Happy tax day!
But perhaps you hate tax day. Perhaps you want much lower taxes. Well, then you better be willing to face up to choices like the one the House GOP made on Monday.
Illinois Department of Revenue office associate Arline Williams processes 2011 income tax forms in the Document Control and Deposit Division at the Illinois Department of Revenue April 16. (Seth Perlman – AP)House Republicans think the Pentagon is in trouble. Under current law — which includes the “sequester” that Democrats and Republicans agreed to in the debt-ceiling deal — it’s scheduled to take more than $500 billion in cuts over the next 10 years. Republicans are desperately trying to find alternative savings. And, on Monday, they named one of them: Cuts to food stamps.
“An average family of four would face an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1 and, even more important, tighter enforcement of rules would require that households exhaust most of their liquid assets before qualifying for help,” reports David Rogers. “This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, who would be forced off the rolls until they have spent down their savings to less than $2,000 in many cases.”
Republicans argue that the food stamp program has been expanded in recent years, and they’re just cutting President Obama’s hammock back down to a safety net. Democrats reply that the food stamp program has been expanded because the economy crashed, and, by the way, the Pentagon’s budget has grown by far more than the food stamp program in recent decades.