One Million Losing Food Stamps As Poverty Increases

| Educate!

Above: Mother and child begging in the streets. Source Reuters.

The War on Poverty is Becoming a Bi-Partisan War on the Poor

Note: The bi-partisan war on the impoverished is having a big impact as one million are expected to lose food stamps, the bottom-rung safety net program for the poor.

It is not just Republicans who oppose food stamps. Last January 89 Democrats voted to cut food stamps by $8.7 billion as part of the farm bill which President Obama signed.  This was just one of a series of bills cutting the essential poverty program for which Democrats joined with Republicans, in a bi-partisan attack on people in poverty. Of course, the difference between the Democrats and Republicans is the Democrats later decry the bills cutting food stamps, even though they voted for them.

The attack on the poor is also at the local level. We have reported on actions being taken by cities across the country to criminalize homelessness as well as make it illegal for churches or individuals to feed the hungry.

Cutting the bottom of the rung safety net program, that will leave people impoverished and increase the number of beggars in the streets, is moving the US rapidly toward the status of a developing country.  Already in US cities poverty capitalism slaps us in the face. It is hard to go anywhere and not seeing impoverished people asking for donations or to go into a McDonalds and not see people asking for food. Perhaps this is what Senator Perdue means by the free market solving the poverty problem? Will the neo-liberals of both parties not be happy until the US becomes like Calcutta, with children in the streets begging for whatever scraps or change they can get?

Greg Kaufmann puts the extent of poverty in perspective in the article below. Imagine if the safety net that keeps people from deep hunger is pulled away. Look at the millions of people who will be affected.  KZ

By the Numbers: US Poverty

US poverty (less than $19,090 for a family of three): 46.5 million people, 15 percent

Children in poverty: 16.4 million, 23 percent of all children, including 39.6 percent of African-American children and 33.7 percent of Latino children. Children are the poorest age group in the US

Deep poverty (less than $11,510 for a family of four): 20.4 million people, 1 in 15 Americans, including 7.1 million children

People who would have been in poverty if not for Social Security, 2012: 61.8 million (program kept 15.3 million people out of poverty)

People in the US experiencing poverty by age 65: Roughly half

Gender gap, 2012: Women 32 percent more likely to be poor than men

Gender gap, 2011: Women 34 percent more likely to be poor than men

Twice the poverty level (less than $46,042 for a family of four): 106 million people, more than 1 in 3 Americans

Jobs in the US paying less than $34,000 a year: 50 percent

Jobs in the US paying below the poverty line for a family of four, less than $23,000 annually: 25 percent

Poverty-level wages, 2011: 28 percent of workers

Percentage of individuals and family members in poverty who either worked or lived with a working family member, 2011: 57 percent

Families receiving cash assistance, 1996: 68 for every 100 families living in poverty

Families receiving cash assistance, 2011: 27 for every 100 families living in poverty

Impact of public policy, 2010: Without government assistance, poverty would have been twice as high — nearly 30 percent of population

Percentage of entitlement benefits going to elderly, disabled or working households, 2010: Over 90 percent

Number of homeless children in US public schools: 1,168,354

Annual cost of child poverty nationwide: $500 billion

Federal expenditures on home ownership mortgage deductions, 2014 estimate: $101.5 billion

Federal funding for low-income housing assistance programs, 2012: Less than $50 billion

Unless otherwise noted, all figures are based on 2012 Census Data on poverty, the most recent released.

Greg Kaufmann is a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, the former poverty correspondent for The Nation and a former contributor to The opinions expressed here are his own. You can follow him on Twitter @GregKaufmann.


  • NewRomeIsBurning

    Are we liking our Fascism yet?

  • Mari McAvenia

    Oh, yes, the sociopathic rich are LOVING the corporatist hell they’ve made for the rest of us. The ignorant masses who vote against their own interests, magically believing that a Republican or Democrat label will make them one of “the winners” someday, won’t get the new rules of the game until they are begging for scraps just like their marginalized neighbors do, now. Formerly middle class people need to swallow their false pride and take to the streets, whether they “believe” in street democracy, or not. The dream is over. Welcome to our collective American fascist nightmare come true.

  • cruisersailor

    It’s a real shame that politicians wage war on the poor, voting rights, unions, public schools, Social Security, Medicare, etc..

  • R. Millis

    I read an article adding up the cost to taxpayers all corporate subsidies they pay per year. A person, or family earning $72K a year pay these slimy bastards $6,000.00 per year.
    Is it any wonder why folks refused to go out and vote? It’s just one of many reasons why this nation is dying a little every day.

  • kevinzeese

    Thanks for catching that. We were not the only site fooled — but we should have caught it.

    No doubt there will be another fight over food stamp funding, in any event.