Elisabeth Meinecke

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz just tweeted:

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Obviously, no one wants people to starve. But Democrats often use people's compassion to promote unhealthy programs that 1)aren't effective, 2)waste hard-earned money, and 3)expand government so that people indulge in a habit of dependency that never helps them in the long run. Plus, her tuna sandwich example seems a bit hyperbolic when compared with this example Helen Whalen-Cohen found for her "Stamp-ede!" piece in the November issue of Townhall Magazine:

Sarah Magida and Gerry Mak might not have been able to find full-time employment, but the unemployed art graduate and part-time blogger didn’t have to worry about where their next meal would come from. Both were covered under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

“I’m sort of a foodie, and I’m not going to do the ‘living off ramen’ thing,” Mak told Salon.com back in 2010. “I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it’s great that you can get anything.” The two agreed that they should feel neither shame nor embarrassment for using the government program. “It feels like a necessity right now. It’s not a thing people feel ashamed of, at least not around here,” Mak explained in the interview. And while neither enjoyed being unemployed (or underemployed), they appreciated the extra time to cook gourmet meals.

“Savory aromas wafted through the kitchen as a table was set with a heaping plate of Thai yellow curry with coconut milk and lemongrass, Chinese gourd sautéed in hot chile sauce and sweet clementine juice, all of it courtesy of government assistance,” Salon.com reported.

Magida and Mak are in good company. Food stamp enrollment swelled to a new high in 2010, surpassing the 40 million mark for the first time in March 2010. That number climbed steadily to 45,183,931 (1 in 7 Americans) in June 2011. The average recipient receives $133 per month, totaling $5.5 billion in government spending each month.

This surge can be attributed to ramped up marketing efforts on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the agency which administers SNAP benefits), including looser eligibility requirements and outreach to large populations.

Read the rest of the article in the November issue of Townhall Magazine.

 


Elisabeth Meinecke

Elisabeth Meinecke is TOWNHALL MAGAZINE Managing Editor. Follow her on Twitter @lismeinecke.