In Brief: A Personal Take on Cuts in Food Stamps:
A little dose of the real life of real people really on public assistance, from rude reader SMV in Wisconsin:
"I am on SNAP [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] for the first time. I'm am a very educated, working person who lost the equivalent of my mortgage when the economy tanked in 2008-2009. That is, when the lying weasels and vampires in the banking/financial industries poisoned the country's economic circulatory system. I was OK before Lehman Bros. died. Then--POOF. Not OK.
"My work [as an editor] has nearly disappeared. I cashed in my IRA to pay for basics. I'm nearly out of that, living on 103% of poverty level, which actually doesn't allow me to buy both food and heat."
"So I applied. I got the most a single adult can get in Wisconsin:$200/month. That's less than $6.50/day. I was notified that the amount for November would be reduced by 11.00 because of the stupidity in Congress. That is, Congress took away two days of my food budget. The monthly amount only lasts about two weeks and I use it to buy protein, so I at least have that every day.
"I got energy assistance for heat. I was lucky to find info and an appointment before it was all gone. My house is very small, so the grant will actually heat it. I won't have to keep the thermostat at 50 and wear snowpants in my house for the next 4 months(as I did one winter).
"I'm not a lazy stupid slacker. I'm not a 'taker,' not a moocher. I'm a person who can't find a job, who can't make enough money to make it anymore. I'm 57 and have realized, after more than 100 applications and even 12 interviews, that no matter how talented or educated or motivated I am, no one will hire me because I am 57.
"So I try to put together a living any way I can. (I can sell scrap steel for 10 cents a pound, I discovered last week.) I'm taking graduate courses (with tuition grants from the feds) for ESL certification. Maybe I'll have a job by the end of 2014. In the meantime, life's a SNAP: a kind of government weight and self-esteem loss plan.
"I think the Republican Hate-the-Poor cohort should try to live on $6.50/day for a week or so. Wouldn't even cover two visits to Starbucks."
When you are spit out of the middle class by the capitalist monster, it's a short trip to America's garbage heap of the disempowered.