I never knew this.
"You're probably familiar with the food stamp program which grew from
$35 billion in 2008 to $75 billion last year. But did you know that
getting food stamps also makes you eligible for a free government cell
"...Universal Service Charge"
"...And the freebies won't end with basic calling service. As part of
the effort to extend broadband, the FCC has been discussing making
broadband service part of the Lifeline program. In other words,
taxpayers could soon be paying for smartphone features on these free
"phone stamps" costing $2.1 Billion Per Year.
And for all the furor the Washington Post and others make over farm
payments, crop insurance subsidies, etc., the _total_ of all direct farm
payments and subsidies is only about 15% of the USDA budget. Another
6-7% is USDA Forest Service while the remaining nearly 80% is for social
services going to urban population centers.
Very big sigh...
"If you eat, you're involved in agriculture."
Which greatly benefits the food industry. Who spends an inordinate amount
of money lobbying the government to include their products in the approved
list. Recall the dust up over classing ketchup as a vegetable?
72% of the USDA budget goes to WIC and SNAP food programs that apply
nationwide, not just urban centers. This has become increasingly
important over the years since real household income in the US has
decreased by more than 7% since 1999. Low income households have seen
an even higher decrease of real income - down over 12%. In short,
America is becoming poorer. Thus, more people need assistance to get
by. And as we all know, rural areas generally have it worse than urban
areas in terms of income and job opportunities.
For that reason, USDA has special programs in place to fight rural
poverty and assist rural communities - for instance, by providing
mortgage assistance to eligible persons living in rural areas, and
business loans to eligible rural small businesses.
Henry Ford knew the answer to this dilemma, and the US successfully
implemented his solution for many decades, but the conservative right
now believes that paying a fair wage for a fair days work is unfair to
the corporations. Thus the decline in wages and household incomes. You
wanna turn America around? Pay people more. More money in the
citizens' pockets means more investment in the community, where it
improves the overall standard of living.
Every farmer knows that the trickle-down theory is a hoax. You want
your crops to grow, you put the food and water where it makes the most
difference - at the roots. Growth comes from the bottom up, not the
From each their ability, to each their wants and needs....
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