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On Rick Jensen today, some figures gave us pause.  One in five Delawareans live in poverty. Three out of every five children, live in poverty. The numbers of people going hungry has gotten worse since 2012…. not better.

This happened because of the Republican’s cuts to SNAP, the food stamp program. Originally a family of four in 2012 could spend $750 a month in food stamps. Now it is down to a little over $400 dollars thanks to both Tea Party Republicans and Democrats like John Carney who cowardly don’t stand up to them.

Which means a family of 4 making less than $1500 a month working however many jobs, ate off $25 dollars a day in 2012, but now, thanks to bastards in the Republican Party, is down to 13 dollars a day!

Most go that 4th week in the cycle goes with very little or no food.  They would have to stop by charities to pick up a 50 pound box which would get them through that last week…

We all know that the recession was brutal.. But I did not know that by 2011 very few people were needing boxes and most of the charities cut back on handing them out and would only do them to order, at special requests.  In 2011 and 2012, there simply was no need….

Then came the budget cuts.. Those brutal 60% cuts which not only put hunger back into the working people’s daily ritual, but laid off large numbers of grocery and retail store employees are causing tremendous hardship.

So whereas private sector jobs are growing, and unemployment is down, the need for food is not.  One needs $50,000 in family income to stay self-efficient today. Anything less is hurting the economy and is draining some other resource from somewhere… Most often SNAP and Medicaid.

We need to realize that despite as much as we like their entertainment, we cannot afford Republicans.. But until we root out the prime cause, stingy people in power, we desperately need charities to fill the void.  Please make some of your holiday money go to a cause that is probably the most important and most politically correct of a choice you could possibly make in this life…

Big thank you to the Riley family… ❤

Go  here, click on the banner. and donate…


I never thought of this. These guys are brilliant.  Connecticut and New York have figured how to keep food stamp (SNAP) benefits at their current level.

First how they were cut.  In the Farm Bill just passed, the Republicans insisted and got a large reduction in the amount being paid for SNAP (food stamps)… This huge reductions can devastate economies in states with large numbers of recipients.  If you take a 20% cut,  close to 20% will be cut from being spent in Grocery stores, thereby hurting the economy.

In a piece of legislation primarily aimed against Blue States, the Republicans targeted a program called “Heat and Eat” in which states states could qualify residents for higher food stamp benefits by giving them a small amount of heating assistance.. That level used to be $1 dollar.  The new law raised that to $20 dollars thinking that no state would pay the premium and that would force cuts to the Federal Program.

The genius is in the benefits and rate of return…

Connecticut will spend about $1.4 million in federal energy aid, increasing benefits for 50,000 low-income Connecticut residents from $1 to $20 so they do not lose $112 in monthly food stamp benefits…… It will preserve about $67 million in food stamp benefits….So the rate of return for Connecticut is 4785% (correct, thousands) meaning that for every dollar spent on heat,  Connecticut gets $4785 dollars back in food benefits to be spread thoughout their state….

New York will spend about $6 million more towards the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program’s funding to maintain food stamp benefits totaling $457 million… New Yorks rate of return is 7611% meaning for every dollar spent, they get $7,611 dollars back.

Now if they would just raise taxes on their one percent’s income to pay for those small increases, .. it comes as free money….

If only Delaware could quickly jump on the wagon and get those dollars into our state and make the Republican supporters in this state, pay for the damage their Republican campaign funds do to both our state and the United States of America….

But alas. we are stuck fighting the battle of Common Core… instead of truly fighting for education by fighting against poverty…..

SNAP is Food Stamps.

More than half of Americans will experience poverty at some point during their adult lives,” “Think about that. This is not an isolated situation.… That’s why we have nutrition assistance or the program known as SNAP, because it makes a difference for a mother who’s working, but is just having a hard time putting food on the table for her kids.”  President Obama.

Who gets hurt?...

There are currently 47 million Americans who turn to food stamps to help make ends meet. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, nearly 72 percent are in families with children; and one-quarter of SNAP participants are in households with seniors or people with disabilities. Further, 91 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with incomes below the poverty line, and 55 percent to households below half of the poverty line (about $9,500 annually for a family of three).

Let’s break that down…. each million people represents one whole state of Delaware….

