Most people understand that a happy feeling because something they did provided what they needed to happen, or produced a desired result that dealt with a problem in an acceptable way, is satisfaction or gratification. It is doubtless that this coming Friday Republicans will experience exhilarating satisfaction because millions of low-income seniors, working families, children, veterans, and disabled Americans will have less food to eat and likely Republicans will enjoy a ravishing feast to celebrate their good fortune. Americans have come to expect no less from Republicans who revel in taking food from hungry people; especially if they are senior citizens and children.
After stripping food stamp funding from a still languishing farm bill and lusting to cut $40 billion of food assistance for the poor, Republicans can rejoice this coming Friday 48 million people, including more than 21 million children, will see their SNAP (food stamp) benefits reduced. The cuts are coming because the President’s fiscal stimulus of 2009 is running out and Republicans have no intention to extend the food assistance because besides killing Americans’ jobs, keeping people hungry is their favorite activity.
Although the cuts will be a boost for Republican egos, it is horrid news for the 49 million Americans (14.5% of all American households) who are food insecure. Food insecure means 49 million American citizens, most of whom work, are retired, or children do not have the funds to meet their basic food needs and have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Republican inaction is making sure the “food insecure” will not have to worry about the next meal because there will not be any forthcoming for about a week during each month.
According to Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, the impending cuts mean about 76-million meals “will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in NYC alone. 76 million meals outstrips the total number of meals distributed each year by the largest food bank in the country, and Republicans will rejoice that according to Purvis, “There will be an immediate impact.” Purvis went on to say “they’re going to lose what’s basically an entire week’s worth food” each month, and that their situation is going to be “pretty daunting” because Republicans “are attempting to punish people for being poor.” In conservative circles, Republicans, teabaggers, libertarians, and the uber-wealthy take comfort in knowing in their Christian hearts that a person “had to have done something terribly wrong to be poor” and they are likely reaping god’s wrath at the hands of his Republican representatives.
Purvis said Republicans could not care less that “more and more folks have more than one job and are still needing help,” but that is the punishment for living in a nation run by Republicans constantly plotting to keep poor Americans hungry. She also recalled that “we were told, you know, by the president…these cuts will not happen, we won’t get rid of the program.” It is now crystal clear that President Obama failed to understand the depth of Republican inhumanity, or that they were Hell-bent on taking food away from tens-of-millions of Americans. Maybe now, after three-and-a-half years of ravaging social safety nets to punish the poor for being poor, the President comprehends that Republicans only serve in the U.S. Congress to punish Americans. Two weeks ago a conservative pundit, Bill Kristol, exposed the true nature of Republican barbarism when he contended that a prolonged government shutdown (that failed) would “not be the end of the world, honestly, even if you’re on nutritional assistance from the federal government.” It is likely that for millions of poor Americans losing a week’s worth of food each month, seeing their children go hungry may indeed feel like the end of the world.
Republicans have been on a tear to take nutritional assistance from poor Americans since they took control of the House after the 2010 midterms when Paul Ryan submitted, and submitted again, a Heritage Foundation-approved budget that included SNAP program cuts of $135 billion which would completely end assistance for millions of low-income families. The budget that every Republican voted for twice adversely affects low-income working families with children, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities, because like an efficient animal extermination strategy, Republicans believe it is important to cull the weakest and most vulnerable Americans from the population first to make room for the next group to go; the middle class that is falling into poverty at an alarming rate.
There is a secondary benefit for Republicans cutting food stamp funding that often goes unnoticed but fits neatly in their well-planned assault on the people since they elected an African American President. Republicans love taking food out of the mouths of hungry children and senior citizens, but they get an extra benefit because each dollar of food stamps infuses over $1.70 of spending into the economy that creates jobs. If there is only one thing the GOP loves more than taking food from Americans it is killing jobs. It really is an elegant plan to decimate the population because killing jobs with drastic food stamp cuts will send more Americans into poverty to wonder where their family’s next meal is coming from and if Republicans have their way it will not be coming at all.
America already has the second highest percentage of children living in poverty in the developed world and Republicans are on pace to claim the number one spot by cutting food assistance to families in poverty and near poverty. Creating poverty is one area Republicans have excelled over the past six years, and they are likely dismayed that food stamps lifted a record 4 million people above the poverty line in 2012, but with the looming cuts due to take place on Friday, and House Republicans holding out for greater food stamps cuts, they can easily add 4 million Americans back to the poverty rolls that should give them a great deal of satisfaction.
Of all the things Republicans have taken from the American people, food is the one item that reveals their true inhumanity. Republicans can hardly claim their barbarism is borne of budget concerns or fiscal austerity because they always find funding to give the oil industry, agricultural corporations, religious organizations, corporations, and the defense industry subsidies exceeding the cost of fully funding food stamps. Their sole intent is creating poverty and starving low-income families, children, seniors, and disabled Americans, and on Friday they will have successfully taken a significant amount of food out of the mouths of 48 million Americans including 21 million children that will give them immeasurable satisfaction.