Republican Maine governor Paul LePage has come under criticism for his attempt to rein in what he believes to be excesses in the SNAP (or food stamp) program. LePage has put in restrictions that bans individuals in this program from purchasing any taxable items.
While this originally meant to focus on items such as soda or sweets, the new restrictions also ban bulk items that could be considered taxable, such as deli meats, pickles and spaghetti sauce.
LePage’s critics around the country are especially outraged about the fact that he’s made a habit of what they perceive as attacking the poor, considering he grew up in modest surroundings. They believe such circumstances should provide him with empathy for other individuals who are struggling financially.
LePage, who was re-elected in 2014, has claimed that welfare and food stamp fraud was the basis for these moves, and that such actions hurt the economic climate in Maine.
However, once again, LePage’s critics charge that doing this will offer little help in improving the job climate within the state. Presently, Maine ranks 45th in job creation in the United States, while tax revenue that could help bolster the budget is instead being redistributed to his wealthy backers in the form of tax cuts.
LePage’s other perceived attacks on the poor came through his refusal to expand Medicaid, which would allow what’s known as the “Medicaid Gap” to be filled in by making affected individuals eligible for both federal subsidies as well as general assistance