CAMBA director Lucila Santana hands out free turkeys at CAMBA's Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry in Brooklyn. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) CAMBA director Lucila Santana hands out free turkeys at CAMBA’s Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry in Brooklyn. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Congress seems likely to cut food stamps soon, or at least to be talking about it a lot, write two former Clinton Treasury Department officials and an economics professor for the op-ed page. Robert Rubin, Roger Altman and Melissa Kearney argue that cutting SNAP benefits now would do the country harm, both morally and economically. Many people living in poverty — 11 million, they estimate — do, in fact, work but just aren’t earning enough money to live on. Additionally, PostScript would add, being hungry, malnourished or chronically stressed about where your next meal will come from makes everything you’re trying to do harder, whether it’s concentrating in school or being good at your job.

The overwhelming reaction in the comments was that SNAP benefits are, for the most part, immoral already. Poverty is a result of stupid decisions. Seriously, this was overwhelming.

OMGno

Rewarding a hungry person with food stamps is the worst thing a country can do. It just encourages the person to do the same stupid things that [make them go] hungry. Punishing a hungry person by forcing them to change their stupid ways results in the citizen making corrections and on the path to a better life.

jpke67

Baloney. There are very, very few poor people in America, and nearly all of them who are that way for more than a few weeks are by choice, by choosing drugs, an expensive place to live, or by not taking a job that is “beneath them”.
70% of “poor” children in America would not be “poor”, even by the extended official definition, if their mothers were to marry their fathers. They are poor by choice.

Wycliffe

I agree with the author that we cannot allow Americans who are truly in need to go hungry. However, there are injustices occurring that the author does not mention. For example, the children of illegal aliens can receive welfare and food stamps here in the U.S.

Calling them “children of illegal aliens,” rather than illegal aliens, implies they were born here, and therefore citizens, yes? But moving on …

rwruger provides the argument that raised PostScript’s eyebrows the most, in that she never expected to read such a thing written in 2013:

Likewise, fearful politicians who would never vote for required or subsidized birth control, pander to conservatives by reducing support for people who should not have children or children that should not have been born in the first place.
Those who oppose required or paid birth control (pay the mom to be sterilized), ought to pay extra tax to support their belief in everyone’s “right” (but not the responsibility) to become parents. We are a nation of hypocrites; few of us willing to pay for the results of our beliefs.
Apparently, some would prefer to torture children of the underclass than prevent their birth into misery…a birth about which the child makes no decision.

Okay. Wow. So. It suddenly seems very cold in the PostScript bunker, despite the thermostat reading 71 degrees. In all of PostScript’s experience reading through reader opinions, she has never quite witnessed this, um, overt acceptance of hungry children. Notice that PostScript is hesitating here, saying um and saying “acceptance” when what the writer is really saying is “approval of.” That this is a just system.

PostScript just doesn’t know what to say. She doesn’t quite believe it. Anyway, she wants something uplifting, stat.

Elice Smith‘s story gets uplifting, sort of:

I have a full time job that doesn’t pay enough to cover food and bills. I have a 9 year old. The state I live in sees fit to grant me a whole $160 per month to feed my child.

FrancisWhitley

How long has that been going on? Does your husband not work?

Elice Smith

There is no father. No husband. He decided babies weren’t something he wanted and ran. Rather than cry I stood up and with the help of a lot of different programs, including housing, head start, WIC, and food stamps I have managed to reach a place where I almost break even every month.

daryking2012@gmail.com, also uplifting, a bit:

I was a recipient of food stamps in 2009-10. $152 was my benefit,$4.50 a day. I was required to join a job placement program and look for work. I could not buy beer or tobacco. Try living on $4.50 a day while being homeless. I finally after over 100 applications with no return calls was able to find part time work at Food Basics.when my income exceeded the$152 benefit it was ended.

And Gwills24 finds some actual, terrible joy in this very comments section:

Reading some of these comments gives me a warm feeling inside as a liberal. We will not lose the WH for quite some time.

Wow.