The U.S. economy is still in the recovery process following the burst of the housing bubble. More and more Americans have lost their jobs and have become dependent on social programs to feed their families. It is during a time like this that we should lock arms as Americans and help our fellow citizens through their dire straits. The GOP does not see things that way.
A bill presented to the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would cut food stamp funding by $37 billion dollars (45%). Referencing current spending, Paul said, “It’s out of control. It’s doubled in the last 10 years. We do not have an endless supply of money.” It would also change the program into a block grant program that would revert control over the food stamp program to the state level. This attempt was rejected by a 65-33 vote in which 13 Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the bill. A bill presented in the House called for approximately the same level of savings as well as transitioning control back to the states.
Politico reports: “Agriculture Committee Chairwoman(D-Mich.) bristled at his suggestions that nothing was being done to address abuses in the program and said Paul’s proposed cuts were 'outrageous.' 'Waste, fraud and abuse we tackle,' Stabenow said, listing reforms in the underlying bill to improve accountability. 'But for somebody in this great country who’s paid taxes all their lives and worked all their lives and now needs help to put food on the table … they need to know that we’re going to be able to provide a little bit of temporary help.'”
The Associated Press reports: “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, makes up about $80 billion of the $100 billion a year cost of the farm bill, providing aid to some 46 million people. The farm bill would reduce food stamp spending by $4 billion over the next decade by eliminating abuses. Paul's amendment would have saved $322 billion over the same period by capping spending at $45 billion a year and turning over funding decisions to the states.”
The number of homeless Americans continues to grow and the number of American children that are going to bed hungry is growing. This article: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-new
ABC News reports: “As many as 17 million children nationwide are struggling with what is known as food insecurity. To put it another way, one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life, according to the study, 'Map the Meal Child Food Insecurity 2011.'” The long-term consequences of malnutrition caused by failure to maintain a healthy diet include learning disabilities, developmental issues and other problems.
During a time of crisis when we should be helping our fellow man survive this crisis, it appears the GOP has waged yet another war: a war on the hungry.
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