(Just a forewarning… this post is gonna get political in nature.)
I, for one, have had it with the 2012 election. A lot of the stuff spewed forth has been comical at best, but there is one thing in particular that has been sticking in my crawl: this statistic that the number of people receiving SNAP benefits has gone up in the last four years. Well DUH! But not for the reasons stated. Let me begin with my own meandering experience:
For starters, the standards were loosened slightly towards the end of 2008 I think. I am almost sure it was then because I clearly remember my then-girlfriend (now wife) and I receiving food assistance when we first started dating, and then losing them whenever she and I started getting more hours at work, then re-applying just before we got married and receiving assistance again when I found out the standards were being changed. Tell me, who was in charge of the country then, at the end of 2008? I do know we weren’t receiving SNAP benefits when we discovered my wife was pregnant with our first child in September 2009.
Fast-forward to today. It seems like we have this on-again, off-again relationship with receiving SNAP benefits. Why yes, we got them back when our family size increased, but this amount was small to say the least, and once again went to $0 per month when our pay rates increased. And then my wife became one of the many people in this country unemployed… just as we found out we had child #2 on the way. Wanna hear something really amazing? Unemployment compensation is factored into total household income. All persons living under the roof are counted. So guess how much in SNAP benefits we got? Why yes it was zilch! We did not receive SNAP until our second child was born.
But now I am getting to the meat of this: we’re just like the rest of the country, using every program there is to help keep our heads above water, and trying to put back something for the next generation (who, as I write, are sound asleep and looking ever peaceful, not knowing how much we stress out every day wondering if some emergency will arise that knocks our tight budget silly). But oh yeah, at least in my state good luck putting something back for the next generation. If its not a designated college fund, it counts towards your assets, and here the limit is $5,500. Say adios to your SNAP benefits come tax refund time then if you have more than one child!
What angers me, however, is this idea seemingly put forth by the Republicans that families like ours are actively trying to keep receiving SNAP benefits! Hearing some of them speak, that’s how I feel they are stating this. Trust me, I’d love nothing better than to clear the limits by a country mile, but I’m just not going to do that around here since now I apparently need pieces of paper from accredited higher learning institutions stating I know business management. Yeah, I could move my family, but why? I grew up 800 miles from my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and I do NOT want to put my kids through that unless absolutely necessary. There was a grandmother I never knew from the time I was three years old until she passed away the day after my first child was born.
Also, as I write, this new point that is being brought up is that there is no way the unemployment numbers are going down, that the books were cooked to make it look like that. Um… my wife just recently found a job for the first time in nearly seventeen months and has interviews for two more lined up. I don’t need statistics; I need to see what is right in front of me!
But here’s the thing: not all that long ago the Republicans actually had some sanity about them. They started losing it around the year 2004, completely lost it in 2008 when it seemed they started requiring their Presidential candidates to sell their souls to Rupert Murdoch, and went absolutely batshit fucking insane when this Tea Party movement hijacked their party. (To be fair, Occupy tried to hijack the Democratic party.) Now, it seems like they would like to start World War III at the closest possible date.
My mother likes to say this is worse than living under Jimmy Carter. I think this is better than when we had Dumbya as Puppet-in-Chief. And yes, once upon a time I thought Mittens was a good man. Again, see my comment about Republican presidential candidates are now required to sell their soul to Rupert.
Bottom line, think about it this way: don’t vote based on what party you’re registered to. Don’t vote based on what some TV channel tells you. You’re online… there are so many different sources telling you what’s going on that the spin is void.
Initially, this post was just going to be about SNAP and feeling like I was personally being put down, but see the title of this blog? This was, as I just changed the title to, rambling at its finest. I’m just tired of stuff that went wrong under a Republican chimpanzee being blamed on a President who wasn’t in charge, and seeing people drinking the Kool-Aid.