FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

You Don’t Save Money By Forcing People to Go Hungry

The Trump administration has proposed a rule that will cut an estimated 3 million eligible people off food stamps while depriving half a million eligible children of school lunch.

I’ve been on food stamps.

I spent most of my life with mental illness, and it was not diagnosed until a few years ago. Not knowing there was a reason everything was so difficult for me, I pushed myself until I could push no more.

I got good grades in school, and went to college on a scholarship. I got my degree and then got a full-time job like I thought I was supposed to.

I began getting severe migraines every day at the age of 14. That was my body telling me that I was doing more than I could handle and I needed to stop and heal. I had a migraine every day for 23 years. Working was hellish and painful, and I still tried.

When I could no longer handle an office job, I tried being self-employed and working from home. I could never make enough to really get by on. Then I went on food stamps. It didn’t mean I could stop working. I got $70 a month so I could eat, but I still had to pay rent and put gas in my car, and for that, I worked.

Food stamps did its job for me. It helped me get through a tough time until I could get back on my own two feet.

I’m fortunate I didn’t have children. If I did, my kids would have suffered through my financial insecurity through no fault of their own. But food stamps and school lunch would have helped ensure they had a chance in life despite being born to a mom too sick to make ends meet.

While the moral righteousness of food stamps justifies the program on its own, there are other benefits to it as well.

Food stamps are a huge stimulus to the economy. Families spend their SNAP benefits to buy food from local businesses like grocery stores, and that creates jobs — from the store clerk stocking the shelves, to the truck driver transporting the food, to the farmers and ranchers producing the food.

For every $5 the U.S. government spends on food stamps, it generates $9 in economic activity. That’s an incredibly effective stimulus.

Federal school breakfast and lunch programs do more than help food security too — they help kids succeed. Imagine trying to pay attention or take a test while you’re hungry. School breakfast and lunch helps kids from low income families break the cycle of poverty when they grow up, because it helps them benefit more from their education.

The movement to cut low-income people who are eligible for food stamps and school lunch off of those programs isn’t just immoral, it’s short-sighted.

The Trump administration claims the measure will save money because there will be less federal spending on helping hungry people eat. In addition to the cruelty of “saving money” by taking food from the hungry, it will also ultimately harm the nation by removing the economic stimulus that food stamps provide and making it that much harder for half a million already poor kids to do well in school.

Forcing kids to go hungry is a lose-lose.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
August 22, 2019
George Ochenski
Breaking the Web of Life
Kenneth Surin
Boris Johnson’s Brexit Helter Skelter
Enrique C. Ochoa – Gilda L. Ochoa
It’s About Time for Ethnic Studies in Our K-12 Schools
Steve Early
A GI Rebellion: When Soldiers Said No to War
Clark T. Scott
Sanders And Bezos’s Shared, Debilitating, Basic Premise
Dan Corjescu
The Metaphysics of Revolution
Mark Weisbrot
Who is to Blame for Argentina’s Economic Crisis?
Howard Lisnoff
To Protect and Serve
Cesar Chelala
A Palestinian/Israeli Experiment for Peace in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
No Deal Chaos: the Brexit Cliff Face and Operation Yellowhammer
Josue De Luna Navarro
For True Climate Justice, Abolish ICE and CBP
Dean Baker
The NYT’s Upside Down Economics on Germany and the Euro Zone
August 21, 2019
Craig Collins
Endangered Species Act: A Failure Worth Fighting For?
Colin Todhunter
Offering Choice But Delivering Tyranny: the Corporate Capture of Agriculture
Michael Welton
That Couldn’t Be True: Restorying and Reconciliation
John Feffer
‘Slowbalization’: Is the Slowing Global Economy a Boon or Bane?
Johnny Hazard
In Protest Against Police Raping Spree, Women Burn Their Station in Mexico City.
Tom Engelhardt
2084: Orwell Revisited in the Age of Trump
Binoy Kampmark
Condescension and Climate Change: Australia and the Failure of the Pacific Islands Forum
Kenn Orphan – Phil Rockstroh
The Dead Letter Office of Capitalist Imperium: a Poverty of Mundus Imaginalis 
George Wuerthner
The Forest Service Puts Ranchers Ahead of Grizzlies (and the Public Interest)
Stephen Martin
Geopolitics of Arse and Elbow, with Apologies to Schopenhauer.
Gary Lindorff
The Smiling Turtle
August 20, 2019
James Bovard
America’s Forgotten Bullshit Bombing of Serbia
Peter Bolton
Biden’s Complicity in Obama’s Toxic Legacy
James Phillips
Calm and Conflict: a Dispatch From Nicaragua
Karl Grossman
Einstein’s Atomic Regrets
Colter Louwerse
Kushner’s Threat to Palestine: An Interview with Norman Finkelstein
Nyla Ali Khan
Jammu and Kashmir: the Legitimacy of Article 370
Dean Baker
The Mythology of the Stock Market
Daniel Warner
Is Hong Kong Important? For Whom?
Frederick B. Mills
Monroeism is the Other Side of Jim Crow, the Side Facing South
Binoy Kampmark
God, Guns and Video Games
John Kendall Hawkins
Toni Morrison: Beloved or Belovéd?
Martin Billheimer
A Clerk’s Guide to the Unspectacular, 1914
Elliot Sperber
On the 10-Year Treasury Bonds 
August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail