During a government “shutdown,” the first budget items to go unfunded are the ones that benefit the People the most. During the current government “shutdown,” EBT machines are being shut off first, potentially threatening the livelihood of millions of people who barely make enough to afford housing and food. More than 42 million Americans receive assistance from EBT cards because wages are stagnant and there are very few places to get help. For many, wages have not kept up with inflation, the rising cost of education, medical care, housing, and food. A local grocery store in Clay City, Indiana reported the first EBT outage. When the machines stopped taking food stamps, employees thought it was just a technical glitch. They soon found out the machines were shut off due to the government shut down.
Another grocery store in York County, Pennsylvania got new ownership, but was unable to get EBT acceptance because the shutdown occurred before the store re-opened. The new owner pro-actively sent in the application early in December, but couldn’t get approved for EBT because government workers weren’t there to complete the process. Sixteen percent of the customers who shop there use food stamps. These customers will have to come up with credit or cash to get the grocery staples they were once allowed to get with food stamps.
If the government doesn’t re-open by the end of January, many more grocery stores won’t be able to accept food stamps. This will leave the most vulnerable sect of the population at risk. Grocery stores will lose revenue as well, stifling profit margins which are already tight in the grocery business. Food pantries will step up to help out, but it’s a shame that one of the most essential services for human survival will be cut off first, as elite government reps continue to receive salaries and go on expensive vacations.
The elite ruling class has insulated themselves from the struggles that millions of low-income Americans face every day. Government shutdowns prioritize the elite ruling class but cut off programs that help out low income families. Meanwhile the hardest working Americans continue to be taxed as representatives like Nancy Pelosi enjoy a Hawaii vacation during the government shutdown.
When the government is supposedly facing a shut down, the elite ruling class should be impacted first, not low income or hardworking Americans. Only a few reps have decided to forgo their salaries during the shutdown. The first budget items to be cut should be the salaries of the most entitled elites in the ruling class. The government employees that provide essential services should be preserved. The spoiled, overpaid reps such as Chuck Schumer should have their salaries taken and given to those who need food and medical assistance. A government shutdown should never affect the 15 million children living in homes below the poverty line.
Could you imagine what might happen if hundreds of more grocery stores could no longer accept food stamps by the end of the month? If Democrats in the House do not provide funding for National Security, the shutdown will likely continue. Sadly, if the shutdown continues, watch out for more cuts to programs that help those most in need. Stock up on non-perishable items now and prepare. There's no guarantee that everything will work out for the People.