He can't knowingly accept the existence of actual hunger in this country, and still say that it is a colleague's proposal to end that hunger that is immoral.
I'll try to assume that those who decry the rising cost of the federal food stamp program as the problem, rather than the rising need for food stamps, are simply confused.
I have to believe that they truly aren't processing the fact that they are trying to reduce the deficit by forcing desperate people who come to agencies looking for help to literally go away hungry.
It's hard to figure how this lack of resourcefulness, and inability to prioritize humanely, could exist in the US Senate. Even with my own unsophisticated research into other ways to find that money, it wasn't hard to do. Simply exploring tax breaks for corporations and investors, it was easy enough to find several ways to more than make up for the $4 billion Congress is currently trying to pull from the food stamp program.
- 1. Get rid of the rule that allows stock holders to "lease" their holdings to banks for several years, avoiding capitol gains taxes on those funds. This costs the Treasury billions of dollars a year, far more than the amount we supposedly are being forced to glean from the food stamp program.
- 2. End the practice of allowing corporations to use one value for their stocks for tax deductions and use another value to sell. This is sort of like the Blue Book value vs the market value of a used car. You report one to the IRS, and one to potential stock holders, and can actually come out ahead by showing the loss. Billions lost to the treasury.
- 3. Close the loophole that allows huge, profitable corporations to pass out massive numbers of stock options to executives then claim those as losses to lower their taxable net profits, and even go into a loss, meaning future taxes are plunged even lower. More billions.
These are just three quick examples to show that there is money that can be moved around without touching food stamps. I know this is a simplistic way to look at it - it's almost silly to set up my argument this way, I do it to illustrate a point, and there are surely countless easier and more immediate ways to shift funds to avoid cutting spending on a program that literally keeps people from dying.
There is no better way to ensure we feed the hungry in this country than keeping SNAP funded. There is no more direct, efficient way to cause people to have food in their mouths. This is a matter of giving people who don't have enough to eat a debit card they can use to purchase food. This is about beans, apples, ground beef and milk - it is not theoretical, it is not a legitimate question of policy.
The program isn't intended to replace efforts to help people get back to work so they don't need food stamps. Feeding people should not be questioned in discussions about how to improve the economy over time. I have no problem debating the merits of closing tax loopholes. I understand there is an argument to made by some on the Right that reducing benefits and advantages enjoyed by the wealthy could stifle investment. My point here is that there is no legitimate reason to suggest that the only way to reduce the deficit would be to take it out of the food stamp program, or that it would be okay to do so if even if there was no other way. What could be more urgent than this?