@_hunger_ – Gov.

Tom Corbett's Asset Test Will Hurt Children and Seniors the Most Dustin Cassell 1/21/2011
“But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Beginning on May 1st, 2012, an estimated 40,000 Pennsylvanians will unsuspectingly and abruptly lose their SNAP (food stamp) benefits. While many states have been busy working to help their residents by eliminating the archaic federal asset test, Gov. Tom Corbett and his administration has decided to do the opposite. Under the ruling to receive SNAP benefits, households must possess less than $2,000 in assets, or less than $3,250 for households with a senior or person with a disability. According the Philadelphia Inquirer, homes, retirement funds, and a household's first car would not be counted in the asset test. A second car with a value over $4,650 would however be counted. This is devastating news to low-income families that rely on SNAP to feed their families. Consider an average American family: a man, woman, and two children–in a household of this size $2,000 in assets accumulates relatively quickly. With a small saving account for college (some states such as Michigan do no count educational saving in their asset test), a computer, a TV, perhaps a second car, a small amount of money in the checking account to pay bills, and voila! The family has already exceeded the $2,000 allotted in the asset test. As noted above, many states were busy doing away with their asset tests to make it easier for families to receive temporary help if they lost their job, had an unexpected illness, etc. A report from the Food Research and Action Center in 2010 showed that 20 states had asset tests, while a similar report from 2011 showed that number had dropped to 13 due to the recession and high unemployment rates. 3 of the current 13 states allow households to have assets totaling a more reasonable $5,000 to receive SNAP (Nebraska actually allows up to $25,000). Still, with exponentially increasing income inequality in America, and a large percentage of families already living from paycheck to paycheck, the asset test will only do more harm than good. Sure the state's budget is stressed, but is this really where PA should make cuts? Why slash a program where over 75% of the participants are families with children, and one-quarter are seniors? In fact, it seems Gov. Tom Corbett is waging an all out war against people in need. In 2011, despite protests and petitions, the governor still cut $900 million dollars in educational funds to grade-schools, and over $200 million to higher-education. Yet, the governor who received nearly $1 million dollars in campaign funds from gas drilling companies continued to oppose any tax on gas drilling companies, and even contended the tax would unfairly harm the gas industry which has done so much for the state. Somehow those companies which could ill afford to pay taxes still managed to find the money for Corbett's campaign. But like many government pundits, Corbett did the only rational thing when faced with a deficit, he lowered corporate tax rates while wildly butchering education and now food aid. President Franklin D. Roosevelt first initiated the food stamp program, and he once stated that

economic laws are not made by nature, rather they are made by human beings. People may not be starving, but without SNAP, hunger would grow. Gov. Tom Corbett continues to make unpopular laws, unfairly punishing low-income families, children, seniors, and students. Collectively we need to let the governor know that we are not in favor of his actions, and his corrupt politics. People can write, call, and e-mail the governor's office at Governor's Office 225 Main Capitol Building Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120 (717) 787-2500 Governor@pa.gov Philabundance also has a form which makes it quick and easy to write to the governor, check it out at http://www.philabundance.org/protectsnap I'd also encourage people to go several steps further and air their voices on his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/corbettforgov and to contact their local representatives. Since August of 2011, 88,000 children lost their Medicare benefits, and now 40,000 households–mostly families with children will wake up on May 1st to find out they will no longer receive SNAP benefits. At a time when America most needs leaders like President Roosevelt, we continue to elect corrupt politicians that could care less about the people. Gov. Tom Corbett is up for re-election in 2014, and the time is now to let him know his chances of being re-elected are quickly vanishing. Follow us on: – – – Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Sources: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – Policy Basics: Introduction to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2226 Food Research and Action Center – 2010 Map http://www.frac.org/pdf/map_eliminating_asset_test.pdf – 2011 Map http://frac.org/newsite/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/map_eliminating_asset_test.pdf Huffington Post – Tom Corbett's Proposed Higher-Education Cuts Draw Protests http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/10/tom-corbetts-proposed-hig_n_834342.html Philadelphia Inquirer – Pennsylvania to impose asset test for food stamps http://articles.philly.com/2012-01-10/news/30612157_1_food-stamps-supplemental-nutritionassistance-program-federal-poverty-level The Times Tribune – Food stamps asset test condemned as 'idiotic, heartless' http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/food-stamps-asset-test-condemned-as-idiotic-heartless1.1256186#axzz1kA3K6eJu ThinkProgress – Pennsylvania Slashes 88,000 Children from Medicare http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/01/17/405354/pennsylvania-slashes-88000-children-frommedicaid-rolls/

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