47 Delawares  turn to Food Stamps

33  Delawares  in Families with Children (72%)

42.8 Delawares  (91%) go to households below the poverty line….  Here are the poverty lines….

Poverty Lines 2014

25.9 Delawares at half  poverty line  (55%) (below $11,750 for family of 4; take half of above chart for others…)

You may remember that the program was cut by $5 Billion last November.  That cut put Wal*mart’s earnings this past quarter into the negative for its first time in … how long?  So this cut on top of that cuts amounts to about $13 billion dollars…from where benefits were last summer….

Let us look at those 25.9 million at half the poverty line….   A family of 4 below  $11,750.  At the maximum, that comes to living off $979 per month…. or….  $32 a day….  for 4 people…. If there are zero other expense across that entire year, they can afford to eat on $8 a day per person.  Basically 2 meals at $4 each per day….

But not everyone get their benefits cut.

Here is the original US Code… 42 U.S.C. 8624(f)(2)(A)

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection and for purposes of determining any excess shelter expense deduction under section 5(e) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2014 (e))—
(A) the full amount of such payments or allowances shall be deemed to be expended by such household for heating or cooling expenses, without regard to whether such payments or allowances are provided directly to, or indirectly for the benefit of, such household; and

… and here is the piece passed in the Senate just hours ago, and by the House last week…..

SEC. 4003. of the Farm Bill…

(b) Conforming Amendment- Section 2605(f)(2)(A) of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8624(f)(2)(A)) is amended by inserting before the semicolon at the end `, except that, for purposes of the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), such payments or allowances were greater than $10 annually, consistent with section 5(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I) of that Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I)), as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.’.

And therefore the new line of code will look like this……

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection and for purposes of determining any excess shelter expense deduction under section 5(e) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2014 (e))—
(A) the full amount of such payments or allowances shall be deemed to be expended by such household for heating or cooling expenses, without regard to whether such payments or allowances are provided directly to, or indirectly for the benefit of, such household, except that, for purposes of the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), such payments or allowances were greater than $10 annually, consistent with section 5(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I) of that Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I)), as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.; and

(One almost has to do it that way to figure out what the adds and deletes amount to….)

Basically what just happened was that if one received heating or energy assistance back before when it was NOT considered income, it now going to be considered income if it amounts to over $10 per year….  If it is enough, it may disqualify people off of SNAP…. 

Most likely those receiving Heat and Energy Assistance are NOT the most affluent of the SNAP recipients.  Most likely those receiving Heat and Energy Assistance will be on the LOWER END of the recipients.  Most likely those losing benefits will have AT THE MOST only $32 dollars a day for a family of 4, for all expenses, now including heat….  Furthermore, Southerners will eat better than Northerners.

This knocks 2 million of our neediest off the SNAP rolls… not really fair in anyone’s book… and it is done simply to save 16.5 billion or 0.000000000165 % of the deficit over the next 10 years…

Farm Bill 2014

Graph Courtesy of Washington Post

Notice there is $198.4 billion in other expenses spread out over the next 10 years…  Was just SNAP was cut and not the other…?

The other is a fabrication or an  estimate, for this farm bill does something no other farm bill has ever done.   This bill discontinues cash payments per acre. That is no more.  Instead we begin funding farmers through an insurance fund, a mechanism which makes tracing payments far more difficult… and probably impossible.

It expands the system of subsidized crop insurance to protect farmers from sudden price drops. The bill would also cap how much money an individual farmer can receive — $125,000 annually. (Lawmakers rejected amendments that would have shrunk this to $50,000.)

In theory, the extra subsidies for crop insurance are supposed to cost less than the old direct payments did. But, again, it depends. More droughts or unseasonable cold weather could cause these payments to soar unexpectedly. Likewise, the new “shallow loss” insurance programs could start paying a lot of money if the price of commodities like corn and soy start dropping from their recent highs. “In fact,” argues the R Street Institute, “given recent drops in the price of corn, the shallow loss program would be triggered on day one for the nation’s largest commodity crop.”

The White House originally asked for farm legislation that would have saved twice as much, $38 billion — mainly by slashing payouts to farmers.  Instead, because of Republicans in the House, it only got $16.5 billion cut pverall… splitting it halfway between an $8.25 billion cut to our poorest citizens in the form of SNAP cuts,  and $8.25 million billion cut to protect our largest grossing farmers from losing money…..

And just who are those largest grossing farmers, and how much did they make this past year?

