Since the Reagan administration and the phony meme of the “welfare queen,” poor people have been demonized in this country. While the wealthy are given tax break after tax break with nary a second look by anyone, the poor are subjected to micro-management of their lifestyles and choices.
A bill in Missouri would make it so the poor who use the SNAP program won’t be able to buy the most basic of foods, including cheap cuts of steak and possibly even tuna.
‘The intention of the bill is to get the food stamp program back to its original intent, which is nutrition assistance,’ said Rick Brattin, the representative who is sponsoring the proposed legislation.
Source: Washington Post
Republicans have an all-consuming fear that poor people are somehow living better than them. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a family of four receives no more than $649.00 per month in SNAP benefits. A single person just $194.00 per month.
It’s pretty difficult to see how people on food stamps could be living high on the hog, but that doesn’t stop conservatives, while leading the cheer for tax breaks for the wealthy (which we all have to pay for) from showing videos like this of a California surfer who supposedly buys sushi and lobster using the food stamp system.
There’s nothing that Republicans love more than anecdotal stories, because that’s all they have because statistics are not their friends. The reality about food stamp abuse is that it does exist, but not from people like the surfer. It comes from the stores that accept food stamps.
Brattin admits that the language might need some tweaking. ‘My intention wasn’t to get rid of canned tuna and fish sticks,’ he said. But he also insists that people are abusing the system by purchasing luxury foods, and believes that that must be stopped, even if it ends up requiring the inclusion of other less luxurious items.
“I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs with their EBT cards,” he said. “When I can’t afford it on my pay, I don’t want people on the taxpayer’s dime to afford those kinds of foods either.”
It’s funny how nearly everyone trumpeting the meme of food stamp abuse says they see people buying these egregiously priced items when it’s nearly impossible to tell if someone is using the SNAP system because it looks like a standard debit card – and what are they doing peeking into people’s shopping carts?
This shouldn’t be surprising, though. The “party of small government” already has a deep fascination with our bedrooms. Why should our grocery carts be any different?
Featured image via Wikipedia.