GOP Plan to Slash SNAP – Editorial Roundup

This week House Republicans will bring to the floor another statement of Republican priorities: a bill to slash $40 billion from SNAP – or food stamps – forcing nearly four million people to lose benefits next year.  Editorial boards around the country share our disbelief and call on the GOP to have a change of heart… or at leave have a heart.

Des Moines Register Editorial: People on food stamps don’t eat like a king

…This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill crafted by Republicans that would cut about $40 billion from SNAP over 10 years.  That is twice as much as House Republicans sought to cut earlier this year and 10 times the amount Senate Democrats have proposed cutting.

While some GOP lawmakers embrace corporate welfare through tax benefits and subsidies, they think government benefits for low-income people are too generous.

To see whether the poor are really eating like kings, these lawmakers should participate in the SNAP Challenge, too.  Iowa’s two House Republicans, Steve King and Tom Latham, could see first-hand how the 420,000 Iowans who rely on food assistance get by on an average of $4 and change per day for meals.

This would be a great exercise for King, who has loudly advocated for cuts to the program and is apparently growing accustomed to finer dining.  He spent $3,588 on lodging and meals during a six-day trip to Russia earlier this year, according to the Congressional Record.  If he instead used that same amount of money to subsidize a SNAP Challenge, he could eat for 881 days.  Heck, if allocated to the challenge the equivalent of the total amount spent on the trip, including transportation, he could keep himself in SNAP meals for 16 years.  

Star-Ledger Editorial: The GOP plan to gut food stamps

House Republicans say their plan to drastically cut food stamps for the poor is all about reducing the deficit.  But the truth is in the details:

Besides forcing an estimated 4 million to 6 million people off food assistance, it invites states to make even harsher cuts, so they can use the savings for other purposes — such as tax cuts for the rich, or subsidies for big business.

Which tells us that their real motives lie elsewhere…

How is every able-bodied food stamp recipient supposed to find steady work when the jobs simply don’t exist?  

Battle Creek Enquirer Editorial: Remember stakes in food stamp fight

Families, children and the elderly continue to go hungry in our community and an across our nation, but that fact hasn’t dulled House Republicans’ zeal for drastically slashing the food aid to the poor…

Republicans say the plan is about reducing the deficit, but one doesn’t need an MBA to see through that blatant lie.  The farm bill is loaded with obscene levels of farm subsidies that are projected to cost about $200 billion over the next decade.

This isn’t really a debate about deficit spending — or even food stamp fraud.  It’s a debate about priorities.  For supporters of these cuts, hungry kids simply don’t make the cut.  [9/11]

Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial: Food stamps are a lifeline

Sometimes, it seems like the world gets a little bit harsher every week…

State and federal changes coming to the food-stamp program are going to hurt the people who are least able to withstand a blow to their household budgets…

…the U.S. House is preparing to debate a bill next week that would cut $40 billion out of the program.

These changes are happening at a time when the need for nutrition assistance has grown phenomenally.  [9/13]

St. Louis Post Dispatch Editorial: Missouri holds the wrong distinction when it comes to hunger

…Current Republican theology holds that if you cut taxes, jobs will follow, that government programs are rife with waste, fraud and abuse, that charity will provide.  That hasn’t always been the case with the GOP, a party which not long ago in its history recognized the important role a safety net plays in society.

Today, our corporations are sitting on mountains of cash, and our children are getting poorer and poorer, bringing down performance levels in schools lawmakers don’t want to fund.  The charities can’t keep up.

This is our reality.

Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Targeting of food stamp program is hard to swallow

At a time when record numbers of people need help to buy food, it’s a little pathetic that Congress is wasting time and burning moral capital debating the value of the nation’s food stamp program.

But that’s what they’re up to. Conservative lawmakers, aided and abetted by the likes of Fox News, are pumping up outrage over abuses — proportionately relatively few — to support a House Republican plan to trim as much as $4 billion off the $80-billion-a-year Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, partly by adding drug testing and work requirements.  

Wichita Eagle Editorial: Need for food stamps is genuine

…The talk of the “out-of-control” food stamp program ends up feeding the stereotype of poor people as lazy malingerers who lack only the will to find work, as it ignores how many of the people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program already work but don’t earn enough to make ends meet.  It’s sobering, for example, that at least 39 of Kansas’ SNAP recipients live at Fort Riley.  And that in the past five years, 80,000 Kansans joined the ranks of those living below the federal poverty line of $23,000 annual income for a family of four.

But in Congress, much of the debate over the new farm bill has been about how deeply to cut food stamps, with little regard for how much trouble some people are having feeding their families…

Four years into the slow recovery, the shame is not that more people are turning to food stamps to supplement low or no wages and feed their families, but that politicians are so eager to cut off access to such help.

New York Times Editorial: Mindlessly Gutting Food Stamps

…Instead of providing aid for the hungry, House Republicans want to reduce the food stamp program — the most basic part of the social safety net — with $40 billion in cuts across the next decade.  A showdown vote over this cruel plan is expected this month.  The House majority leader, Eric Cantor, is leading a propaganda drive that invokes reform as its cause while blaming the victims of hunger simply because the food stamp rolls had to double to nearly 48 million people in the crunch of recession…

The Republicans play up a few abusers of the program to mask the central fact of their plan: the tens of millions of Americans who rely on food stamps are children, the disabled, the elderly and low-wage families.  For their sake, Congress should reject the Cantor proposal as the national embarrassment it plainly is.

Toledo Blade Editorial: SNAP to it

…The need today for U.S. food assistance is probably the greatest since the Great Depression.  Any cuts to SNAP now are unacceptable, but the GOP plan would deny benefits to millions of the neediest and most vulnerable Americans, and would reduce already scanty benefits to untenable levels.

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