|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Saturday, October 29th, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|In all the excitement about Harriet and Scooter, the Republican-controlled Congress managed to accomplish an important piece of business that went completely unnoticed last week. The House Agriculture Committee voted to cut food stamps for 300,000 people.1
As a result of the food stamp cuts, 40,000 children will no longer receive free school breakfasts and lunches. The cuts will save the government $574 million. Representative John Boehner, R-Ohio, helped place the committee’s action in context. "The fact is, our country is going broke," said. "We're spending money we don't have and passing it onto our kids, and at some point, somebody's got to say, `Enough's enough.”’
Congress doesn’t get much credit for brains, but the Ag Committee’s proposal is brilliant and highly innovative, with far reaching consequences for the future of the country. Conservatives have traditionally decried deficit spending on moral grounds, arguing that it is sinful for the government to spend more than it takes in. They denounce the shame of making future generations, our children, responsible for paying down the debt we incur today.
The traditional solution to resolving deficits involves reducing spending, increasing revenues, or a combination of the two. But the Ag Committee has hit on a scheme to spare our children the burden of debt without the need to do anything at all about fiscal intakes and outlays.
We already have over 38 million people in this country who go hungry, unable to buy enough groceries to feed their families. That’s up from 31 million a year ago, according to The Washington Post. The Ag Committee’s plan is sure to make them hungrier still. Make them hungry enough, goes the thinking of House Republicans, and pretty soon the problem self-corrects. That’s especially true if children, who presumably are far less hunger resistant than adults, are targeted.
And there’s the genius of the Ag Committee scheme. Starve the children, and the hunger problem is solved in the speediest way. Simultaneously, the sin of saddling our children with the giant debt rung up by the Bush administration, the largest in U.S. history, is eliminated by the simple expedient of eliminating the children.
Of course, the Ag Committee, brilliant though it is, can’t take sole credit for these far-sighted food stamp cuts. The idea was originally proposed by President Bush’s White House.
Last week’s Economist magazine describes Joseph Cony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerilla group in Uganda. Mr. Cony is the author of countless atrocities against the men, women, and children of his country. Especially the children: he and his followers have killed, mutilated, or enslaved some 20,000 of them since he commenced operations. Mr. Cony claims to have been sent by god to save his countrymen from evil.2
Is it merely coincidence that President Bush makes a similar claim? Stephen Mansfield’s The Faith of George Bush has him telling the Reverend James Robison “I believe God wants me to run for President” before the 2000 election. And who can forget the words of U.S. Army General William Boykin, who said that Mr. Bush was in the White House because “God put him there.”3 Mr. Bush, Mr. Cony, and the children of their respective countries. Great minds really do think alike.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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