House votes to cut $4B a year from food stamps

The House voted Thursday night to cut nearly $4 billion a year from food stamps, a 5 percent reduction to the nation's main feeding program used by more than 1 in 7 Americans.
AP Wire
Sep 20, 2013

The 217-210 vote was a win for conservatives after Democrats united in opposition and some GOP moderates said the cut was too high. Fifteen Republicans voted against the measure.

The bill's savings would be achieved by allowing states to put broad new work requirements in place for many food stamp recipients and to test applicants for drugs. The bill also would end government waivers that have allowed able-bodied adults without dependents to receive food stamps indefinitely.

House conservatives, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., have said the almost $80 billion-a-year program has become bloated. More than 47 million Americans are now on food stamps, and the program's cost more than doubled in the last five years as the economy struggled through the Great Recession. Democrats said the rise in the rolls during tough economic times showed the program was doing its job.

Finding a compromise — and the votes — to scale back the feeding program has been difficult. The conservatives have insisted on larger cuts, Democrats opposed any cuts and some moderate Republicans from areas with high food stamp usage have been wary of efforts to slim the program. The White House has threatened to veto the bill.

House leaders were still shoring up votes on the bill just hours before the vote. To make their case, the Republican leaders emphasized that the bill targets able-bodied adults who don't have dependents. And they say the broader work requirements in the bill are similar to the 1996 welfare law that led to a decline in people receiving that government assistance.

"This bill is designed to give people a hand when they need it most," Cantor said on the floor just before the bill passed. "And most people don't choose to be on food stamps. Most people want a job ... They want what we want."

The new work requirements proposed in the bill would allow states to require 20 hours of work activities per week from any able-bodied adult with a child over age 1 if that person has child care available. The requirements would be applicable to all parents whose children are over age 6 and attending school.

The legislation is the House's effort to finish work on a wide-ranging farm bill, which has historically included both farm programs and food stamps. The House Agriculture Committee approved a combined bill earlier this year, but it was defeated on the floor in June after conservatives revolted, saying the cuts to food stamps weren't high enough. That bill included around $2 billion in cuts annually.

After the farm bill defeat, Republican leaders split the legislation in two and passed a bill in July that included only farm programs. They promised the food stamp bill would come later, with deeper cuts.

In order to negotiate the bill with the Senate, Republicans said Thursday that one more step is needed — the House will have to hold a procedural vote to allow both the farm and food stamp bills to go to a House-Senate conference together. It is unclear whether Republicans who pushed to split the two bills will oppose that effort.

Once the bills get to that conference, negotiations with the Senate will not be an easy task. A Senate farm bill passed in June would only make a tenth of the cuts to food stamps, or $400 million, and the White House has issued a veto threat against the House bill. The two chambers will also have to agree on policy for farm subsidies amid disputes between different crops.

Every Democrat voting on Thursday opposed the bill. Many took to the floor with emotional appeals.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill is a "full assault on the health and economic security of millions of families." Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett called it the "let them starve" bill.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that House Republicans are attempting to "literally take food out of the mouths of hungry Americans in order to, again, achieve some ideological goal."

The Congressional Budget Office says that if the bill were enacted, as many as 3.8 million people could lose their benefits in 2014.

Around 1.7 million of those would be the able-bodied adults who would be subject to work requirements after three months of receiving food stamps. The 1996 welfare law put that limit into law, but most every state has been allowed to waive that requirement since the Great Recession began in 2008.

The other 2.1 million would lose benefits because the bill would largely eliminate so-called categorical eligibility, a method used by many states that allows people to automatically qualify for food stamps if they already receive other benefits. Some of those people who qualify that way do not meet current SNAP income and asset tests.

The Census Bureau reported this week that just over half of those who received food stamps were below poverty and 44 percent had one or more people with a disability.

By state, Oregon led the nation in food stamp use at 20.1 percent, or 1 in 5, due in part to generous state provisions that expand food stamp eligibility to families. Oregon was followed by more rural or more economically hard-hit states, including Mississippi, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan and Tennessee. Wyoming had the fewest households on food stamps, at 7 percent.

Comments

Lanivan

The Republican House Majority, including our very own Rep. Bill Huizenga, are at their most gluttonous with their frenzied, fast, and furious attempts to maim the middle class and starve the poor, mostly including children, the elderly, the working poor, and the disabled.

They want to cut funding for food stamps, and in so doing are actually hurting mostly members of their own party. Think most food stamp recipients are democrats? Think again!

