Dems to Secretary Vilsack: Could we get a delay on the new cuts to food stamps?
posted at 3:21 pm on February 17, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
Well, heck — while they’re on a gigantic running-around-Congress tear anyway, why not delay effects of the law that Congress just passed and President Obama just signed two weeks ago? Via the NYDN:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and 71 other congressional Democrats are asking the agriculture secretary to delay a new law cutting food stamps for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
“Our states need time to adjust their policies to accommodate this drastic cut and roll out the changes seamlessly,” the lawmakers say in a letter they plan to send Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Gillibrand lined up the lawmakers to sign off on the letter, which asks Vilsack to delay until next fall a provision in the massive farm bill Congress passed this month that cuts $8 billion in food stamp aid.
That $8 billion spending cut, by the way, is going to come over ten years and amounts to a barely one percent reduction to the federal food stamp program’s budget, and according to the farm bill, the USDA is supposed to start phasing them in next month. These Democrats, evidently, are having difficulty abiding by that “drastic” cut for the sake of our national budget, despite the noticeably absent “stimulus” effect Secretary Vilsack once promised would result from the tens of millions more Americans added to the food-stamp rolls during President Obama’s tenure.
Which, funnily enough, seems to have a lot in common with the other “stimulus” effects we were promised would push the economy toward “recovery.” Five years later, how is it possible that so many Democrats like Gillibrand are simultaneously arguing that President Obama’s spending endeavors have helped add jobs and wealth to the economy, but that anything less than maintaining the recently-enlarged food-stamp status quo is flat-out unacceptable? Does that seem at all inconsistent to anyone else? Via the WSJ:
Democrats and Republicans used the five-year anniversary of the 2009 stimulus law to debate the measure’s effectiveness, a feud that highlights how the deep divisions over the connection between federal spending and economic growth continue to challenge policy makers. …
The White House on Monday released a 70-page report that said the law “created or saved an average of 1.6 million jobs a year for four years,” and raised the country’s gross domestic product by between 2% and 3% from late 2009 through mid-2011. …
On one of the most polarizing points, the White House in its report said the law “had at most a minimal impact on the long-run debt,” arguing that the economic growth caused by the law offset or “eliminated” the costs. …
“If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money—that, by the way, was borrowed—that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), in a video message released Monday morning. “Well, of course, it clearly failed.”
You can say that again.