The Episcopalians have some moving words in their service of evening prayer.
“Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten; nor the hope of the poor be taken away.”
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a 950-page farm bill negotiated with the Senate that will reduce SNAP benefits by $90 per month for 850,000 families. The cuts come on top of a reduction last November of $36 per month for a family of four that resulted from the expiration of the economic stimulus legislation.
Some in Congress who think of themselves as progressives believe the nation should be grateful for the farm bill, since the $8 billion cut in SNAP benefits is so much less than the $40 billion reduction congressional Republicans had sought.
Senator Gillibrand, who opposes the final version of the farm bill, has an answer for them: “Only in Washington could a final bill that doubles the already egregious cuts to hungry families while somehow creating less total savings than originally proposed be called progress.”
In the United States today, a child born to parents in the bottom fifth of annual income has just a 9 per cent chance of making into the top fifth as an adult — far less than in most European countries. The odds for a working class child aren’t that much better. Someone born into the second fifth of income has a 13.8 per cent chance of making it into the top fifth.
These odds don’t give much hope to the poor. The farm bill, which reduces their access to nutrition, will take away a little more of that hope.