Ramona's picture

    Republicans Vote to Keep Folks Hungry and Sick and Their Base Loves It. The Rest of Civilization is Appalled.


    Yesterday the Republicans in the House voted to slash 40 billion dollars in annual food stamp (SNAP) coverage over 10 years, putting some 3.8 million poor people in jeopardy of losing their pitiful but essential pennies-a-day government food support.  (There are some 47 million people at the poverty level here in the United States.  A shameful fact that should point out the absolute need to keep the SNAP program alive rather than killing it.  But apparently in the People's House in Washington facts are sticky things to be ignored or stretched or blasted to smithereens.)

    Today, in case the country didn't get how serious they were about enriching their pals by screwing the little people, the majority of the House Republicans made a game of pretending to care about balancing the budget by voting to defund Obamacare, a booby trap they set up to stop the budget bill in its tracks, threatening to shut down much of our central government if their crazy demands weren't met. (Clever fellows.  They chose to defund it this time, saving themselves the embarrassment of having to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act for. . .ready for this?. . . the 42nd time.)

    (Oh, wait.  Hold the phone. . .Here's a guy who says the 42nd time will be the charm.  I am not kidding.)

    Obamacare will not be perfect.  For every person it helps, there will be those who will find it lacking--or even awful.  But it's a start.  It's the first opportunity we've had to hobble runaway insurance dictates, to slow down medical care costs, to get on the bandwagon leading to health care sanity.  We're doing it large-scale through the government--the only way it can be done effectively and efficiently.  The only way.  And if this is the best we can do because of the obstacles put in place by the high-flyers who will most definitely see a drop in their beyond-the-bright-blue-sky profits, then shame on them.  We'll keep moving forward, they'll keep throwing up obstacles, but eventually we'll catch up with those civilized countries that see so much value in their citizens they've figured out a way to keep the majority of them fed, safe, educated and healthy.

    We thought we were heading in that direction.  All these years we thought we were moving toward the kind of democracy Lincoln envisioned when he spoke of a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and now, when the chance is ours to do the right thing, when the need is so acute, we're hounded by a bunch of Republican congressmen so mean even junkyard dogs won't mess with them.

    It's panic time now, with only ten more days left to demonize the ACA before the real stuff goes into effect, an action that will show up those Republican Servants of the People for the lying mercenaries they are.  In their panic they've had to align themselves with some pretty nasty bedfellows.  Some of them are hoping, come 2014, we won't notice, but until then they're feeling pretty free to keep on toying with us.   And why not?  Their benevolent benefactors, ALEC and the Koch Brothers, show no signs of either going away or running out of money.  And some of us have very short memories.

    But here's what's going to do them in:  We don't like bullies.  We don't like watching bullies hold weaker people down and use them for punching bags.  Sooner or later we'll get up off our asses and do something about it.  And if we're lucky the "watchdog" press will shake themselves loose and do the same.

    And how's this for bad timing?  The Republicans voted to eviscerate the food stamp bill in September, the month designated as "Hunger Action Month".

    Click here and scroll down for link to invite your congressfolks to take part.  Especially if they're Republicans.

    (Obamacare myths debunked at FactCheck.org.)


    (Cross-posted at Ramona's Voice)



      We don't know what Lincoln would have thought of the social welfare state; it was just a theory in his time. Here are opposing views as to what Honest Abe thought.



      I'm all for the social welfare state, but I have no idea whether Obamacare will work or not. I'm not happy about forcing people to buy insurance(I'm more comfortable with requiring corporations to do certain things, as corporations have a lot more effect on the general welfare than individuals).

    You do realize that the House vote was symbolic posturing for the coming mid-term elections Ramona, the Senate will offer the Democrat cuts as an alternative. The SNAP program costs about $75 Billion a year so a $4 Billion cut would be about 5% not quite the evisceration  you hype, although any cuts are a bad idea both sides are in a cutting mood.  The ACA votes are just more Kabuki for the Repug base although it is interesting that that Liberal Icon of Industry Warren Buffet is now saying that Obamacare should be scrapped before it does any real damage.