"Certainly there are frauds among the one in seven Americans getting help from the program formerly known as food stamps. But who are the others, the easy-to-ignore millions who will feel real pain with these cuts? As it turns out, most of them live in Red State, Real People America. Among the 254 counties where food stamp use doubled during the economic collapse, Mitt Romney won 213 of them, Bloomberg News reported. Half of Owsley County, Ky., is receiving federal food aid. Half.

You can’t get any more Team Red than Owsley County; it is 98 percent white, 81 percent Republican, per the 2012 presidential election. And that hardscrabble region has the distinction of being the poorest in the nation, with the lowest household income of any county in the United States, the Census Bureau found in 2010.

Since nearly half of Owsley’s residents also live below the poverty line, it would seem logical that the congressman who represents the area, Hal Rogers, a Republican, would be interested in, say, boosting income for poor working folks. But Rogers joined every single Republican in the House earlier this year in voting down a plan to raise the minimum wage over the next two years to $10.10 an hour."

Think our elected leaders in the House, those who whine about the moochers, the takers, the welfare queens who live off the Government lifeline, are grateful for their $174,000 salaries, plus the best pensions, perks, expense accounts, and health insurance the full weight of the US government provides? Think Again!

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes...

National Review reported this week that Representative Phil Gingrey, a hard-right conservative who wants to be the next senator from Georgia, complained in a private meeting about being “stuck here making $172,000 a year.”

But, hey! They did earn their keep admirably for Agri-Business, the counterpart to the food stamp portion of the historically 2-part Agriculture bill, expanding and increasing the billions in government subsidies to the thriving and powerful Agri-Business Complex, and as icing on the cake, further expanded their waistlines by making the government subsidies PERMANENT, rather than requiring they come up for approval every five years, which has been the historical requirement.

While corporate America gorges on the spoils of the Great Recession, making record profits, and charts showing the disparity between the middle class and the Super-Wealthy are at the greatest levels ever in recorded history, let's all vote for those who would deprive poor people, especially children, of comfort food so that Agri-Business can continue to get the "all-you-can-eat" special at the Government Buffet.

Vladtheimp

Oh the hysterical ironing! You would never know that The food stamp program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was 80 percent of the original farm bill’s cost, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/1...

The 608-page measure that passed the House includes a package of subsidies for farmers worth about $195 billion over the next 10 years that would make significant changes to agricultural policy and conservation programs, including an end to direct subsidies to farmers. It is nearly identical to that aspect of the Senate bill.

But for the first time since 1973, the House measure says nothing about funding for food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which was set at about $740 billion.

Farm subsidies - $195 billion over 10 years (less than $2 billion per year)

Food Stamp subsidy - $740 billion over 10 years ($7.4 billion per year)

Of course the subsidies to rich farm businesses are obscene, but they are included in the Democrat senate's bill and have been routinely signed into law by President Obama (and Republican presidents as well), and one can't overlook the huge subsidies in the bill given to biofuels and other so-called green projects, favorites of the Democrats.

That "Government Buffet" you mention is bi-partisan, and being fought for by Harry Reid as hard as by John Boehner - and I don't see Obama threatening to veto it.

Lanivan

I'd rather iron hysterically than hoist myself by my own petard, a skill you seem to have perfected. I notice you are ignoring my comment under "10 things to know today". Allow me to add to it.

Since WWII, there have been 35 Congresses, and in only 13 of those did the president's party fully control the legislature. However, the US government continued to function (although you might opine that they functioned too well).

Never did any party consider the possibility that they might try to achieve it's agenda not through the constitutional process, but through blackmail by threatening to shut down government and force default if they do not get their way (the repeal of Obamacare). Even Karl Rove is pleading with your party to stop the destruction - now there is an excellent example of hoisting oneself by their own petard!

Your facts and figures about SNAP and the Farm Bill are a way to obfuscate and equivocate the real story of DC politics - that the Farm Bill makes permanent the expansion in government subsidies to Agri-Business while cutting nutrition assistance to the most vulnerable, all the while resorting to extortion of the federal government and the violation of their oath of office to attain their goal of ideological control through government shut down and default.

If you are looking for an Obama veto threat, I'd look for one there.

Vladtheimp

1. Watch and weep http://youtu.be/ELkbDdPeL7I

2. I know, facts and figures are obfuscations and equivocations to liberals - don't confuse me with the facts.http://youtu.be/4UmmbsGp57g

Vladtheimp

http://www.rpc.senate.gov/policy...

Democrats holding hostages http://washingtonexaminer.com/ac...

Word verification MmxMe!

Lanivan

You are funneling your focus on the raising of the debt ceiling - nice try at muddying the waters. My understanding of the history of the debt ceiling is that it has often been used as a political tool or method of coercion. My argument is concern about the far more serious action of threatening default of the government IF Obamacare is not repealed - even though they know (or at least should know) that a.) Obamacare will never be repealed, b.) A callous disregard for the very serious potential consequences of a government default and shut down - affecting US citizens, businesses, economy, and spilling beyond our borders:

'Past Congresses have used the debt ceiling as a “vehicle for other legislative matters” or nongermane amendments, but as the timeline below demonstrates, the Republicans that came to power after the 2010 midterm elections demanded something entirely different: they threatened to push the nation into default and shut down the government unless Congress approves deep structural budget cuts during a period of economic recession.'

'The next problem with all this is that the freshman House of 2010 showed their true colors immediately - they placed their pledge to Grover Norquist over their oath of office, and Constitution, and the American people:

In November of 2010, GOP leaders informally polled the incoming freshman and were surprised to discover that “all but four of them said they would vote against raising the ceiling, under any circumstances.” This response was the result of what the Washington Post described as a “natural outgrowth of a years-long effort” by GOP recruiters to build a new majority with uncompromising anti-tax, anti-spending candidates and it effectively hamstrung Republican leaders from accepting any kind of budgetary compromise from the Obama administration. As a result, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) walked away from so-called grand bargains with the White House at least twice and have since adopted the same kind of uncompromising rhetoric that’s known to animate political campaigns, not actual governance.'

And, finally - the ironing of it all! The dirty yellow curs all came to the meetinghouse loaded for bear, ready to beat back our African-American president who was in the process of bringing the economy back from the greatest financial and economic collapse in 80 years, ending 2 wars that cost the US $4+ Trillion (not to mention all those killed and maimed), promising to do their duty to their taskmasters and lobbyists, after Congress had, - Please read aloud, slowly and with feeling:

'Republicans increased the debt ceiling 19 times during the presidency of George W. Bush, raising the nation’s limit by nearly $4 trillion.'

http://thinkprogress.org/economy...

Vladtheimp

1. You need to review both your logic and your history:

Under the Constitution, the Congress has the power of the purse and all revenue bills start in the House. The House has both the legal authority, the right, and to those who were elected promising an end to Obamacare, a duty to limit funding for that disasterous measure while funding the rest of the Government, including Defense, Social Security, welfare, etc. If the Congress passes a bill that funds all of the government but Obamacare, President Obama has 2 choices: (a) sign the legislation into law; or (b) veto the bill and thereby shut down the government. If he chooses the latter, it will be Obama, and only Obama, that is responsible for the government shutdown.

The Congress, led by the Democrats, did the same thing regarding the Vietnam War -

On July 1, 1973, the President signed H.R. 9055, P.L. 93-50; 87 Stat. 99,the second Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY1973. This legislation contained language cutting off funds for combat activities in Indochina after August 15, 1973. Section 307 of P.L. 93-50 specifically states that “None of the funds here
in appropriated under this act may be expended to support directly or indirectly combat activities in or over
Cambodia, Laos, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam by United States
forces, and after August 15, 1973, no other funds heretofo
re appropriated under any other act may be expended for such purpose. Nixon didn't veto it and shut down the Government, he signed it.

Just like Somalia:

, section 8135 of the Department of Defens
e Appropriations Act for FY1995, P.L. 103-335; 108 Stat. 2599,
signed September 30, 1994, stated that “None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be used for the continuous presence in Somalia of United States military personnel, except for the protection of United States personnel, after September 30, 1994. President Clinton, who had requested the funds, did not veto the legislation and shut down the government - he signed it.

The Democrats threatened to shut down the government in the battle over sequestration http://jamespatrick1.wordpress.c...

This is not a new tactic, not an unfamiliar use of the power of the purse, and not new to Democrats.

Lanivan

What a blast! I think the "debt ceiling act of 1917" was a magic game created by someone with a sharply-honed sense of humor and/or pathological madness. Folly, extortion tool, waste of time and resources, diversion from the real issues, Drama! - thy name is debt ceiling.
Poor Ron:

The New York Times – (November 1, 1983) SENATE DEFEATS BILL TO INCREASE DEBT CEILING
The Senate, in an extraordinary and unexpected move, defeated a bill late tonight to raise the nation’s debt limit, leaving the Treasury without the authority to borrow. The defeat, with both Republicans and Democrats voting against the bill, came on a vote of 56 to 39.

The defeat was seen by some Republicans and Democrats as a way to put enough pressure on the White House and the Congress to get both to agree on some major measures to reduce the projected Federal budget deficits through spending reductions, tax increases or both.

The New York Times – (May 04, 1987) Time Bomb in the Debt Ceiling.
The ceiling is a sham. It has no effect on the debt. Deficits create debt; the Reagan deficits have more than doubled the national debt, to $2.25 trillion, ceilings notwithstanding. Each time Government borrowing gets close, the ceiling is raised – but not without costly eleventh-hour shenanigans that force the Treasury into devious financing.

The New York Times – (May 12, 1987) REAGAN URGES A RISE IN DEBT CEILING
Warning of dire financial consequences, the White House urged Congress today to raise the national debt ceiling before the Government runs out of authority to borrow money this Friday. ”We cannot overestimate the effect of such a dereliction of duty,” Marlin Fitzwater, the President’s spokesman, said. But a number of conservative Republicans refuse to heed the Administration, and White House legislative strategists say they do not have the votes to assure passage of such a measure.

Vladtheimp

What happened to "You are funneling your focus on the raising of the debt ceiling - nice try at muddying the waters.. . . My argument is concern about the far more serious action of threatening default of the government IF Obamacare is not repealed - even though they know (or at least should know) that a.) Obamacare will never be repealed, b.) A callous disregard for the very serious potential consequences of a government default and shut down - affecting US citizens, businesses, economy, and spilling beyond our borders"?

Way to move the football, Lucy!

But getting back to the debt ceiling, why do you ignore what lord Obama and Dingy Harry Reid said about it while voting against raising it? Do the opinions of NY Times flacks mean more to you than the Junior Senator from Illinois and the Senate Majority Leader?

Interesting factoid - every time the debt ceiling was raised, the nation went further into debt - it's not about paying our bills or defaulting - current revenues can take care of that.

Lanivan

My statement still stands. Your energy inspired me to take a look-back to past debt ceiling dramas, and I chose these specifically because, a.) It's significant that in 1983, the debt ceiling fight highlights the bipartisanship that Reagan enjoyed, but that has been denied Obama since January, 2009. Note both Dems (but wait - THEY are the cause of all US debt, right?!) and Repubs were acting in tandem to slow down debt, and b.) By 1987, King Reagan had more than doubled the debt, and was hoping for more, but for the conservatives in his party (you perhaps?) who were acting out again, but this time in a more statesmanlike manner, rather than the dirty yellow cur method of today.

But nowhere in my reading did I see the level of extortion exploitation as by the right-wingers today - holding the full faith and credit of the US hostage in order to achieve their express desire - the repeal and defunding of a law that was passed by majority and constitutional as per SCOTUS, the signature achievement of a president who was re-elected by a majority of the electoral and popular vote on a platform of that achievement, (which was designed by the Republicans), and that is rapidly showing itself to be both popular and effective in deficit reduction and health care effectiveness.

It's all high drama. Obama and Reid were making principled stands, not hijacking their party and throwing US citizens under the bus. The Republican House caucus is all about a grand scheme to divert rather than govern, a desperate, last-ditch continuum of movement of the football to trip up the country.

Another interesting factoid: 'Personal health care costs rose in the 12 months ending in May at the slowest rate in the last 50 years, as spending on hospital and nursing home services declined, the White House announced Monday.' http://www.usatoday.com/story/ne...

Quick! - Before it's too late, Tea Party Republicans....spew some more anti-Obamacare garbage!!! Time is running out before people start to live out the benefits!!

Vladtheimp

Well, now that you have scattered shiny objects about to obscure the fact that your original point about conditioning an annual appropriations bill on defunding another piece of legislation (extortion/shutting down the government) has been shown to be wrong, you scurry back to the debt ceiling. Tactical withdrawal?

And now to bolster your dubious point, you apparently claim that only liberal democrat statists can make a principled stand on an issue as opposed to conservatives who take a similar stand on the same issue - I get it - in your mind, Liberals=Good, Conservatives=Bad.

In your riff about the bipartisanship afforded Reagan, I guess you're talking about the bipartisan override of his veto of H.R.6863, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1982, which broke the agreement to reduce spending by $3 for every dollar of tax increases. You're right - it was done by the craven Congresscritters of both parties.

Let's see how you feel about health care costs after Obamacare is fully implemented, as well as the levels of both care and bureaucracy.

