An awesome op/ed in the Montgomery Advertiser last weekend tries to remind us that being poor isn't a character flaw. It's often pure bad luck - or a result of economic policies pursued and celebrated by (overseas) "job creators" running companies like Bain Capital...
Last week, Sen. Jeff Sessions proposed a new asset test before allowing families to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps, that is. Sessions tried to insert an amendment requiring the test into the new farm bill, but Democrats, thankfully, defeated the measure.
It was a stupid, mean-spirited amendment.
Because, as Sessions surely knows, many of the people who are now qualifying for food stamps are newly poor. They’ve recently lost their jobs and burned through their savings. They’re desperately trying to find work, buried under a mortgage payment and car payment they can’t make for a house and car they can’t sell.
Their homes hold assets that total more than $2,000, the federal limit for qualifying for food stamps, but those items are essentially worthless if they tried to sell them. Not to mention, there might be a burial fund or some other small savings that would prevent them from qualifying.
See, I don't think Sessions DOES understand the newly poor because, since he entered the US Senate, he's newly rich.... Remember, the ,economic downturn has been very, very good to Senator Jefferson Beauregard Session III:
Just yesterday, I was talking with a friend who was trying to liquidate his mother-in-law's estate because she was having to move into assisted living. An inveterate reader and artist, the woman has literally thousands of books - with "book value" of over $10k. But when the family tried to sell them? A local used bookstore offered $100. The library said "no thanks." They finally disposed of many of the books on eBay for about $1000.
According to Senator Sessions, her books alone would have almost disqualified her for Food Stamps. Heaven forbid if she also had an old car and a flat screen TV that her grandkids had given her. OVER THE LIMIT, LADY.... hit the pawn shop & hope for the best!
That's the 2012 version of "compassionate conservatism." God help us all.