You know how songs get stuck in your head. The one stuck in mine this holiday season is “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!,” except what I keep hearing is Let ‘em Starve! Let ‘em Starve! Let ‘em Starve!
Three days after Christmas, some 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. How’s that for a Christmas present? It’s fine with the critters in Congress and especially fine with South Carolina state Senator Lee Bright, who is among a handful of Republicans challenging Senator Lindsey Graham.
At a recent fundraiser in Tulsa, Okla., Bright, in essence, “argued that recipients of unemployment benefits shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” Said Bright (or is that not so bright?), “We’ve got a lot of people who won’t work. And they won’t work because we’ll provide their food, and we’ll provide their housing and we’ll provide them their spending money and we’ll provide them their spending money. We’ve all seen it, the folks in line who are using [food stamps], yet they’ve got the nicest nails and the nicest pocketbook and they get the nicest car.” Shades of Ronald Reagan’s welfare queens in limos driving up to liquor stores.
Oh yeah, Bright also thinks immigrants should self-deport. But I digress.
Bright is not alone in his twisted thinking, earlier this month on FOX News Sunday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said it would be “a ‘disservice’ to jobless individuals” to extend unemployment benefits.
According to Paul, “When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”
So where are all the jobs for the unemployed? You, Senator Paul and your fellow Congress critters allowed all the once decent paying jobs to be offshored at the behest of your corporate and bankster masters, where they can exploit Third World workers by paying slave wages.
If that weren’t enough, Congress delivered a mighty hit November 1 to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a.k.a. food stamps, “resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household. For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month—a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014. That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits will average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014. Nationally, the total cut is estimated to be $5 billion in fiscal year 2014.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we could force the Congress critters to dine exclusively on $1.40 meals? No more filet mignon. No more chateaubriand? No more fine wines or bubbly?
While some 47 percent of Americans rely on SNAP for food, the Congress critters opposed to food stamps are joined by the likes of Forbes columnist John Tamny and others who would totally do away with the program.
On Tuesday night’s Daily Show (watch the video), Tamny told correspondent Jessica Williams “food stamps are cruel” and he doubted that Americans were literally starving, because if they were “you would see a massive outpouring of charity.”
Asked by Williams, “What does ‘literally starving’ look like?” Tamny replied, ““This is going to come off the wrong way. But I guess it’s where literally people have distended bellies where they’re getting almost nothing. We don’t hear about the poor in this country starving on the streets.”
The Daily Show may be comedy, but there was nothing comedic in Tamny’s remarks, which ended with “If you’re going to be poor, this is the country you want to be poor in.”
But jobless and needy Americans aren’t alone in their struggle to survive. Gazans aren’t only short of food, clean water, fuel and jobs, many are now literally underwater in freezing weather conditions due to torrential rains and additional flooding caused by Israel’s opening of dams. Refugees from our proxy war in Syria, without adequate food, clothing and shelter, are struggling to survive snow and freezing temperatures in Lebanon. But these people and the starving poor around the world are of little concern to the corporate media, which is now cheering on Washington’s manipulated uprising in Ukraine for the purpose of provoking a war with Russia. But that is another matter people better start paying attention to.
In the meantime, it’s Let ‘em Starve! Let ‘em Starve! Let ‘em Starve! Merry Christmas!