The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News

Opinion

September 24, 2013

Food stamp debate should be about jobs

Republicans in Congress want to cut food stamps, eliciting the usual uproar from the left about callous conservatives who hate the poor. Their anger is misplaced.

It should be aimed at the government whose policies have resulted in the slowest recovery in 70 years, forcing many out of the labor market and onto various types of government aid. But they are often too blinded by ideology to see the big picture.

The Guardian, for example, the British paper that broke the Edward Snowden spy scandal, ran a column by intern Andy Fitzgerald who said he had to go on food stamps to survive before landing his job at the paper. Fitzgerald, a college graduate, said, “For nearly 8 months, I was unable to secure opportunities that weren’t sporadic or temporary, making it difficult to pay rent and buy food.” He used the article to harangue the GOP about how not just freeloaders use the help, but “many hardworking people from a variety of backgrounds.”

No one is disputing that. There have always been people who can’t find work, like Fitzgerald, and those who won’t work, who are on public assistance. The ratio varies depending on the state of the economy. The real issue is the one he brought up first – jobs, which are so hard to come by that many people have stopped looking for one. As James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation wrote earlier this month, “In addition to persistently high unemployment, labor force participation has fallen sharply since the recession began in December 2007. Today, 5.7 million fewer Americans are working or looking for work. This drop accounts for virtually the entire reduction of the unemployment rate since 2009 — those not looking for work do not count as unemployed.”

If there aren’t jobs, more people will need government assistance in an ever-growing unvirtuous cycle that makes government bigger specifically because of its incompetence.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook