The recent headline SNAP at risk drew my attention. On the federal level, the Trump administration proposed a rule to bar thousands of Oregonians from receiving food stamps.
Apparently, there are poor people who qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families who are receiving food assistance automatically. This has been dubbed a loophole in the system, which, according to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, is "used to bypass important eligibility guidelines."
In other words, poor people are getting free food for which they may not be qualified. Opponents of this change point out it will effectively increase food insecurity for children and harm vulnerable families that rely on SNAP.
Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schraeder drafted a letter to Perdue urging him to withdraw the proposal.
A well publicized fact came to my mind. Amazon, a company valued at $800 billion, got a federal tax refund of $129 million this year and effectively paid $0 in federal taxes.
A local news article caught my attention as well. Douglas County commissioners withheld transportation funds for the Umpqua Transit System until the end of the fiscal year, making it difficult for the transit system to run a schedule of once per hour. For the folks who do not own a car, it becomes questionable to get to jobs and medical appointments, etc. on time.
I ask voters to pay attention. DO we want government to reward the rich while we create obstacles for the poor, preventing them from making a living or putting food in the mouths of their children?
America once declared a war on poverty. Looks like our values have changed. Today, it appears that from the top down, America is conducting a war on the poor.