Starting today, 47 million hungry Americans will see cuts to their SNAP benefits. Five billion dollars is being slashed from the program, leaving the poor to survive on even less. Families who are already struggling to make ends meet will see their food stamp benefits drop by an average of $36 dollars per household. That may not sound like a lot, but it's a huge difference to a family trying to feed themselves on an average of $278 dollars a month.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, 87 percent of SNAP recipients live in households with children, seniors, and people with disabilities. And, at least 900,000 veterans relied on food stamps as of 2011. These people are not takers like many Republicans claim, these are our children, our parents, our neighbors in need, and those who devoted their lives to protecting this country. Many of them even work hard at regular jobs, but they just can't survive on the slave labor wages that are paid by so many corporations.
Senate Democrats managed to fend off more extreme food stamp cuts proposed by House Republicans, but $5 billion dollars is still too much to take away from needy families who can't afford to eat. In the history of our nation, we have come together after tragedies. We have stood up for those who can speak for themselves. And, we have decided that people don't go hungry in the streets in the richest nation on Earth. It is simply un-American to break those promises now, and our lawmakers must know that we wont stand for it.
The Thom Hartmann Program weekdays 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL 1600.