Thanks for Anna Maria

Lanivan

Obamacare health care costs? This is an interesting report (btw, you're gonna love the accompanying photo)...http://thinkprogress.org/health/...

Things are looking cautiously optimistic. Sorry.

Meanwhile, to continue on my Reagan 'riff', yes - it was something like when Obama offered a Grand Bargain compromise in 2011 - Tax reform solutions while keeping Bush tax cuts in place, and the R's stood their ground and made a principled turn-down.

Your attempt to label my argument as a non sequitar notwithstanding, it should read: Progressives=Good, Those Who Debase and Distort the Legislative Process=Bad. It's disconcerting to watch a justification of these dishonest attempts to do through nullification tactics what could be accomplished through Constitutional processes, while supposedly defending the Constitution.

It must suck to be a true conservative these days. With a spirit of comity, I offer the following second and final (for today) astonishingly wonderful thing that, coupled with a double dram of....(after 5pm, of course) and NOT to be construed as more shiny objects, should help.

Now is the Autumn of our Discontent....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e...

Vladtheimp

Still neither a fan nor believer in the various pro-Obamacare reports produced by the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. My skepticism about this one, after only a cursory look, is that of the states it chose to study, 6 were in the top ten list of states with the highest health insurance costs to begin with, coupled with the decision to only use the costs in the largest cities in such states, while admitting that costs intra-state between the largest cities and other regions can vary widely. The study would have been more believable had it show the largest variations within the selected states.

All the misleading studies in the world can't mask the train wreck that is Obamacare. Generally unreported in the Obama Mouthpiece Media, last week, quietly, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it now expects 11 million uninsured Americans to obtain coverage next year, down from about 22 million projected a year ago, according to a report which appeared in the journal Health Affairs. http://www.reuters.com/article/2...

"I have made a solemn pledge that I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family's premiums by up to $2,500 a year."  Barack Hussein Obama - Hartford, Conn., June 23, 2007

In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office reported there were 53 million uninsured persons in the United States, including uninsured illegal aliens. The CBO estimates that in 2022--8 years after the Affordable Care Act has been fully implemented--30 million people will remain uninsured." - See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/.... Adding 11 million based on the latest estimates, Obamacare will miss 40 million who will remain uninsured.

So Obama and the liberals have risked Obama's reputation, constitutional crises, social upheaval, and the wrecking of the economy to add 11 million to health insurance, less than 2% of the population? Even liberals are not that stupid. Soon after it is clear that Obamacare, as drafted and passed by the Democrats, has failed, we will hear the cries that the Republicans killed it, that too many people are uninsured, that minorities, women, children, and illegals are hardest hit, and the only solution is single-payer socialized, government provided health insurance - the Holy Grail of the liberals and statists - mark my words, I GAUARANDAMTEE IT!

Lanivan

Re: Your final paragraph. After thinking your statement over, one must conclude that Republicans are actually pursuing a single-payer system.

The ACA, which has been under heavy attack since it's inception, even though it is of course a conservative plan based on free markets, is being sabotaged by Republicans on nearly a daily basis.

Right-wing 'social welfare' groups are spending millions attacking and opposing Republicans who are not right-wing enough, and are now spending more money attacking each other than Democrats are spending attacking Republicans.

They are even resorting to extortion of the debt ceiling and default of the government if Obamacare is not repealed, rather than legislatively making adjustments, improvements, and technical modifications to make the freemarket-based program a success.

One then must conclude that they are pulling out all the stops to sabotage and destroy Obamacare to pave the way for the next logical step, for what you state will be the next best solution, the ONLY solution - Single-Payer.

Pretty clever.

Also, how did you feel about the Bush Medicare Prescription Drug Program? As I recall, the original estimates of the cost of implementation were originally estimated to be $395 Billion, but turned out to exceed $720 Billion. And the numbers of participants turned out to be around 77% versus the predicted 93%.

Vladtheimp

Oh Yeah - just listen to those wiley Republicans scheming: http://youtu.be/zZ-6ebku3_E

I felt about the Bush plan just like I feel like Obamacare.

Lanivan

Liberals will always advocate for single-payer. No big revelation here. Statistically, they make up a significant portion of those who do not approve of the ACA - not liberal enough.

But I must deduce from your curt and truncated response that I'm on to something with my 'Republicans sabotage Free-Market Republican health reform to usher in Single Payer' scenario. It's the only logical explanation for what by all appearances seems totally illogical, self-defeating, self-mutilating, destructive, and stoopid. Don't forget - Obamacare was written by a group of 3 Dems, 3 Repubs, on C-Span, and open to the public. Where was the outrage?

This date will go down in infamy as having been the first time you actually admit disapproval, in a comment to me, of a Bush plan with the same fervor as an Obama plan. Principled and honest!

Vladtheimp

Obamacare was written by left wing special interests behind closed doors in the democrat House and Senate. Unfortunately, the whole idea was, like Obama's infamous Red Line, a throwaway line to get liberal applause. http://dyn.politico.com/printsto...

And your New York Times discovers Obamacare limits medical choices http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/2...

And Forbes discovers Obamacare Will Increase Health Spending By $7,450 For A Typical Family of Four http://www.forbes.com/sites/thea...

But all that is immaterial because according to the smart money, Obamacare will not be defunded - it will dictate the health care of you, your family, and your neighbors until it is killed by popular demand, and, YOU OWN IT - CONGRATULATIONS! I dare you to copy this entire comment thread, keep it in your home, show it proudly to your family, friends, and neighbors, and bask in their well wishes, particularly over the next year.

Tri-cities realist

So, conservatives have remained true to their principals, while the democrats have shifted leftward into big govt borrow and spenders, since the '80's (actually much farther back). Where have all the Reagan Democrats gone?

Lanivan

Here's something that is sure to replenish those pith and vinegar levels...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b...

Tri-cities realist

Lanny, why do you continue to mention the race of our president? It is getting old and you are the one who appears to be the racist, always focusing on race. Enough already.

Lanivan

You are so right - I was inaccurate. He is mixed race. Better now?

Actually, I throw that in now and again to see if you're actually reading me.

Tri-cities realist

Why even mention it at all? Does it really add anything substantive to the discussion. No, it just shows a petty attempt at race baiting. You should be bigger than that.

Tri-cities realist

Vlad, since I'm a stickler for details I must point out, your per year numbers need to move the decimal point to the right one digit.

Goyo

Why is food stamp demand up? It's free food!! Duh. If there is one thing Americans like it's something for nothing. Work for food? News flash, that's what the rest of the world does. Ever wonder why the are 1.3 billion Chinese-they successfully work for food. I have been to China many times and they don't get food stamps and I have NEVER seen a "will work for food" sign. They just do.

Lanivan

Please do some research on the subject before you share your opinion.

Your comment is full of fallacies and inaccurate prejudices. You clearly do not have a good understanding of the SNAP program, who it helps, how it works, why demand is up, how many people it has kept from poverty, and what steps have been made to strengthen the program.

If you are comparing the US with Communist China, you might want to re-think your position. Unless you are promoting that the US veer into the direction of human rights abuses, communism, and severe poverty that China enjoys.

Goyo

yeah, yeah, yeah. We all need to be better to lift us all up. it's a fine line between a hand up and a hand out. Are we veering toward poverty or not? You can't seem to decide. Half my family is homeless and living with Grandma/Great Grandma, right there in Ottawa County. They lead themselves to their predicament over three presidential administrations. Which president is to blame? All I know is they are dragging Grandma down with them now. How is that helping grandma or America? At least China is moving toward feeding and advancing the standard of living of their people and gaining personal freedoms, while the US, the richest nation in the world, sits collectively wringing their hands about how hard it all is, all the while creating fear about our future. I spend every day rethinking my position-how about you?

Mystic Michael

I would suggest to you that one of the many things that makes the United States great is that we aspire to a nobler state of living than the brutal, dog eat dog subsistence that characterizes the economy of a developing nation - even one as economically powerful as China.

Not only do we have a strong work ethic (as does China), but we have the rule of law based on an inspired Constitution, that includes intellectual property rights - a crucial element in any innovation-based economy such as we have - and China does not.

We also have respect & protection for human rights - including worker rights. China has 14-16 hour work days, no benefits, no vacations, and no collective bargaining rights backed up by law.

China also has arbitrary detention. We have the right of habeus corpus. And so on and so forth...

I would put the USA up against China, on practically any measure, any day of the week.

Vladtheimp

Oh Snap - I agree and well stated.

Goyo

While you sit around being all noble the dog's eating your lunch. Believe it or not, everyone in China isn't slaving away in a labor camp all day and getting bamboo slivers driven under their nails at night-thats' North Korea. You must still be watching the black & white films from grade school. Oh yeah, while you're being all noble, When was the last time the Chinese bombed the shit out of somewhere to get their way?

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