It is no secret that Republicans and Democrats have been battling over the sequester, or general cuts in government spending. It appears that Democrats and Republicans will not come to a conclusion to prevent the sequester, and drastic budget cuts will be implemented across the board.
These cuts are threatening to harm the poorest of Americans, which is a shamefully large group considering that the United States is the wealthiest country in the world. An estimated 50 million Americans currently live without secure access to food. Many parents work minimum-wage jobs and receive food stamps, but are still unable to support their families with sufficient food and housing. These Americans rely on government aid in order to make ends meet for themselves and their children, even in a time of constant threats of austerity measures, or reductions in government programs to avoid deficit.
The budget cuts would eliminate 600,000 people from the Women, Infant, and Children food program, and could cause a reduction of $4.5 billion from the program responsible for providing food stamps. The budget cuts threaten to dramatically hinder thousands of Americans’ abilities to access food. It could also harm those who have insecure access to housing by cutting 100,000 families from housing assistance. Clearly, the sequester threatens the most vulnerable of American families.
The United States government has a responsibility to ensure that its citizens do not go hungry. Congress members, and specifically Republicans, are rating the essential needs of thousands of citizens as a secondary priority by cutting the funding directly responsible for feeding the hungry as a political tactic.
These spending cuts are in no way necessary. The national budget could be improved by decreasing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies, raising taxes on high-income households, and cutting military spending. It is more important to ensure that our fellow Americans are able to feed their children than for us to put money back into the pockets of the wealthy or pay for weapons. It is our responsibility as Americans to demand that the United States government make the basic welfare of its citizens an absolute priority.