On Your World last week (7/12/12), Crystal Wright, of conservativeblackchick.com, discussed the Republican plan to cut $16.5 billion in food stamps. It was presented as a given that the cuts were a good thing. The only real “issue” was how to spin it so as not to look uncaring.
Wright began, “Like most things under President Obama, the food stamp program is out of control. We spend $80 billion… a year on food stamps, and the problem is we have too many people on the rolls… We got to cut it.”
Cavuto said, “I don’t want to sound so elitist. I genuinely think there are those who genuinely need help and support and we’ve got to feed them, but you can’t tell me it’s in these numbers.”
Wright took another slap at the Obama administration. “The Department of Agriculture thought it was a great idea to spend $3 million in radio ads in Spanish… encouraging people to get on food stamps, and there’s a pamphlet on their website that says to… local offices in the states, they say, ‘Here’s a way for you to get seniors on food stamps, throw a party! Play bingo! Have food!’”
Neither she nor Cavuto noted that hunger is increasing among all groups and the elderly are under enrolled in SNAP (food stamps). I guess it’s better they should go hungry than a federal program designed to help them eat better spend any money on outreach. But Wright and Cavuto could have at least said what their priorities are. Instead, they pretended the cuts would be no big deal.
“Here’s what Republicans want to do, they want to cut back the rolls. So they want to have it means tested to 130% of poverty… According to the Congressional Budget Office, 1.8 million people would no longer be on the program, they probably shouldn’t be on it anyway,” Wright said.
Cavuto was concerned about not looking callous (he didn’t seem to care whether or not he actually was callous). He said. “Any cuts to food stamps is going to go, 'Oh, you’re taking food out of starving old people’s mouths or young kid’s mouths.' How do they counter that without looking callous?”
Wright had her talking points ready. “We have a spending problem. The 1.8 million that potentially would be cut really could survive without the program. Of course we have to be humane, Neil. We’re in a recession… There’s a way to frame the narrative in a compassionate manner, but we’ve got to say, ‘Look we want these programs for people who need food stamps. Some of you guys don’t need it.’”
Cavuto was pleased. “Well spoken, well spoken,” he said approvingly at the end of the interview.
As Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said – and Media Matters affirmed – food stamps are one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus. But Cavuto and Wright were so interested in throwing people off food stamps they didn’t spend a moment questioning whether it’s a good idea.
And a lot of police and firefighting families are often forced to resort to food stamps, especially in the “red” states (especially where the police and firefighters DON’T have unions).
Spending $80 billion on food stamps: “We have a spending problem.”
Wingnuttery at it’s finest.