Congratulations to ECM Publishers for the editorial titled, “Nation’s poor will suffer deeply from food stamp cuts.” I’ve often skimmed lead editorials, since they didn’t seem to want to rock the boat, but not this time. The editorial is right: We miss the plight of the poor who will suffer these cuts, particularly contrasted with middle class decisions to vacation at the Wisconsin Dells instead of Disney World. It is very hard for most of us to truly grasp the meaning of hunger, especially a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that provides less than $5 per day per person in food stamp support. That’s approximately a large latte and two candy bars.
The other side of the Farm Bill was not addressed, which I feel is a major issue. While $20 billion in cuts are being proposed to the SNAP program, $920 billion remained in farm subsidies. The vast majority go to the largest agribusinesses in this country. Both sides of the aisle lament this corporate welfare without effect. Why? Once again, the influence of money in politics is clear. Highly paid lobbyists, many former legislators, spend numerous hours on Capitol Hill courting former colleagues to retain programs their clients love. Further, some of these agribusinesses pay little or no taxes.
A “wag of the finger” goes to my congressman. He may be silent on the issue, but his silence speaks volumes. This has been consistent for U.S. Rep. John Kline: Hear no evil, neither see nor speak any (unless it’s about ObamaCare). The poor are staring at a bleak future, while the largest of our corporations gather more welfare. Apparently for the congressman, there’s nothing wrong with that, judging by his silence. We should expect more, and we’ll demand more at the ballot box.