I am continually reminded that we are a Christian country.

 Be on the look out for the follow letter; it has been sent to newspapers around the district.

I recently called Tom Reed’s Washington office to seek his rational for his vote and support in cutting the funding of the SNAP program in the farm bill of $8 billion dollars over ten years. The SNAP program is better known as food stamps for the poor. The House, with Congressman Reed’s support, had previously passed a farm bill which reduced funding for food stamps by $39 billion over ten years.

I talked with a very pleasant young man in Reed’s office.  As nice as he was, he was never able to directly answer my question.  The response I kept getting was that there was money in the bill for education and training of those on food stamps to better help them get a job.  That is terrific.  I am all for that.

What I am not for is taking food off the plates of poor people.  The poor already suffered cuts to their food stamps in November, and now they are forced to accept more cuts.

Adding November’s cuts and the new cuts in the farm bill, some 300,000 New York families will lose a total $126.00 a month in money for food for a total of $1512.00 a year.  That may not sound like a lot to some of you, but for those living on the edge it makes a huge difference.  Many in those 300,000 families are children.  And many of those 300,000 are families of our veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I do not understand the reason and the need to take food from the poor.  If the goal is to reduce spending, we could save $110 billion a year by eliminating subsidies to big corporations that are already successful.  One such corporation receiving $600 million in annual subsidies is Exxon Mobil, which each year is rated either the number one or number two corporation in the world.  Its 2013 profits were $44.9 billion, and they paid not one red cent in federal taxes.

I am continually reminded that we are a Christian country.  Evangelist Jim Wallis has pointed out that there are several hundred references in the Bible to helping the poor. Taking food off their plates does not seem very Christian to me.

Vaughn Baker

Penn Yan

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
This entry was posted in Constituents, Economics, Environmental, Farm Bill, Reed's Views and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to I am continually reminded that we are a Christian country.

  1. BOB MCGILL says:

    When you tax me to give SNAP to someone else you are taking food, that I worked for, off my table. My family has LESS, but in your mind that’s OK ! When is this going to stop ? You complain that some people have to work two jobs, just to keep up, but that’s OK too. whungerford likes FDR and his programs, what FDR did was put people to work. Today that is somehow infringing on their rights.


  2. BOB MCGILL says:

    Work harder everyone, millions of Obamabots are depending on you.

    Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau.
    They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.

    There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.

    Read the rest of this Patriot Update article here: http://patriotupdate.com/2013/10/census-bureau-welfare-recipients-now-outnumber-full-time-workers/#leWyUcuT5T8WFduE.99


  3. pystew says:

    Bob, did you read the article? especially the part that points out the $110 billion WE are being tax to subsided big oil corporations? That Exxon-Mobil, who is receiving our taxes, pay no taxes themselves! Aren’t you upset with that? Like the author says, “I do not understand the reason and the need to take food from the poor.”

    Could you (or anyone) explain why a single Mom with three kids have to cut $90 a month from the food budget so that Exxon-Mobil can make $44.9 billion in profits without paying a cent in taxes?


  4. Deb Meeker says:

    Mr. Baker has written well about the ridiculous use of debt reduction double-talk the GOP uses to neglect the working poor. Surely if Republicans were true Christians, they would help serve people over corporations. This is not the case.


  5. whungerford says:

    I am uneasy with linking compassion for the poor to Christianity. People with very diverse views may identify themselves as Christians–there is no litmus test. Some Christians may think “feed my sheep” is an important precept, others perhaps not. Linking Christians with compassion shortchanges members of other faiths which also affirm compassion for the sick, the hungry and the homeless..


  6. BOB McGILL says:



  7. BOB McGILL says:

    As a tremendous source of revenue that fuels the U.S. economy, major energy producers pay their fair share: the oil and natural gas industry pays income taxes, royalties and other fees totaling nearly $86 million every day. The industry also pays the federal government significant rents, royalties and lease payments for production—totaling more than $100 billion since 2000. – See more at: http://energytomorrow.org/economy/taxes/#sthash.xXK4Mk6Y.dpuf


  8. BOB McGILL says:

    According to the report commissioned by the American Energy Alliance, higher energy taxes would mean:
    $341 billion in lost economic output from 2011-2020
    155,000 jobs lost in 2011 and 115,000 each year thereafter until 2020
    $68 billion in lost wages from 2011-2020
    $83.5 billion in reduced tax revenues to government

    In the long run, the negative economic consequences of higher taxes more than offset any short-term tax revenue gains. A study by energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie shows that with increased access to America’s natural resources, we could add nearly $194 billion in new revenue to the U.S. economy by 2025.
    – See more at: http://energytomorrow.org/economy/taxes/#sthash.SntvRA44.dpuf
    WRONG AGAIN !!!!! 🙂


  9. BOB McGILL says:

    But you have no problem with linking LACK of compassion for the poor to all Republicans do you ? 🙂


  10. Deb Meeker says:

    I’m not the least uncomfortable linking Christianity with socially moral principles. If those that call themselves Jews, Hindu, or followers of Islam, do not follow the principles of their faith, do we not feel free to see it? Even if a Christian were not to place Jesus’ precepts of caring for the poor, sick, or prisoner, as the first importance of their faith; never failing to attempt stealing what little those groups have, surely speaks volumes about how they see Him. I do not see how calling out hypocrites, shortchanges or diminishes the contributions of the other world religions. In this country, those that pervert the tenets of Christianity for political, financial, or other gain, clearly are crooks and liars.

    I have yet to find, in the word of Christ, any mention or judgement of abortion, homosexuality, or conversely, that getting rich is the desired goal. The only verses I recall reading about Christ being violent, was when He chased the money-changers from the Temple.
    If Tom Reed and Republicans in general continue to use their “faith” as a shield, or worse, a tool, to keep the population down, they deserve every criticism they get.


  11. whungerford says:

    Yes, Bob, I agree: that would be an over generalization.


  12. BOB McGILL says:

    I like how you describe yourself perfectly. “those that pervert the tenets of Christianity for political, financial, or other gain, clearly are crooks and liars”


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