My very first diary!
Freshman Congressman Ted Yoho (FL-3) has been soundly ridiculed for recent comments he made at a town hall meeting in which he said he would back a bill calling for an investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate and in which he told a not-at-all-funny joke about the tanning service tax in Obamacare being racist because non-white people don’t go to tanning booths. (Right Wing Watch audio,) (Hint to Mr. Yoho: If you are going to tell a joke with a “white people are the real victims of discrimination” theme, don’t do it just after endorsing a birther investigation of the President of the United States. It might give some people the impression that you are a racist.) But at the same town hall meeting, Rep. Yoho also talked about reality-based problems and actual issues that exist and matter in real life. (Right Wing Watch audio)
Here’s what he said about hunger, the SNAP program, and the recently defeated farm bill:
So when it came down to the House floor, I got up there and said I stand in support of this bill and I have to differ with the gentleman from Maryland. He says there’s 50 million starving people in America today. I disagree with that. I think there’s 330 million people starving at least three times a day. We call it breakfast, lunch, and dinner.[crowd laughs]Hilarious joke, isn’t it? Those 50 million economically insecure people who Democrats think should get free food are really just whiny victims who need to limit their eating to three meals a day just like we all do. Good one, Ted.
Out of curiosity, I checked the Congressional Record to see who originally made the hyperbolic reference to “50 million starving people” on the day Mr. Yoho made this hilarious joke on the House floor. Guess what. It was Rep. Yoho himself. Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin said that “50 million Americans live in households that struggle to put food on the table.” Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts said “there are 50 million hungry Americans.” They were accurately describing the very real problem of food insecurity in America. (See Congressional Record, 6/19/2013) Rep. Yoho was conjuring up a caricature and trivializing the problem with his misuse of the word starving on the House floor and in that town hall meeting.
Yoho goes on to say this about the changes to the SNAP program in the recently defeated farm bill:
Not one person will lose a calorie or a crumb that deserves it.And guess who qualifies as deserving under Mr. Yoho’s vision for the program.
Carolyn and I, when we were about 19, 20. Jimmy Carter was in office. Inflation shot up. Interest rates went up to 22%. We um, we lost our cotton and so we went on food stamps for about a month and a half, two months. So I know the value of a safety net program. And so I will do whatever we can to protect people that need that. But it’s not a lifestyle and we need to ween people off.Wow. Lucky for him the food stamp program was around back when he needed it. It sounds like he believes that he and his wife not only needed the help, they DESERVED it. And he has now apparently taken on the task of weeding out the beneficiaries who don’t deserve it as much as he and his wife did.
The Right Wing Watch audio ends with this:
I was talking to the leadership on the farm committee, Mr. Lucas. They’ve got 40 billion dollars now set up to be removed from the nutritional program, which is double. The left side was going crazy and rabid about the 20 billion so it’s going to be interesting. So stay tuned. [Yoho and crowd laugh]Another hilarious joke. Ted must be the life of the party.