Tag Archives: SNAP

Disabled, Sick or Poor? Trump’s America is not for You

Trump’s contempt for disabilities became apparent early in his campaign. Now echoed by Ryan’s budget and the GOP’s pushing of a healthcare plan whose success depends on Americans with illness dying to save billions over the years in lowered medical costs, many are losing hope.

Written by John Benedict

Photo: fionao71/tumblr

I’m angry.

As an American who works for a company whose owner is disabled; as a coworker of a person who is disabled; as the son and nephew of disabled American Veterans; and the spouse of a person who receives RSDI income due to a disability; I’m sickened by the proposed 2018 Federal Budget put out by the Trump White House.

The current administration shows no regard for Americans with disabilities. Nor do they appear to care about anyone with a “pre-existing” medical condition. Nor do they care about anyone else who will lose their healthcare coverage when the Republicans figure out a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Oh, did I mention that they also plan on slashing spending on Medicaid,  the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Childhood Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Social Security Disability Insurance, Social Security Benefits, and other programs?

Since when do we care so little about our fellow Americans that we would be willing to let them suffer and even die so that “we” can build up our already enormous stockpile of military weapons and be able to give each of the millionaires in the United States a nice $50,000 tax break (round numbers- if you happen to be a millionaire -your slice of what is left of the sick / disabled /or poor may be slightly different)?

I have paid taxes for 39 years to fund these programs. Now this administration tells me and the rest of the American taxpayers that we don’t need any safety nets. If you can’t work, well then , you don’t deserve to eat. If you are unfortunate enough to get hurt on the job, well then, it sucks to be you. You don’t deserve a “hand-out” from the insurance fund that you have paid into your entire working life. If your child has cancer that is being treated under your current insurance policy, and your employer decides to change insurance providers, well sorry about that, but that is a ‘pre-existing’ condition now and your new insurance won’t cover it, or it will up to a limit that you will surpass in a short amount of time, we can’t worry about that, because this country needs more bombs and missiles, and a tax cut for the millionaires who REALLY don’t care if that child of yours dies or not. Suck it up buttercup and get with the program. You and your well being JUST DON’T MATTER.

I love my county. I believe  the politicians that “We the People” elect are supposed to represent  all of us that comprise”We the People”. Not the Corporations (no matter what SCOTUS told us in the ‘Citizens’ United’ decision), and NOT just a small amount of “citizens”who have filled their campaign coffers. We need politicians who have the gumption to stand up against this budget which is nothing more than a vile attack on those who are poor, sick or disabled.

We as Americans deserve better. Much Better.

Related Article: No country for people with disabilities

About the Author:
John Benedict grew up in white, middle-class America when there still was such a thing. He has worked blue collar jobs for nearly 40 years. He grew up in a home where one parent who had a disability. He also is now married to a disabled spouse.

 

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Lean, Mean, Hungry Machine

By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Being a lean, mean, fighting machine takes fuel – lots of it. Well-balanced, nutritional and wholesome foods are the order of the day for most troops as they move through basic training and become active in their military roles.

In 2013, commissaries across America saw over $104 million dollars in food stamp purchases by the enlisted personnel using the commissary’s already discounted prices for basic food supplies. This is almost double over the amount spent in food stamps by military members in 2012.

While it is concerning that our troops are not paid well enough that they qualify for food stamps to begin with, it becomes even more alarming when considering the recent actions by Congress that will directly affect these enlisted men and women as well as their families.

The recent budget passed in Washington limits pay increases in the military to 1%, while current inflation trends are at 1.5% and rising.

President Obama has signed the new Farm Bill into law, which eliminates over $4 million in food stamps, to be taken from recipients in 14 states, with 40% of those people being military families. This is in addition to the cuts to the SNAP program that were taken as part of the not-to-be-realized-but was sequester following the debt ceiling debacle last year.

Because the military requires enlisted personnel to transfer to various service locations, the unemployment rate of military spouses is currently at a staggering 30%, making supplemental income to the military paycheck all but impossible for most struggling military families. For those spouses who qualify for unemployment benefits, the payments cease when the enlisted person is transferred, as the unemployment benefits are administered through a state payment system, not on a federal level.

Have you ever dined on the luxurious quality of an MRE?

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Liars, Damn Liars, and Statistics

Photo by Ryan Thompson/U.S. Department of Agriculture [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Ryan Thompson/U.S. Department of Agriculture CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The US House passed the 2014 Farm Bill, proclaiming their pride of a “bipartiisan” piece of legislation that now moves to the Senate. At the core of the bad policies included with some good ones in the Bill are the cuts to the food stamp program known as SNAP. “This is legislation we can all be proud of because it fulfills the expectations the American people have of us,” said Representative Frank D. Lucas, (R-OK), who led House efforts to pass the farm bill, according to a report in The New York Times.

The Bill will cut $8 billion from SNAP over the next 10 years. To soften the blow, the draconian measure was wrapped in the language of “only a 1% cut” when revealed to the public. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, right?

The 1% cut will be taken from 850,000 households across 14 states, with as much as a 50% cut to those household’s monthly benefit. Hardest hit of the cities will be New York City itself, where 40% of food stamp recipients are military veterans. The statistic of 1% was derived by using the national number of recipients to average the effect of the 850,000 households losing 50% of the benefit. Otherwise, we would be shocked, outraged and demand the Senate not pass the bill.

I don’t know about you, but I am shocked and outraged. To take food from the most vulnerable people and average it over the nation’s total program recipients for politics-before-people purposes is nothing less than lying to the public about the effects of legislation. They think the public can’t figure basic math and will applaud their efforts without examining the real facts.

Since when has not feeding a veteran’s family in New York City been beneficial for a farmer in Iowa? How is a “Farm Bill” related to feeding FEWER people? Attaching the SNAP cuts to the Farm Bill is purely political, and comes after other cuts to the program have already been passed. After growing up on a farm, I can say this smells very much like organic fertilizer of the male bovine kind…

After all, throwing a veteran’s family under the manure spreader is easier for Washington than throwing corporate tax breaks under the plow. They are learning to compromise…

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