[Marxism] Fwd: Senate Accepts Deal to Kick Formerly Incarcerated Off Food Benefits

Dan R proletariandan at gmail.com
Fri May 24 10:04:35 MDT 2013


Yesterday, Sen. Vitter of Louisiana offered up an amendment to permanently
drop anyone ever convicted of a violent crime from the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). According to Robert Greenstein,
president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Democrats in the
Senate obliged him. The amendment is for a farm bill, which is currently
being debated in the Senate.

Says Greenstein<http://www.offthechartsblog.org/senator-vitter-offersand-senate-democrats-accept-stunning-amendment-with-racially-tinged-impacts/>

The amendment would bar from SNAP (food stamps), for life, anyone who was
ever convicted of one of a specified list of violent crimes at any time —
even if they committed the crime decades ago in their youth and have served
their sentence, paid their debt to society, and been a good citizen ever
since. In addition, the amendment would mean lower SNAP benefits for their
children and other family members.

So, a young man who was convicted of a single crime at age 19 who then
reforms and is now elderly, poor, and raising grandchildren would be thrown
off SNAP, and his grandchildren’s benefits would be cut. … Democrats
accepted it without trying to modify it to address its most ill-considered

Two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly or the disabled, and
two-fifths of SNAP households live below half the poverty line.

According to Greenstein, if this amendment ends up in the farm bill and
passes, it would hit African Americans particularly hard:

Given incarceration patterns in the United States, the amendment would have
a skewed racial impact. Poor elderly African Americans convicted of a
single crime decades ago by segregated Southern juries would be among those

Sen. Vitter is claiming that his amendment is only aimed at preventing
those convicted of violent crimes from obtaining benefits, apparently under
the logic that stripping them of what may be their only form of income
lead to less violence. Curiously, he didn’t propose that johns who’ve hired
sex workers<http://voices.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2007/07/sen_vitters_madam_problem_1.html>
also be banned from SNAP.

Sen. Vitter also proposed an end to the so-called “Obama
program, which started under President Ronald Reagan to help elderly and
low-income with cellphone service, particularly in rural areas.

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