Pass The Baloney, Please
by Michael Koepf, June 26, 2013
On June 18th, in an opinion piece in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Congressman Jared Huffman heroically announced that “this week,” along with other House Democrats, he’d be taking the “SNAP challenge.” The congressman from toney Marin was going to live on food stamps, currently known as SNAP — the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program — for no more than “$4.50 a day — just $1.50 a meal,” the daily allowance for a SNAP recipient. We could follow his gastro-sacrifice on Facebook. Huffman was tightening his belt because “House Republicans are preparing to slash funding for food stamps by $20 billion — part of their extreme austerity diet for America.”
Sounds like a lot of money, but what Huffman deliberately failed to clarify is that the USDA (so called) “Farm Bill” is primarily, 80%, a Food Stamp Bill, which if passed will top out at one trillion bucks! This puts the congressman’s “extreme austerity” claim into less hysterical mathematics: 20 billion from 1000 billion is a mere 2% cut.
Nevertheless, I checked Facebook to make sure my congressman wasn’t starving to death. On Wednesday night he supposedly ate: “rice, beans, two chicken strips,” and “a few tortillas.” There was no price tag on the meal; so whether it cost $1.50 or he blew the whole $4.50 on dinner and starved the rest of the day, it’s hard to say. As an inhabitant of upscale Marin County, he did complain that there were “no fresh vegetables to make salsa.”
I live in Mendocino County. The freshest things here beyond personal backyard gardens are sinsemilla buds, some of which are also in backyard gardens. Most of us up here in tough, tortilla land, get our salsa from cans and jars or go to Mexican restaurants like we’re supposed to. Huffman’s post also revealed that he had cut his “week” of dinner plate austerity back to “five days.” He’s a thin fellow, but I think he’ll make it.
Believe it or not — fellow tax serfs and freeloaders — Congressman Huffman may have been disingenuous in his attempt to live off $4.50 a day. The congressman has a wife and two kids. If he’s pretending to be a SNAP recipient, he must know that he’s entitled to upwards of $668 a month in SNAP benefits for a family of four. I’ll take those numbers to Costco with any woman who can push a shopping cart. And, speaking of disingenuous, the liberal Washington Post fact-checked congressional democrats playing Oliver Twist. The Democrats were rewarded two Pinocchio’s for their empty stomachs and boasts. The Washington Post assiduously pointed out that the first letter in SNAP stands for “supplemental,” not the whole refrigerator. The purpose of the program is to “augment” the nutritional needs of low-income recipients; not feed them three squares a day.
Of course SNAP is out of hand. The dinner tab is currently over $800 billion. Currently, there are 47 million recipients on free chow, up a whopping 70% since President Change took office. Have you seen that shopper with the EBT card at the checkout stand with expensive tats, the one with the nice car in the parking lot? How many snappers own a flat screen TV? With SNAP, a snapper can buy ice cream, candy, and even energy drinks if the nutritional facts are listed. How about a free Red Bull? There are stores that’ll take an EBT card and hand the SNAP cheater cash. Need cigarettes or a six-pack? Just snuck in from across the border? Welcome to America, and here’s your SNAP card no questions asked. Michelle Obama and Mayor Bloomberg nag us to lose some weight? No problem, knock off the 32 oz. cup of Pepsi. But here’s a SNAP card for a free bag of potato chips; a dozen donuts and favorable votes for the rest of your life. Are good intentions $1 trillion out of hand? Will Congressman Huffman’s “Snap Challenge” make things better, or is it just another day of theater for the clowns that run the show? And, if you’re a snapper, and your bathroom scale topped at 280 this morning, is living off the government instead of your wits doing you any good? Sure, the elderly and truly unemployed need a helping hand, but if we live in a country where the government provides every meal, there will be nothing but bullshit on the menu. The hand that feeds is the hand that controls.
Meanwhile, back in the real world of the 2nd congressional district, Jared Huffman recently denied a plea of help from the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. They’re being kicked out of Drakes Estero by the Feds allied with “wilderness advocates.” The company produces sustainable food and employs mostly hard working Mexican Americans who could soon be unemployed. Thanks to Jared Huffman, in the future, these oyster folks won’t be eating in the congressional dining room, but they will have SNAP cards in their moneyless wallets.
A few days into Jared Huffman’s poverty stunt, the $1 trillion Farm Bill failed to pass. Those stingy House Republicans did it again, but like their Democrat counterparts equally financed by corporate farming and national food chains, do you really think Republicans will ever take a significant bite out of SNAP? If you sign up on the internet for SNAP, Safeway will give you $250 dollars in free food to begin SNAP shopping at their stores.
But, since Huffman lost low-cal show and tell, what’s next: a Huffman hunger strike? Jared in bed force-fed with a tube in his arm? This guy’s a piece of work; definitely a B list actor, but, unfortunately, now that our congressional district has been gerrymandered by the perpetual, Democrat super-majority in Sacramento, Jared dines here for the rest of our lives. The affluence of Marin County — tied closely to that of San Francisco with high-tech money and elite environmentalists — now controls everything north of Petaluma Creek. Democrat verses Republican; liberal against conservative, it makes not one bit of difference in the 2nd Congressional district. The Democrats run it all — the rich and hip governing in the name of the poor.