Target: Congressman Stephen Fincher
Goal: Denounce Fincher’s attacks on the poor and his plans to cut food stamps
Republican Congressman and Tea Party darling Stephen Fincher is on a crusade against the poorest and most vulnerable people in the United States. The representative from Tennessee recently slammed the federal safety net program that supplies food stamps to the poorest Americans in need while quoting the Old Testament: “he who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” Fincher’s implication that those on food stamps are unwilling to work and would rather leech off the government dole is a perversion of the facts of the issue. In reality, over 45% of food stamp recipients are children too young to work, while 41% are working but below the poverty line and almost 10% are above the retirement age. With these statistics, plus the national unemployment rate of over 7% and the ratio of about three unemployed people for every open job, it’s clear that Fincher’s smear of food stamp recipients as “unwilling to work” cannot apply to the vast majority of that group.
Not only are Fincher’s remarks callous and false, but they also reveal a stunning level of hypocrisy. Back in his 2010 congressional campaign (centered on small government and less pork), critics pointed out that Fincher (a farmer with a family inheritance of 3,000 acres of farmland) had been the recipient of more than $3 million in farm subsidies from the federal government. Farm subsidies form a large portion of governmental entitlement spending, a fact which makes Fincher’s campaign to vastly reduce food stamps and other welfare spending all the more reprehensible.
Contrary to what Fincher and his ilk seem to believe, food stamps provide only a very small amount of money (about $40 a week per person) to those in the most desperate need. If Rep. Fincher were unfortunate enough to suffer a great financial loss and end up in destitution, he would find out firsthand the importance of the food stamp program for which he has so little regard, and the plight of the people for whom he has so little compassion. Please sign the petition below to remind Fincher of this fact, condemn his hypocrisy, and demand that he withdraw his support for severe cuts to food stamps.
Dear Representative Stephen Fincher:
Contrary to your recent assertions, food stamp benefits are crucial aid to the poorest families in the United States. The majority of those benefits go to the working poor or those who cannot find work through no fault of their own. In addition, you have displayed blatant hypocrisy by attacking government aid to the poor while your multimillionaire family has accepted $3 million from the government. In such a severe economic crisis, it is only decent for the government to aid the very poor to prevent them from literally starving; if entitlement spending cuts are necessary, the sort that you have received should be very high on the list.
Rep. Fincher, your remarks about the recipients of food stamps were as callous and cruel as they were inaccurate and hypocritical. Apologize for your remarks and withdraw your plans to greatly reduce food stamp benefits.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: KayVee.INC via Flickr