The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Cutting Food Stamps from the Hungry

Apr 11, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of people in 21 states, perhaps as many as a million of the poorest people in the U.S., are losing their food stamps this April.

The cuts will spare women with children and people with disabilities – but only for now.

The Supplemental Food Assistance Program, SNAP, was set up by Congress under Clinton. Its goal was to kick people off the program after a certain time limit, usually three months. Most states had been using a suspension of this time limit for the past eight years, because the recession has meant few jobs were available.

Since official unemployment rates have fallen, the politicians see an excuse to cut people off the program, accumulating money for the states to give to corporations.

But official unemployment rates reflect nothing of the real world. ACTUAL unemployment hasn’t decreased.

Moreover, the adults in SNAP are often in situations that make it more difficult to even find a job. They are less likely than the rest of the population to have a high school diploma or a driver’s license; they are more likely to have a physical or mental limitation and more likely to be homeless. Even if they find a job, it’s likely to be a minimum wage job, which would leave them still in poverty and in need of SNAP.

The exception to getting kicked off SNAP was to enter a job training program. But only FIVE states have consistently offered such job training. It’s obvious that the goal was not to help people find a job – in a society which didn’t offer enough. No, it was simply set up as a pretext for dumping people.

The vast majority of people likely to lose their food stamps live in one of the richest countries the world has ever seen. It is a society that has the means to make sure not one single person goes to bed hungry.

This SNAP cut is a backdoor move by politicians in almost every state to cut people off food stamps. And it shows a bankrupt society ready to let people drop dead on the streets.