Struggling individuals and families across the U.S. will face even more hardship come Nov. 1, when Congress will allow some $5 billion per year to be cut from the food stamp program, officially titled the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The government had increased the amount of food stamp aid by 13.6 percent in April 2009 as part of its economic stimulus package. A good thing they did: The number of people receiving food stamps grew to an all-time high of 46 million in 2012. Now Congress refuses to extend the expiration date for that funding. Worse, these well-fed fat cats are negotiating for further cuts in the daily diet of millions.
Congress and the Obama administration say they are hell-bent on slashing budgetary expenses. Sure, as long as they occur on the backs of poor and working people. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that the average family of three will be left to survive on $1.40 per person per meal once these cuts are enacted. Food banks across the country are worried that their doors will be flooded with even more hungry people — and they won’t be able to feed them.
But there’s a simple budget solution that these imperialist politicians refuse to even think about.
In 2001 the Pentagon signed a contract to buy 2,500 F-35 fighter planes. The Pentagon claims that these death dealers will cost $159 million each. However, military-cost analyst Winslow Wheeler says the price tag continues to rise. (time.com, June 3)
Let’s round off $159 million to $160 million. At that price, paying for 2,500 F-35s will cost $400 billion.
Before the cuts, the SNAP budget was $80 billion. By scrapping the F-35 bill, the government could fully fund SNAP for another five years.
It’s another appalling example of where the priorities lie in a capitalist economy: Waging war around the globe takes absolute precedence over human life. To the imperialists, making meaningful cuts to the Pentagon budget is laughable, not even remotely an option.
It’s why, as always, it’s up to working and poor people to demand and fight for their right to survival — and to exchange the capitalist system for one that places humanity first.