    But those are real cuts that don't factor in inflation, and also don't factor in that, as Krugman explains below in what I just linked to, federal welfare spending as a percentage of GDP has been on a steady decline and food stamps have picked up only some of the slack.  

    Buffet, I wouldn't say he's an icon but sometimes it's good to have a guy like that debunk the alleged pain that his similarly situated peers have complained about.

    As to the SNAP program, that 5% cut represents will throw 3.8 million people of the rolls. No biggie for you I'm sure. The SNAP program dollar amount is around $32.00 a week for groceries per person. Are you kidding me? And yet these horrible human beings are willing to throw 3.8 million more people off the rolls, even though they are only getting $32.00 a week. It's a huge cut at a time when we should be putting more money into that program. We should be boosting WIC, Public Health programs and senior meals. These monies need to be restored.

    There are huge societal consequences to malnutrition. 

    In children the effects are great from an early age in that it impacts cognitive abilities.  

    From the Nursing Times.

    Here is more on the impact of malnutrition on children and pregnant women.

    Effects of malnutrition on the elderly.

    And let's be honest here, cutting SNAP does nothing for the budget, it has no impact. If Republicans were serious about righting the wrongs of subsidized money we would quit subsidizing oil, natural gas, corn, military contractors and their cost plus bidding processes, etc and so on. Cutting SNAP just makes Republicans look like they worship at the temple of Draco.  Well they do worship at the Temple of Draco, that is part of the problem. 

    And now onto ACA, no one cares what Warren Buffet has to say about health care policy that affects the nation. This guy knows about how to get rich people to invest in the stuff he wants them to invest in.. BFD. He has no idea how to construct or implement national policies. We should never listen to guys like him, who think they have the easy answer for everything. Plus, he has health care, he's on Medicare.

    Like Chris Hayes said on Real Time last night, let's see what works, let's get this law implemented and see what works, and we will go from there.  And frankly, this is the law, all three branches have affirmed this. All three.  Time for the opposition to get over it. They Lost. Time to  participate in the system we have created, contribute to new reforms, something anything, just quit being such pricks about everything by basically holding the entire country hostage because they are still mad they lost the election in 2008 and 2012.  If they don't they will be left out of the process, because the more they dig their heals in and do nothing, or do things that have extremely negative effects on the nations already fragile economy, they will be thrown out of office, and that is just fine by me.



    I'm with you entirely, and thanks for this.  The only thing you made me do was learn about the Temple of Drago, which reminds me once again that I should read up more about the Ancient Greeks.

     There are huge societal consequences to malnutrition. 

    You bet.  My ex- is an RD with Nassau County, on Long Island.  She's working with seniors now but she spent many years working as a WIC nutritionist and she actually ended up teaching herself Spanish simply by serving the folks she counseled.  WIC, at least how I saw it work, is one of those federal programs that really does make a difference.  It wasn't just that the young Moms coming in were poor--they were.  But having the spouse and her colleagues there added another dimension, and that was nutrition education, beginning with dealing with prenatal issues and encouraging breast feeding.  

    I detest this Norquistian approach to good government. We had my daughter's boyfriend's parents over for dinner last night (Meet the Fokkers? :)), and they are in town on a visit to the States from their home in Auckland, NZ.  We ended up drinking a few bottles of wine and talking about stuff, including this kind of stuff.  The comparison between the way the respective countries treat the less fortunate is astounding.  Shame on us.

    P.S. By the way, it was a beautiful dinner too.  The boyfriend's Dad is 1/2 Maori and fluent in the language and does wonderful work there.  So we did the Jewish Sabbath thing--lit the candles, passed around my great-great grandpa's kiddish cup, and broke bread (all in Hebrew and English and with a little digression by yours truly (surprised?) about Abraham Joshua Heschel's thesis that Judaism is a religion that celebrates time and not space.  The (inlaws?) are church-going Catholics and I invited them to say grace, and the Dad did so in Maori.  It was just  one of those things.  Happy weekend.  Think of me as I'm in my office procrastinating with Dag.  Hee.



