War on Poverty Pivots to War on Poor People (and other things)
by Alan Bedenko (@BuffaloPundit) - posted 7:30 am, September 18, 2013
1. Congressional Republicans aren’t just satisfied to vote 41+ times to prevent all Americans from having affordable, quality health care. They aren’t just satisfied devising tricky, procedural ways to prevent subsidies for America’s conservative, market-based health insurance scheme from being funded. They are now focusing laser-like on the real culprits in America’s continued slide into Somalian-style libertarianism: working poor people receiving food stamps.
Can you imagine? We feed the needy! We used to link farm subsidies with food stamps, because (a) compromise; and (b) food stamps are an indirect farm subsidy themselves. Clearly, this is something that the new plutocracy cannot tolerate. All of society’s ills stem not from, e.g., bank bailouts and corporate welfare, but from the working poor having a little extra help from the government so they can not only pay for rent and supplement all the expenses cut from school budgets, but also eat food!
…the House GOP proposal largely targets a part of the food stamp program that often serves the elderly and the disabled, who would have to resort to seeking food from already overburdened charities if the cuts actually became law.
“The food pantries are already struggling, and that’s where people are going to go,” said Kelly Ann Kowalski, director of Food for All, a Buffalo nonprofit that aims to address hunger in the community, in part by helping people sign up for food stamps.
As for the work requirement in the House bill, other than the seniors and the disabled, “there are few people who call us who aren’t working,” Kowalski said.
Republicans, however, see things very differently.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, noted that the bill’s food stamp cuts are not aimed at the poorest of the poor. Instead, they’re aimed at parts of the food stamp program that allow people to qualify without an asset or income test.
“People are gaming the system,” he said. “People are saying that deserving, eligible people are going to get their food stamps cut. There’s no truth to that.”
Collins also noted that while the old farm bill is set to expire Sept. 30, the real deadline facing Congress is Dec. 31. That’s because farm programs are funded on a seasonal basis, meaning they’re already set for the rest of this year. In addition, he noted that food stamps are funded “on autopilot” and will continue even if the Sept. 30 deadline is breached.
What’s more, Collins said it’s important that the House pass the food stamp bill – which would be combined with a farm bill that it passed separately earlier in the summer – so that the House and Senate can move toward final negotiations on a new five-year farm bill.
Chris Collins, of course. He’s never met a poor he didn’t…. wait, he’s probably never met a poor, full stop. (When was his last town hall meeting?) The Republicans hate everything except the very rich, now.
2. Erie County’s
Press Releasor-in-Chief Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw gets hit for taking dirty money from criminal Big Cancer, and the loss of staff – including the instigator of GarbageGate Teresa Fraas – leaves him not so much with “best and brightest” but with “nobody”.
3. Season 2 finale of HBO’s the Newsroom, Will McAvoy is asked whether he is a Republican so he can maintain credibility when criticizing Republicans. He responds,
No, I call myself a Republican because I am one.
I believe in market solutions and common sense realities and the necessity to defend ourselves against a dangerous world and that’s about it.
The problem is now I have to be homophobic.
I have to count the number to times people go to church.
I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con.
I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride.
And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect…in the 21st century.
But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement is that I have to hate Democrats.
And I have to hate Chris Christie for not spitting on the president when he got off of Air Force One.
The two-party system is crucial to the whole operation. There is honor in being the loyal opposition. And I’m a Republican for the same reasons you are.
I used to be a Republican, and I left the party in 2003, but it left me in 2000 when George W. Bush declared that his most influential political philosopher was “Jesus Christ”. So, when I criticize it relentlessly, it’s because watching its descent into a madness that has literally helped to destroy the middle class, I do so as if I’m watching a relative who’s become a schizophrenic, muttering nonsense to unheard voices, and refuses to get help.
4. This is a great ad: