House GOP Takes Food From the Hungry

A blog about business and economics.
Sept. 20 2013 10:32 AM

House GOP Takes Food From the Hungry

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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Save the money for farmers! Take it from the poor instead!

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Yesterday Republicans in the House of Representatives finally got their ducks in a row and voted to cut $40 billion from SNAP, the program that gives food assistance to poor people.

Rory Cooper from Eric Cantor's office had a curious reaction to this:

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The fact is there's nothing false about this. Read Dottie Rosenbaum, Stacy Dean, and Robert Greenstein from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities on this if you're interested. Their report is titled "Cuts in House Leadership SNAP Proposal Would Affect Millions of Low-Income Americans" but it's hard to know what Cooper is even trying to say here. Obviously, when you reduce spending on a program to give food assistant to low-income Americans you end up hurting low-income incomes.

But what's particularly egregious about this bill is that the poor-kicking aspect of it isn't just part of a general austerity regime. SNAP benefits are normally funded alongside farm subsidies as part of a consolidated "farm bill." And low and behold Republicans managed to find plenty of room in the budget to funnel money at farm owners. Spending is being cut only on the poor.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.