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posted: 10/9/2013 4:40 AM

No ideas for making poor self-sufficient

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No ideas for making poor self-sufficient

How sad is it that even on an issue like the elimination of hunger Republicans and Democrats still cannot agree.

The conservative majority in the House of Representatives, including Randy Hultgren, voted to eliminate 40 billion dollars of SNAP funding (food stamps). The majority of recipients for SNAP are the working poor: children, the elderly or sick, and veterans.

With the highest per capita gross domestic product than at any time in history, our nation has never been richer yet more and more families are falling below the poverty level. Those of us who are truly concerned about hunger believe this to be a shameful vote. There is a certain meanness in passing budgets that ask nothing of those who have much while simultaneously taking from those who have little or nothing.

That there is any controversy at all is because there exists on the right an extremely radical and vociferous minority that seems to be obsessed with the idea that someone out there is getting something that they don't deserve, and that someone is almost invariably on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.

Wouldn't a simpler, kinder way to cut food assistance spending be to create jobs and raise the minimum wage so no one who works full-time lives in poverty? So it would seem, yet Congressman Hultgren still voted against increasing the minimum wage. Maybe he prefers not to challenge those giant corporations who use food stamps to supplement their poverty wages or to cooperate with Democrats to put together a jobs program that actually has jobs in it.

While Congressman Hultgren's rationale may be to help the poor by eliminating their dependence on government, he has yet to demonstrate ideas to make the most vulnerable among us more self-sufficient.

Jane Chapman

St. Charles

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