Republicans hate the poor almost as much as they hate women, people of color, and folks on the LGBTQI spectrum. With all the recent focus on xenophobia lately, it can be easy to forget this simple fact, but here to remind us is New York State Senator Patty Ritchie, whose new bill would keep people who use government-subsidized nutritional supplement programs from purchasing things like high-end steaks, lobsters, and “junk food.”
U.S.D.A. Approved B.S.
Ritchie is not the first, and she won’t be the last Republican to push this meme that poor people are spending food stamp money on so-called “luxury items,” thereby squandering this precious resource. These “luxury items” often include middle-class ideas of food eaten by the rich; things like lobster and steak.
What’s especially infuriating about it is this: steak is among the healthiest meat you can eat, and in many cases, when it goes on sale, or with the right coupons, it can cost less than normal ground beef.
Most poor people know this because it’s what’s called “money management.” Forcing people to buy ground beef when steak would be cheaper is the sort of wasteful stupidity I’d expect from a clueless Republican who only wants to punish poor people.
And that’s just the sort of Republican that Ritchie is.
The state senator from St. Lawrence County introduced her bill on Wednesday last week with the intention of restricting what types of purchases people can make using the state’s SNAP. In specific, she’s targeting these so-called “luxury food items,” because silly poor people should be eating gruel and stale bread as punishment for being poor.
In addition to lobster and certain cuts of steak, other items on the list include decorated cakes and “junk food.”
In typical Republican fashion, though, this is all because she cares about the poor. See, poor people are getting awfully fat and don’t look anything like the poor people in the Middle Ages did. How is she supposed to live the illusion of being a wealthy upper-class elite if impoverished serfs look like pigs about to pop?
At a time when our state and nation are struggling with an obesity epidemic, it is critically important that taxpayer-funded programs help low-income consumers make wise and healthy food choices.
By forcing them to spend money on ground beef when steak can sometimes be cheaper, apparently. Being far too generous, that’s a “one-size fits all” solution for a problem that doesn’t really exist. Being more realistic, it’s blindly malicious, ruthlessly petty and cruelly jealous.
Thankfully, the Democrats have opposed the legislation, and since the Assembly is controlled by the Democrats, it doesn’t seem like it’ll have much of a future — unlike Ritchie, who’ll probably get elected the next time around by the very same people she’s trying to hurt now.
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