It seems we have another contestant in the biggest pig contest! South Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. André Bauer, candidate for Governor. Regrettably, Bauer has likened giving government assistance to “feeding stray animals.”
“At a town hall meeting Thursday in northwestern South Carolina, Bauer noted his grandmother “told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed.”
Bauer claims to have used a poor choice of words- now where have we heard that excuse recently?
It is unfortunate that Bauer used those words in trying to bring attention to what he calls “a culture of dependency.” Bauer notes that schools with the highest poverty rates have the poorest performance and that there are links between poverty, lack of parental involvement and poor student performance. Well DUH!
Bauer claims to want to require those receiving benefits to “give something back,” go to PTA meetings and parent teacher conferences.
Well, I have a better idea André. Believe it or not I also believe America is creating a culture of dependency. I was fortunate to have the smarts to recognize when I was down and out that government benefits are supposed to be temporary- a “hand up and out” of poverty. (I was lucky – Bill Clinton was in power when my ex left me with the kids and no child support.) Let’s start fixing the system – starting with Food Stamps.
Back in the day I received $205 a month to feed myself and my kids. Yup that’s two hundred and five dollars a month! I did it and my kids ate good nutritious food- not junk! But I already knew about budgeting and nutrition. The Food Stamp program has nothing in place to teach recipients how to shop, how to budget, how to make nutritious meals using low-cost proteins. Additionally, the USDA, the government agency in charge of Food Stamps- (oops- I guess that is so wrong- it’s now called S.N.A.P.- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-) has no restrictions on what foods can be purchased with the benefits. Perhaps the most effective change we could make to SNAP would be to model it similar to W.I.C. The W.I.C. program is very strict about what foods are allowed. Only healthy nutritional foods!
How many times have you gone into the grocery store and been in line behind a person whose cart is loaded with soda pop, chips, steak, cookies, sugar loaded cereal and convenience foods only to find them swiping their government benefit card? Maybe politically incorrect of me- but sorry folks- you CAN’T AFFORD IT! AND- most of that junk is not good for your kids! How many times have you been at the convenience store and seen EBT cards used for subs, chips and soda? God- for what it costs for one sub, a small soda and bag of chips I could make a complete meal- with leftovers! My kids never saw a store-bought cookie, never had soda to drink unless we were attending a family party, didn’t get “convenience” foods. When I bought cereal, it was of the plain old Cheerios, Kix or Rice Krispies type. Snacks were things like celery with peanut butter or a piece of fruit.
One way to start tackling poverty, poor nutrition and childhood obesity is to change the SNAP program. Put limits on what folks can buy with those limited funds. Protein, fruit, vegetables, beans, peanut butter, milk and cheese. After all, it says in the name “Nutrition” assistance, not keep the junk food manufacturers in business program. When a family is approved for SNAP let’s make sure they know what nutrition means. How hard can it be to give a class on putting together a shopping list from the weekly store flyers? Would it really be so difficult to teach how to stock a pantry with the basics? Will it raise a lot of protest? Probably. Will the folks at Coke, Pepsi, Keebler and the like have fits? Surely.
I had some respect for the folks whose tax dollars I was spending and some concern for the health of my children. True, I was taught the basics of feeding a family on a budget growing up in a home with lots of brothers and sisters and a Mom who had to stretch a working class income.
If we want to give people a hand up and out of poverty, we need to give them the tools. “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I believe in giving a helping hand- but I too want to see some effort. If that means my tax dollars go towards educating folks in basic life skills and not to the people who manufacture sugar and fat laden junk food- GREAT!
Bauer IS a pig- for likening poor folks to stray animals that breed. The Dems are having a field day and screaming for an apology- as they should. Degrading living, breathing, suffering human beings is wrong. Perhaps the Dems can do something about government programs that keep people down instead of lifting them up?