Killing the Food Stamp Program

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary Once again it is time for the federal budget fight of what programs are kept, what programs may be expanded, and what programs may be cut. One of the appropriations being considered is the Farm Bill. Within the Farm Bill is the U.S. government’s Food Stamp program, also called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as the Republican minority in the U.S. Senate want to cut U.S. $80 billion from the program (out of a total of $81 billion). In other words, they want to kill the whole program. Their logic for doing so? It is “too much” of an expense, and that the federal government can no longer afford this program.

It never ceases to amaze me how so many Republican law makers can call for cutting programs that millions of people need more than ever, yet do nothing about cutting the bloated U.S. military budget of U.S. $901 billion. Personally, this country will eventually have to cut money from even needy programs no matter how it will hurt those who need it. The problem is that too many Republicans are choosing guns over bread and butter, and seem to be more interested in saving money than understanding that economic conditions in this country. The economic conditions are so bad that the Food Stamp program is desperately needed. The effects of the Great Recession are still very much a part of everyday life in America. Apparently, many Republicans do not seem to be aware that too many people are still going hungry, too many people cannot now even afford the basics, and that private food banks are being tapped out by the sheer demand.

Currently, there are over 47 million people who NEED food stamps. Many of these people used to have jobs and used to be able to feed and take care of their families. Even though the economy is stable now (barely stable that is), unemployment remains high, poverty is higher than ever before, and America has too many military commitments all over the world. We still have troops stationed in countries like Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Great Britain where there is no threat to these countries or to the United States. These soldiers have been in Europe since the end of the Cold War, and the U.S. expenditure for maintaining these troops is considerable. If we were to withdraw all of the troops or even half of these troops from Europe, it would be a significant savings for not only the U.S. government but also for the average American. But please, do not cut programs that help feed Americans first!

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