HomeEconomic IssuesWhile the GOP Gives Welfare to the Ultra Rich, A Fifth of America’s Children are Going Hungry

While the GOP Gives Welfare to the Ultra Rich, A Fifth of America’s Children are Going Hungry

More than one in five of America’s children lived in a “food insecure”household in 2012, according to the newest Map the Meal Gap report from Feeding America.

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Nationwide, the food insecurity rate for children is 21.6%, reaching closer to 30% in many states, including New Mexico (29.2 percent), Mississippi (28.7 percent), Arizona (28.2 percent), Nevada (28.1 percent), Georgia (28.1 percent), Arkansas (27.7 percent), Florida (27.6 percent), and Texas (27.4 percent). In total, there are nearly 49 million food insecure people in the U.S.–nearly 16 million are children.

Food insecurity refers to lack of access, at times, to “enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or certain availability of nutritionally adequate foods,” according to the USDA.

Thanks to right-wing attacks on the poor, nearly 25% of food-insecure people earn too much money to qualify for necessary assistance programs, yet must make difficult choices between paying bills and feeding their families adequately. This unfortunate reality is reflected in how your 2013 tax dollars were spent, with 27 cents of every dollar going to military spending. If you add up the total amount spent on unemployment and labor, and food and agriculture (not all of which goes to programs intended to help those who need it), it does not even begin to touch the amount spent on America’s murder machine. All the while, we allowed corporations to avoid paying taxes on over $2 TRILLION in profits.

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Think about that. It’s time America got its priorities in check.

About John Prager

John Prager
John Prager is an unfortunate Liberal soul who lives uncomfortably in the middle of a Conservative hellscape and likes to refer to himself as an "island of reason in a sea of insanity." While he is not a fan of politicians, period, he has developed a deep-seated hatred for the bigotry, fear mongering, and lies of the Right Wing. John also works as a warden at one of Barry Soetoro's FEMA re-education camps and as a HAARP weather control coordinator. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments.
  • https://www.facebook.com/dshawjr1 David Shaw Jr

    When poor people start giving politicians thousands of dollars then they will start taking the problem seriously.

  • Rich Langhoff

    I believe it. I see children walking in to stores looking less than nourished while the parents buy alcohol, cigarettes and expensive gasoline for their beat up automobiles, knowing that they make just barely enough money to not qualify for the best access to food and medicine for our future generations. It’s time the table is turned in favor of those who need it most.

  • Jack King

    This is amazing. How does the GOP get blamed for everything when it is the Obama administration who is controlling policy?! By the same token, food stamp spending has gone from $39 billion in 2008 to $82 billion in 2013. And what “welfare” are the ultra rich getting?

    • majiir

      I’m a retired highs school social studies teacher, and I continue to be appalled at the number of Americans who don’t seem to understand how government works in the U.S. No president of either party has the power, per Article II the U.S. Constitution, to force Congress to vote to approve his policies. Those who think this way demonstrate that they don’t understand that it is Congress who has the power to turn policies into law. When I read/hear someone say that the ___ administration “controls” policy, it tells me they don’t understand that a president having policies doesn’t mean those policies automatically become law. No American president has the power to unilaterally turn his policy positions into laws because Article II doesn’t grant any president with the powers of a dictator. The Founders divided the powers of the national government among three branches. No president can wave a magic wand and turn his policies into laws. Before any president’s policies can become laws, both houses of Congress must approve them. It is only after this happens that policies become laws after a president signs bills into law.

      The reason the GOP is being blamed for certain issues not being addressed has to do with the party’s refusal to do anything which has a real potential to help Americans. Unless, and/or until Congress acts to approve a president’s policy ideas, they remain policy ideas and have no force of law. The facts may be difficult for some to face. The reason President Obama’s policies have not become laws is because of the massive obstructionism he’s faced from republicans in the Senate and in the House. For example, republicans in the House and Senate know our immigration system needs to be reformed. The Senate passed an immigration reform bill months ago, but the House has yet to act. All we get from Boehner are promises to act, then retractions of these promises, followed by a hint to big GOP donors last week that the House “might” act on immigration reform before the end of the year. When Pres. Obama called Eric Cantor last week to wish him a happy Passover and mentioned imigration reform, Cantor couldn’t wait to talk about now “offended” he was that the president would even mention it. This led to a vow from Cantor that the House wouldn’t act on immigration reform simply because the president mentioned it! This is a prime example of the republicans in the House using any excuse to refuse to address an issue. Another example is extending unemployment benefits. The Senate has passed two bills to extend unemployment benefits. These are both bipartisan bills. When these bills were sent to the House, they were ignored, and once again, we got BS from Boehner in the form of excuses why the House c/wouldn’t address extending unemployment benefits. Excuses don’t benefit anyone.

