The poor will suffer as President Obama cuts food stamps by $8.7B (Photo credit: WhiteHouse.Gov/USDA.Gov)

The poor will suffer as President Obama cuts food stamps by $8.7B (Photo credit: WhiteHouse.Gov/USDA.Gov)

President Obama has come under severe criticism for the recent signing of a bill that will cut $8.7 billion from the federal food stamp program. The cuts are designed to take place over 10 years and were part of a negotiated larger spending bill on American agriculture. Portions of the bill cover crop insurance rates, farm subsidies and other federal programs. The federal food stamp program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and with the bill’s passage it is estimated that up to 1 million households may lose $90 in monthly food stamp benefits. President Obama praised the bill as an example o f bipartisan leadership that will create jobs and move the economy forward in growth.

In the original bill, House Republicans wanted a deep cut of $20.5 to $39 billion out of the food stamp program. However, Obama made it clear that he would veto any such bill that cut so deeply into the program. At the signing of the new bill the president did not mention any of the negotiations that took place or whether he was satisfied with the final bill. “My position has always been that any Farm Bill I sign must include protections for vulnerable Americans, and thanks to the hard work of [Senate Agriculture Committee chair] Debbie Stabenow and others, it does just that,” he said.

Unfortunately, these statements do not take into the account what is going on at the state level when it comes to the food stamp program. Changes in the eligibility requirements for assistance have had a dramatic impact on poor families. In Georgia, new rules went into place last week mandating that able-bodied adults without children can collect food stamps for only three months in a three-year period, unless they get into a job or training program. This will mean that 5,000 will lose their food stamp benefits in three metro Atlanta counties. The impact of such requirements and changes by states will dramatically affect the poor. According to the center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

“More than 500,000 and as many as 1 million of the nation’s poorest people will be cut off SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) over the course of 2016 … The impact will be felt in the 22 states that must or are choosing to reimpose the time limit in 2016.”

This work requirement on the surface may seem to be reasonable to supporters of these changes. But it is not taking into account the high unemployment rate due to lack of jobs. Very few states that have adopted the work requirement are offering training or jobs to those affected by the new rules. This can represent a loss of $150 to $170 per person per month, which will increase economic hardship for recipients.

Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

  • Sol Rothstein

    So our 1st Black President did — ZERO to help Blacks, but now he is ready to take their safety net. Now that WHITES have become less dependent on SNAP.

    I keep telling BLACK FOLKS, we didn’t gain anything from a BLACK PRESIDENT, but we did lose GROUND.

    Now these illegals will wipe-out BLACKS…

    There simply are not enough governmental resources in the USA to share with illegal Hispanics. Black folks your share of the American Pie/Dream is being stolen by illegals.

    • Cee jay

      You are entitled to your opinion but,first,President Obama was not elected as the president of Black America.
      Secondly,Had he even pushed a single eagenda geared towards uplifting Blacks,he would have been hated even more.
      Also,what did you expect to happen? The odds were stacked against him before he was even inaugurated. The GOP had planned all along obstruct and make him a one term president. And to make sure non of his policies were ratified.
      Blacks and his opponents need to squash that noise glhim not doing anything for Black America. That is just divisive rhetoric to tarnish and denigrate his legacy.
      Budgets have and ways been cut throughout the history and we survived and will continue to. Ask, yourself this question, do you believe that 100% of individuals receiving SNAP actually need it and use it as designated? I have seen three generations in my family that has used government assistance alone because they were too trifling to go to school (free) and change their economic status because they became too comfortable. Yet,they had all the creature comforts,cell phones, cable,Internet, latest fashions and etc.l have seen some members sell their SNAP benefits at a reduced rate for cash.These are the folks that gives benefit programs for the needy a black eye.
      I grew up extremely poor when subsistence programs were not available to Blacks in the segregated south but,we managed not to starve by being creative with meals,growing our own vegetables and only spending on the necessities,food,clothing and shelter. Sorry for the long rant and l know l will be slammed for my opinion but,that’s life.

