House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is endangering food stamp programs

Food insecurity remains a critical issue for millions of Americans. Families in every county in America depend on food stamps for their basic survival. The recent misguided attack led by the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his Republican colleagues to slash the food stamp program, the last social safety net provided by the government, is a callous act against those who depend on it so dearly.

An alarming 14.5 percent of Americans go hungry, up from 11 percent one decade ago. Food stamp participation varies with economic performance — the 2008 recession increased food stamp dependency by 70 percent. The increase is a rather unfortunate remnant of the recession that the United States is still clawing its way out of.

A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture paints an even more depressing picture. A growing number of Americans have become dependent on food stamps to achieve a basic level of sustenance. Even with food stamps, many families still go hungry. Only last year, 3.9 million households weren’t able to provide adequate nutrition for their children. Cutting assistance during pivotal developmental stages can have long-term health implications.

According to a recent piece in The New York Times, 49 million Americans live in “food insecure” households, i.e., they are not getting enough to eat. This is a staggering statistic. But perhaps what is most staggering is the quasi-legal, corporate term “food insecure” — a phrase that calls for a serious rereading of “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell.

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Although Cantor is wrong in seeking to severely cut food stamp assistance, perhaps there is a larger discussion to be had about fiscal accountability. No one disagrees that there is an entitlement issue. However, cutting programs which are not just safety nets — another bureaucratic phrase — but lifelines for millions of people, is not the most prudent way of solving this systemic issue. Instead, Republicans and Democrats can address the issue of entitlements by working together to make sensible compromises on entitlement reform. With lagging unemployment and a stagnant job market, this is not the time to cut the food stamp program, a final resort for many Americans. There are more conscientious methods of tackling our growing spending and debt problems.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 10 print edition. Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected]

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1 COMMENT

  1. Response from Mean Uncaring Greedy Conservative taking food from our Poor Starving

    “Food insecurity remains a critical issue for millions of Americans. Families in every county in America depend on food stamps for their basic survival.”

    Thank you for your editorial. May I comment with respect. Your outlook is firmly on the Left. Our American Universities are now essentially $60,000 a year Leftist indoctrination seminaries. The one thing Leftism does best is vilify the Right. As Howard Dean said, we Republicans don’t go to bed at night worried our children may be starving. And when we Republucans are so vilified, who would want to engage in any debate with such evil people. It works beautifully. No engagement. No debate. No conservative American ideas on our campuses. That’s why Leftism lives now in our WhiteHouse. That is why America is in such transformative and radical decline.

    Let my try to engage a bit. Leftism at its core demands social justice be distributed by a large powerful State. It says, we kind compassionate people on the Left will decide what is fair and equal and just in this world and then we will create monstrous, costly, wasteful Leviathan governments and hundreds of thousands of laws and regulations to order citizens to do our loving, beautiful elevated will. Johnny will go to work and earn an honest living and then me in the big state, full of kindness and compassion will define what is socially just. I kind Leftist will order Johnny to give large amounts of his money to Jimmy because I say Jimmy needs it. In fact, I kind Leftist will borrow trillions of dollars I do not have and distribute it to those I personally think worthy, and then Ill leave office, and the young who voted for me will figure out how to pay it all back. What a racket. And this our young with BA’s and PhD’s shout and hoop about…give me more, more of this Hope and Change.

    It all sounds so kind and beautiful- Leftism always does. Its basically Marxist pap: ” From all according to their abilities, to all according to their needs.” Now the great Leftist Democratic party has announced 50 million Americans are to be fed by their neighbors. The problem is, what is called Progressivism/Leftism is in reality harshly regressive and destructive to our economy and our souls. Everything the Left touches it degrades and destroys. Every society it invades , crumbles.

    The utopian world of the Left is Mr. Obama’s Julia, where Daddy government takes care of Little girl Julia and teenage Julia, adult Julia and old lady Julia. All Julia needs to do is pay her taxes to the vast unseen government and keep voting for the kind compassionate Democratic Leftist ones who know in Washington.

    Our President and his supporters like you on the editorial page are indeed transforming this country. You are transforming America into the basically decrepit, soulless welfare state of Europe. Most of you will soon be living again with your Mommies and Daddies because Leftism is crushing private wealth and business in America. You’ll be lucky to work at Starbucks so you can feed the giant state with massive taxes. You’ll be lucky to be able to afford to grow up and start a family if the kind politicians allow you to keep some of your money. The Leviathan State will be in every part of your work and home life. You fear Republicans having a debate on the morality of killing a baby in a woman’s uterus but 15000 pages of Obamacare laws will regulate every cell of your body from the top of your heads to the lining of every uterus.

    Dear editors, there is no grinding poverty in America. Most of the 50 million taking food from their neighbors can work and get it for themselves. Most “poor” in America are middle class or even upper middle classed in most of the rest of the world. We have now reached the point where the majority of people living below the official poverty level have such things as air conditioners, microwave ovens, dvd players and either cars or trucks. Is taking money from John to give to poor Mary just in such a setting? Most of our poor are called poor because politicians arbitrarily decide the criteria. And it works to help them retain power. Conservative values are American values. Conservative values are what brings kindness and compassion and dignity and justice to people and societies. Leftism is not an American value system. American values say its degrading and shameful to take money coerced from a neighbor if you can work and provide for yourselves. Leftism says, I have rights; I am human; I deserve; I am entitled; give me my due.

    American values are essentially banned from our colleges and universities. How sad and destructive. A generation of students are generally wasting four years and $200,000 dollars learning the most regressive , destructive ideology. Obviously most of you will disagree.

    Maybe reach beyond the bubble of your narrow world. Take a look at a few things to give some value to the tuition your parents pay. Take a look for free at the great Prager University on the Web. Here some of the country’s best professors and thinkers give superb 5 minute courses of vital topics.

    Read Pragers, Still the Best Hope; why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

    Read some of the great essays from the the great Professor Tom Sowell or watch youtubes of Professor Milton Friedman.

    Take a look at: Prager:

    http://www.prageruniversity.com/Political-Science/The-American-Trinity-2nd-Edition.html#.Ufvo5eBQNS8

    Prager -Univ Denverhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNUc8nuo7HI

    Prager Speech: 10 ways Liberalism hurts America

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj9qvBwOeMA&feature=related

    I give these comments with respect: Howard Sachs MD/Washington DC 301 7752177
    [email protected]

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