Republican Ideas: Cutting Food For Families

While the country is all a-twitter about balloons, balloons, balloons, Republicans are using the cover to work on cutting poor families access to food. See, there is nothing like filling the airwaves with nonsensical right wing rage about a story that has only a smidgen of importance while the real damage is being done in Washington, DC and in state capitols across the country.

While our attention is diverted, Republicans in congress and in state legislatures are doing their damndest to either cut food assistance to families or greatly limit the choices that poor families can make for foods.

You would think after all the work that the Republican Party has put in to force women to have babies by taking away their rights and pulling every trick under the sun to get women to bear children that that same party (the Republicans) would do something to help keep those children alive. But no, Republicans put up barriers to survival beginning with day one of life.

Once again Iowa is taking the lead in being the top example of how nasty and petty governments can get. Remember that phrase “Iowa Nice”? That was always a fantasy and the Republicans in the Iowa legislature are here to put that phrase forever to rest.

After last month’s fiasco in with proposals in the Iowa House to cut food access for poor Iowans,  the Iowa Senate – not to be outdone – is proposing really low asset ownership to be eligible for food assistance:

“A subcommittee on Wednesday recommended moving the bill forward with amendment to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The asset limit would match the federal asset test guidelines, which would mean families could have a maximum of between $2,750 and $4,250 in assets, depending on the disability status of household members, to remain eligible for the public assistance programs. The test would apply to both savings and property like cars and land.

Speakers and legislators questioned Wednesday whether the bill’s asset limit tests would kick off kids from program benefits if their parents were found ineligible when factoring in their assets’ value.

Following the pandemic and supply chain problems, even used cars skyrocketed in value, lobbyists speaking against the bill said. That would automatically disqualify many legitimately needy Iowans from accessing assistance. It also could mean if a household with children exceeds these value limitations, the kids’ coverage in these program could be affected.”

 $4,250 is a really bad used car these days. So, if you own a car of almost type you will probably be ineligible for food assistance in Iowa. If you plan on asking for aid, plan on walking to the office and every where else. And as for those kids Kimmy made you have well – good luck to them.

But Iowa Republicans aren’t the only one kicking the poor. Republicans at the national level want to get some kicks in at the poor also. You could almost bet that all this talk of spending cuts that is going around Washington these days is not geared at subsidies to arms dealers or oil companies. Nope, an educated guess would be that budget cuts will be aimed at the poor:

According to a new report, the cuts that House Republicans want would take formula and food away from 1 million babies getting assistance in the WIC program.

The Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) report found that House Republicans want to deny access to infant formula, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other necessary foods by removing 1 million participants from the WIC program. These cuts would endanger the most vulnerable Americans by reducing vital nutrition assistance during the first years of life.”

The Republicans don’t stop at harming children. They also want to slash heating assistance from the most vulnerable Americans. The Republican cuts would also, “Leave families unable to heat or cool their homes by cutting $472 million in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Such cuts could be devastating for struggling families, particularly those already facing extreme weather conditions.”

The sort of cuts that Republicans are seeking would a disaster for poor and working families that are just getting by. One of the first acts of the new GOP House majority was to pass legislation that would make it easier for the wealthy and corporations to cheat on their taxes.

What a surprise! And an unmentioned corollary is that while Republicans have been momentarily scared off of screwing with Social Security and Medicare (only temporarily, mind you) Medicaid is still squarely in their sights. 

Always be wary when some minor story is taking all the air time. While corporate media creates cover, Republicans are working hard behind the scenes to screw the middle class and poor out of something – like wages or benefits or government assistance. As they L. Frank Baum cautioned us in “The Wizard Of Oz”, “Look behind the curtain!”


About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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