Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trump's SNAP Judgments and my Fever Dreams

My personal warranty must've expired this year, because since the start of 2018 there have only been three days including this one where I haven't suffered at least one and usually more symptoms bad enough to require actual professional medical intervention, most often in the form of prescription drugs. More prescriptions this past month and a half than in my entire previous adult life combined.

None of my prescriptions had the slightest bit of recreational potential, alas, but a couple of 'em still managed to mess me up pretty badly for a couple of days. When writing my most-recent post before this one, when I discussed how Matt Damon is thoroughly and admirably not-connected to the very unpleasant Sunday before last Christmas when my then-neighbor fired four bullets into my apartment's front door, I did not realize that the slightly off feeling I'd had ever since the morning all those cops and detectives trooped through my apartment (to investigate a crime which had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Matt Damon, nor with you, the honorable individual reading this) – my feeling of “offness” was not a combination of loss of sleep and the stress of the whole multiple-bullets thing, but the brief incubation period between “a nasty infectious agent enters your body” and “things go badly wrong as a result.”

So I had a rather unpleasant bronchial infection resulting in various prescriptions, and before that cleared away I got a pinched nerve which limited my ability to move and resulted in more prescriptions, and either I have a previously unknown drug allergy or my various medications somehow clashed with each other because I ended up almost completely out of this world for two or three days, and Jeff had just about decided to drag my semi-conscious self to an emergency room when my fever mercifully broke.

But everything eventually cleared up, and I'm much better now and ready to rejoin the world or so I thought because I figured today was Valentine's Day but it must be April Fools, seeing how this is an article I actually read:
The Trump administration is proposing a major shake-up in one of the country's most important "safety net" programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Under the proposal, most SNAP recipients would lose much of their ability to choose the food they buy with their SNAP benefits.

The proposal is included in the Trump administration budget request for fiscal year 2019. It would require approval from Congress.

Under the proposal, which was announced Monday, low-income Americans who receive at least $90 a month — just over 80 percent of all SNAP recipients — would get about half of their benefits in the form of a "USDA Foods package." The package was described in the budget as consisting of "shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables." The boxes would not include fresh fruits or vegetables.
I thought Republicans for all their current faults were supposed to be more wedded to the idea that individuals make better choices for themselves than any government bureaucrat could make on their behalf? That's certainly been their main argument in favor of school choice – have government [taxpayers]  pay for education, but have government funding follow the student, rather than go to the school. Previously, I've tried persuading my anti-choice friends with this analogy:
I also support the idea of helping poor people who cannot afford to buy sufficient food for their families (though I'd prefer giving such people cash, rather than food stamps and WIC vouchers and the like) -- but even so, the system we have, wherein people are given food stamps to spend at whatever store they please, is FAR better than a system wherein poor people are only able to get food from ONE specified grocery store in their neighborhood -- and if that store is subpar and has a crappy selection of food, tough shit for them; if they want to shop at a decent grocery store, their only option is to move to a neighborhood which has one. Yet that dysfunctional hypothetical is EXACTLY how our public education system works now.

So when the hell did so-called conservatives start deciding bureaucrats make better choices than individuals?
… oh, right, when those individuals are poor. After all, true and principled conservatism in the Trump era means government money should only go to people who don't actually need it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chuck Pergiel said...

Sorry to hear you were ill. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Thanks. I try to be actively grateful things aren't worse, as they certainly could be in many ways.

2:19 AM  

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