Name ————————- Revenue Stream ————————Crop Protection %

1 Crop Production Services, Inc.= ——More than $1 billion ………. …………. 33%
2 Helena Chemical Company== ===More than $1 billion……………………….  38 4%
3 GROWMARK, Inc. ==========More than $1 billion ……………………….   17%
4 Wilbur-Ellis Company== More than $1 billion ………………………………….   41%
5 CHS ================More than $1 billion………………………….. …….21%
6 J.R. Simplot=========== More than $1 billion………………………………   36%
7 Jimmy Sanders, Inc. (Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings) More than $1 billion 31%
8 Southern States Co-op========= $500-999 million………………………… 16%
9 MFA Incorporated============ $500-999 million ………………………..20%
10 Tennessee Farmers Cooperative ==$100-499 million ………………………..20%

(The other 90 can be found here in clearer detail……)  But to appreciate the callous horror of our two Senator’s decision, look at all those gaining below, and then think of the sum of 25.9 Delawares looking over this list after their first full week with no food…….

(Rank -Name – Revenue Stream -Crop Protection %)

11 South Dakota Wheat Growers $100-499 million 18%
12 Co-Alliance LLP $100-499 million 18%
13 Central Valley Ag Cooperative $100-499 million 17%
14 Farmers Cooperative Co. $100-499 million 16%
15 Cargill AgHorizons $100-499 million 14%
16 The McGregor Co $100-499 million 34%
17 Hefty Seed Company $100-499 million 64%
18 Aurora Cooperative $100-499 million 35%
19 North Central Farmers Elevator $100-499 million 19%
20 Effingham Equity $100-499 million 22%
21 Brandt $100-499 million 21%
22 Buttonwillow Warehouse Company $100-499 million 43%
23 The Andersons, Inc. $100-499 million 20%
24 Agri-AFC, LLC $100-499 million 31%
25 West Central Ag Services $100-499 million 24%
26 Mid Valley Ag Service, Inc. $100-499 million 50%
27 Diamond R. Fertilizer Co., Inc. $100-499 million 36%
28 Heartland Co-op $100-499 million 15%
29 United Cooperative $100-499 million 17%
30 Twin-State Inc. $100-499 million 23%
31 Valley Agronomics LLC $100-499 million 37%
32 Kova Fertilizer $100-499 million 22%
33 Land View, Inc. $100-499 million 26%
34 Ag Partners LLC $100-499 million 14%
35 Landmark Service Cooperative $100-499 million 14%
36 Tremont Group Inc. $100-499 million 41%
37 Hintzsche Fertilizer, Inc. $100-499 million 18%
38 Griffin Fertilizer Co. $50-99 million 21%
39 CPI (Cooperative Producers, Inc.) $50-99 million 16%
40 West Central Cooperative $50-99 million 17%
41 Star of the West Milling Co. $50-99 million 18%
42 Allied Cooperative $50-99 million 19%
43 Golden Furrow Fertilizer $50-99 million 21%
44 Van Horn Inc. $50-99 million 16%
45 Frenchman Valley Co-op $50-99 million 17%
46 Ceres Solutions Inc. $50-99 million 28%
47 Cooperative Elevator Co. $50-99 million 17%
48 Farm Service Co-op $50-99 million 16%
49 Sur-Gro Plant Food $50-99 million 26%
50 Fertizona $50-99 million 45%
51 The Dune Co. $50-99 million 33%
52 G.S. Long Co., Inc. $50-99 million 74%
53 Carolina Eastern-Vail Inc. $50-99 million 14%
54 Wilco-Winfield LLC $50-99 million 31%
55 Gar Tootelian, Inc. $50-99 million 71%
56 First Cooperative Association $50-99 million 22%
57 United Prairie LLC $50-99 million 22%
58 Willard Agri-Service $50-99 million 20%
59 The DeLong Co., Inc $50-99 million 12%
60 MaxYield Cooperative $50-99 million 15%
61 Mid Kansas Coop $50-99 million 17%
62 Stanislaus Farm Supply $50-99 million 24%
63 Mid-West Fertilizer, Inc. $50-99 million 17%
64 Watonwan Farm Service $50-99 million 31%
65 Lyman Group, Inc. $50-99 million 46%
66 Asmus Farm Supply, Inc. $50-99 million 82%
67 Abell Corp. $50-99 million 0%
68 Home Oil Company $50-99 million 35%
69 Eldon C. Stutsman, Inc. $50-99 million 6 %
70 Mountain View Coop $50-99 million 20%
71 Pearl City Elevator, Inc. $50-99 million 21%
72 Reynolds United Co-op $50-99 million 29%
73 Farm Service Inc. $25-49 million 22%
74 AgRx $25-49 million 29%
75 El Dorado Chemical Co. $25-49 million 2%
76 Centennial Ag Supply $25-49 million 23 %
77 MRM Ag Services, Inc. $25-49 million 26 %
78 Growers Fertilizer Corporation $25-49 million 16%
79 Sims Fertilizer & Chemical $25-49 million 90 %
80 East Kansas Chemical Co. LLC $25-49 million 87%
81 Great Bend Coop $25-49 million 30 %
82 Warner Fertilizer Co. $25-49 million 6%
83 Delta Growers Association $25-49 million 33%
84 Panhandle Coop $25-49 million 17%
85 Big Valley Ag $25-49 million 52 %
86 Jay-Mar, Inc. $25-49 million 5%
87 Northwest Ag Supply LLC $25-49 million 73%
88 J.B. Pearl Sales & Service, Inc. $25-49 million 22 %
89 Husker Coop $25-49 million 21 %
90 Allerton Supply Co. Less than $25 million 24%
91 Frontier Cooperative Co. Less than $25 million 21%
92 T H Agri-Chemicals, Inc. Less than $25 million 6 %
93 Baltz Feed Company, Inc. Less than $25 million 27 %
94 BEI Hawaii Less than $25 million 30 %
95 Consumers Co-op Association Less than $25 million 26%
96 Foster-Gardner, Inc. Less than $25 million 47 %
97 The Mill Less than $25 million 13 %
98 MPG Crop Services Less than $25 million 60%
99 Woolsey Brothers Farm Supply Inc. Less than $25 million 31%
100 Pendleton Grain Growers Less than $25 million 29 %