      These incidents should tell anyone who understands how the federal government works that the problem is not in the WH, or to a lesser extent, in the Senate, but in the House. Once the number of tea partiers in the House increased, none of the issues Americans consider to be important have been addressed. There has been no progress on job creation, immigration, healthcare, tax reform, you name it. The tea partiers see their role in the federal government as not being that of policymakers but of disrupters and grandstanders who feel no allegiance to anyone except themselves. I think most Americans need to be asking themselves why these individuals should be benefiting from the government’s largesse at our expense while not doing their jobs. I can’t think of another job where a person can continue being paid without doing what s/he was hired to do. I’m really hoping that there are more Americans who are aware that the problem in D.C. is not in the WH but in Congress, specifically in the GPTP-dominated House of Representatives and will vote accordingly in November.

      • Jack King

        ” No president of either party has the power, per Article II the U.S. Constitution, to force Congress to vote to approve his policies. ”

        Of course. And he controlled both houses for half of his first term, and one house for the rest. When the House went Republican they proposed dozens of bills that never even got a hearing in the Democratic controlled Senate. Then, the President has the veto power if anything did get through both houses. You really claim Obama’s fingerprints are not all over current policy?

        “The Founders divided the powers of the national government among three branches.”

        Yup. That is precisely why I have to chuckle when the libs whine that they can never get anything done because of that pesky obstructionist House. For me, the more chaos the better.
        Here is an example of the whining:

        “The reason President Obama’s policies have not become laws is because of the massive obstructionism he’s faced from republicans in the Senate and in the House.”

        This is EXACTLY what the Founders had in mind. Would you prefer a monarchy where the king has all the power? Can you imagine Bush with that kind of power?

        “This led to a vow from Cantor that the House wouldn’t act on immigration reform simply because the president mentioned it! ”

        Really?! I have to admit that is pretty bad. I’m sure Cantor and all the Republicans will be voted out come Nov 2014. Can you hang in there for just 6 more months? You’ve got to admit that the Founders where pretty smart how they set things up.

        ” Another example is extending unemployment benefits. ”

        But I thought because of Obama’s brilliant Keynesian economic policies that the economy was just fine. If that is the case, why in God’s name would we want to extend unemployment benefits? By the why, I know that no community organizer has ever actually read any of Keynes’ works, but certainly a social studies teacher has….correct?

        “Once the number of tea partiers in the House increased, none of the issues Americans consider to be important have been addressed. There has been no progress on job creation, immigration, healthcare, tax reform, you name it.”

        Let me ask….in your social studies class, you do remain neutral about your political bias, correct?

        ” can’t think of another job where a person can continue being paid without doing what s/he was hired to do.”

        OMG! Are you really criticizing with wisdom of the Founders?! Now I am really concerned about what crap you have been pumping into young and very impressionable minds.

  • nolidad

    maybe folks should check facts more carefully. Over 101,000,000 people are receiving food assistance from one of the 15 federal food assistance programs at a tune of over $88Billion /year before the $4 billion/year cuts leaving $84 billion a year taxpayers give for food for the needy. which works out to a little over $831/year /person to buy food. This does not include state assistance that nearly all these also can receive. Having to go into subsidized housing daily I see the massive abuses done with the SNAP and EBT cards issued to buy food with. I am willing to bet if the fraud and abuse were cut in half- we would see those hungry numbers plummet. We should go back to the 60′s where people were given food instead of ATM cards. I had that food- It was awesome and you got alot of food if you were on assistance..

    • AATTP

      SNAP is targeted at the most vulnerable.

