Republican Filth Getting What They Want: Starving The Children Of The Working Poor To Protect Government Handouts To Fat-Cat Fake Farmers


The current versions of the Farm Bill in the Senate (as usual, not as horrible as the House) and the House (as usual, terrifying) could hardly be more frustrating. The House is proposing $20 billion in cuts to SNAP — equivalent, says Beckmann, to “almost half of all the charitable food assistance that food banks and food charities provide to people in need.”

Deficit reduction is the sacred excuse for such cruelty, but the first could be achieved without the second. Two of the most expensive programs are food stamps, the cost of which has justifiably soared since the beginning of the Great Recession, and direct subsidy payments.

This pits the ability of poor people to eat — not well, but sort of enough — against the production of agricultural commodities. That would be a difficult choice if the subsidies were going to farmers who could be crushed by failure, but in reality most direct payments go to those who need them least.

Among them is Congressman Stephen Fincher, Republican of Tennessee, who justifies SNAP cuts by quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.”

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[T]he God-fearing Fincher is one of the largest recipients of U.S.D.A. farm subsidies in Tennessee history; he raked in $3.48 million in taxpayer cash from 1999 to 2012, $70,574 last year alone. The average SNAP recipient in Tennessee gets $132.20 in food aid a month; Fincher received $193 a day. (You can eat pretty well on that.)

Comments

  1. DaveL says

    This pits the ability of poor people to eat — not well, but sort of enough — against the production of agricultural commodities.

    The thing is these things are not actually in conflict. Nutritional assistance for the poor is a form of agricultural subsidy. That’s why it falls under the Dept. of Ag. in the first place. The money given to the poor to allow them to eat percolates up through the supply chain and ends up, at least partly, in the hands of food producers. It’s not a choice between supporting producers and supporting poor consumers – it’s a choice between a direct payment to the well-off with low economic stimulative value and an indirect payment with high stimulative value.

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