Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, September 21, 2013

GOP to Veterans: EFF YOU! GO HUNGRY!

The party that fetishizes veterans, that worships military duty, that calls every man and woman who serves his or her country a "hero," has voted to demean their heroes and let them go hungry.

You read that right.

We saner folk know, of course, that the GOP's posturing is all show and zero substance, and another manifestation of their fake patriotism, which was demonstrated this past week when the Republicans in the House voted to slash the SNAP program.  Hundreds of thousands of our veterans--you know, the folks who defend our freedoms here and abroad, the ones who lay down their lives so that GOP Congresscreeps can charge their lavish dinners to the government while they travel in the U.S. and abroad on "fact-finding missions"--millions of those men and women depend on the SNAP program.  Yeah, those GOP hypocrites, who never saw a program for the needy in this country that they didn't hate and that they didn't go after, pretending it would save the tax payers millions of dollars and make those lazy, undeserving moochers who want free stuff, our veterans, get off their lazy asses and find a job!

Those are Republican values:  Slash needed programs to feed our veterans and their families (and millions of other struggling Americans), while pretending they support our troops.

From the daily kos:

Thursday's House vote to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by $40 billion over 10 years proved, once again, that when the Republican drive to demonize poor people comes into conflict with the supposed Republican reverence for veterans, demonizing poor people wins. 

The bill would kick 170,000 veterans off of food stamps, out of around 900,000 veterans in the program. Republican rhetoric was that the food stamp-slashing bill would continue food assistance for the virtuous poor—children, seniors, disabled people, employed people—and only cut assistance for able-bodied adults who don't want to work, preferring to live high on the hog off of their average benefit of around $4 a day. 

That's false in ways almost too numerous to count: 

  • The bill contains no provisions for people who can't find work in an economy where there are three jobseekers for every available job. 

  • Republicans claimed unemployed people could fulfill the bill's work requirements by turning to job training programs, yet many people don't have access to job training programs and the bill did not fund them. 

  • The bill would kick 2.1 million mostly working or elderly people out of SNAP by eliminating expanded categorical eligibility. On paper, these people's income or assets are above the SNAP threshold even though, in reality, they face significant expenses like child care in order to keep working, bringing them below the threshold: 

A typical working family that qualifies for SNAP due to categorical eligibility consists of a mother with two young children who has monthly earnings just above the program’s monthly gross income limit ($2,069 for a family of three in 2013). On average, the families above that limit who qualify for SNAP as a result of categorical eligibility have combined child care and rent costs thatexceed half of their wages. The approximately $100 per month in SNAP benefits they receive covers about one-fourth to one-fifth of their monthly food budget.

From the Military and Foreign Affairs Journal "Veterans Today:"

Hardest Hit by Proposed Food Stamp Cuts? Veterans and Active Military 

The prejudices against those who desperately need food stamps and other supportive programs are rampant. However, what the Huffington Post report uncovered is that a surprising group of hardworking Americans rely on food stamps. This group will undoubtedly change the face of what the average American thinks of what a food stamp recipient looks like as well as the trajectory of the food stamp funding battle. 

Veterans and active duty service members are one of the largest growing populations that need assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is a financial assistance program provided by the federal government that allows struggling families to purchase food. According to data compiled by the Huffington Post, 1.5 million veteran households are using SNAP. 

The sharp increase of veterans or other military families relying on food stamps is right in line with what is happening across the board: more families are struggling to make ends meet because of the recovering economy and families who may have never needed assistance before are looking for help. 

Compounding the issue further is that many veterans who recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan may also have returned with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from working or continuing their service. As of 2011, more than 46 million Americans received food stamps.

Food stamp use at military commissaries up sharply in four years

My name is Jason. I turned 35 less than a week ago. 

My first job was maintenance work at a public pool when I was 17. I worked 40-hours a week while I was in college. I've never gone longer than six months without employment in my life and I just spent the last three years in the military, one of which consisted of a combat tour of Afghanistan. 

 Oh, and I'm now on food stamps. 

Since June, as a matter of fact. 

Why am I on food stamps? 

 The same reason everyone on food stamps is on food stamps: because I would very much enjoy not starving. I mean, if that's okay with you: 

  •  Mr. or Mrs. Republican congressman. 
  • Mr. or Mrs. Conservative commentator. 
  • Mr. or Mrs. "welfare queen" letter-to-the-editor author. 
  • Mr. or Mrs. "fiscal conservative, reason-based" libertarian. 

Remember this outrage the next time you hear a loud-mouthed hypocritical Republican thanks one of America's military heroes.  Remember that it's only lip-service that the posturing Republican is giving to the man or woman whose real service defended our freedoms and is now struggling to feed him/herself and family.

NOTE TO TROLLS:  We know very well that the increase in the use of food stamps happened during President Obama's administration.  

We also know that the GOP has obstructed programs and initiatives President Obama has offered to alleviate the problem.

When President Obama has nothing but an obstructive opposition party to work with and whose only political goal is to sabotage his presidency, there's no possible way to help those in need.  