      Things are at least better than they were from 1981-2007, since we have a president and a party who are trying to preserve the safety net.  Not everything that was done in the earlier period has been undone, of course.

    I think that's right Aaron, but the problem, and I think this kind of like something that I think I just read in a comment from Doc Cleveland in another thread, that the playing field has changed--the middle has shifted, and we are just missing the forest through the trees when it comes to giving due consideration to basic needs like nutrition.  

    Malnutrition is such huge issue in America. It's $32.00 a week, WTF?  And yes these people do worship at the Temple of Draco. They are the most awful, horrible, mess of immorality topped with evil incarnate, it's hard to believe any of them are in Congress! And yet, here we are. I thought everyone knew about Draco the terrible! Hah... 

    The dinner sounds lovely.

    I'm procrastinating as well... mostly trying to clean the house and finish my programming.. can't seem to be bothered with either! Ha!

    Thanks for this, Tmac.  Couldn't agree more.  I wish I could be more confident that all these shenanigans will get them thrown out of office.  Nothing seems to hurt them and that's what they count on.  They know their voters well.  They're meaner than they are.

    Stories saying that Warren Buffett wants to “scrap Obamacare” are false, the Omaha investor said Tuesday.

    “This is outrageous,” Buffett said in a World-Herald interview Tuesday. “It's 100 percent wrong ... totally false.”

    Edit to add: and the story how this lie was manufactured and passed around by conservative media happened to have been sitting right at the top of reader blogs at Dagblog, courtesy of Flavius, since before you posted your comment. Extra crazy, then, that you decided to try to pass it on here. Obviously, you are one commenter that needs to be fact-checked.

    Thanks, aa.  Just added a comment to that effect but deleted it when I saw yours.

    I honestly don't give a shit about why they did it.  What counts is that they did.  It takes a certain kind of sociopath to play games with poor people's food rations.  I don't get food stamps but as a human being I take that kind of crap personally.

    Also, see aa's comment above re:  Buffett.  The link to the story is here.  Did you honestly buy that, or did you think we would here at dag?

    Republicans = Draco. Long live Athens.

    Krugman just now.  On SNAP judgments that are both ignorant or based on lies, and certainly just plain cruel.  

    Last December, MN asked or demanded that I pick some health care package and I send UCare $34/month.

    That is more than fair.

    I receive my SS (for over a year now; age 62, which is the norm for my age group by the way nationally speaking)

    I think it is silly that I receive $16/mo in food stamps. I fill out the county forms because I think the forms relate to more than this small stipend. 

    The repubs can drop me and it would make no difference in my life. 

    But if my records demonstrate a couple hundred bucks a month spent at the grocers (which would include non food items) I have no idea how a family of four could survive on less than five hundred a month spent on food! But the family member who purchases that food has to be clever. Just read Momo's blogs sometime. It involves coupons and reliance on the seasonal finds and so many other variables. Even on that amount it would be difficult to purchase fresh veggies and fruit and the necessities of life; there would be no crab legs or shrimp or even frozen Asian dishes!

    People in my situation should pay for health insurance; whether that figure should be $40/mo or $90/mo is fine with me.

    I was reading that the poor or a large percentage of those we label as poor will have to come up with a bill of hundred dollars a month or less under Obamacare.

    Minnesota has been and is a progressive state.

    Our health care system is pretty damn good relatively speaking. I sure the hell am glad I do not live in the South or in Utah.

    I would proffer that it was the poor (besides the sailors) two thousand years ago and a thousand years ago and five hundred years ago ( and presently if one looks at the third world) who helped the plague spread throughout an area and to deny these people health care is like endangering all of us with plague.

