Buchanan: Food stamps signed into law even though "no one was starving"

Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

Pat Buchanan uses his latest column to hop aboard the right-wing food stamp-bashing bandwagon, attacking the program's very existence and even blaming it for the decline of America. Buchanan writes:

If you would chart America's decline, this program is a good place to begin. As a harbinger of the Great Society to come, in early 1964, a Food Stamp Act was signed into law by LBJ appropriating $75 million for 350,000 individuals in 40 counties and three U.S. cities.

Yet, no one was starving. There had been no starvation since Jamestown, with such exceptions as the Donner Party caught in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846-47, who took to eating their dead.

Does Buchanan really think that the government should wait on providing food assistance to those who need it until the only alternative is absolute starvation or cannibalism? Seems a bit extreme.

Buchanan goes on to claim that "Food stamps are feeding children abandoned by their own fathers. Taxpayers are taking up the slack for America's deadbeat dads." He concludes by ranting about those who "forever ride free" on the government dole:

What a changed country we have become in our expectations of ourselves. A less affluent America survived a Depression and world war without anything like the 99 weeks of unemployment insurance, welfare payments, earned income tax credits, food stamps, rent supplements, day care, school lunches and Medicaid we have today.

Public or private charity were thought necessary, but were almost always to be temporary until a breadwinner could find work or a family could get back on its feet. The expectation was that almost everyone, with hard work and by keeping the nose to the grindstone, could make his or her own way in this free society. No more.

What we have accepted today is a vast permanent underclass of scores of millions who cannot cope and must be carried by the rest of society -- fed, clothed, housed, tutored, medicated at taxpayers' expense for their entire lives. We have a new division in America: those who pay a double fare, and those who forever ride free.

Given Buchanan's longtime disdain (not to mention borderline racism against) for those who are different from him, it's no surprise he would attack the poor as well.

Posted In
Economy, Poverty, Food Insecurity
Pat Buchanan
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