The SNAPping Point
If you've been paying attention to recent events, you'll know that President Obama's 2009 Recovery Act (signed into law less than a month after he took office) ended yesterday at midnight, automatically triggering $5,000,000,000 in cuts to the food stamp or SNAP program.
Almost a year after Mrs. JP lost her job at the sign shop into which I'd gotten her a month after she moved up here, we had to apply for SNAP benefits because we simply couldn't afford to keep buying food out of pocket. And for the last two and a half years, we've been on it, getting the maximum benefit of $367 a month for a household of two.
We won't know how much our monthly allotment will get cut until the card is topped up on Monday the 4th but it will surely be less than we've been getting. We generally live from month-to-month as $367 is barely sufficient for two adults, especially as we have to spend a significant amount on bottled and jugged water on account of how horrible the local water supply is.
It's hard to believe now that the President was able to pass this Recovery Act just over 4 1/2 years ago and sign it into law since cutting food stamps for no discernible reason is now de rigueur among politicians on both sides of the aisle from that very same president on down. What's even harder to believe is that food stamp funding under George W. Bush actually doubled back in the good old days when the legislative and executive branches actually worked together.
Anyway, Mrs. JP and I made the rent yesterday by the skin of our teeth but we're wiped out for the foreseeable future with no chance of making the rent next month or even much chance of paying down all but our smallest bills (Plus I still have the state DOR and IRS on my back for $800 in back taxes). And with Thanksgiving coming at the end of the month, we'll actually have to supplement our supplementary card with money we don't have just so we can have a decent dinner.
Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors (through Crooks and Liars) was kind enough to link to my last Assclowns of the Week that began with a plea for help. The hits were only about half what they usually are after a C&L link and, while some kind people kicked in modest amounts, it wasn't nearly enough to even keep us solvent for a month. If you're reading this, you've probably been pushed over a figurative Koch brothers oil barrel and rear-ended in some way or another by both parties and several coporations.
If, however, you can on the offchance help out with a modest contribution, Mrs. JP and I will be immensely grateful. Failing that, if you have a blog, please link to this. If you have a Twitter, Google+, Linked In or Facebook account, please link to this there.
(Addendum: A fast call this morning to the EBT 800 number informs us we got our SNAP allotment cut by about $50. One thing we won't be grateful for this Thanksgiving will be an apathetic and incompetent Congress.)