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Food stamps: Chew on this

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

House Republicans finally serve up a morsel of common sense by removing food stamps from the farm bill. And Democrats respond with a gag reflex. Judging from their letter of complaint to House Speaker John Boehner, one would think the GOP had ushered in the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.


Lumping one gargantuan federal subsidy into another is nothing more than logrolling — rural lawmakers get their plump farm pork, their urban counterparts get their ever-expanding food stamps.

And taxpayers? Why, they get shafted, of course.

The fact that 47 million Americans today rely on the government's so-called “nutrition program” — which continually comes under scrutiny for abuse and/or fraud — has no bearing on the 204 House Dems who signed the letter demanding a return to the status quo.

Republicans propose new eligibility and work requirements to reduce abuse in the food stamps program, The Hill newspaper reports. That makes sense. Likewise, the farm bill should be sheared of its outrageous subsides and allowances that benefit Big Ag at an intolerable cost to smaller farms and consumers.

No longer should food stamps, with their own set of problems, provide political cover for an overstuffed farm bill. Each should be judged on its own merits.

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