What if you learned that a group of domestic troublemakers was planning to destabilize the U.S. economy and invite ruinous hardship on millions of Americans, mainly women, children, the disabled and the elderly? What if you discovered that their plan was to increase unemployment, hunger, homelessness, poverty and poor health? To slow local economies still reeling from a sluggish (or nonexistent) recovery, and push deprivation to Third World levels? Would you sit idly by and let this happen? Or would you fight back?
We suspect that most Americans would do what they could to oppose this scheme. Unfortunately, this nightmare scenario is not a fictional plot. The subversive plan in question is the House Republicans’ stated goal of cutting $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, traditionally referred to as food stamps, over the next 10 years.
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Ferguson is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Borasky is chair of the Department of Social Work, Sociology and Criminology at St. Edward’s University. Harding is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Connecticut.