This “rich get richer and poor get poorer” conservative agenda is frightening.
In an otherwise lean budget year, the House is poised to boost funding to take care of the medical needs of the nation’s veterans.
But the GOP-dominated chamber will soon resume its budget-slashing ways as it kicks off debate Tuesday on a food and farm spending bill that cuts aid for low-income pregnant women and their children and slashes a key overseas food aid program by about one-third below this year’s funding.
A program that provides healthy foods like milk, eggs and infant formula to about 9 million poor mothers and pregnant women and their children is one such program. Lawmakers for years have awarded it enough money so that all eligible people can get food, comparable to automatic benefit programs like food stamps and unemployment insurance.
But the current budget guillotine is forcing cuts to previously protected programs like the food program for women, infants and children. The WIC program would absorb an $868 million cut of 13 percent from current spending – and a $1.3 billion cut below the administration’s request. That has Democrats and advocates for the poor howling that it could mean that more than 200,000 people would be turned away from the program if food prices rise as expected.
But a roiling debate on the agriculture spending bill is assured. The bill also cuts a program that delivers food to low-income senior citizens 23 percent below current levels. The popular Food for Peace program, which uses taxpayer dollars to buy U.S. commodities and ships them to deprived areas in Africa and elsewhere across the globe, would absorb a $457 million cut of almost one-third. The White House says that would translate into 1.1 million fewer people getting U.S. food aid.
“Tightening our belts is one thing. But people who depend on supplemental food programs, like WIC, or food stamps, or school lunches, have belts that are already cinched,” said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif.
It’s no question that we could stand to scale back on foreign aid until we re-stabilize. But to cut consumption funds for pregnant mothers, babies and the elderly is cold blooded. Gotta love how the right wingers can justify big bank bailouts and tax cuts for the rich but will risk the lives and health of unborn children and the elderly. No shame in their game … SMH
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