Food Stamps for US, Let World Eat Cake

With the world economic downturn upon us, hunger is speading like a plague, to El Paso, to San Diego, to our entire nation. Indeed, to the world, and the Bush Administration voted against a UN resolution supporting food as a basic human right. They deny responsibility for the economic mess, and then tell the world to go eat cake.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

With the economy worsening, it appears the number of Americans qualifying for and taking advantage of the WIC (food stamp) program is increasing. Yes, more and more people in the United States are at the risk of going hungry, and it’s on Bush’s watch (no matter how he protests, Bush must take SOME responsibility for the economic collapse). In San Diego, a city proud of its record of having a relatively small number of citizens taking advantage of WIC, the applications for the program are skyrocketing. Same in El Paso and across the country the applications for the WIC program are skyrocketing. The Nation’s food banks are recording record numbers of people lining up for assistance in getting the basics to sustain life, food. The Bush response?

Well, the first Bush response is to attack anyone who tries to lay the blame for the economic downturn on them. Let’s all remember that Republicans don’t take responsibility for any of their errors. Yesterday the Bushies slammed the New York Times for an article linking their policies to the downturn in the mortgage markets. The scoop from Rawstory:

Citing his declaration earlier this year that America was merely suffering from a “rough patch” and his complete avoidance of the word “recession” until earlier this month, the article said such “dismissive” policies are directly linked to the downward spiral of the economy.

“When the economy deteriorated, Mr. Bush and his team misdiagnosed the reasons and scope of the downturn … The result was a series of piecemeal policy prescriptions that lagged behind the escalating crisis.”

If that doesn’t sound like an example of fiddling while Rome burns I don’t know what does. It is an example of more than Bush Administration incompetence, though. But is it merely an example of a callous attitude towards the American citizens hard hit by the Bush economic crisis? Terrence Heath at Billerico, at least, argues that the goal of the Republicans is to drive down the asperations of the middle class. I’m not inclined to protest too much, especially when we note the UN resolution concerning the right to food by the citizens of the world. It was overwhelmingly passed, with just four dissenting votes, from the Bush Administration, and three of its sure votes, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Ukraine.

Ugly. The Bush Administration can’t take responsibility for engineering an economic crisis that has plunged millions across the world into poverty and hunger, and it even comes out against a philosophical statement in the United Nations to declare that food is a basic right of people. In the waning days of this most incompetent of administrations, they are showing venality of an order we have rarely seen in history.

There is hope, I suppose. The Obama Administration has announced that Joe Biden will be using his clout to focus on the plight of the working stiffs in the middle class. I’m not so optimistic that such a project will pay benefits in the near future, but this sure is action that wouldn’t even show up on the bush Administration radar, so you’ve got to give Obama credit for that.

Hey, there’s a lot of work to do for Obama to counteract the appallingly immoral and incompetent policies of the Bush Administration. The problem of hunger is just one of the areas that needs to be addressed. Here I sit this morning, privileged as can be. I returned yesterday from a cruise in the Caribbean. The poverty of such islands as Dominica and Grenada took my breath away, but at least those people have fertile soil with which to support themselves. Sure, I saw three legged dogs and children begging, but observation told me they had food, if not a nintendo. The world is different. The entire world depends on the economic structure of our society to acquire food. And the Bush Administration told the entire world to go eat cake.

It is hard to figure how Republicans can overcome such callous disregard for others and still claim their mantle of the Christian party. Are evangelical Christians so stupid?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 by Steven Reynolds |