Today is the day that the United States starts cutting food stamps for the most needy among us.
Most people on food stamps are not lazy moochers — most work full time for minimum wage. That’s right — you and I are subsidizing McDonald’s. Not only do we pay subsidies to meat producers to keep the cost of meat cheaper than the cost of a salad, but we also are helping McDonald’s make record profits by picking up the slack for people who cannot afford basic necessities on a McDonald’s salary. (Note: I am using McDonald’s as an example; feel free to plug in whichever minimum wage place you wish.)
Republicans, who just spent billions on the government shutdown, feel that we just can’t afford it. So instead of cutting corporate subsidies, they attack those who actually need our taxpayer money. Instead of raising dollars by increasing the tax burden on the super-rich who can afford it, we’ll instead cut a few pennies from the super-poor.
And of course many Democrats also take the blame, because they don’t want to cut the corporate subsidies either — after all, that’s where their campaign money comes from. None of those McDonald’s workers help them get elected, but McDonald’s Super PAC can make a big difference at election time.
I am really beginning to think that we as a country need to decide what sort of country we want to be. Do we want to be a country that takes care of the weakest, the poorest, the most vulnerable? Or do we want to be a country where money is all and as long as we’ve got ours we don’t care about the rest? “Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor…” Just don’t expect us to care for them once they get here. I’m not sure what needs to change–or if we the people have the power to change it.
The idea wasn’t to be a dumping ground for the world. It was a place where there wasn’t class barriers or family or royalty or money that your country had and you had an equal chance to be successful here. It used to be people came here and learned our culture and contributed to it instead of forcing us to accommodate them while they played the system and made out like bandits.
The poor don’t make as much money for the government as big corporations do. Insert [least] favorite politician’s name here.