The Republican controlled House of Representatives has passed a bill to cut 40 billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (SNAP), kicking almost 4 million people off the program this year and roughly 3 million every year for the next ten years.
Republicans are cluelessly questioning the expansion in the number of people using the program. Republican denial of the effects of their own financial policies, after the worst depression in our history is telling. A friend of mine, a wonderful lady who works in the local Catholic Parish, cheerily opined that religious charities would be able to pick up the slack. It’s hard to imagine religious charities being able to handle 4 million new customers when most of the people they see now are already on the SNAP program. The school lunch programs will also take a hit.
The Senate offered 4 billion in cuts so when they and the House do a deal there will certainly be some cuts. Hopefully with a rebound in the economy the pain of actual cuts will be minimal.
Why do Republicans, during a weak economic recovery, wish to throw millions off of the food stamp program? Hard to say but it seems the hard right have gotten their religious notions confused with their political ones. The Church teaches us that to die for your faith, not change your beliefs for any reason even unto pain of death, is the greatest sacrifice one can make and it entitles one to immediate entry into heaven. Politics is different. It requires compromise which is in no way a tenant of religion. The mindset of the Tea Party folks is one of compromise as treason. Giving in, even a little bit, means losing and we must win Heaven at all costs!
Now Republicans are being led. Once again, to sacrifice for their religion and they are going to take the whole country with them. Republicans have proclaimed The Affordable Care Act evil incarnate and they are willing to shut down the Government, or if that doesn’t work, severely damage the economy by refusing to raise the Debt Ceiling thereby causing the United States to default on its obligations, unless Congress and the President meet their demand to defund The Affordable Care Act. The President has vowed not to give in to Tea Party extortion so the next few weeks are gonna be ‘really interesting’.
One has to wonder, what does the Republican Party have against the American People that they are willing to destroy the economy just to make a political point? The financial collapse proved that the trickledown theory of Republican finance, give money to the wealthy and they will invest it and that money will trickle down to everyone else has proven to be a complete failure. Worker wages have been flat for 40 years. Sure didn’t trickle down to the workers did it? Rather than admitting that and working towards a demand based economy with growth for all, Republicans are forcing austerity even as austerity hurts and limits economic growth.
Republicans are more than the party of no. They have become the party of **** no! No social security, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no welfare, no food stamps, and no unemployment either! It’s sad that the party of Abolition, Progressivism and freedom has instead become a party whose modern makeup is based on opposition to the 1964 Voting Rights Act, belief that, “Government is the problem!”, (thank you Ronald Reagan), and a financial philosophy that has shifted more than a trillion dollars from the poor, middle class and the Federal Government to the coffers and offshore accounts of the wealthy.
The current makeup of the Republican Party is one of, ‘All for One’. Unless it becomes a party of, ‘One for All’ it is hard to see it surviving long into the 21st century.