More on cutting food stamps

Those arguing for cuts in the SNAP program point to the growth over the last few years (it now supports 47 million individuals, up from about 26 million in 2008) as a symptom of an entitlement system that is out of control that is encouraging more people to be ‘moochers’.

In this clip from a talk show, Cornel West argues correctly that it is a result of the war against the middle and working classes. He refuses to be sidetracked by Bill Kristol trying to frame it as a partisan issue that reflects badly on president Obama since this rise occurred during his time in office. This is typical talk show nonsense where everything is discussed within the framework of whether it is good or bad for Obama/Democrats/Republicans and more substantive factors are ignored.

Kristol should have known that West is no fan of Obama and has little interest in unthinkingly defending him and thus would not be sidetracked. West correctly says that the increase in SNAP participation is due to the rise in poverty and decrease in incomes (except for the 1%) as a result of the conservative and neoliberal economic policies carried out by both political parties.


  1. Pteryxx says

    …this isn’t exactly on-topic but criiiiiipes:

    “I think everyone realizes that states are in fiscal crises or having trouble paying out their obligations to workers,” Taibbi told hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales. “One of the reasons is that at least 14 states have not been making their annual required contributions to the pension fund for years and years and years. So essentially, they have been illegally borrowing from these pension funds, sometimes going back decades.”

    Taibbi’s research found that in many cases, such as in the state of Rhode Island, the hedge funders brought in to reorganize the state governments are getting paid the exact amounts of money that are being cut from public pensions.

  2. lpetrich says

    The food-stamp cutters wring their hands and whine about how terrible it is to create dependency.

    So if the cutters were beaten up and robbed and left lying on the sidewalk, let’s see if they would enjoy hearing this:

    Someone yelling at other people who want to help the cutters, yelling that helping people only creates dependency, that the cutters ought to take responsibility for their actions, and that one ought not to interfere with the consequences of the cutters’ actions.

  3. says

    And, speaking as a person receiving welfare (not in the US) and who’s lived poor for a long time, the stress of not being able to afford food or even the most basic level of entertainment adds a cognitive and emotional/responsibility load. This extra load makes it much harder to focus well on the moment you’re in when you’re, say, doing an interview for a job you really need, and all you can think about is, “Wow, if I don’t get this job now, how in the nine million hells am I going to pay November’s rent?”

    So cutting food stamps, which were paying all of USD4.50/day, is completely counterproductive. Completely. It’s making it harder for the people in the worst position, those who can’t even manage to raise enough to have food, to do anything about being in that position, because it actively makes it harder to perform in ways that lead to job acquisition and success.

  4. lochaber says

    welp, drone maintenance and operation doesn’t exactly pay for itself now, does it?

    And that whole bit about a system primarily being used by lower-income people has recently experienced an increase of growth during a depression/recession – that’s just smoke and mirrors; atheist gay muslim communism propaganda trying to make you hate freedom and equality…

  5. doublereed says

    Not to mention that the farm subsidies, which have become almost entirely corporate handouts at this point, cost much more and were left untouched in the bill. They don’t care about actually saving money. They just want to hurt poor people.

  6. twosheds1 says

    A large part of the reason why they want to cut public assistance is because of the perception that it goes to African-Americans. The Right was fine with public housing, public schools, public everything, until, in their minds, “public” became synonymous with “black.”

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