Food Stamps and Unemployment Benefits

Recent action to reduce food stamp benefits and to allow long term unemployment benefits to expire is the wrong way to go to rebuild our economy.

Cutting food stamps is heartless and counterproductive. Three out of four households receiving food stamps include a child, an elderly person or a disabled person. Cutting food stamp benefits will mean these people will go hungry. Food stamp benefits are not generous. The average benefit is less than $1.50 per person per meal. Hungry children do not learn as well as children who have proper food. Having hungry children creates a long term drag on the future of the country.

Cutting long term unemployment benefits at a time when there are 3 people ready to fill every available job opening is not going to cause these people to be able to find jobs. They are not jobless for lack of looking. We simply don’t have enough jobs for our potential workers. Cutting these benefits will cause more people to lose their homes and be less able to meet their basic needs. That will also mean fewer people buying goods, which means business demand will drop and more jobs will be lost. It’s a harmful austerity move that will led to increased social costs and less tax revenue. The overall effect will be to cause more harm with little good to come from it.

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