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Letters to the Editor: A Public Forum
A Public Forum
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 • Posted October 10, 2013

Let’s show a few facts about food stamps instead of demonizing those who receive them. 76% of food stamp households include a child, an elderly person or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all food stamps.

Estimates from the consulting firm Moody’s Analytics suggest that each dollar spent on food stamps in a depressed economy raises the G.D.P. by about $1.70 — which means, by the way, that much of the money paid out to help families in need actually comes right back to the government in the form of higher revenue. 

Food stamps greatly reduce food insecurity among low-income children, which, in turn, greatly enhances their chances of doing well in school and growing up to be successful, productive adults. So food stamps are in a very real sense an investment in the nation’s future — an investment that in the long run almost surely reduces the budget deficit, because tomorrow’s adults will also be tomorrow’s taxpayers. 

So what does Congress want to do with this helpful program? First, shrink it; then, effectively kill it. When a constituent asked Rep. Kevin Cramer (Republican-ND) why he voted a few weeks ago to cut billions of dollars from the food stamp program, he said “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” I’d sure like to see how a toddler fills out a job application. Is this the United States of America or China?

Meanwhile, Big Agribusiness, oil companies, the defense industry, for-profit colleges, drug companies and other huge takers of federal subsidies can continue to maintain their own “dependency” on federal dollars because they have the political clout to remove members of Congress who refuse to serve their needs. In an American population that is increasingly economically unequal, this corruption of our politics could soon leave millions of people hungry, sick and desperate for a simple meal.

Jesus stated, “…as you did to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” So by attacking the least of us (the elderly, the disabled, and the children) what are these Congressmen stating about their morality and their beliefs. What does it say about the belief systems of the voters who continue to elect these morally and spiritually bankrupt people to Congress?

Julie Alford

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