I was extremely moved by the recent Roundup article “I am hungry!” written by Alexis Bechman. It was a well-written, well-researched news story that should have all of us considering our neighbors.
Along those same lines, I recently read a Russian proverb, “If everyone gives a thread, the poor man will have a shirt.”
Stephen Fincher, GOP member of the National Agriculture Committee, apparently does not agree. Although he has received $3.4 million in government support for his “farm” since 1995, he voted to cut the food stamps program. Of the voters in his county, 22 percent depend on SNAP. Republican Doug LaMalfa of California received $5.1 million in subsidies since 1995.
The chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, defended fellow lawmakers (23 of them*) who have received millions in farm subsidies while voting this month to cut $20.5 billion from the food stamp program. He believes it is unfair to call these lawmakers hypocritical in drawing any connection. Apparently, they vote their conscience!
These representatives are saying “it is high time we move into the 21st century” and put an end to subsidies.
The $940 billion farm bill passed and ends direct farm payments. However the bill also reinvests savings to expand crop insurance and to provide price and revenue protection systems for our poor congressional farmers.
So our faithful representatives who have long been receiving taxpayer funding in the form of subsidies want to cut benefits for the families struggling to keep their children from going to bed hungry.
(*The Environmental Working Group figure)