Full disclosure: I am a food stamp recipient.
Chris Hayes is having an amazing discussion about hunger, Food Stamps etc, on UP this morning.
Our government subsidizes agribuisness, and crop insurance...
Our government subsidizes big oil.
I'm all for limiting food choices on food stamps. Many will disagree and that's fine. It's uncomfortable ideologically to say "The Government is going to tell you what to eat."
WIC already does that. So it's not like a new Big Brother is going to show up if SNAP food types get restricted.
I think we can agree though that sugared soda is just a straight up refined sugar delivery system...
Let's start with that,
I'll give them soda...and a whole lot more eventually.
Some of these agribusiness and oil company subsidies can do something too. They can be patriotic during a time of recession and accept some cuts in subsidy to them, in a surgical sort of way.
HEAP, energy assistance for low income,is, in fact, a fuel subsidy.
But other gifts to the insanely profitable oil and fuel industries....out out out.
And can't we structure farm subsidy like the tax cut proposals? Continue to assist small and family owned farms, while cutting .... to big agribusiness??? There are some really detailed stats abouthow much money goes to them,and it is staggering.
I get that the answer is no, because of lobbyists.
But the GOPlutocrats are having symbolic votes on symbolic legislation all the time....
I'd love to see a sensibly crafted piece of legislation that brings cuts to food stamps....not in the amount, but in the way of 'junk food restriction.' and in the same bill, cut subsidies for oil and agribusiness in such a way that there will still be market driven profit out there to be hand, and smaller farms won't be unfairly targeted.
It would take time and patience to write such a bill. (including oil subsidy as well)
The fast/processed food and oil lobbies would then spend money to vote it down.
Since so much legislation is going down to defeat lately....it would at least get the idea out past cable viewers, the idea that Chris Hayes crystallized for me today.
It's not an argument about big government vs less government. It's an argument about who is capable of strongarming the government for its largesse:
Oil and agribusiness are capable. Poor people aren't.
I can though, hereby pledge that my 16.00 per month in food stamps will be specifically targeted to whole foods...meat, veggies, fruit...
I'll do that.