      76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits.[i]
      SNAP eligibility is limited to households with gross income of no more than 130% of the federal poverty guideline, but the majority of households have income well below the maximum: 83% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 100% of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013), and these households receive about 91% of all benefits. 61% of SNAP households have gross income at or below 75% of the poverty guideline ($14,648 for a family of 3 in 2013).[ii]
      The average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of $744; net monthly income of $338 after the standard deduction and, for certain households, deductions for child care, medical expenses, and shelter costs; and countable resources of $331, such as a bank account.[iii]

      SNAP is responsive to changes in need, providing needed food assistance as families fall into economic hardship and then transitioning away as their financial situation stabilizes.

      SNAP participation historically follows unemployment with a slight lag. SNAP participation grew during the recession, responding quickly and effectively to increased need. As the number of unemployed people increased by 94% from 2007 to 2011, SNAP responded with a 70% increase in participation over the same period. [iv]
      As the economy recovers and people go back to work, SNAP participation and program costs, too, can be expected to decline. Unemployment has begun to slowly fall, and SNAP participation growth has flattened out. The Congressional Budget Office projects SNAP participation to begin declining in 2015, with both unemployment and SNAP participation returning to near pre-recession levels by 2022.[v]
      SNAP has a strong record of program integrity.

      SNAP error rates declined by 57% since FY2000, from 8.91% in FY2000 to a record low of 3.80% in FY2011.[vi] The accuracy rate of 96.2% (FY2011) is an all-time program high and is considerably higher than other major benefit programs, for example Medicare fee-for-service (91.5%) or Medicare Advantage Part C (88.6%). [vii]
      Two-thirds of all SNAP payment errors are a result of caseworker error. Nearly one-fifth are underpayments, which occur when eligible participants receive less in benefits than they are eligible to receive.[viii]
      The national rate of food stamp trafficking declined from about 3.8 cents per dollar of benefits redeemed in 1993 to about 1.3 cent per dollar during the years 2009 to 2011.[ix] As you may have read in local news, USDA is aggressively fighting trafficking, but while there are individual cases of program abuse, for every one instance of fraud, there are hundreds of stories of heartbreaking need.
      The need for food assistance is already greater than SNAP can fill.

      SNAP benefits don’t last most participants the whole month. 90% of SNAP benefits are redeemed by the third week of the month, and 58% of food bank clients currently receiving SNAP benefits turn to food banks for assistance at least 6 months out of the year.[x]
      The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $133.85, or less than $1.50 per person, per meal. [xi]
      Only 57% of food insecure individuals are income-eligible for SNAP, and 26% are not income-eligible for any federal food assistance.[xii]

  • Deborah Ferry

    And the GOP always claims to be so pro-life. Statistics like this prove they don’t give a damn after the kid is born. Yeah, life begins at conception but ends at birth.

    • Jack King

      Here we go again with the Republicans wanting children to starve, wanting dirty air, wanting dirty water, etc etc etc

      • Michelle

        The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

      • JFischer

        Then smack down the ones who keep making statements that pretty much translate to ‘Fuck anyone who isn’t rich, male, Christian, and (preferably) white.’ Because those are the ones we keep hearing about: the loudmouths who think the poor are all lazy, women should be barefoot and locked up in the house, and that pollution is not a problem. If they do NOT think that, they better say so clearly.

        • Jack King

          And what if I said to smack down anyone who says “‘Fuck anyone who isn’t poor, female, atheist, and (preferably) black.” You have idiots on all sides of the spectrum, but speaking for conservatives, the primary concern is the debt. Economics is all about spreading unlimited wants over limited resources. But we temporarily get around those limits by going into debt. That’s fine if it’s temporary. We can eventually pay it off. But spending more than we take in has become a permanent policy. When conservatives say we have to cut back, people complain that they hate children, and worse they use cry out “racist”. Here’s a factoid that should concern all Americans. The CBO has estimated that by the end of Obama’s term that we will be paying $1 trillion in interest to bond holders. That’s not even paying off the principle…that’s just interest…lost money! Think what we could do to feed children with $1 trillion.

      • Deborah Ferry

        I’m only going by their voting record and by the words coming out of their mouths, Jack.

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