George Whyte said...

This report fits nicely with your post today.

Anonymous said...

The financial crash was caused by Republican fiscal policies. Then they act surprised (and of course blame it on Obama) when requests for food stamps rise. Can't debate that kind of dishonesty.
Of all the issues I have with government, mistreatment of our veterans and active duty soldiers, is a pet peeve of mine. I can't think of another issue our government has been so dishonest about, for so long.
This is an issue that goes back to the Revolutionary War. MacArthur burned the Vets out of Washington D. C. Allowing soldiers to live in pain and die, because the government wouldn't admit that Agent Orange was killing them. Oh sure, 30 years later the government allowed those claims, but by then many had died including a friend of mine.
Cutting their food stamps is another kick in their teeth, but not the worst we have done to our Vets and active soldiers.
Stopping the draft cut the protests against war, and soldiers have a problem protesting their government. That shows they have more patriotism and conviction than the scum politicians they take orders from and treat them so badly.
As far as I'm concerned, these politicians who send our people to war, then make them beg for health care, food, housing, etc., are traitors!

Jack Whyte said...

Speaking of dishonesty:

In 1964, an E-3 with two years of service made 148.00 a month. This person, if married, was also entitled to $123.00 a month housing allowance, and $49.00 each month as a subsistence allowance. No one in the military back then qualified for welfare payments.

Today, an E-3 with two years of service is making $1,899.00 each month. This person, if married, is also entitled to a housing allowance geared to geographical area of assignment. It ranges between $1,161 and $2,061 monthly. Single service personnel are also entitled to a housing allowance, which ranges from $861 to $1,545 monthly.

Service personnel are also entitled to other pay and allowances, which range from family separation allowances to hazardous duty pay. There are 60 categories of hazardous duty pay.

So given these facts, it is difficult to imagine that thousands of military personnel are starving to death as a result of the GOP efforts to regulate entitlement to welfare payments. I do admit the rhetoric was nifty, but it is simply lacking in facts.

As for starving veterans, you could be right. On the other hand, the question that seems most relevant is whether the GOP is trying to starve veterans, or if this problem is not the result of a communist ideologue doing what he can to foster policies that end up in the result you bemoan. I wonder if there any facts regarding starving veterans, beyond an informal count of those who hold up signs at the end of the exit ramp, near an underpass.

Rational Nation USA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaw Kenawe said...

Jack Whyte: "On the other hand, the question that seems most relevant is whether the GOP is trying to starve veterans, or if this problem is not the result of a communist ideologue doing what he can to foster policies that end up in the result you bemoan. I wonder if there any facts regarding starving veterans, beyond an informal count of those who hold up signs at the end of the exit ramp, near an underpass.

Is this a satire of a conservative's answer? "It's all a Communist plot!"

So the journalists writing in "Veterans Today," and "Stars and Stripes" don't know that President Obama in secret talks with the GOP House of Representatives conspired with John Boehner and other GOPers to drastically cut back the SNAP program that provides food stamps for needy military families all in a covert plot to turn the U.S. into a Communist nation? With the help of the GOP?


I think you need to call the journalists writing in these military publications and tell them this IMMEDIATELY.

You're a patriot, you need to warn them, and while you're at it, the FBI and the CIA!

Why are you wasting your time coming here and telling everyone that the cuts in the SNAP program by the GOP House that affects needy military programs is a Communist Plot! by the Kenyan Muslim Usurper in the White House! And his wife "Mooooshie" is probably in on the plot as well.

And this part of the report in "Stars and Stripes" explains how the Commie in the White House is destroying this country:

"The nature of military service, in which servicemembers are constantly moving to new assignments, often has unintended consequences on the income of military families, he said."

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon, I answered you over at The Swash Zone, but will post the comment here as well:

Dear Anonymous, a cousin I was very close to died from the effects of Agent Orange in 2010. He was a Marine who served in Viet Nam. I saw what he and his family suffered as a result. I agree with you on the disgraceful way America treats its military.

I admire what you have done to help our veterans.

Thanks for your comment.

George Whyte said...

This is for the other "Whyte" guy who suggested that the "communist ideologue," meaning President Obama, is fostering policies that make the GOP look bad:

From the DoD:

"The House action that stripped food stamp funding from a massive farm bill would threaten vital assistance for about 5,000 military families, mostly from the junior enlisted ranks, Pentagon officials said Friday.

A Department of Agriculture report last year showed that more than 5,000 of the 48 million Americans receiving Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps) listed their employment status as "active duty military," the Pentagon officials said.

"Military members who receive SNAP tend to be made up of members in junior pay grades with larger than average household sizes," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman.

"It gets tough, even with a housing allowance," Raezer said.
The 5,000 military families receiving food stamps was a tiny percentage of the 48 million recipients nationwide, but it was a major increase over the previous year when the Department of Agriculture reported that only 1,000 recipients listed "active duty military" as their employment status.

