Congress is about to bailout an unlikely group, the American taxpayer. By increasing the funding for food stamps the United States will be giving to those who generally pocket other bail outs. It’s about time.
When people have to choose between rent and food in the world’s ‘greatest’ nation something is very wrong. In the past 20 months in Florida the caseload for food stamps has grown from 500,000 people to 1.8 million. Those people aren’t professional welfare families, they are your brother, sister and best friend. They have worked hard to provide their families until that work shriveled up and died. And they are hungry today.
George Sheldon, the head of Florida’s Department of Children and Families wishes he could help them sooner than the standard 30 days after a person applies for food stamps. As NPR reports:
“That’s not fast enough. I mean, people don’t plan to be hungry 30 days from now or seven days from now. If people are hungry today, they need help today,” Sheldon says.
Florida isn’t alone. Almost every one of the 50 states are dealing with hungry people. They have all been waiting the economic stimulus bill. The bill will provide $300 million to help out the food stamp program.
In total the bill will increase benefits and boost the new food stamp program that has been renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Those programs will also help the economy.
“We are purchasing commodities from those who grow and raise commodities, which puts money in their pockets. Those commodities have to be trucked. Those commodities have to be shelved. Those commodities have to be sold and bagged and transported home. All of that generates economic activity in the community,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says.
The program will be increasing food stamps $79 a month for those already on the program. The goal is to allow families to afford food the entire month instead of just three weeks a month.
Obama isn’t mincing words when he has talked to the public about the crisis in the land. The Age quotes the president as he spoke to people in Elkhard, Indiana on Monday.
We have inherited an economic crisis as deep and as dire as any since the Great Depression,” he said. “Economists from across the spectrum have warned that if we don’t act immediately, millions of more jobs will be lost.”More people will lose their homes and their health care and our nation will sink into a crisis that … we may be unable to reverse,” he said.
The bills are getting voted on. In the Senate the bill passed but not with an overwhelming victory. All of the Democrats voted for it but only three Republicans did. The only 38 votes against the bill were Republican.
Nice to know that they have the public’s best interest at heart.