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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Social Issues]

The screaming is getting louder and more-desperate by the day...

The House Republican proposal to block grant the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is ill-timed and ill-advised. SNAP, formerly known as the food-stamp program, provides a lifeline for senior citizens, persons with profound disabilities, and working families with children relying on part-time hours at a minimum-wage job. Four out of five SNAP recipients are children, people with disabilities, the elderly, or working adults who don’t make enough to make ends meet.

As the economy improves, more people are moving off SNAP. Since participation hit its peak in December 2012, the number of people receiving SNAP benefits has declined by 1.5 million. Congressional Budget Office projections indicate a 2%-4% reduction in SNAP recipients annually for the next five years.

 Uh huh.

So why can I buy carbohydrate-laced garbage with "food stamps"?  Indeed, other than booze and tobacco I can buy damn near anything in the store with it.  Further, it's loaded on what looks like a credit card and the eligibility requirements have been dropped to an effective zero barrier, so long as you're of materially-lower than average income.

Vilisack wishes to crow about "1.5 million" people fewer getting benefits, but FY15s number is only down from FY2012 by about 271,000.  Cherry picking your data much, I ask?

But what's far worse is that the 46 million-odd recipients are some one seventh of the entire population -- young, old and everything in between.  Are you really going to argue that one person in every seven requires this support?  And if you are exactly what sort of indictment does this present against the government for policies that have driven labor offshore and otherwise damaged the lower-income segments of society?

I have no particular quarrel with helping people who really need it as a means of temporary support.  But I believe strongly that such support should come in the form of physical distribution of food, not "money" that can be used at the discretion of the individual to buy whatever they want.  It should be designed in such a fashion as to not promote further dependency (e.g. fast carbohydrates, processed foods, anything with trans fats or otherwise "ready to eat", etc.) but rather should come in the form of uncooked beef, pork, chicken and vegetables along with basic spices (e.g. salt, pepper and a few additional inexpensive things) that the recipient must take home and prepare.  Alternatively, for those who argue this is unreasonable to require, we can literally hand out soup to any willing to stand in line and fill their cup.

What we do now not only doesn't work it creates monstrous medical problems later on -- that we're then told we have to pay for as well.  

It's not time to "reform" food stamps it is time to scrap the program entirely.

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This*****es me off.....

Indiana is preparing to declare a public health emergency Thursday in a county in the southern part of the state over an HIV outbreak.

Health officials say 72 cases of HIV been confirmed in Scott County and seven other people have been preliminary positive for HIV infections. All of those infected either live in Scott County of have ties to it.

This outbreak is a direct result of the drug war.

The culprit appears to be a liquid-form prescription painkiller that is being diverted and used on the street.  The problem is that due to the illegal nature of this abuse syringes are being reused and it only takes one person with HIV that does so to "seed" a huge number of people through mutual re-use of injection equipment.

Yes, abuse of (any) drug is bad.  Pick one; tobacco, booze, weed, or Opana, the apparent painkiller involved in this series of infections.

Those of you who wish to moralize -- you're hypocrites if you walk into a church and take Communion; body and blood of Christ anyone?  Yeah, the wine is a drug.  Yeah, I get it you claim you're not "abusing" it, and yeah, it's legal too, whether consumed in your home, a church or a bar.

The legal status of one over the others is your doing, not the inherent nature of same.  And incidentally, Priests do become alcoholic on occasion (which makes that use abuse, see.)

We're way past the time when as a nation we need to cut the crap and stop criminalizing drug use.  Make anything people want to buy available at the pharmacy to anyone of legal age in quantities appropriate for personal use and at the same time sell, with it, one-time-use syringes that cannot be (by design) reused.  The latter does exist and were we to do both we'd cut off the infection disease vector at its knees.

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