Letter: A bad time to cut food stamps
Posted on Dec 11, 2013 - 01:04 PM Printer Friendly View
The Farm Bill of 2013 is presently in the House of Representatives, which is considering cutting $40 billion of food stamps from the bill over the next 10 years. This is unconscionable at a time when the food banks and services to the hungry are overstressed across the country.
There was a time when we were concerned about global hunger. That is still with us, but now we have hunger right here at home in increasing numbers. This is not the America we were taught to be proud of as a beacon for the underprivileged and oppressed of the world.
Even those with jobs are frequently not able to earn enough to keep food on the table while paying for a roof and warmth. When America’s largest employers (think fast-food outlets, Walmart and others) can say they provide jobs without acknowledging that many of their employees require public assistance to live, something is seriously wrong with our system. One simple and necessary solution is to raise the minimum wage to something approaching a living wage. To allow corporate America to claim profits gained by outsourcing their legitimate payroll costs to the taxpaying public is absurd.
Once a minimum wage that offers a sustainable existence is in place, there may be room to reduce the level of federal support for the hungry. But not until there are fewer hungry people. Any lowering of food and nutrition assistance should be predicated on a drop in the numbers of citizens needing such assistance.
Paul and Eunice Hyer