The Safety Net

“It’s very sad. I think it’s just illustrating what dire straits our federal government budget is in,” said Sheila Zedlewski, director of the Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Center. “It’s unprecedented to raid one safety net program to feed another.”

Democrats who reluctantly slashed a food stamp program to fund a state aid bill may have to do so again to pay for a top priority of first lady Michelle Obama.

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.

Party leaders raided the budget to find off-setting tax increases and spending cuts to pay for their top legislative priorities, including the roughly $900 billion health care law.

Democrats have turned to the food stamp program because funding increases enacted in the stimulus package last year were already scheduled to phase out over time. The changes proposed in the state aid and nutrition bills would simply cut off that increase early, in March 2014. Because the cuts would not take effect for more than three years, Democratic leaders have voiced the hope that they will be able to stop them in future legislation.

But House liberals are balking now, saying that while they swallowed the food stamp cuts to pay for urgent funding for Medicaid and teachers, they will not vote for more cuts in the child nutrition bill.

A House leadership aide noted that the food stamp decrease approved in the state aid bill will not take effect right away and will leave the program at the same funding level it was at before the stimulus law was signed. “That doesn’t mean many Democrats are not concerned about the issue, but this is a process which gives us time to deal with immediate issues (like jobs) and helping the economy grow, while giving you time to deal with the food stamp issue,” the aide said. (The Hill)

In other words, the card shuffling rob Peter-to-Pay-Paul-Wimpy-I’ll Pay you tomorrow for a hamburger (or food stamp)-today economics may be running a bit thin.

The idea that you can pay for massive spending with cuts 3 years from now in the hope that everything will be fine and and you won’t have to cut them in 3 years is some how saving money now is just wrong.

And these were eliminating increases that that they’d already passed!

Sounds like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after it’s hit the iceberg! 😦

But when you have The Agenda, and the Agenda must be passed and the end justifies the means, you’ll do and say anything to make it happen.

The deeper food stamp reductions in the Senate version would set an earlier date — in November 2013 — for eliminating the increased benefits passed last year.  A family of four would see their benefit reduced by $59 a month, or about 9 percent. The bill would also cut funding for nutrition education programs aimed at low-income neighborhoods and households.

But don’t worry, It will still be George W Bush’s fault if the cuts actually happen. Or evil rich people. Or Class warfare. It certainly won’t be there fault. And it’s just cutting an increase anyhow so no big deal (unless you’re the Bush Tax cuts where not increasing taxes is bad).

The truth is certainly not endangered. 🙂

I like this comment made on the article, it was suitably sarcastic:

No big deal. Just put a “cancel” on any payments from the treasury to cover charges for the Obama family’s entertainment amd travel budget. It would onlly take a few months of austerity in the White House to jumpstart the economy, balance the budget, and slash the deficit. If that doesn’t do it, garnish Obama’s salary, eliminate his empire of czars, and fire “Bozo” Gibbs. The first two measures would be sacrifices, and the third would be a sign of at least some intelligent life in the White House.

Now why would they want to interrupt their latest lavish vacation to do that? Gee, they are the elites and they are the ruling family why would they want to show any restraint?

They deserve it. They are better than you.

I guess we could always Eat their words… 🙂

Congress’ rationale for eliminating the 2003 Bush tax cuts is deficit reduction. This position would be more credible were congress not teeing-up additional discretionary spending programs in the form of various stimuli packages for union members and favored political allies whom Democrats need to please in order to ensure their re-election in November. The deficit can never be reduced if Congress doesn’t stop non-essential spending. (or this kind of Wimpy-I’ll-pay-tomorrow-for-what-I-spend-today economics).

Currently, it is not clear if the confiscatory tax policies proposed by Democrats are designed to reduce the deficit by increasing the government’s revenue or if they are designed to punish political opponents and those whose don’t share the flawed, Democrat, wealth-redistribution ideology. Increasingly, it’s looking as if the goal is to punish.

Low tax rates incentivize economic growth and investment. This has been proven time after time. But, Democrats prefer to focus, instead, on taxes on the “rich”, using inflammatory rhetoric that plays on our deepest fears and ego, fear that someone might be better than we are, have more than we do, rhetoric that encourages schadenfreude, a smug pleasure that those who have more than we, might be brought low by confiscatory tax policies.

The Democrat leaders in congress advocating against the Bush tax cuts are looking for a bogeyman—the rich—to be blamed for the failed Democrat fiscal and job creation policies. Punishing the “rich” is a campaign strategy that they hope will play well with voters this fall. (Townhall.com)

Let them EAT the “rich”. Meanwhile, the apparatchiks are being porked out of their minds.

And you, get to pay for it either way. 🙂

Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, their was another stimulus (aka bribe) recently also:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A check from Uncle Sam gets your attention, even if the money doesn’t help that much with the bills.

More than 750,000 Medicare recipients with high prescription costs each got a $250 government check this summer, and 3 million-plus more checks are going out to people who land in the program’s anxiety-inducing coverage gap.

Democrats, running scared in an election year, are trying to overcome older people’s mistrust of the new health care law, which expands coverage for younger generations by cutting Medicare payments to hospitals and insurers.

Will the ploy work?

“It’s like a teaser,” says Virginia Brant, 65, of Glendale, Ariz. “You go to Vegas and they give you the free spin on the wheel. We have had our teaser — the $250 — for us to say, ‘Gee, look at what we have coming.’”

Brant spent hers to help pay down a credit card she keeps for medications.

The checks arrive with a letter addressed directly to each beneficiary and signed by Kathleen Sebelius, President Barack Obama’s health secretary.

The money is “to bring you some needed relief on your prescription drug costs … the first step toward closing your coverage gap,” Sebelius says. Then comes the pitch: “Stay tuned for more information … on how this new law will help make Medicare more financially secure and provide you with higher quality and more affordable health care.”

Ooh, $250 bucks! Wow! that makes The Health Care Mandate  and the cuts in Medicare Advantage  (which is used for prescriptions mostly :)) so much more palatable and makes me want to vote for a Democrat so they can continue to pork people without regard to the consequences!

I guess they could always cut food stamps again to pay for it…. 🙂

So The democrats want to demagogue the rich, pay off their apparatchiks with your money and bribe people to vote for them in November.

Well at least some things haven’t changed in the swamp. 🙂