House Republicans and the Food Stamps Vote

September 22, 2013

by Crane-Station and cross-posted at Firedoglake/MyFDL

Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed reports:

Several of the House Republicans who voted Thursday for a bill that slashed billions of dollars from the food stamp program personally received large farm subsidies for family farms. The bill cutting the food stamp program narrowly passed on a mostly party line 217 to 210 vote.

The names of a few of these Republicans, who enjoy the benefits of being on the government dole themselves include: GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (Missouri), Rep. Kristi Noem (South Dakota), and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (Indiana). Read the full article for details of the food-stamp slashers swelling up like ticks, on government handouts.

Since GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher had the wherewithal to mislead, misinform and twist the truth to justify his egregious hypocrisy, by cherry-picking an out-of-context biblical quote from Paul, called Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as 2 Thessalonians, I think a terse response is in order. Paul’s quote “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” obviously was not directed at children, the elderly, the disabled, the displaced (by outsourcing, layoffs and job elimination), the temporarily sick, or those experiencing mental disability, those recently released from incarceration, the veterans experiencing PTSD, the victims of traumatic accidents or those experiencing illness.

Yet Fincher and others targeting food stamps want everyone to believe that anyone receiving SNAP is able-bodied, lazy, unwilling to work, and chooses to live that lucrative life that SNAP has to offer, at great suffering and expense of red-blooded tax-paying responsible Americans.

Fincher predictably quoted the bible, during the food stamp debate, because as if by unwritten rule, a Republican must back his full-of-holes claims with a disarming biblical passage. Almost any passage will do, even if the translation has been debunked by scholars, as long as the quote is prefaced with “and besides, the bible says.” Buzzfeed briefly explained how the quote came about, and then added an accounting of Fincher’s own practice of sucking from the government teat:

During the food stamp debate, GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, who received thousands in farm subsidies, responded to a Democratic Congressman during the debate over the cuts by quoting the bible, saying “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Fincher himself has received his own large share of government money. From 1999 to 2012, Stephen & Lynn Fincher Farms received $3,483,824 in agriculture subsidies. Last year he took in $70,574 alone.

As Rep. Fincher and other fake ‘Christians’ who cherry-pick out-of-context scripture to justify their hateful behavior, they may want to consider some facts:


SNAP is targeted at the most vulnerable.

76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits.[i]

SNAP eligibility is limited to households with gross income of no more than 130% of the federal poverty guideline, but the majority of households have income well below the maximum: 83% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 100% of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013), and these households receive about 91% of all benefits. 61% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 75% of the poverty guideline ($14,648 for a family of 3 in 2013).[ii]

The average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of $744; net monthly income of $338 after the standard deduction and, for certain households, deductions for child care, medical expenses, and shelter costs; and countable resources of $331, such as a bank account.[iii]

The idea that people who receive SNAP are lazy and refuse to work is also a myth. Years ago, when I received food stamps, I awoke at 3 AM every morning to ride a bike to the Labor Ready line. If I was lucky enough to even get work, I worked until I nearly dropped: packing concrete forms, cleaning hotel rooms, flashing skylights on a rubber roof at a Boeing hangar building, cleaning debris, digging, shoveling, and other hard labor. Hard labor that was taxed, by the way. My SNAP benefit did not allow a cup of coffee during the Labor Ready line wait, nor did it provide toilet paper, cleaning supplies, or other hygiene products. I could afford no fresh fruits or vegetables, ever. Milk was a luxury that involved sacrifice of some alternate form of protein.

More likely than not, the SNAP slashers showed up to vote to cut food stamps, wearing items of clothing sewn in substandard conditions in outsourced countries, and wearing jewelry from ‘conflict metal’ and diamond countries. Outsourced clothing manufacture, and ‘conflict’ gems and metals exist, of course, to maximize profits to the wealthy. If Republicans can vote to cut food to the poor, the working poor, the folks who lost their jobs to outsourcing, the young, the elderly, and the disabled, they can most certainly ignore the idea that suffering is also maximized in the workers in other countries, who produce clothing and jewelry the Republicans wear.

I hope President Obama vetoes this vote to cut food stamps. Not only will it lead to great harm for those in dire need of sustenance in this country, the money will more likely than not, be used to line the pockets of those who are not in need. It is no mistake or coincidence that there is no proposal in place to suggest a greater ‘good’ for the ‘saved’ money.

end note: DS Wright’s report House Votes To Cut Food Stamps By $40 Billion

Peterr’s essay: God Is Not Pleased With the House GOP

Please let me know if you have posted on this topic, so I can provide a link. (I have been away for a couple of days and may have missed it)

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