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In order to pay for $26 billion in federal spending to avoid layoffs of state government workers and fund Medicaid, Democrats cut the food stamp program. As amazed as I was at this withdrawal of support from the poor to pay for the middle class (teachers, police officers, etc), I am even more amazed that the Democrats appear poised to cut the food stamp program AGAIN, this time to pay for Michelle Obama's $8 billion child nutrition program.
Cutting food stamps to pay for a child nutrition program ? Anyone see a paradox there ? I doubt even Orwell dreamt of anything so Orwellian. Here are the details, from The Hill:
The House will soon consider an $8 billion child nutrition bill that’s at the center of the first lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. Before leaving for the summer recess, the Senate passed a smaller version of the legislation that is paid for by trimming the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.
The proposed cuts would come on top of a 13.6 percent food stamp reduction in the $26 billion Medicaid and education state funding bill that President Obama signed this week.
Food stamps have made multiple appearances on the fiscal chopping block because Democrats have few other places to turn to offset the cost of legislation.
Oh, really ? Democrats have few other places to offset the cost of the legislation than to cut food stamps AGAIN ? Like hell. The federal government is an out-of-control monster of wasteful spending. There are hundreds of spending cuts we could make to offset the costs of new government programs before we start taking more food out of the mouths of the poor. I'll even pick a cut liberals should love - overseas military bases. Here's Prof. Hugh Gusterson:
Before reading this article, try to answer this question: How many military bases does the United States have in other countries: a) 100; b) 300; c) 700; or d) 1,000.
According to the Pentagon's own list PDF, the answer is around 865, but if you include the new bases in Iraq and Afghanistan it is over a thousand. These thousand bases constitute 95 percent of all the military bases any country in the world maintains on any other country's territory. In other words, the United States is to military bases as Heinz is to ketchup.
These bases do not come cheap. Excluding U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States spends about $102 billion a year to run its overseas bases, according to Miriam Pemberton of the Institute for Policy Studies. And in many cases you have to ask what purpose they serve. For example, the United States has 227 bases in Germany. Maybe this made sense during the Cold War, when Germany was split in two by the iron curtain and U.S. policy makers sought to persuade the Soviets that the American people would see an attack on Europe as an attack on itself. But in a new era when Germany is reunited and the United States is concerned about flashpoints of conflict in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, it makes as much sense for the Pentagon to hold onto 227 military bases in Germany as it would for the post office to maintain a fleet of horses and buggies.
Drowning in red ink, the White House is desperate to cut unnecessary costs in the federal budget, and Massachusetts Cong. Barney Frank, a Democrat, has suggested that the Pentagon budget could be cut by 25 percent. Whether or not one thinks Frank's number is politically realistic, foreign bases are surely a lucrative target for the budget cutter's axe. In 2004 Donald Rumsfeld estimated that the United States could save $12 billion by closing 200 or so foreign bases. This would also be relatively cost-free politically since the locals who may have become economically dependent upon the bases are foreigners and cannot vote retribution in U.S. elections.
Do we need 227 bases in Germany ? Of course not. How about we close a number of them down and use those soldiers to enhance border security ? How about we defend our own country instead of defending Germany ? Let Germany defend itself. Hitler is long gone and the Cold War is over.
This is just one of a hundred ways we could reduce federal spending. I contend that our federal government is ripping off the taxpayers in virtually every way imaginable, and if the public was truly informed about it, we'd have an uprising in this country not witnessed since the Civil War. Of course, that would require a media that wanted to talk about more than Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods, and the weather.
More to the point, we don't even need Michelle Obama's $8 billion child nutrition bill in the first place. That's just more wasted money. If kids are going to eat healthy food, that's up to the parents and the local school districts. Michelle Obama can't do it, no matter how much of our money she wants to spend.
Even more to the point, we're in a recession, for chrissakes. Congress and the White House shouldn't be dreaming up new ways to waste taxpayer dollars. Enough is enough already. Big Brother must stop spending money like there's no tomorrow. If he doesn't, we must force him to stop, as the saying goes, by any means necessary. Nothing less than the future of our country is at stake.