I drive a small car, so $36 is a tank full of gas that will cover my need most of the week. If I get a sandwich and a drink for lunch then $36 is about the cost for a week. Some days I get by for about $3 if I get something off the dollar menu, but don’t tell my doctor.
It costs more than $36 if I go to the doctor and I have insurance, so I may not go as often, but don’t tell my wife. All those decisions are up to me because I have the $36 in my pocket, but what if that were taken away? If I was marginally getting by or struggling, then what would it mean? If I would ask what this cut accomplished by the people who voted for it, they would probably say I saved the taxpayers $36. But who among us is sacrificing for this savings?
Tim Kean is executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana. His column appears the third Sunday of each month. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.