The Rich get richer; the poor get poorer, and Tom and Chris just help them right along….

Saw this headline across quite a few feeds this morning…. Can’t say it enough… I told you so….

Do you know the real reason?  It’s 3/4th of the way down.  In case you didn’t know, if you are short on time and just need to skim.  always go to the 3/4ths mark, and you can get the gist of almost anything, in seconds….

“Regarding U.S. same-store sales for the company’s fourth quarter, ending Friday, Wal*mart said it expects sales, excluding fuel, to be “slightly negative” to its earlier guidance of flat sales at Wal*mart stores “

Why are those sales negative?

Chief financial officer Charles Holley said Wal*mart saw a greater-than-expected negative impact from reductions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. The cuts went into effect on Nov. 1.

Then it provides some right wing political cover by also blaming storms… But as anyone will tell you, the excessive buying before a storm overcompensates for the loss of business from the storm, and that storm days are the primary money makers for those selling groceries… (No other food company is blaming storms, it should be noted.)

The economic impact of the Republican decision, and all their attempts to rebuff Democrat’s attempts to keep that SNAP option at a higher rate, is very real. If you owned 10,000 shares of Wal*mart stock, this morning in hours you lost $5,500… All because of Republicans… If your town has a million shares owned by all its citizens who invest in the stock market, your town just lost $550,000 dollars collectively, thanks to Republicans…

Republicans only called out those eating with government money; called them lazy.. and unAmerican. Those seeing the whole picture, were more concerned with how the economy would react… We predicted that some businesses would experience a 10% decline in food sales, matching the 10% decline in food stamps….

Now the recent cut agreed by the House just this week, will cut into that further…

So why is Wal*mart the most affected? The answer is because it is cheaper. If one is receiving SNAP (or Food Stamps) one is already poor and on a tight budget. It makes good sense if one has only $700 to spend a month, to try and get as many calories as possible for that amount of money. The best place to do that is Wal*mart.

Wal*mart did this to themselves. As one of the biggest funders to the Tea Party, Wal*mart is one of the few corporations responsible for putting the Tea Party Republicans in office. Ironic that the Tea Party chose to cost a few Wal*mart executives their jobs, by cutting SNAP… Wal*mart should have lobbyied their friends harder to shelve or vote against it. They and all other grocery chains now, should both advertise to the public and lobby the Senate, NOT to pass the Farm Bill with 8 billion of further cuts to that program….

The damage caused to all of society by not fully funding SNAP is severe compared to the consequences that would occur, if that money was saved by raising taxes on the wealthy….

Retail Food is a huge engine of our economy. Putting water into the gasoline that feeds that sector, will have dire consequences,of which we are beginning to now see. Wal*mart and other grocers need to get on the Hill now, lobby against any SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill, threaten to withdraw funding for all rural conservative candidates,.. or face a rather dismal, ten year slump…..