Here is the video from public testimony on the SNAP bill, thanks to Iowa Starting Line. The second audio clip is from Senator Janice Weiner, D-IA, from Johnson County.
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“Exploitation, plus arithmetic equals poverty” says Anne Bacon, the director of IMPACT Community Action Partnership, our featured guest in this episode. Her organization serves central Iowans with the mission of reducing barriers and burdens that families in poverty experience. Bacon’s passion is fueled by her understanding of poverty from her lived experience.
The title of our podcast series is What the hell happened to Iowa? Today we focus on the most vulnerable in our state, and the impact current proposed legislation will have on our neighbors.
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, otherwise known as SNAP, takes center stage. It would require the poorest among us to go through even more hoops, to get assistance for their children, at an expected administrative cost increase to the state of over four times what it currently costs. The recipients are not the mythical ‘welfare queen’ but rather a vast majority are children, people with disabilities, and an estimated 34,000 elderly.
As for the arithmetic, it doesn’t add up - unless it does. And by that, we mean, targeting the poorest among us is a vote-getting technique. Hate for the poor is a powerful motivator, especially when used to draw attention away from the decline of funding for public schools, disappearing health care at the same time there is a huge increase in cancer diagnosis in the state. And taking away a woman’s right to an abortion, even from rape induced pregnancy, is a top priority by this governor and the legislators all falling in line to do her bidding.
Younger Iowans with families are reportedly fleeing, businesses can no longer attract executives to the state because of the promise of Iowa’s pride in Iowa schools, and children who are in the maturation process of discovering their own identities are being bullied by adults who are making bank on the belief that they can make other adults believe they are an evil freak of nature. Damn the consequences.
The far right turn of politics in Iowa is a part of what the hell happened to Iowa.
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Julie Gammack and Rekha Basu
More on the topic:
Todd Dorman, Cedar Rapids Gazette: ‘People need food to be alive.’ Iowa GOP isn’t so sure.
More about the anti SNAP legislation, from Ty Rushing, and Iowa Starting Line.
We are delighted to be included in a new effort lead by Robert L. Leonard, called the Iowa Podcasters Collaborative. Watch us grow, pop those earbuds in and take a listen: