Just when you thought Republicans could not possibly be more cold-hearted, vindictive, and downright evil, along comes a guy like Arthur Orr and you realize that some members of the GOP not only want to inhabit the bottom of the barrel, they would just as soon lift the barrel and find the scum residing under it to emulate.
Orr is a State Senator in Alabama, that bastion of hatred, racial injustice, and violence which is now determined to take cars away from those who dare to collect food stamp benefits in his state.
A bill introduced by Orr in the Alabama legislature would cut the time frame for receiving food assistance from five years to three. It also adds an entirely new level of bureaucracy, including a requirement that aid recipients sign a contract vowing to strictly adhere to the program’s rules or face jail time. As if that isn’t more than enough, it would also automatically disqualify anyone from receiving food stamps or financial assistance for families with children if the recipients happen to own a car.
Orr attempted to defend his heartless piece of legislation by saying:
“We want to get people working back in the workforce and not hanging out for public benefits because they can.”
What Senator Orr neglected to mention is that some 77 percent of all food stamp recipients are children, the vast majority of whom have parents working jobs which do not pay enough to lift them above the federal poverty line.
Democratic Senator Rodger Smitherman said he will do anything it takes to make sure Orr’s bill fails:
“I’m going to do whatever I can to stop this. I am not going to let you do this to these people. I am not going to let people starve.”
Parts of Alabama currently have unemployment rates as high as 20 percent, but rather than providing job training or attempting to attract new businesses to these areas, Orr and his GOP colleagues would prefer to make it harder for poor people to feed their families. How very Republican of him!
Carol Gundlach, a policy analyst with Alabama Arise, said Senator Orr is mistaken to think that people remain on food stamps for long periods voluntarily:
“People just aren’t dependent. That’s a myth. People go on and off these programs all the time, particularly food stamps.”
Here are some other myths about SNAP benefits: