When I see the faux journalism like the story below in a liberal rag like Slate, I realize that facts, truth, perspective, and honesty mean nothing to people with an agenda and a story-line to sell. Slate and the pitiful excuse for a journalist decided they were going to write a story detailing the horror of food stamp “cuts” and they sought out a person who fit their sob story. The theme of the story was going to be starving poor people, drastic cuts, and blaming those dreaded Teabaggers for this tragedy. And anyone who wants to believe the drivel in this article will be highly satisfied. It doesn’t matter that the facts do not support the thesis and selecting one person to represent the plight of all 47 million food stamp recipients is the classic methodology of liberals. We should always create a national program or policy based on the circumstances of one person. The multitude of stories about SNAP fraud, the abandoned carts in Wal-Mart when the FSA were going to get caught cheating, and ongoing campaign to sign people up for SNAP when they didn’t have any intention of seeking this assistance aren’t even mentioned. The personal observations by thousands of people about the kinds of food purchased with EBT cards are nothing but racist rants by Tea Partiers according to the liberal MSM.
Whenever the food stamp issue arises emotions and vitriol rule the day. The liberals declare that anyone who wants to control the costs or reduce the number of people on SNAP is an evil person who favors starving old people. The far right wingers think all food stamp recipients are nothing but moochers and too lazy to get a job. I happen to believe the food stamp program is a necessary safety net program and I’m OK with my tax dollars going to fund it. But, here is where I depart from the liberals and their extreme ideology. Food stamps are supposed to provide a bridge for people temporarily down on their luck. During recessions people lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Unemployment compensation and food stamps are supposed to fill the gap until they can get a new job. You just need to review the historical data to see that the number of people on food stamps always rose during recessions and then fell after the recession was over. It happened in the early 1980s recession. It happened in the early 1990s recession. But something has gone awry in the last decade and specifically in the last five years.
There has been a major entitlement mindset change. Food stamps should not be a lifetime underachievement award. You should not be entitled to food-stamps because you decided to drop-out of high school and you choose not to work or are unemployable based upon your ignorance or appearance. You should not be entitled to food-stamps because you chose to get pregnant for the 4th time by four different baby daddies. Food stamps is a program to help people TEMPORARILY down on their luck through no fault of their own.
In 2007 there were 26 million people on food-stamps, which was lower than the level of 1994. It had been on a steady but slow uptrend since 2000 and had settled around the 26 million level. The annual cost was not an insubstantial $33 billion per year. We then had a massive financial crisis and ensuing recession. The bottom of the crisis/recession occurred in 2009. As one would expect the number of food stamp recipients surged by 7 million to 33 million in 2009 and the expense increased to $54 billion. I had no problem with this expenditure. Then Obama and his Keynesian brethren passed their $800 billion “temporary” stimulus plan. They included $45 billion extra for food-stamps. The economy has been in recovery since 2010 I’m told by Obama and his liberal supporters in the MSM. Food-stamp recipients should have leveled off and begun to fall, since the economy has been recovering.
But a funny (not ha ha) thing happened on the road to recovery. Obama and his minions used the SNAP stimulus funds to advertise and encourage millions to sign up for food-stamps. His plan was hugely successful. He was able to increase the number of people on food-stamps by 14 million since the recession ended. The cost was driven up to $76 billion. Only a highly skeptical person would suggest that this was done to solidify the Democratic voting base. And this brings us to the TRAGIC cuts that will starve millions according to Slate and the rest of the liberal media. The fact that the $5 billion reduction is just the expiration of Obama’s temporary stimulus plan is ignored by the liberal media. It is surely the work of those evil Republicans.
The interview below is quite revealing and tells me everything I need to know about the rag publishing this crap. They lead the story with declaring this as the largest cut in history for SNAP. Sounds horrifying. They wouldn’t want to clarify with some perspective. The reduction will put funding at the level of 2011, which was $42 billion higher than 2007. It is clear in the first answer from Debra, the SNAP recipient has no clue how much she gets per month and how much her cut was. She made it sound like she got a $70 cut, or 30%. If Slate had an ounce of journalistic integrity they would add this chart.
Debra is in a household of two. Her benefit got reduced by $20, not $70. So she has to cut out meat from her diet because her subsidy went down by 67 cents per day? Really? Reading the interview generates a multitude of questions in my mind and clarifies the entitlement mindset for me. Here are a few questions and observations:
- We hear about how little food she is able to buy for herself and her unemployed 21 year old daughter. I’d love to see a picture of these two ladies. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing these two hungry gals are both over 200 pounds.
- Why is Debra a single mom? Where’s the Daddy? Isn’t he responsible for his child?
- The story attempts to convince you they need the food-stamps to survive. Then you find out she is getting a disability check from the VA, getting an SSDI check, getting low income housing assistance, gets Meals on wheels food from her neighbor, and gets food from a food bank. Somehow she gets by on two meals per day. Me too.
- What exactly is her disability? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess “Depression”, or some other non-verifiable illness.
- We eventually get to the money quotes when the interviewer asks about her and her daughter getting jobs.
“ Yes, I’ve thought about it, and my daughter is also considering it. But my food stamps, rent, VA compensation, and social security would be affected. I’d have to make a lot of money to overcome all the reductions, something like $15 to $20 an hour.”
“She wants to help and get a job, but it’s a catch-22. I’m on rent assistance, and if she gets a job, my rent goes up and my food stamp money goes down. But she’s got an interview at Target coming up and if it works out that will be an interesting challenge.”
And there you have the entitlement mindset. Debra has no plans to leave SNAP. The entitlement checks give her no incentive to work. Both SNAP and SSDI are supposed to be temporary assistance until the recipient can go back to work. People like Debra and her daughter have been enabled by the government to not work, look for work, or ever lift themselves up out of squalor. They are being paid to become permanent parasites on society. The excuse about jobs not paying enough is bullshit. In the real world, you start at a low level job, you work hard, get raises, move up the ladder, and eventually make enough money to support yourself and pay taxes.
My son is 16 years old. He will have his driver’s license in another month. He wanted a job. He applied at Dunkin Donuts two Sundays ago. They called him in for an interview at 2:45 on the following Wednesday. They saw he was a clean cut kid, didn’t weigh 300 pounds, didn’t have face tattoos or piercings, and hired him on the spot. They gave him his first shift 1 hour later. He worked 25 hours in the next five days, while having full days of school. They only pay $7.25 per hour, plus tips. He made almost $200 in his first week of work. He will make $700 to $800 per month and he has no skills or work experience. His three best friends all have part-time jobs working 20 hours per week. Debra and her daughter somehow think this type of job is beneath them. The thought of starting out as a clerk at Dunkin Donuts, working extra hours by taking other people’s shifts, proving to your manager you deserve a raise or promotion to assistant manager, and eventually managing your own Dunkin Donuts store is inconceivable to people like Debra, with their entitlement mindset. My son is able to get a job earning $700 to $800 per month while getting straight A’s in high school and this liberal rag – Slate – does a story about the horrific impact of a $20 reduction in food-stamps on two Free Shit Army troopers. What a joke the liberal MSM has become.
Never let the facts, truth and reality get in the way of a good liberal media sob story.
Meat Is the First Thing to Go
What it’s like to have your food stamps cut.
By Katy Waldman