Soup Kitchens versus Food Stamps

I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I still visualize pictures from the Great Depression of the thirties. The most striking images are those of destitute, out of work men lined up to get a cup of soup and a piece of bread. Thankfully, I never lived in those lines, neither did my parents. Mom and Dad were too frugal and conservative to allow themselves to get into a situation where they could not feed their kids. The tiny yard behind the house served as the City Farm. She did not waste a single square inch of soil. We had vegetables all summer and through most of the winter. Mom’s canning skills were excellent and she canned the surplus perishables. Root vegetables like potatoes, parsley, and carrots went into in a cold bed under the porch. Her chicken coops yielded eggs, fresh chicken, and pigeons; yes pigeons. I write a lot about the experiences under the category of Biography. You can go there and experience some of these times through my short stories.

Candidate Newt Gingrich has labeled Obama the Food Stamp president. Today, I saw a response from the president where he calls Bush the Food Stamp president. Yes, the number of people who went on food stamps during the Bush administration was real, as they were for Clinton, and presidents before him. The simple fact remains that the slope of the food stamp growth curve takes a painful turn up under Obama. It correlates with his spending curve too.

Gingrich makes his point that Obama has not done anything to help these people get off food stamps and to get a job. He is correct in his accusations. Obama should argue that he is being compassionate and keeping the jobless from starving. Blaming Bush is getting old and tired. The error of giving the jobless food stamps and extended unemployment benefits is that the jobless take advantage of the system and fake looking for work. To many of them, the benefit period becomes a paid vacation.

I have only seen one vegetable garden in my neighborhood besides my feeble plot. It belongs to an immigrant Italian who still believes in growing and canning food. He makes his own wine too, mmmn.

My cartoon depicts a typical soup line during the thirties, with a modern twist. The people standing in this line are waiting for a food stamp handout. The reality is that you no longer have to wait in line as my picture shows. Just for fun, I went online and Googled food stamps. The search turned up a government site (SNAP). This page reads like the IRS booklet one uses to complete his tax form. I went further and clicked on a prescreening page, and completed a fictitious application. I failed to meet three qualifying requirements. I went back to the beginning and completed another application. This time, I listed only my Social Security income and not Peggy’s, success. I qualified for $347.00 per month. I didn’t wait in line, and the money would come to me in the form of a debit card.

The amount $347 doesn’t sound like that much, but compare that to a single cup of soup and a piece of bread everyday after standing in line for hours. This is exactly the reason we don’t feel like the “Even Greater Depression of 2008” is no where close to the “Great Depression of the 1930’s” at all.

Do I sound like a liberal? Not at all, I believe with Newt that the dignity of a man with a job is far more valuable than a debit card. Add that 347 to an unemployment check, and we are beginning to talk some serious money here.

Why would anyone in the USA want to work when the tax payers give us such wonderful benefits?

TAXERY = SLAVERY

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