Ernie Dumas provides another useful analysis today (we’re having Google problems today, I’ve removed link and posted whole column on jump) tying historic political events — Ronald Reagan’s racially incendiary use of “welfare queens” and “young bucks” dining on T-bones as a metaphor to rouse the Southern base — to current events. Current events being the Arkansas Republican House delegation’s war on food stamps, notably Club for Growth Rep. Tom Cotton’s nuclear attack to separate food security from the farm bill so it may be killed.
Ernie recites, as I have, the huge dependency on nutritional aid by Arkansas people of all races and in particularly significant numbers in the impoverished regions of congressional districts of people like Tom Cotton and Republican Rep. Rick Crawford.
But let’s localize the composition of hunger relief. About 500,000 Arkansans—17 percent of us—get food stamps. Most are white, three-fourths are poor children, a third are in families with an elderly or disabled person, and 41 percent are in families of people who have jobs that just pay too little for food security. Nearly all have incomes well below the federal poverty line.
In Cotton’s lily-white (one percent black) Yell County, where he claims to farm, one in every four people gets food stamps, $9 a day on average. In Congressman Rick Crawford’s Fulton County (only two-tenths of one percent black), it is one in three.
Whom do they vote for? Why do you ask? Cotton and Crawford.