Jonathan Harris goes on Food Stamps

For the past three weeks, I learned from The Associated Press, West Hartford’s own Sen. Jonathan Harris has been limiting his intake to what he can afford on Food Stamps.

Here’s what he said:

“On the spiritual side, when I did eat, I was more present,” said Connecticut state Sen. Jonathan Harris, D-West Hartford, who just finished three weeks on food stamp funds. “Usually I’m watching TV, shoveling things in, not thinking that I am blessed.”
Harris said he’s lucky to have a car to get to a grocery store and a kitchen in which to prepare food. And like {Oregon Gov.] Kulongoski will have to do, he had to resist the free goodies at state receptions and business lunches.
The experience has helped him as a policy maker, Harris said, in discussions such as whether to expand the earned-income tax credit in Connecticut.
“I personally felt how a few extra hundred dollars in the bank to supplement my nutrition would make a major difference in my life,” he said.

Now this is fascinating. I suggest we put the whole General Assembly on Food Stamps, and keep doing it for a few months. It’d be eye-opening, except for Fairfield County’s delegation, who would all cheat.



Filed under Earned income tax credit, Food Stamps, Jonathan Harris, Politics, West Hartford

11 responses to “Jonathan Harris goes on Food Stamps

  1. Yeah, not only that they ought to exist on medical care provided by Medicaid as well.
    On second thought maybe they all ought to be taught what it is like to have a “real job”.

  2. turtle

    But can you use Food Stamps at Whole Foods?

  3. Joe Visconti

    There but for the Grace of God go I

  4. Rick Liftig

    If you haven’t read it, may I recommend the title, “Nickle and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich.

    Consider how you would make ends meet on a minimum wage job – $7.20 per hour x 40 hr week x 50 weeks = $14,400/yr. Add in a child. Is there health insurance through your job? etc.

    Most likely, if you are reading this you have been blessed with prosperity and riches (even if you don’t feel rich). You only need walk across the border to Hartford to see the incredible difficulty in getting ahead from a position of poverty.

    I’ll echo Joe’s comment: There but for the grace of God go I.

  5. Not A Rich Guy In WH

    I read the book.. yeah people get screwed sometimes.. That’s why they ought to make sure they get well educated so they can get a decent job.
    More in government handouts doesn’t solve the problem.. Scripture also says that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish. The state would do better to provide more job training, help with education towards a degree, and job placement than to dole out more money in food stamps.

  6. Joe Visconti

    The United States Agriculture Department is involved with our Food Stamp Program, if you do some research you will find the FED gets involved because of all the subsidy’s it pays farmers not to plant or to bury their crops. So much for social engineering and the Land of Opportunity.
    At the end of the day the people must eat, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics can not feed children and mothers in need.
    Do unto others buddy!

  7. Ryan

    Not a rich guy –

    “Scripture also says that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish…” You have got to be kidding. Cite the chapter and verse and I’ll buy you a fish dinner at the Oyster Bar. Hell, I’ll even cover Joe’s tab for the night.

  8. Not A Rich Guy

    hahaha – did I say Scripture.. that’s funny – I meant Ancient Chinese saying. Anyway.. the proverb still stands.. and rather than argue the origination of the thought, it really does make more sense to teach those to help themselves (i.e. find meaningful employment) rather than make people dependent on government handouts for an extended period of time.
    Senator Harris is to be commended for his actions though, and desiring to see what it is like to walk in anothers shoes (which is yet another old saying).
    Ryan – why don’t you take Joe out for dinner anyway?

  9. Peter G

    Who do these people think they are, getting government handouts anyway? Do they think they’re people or something?

    Not in America. In our system of government we have a very effective technique for determining who is a person and who is not. It goes like this:

    First look at the person’s skin color and observe what language they speak. If the answer is 1) white and 2) english, then proceed to step two.

    Step two: if they can guarantee that they don’t need government handouts, then they qualify as a person entitled to be spoken of respectfully and treated with a modicum of dignity.

    Of course we also have to define “government handout.” For these purposes, a government handout does not include, for example, 1) a tax break for your business, 2) federal financial aid for your children to go to college, or 3) unemployment for those 26 weeks after you were downsized out of your white collar management job in the insurance industry.

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