It's Christmas Day and once again I am struck by the rank hypocrisy of conservatives and their flunkies in the Republican Party who blather about honoring Christian principles and repeat the myth that America was founded as a "Christian nation" even as they espouse policies that are the antithesis of the Gospel message. Indeed, they make the Pharisees of the Bible look like upstanding, kindly folks in comparison. It is little wonder that 1/3 of the generations under age 30 - the so-called "Nones" - have walked away from institutional religion. Simply put, these "godly Christians" are horrible, heartless, selfish people. Why would anyone decent want to subscribe to their claimed beliefs which they disregard daily. An editorial in the New York Times looks at the GOP's war on the poor - a war that the Christofascists support. Here are excerpts:
This is a harsh season for Americans struggling to afford food. Last month, the long lines at food pantries across the country grew longer with the expiration of the boost to food stamp benefit levels included in the 2009 economic stimulus plan. Those lines are apt to grow even longer thanks to the refusal of House Republicans to renew extended unemployment benefits as part of the recent budget deal.
And if that isn’t sufficient pain for the neediest, Congress is getting ready to make another big cut to nutrition aid when it returns in early January.Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat of Michigan and the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Representative Frank Lucas, a Republican of Oklahoma who leads the House Agriculture Committee, are close to a deal on a farm bill that is said to include an increase in crop insurance subsidies for farmers and a more than $8 billion cut in food stamp benefits for the poor over the next 10 years.That cut, about double the one contained in the Senate version of the farm bill, is more modest than the devastating $40 billion reduction in the farm bill passed by House Republicans that would have denied benefits to about 3.8 million people in 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Still, the compromise deal, driven by the Republican obsession with cutting the food stamps program, will leave many Americans worse off than before.
The deal being finalized would not kick people off the rolls, but it would end a practice used in some 16 states to boost food stamp benefits. That change would reduce benefits for 850,000 of the nation’s poorest households, according the Congressional Budget Office, with the cut falling particularly hard on seniors, disabled people and working-poor families with children.
The households affected currently receive higher food stamp benefits (on average around $90 a month) under a practice known as “heat-and-eat,” which is intended to prevent poor families from having to choose between heating fuel and food.
Some Democratic lawmakers and antihunger advocates say the $8 billion cut being contemplated in the compromise deal is necessary to get the food stamps program reauthorized by both the Senate and House and that keeping the cuts to that level would be a political defeat for right-wing Republicans, who sought to do much more damage. That may be true, but it’s not much consolation for people lining up at food pantries because their inadequate monthly food stamps allotment has run out.