Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Snap Judgment In North Carolina

Since GOP Gov. Pat McCrory took over North Carolina in January 2013 and Republicans gained complete control of the government, the NC GOP has cut jobless benefits back so far that the state no longer qualifies for federal unemployment dollars, they have eliminated the state's earned income tax credit for the poor, they have purged the state's regulatory commissions and filled them with McCrory cronies, they have ended medical school programs that taught abortion procedures, they have wrecked the state's public education budget, and implemented a regressive tax on repair and maintenance services.

At every turn, NC Republicans are continuing their crusade to smash the state's poor population and give as much money as possible to the wealthiest. And now, their hatred of the poor in the state is so all-consuming, that they are kicking people off SNAP benefits after three months even though the program is 100% funded by federal dollars and the state won't save a dime by doing it.

North Carolina Republican state Senator Norman Sanderson argued last week that reducing food assistance would force people to get a job or pursue higher education. 
A bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities offered by state House Republicans last week also aimed to cap food stamp benefits at three months for most unemployed adults without children. Even though the Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP) is paid for with federal dollars, state Republicans argued that people in counties with double-digit unemployment should no longer be eligible to receive assistance after the initial three month period. 
Democratic state Sen. Angela Bryant offered an amendment on Thursday to overturn the food stamp cuts, saying that there are not enough jobs to go around in rural counties.
“Over several sessions here were have reduced funding for job training and education,” Bryant pointed out during floor debate. “So we are basically relegating them, I guess, to steal for food.” 
Bryant asserted that there were better ways to police the abuse of SNAP benefits, but her amendment was dead in the GOP-controlled Senate. 
“I think that everybody in this chamber would agree that one of the best things we can do for anyone who has found themselves caught up in the — whether it’s the SNAP program or unemployment or any other of the program that we offer to people who are in emergency situations — one of the best things that we can do is to help them find a job,” Sanderson said. 
The senator added: “And I think that we will be amazed that when this goes into effect, and I don’t know the exact number of people that this can ultimately effect, but I think you are going to see a lot of them either go and get that 20-hour a week job or they’re going to enroll in some kind of higher education to improve their job skills. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to get here.”

Quick math here: 20 hours a week times 50 weeks times $7.25 an hour is $7,250, for one person that's well below the 2015 poverty level of $11,770.  For a family of four, the poverty level is $24,250.  Even a full time job at $10 an hour is well under this level.  People at this point in their lives would easily qualify for SNAP benefits federally, but NC Republicans are literally turning down federal tax dollars just to hurt the poor.

And they're going to go to college?  With what money, exactly?  They're still going to be poor, and these clowns know it.

No, this is just outright punishment of the poor,  It's what Republicans do.

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