Think Progress is taking issue with Rick Santorum regarding a comment he made about food stamps.
Think Progress headline: Santorum: We Don’t Need Food Stamps Because Obesity Rates Are So High
Let’s consider the source:
Think Progress is a “project” of the American Progress Action Fund (APAF), a “sister advocacy organization” of the John Podesta-led Center for American Progress (CAP) and CAP’s entities such as Campus Progress. It also draws freely on the resources of the George Soros-funded Media Matters website edited by David Brock.
Think Progress is an Internet blog that “pushes back, daily,” by its own account, against its conservative targets, and supports the APAF agenda: to transform “progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.” Think Progress promotes an agenda identical to that of the left wing of the Democratic Party.
Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.
Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.
“If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.
I am assuming he was either misquoted or he misspoke on that last term and meant to say “hunger problem” instead of “hunger program”. Having said that, he is essentially saying that the “poor” in America are not necessarily so poor that they would starve without food stamps. He is not saying he would completely do away with food stamps, but only that he would cut the program. Let’s examine whether he is lacking compassion here.
I see from the USDA website that I qualify for food stamps myself. I’m a mother of four, but I do not receive food stamps despite qualifying for them. My kids eat well, regardless. I don’t just “barely” qualify for food stamps, either. I qualify by a large margin. Not only are we not starving, I have a lot of things that my family did not have when I was growing up. These include internet service, cable television service, a wide screen color television set, a cell phone, an automatic dishwasher, a microwave oven, an XBox 360 video game console, central heat/air, …I think you get the picture. There are any number of things I could do without in order to feed my children if I had to. I don’t need the food stamps, therefore I have not signed up for them, but according to the USDA website, I more than qualify for them.
The poor may not support Rick Santorum for president if they are so spoiled and dependent on Uncle Sam that they can’t do without their cell phones and video games, but certainly the existence of such people in society should not cause us to think of Rick Santorum as being one who lacks compassion, right?
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain was recently criticized for remarks he made about Obama and food stamps. Politifact scored his claims as “mostly true”. Here’s an excerpt:
The rise in food stamps is a direct consequence of the Great Recession, which started more than a year before Obama took office. Conservatives and liberals agree that Obama inherited a troubled economy. Whether SNAP usage would have been lower if Republicans won the presidency is impossible to tell.
The number of food stamp beneficiaries ticked upward under President George W. Bush because of policies that broadened eligibility for the program and more aggressive efforts to get eligible Americans to apply for benefits. These policies remained in place under Obama.
Certainly, I can use my own common sense to see, if nothing else, that food stamps are offered to a lot of people who don’t really need them at a time when our country is in serious trouble with debt. It’s time to get America back on track. We can’t do that with the Democrats encouraging more and more government dependency as they do.