      • Dennis

        It takes more than just Voting for a President midterm elections count as well.

      • Sol Rothstein

        Tell that to the LGBT…they got the right to marry.

        Tell that to the illegals…they got Amnesty.

        Now tell me what BLACKS GOT? Not a damn thing.

        • Yoskiluv

          The courts did one and are still deliberating on the other. You know not what you speak of.

      • Katherine Brown

        No you not ranting because these are True Words so for us that keep surviving each day just be Thankful!!! and keep it real

    • Cee jay

      Then you say,”illegals will wipe out blacks (smh) “There are not enough governmental resources in the US to share with illegal Hispanics”. Stop listening to T Rump and Cruz because you being sold a bill of goods. Not all illegal immigrants are of Hispanic orgin! The American Pie/Dream is still there. But,it is not going to knock on your door and say,take advantage of me please. You have to pursue it with a passion as of your life and livelihood depends on it.

      • Sol Rothstein

        I am not listening to TRUMP or CRUZ…

        I am looking at DALLAS TX, LA California, Houston, TX….and South Miami…

        Do your research CLOWN…Hispanics have more money than BLACKS and more wealth!

  • cupcake333

    goverment knock outs again
    1. they cut food stamp force blacks back to selling dope
    2. they cut food stamps for blacks but mexican illegal will still be able to get them?
    3. they changed the child support laws to put black men in jail which eventually reduce the population of blacks
    4. plann parent hood was designed to reduce the growing black census .. there are almost more black then whites is the usa .. white man been angry for years over this to the point of police killing and who can forget the hangings .. and the atlanta boy killings all done by kkk
    5. rmember when women got welfare checks ? not no more they will give you food stamps and housing maybe … that left babymomas getting pregnant with extra kids to increase food stamp and collect child support so some men were sex and drunken by women to get them pregnant .. sex is a game of survival for young black female of child bareing if your not going to college then your gonna work a low wage job ..why not get a couple of kids to make sure the goverment help you some .. food stamps are like commisary in prison ..its a necessary another scam black women do is let people carry their kids on taxes . racking in thousands per year … its the biggest scam going .. even the person who intro duce the two scammers get paid . . baby daddys are getting on board they make a deal with the mother if you dont file child support on me i will carry your kids on my tax and we get paid .. worked out fine but the irs got a task force investigating these frauds it not ok to claim someones kid who is not in your home . . or is not your documented child .. people are desperate as it is ..obama is out of touch as bush was they know nothing bout the hood and what happen to poor blacks .

  • Jean

    Do you hear yourself you sound so stupid. No one one should be relying on food stamps. Everyone should be working towards being self sustaining. If food stamps is black peoples safety net then we have a bigger problem. I work 3 jobs why can’t you. Why should you get my hard earned money. And illegal people army the problem ignorant people like you are. See black people only want equality for them and not for everyone who deserves it. Asians, Indians, Mexicans were are all discriminated against but apparently blacks are the only ones who have it hard according to u. Oh and if blacks don’t like it here then they can always go back to where they came from. Because last time I checked the MEXICANS and INDIANS were here first there’s a history lesson for you.

    • Meower

      Ya ever stop to think about people who are not in such great physical shape as you. Like those who have to ride a cart in order to even shop. Some of which have to have a worker acutely shop for them? What about the mentally ill who don’t understand concepts of money.. you want them to wait on you while you’re in line? It’d be funny while you squirm waiting to get home o your favorite TV show but can’t because the person waiting on you is counting penny by penny so they don’t screw up. You think they can work 3 jobs? Lol.
      You’ll get exactly what you deserve. Crappy service. Don’t even complain when you never get your fast food order right, but the worker is paid $15. An hour. Hahahaa.. let the good times roll. I’ll quit my job just to make your lives a living hell. Hahahaaa!! Not to mention the crime to follow.