Food stamps are one of the few safety nets that help Americans put food on their table when jobs and money are scarce. With one in five Americans depending on food stamps, it is easy to see how much strain it puts on the economic reserves of our country.

But axing food stamps is not – and never will be – beneficial to us as a whole.

We have to realize that not all of us have access to stable jobs that can put money on the table. No matter how prosperous we think of ourselves, poverty and unemployment are very real troubles facing our country.

But what if food stamps are indeed axed? What if conservatives get their way and food stamps go the way of cash welfare back in 1996?

The answer to this question depends on one thing and one thing alone: employment opportunities. Food stamps and any form of government aid will be completely if everyone – even the disabled – have access to jobs that pay enough to provide for a decent living.

That is the exact problem here – there aren’t enough jobs out there, no matter how hard conservatives insist there are. At this point in time, taking away food stamps is like taking away food from those who are starving. This “reverse robin hood” move will ultimately take more from the poor and give to the rich in the form of tax breaks. This move will do more harm than good for American society right now, especially when people are hungry enough to do anything just to feed themselves and their children.

Those earning enough to support themselves do not – and often will not – realize the simple fact that food stamps do more good than bad. Food stamps are a bridge that allows people to survive while they find better-paying jobs.

It is a safety net, not a baby bottle.

And besides, our sense of pride and stubbornness is often enough to get the average American off food stamps once self-sufficient enough to do so.

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