The farm bill passed through the House two weeks ago with a vote of 251 yeas to 166 nays, with the nays composed of a slim majority of the Democratic coalition — and at least one of the opposing Democrats’ thought process on the matter went a little something like this, via CNS News:
I voted against the farm bill essentially because it contains $8 billion in cuts to the food stamp program. … That’s just immoral, frankly. I don’t see how we can do that. Not in this recession, where people can’t find jobs, we’re not extending unemployment insurance, and now we want to starve people? That’s wrong. … Any program, humans beings will find a way to have some fraud. We have plenty of protections to minimize the fraud. If Republicans wanted to say, let’s put in this extra protection, that extra protection, that would be something else. They’re just using that as an excuse. They just want people to starve, and it’s disgusting.
There you have it: The either/or moral choice between more food stamps, or more starvation. That’s it. Those are literally your only two options. Thank you, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, for putting things in such stark, intellectually bankrupt, and demagogic terms.
If Rep. Nadler and some of his fellow Democrats did care to tread a more honest path, he might mention that that $8 billion food-stamp cut is the grand-total reduction over a period of ten years, and that it amounts to a whopping one percent cut to a program whose enrollment has doubled since 2006 alone. I mean, can he hear himself? “In this recession, where people can’t find jobs”? …Right, and perhaps our now sustained pattern of metastasized federal spending and top-down market intervention is precisely the thing that’s keeping this “recovery” from gaining any steam. It couldn’t be that Republicans want to help people keep more of their own money and allow the economy to grow and create jobs from the bottom-up by reducing our snowballing debt-to-GDP ratio, could it? Instead of, you know, just unquestionably raising spending at every possible turn and counting on the “food stamps as stimulus“-effect that has so far miraculously failed to materialize?
I might also point out that, according to Rep. Nadler, the at least $750 million or so the USDA estimates in recent annual food-stamp fraud is just your average, run-of-the-mill, trivial level of inherent government waste, but the $800 million a year that will get cut out of the $75 billion+ program in the new bill is calamitous and downright “disgusting.” Odd disparity, that.