With the federal budget battle rolling into a second week, the strain of a funding deadlock has only heightened the differences in priority between the general public and their supposed custodians in the capitol.
Several stories have surfaced of spiteful attempts to inflict pain and inconvenience, needlessly closing voluntarily funded venues and unsupervised open-air attractions. When pushed, the federal government doesn’t bother masquerading the true intention of those in power.
As Nathan Goodman recently observed, “[W]hile government cuts back on helping poor Americans afford food, they are not letting up on their numerous interventions that keep poor and working people impoverished.”
Military arms dealers like Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the absurdly over-budget F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, announced that 3,000 jobs could be furloughed since government inspectors like those at the Fort Worth plant wouldn’t be available to oversee assembly. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel cut the reprieve short, reclassifying the inspectors as “essential” to clear them for work.
Meanwhile as the political farce lingers on, low-income families are having a difficult time finding enough to eat. According to CBS 11, about 40 percent of deliveries to the North Texas Food Bank, the largest supplier to food pantries in the area, have been halted or run the risk of being canceled this month. The shelves at many pantries are already at troubling lows because of a summer of steep demand.
For residents feeling the strain, there are local charity food clubs like The Joseph Storehouse available to help.
“My fear is that if we don’t get something by the end of this month then our whole pantry may be shut down from what we normally serve,” said Minnie’s Food Pantry founder Cheryl Jackson. As Washinngton has demonstrated, this isn’t happenstance. They drive out or encumber local relief programs, leaving needy families in limbo. And when squeezed, Washington’s genuine beneficiaries still get their slice.