In addition, the Defense Commissary Agency reported that food stamps were being redeemed at base commissaries at a record pace.
Last year, $99 million in food stamps were cashed in at bases by military families, disabled vets and others with military identification, and more than $53 million in food stamps were cashed in this year through June, according to Defense Commissary Agency data provided to the Huffington Post.

The concerns over the threat of a food stamp funding cutoff were raised by the 218-208 vote in the House Thursday that passed a $500 billion farm bill that stripped out $80 billion in SNAP funding. It was the first time since 1973 that a farm bill failed to join farm subsidies and food stamp funding.
Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., the House Agriculture Committe chairman, said he would introduce a separate food stamp bill "as soon as I can achieve a consensus," but consensus could be difficult to reach in the gridlocked Congress.
Democrats charged that the bill would devastate poor families and the White House threatened a veto of the farm bill if the House and Senate failed to reach a compromise that would restore SNAP funding.

Anonymous @12:38 nailed it:

"The financial crash was caused by Republican fiscal policies. Then they act surprised (and of course blame it on Obama) when requests for food stamps rise. Can't debate that kind of dishonesty."

Or the dishonesty that blames this tragedy on a WH Communist Plot!

Anonymous said...

This is unconscionable.

People are hurting in this Obama economy, and the Obama Administration is impotent. SNAP is all some people have.

The President and Congress are clueless about how to create jobs, so this assistance is critical for people crushed by this horrible economy.

DC wrecks the economy and then takes assistance away.

Fire them all!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon @4:22,

What do you propose President Obama should do? Do you not understand "separation of powers?" The president is not a dictator, despite what the loonies on the right say.

Carlo Fortunato said...

The Republican strategy to punish the poor did not stop there. Now the House passed a bill that doubled the cuts to SNAP included in the Republicans first farm bill proposal. Their bill cuts eligibility for millions and institute stringent new work requirements. It aims to eliminate benefits for out-of-work adults, even in high-unemployment areas. It would actually provide states with financial incentives to cut SNAP participation. In addition, it would add new hurdles that make it more difficult to administer benefits. Finally, it would include punitive measures--such as instituting costly mandatory drug testing for all beneficiaries. If the nutrition cuts in the first farm bill did not go far enough to take food from the mouths of hungry families, this legislation surely will.

It appears that the loudest voices within the Republican Party, the ones who have an illogical aversion to feeding children, are driving their colleagues down a destructive highway with no exits. I refuse to sit silently as they try to take us all for a ride. With talk of a government shutdown and of welfare reform, I keep asking myself: is it 1995 or 2013? It's the same sad script; only the cast has changed.

Anonymous said...

The president and Congress should cooperate to make it easier for people to start businesses and find jobs.

DC serves the bankers, wall street, the rich and powerful, silicon valley, green energy, big oil, labor unions.

There should be no special favors for any of them!

President Obama came into office with our high hopes, but nothing has changed. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

Politicians of both parties have been giving all of us the big EFF YOU for a long time.

Jack Whyte said...

Well Miss Shaw, having spent more than 3 decades on active duty, I think I know something about this subject. How long did you serve on active duty?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Your argument from authority is silly, J.W.

Does a male obstetrician have to have given birth in order to know anything about delivering babies?

Besides that, I've taken my information for military sources.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Jack Whyte: “I wonder if there any facts regarding starving veterans, beyond an informal count of those who hold up signs at the end of the exit ramp, near an underpass.

I can’t imagine a more heartless remark from a self-described veteran who alleges to have three decades of military service and claims to argue from authority. What authority do you have other than a link that identifies you as: “Basic Information … Gender Male” ?

In the real world, true is true, and false is false. In Cyberspace, anyone can make up stuff or pander about communist ideologues while saying absolutely nothing at all.

Ema Nymton said...


"House Republicans are no longer “the loyal opposition,” they exist only to seek revenge for the shame of their party’s loss to Barack Obama. Their uncompromising extremism drives them forward oblivious to all else, fixed on a single unobtainable goal that they will never reach even as their civilization crumbles unnoticed around them. Their unreasoning rage and boiling arrogance blinds them to the very people who they are supposed to be representing and they leave us all sitting out in the open, unprotected, while death falls from the sky.

Americans as a nation had a clear opportunity to end Obamacare themselves.

Last November they could have elected a president who promised to repeal the ACA by executive fiat on his first day in office. Instead they overwhelmingly reelected Barrack Obama. The message to congress, to conservatives, and most especially to the Tea Party extremists, was clear and unequivocal: their philosophy was soundly rejected by the people and the country they claim to represent."
(Jim Wright (

House Republicans exist only to seek revenge for the shame of their party’s loss to Barack Obama!!

Ema Nymton
~ @ : o ?

Shaw Kenawe said...


J.W. is a regular over at the conservative blog AOW, where he and his friends engage in insults and name-calling to anyone who is not a conservative. The blog is nothing more than an echo chamber and a sandbox for little minds.


Jim Wright perfectly expresses the GOP rage. Their behavior has been that of a spoiled two-year-old who throws tantrums when he doesn't get his way. Only their tantrums affect real people. And lots of them. They have no clue on how to govern.