The Incredible Bottomless Congress
Congress is now debating a farm bill. One of its provisions, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, better known as food stamps), is on the cutting block. The reason? As the number of Americans receiving food stamp aid jumped from 26 to 45 million between 2007 and 2011 because of the recession, and the cost to the federal government soared from $30 billion to $78 billion, a budget-cutting Congress has determined this program ripe for a trimming.
Senator Jeff Sessions,(R—Alabama) is leading the charge in that chamber. Here’s a quote from one of his speeches on the subject: Is the food stamp program, he asked, “encouraging people to look for ways to be productive and be responsible for their families? Or does it create dependency on a series of government programs?”
About three-quarters of the benefits in this program go to children, the disabled, the elderly. The kind of people the senator appears to think might be encouraged to be more productive and responsible if they have less to eat.
Taking food from the mouths of kids, the sickly, the old, as an act of tough love, while sparing the rich a miniscule tax hike so as not to upset Grover Norquist? What is one to say about such priorities? No simply stated negative judgment seems adequate to the perversity on view here.