    A significantly damaged portion of our population affects all of that population.

    the end


    I got Medicare this summer and have been going to the doctor ever since.  I finished up with tests last week and will find out if I need surgery on Tuesday.  If not the meds are working great. It is something that should have been fixed 10 years ago and not life threatening.  I will certainly be more healthy and productive.  You are lucky that you live where you do.  ACA is important to people who don't have health care. People are not sure about how to get it here in Florida but they are going to try to buy in some how with out the help of the state.  There are a lot of people out here like me with non life threatening health issues that will benefit from ACA.  I don't think the government really knows how many hidden health issues are in the population.  Don't be surprised if all their estimates fall real short. 

    Allowing children to go hungry is wrong.  We all know that.  It is now also a non political starter in the general elections.  The GOP is too stupid to see the push back coming.  Just like Rove was shocked about losing Ohio.  They are so busy believing their own spin to take a real look.  



    I wish I could say I was surprised. At this point, I actually expect moral bankruptcy.

    The Republicans might as well come out and announce that their basic platform is The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Plague. Famine, War, and Death.

    You have that right.  Those Congressmen are morally bankrupt.  It is just a merit badge vote so they can campaign with all their dog whistles next year.  It will die in the Senate. 

    Morally bankrupt? Is a father who hocks everything the family owns, for a fling on the town, buying everyone dinner and drinks, buying presents for anyone who asks and upon waking from his extravagant night;  he realizes his kids have nothing to eat and there is no more money left. Not only is he financially bankrupt, but morally bankrupt too..

    The father and his bar friends, attacks the person/s  that tells the truth when they say  "your credit is no good and you wont be allowed to sell your children into slavery, so you can play the part of a big shot"  "Time to pay the bill" and not with counterfeit money, worthless money. Devaluing the currency held by everyone else, so this morally bankrupt father could have more whine and pork; holding up his glass; yelling boisterously "my children will pay the tab tomorrow" so bring on more pork, lets kill the goose too.  "Tonight lets eat and drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die. "Everyone drink from the cup of lunacy"

    What does this drunkard care, if his children starve, or that his flock is unattended, as evident by the drunkard and his friends telling the bartender "run another tab" "Don't be a party pooper"

    What is the point of your story here?  Who is this person you've singled out in order to deflect from blaming every single Republican House member for a vote to cut food stamps?

    Tell us who it is and we'll go after him--the bastard!--just as soon as we get finished with the multitudes of bastards sitting in the House who put children in peril every single day for no other reason than to make political points.

    The funding is there for social programs, Resistance.  The people who need them are not sucking off the taxpayer's teat.  They are in our care and we have an obligation as the richest county in the world to give what we can to help our citizens. 

    So when our leaders go on the attack against the poor and the sick while protecting the bankrolls of the rich, calling the Republicans in the House morally bankrupt is going too easy on them.

    It's the same person who used to drive the Cadillac on the way to the store to buy chips with food stamps.

    Why do you take this guy seriously? He's a troll Mona, if you ignore his crazy musings eventually he will stop or he will find someplace else to troll. Responding to him is a lose/lose situation. You think he believes the crap he writes, well if he does he is crazy as a loon, and if not, then he is just a troll, either way it requires us to ignore him.

    Yeah, I break my own rules sometimes.  Bad habit of mine.  laugh

    Do you really believe she added anything of value with this comment, other than insulting other contributors who might want to offer a different perspective? 

    I really really don't mind if you or anyone else doesn't respond; for I have only offered my opinion anyway. Take it or leave it. As it should be clear enough already, I don't drink the poisoned/pollution tainted koolaid, many others drink. 

    They are in our care and we have an obligation as the richest county in the world to give what we can to help our citizens.

    First off; what ever gave you the idea, we were the richest country in the world? We have rich people amongst us, but as a nation, we owe more than we take in (TRILLIONS). If our creditors, refused to lend us more money, we would be as bankrupt/insolvent  as are so many major cities now.

    Secondly what gives anyone in this country, the right to demand anything from a FREE PEOPLE, other than taxation to support the defending the freedom of the nation for all ? The rich or wealthy are not slaves of the poor.

