Here we are in the midst of the season of giving when churches, the Marines and police departments across the nation make special efforts to help the less fortunate and yet Congress led by wealthy men is taking away needed assistance. I’m talking about men like Lamar “Scrooge” Smith voting to reduce food stamps and failing to continue extended unemployment benefits for those who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
There are more than 47 million Americans facing hunger today and yet congressional Scrooges have cut $40 million from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program which means 4 million Americans, many of them children, will have less to eat. Food Banks are already unable to keep up with demand this shameful cut will only make things worse.
Extended unemployment benefits are next on the chopping block and the excuse the Scrooges offer is the ridiculous claim that unemployment insurance benefits discourage people from looking for work; but the reality is that there are at least three unemployed people for every job opening. Even if every open job were filled today 65% of the currently unemployed would still be without a job. How many of us would sit back and accept even the maximum $1800 a month benefits rather than take a job that pays even half of our former salaries? That barely covers my health care bills and groceries; where would mortgage payments, utilities and gas for the car come from?