Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kristi Noem and the GOP Continue the War on Children and National Security

Okay, so the title is a bit hyperbolic, but it is really hard to understand how anyone can claim to care about the millions of children that live in poverty and food insecure homes after another round of legislation from Kristi Noem and the GOP controlled house that resembles The Hunger Games.

Just a little while ago Kristi Noem and the GOP voted to cut $40 billion from the SNAP program.  According to Kristi,
The bill “will bring more integrity to the program,” Representative Kristi Noem, a South Dakota Republican, said in an interview. “When you look at the fact that this program was initiated and started to help those in need for a short period of time, this program will certainly do that after the reforms we put in place today.”
However, she forgets to mention that she made sure the family business of selling crop insurance got a nice increase in subsidies.  She also forgot to mention that these cuts were going to fall disproportionally on children.  As the New York Times reports the finding from the CBO (a non-partisan group)
“Yes, the federal government has budget problems, but children didn’t cause them, and cutting anti-hunger investments is the wrong way to solve them,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children, a child advocacy group. 
According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly four million people would be removed from the food stamp program under the House bill starting next year. The budget office said after that, about three million a year would be cut off from the program. 
That is the problem.  The GOP lawmakers live in this world that if it is not impacting them, then it doesn't matter.  Why should I care about some poor kid in Hamlin or Castlewood that may not have a meal tonight.  It ain't my kid.  However, we should care about every child that lives in poverty and food insecurity.

In a Northern Plains News story, they remind us that children living in poverty is a problem right here South Dakota.
In 2012, the South Dakota child poverty rate was calculated at 17.5 percent, an improvement over the 2011 rate of 18.2 percent. However, the child poverty rate was calculated at 16.8 percent in 2007....
"Children's ability to survive, thrive and develop must not depend on the lottery ofgeography of birth,” said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the CDF. “A child is a child and should be protected by a national floor of decency. The greatest threat to America's national security comes from no foreign enemy but from our failure to invest in healthy and educated children." 
These cuts would have a huge negative impact on South Dakota's economy, but Kristi was already told that
Feeding South Dakota assists about 2,500 people each week. And Executive Director Matt Gassen says cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as SNAP, will stretch their resources even more. 
According to Feeding America, SNAP cuts would have a huge economic impact across the country, but they would also be felt here in KELOLAND.... 
Gassen says he has reached out Representative Kristi Noem to express his concerns about the impact SNAP cuts would have here in South Dakota. 
I noticed that there was nothing from Noem about a response, but why should she worry.  Her federal government benefits will continue to come in while she celebrates passing a bill that helps to remove food from a child's table.  


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