    If you want to feed the poor in our nation, ask the Churches what have they done with the money from the passed collection plates? Instead; we find the church leaders have been as self- serving as are so many of their parishioners?  Seeing as how Caesar has already granted Tax exempt status for the churches to do the job Christ asked them to do;  When he commanded his disciples/ church leaders,YOU Feed my sheep.

    It is not Caesars job, to to raise your kids or feed the poor. His job is to protect  against foreign invaders, who want to enslave you, to deprive you of your freedoms, wanting our nations people to serve and produce for them and their Gods;  just as you would try to enslave the wealthy, to serve you. 

    The days of Great tribulation are fast approaching.  The rich and their wealth cant save anyone.

    16 trillion in debt,..... what the heck were they thinking?

    Anyone who disagrees with you must be stupid, evil, or crazy.  There is no other option.  The Republicans have "crazy demands", they are "lying mercenaries" and "bullies".

    To the commentators who agree with you, Republicans are "horrible human beings", "the most awful, horrible, mess of immorality topped with evil incarnate", "morally bankrupt", "sociopath".

    Is this supposed to be reasoned argument?  Dagblog is a high-level forum, and yet what we get is name-calling and invective.  No attempt to honestly present the Republican position and attempt to refute it.

    Republicans represent roughly half the population of the US.  That's an awful lot of sociopaths.

    Ronity, Ronity, calm down.  Some of my best friends are Republicans.  (Not many, but some.)  I'm talking about the so-called leaders, the people you people vote into office.  The same people who get in by promising to be as anti-government as is humanly possible while expecting (and getting) a hefty six-figure salary provided by both Republican and non-Republican taxpayers (that would be me), and then following up on their cockamamie promises by refusing to take part in anything resembling responsible governing. (Take a gander at their voting records.  The Nays have it.)

    So all those attributes you mention above:  Apply them to every Republican in the House and in the Senate and you've got it just about right. 

    But if you've got an argument for those apparently misunderstood members of Congress, here's your chance.  This is an open forum.  Post away.  (But don't forget to mention the Koch Brothers and ALEC.  They're a big part of your story.)


    $16,738,503,812,337.79 is the Total public debt outstanding. Whose going to pay this debt Ramona?  I suppose many think the money grows on trees, do people even realize, the tree is dying? Our empire is collapsing. Their will be no pensions, their will be NO SS or SSI. Who told you, this credit card would last forever?




    If cities and states pull back on education and the country does the same, the ability of the country to compete globally will be the reason we cannot pay a debt. A hungry child is at risk of being a low IQ child. There are other places to cut spending. 

    We are spending money on an intelligence system that cannot perform effective background checks and buying new armament aimed at fighting the last World War.


    The poor and the sick didn't put us trillions of dollars in debt.  It wasn't even the unions that did it.  Try looking in the direction of our interminable wars and our penchant for outsourcing. 

    Try looking at the protections in place to keep the corporates fat and happy. 

    Try looking at years and years and years of physical and moral neglect exacerbated now by an influx of Tea Party anti-government yahoos who think "moral obligation" means defunding every necessary social program we've managed to put in place over the years.

    Try opening your eyes to the big picture.  We're far behind where we were years ago and where we should be, thanks to the actions of those who are supposed to be in charge.  They're killing us.  And by "us" that means you, too.  In case you haven't noticed.


    I agree with your observations, as to the causes, but looking back does little to solve the problem we now face, We should have been wiser, so as to avoid the coming calamity. The bill needs to be paid and until it is, we are going to be enslaved; as was the intention all along by the rulers of this world, who knew how to achieve their goal. World domination. Enslavement.  

    The American people will pay the debt over time.  There is absolutely no evidence, because it would be folly, to suggest that the amount of debt (which really is just a data point unless you look at it over time as a percentage of, inter alia, GDP), has been influenced in any material way by federal assistance to the less fortunate among us.  

