Letters to the editor for Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013
September 26, 2013
Consider compassion when picking a party
During the Great Recession, enrollment in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, doubled to 47 million. Benefits average $133 per month. Most of the beneficiaries are children, elderly or disabled. $133 per month is $4.37 a day, and even with that, the Sodexo Foundation estimates that 17 million American children go to bed hungry every night. No telling how many more there will be after the Recovery Act's 13 percent boost in SNAP benefits expires on Nov. 1.
But it gets worse. On Sept. 19, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3102 by a vote of 217 to 210. This bill cuts another $40 billion from SNAP over 10 years through a number of rule changes, from delinking nutrition assistance from other anti-poverty programs to limiting childless recipients to 90 days worth of benefits, regardless of need. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 3102 would remove four million beneficiaries from SNAP in 2014, another three million a year after that.
To their credit, not a single Democrat voted in favor of H.R. 3102. Fifteen Republicans voted no, but Rep. Mark Amodei, R-NV, was not one of those brave souls, all of whom will no doubt be primaried in 2014 by forces on the far right of their party. The lesson for voters who care about hunger in America is simple: party matters. Look closely at what each party in Congress stands for, and vote for the candidate of the party that shares your values. Politics is about policies, not personalities.
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My dogs and I recently discovered a shady, grassy half block at East Second and Roop streets which has apparently been designated a dog park. Unfortunately, it is apparently only available to seeing eye dogs, as the majority of human users of the park must be blind — blind to the fact that smart, courteous dog owners clean up after their pets.
C'mon folks. It only takes a minute to grab a bag from the furnished supply, pick up your dog's deposit, and drop it in the available receptacle. Your dog will be in a more sanitary playground, and you might just feel like a better citizen.
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'Judge not lest ye be judged' is good advice
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