Sunday, July 14, 2013

Two Stories Strangely Converge – Republicans Want to Make Major Cuts in Food Stamps and Many People Fish in the East River in the South Bronx

Here’s the Story

The omnibus Farm Bill met it well deserved demise in the House a few weeks ago. (It has been resurrected partly by the House so they could vote billions for subsidies for large wealthy farms).  For Republicans who voted against it, their argument was that it spent too much on food stamps and nutritional assistance for low income Americans.  Republicans don’t see hunger and malnutrition as a problem, they see government helping people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition as a problem.

A second piece of news, which was really surprising (Republicans cutting nutrition assistance, not surprising at all) was that a log of people fish the East River in New York City.

Not exactly a Rocky Mountain high, but it does put food on the table.

There is plenty of fish to go around at Barretto Point Park, where many of the regulars are from Puerto Rico and Cuba. They learned to fish in the Caribbean as children, and saw no reason to give it up when they moved north.

They took over a lookout point at the back of the park last fall after the long, gray fishing pier next door was closed for repairs. The fishing was better at the pier, they said, but they did not have much choice. On weekends, the point was so crowded that their lines crossed and tangled. Barefoot children from the playground knocked over poles and peppered them with questions.

Still, the fishermen said they stayed because fishing spots this good were hard to find in the city.

Now eating fish from the East River is problematical, and probably not the healthiest thing to do.  But consider this.

“That fish costs $50 or $60 at the market,” said Mr. Nazario, who retired from a job salvaging auto parts at a nearby junkyard and lives on a fixed monthly income of $600 in Social Security benefits and $200 in food stamps.

And yes, this is a person whom Republicans think is a ‘taker’ and a person who deserves to have his benefits cut.  Why, because they can, that’s why. 

No comments:

Post a Comment