Food Stamps Again A Vivid Symbol In Poverty Debate

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but those are by the way not lottery winners, but none of those stopped house republicans from slashing $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next decade. it doesn’t hurt shady lottery winners or the dead, but kids and the elderly, disabled, low wage workers and members of our military. a post on a blog made rounds today. my name is jason. i’m a 35-year-old white combat veteran. i’m on food stamps . he’s worked his entire life and is now on food stamps . it is what is keeping him from going hungry. he isn’t alone. military families alone redeem about $100 million in food aid . millions of people in poverty fall into three categories. you can call them the lucky category, since conservatives seem to think people on welfare hit some sort of jackpot.

Jason Greenslate, Food Stamp Surfer, Responds To The Haters

In addition, most states allow people to qualify automatically for food stamps if they are eligible for certain other welfare programs, even if they don’t meet the strict SNAP standards. Although food stamps are paid for with federal tax dollars, states administer the program and have some choices in setting requirements. Language in Clinton’s 1996 welfare overhaul required able-bodied adults who aren’t raising children to work or attend job training or similar programs to qualify for food stamps after three months. But those work requirements across most of the nation have been waived for several years because of the high unemployment rate. People who are living in the United States illegally aren’t eligible for food stamps. Most adults who immigrate legally aren’t eligible during their first five years in the country. Rising like yeast The cost to taxpayers more than doubled over just four years, from $38 billion in 2008 to $78 billion last year. Liberals see a program responding to rising need at a time of economic turmoil. Conservatives see out-of-control spending, and many Republicans blame President Barack Obama. While seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, Newt Gingrich labeled Obama the “food stamp president.” Some of the growth can be attributed to Obama’s food stamp policies, but Congress’ budget analysts blame most of it on the economy. The big factors: The SNAP program is an entitlement, meaning everyone who is eligible can get aid, no matter the cost to taxpayers. Millions of jobs were lost in the recession that hit in 2007. Unemployment is still high, and many people who have jobs are working fewer hours or for lower pay than before, meaning more people are eligible. Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus temporarily increased benefit amounts; that boost is set to expire on Nov.

Food stamps: Rhetoric vs. reality

Fox News profiled the 28-year-old San Diego resident in two August segments about America’s ” food stamp binge .” The stories showed Greenslate buying sushi and lobster with a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program debit card. Greenslate plays in a rock band and laughed at the idea of getting a normal job. This is the way I want to live and I dont really see anything changing, Greenslate said in front of the news cameras. Its free food; its awesome. Fox distributed the clips to Capitol Hill offices, and Greenslate became Republicans’ poster boy in their effort to cut nutrition spending . On Thursday evening, shortly before the House of Representatives voted to trim food stamps by 5 percent, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said, “You can no longer sit on your couch or ride a surfboard like Jason in California and expect the federal taxpayer to feed you.” Greenslate, for his part, said he thinks it’s stupid for Congress to legislate based on the Fox stories. “I don’t think that one person should be the decision for 47 million people,” Greenslate told HuffPost after Thursday’s vote. Much of the food stamp debate turned on the question of who are those 47 million people? Greenslate is not exactly a representative example. Government data make clear the vast majority of households receiving benefits include at least one member who is either a child, elderly, or disabled. But Republicans have focused on recipients who are able-bodied adults without dependents — people who may be like Greenslate. Able-bodied adults without dependents made up 10.2 percent of SNAP population in 2011, up from 6.6 percent in 2007. Federal law only allows such “ABAWDs” to receive three months of food stamps, but most states waive the requirement because of high unemployment. Research shows the doubling of food stamp rolls from 2007 to 2012 owes to the bad economy. But Republicans, led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), have emphasized the waivers.