Represent us all
To the Editor: Earlier this year, the Census Bureau released data showing that one in seven Americans lives below the poverty line. Regardless of the results of the election, we need to make sure that our government is representing all of us. This means we need to protect our safety-net programs.
Anti-poverty programs have allowed millions of Americans to move out of poverty. One example of a safety-net program is SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Some people choose to not support safety-net programs such as SNAP because they are under the assumption that most people fraudulently use it (and do not deserve it) and that it costs taxpayers too much money.
However, half of SNAP recipients are children (who benefit the most from this program). In fact, 83 percent of all SNAP benefits go to a household with a child, senior, or disabled person. In terms of cost, SNAP is an incredibly small fraction of government spending, especially in comparison to other programs and departments. Maybe our first thought should be to help others in need instead of scrutinizing and shaming them. I call on our newly elected officials to help preserve these safety-net programs and ensure that all Americans have their basic needs met.