Are Food Stamps For A Particular Race?
Is it racist to call President Obama the “Food Stamps President?” Food stamps are not in themselves a race related item. The food stamp program helps low-income people of all races buy food. Although it is a federal government program, it is run by state or local agencies.
Like many things in our society, we no longer call them what we used to call them. The politically correct term for food stamps is now SNAP “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” Surely some bureaucrat felt that the term food stamps had some demeaning connotation and came up with a, pardon the pun, snappy alternative.
Food stamps are in themselves one of the most non-race specific program in the U.S. Qualifications for food stamps are fairly straight forward; if you don’t have enough money in the bank or you don’t generate enough income to feed your family based on individual state’s criteria you get a card you can use to purchase food items. The program isn’t based on race and the card doesn’t know the shade of your skin. Approximately 34 percent of beneficiaries are white, 22 percent are black, 17 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian or Native American, and 20 percent “race unknown.”
So why are so many on the left in an uproar about Newt Gingrich calling Obama the Food Stamps President?
Since Obama took office, the number of food stamps participants has set a new record each month, reaching nearly 45 million in April 2011. When the Obama stimulus package was signed less than 40 million people participated in the SNAP food stamps program. In no other period since the inception of the food stamps program has participation levels grown at this rate.
Besides food stamps, participation in other programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or cash benefits through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) have grown at similar rates. The Obama stimulus package included changes to the rules for participation in all these programs opening the door to accelerated growth.
Going back to the original premise, would it have been more palatable to those on the extreme left had Mr. Gingrich called the president the Supplemental Security Income President? Would any title that conveys the fact that the president’s actions on the economy have thrown many more into poverty and dependent upon government hand-outs have been less offensive to radical Liberals?
What is it about Mr. Gingrich’s words that can in any way be tied to a particular race? Participation rates for SNAP, TANF and SSI are actually greater for Whites and Hispanics than Blacks.; lowest participation rates are among Asians.
Which Title Would The Dems Prefer: Food Stamps or Debt?
Gingrich could’ve called Obama the “Deficit President” or the “Debt President,” but the Liberals would’ve had a hard time playing the race card with those monikers. Left-wing extremists keep their ears attuned for any terminology used by Conservatives that they can spin into a racial or class divide. Jumping on the term food stamps tends to show their racism rather than Mr. Gingrigh’s.
Sadly the greatest threat to both income and racial equality is the actions of Liberals to hold down their constituency. When the lower-class pulls themselves up into the middle-class or above they also gravitate towards political ideology that rewards helping yourself, in direct opposition to the Democrats view of government helping you out. When the poor find the rewards of hard work they also see the folly in a political ideology that rewards being on the government dole and the Democrat’s constituency shrinks. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, three times as many upwardly mobile persons, documented as those who previously fell below the poverty line, identify themselves as politically independent or conservative than label themselves as liberal. If you remove those who consider themselves independent twice as many self identify as conservative over liberal. The fact is the Democrats need poor people to survive.
Ask Herman Cain what Democrat policy led him to become a millionaire; surely he’d swiftly respond that there is no government program that can replace hard work and dedication. Food stamps aren’t going to help someone give their family a better future, but there are times when a family is at need and through a number of programs we help people in those times because we are the most caring and charitable people in the world. The best program for helping out those who have fallen into poverty does not come from the government but from a growing economy. Jobs Mr. Obama…jobs.
Most people don’t want a hand-out, they want a hand-up. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Liberals want to serve you fish; Conservatives want to watch you enjoy the fish you caught.
Let’s not fault Mr. Obama for his stimulus failing, but instead fault him for not acting when it was clear it had failed. By early 2010 there was no doubt that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was doing little if anything to spur job growth, but rather than change course we were treated to the invisible recovery summer touted by the vice president. We learned new terms such as jobs that were “saved or created.” Yet through the recovery summer and the miraculous claims of private sector job growth the food stamps rolls consistently grew.
Food stamps, SNAP or whatever name you give any government program intended to support the impoverished does nothing to help lift people, of any race. These programs were intended to be a safety net, not to hold people down as they do. Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy has driven more people into these programs than any prior president, so among the titles that can be bestowed upon him, the Food stamps President is not only non-racial, it’s rather understated; the Poverty President, the Loss of America President, the Dependency Society President all seem more fitting.