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“Thank You For Your Service, Or Not”: Republicans Thank Veterans By Cutting Food Stamps

The next time I hear a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives thank a veteran for his or her service, I’ll hurl.

Veterans Day is on Monday. This year the holiday will come 10 days after cuts in federal food aid demanded by House Republicans go into effect. The cuts mean that 47 million hungry Americans, including almost 1 million veterans, will be even hungrier and more malnourished than they were last Veterans Day.

Mother’s Day won’t be much better because 80 percent, or 37 million, of the food aid recipients are women and children. And for the record, 10 percent or almost 5 million of the recipients are senior citizens.

I hope the House Republican budget guru, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is proud of his handiwork because it’s a callous way of thanking vets for their service. Before the cuts, the average veteran received a little more than $4 a day for food from the feds. Now vets will have to get by on even less. Don’t try this at home, because if you try to eat on $4 a day, you will be malnourished pretty quickly. The GOP went to the mat to get these cuts and now they want even more.

The Republican hostility towards vets is just the latest episode in the sad saga of vets under the GOP. George W. Bush and his vice president Dick Cheney both avoided serving in Vietnam when they were of draft age in the 1960’s. But that didn’t stop the deadly duo from sending more than 4,000 brave young Americans to their deaths in Iraq based on a lie about the existence of weapons of mass destruction there.

If wounded soldiers were lucky enough to make it out of Iraq alive, things didn’t get much better back home. During the Bush/Cheney administration, hospitals administered by the Veterans Administration were poorly staffed and inadequately equipped. The corridors of the “crown jewel” of the military hospital system, Walter Reed Hospital, were plagued with garbage and rats.

The tea party caucus in Congress forced $5 million a year in cuts for food aid. Why? Because the GOP shot down President Obama’s proposal to eliminate $6 billion in federal tax freebies to oil companies and firms that own corporate jets. While millionaires, billionaires and oil company executives fly the friendly federal skies, almost 1 million veterans are still in the desert, fighting hard. This time they struggle in a fight for food in the land of plenty.

Thank you for your service!

 

By: Brad Bannon, U. S. News and World Report, November 8, 2013

November 9, 2013 Posted by | SNAP, Veterans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bad News For Americans Who Eat Food

In December, Americans who eat food received some very good news. A sweeping overhaul of the nation’s food-safety system, approved by both chambers with large, bipartisan majorities, cleared Congress, and was quickly signed into law by President Obama.

The long-overdue law expands the FDA’s ability to recall tainted foods, increases inspections, demands accountability from food companies, and oversees farming — all in the hopes of cracking down on unsafe food before consumers get sick. This was the first time Congress has approved an overhaul of food-safety laws in more than 70 years.

That’s the good news. The bad news is, the Republican-led House is fighting to gut the law.

Budget cuts proposed by House Republicans to the Food and Drug Administration would undermine the agency’s ability to carry out a historic food-safety law passed by Congress just five months ago, food safety advocates say. […]

To carry out the new law, President Obama is seeking $955 million for food safety at the FDA in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

Last week, the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FDA pared back that amount to $750 million, which is $87 million less than the figure the agency is currently receiving for food safety.

“This subcommittee has begun making some of the tough choices necessary to right the ship,” said Chairman Jack Kingston, (R-Ga.).The full committee was scheduled to vote on the proposed cuts Tuesday, and the budget proposal was expected to pass.

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee approved the cuts yesterday, which are severe enough to prevent the FDA from implementing the new law. Erik Olson, director of food and consumer product safety programs at the Pew Health Group, part of a coalition of public health advocates and food makers, said this week, “These cuts could seriously harm our ability to protect the food supply.”

Boy, those midterm elections really set the country on the right path, didn’t they?

It’s also worth appreciating the fact that these cuts to food safety were made in the name of fiscal responsibility, but it’s a classic example of being penny wise and pound foolish. Indeed, cutting funding on food safety is likely to cost us more money, not less.

I realize this may seem counter-intuitive. I can even imagine some Fox News personality telling viewers, “Those wacky liberals think it costs money to cut spending! What fools!”

But this just requires a little bit of thought. When we cut spending on food safety, we save a little money on inspection, but end up paying a lot of money on health care costs when consumers get sick.

The GOP approach is misguided as a matter of public health, public safety, and budgeting.

 

By: Steve Benen, Contributing Writer, Washington Monthly, June 1, 2011

June 2, 2011 Posted by | Congress, Conservatives, Consumers, GOP, Government, Health Care, Ideology, Lawmakers, Politics, President Obama, Public, Public Health, Regulations, Republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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