Sunday, January 19, 2014

Yes, Marie, We Are Losing Our Humanity; to Legalized Theft

In a letter titled Losing Our Humanity about the budget fight over the federal food stamp program (SNAP), published in the NJ Star-Ledger, Marie Harvey slammed Republicans:

Congressional Republicans cry that there are too many people on food stamps, so they have seen to it that 47.6 million Americans had their benefits cut to pre-recession levels, averaging $36 per month. Not satisfied with that, they are looking to cut drastically further.

Marie apparently doesn't realize (or doesn't want to acknowledge) that the "cut to pre-recession levels" was agreed to by both parties when the increase was enacted, and that the temporary increase was allowed to expire by both parties, as neither Democrats nor Republicans proposed extending it.

She then goes on the tell us about the hardships the cutbacks will allegedly cause, and concludes with "We are losing our humanity. It’s time to stop slamming the door in the faces of our own people."

I left this rebuttal:

We started losing our humanity when we decided that theft for a "good cause" is ok. The proper way to deal with hunger in a free, moral society is to recognize the rights of the individuals that comprise society to decide for themselves who to help, when, and in what capacity, based upon their own individual values and life circumstances.

The food stamp program (SNAP) starts with legalized theft. Anyone who advocates forcibly taking the wealth of people who earned it, for any reason, can not claim compassion for the elderly, the poor, or anyone else. People who practice charity with other people's tax money are phonies because they are purveyors of force, and have no claim to any moral motive. The moral high ground belongs to the champions of the victims of legalized theft, whose rights to their own lives, liberties, properties, values, and conscience are massively violated by welfare state programs like SNAP.

Private voluntary food banks should replace the food stamp program after a transition period. Those who profess concern for the hungry should put their own money and time where their mouths are, and leave the rest of us in peace. That's called live-and-let-live. The principle that need is a license to steal is not a civil principle. It is the law of the jungle. 

And where did you get the idea that the GOP wants to "drastically" cut food stamps? The cuts are minuscule, and tied to modestly tighter eligibility standards. Currently, according to USA Today, the federal government spends about $75 billion per year on food stamps, which are doled out to about 48 million recipients. This is up dramatically from the $15 billion and 17 million recipients in 2001. The bill passed by the House would cut $39 billion and three million recipients from SNAP over the next ten years, or an annual reduction of roughly 5 percent in expenditures and 6 percent in recipients. There is no "drastic" there. The GOP is a welfare state party that supports SNAP.

Related Reading:

Republicans Make Trivial Cuts to Food Stamp Program, Refuse to Identify Its Immorality

Senator Menendez Dishonestly Equates Private Food Bank with SNAP

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