The Congressional Food Stamp Stunt

Since when are food stamps supposed to constitute someone’s entire food budget? Since some Congressman wanted to do a silly publicity stunt,

“Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) stood before the refrigerated section of the Safeway on Capitol Hill yesterday and looked longingly at the eggs.

At $1.29 for a half-dozen, he couldn’t afford them.

Ryan and three other members of Congress have pledged to live for one week on $21 worth of food, the amount the average food stamp recipient receives in federal assistance. That’s $3 a day or $1 a meal. They started yesterday.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), co-chairmen of the House Hunger Caucus, called on lawmakers to take the “Food Stamp Challenge” to raise awareness of hunger and what they say are inadequate benefits for food stamp recipients. Only two others, Ryan and Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), took them up on it.”

There’s welfare, food stamps, free school lunch and breakfast programs, charities, etc., etc.,…but no, let’s pretend that none don’t exist, ignore the fact that the government shouldn’t be in the business of handing out money for food in the first place, and take one program and announce that people can’t pay for their food budget off of it.

Here’s an interesting question: what happened before all these government programs existed? People got by without them, didn’t them? Setting that aside, in a country where food is as cheap and plentiful as it is here, you can confidently say that obesity among the poor in America is a bigger problem than the poor going without food.

In fact, to even come up with statistics claiming that more than some teeny, tiny fraction of Americans go to bed hungry, they have to skew the definitions to include people who aren’t hungry, but are supposedly buying a lower quality of food than they otherwise would have if they had more money. So, “If he had $10 to spend instead of two, he would have gotten a nutritious organic meal instead of two items off of McDonald’s dollar menu.” On the other hand, maybe that person would have spent that extra $8 on candy. Who knows? Either way, they are getting food and almost everyone defined as “hungry” in this country is regularly getting enough to eat despite the scare stats you hear.

If you don’t believe that, ask yourself how many Americans starve to death each year (The number will be zero unless there are some bizarre circumstances involved) and then check the number of people who die each year from obesity related problems.

Now, you may be thinking, “Awww, c’mon Hawkins! You shouldn’t protest this! They just want to feed hungry people!” The problem with that sort of thinking is that when it comes to programs like this, too much is NEVER, EVER enough for the socialists in the Democratic Party. You could double the budget of every program designed to feed people, and in two years, the exact same people carping today would be back claiming that these programs were dramatically underfunded. Whether the programs work or don’t, are the best way of spending money our money or not, whether we have a deficit or not, or whether they’re even needed in the first place, doesn’t matter at all. The whole thing comes down to nothing more than, “Voting for this is nice and anyone who doesn’t vote for it is mean!”

Well, I’m content to be “mean” and say that we shouldn’t even be considering increasing the amount of money going to foodstamps when we’re running a budget deficit.

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