Forbes columnist John Tamny's declaration on The Daily Show that food stamps are “cruel” and would be replaced by private charity if people were “literally starving” with “distended bellies” is in keeping with his past remarks on the program -- In his regular role as a Fox panelist, Tamny has lamented that food stamp recipients are not publicly shamed and embarrassed for receiving the benefits.
On the December 17 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Forbes columnist Tamny spoke to correspondent Jessica Williams about the $5 billion recently cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (commonly known as food stamps). Tamny told Williams, “If I were in control, I would abolish SNAP all together. I think food stamps are cruel.” He added, “I don't think anyone is happy if they're reliant on someone else, if they're taking a handout.”
Tamny argued that if people were “literally starving,” a “massive outpouring of charity” would “make up for that fact”:
WILLIAMS: What does literally starving look like?
TAMNY: This is going to come off the wrong way, but I guess it's where people have literally distended bellies where they're getting almost nothing. We don't hear about the poor in this country starving on the streets.
He went on to deny that the food stamp program keeps people from starving.
Tamny's reach goes beyond his role as a Forbes columnist.
He's a regular panelist on Fox News' Forbes on Fox Saturday business program, having appeared on the network over 20 times in the last 10 months alone. He also serves as a senior director at the conservative think tank Cato Institute.
And like this Daily Show appearance, Tamny has used the Fox platform to disparage Americans who rely on government programs such as food stamps and Social Security -- He's previously promoted the public shaming of food stamp recipients in order to make them feel embarrassed, and labeled recipients of Medicare and Social Security as "congenitally socialist."
The food stamps Tamny -- and Fox News -- demonize kept nearly 5 million people out of poverty in 2011, more than 2 million of whom are children. In fact, over 75 percent of SNAP households include a child, elderly person, or disabled American.