    Those things are drops in the bucket, and fwiw, it is far more the truth that the current debt issues are inextricably linked to the Bush Administration's decision to wage two wars and cut taxes at the same time.

    By the way, full disclosure, there was a time back in 1983, when my wife and I became eligible for food stamps.  We were on for a few months until she got a job and was able to support us while I was in law school.  I won't lie and tell you that I was embarrassed and kind of ashamed of myself at the check-out line.  I wonder how folks who just don't have the opportunities I have feel,  year after year and generation after generation.

    Thank heavens, I've been able to pay back in taxes what we got back then in droves and then some.  I think it was a good investment by the government, candidly.  

    By the way, I also ate surplus cheese every day, which was another government handout.  Think I've paid that back too, with interest.  But it still felt icky.


    My daughter is on SSI and receives food stamps for her and her two children.  I have no problem with that.  Before she got sick she paid plenty into the system, and will again some day.  But even if she hadn't I would have no problem with it. 

    Safety nets are in place for the people who need them.  What we should be working toward is building a society where fewer and fewer people need assistance.  Instead, we allow and even encourage factions whose sole purpose is to keep the poor down and, in fact, to keep those numbers growing.  And half the country either won't or can't see where we're going and why.  It's baffling.

    They refuse to talk about their insistence on keeping those tax cuts in place.  They also would really rather not talk about burdening us with war debts.  They are mum on the outsourcing of American jobs.  How hard would it have been to figure out early on--before we went in that direction--that when you take away good jobs you eliminate consumers and essentially guarantee that those former workers would have no choice but to go on the dole?  Who then pays the bills?  Not the rich who moved those jobs overseas and dropped the wages of those left here.  It's not their problem.  Now it's the problem of the newly poor--the poor who got that way thanks to the very people who are now complaining that we're trillions of dollars in debt.

    Their arguments are so phony I'm shocked there are still people who buy it.  But obviously there are.  We're in big trouble unless they finally wake up and see where the problems really lie and who is causing them.


    That's an awful lot of sociopaths.


    Why, yes, yes it its.  Are we ashamed yet?


    Yeah? But Jolly, you and me are psychopaths!


    We got at least fifty million sociopaths who vote for these bastards; right here in this country.

    I think it is much better to be a psychopath!

    Don't you agree?!




    What are the Republican solutions to the problems? All we have heard is that they don't want to do what Obama thinks we should do Oh and that Republicans want to keep minorities from voting.

    I guess I need to retract my statement about Warren Buffet  and the ACA,  it was unverified propaganda  and we see too much of that from many sources. I do wonder why something like this Repug SNAP bill causes such an uproar since it has zero chance of becoming law. The law we will get will be a compromise with more modest cuts with bipartisan support and some will call it a victory for the poor. The real tragedy here isn't that there will be modest cuts to the SNAP program but that the program has doubled in size since the Great Crash. This is just a symptom of our sick Capitalist system's inability to create decent jobs and keep people off of relief. The outrage and hysteria shown by some people on this issue and the national debt may provide useful talking points for the next election but it will do nothing to stop the spreading rot that our Capitalist Masters believe we deserve.

    What non-capitalist country should be our model?

      Seconded. If Peter is against democratic capitalism, what does he have that is better? Certainly not socialism; that has failed time and again.

    I think all he has is criticism and slogans. Anger with no direction. Everything is bad , end of story.

    Please tell me where you found this "democratic capitalism" , it certainly doesn't exist anywhere I've worked. 21st Century Socialism is making progress in some of the countries , south of the border. They are on a difficult path towards a better worker controlled future while we and much of the world cling to a degenerate system.  Capitalism guarantees that Democracy will be controlled and neutered and the few wealthy and powerful will decide what freedoms we enjoy. If you believe we live in a Democracy just because we parrot some of the functions of democracy, like voting for leaders chosen by the elite, you are truly deluded.

    Yes, it's great.  This comment will keep it from being at the bottom.

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