In her June 22 newsletter our congresswoman celebrates the House’s passage of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. The first 20 percent of the newsletter describes a standard, needed and delayed Farm Bill; but the remaining 80 percent is a spin-laden description of modifications to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Shorn of cosmetic phrases like “sensible reforms” and “help get them back into the workforce,” the letter informs us that work requirements will be imposed on SNAP recipients. Given its “work or you don’t eat” provision, the bill’s honest name would be “Agriculture and Nutrition Reduction Act of 2018.”
The most troubling phrase in the newsletter would be benign and truthful if it were removed from the context of required work: a job “gives each person dignity and purpose - the opportunity for a better life.” But used as it is here, to patronize and humiliate SNAP recipients, it echoes a German phrase with exactly the same meaning, “Arbeit macht frei,” infamously and cruelly posted over concentration camp entrances in World War II.
Our congresswoman’s moral compass is broken. She is deaf to the cries of the unfortunate for humane and dignified treatment.
William F. Siems