Miss Information – PLEASE, SIR, I WANT SOME MORE

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Editorials and Opinions, Newsletters

By Judy Gordon, DPSC Secretary

A shortened version was published in the Albuquerque Journal.

Congressional Republicans have awoken, Rip Van Winkle-like, to find a Democrat in the White House.

Despite their steadfast support for Trump’s budget busting tax cuts for the wealthy, they now insist our budget deficit is terrible, horrible, no good, very bad. Undeterred by the alarming increase in food insecurity, they decided cutting food assistance for vulnerable older adults is a responsible governing approach.

The debt ceiling agreement raises work requirements for many older adults receiving food assistance although most work already. Any resulting deficit reduction will be negated by new work exemptions, secured by Democrats, for veterans, homeless people, and youths aging out of foster care.

In New Mexico, the requirements will put an estimated 13,000 older recipients at risk of losing food aid, although some will qualify for the new exemptions.

Although Republicans contend that work requirements lead to economic self-sufficiency, the data do not support this claim. Work requirements fail to increase recipients’ employment or earnings over time.

In spite of vast income and wealth inequality, with wealthy individuals and corporations paying a pittance in federal taxes, Congressional Republicans believe that forcing vulnerable older people to work in exchange for roughly $6 a day per person in food assistance is sound public policy.

It’s hard not to notice that just like Rip, many of these same Republicans are skilled at avoiding useful work—while, in their case, raking in hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

The federal deficit is not a major threat. A work-ethic deficit among food insecure older adults is even less of a threat. The truly disturbing deficit is that of kindness, compassion, and humanity and the scant regard for democracy on the part of so many Republicans.

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