In July, House Republicans eliminated the food stamp program, also known as SNAP, from the Farm bill to secure support from Tea Party congressmen who wanted deeper cuts to the program. As a result, there is no food stamp funding in the bill while agriculture corporations get millions in taxpayer subsidies. It is doomed to fail in the Democratic controlled Senate, but that isn’t stopping one Florida Republican from continuing the GOP attack on food stamps and food stamp recipients.
Speaking at a town hall event in Florida earlier this month, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho went on the war path on a variety of topics from same-sex marriage to birtherism to Obamacare. On each topic, Yoho toed the extreme conservative line. But the topic Yoho really made waves on was food stamps.
According to Right Wing Watch,
Yoho said he doubted that around 50 million Americans face food insecurity, joking: “I think there’s 330 million people starving, at least three times a day, we call it breakfast, lunch and dinner.” He added that huge proposed cuts to food aid won’t impact anyone, telling the audience that “not one person would lose a calorie or crumb that deserves it.
Yoho revealed that his family had used food stamps for about two months, but claimed that the cuts are necessary because it has become a “lifestyle” and that it is too easy to “qualify for the program.”
Here’s the audio:
To translate, Yoho is saying that while his family NEEDED food stamps, everyone else isn’t really struggling to put food on the table and are just making it their lifestyle in order to get free food from the government. Plus, he thinks no one is starving in America who doesn’t deserve it. In short, Yoho thinks most Americans on food stamps actually deserve to starve.
Yoho’s remarks echo Tea Party Rep. Michele Bachmann, who stated in 2011 that the unemployed should starve as punishment for not having a job. The comments also echo other Republicans who have compared giving people food stamps to feeding wild animals.
Yoho, like the rest of his Republican colleagues, are making a huge mistake by attacking food stamps. Pew Research recently put together a chart showing which states rely on food stamps the most. The findings revealed that people in red states stand to lose the most if food stamps were to be eliminated. Even Florida, which Yoho represents, needs the program.
For some sick and twisted reason, Republicans have lost all compassion for people and refuse to believe the simple facts about hunger in America. ABC News reports that 50 million Americans are food insecure, meaning that they aren’t sure where their next meal will come from on a day-to-day basis. And despite GOP claims that food stamp recipients don’t actually deserve the aid, applicants already have to demonstrate a real need for the food stamps in order to qualify for the program. In fact, research has shown that the qualifications need to be raised so that food insecure Americans who make just enough money to be considered above the poverty line can have access to the program as well.
Rep. Yoho apparently has zero sympathy for people who are going hungry in America. So much so, that he’s in denial about the problem entirely. He’s also a raging hypocrite because he himself had to rely on food stamps at one time in his life to put food on the table for his own family. But according to him, his family deserved to eat, while most others deserve to starve to death. This is what the Republican Party is today, a group of people who selfishly take for themselves and think themselves worthy of what they receive while simultaneously believe that everyone else deserves to suffer and die.