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NATIONAL
October 15, 2013 | By David Horsey
Most Republican members of Congress claim to believe in Jesus Christ, but their votes against the food stamp program suggest they do not share their lord and savior's love for the poor. In September, House Republicans sent a bill to the Senate that would cut $40 billion from funding for the food stamp program over the next decade. The tea party caucus, a group that is quite evangelical about its economic theories and its religion, justified the spending reduction in terms that echoed Ayn Rand more than the Gospels.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Facing the prospect of a prolonged federal government shutdown, Gov. Jerry Brown will soon need to decide if the state will shoulder the cost to keep running federal programs used by millions of Californians. State officials say there's no guarantee that critical social services in California - such as food stamps, subsidized school meals and nutrition assistance for pregnant women and infants - could run without interruption in November. The Brown administration has not yet said if it plans to plug the gaps for social programs at the end of the month.
NEWS
October 1, 2013 | By David Lauter
Government agencies have shut down because Congress has failed to pass the necessary money bills, known as appropriations, needed to keep them open. What's the impact? Q: Will mail delivery and post offices keep operating as usual? A: Yes. The Postal Service is a quasi-independent entity and does not depend on annual appropriations, so its business will continue as usual. Q: How about Social Security, Medicare and Medi-Cal? A: Those programs will also continue, with checks being sent out as normal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2013 | By Gale Holland
Los Angeles has the highest poverty rate among California counties, according to a new analysis announced Monday that upends traditional views of rural and urban hardship by adding factors such as the soaring price of city housing. The measurement, developed by researchers with the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, found that 2.6 million, or 27%, of Los Angeles County residents lived in poverty in 2011. The official poverty rate for the county, based on the U.S. Census' 2011 American Community Survey, is 18%. The new analysis set California's poverty rate at 22%, the highest in the nation, compared with the official rate of 16%. Counties such as Placer and Sacramento, with more moderate housing costs, have lower poverty rates than those of metropolitan areas, researchers said.
OPINION
September 21, 2013
In some political circles, food stamp recipients are portrayed as prone to fraud, too entitled to work or living too comfortably at taxpayers' expense. Some Times readers couldn't disagree more. Those who sent us letters to the editor this week were almost unanimous in their opposition to the Republican-controlled House's vote to pass a spending cut that would remove nearly 4 million Americans from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, which provides aid to families and individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have significant trouble paying for food.
NATIONAL
September 20, 2013 | By David Horsey
Since the economic disaster of 2008 sent incomes spinning downward and the jobless rate shooting upward, at least one group of Americans has found a path back to prosperity: the top 1%. Over the last four years, the super-rich have been able to rake in 95% of all income gains.  That's right, according to a new study by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, while the number of poor Americans has risen and members of the middle class...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
Cool guy, that new pope. Wish those House Republicans would spend some time studying the interview Pope Francis gave to the Italian Jesuit journal La Civita Cattolica that was published online by America, a U.S.-based Jesuit publication. They might learn a few things about compassion, priorities and how to be real Christians. Francis thinks the church, to its detriment, is “obsessed” with its battles against abortion, gay marriage and contraception. “The teaching of the church is clear,” he said.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Let's visit again with Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, who distinguished himself a few months back by making it into Rep. George Miller's Hall of Hypocrites by pocketing millions in farm subsidies for his family farm while acting to slash food stamp benefits for the poor. This week, the House of Representatives voted again on food stamps. LaMalfa voted with the Republican majority to cut $40 billion from the program over 10 years. That would be devastating, if the Senate concurred.
NATIONAL
September 19, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans narrowly approved deep reductions to the food stamp program Thursday that would reduce or eliminate benefits for nearly 4 million Americans, setting up an all but certain showdown with the Senate. GOP leaders yielded to conservative demands to make austere cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after lawmakers rejected an earlier proposal as part of the usually popular farm bill . Leaders separated the food stamp provision from the farm-subsidy legislation to ensure both bills would pass.
BUSINESS
September 17, 2013 | By Shan Li
Panera Bread Chief Executive Ron Shaich can afford to eat just about anywhere. But for one week the millionaire is shelling out no more than $4.50 a day as part of an effort to see how people on food stamps live. Called the SNAP challenge, the experiment involves buying food using only what a family would receive on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp program. Shaich, who is blogging about the experience on the career site LinkedIn, is taking up the cause just as the House of Representatives is set to take up a proposal that could cut SNAP funding by $40 billion over the next decade.
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