The party that fetishizes veterans, that worships military duty, that calls every man and woman who serves his or her country a "hero," has voted to demean their heroes and let them go hungry.
You read that right.
We saner folk know, of course, that the GOP's posturing is all show and zero substance, and another manifestation of their fake patriotism, which was demonstrated this past week when the Republicans in the House voted to slash the SNAP program. Hundreds of thousands of our veterans--you know, the folks who defend our freedoms here and abroad, the ones who lay down their lives so that GOP Congresscreeps can charge their lavish dinners to the government while they travel in the U.S. and abroad on "fact-finding missions"--millions of those men and women depend on the SNAP program. Yeah, those GOP hypocrites, who never saw a program for the needy in this country that they didn't hate and that they didn't go after, pretending it would save the tax payers millions of dollars and make those lazy, undeserving moochers who want free stuff, our veterans, get off their lazy asses and find a job!
Those are Republican values: Slash needed programs to feed our veterans and their families (and millions of other struggling Americans), while pretending they support our troops.
From the daily kos:
Thursday's House vote to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by $40 billion over 10 years proved, once again, that when the Republican drive to demonize poor people comes into conflict with the supposed Republican reverence for veterans, demonizing poor people wins.
The bill would kick 170,000 veterans off of food stamps, out of around 900,000 veterans in the program. Republican rhetoric was that the food stamp-slashing bill would continue food assistance for the virtuous poor—children, seniors, disabled people, employed people—and only cut assistance for able-bodied adults who don't want to work, preferring to live high on the hog off of their average benefit of around $4 a day.
That's false in ways almost too numerous to count:
- The bill contains no provisions for people who can't find work in an economy where there are three jobseekers for every available job.
- Republicans claimed unemployed people could fulfill the bill's work requirements by turning to job training programs, yet many people don't have access to job training programs and the bill did not fund them.
- The bill would kick 2.1 million mostly working or elderly people out of SNAP by eliminating expanded categorical eligibility. On paper, these people's income or assets are above the SNAP threshold even though, in reality, they face significant expenses like child care in order to keep working, bringing them below the threshold:
A typical working family that qualifies for SNAP due to categorical eligibility consists of a mother with two young children who has monthly earnings just above the program’s monthly gross income limit ($2,069 for a family of three in 2013). On average, the families above that limit who qualify for SNAP as a result of categorical eligibility have combined child care and rent costs thatexceed half of their wages. The approximately $100 per month in SNAP benefits they receive covers about one-fourth to one-fifth of their monthly food budget.
From the Military and Foreign Affairs Journal "Veterans Today:"
Hardest Hit by Proposed Food Stamp Cuts? Veterans and Active Military
The prejudices against those who desperately need food stamps and other supportive programs are rampant. However, what the Huffington Post report uncovered is that a surprising group of hardworking Americans rely on food stamps. This group will undoubtedly change the face of what the average American thinks of what a food stamp recipient looks like as well as the trajectory of the food stamp funding battle.
Veterans and active duty service members are one of the largest growing populations that need assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is a financial assistance program provided by the federal government that allows struggling families to purchase food. According to data compiled by the Huffington Post, 1.5 million veteran households are using SNAP.
The sharp increase of veterans or other military families relying on food stamps is right in line with what is happening across the board: more families are struggling to make ends meet because of the recovering economy and families who may have never needed assistance before are looking for help.
Compounding the issue further is that many veterans who recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan may also have returned with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from working or continuing their service. As of 2011, more than 46 million Americans received food stamps.
Food stamp use at military commissaries up sharply in four years
My name is Jason. I turned 35 less than a week ago.
My first job was maintenance work at a public pool when I was 17. I worked 40-hours a week while I was in college. I've never gone longer than six months without employment in my life and I just spent the last three years in the military, one of which consisted of a combat tour of Afghanistan.
Oh, and I'm now on food stamps.
Since June, as a matter of fact.
Why am I on food stamps?
The same reason everyone on food stamps is on food stamps: because I would very much enjoy not starving. I mean, if that's okay with you:
- Mr. or Mrs. Republican congressman.
- Mr. or Mrs. Conservative commentator.
- Mr. or Mrs. "welfare queen" letter-to-the-editor author.
- Mr. or Mrs. "fiscal conservative, reason-based" libertarian.
Remember this outrage the next time you hear a loud-mouthed hypocritical Republican thank one of America's military heroes. Remember that it's only lip-service that the posturing Republican is giving to the man or woman whose real service defended our freedoms and is now struggling to feed him/herself and family.