritional quality is better than the junk many American children are being fed everyday.

    There are people who game the SNAP system, no question. But those who benefit (just or unjust) are almost exclusively those of lower income. No doubt the better way to lift people out of poverty is to teach them how to fish rather than giving them fish coupons. No doubt that the SNAP system needs better design to prevent black market, fraud (give them a charge card!), and in my opinion, ways to facilitate better dietary choices, but to cite existing problem as reasons to punish the poor, while the overall cost of SNAP and school lunch programs combined is dwarfed by programs that benefit billionaires, invade other countries, and profit large corporations--seems like an insult on humanity.

  4. Reality does not influence re-election. Re-election is the only thing that matters. Therefore, screw the poor.