The federal poverty guidelines, which dictate eligibility of most public benefits, including food stamps, is flawed in that it does not account for variances in cost of living.
Shame is a powerful cultural and political tool that has been used to keep people from accessing the resources they need. Shame has kept my name anonymous in this article, but it will not stop me from accessing health care, telling this story, or encouraging others to do the same.
Even as a string of recent studies reveal the damaging effect of poverty on children, both Democrats and Republicans seek to cut food stamps, which have been shown to help alleviate poverty.
An across-the-board reduction in food stamp benefits takes effect Friday, and more cuts are on the horizon.
While Thursday’s Republican-led bill to slash food stamps is highly unlikely to pass the Senate, it shows the influence of the Tea Party as the ideological foundation for House Republican leadership—an ideology blind to the role food stamps play in the economy.
While conservatives lead in this rhetoric, the willingness to cut food stamps is found among moderate Democrats as well—revealing that this longstanding program for the poor may be very vulnerable.