Republicans Think People Aren't Entitled to Food

Yesterday, I noted that the farm bill had passed the House with no funding for food stamps. The expectation was that Republicans were wrenching the two apart in order to attack the food stamp program with deep cuts. And so it begins:
House approval of a scaled-back farm bill is setting up what could be an even bigger fight over food stamps and the role of domestic food aid in the United States.

... Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., has pushed the idea of a split bill for more than a year. A farmer, he has maintained that Congress should consider food stamps by themselves.

"By splitting the bill, we can give taxpayers an honest look at how Washington spends our money," he said.

If a bill to cut food stamps reaches the House floor, it could be the first major debate over the role of the program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, in decades.

... Proposals to reduce the program have ranged from what was in the original farm bill, a 3 percent cut and changes in eligibility, to an overhaul of the program that would take a fraction of the federal money now spent and give it to the states to administer. Others have proposed putting an expiration date on the program, which is now permanent, so Congress would have to take a look at it every few years.

Republicans have already supported an amendment to the original farm bill that would have put broad new work requirements on food stamps.

...The GOP caucus is divided over how much to cut. Many Republicans praised the 3 percent cut to SNAP in the original House farm bill and the changes in eligibility. But others said it didn't go far enough and voted against the bill, leading to the legislation's defeat.
The GOP is divided, once again, over how cruel to be. Part of the caucus supports cruelty; another part of the caucus supports extreme cruelty.

If that sounds like hyperbole, well, I don't know what else to call a proposal that wants to institute work requirements for access to food in the middle of an economy with widespread unemployment. It's not like members of the Republican caucus don't know what's happening in this country; they sure know the unemployment numbers well enough when they want to blame them on the President. It is a deliberate strategy of nutritional denial to attach food access to work, while work is elusive.


They think people are not entitled to jobs. They think people are not entitled to healthcare. They think people are not entitled to homes. They think people are not entitled to education. They think people are not entitled to safety. They think people are not entitled to equality. They think people are not entitled to vote. They think people are not entitled to agency. They think people are not entitled to any of what the baseline security of being a citizen in a wealthy democracy should guarantee.

They think people are entitled to guns and bootstraps, and that's about it.

Unless those people are corporations, robber barons, military contractors, or members of the Republican Congressional Caucus. And then they are entitled to everything for which they could ever ask, no matter the cost to the rest of us.

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