The “Heart” of America? Don’t Count on It

“A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilisation.” –Samuel Johnson


What kind of subhuman shits would starve people just to stay in power, just to gain a few more votes? The war on the poor and on minorities may be undeclared, barely, but it’s pretty obvious around here. So a story like this is no surprise really. Hell, it is more surprising that Ohio’s Republicans aren’t bragging about it. Maybe I missed the memos.


Folk singer John Gorka tells us –


“I’m from New Jersey

It’s like Ohio

But even more so

Imagine that”


If true, may the gods help New Jersey!



Gov. Kasich waives food stamp time limit for rural whites, forces urban minorities to go hungry

Daily Kos * Tue Sep 22, 2015 at 01:01 PM PDT

by Josie Duffy

In 1996, Congress passed a bill putting a time limit on food stamp access for those in need.

The law forbade “Healthy, childless adults” from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for more than three months in a three-year period, unless they had a job or were in a training program for 20 hours or more per week. Then-Congressman, now-presidential candidate and Gov. John Kasich co-sponsored the bill.

It was the first time Congress had implemented such a time limit, and the impact was extreme: About 1 million people would lose food stamp access under this law. When lawmakers pushed back, an important exception was added to “allow states to seek time-limit waivers for areas with especially high unemployment.”

As governor of Ohio, Kasich has taken advantage of those time-limit waivers himself. While hypocritical—it was his idea to limit food stamps, after all—his use of the waivers is not the problem.


The problem is how his administration distributes them. According to Mother Jones:

block quote

“Ohio civil rights groups and economic analysts say Kasich’s administration is using the waivers unequally: It applies for waivers in some regions of the state but refuses them in others, in a pattern that has disproportionately protected white communities and hurt minority populations.”!block quote end
In 2013, the state unemployment rate and economy were so bad that the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services had the opportunity to receive a time-limit waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This would have been the seventh year in a row that the whole state had been eligible for and received it.

But the governor rejected the waiver for two years for most of the counties in the state. Only 16 counties’ waivers were accepted, mostly rural areas where the population is sparse and white, while “urban counties and cities, most of which had high minority populations” did not receive a waiver.

It’s not quite clear how the governor picked these 16 counties to receive waivers. But the demographics are interesting. In Ohio, 75 percent of black residents live in just eight counties—none of which got a waiver, even though they have higher unemployment rates than some of the counties that received waivers. Mother Jones reports:

block quoteBy January—the three-month mark where those without waivers began losing their food stamps if they couldn’t meet the work requirement—it had become clear that the policy had spawned a stark racial disparity in food aid. Across the 16 counties the state had selected for waivers, about 94 percent of food stamp recipients were white. Overall in Ohio in December 2013—immediately before the new policy’s effects began to surface—food stamp recipients were 65 percent white.

By March 2014, six months into the new system, the six counties with the highest rate of terminating food stamps for able-bodied, childless adults were all counties populated mostly by minorities.

block quote end

All this in a place where everyone could have utilized SNAP benefits. After all, Ohio is one of the worst food security states in the nation, ranking sixth overall. Instead of helping solve this problem, Gov. Kasich has allowed rural white communities–his base –to receive food stamps, while discriminating against minority communities and forcing them to go hungry.


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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7 Responses to The “Heart” of America? Don’t Count on It

  1. I would imagine the number of unemployed childless adults in rural Ohio is quite small. Most people flock to the city when they become unemployed – it’s their only hope of accessing basic services. I’m also skeptical that unemployed rural whites are any more likely to vote than unemployed urban minorities. Both groups tend to sit out elections because they’ve given up on politicians doing anything to improve their lives.

    • Good points! Sensibly enough, that’s all too true. So … what’s the point then? Simple spite? Pretended “compassionate conservatism”? Forcing city folks to take the low-wage jobs the austerity-mongers are so proud of “creating”? Whatever the deal, we know helping anyone is incidental to the whole system. And someone somewhere is making extra money at peoples’ expense. Thanks for your comment. – Linda

  2. Reblogged this on The Secular Jurist and commented:
    This fine post includes link to “Gov. Kasich waives food stamp time limit for rural whites, forces urban minorities to go hungry”

  3. sojourner says:

    Knowing what this low-life is (like all the rest), this is not a surprise. It’s disgusting and criminal, but not a surprise.

    Years ago, a friend was a paid staff member for Kasich’s first campaign for senate. Bill was a staunch conservative, but he couldn’t deal with Kasich. Bill quit the campaign, and when asked why, he told us, “I could no longer put up with his lying and cheating.”

    • Sojourner, And they wonder why we’re cynical! Well, I may still not be cynical enough, I’m always startled by how very obvious and brazen these fine folks are in their lying, cheating, stealing and destruction. Not to mention how damned much of it they get away with.
      One of my uncles worked for the Birchers (yes, it’s like having a pedophile in the family, but what can you do?) and he started out (early 1980s maybe?) hyping Kasich no end. Then suddenly the whole spiel changed, and he never had another good word for him. Of course, I was never sure what was his honest opinion, and what was the party line for their big donors. He once said he’d vote for Jesse Jackson sooner than vote for Bush I. I took that as hyperbole, but who knows? Thanks for your comment! – Linda

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