Could be anyone’s grocery list, right? Normal, every day items that are pretty much staples of an American family’s diet, no luxuries or outlandish items, wouldn’t you say? Except these are some of the items proposed to be cut the from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) program in Iowa, if some Republican law makers have their way.
The legislature has proposed, and the Republicans in the state are strongly backing, a bill that would substantially limit the types of foods that would be covered by the SNAP program, which helps families in poverty put food on the table. The bill would also put a limit on the assets needy families can have, and potentially require Medicare recipients to work at least 20 hours a week.
Now, for those in our society who have never been poor, or food insecure, or don’t have any time to think about the real life challenges of the people these programs are meant for, this might seem like reasonable ideas. After all, there is a segment of society that would rather think of poverty as due to laziness and character flaw than a condition that people fall into all too easily in a capitalist society that constantly cuts at any social programs that might be available.
People in the middle classes and above have not had the incredible challenges of the poor, and may not realize that all of us living paycheck to paycheck are just a catastrophic illness, job loss or domestic violence situation away from experiencing for ourselves. Imagine being in the situation where you have had to jump through all of the beaurocratic hoops to get into plans like WIC or SNAP, only to be told that basic things like chicken, bread or butter are not acceptable items to purchase with their measley allowances.
The Republican party is all about making sure that birth control options are limited, that schools no longer teach sex education, and that every baby is born. And yet once those babies are born, they lose interest in how people in lower circumstances are supposed to keep those children fed. The hypocrisy is blisteringly obvious, and yet it continues from state to state. Save every baby, but don’t worry about what to do once they are here. Make sure that anyone who applies for medicare works their fair share, but don’t help them figure out how to provide daycare that is affordable and safe.
Let’s just make sure that the 1% get their tax cuts, and take it out of the social programs that are helping the poorest of the poor among us eke out an existence. Just as long as they don’t panhandle on my street, because I can’t stand to see those dirty kids with the big eyes and empty bellies.