If you're a conservative politician looking to make sure the American underclass eventually dies off either through malnutrition or disease, boy, has it been a pretty great week for you!
First, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, sad little boy and lover of prostitutes, proposed an amendment to the long-delayed farm bill that would make certain ex-cons ineligible from food stamps for life. Senate Democrats working on the bill accepted this amendment, because at this point, why not? The amendment would ban convicted murderers, rapists, and pedophiles from ever receiving the ability to buy food for themselves, even after their release from prison, making life harder for people who have already paid their debt to society.
And life is already pretty easy for ex-cons in America, especially because our justice system never convicts people of crimes they never committed.
"Suppose you did something terrible when you were 19, and you were straight the rest of your life, you paid your debt to society, now you’re 82 and living in poverty, should you be stripped of food stamps? Is this the right thing to do?” said Bob Greenstein, founder and president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The bill has a pretty great chance of passing as it stands.
To top off this great achievement in American politics, the Times is running a piece today on the courageous Republican governors who are refusing to expand Medicaid to the poorest residents of their states, because their state would have to pay a pittance to do so (the federal government would do the rest under the Affordable Care Act).
The Republican governors in the states of Texas, Florida, Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, will not expand Medicaid, leaving residents who live on 32 percent to 100 percent of the poverty level completely uninsured. Why? Because Obama asked them to.
The Times points out the absurdity:
Jonathan E. Chapman, the executive director of the Louisiana Primary Care Association, which represents more than two dozen community health centers, described the situation in his state this way: “If the breadwinner in a family of four works full time at a job that pays $14 an hour and the family has no other income, he or she will be eligible for insurance subsidies. But if they make $10 an hour, they will not be eligible for anything.”
So, in summary: 'twas a great week to screw the permanent underclass even more for callous political gain. America!