Friday, July 13, 2012

Food Banks Struggle, Food Stamps Under Budget Ax

Paletta, D. Congress Nears Showdown Over Food Stamp Funding. The Wall Street Journal (2012, July 12), p. A4.

[excerpted] Republican leaders of the  House Agricultural Committee, as part of a broader package of farm-policy changes, advanced a measure on Wednesday that would cut $16.5 billion over 10 years from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The cuts would come in part by taking away some of the flexibility available to states in the past 10 years to let more families qualify for benefits"

..."We face difficult choices, but it is our responsibility to cut costs and improve program efficiency so we can once again live within our means," House Agricultural chairman Frank Lucas said....

[end quote]

Majia Here: Today my local newspaper featured a story about how local food banks are stretched thin. The accompanying photo showed elderly (white) people in line for food at one of our many food banks. Food bank managers said they don't have enough food to help everyone who needs it.

The poor in the US represent everybody: they are young, old, and in between. They may be of European descent, South American, African, etc. Furthermore, many of today's poor people were not poor five years ago when the recession hit.

Job losses have been massive in this recession and people who have found jobs after losing them have usually had to settle for significantly lower wages (see citation for Pew Research Center).
There is something wrong here.

Why are food stamps being cut when military spending and spending on the financial sector are not being affected proportionally?

During the height of the great financial crisis, secret Federal Reserve loans to the biggest banks totaling $7.7 trillion enabled them to reap $13 billion in profits 

Yet, the financial scandals never cease: From MF Global's blow up, to JP Morgan's derivative implosion, to the latest Libor scandal (see my previous blog posts below). 

The criminal banksters get richer while municipalities are robbed through interest rate swaps with the big banks who were players in rigging the Libor rate. See Matt Taibbi references.

How about cutting money on military spending?

How about cutting money on drone warfare? For background on the increasing power of the drone lobby see The Drone Makers And Their Friends In Washington.

Meanwhile, the big international players seem intent on a new cold war that few to none of their citizens support.

Citizens want educational and job opportunities, economic security, and a healthy environment for their children.

Yet, our governments succor corrupt and criminal financial banksters and vampire energy industries while forging new wars that enrich profiteers but impoverish, maim, and kill millions.

Why do we allow this to occur?



"Looting Main Street"–Matt Taibbi on How the Nation’s Biggest Banks Are Ripping Off American Cities with Predatory Deals

Taibbi: LIBOR Banking Scandal Deepens; Barclays Releases Damning Email, Implicates British Government. Rolling Stone July 4, 2012
Michael Klare's "A New Cold War in Asia?"

Henry Blodget. “Here Are Four Charts That Explain What The Protesters Are Angry About...,”Business Insider (2011, Oct 15):

Pew Research Center. “The Great Recession at 30 Months.” Pew Research Center [on-line] (2010, June 30). Available:

Frances Fox Piven. “The War Against the Poor.” TomDispatch.Com (2011, Nov 6):

Meanwhile, there exists a gap in funding and a future funding crisis for Pell Grants


  1. The masses can be controlled via food

  2. The military may at some point stop taking commands from illegitimate constitution trashing criminals. But the drones won't, they want more drones.

  3. personally I believe we have conditioned too many Americans to rely on government aid.

    I have a distant relative who has not worked steadily for probably 4 years, because he got laid off from his job. He has a wife who does not work and 2 teenagers. They live in a fairly inexpensive, but nice home.

    He is perfectly capable of working, however most jobs he could get would pay marginally more than what he gets from the never-ending unemployment benefits and probably food stamps our government hands out to them. So he's made the choice - stay home and get X dollars per month or go to work and get 1.1X dollars per month.

    Now, they don't have money for vacations, or frivolous things and I'm sure things are very tight for them, and I'm all for people having a pleasant life, but this person would go find a job pretty quickly without assistance.

    There are folks who need public assistance. They have health problems, mental problems, are handicapped and they cannot work. Those who can work need to be forced to go do it. Our country depends on the innovation of our workforce, and when 15% of that workforce can and has opted out, the innovation slows to a crawl.

    You could argue that all those folks working for the defense contractors are on the dole as well, but you cannot argue that their dole is for sitting at home and allowing innovation to falter.

    What you are describing with post after post in your blog is an essential breakdown in ethics of people in the world.

    Who are the ones who are responsible for maintaining the ethics of society? Judges? - they've gotten sidetracked with a stupid "war on drugs" and "war on terror" and with making money for the government, instead of dispensing justice . Religious leaders? - have been embroiled in sex scandals and disintermediated by the internet. Teachers? - Are more and more driven by the testing industry that lobbies for more standardized tests and convinces legislatures that test results are a great measurement for education effectiveness. Parents? Are getting divorced at a 50% rate in the US, so too many kids are growing up in single parent households, and those who remarry - stepparents are often not a good substitute.

    my 2 cents

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