Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), better known as AOC, claimed that a recent Trump administration action on food stamps would have meant starvation for her and her family when she was in college.
Here’s her tweet from Thursday in which she made this dubious claim.
My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48.
I was a student. If this happened then, we might’ve just starved.
Now, many people will.
It’s shameful how the GOP works overtime to create freebies for the rich while dissolving lifelines of those who need it most. https://t.co/WOrYvhfPj4
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2019
The Daily Signal, a publication of the conservative Heritage Foundation, set her straight in its own tweet.
Among other points, it noted that her claim “is simply not true.”
The change only applies to able-bodied people between 18-49 without dependents—not to parents with minor children, the elderly, or the disabled. pic.twitter.com/PkWgWICGvz
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) December 6, 2019
Others made the same point in their tweets.
Create “freebies” for the rich @AOC? You and your radical, socialist crew believe the Forgotten men and women, every day middle-class Americans are the “rich”. Tax relief for hard working Americans is hardly a “freebie” 😂
— Catalina Lauf (R IL-14) Candidate US Congress (@CatalinaLauf) December 6, 2019
Given that the former bartender, a member of Congress for about a year, has derided “facts” as a basis for reasoning, this is another example of those pesky facts getting in the way of her conclusions.
But that didn’t stop her political allies from rushing to also call out the Trump administration.
Said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), “This administration is out of touch with families who are struggling to make ends meet by working seasonal jobs or part-time jobs with unreliable hours,” according to the Associated Press.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also criticized the administration’s new move in a public statement, “Instead of combating food insecurity for millions, connecting workers to good-paying jobs or addressing income inequality, the administration is inflicting their draconian rule on millions of Americans across the nation who face the highest barriers to employment and economic stability.”
The Trump administration fought back clearly and firmly.
“We’re taking action to reform our SNAP [food stamp] program in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program,” as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters on Wednesday.
“Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. That’s the commitment behind SNAP, but, like other welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life,” he also said.
The program merely restores many of the welfare-to-work provisions of the Clinton administration’s 1996 welfare reform legislation.
Many of those measures had been diminished or abolished altogether by the Obama administration.
By any accounting, multigenerational welfare dependency is a plague on this country and especially on its poorest citizens.
The consistent reliance on what is supposed to be a temporary aid program has cast inner-city families and rural communities into the abyss of relying on government — not their own efforts — for daily sustenance.
It also drains the coffers of the taxpayer-funded social safety net of funding that could be used for other, more deserving projects.
The United States has always been a compassionate country. Our social legislation reflects that.
However, it is not compassionate to sentence families to the deadening effects of government dependency.
It is, in reality, shortsighted and cruel.
Even the Democrats should know better.