Democrats Pretend To Cut Food Stamps Again To Pay For Michelle Obama Program

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN - AUGUST 08: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama arrives at the Marivent Palace on August 8, 2010 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

I pointed out previously that Democrats were claiming to have “paid” for part of the state bailout bill by cutting funding from the food stamps program. The problem is that the cut in funding to food stamps doesn’t go into effect immediately, and Democrats were already promising before the legislation even passed to restore the funding.

There was no cut. Only an accounting gimmick aimed at providing the illusion of financial responsibility.

Well the gimmick worked so well last time that Democrats are doing it again. This time by claiming to cut food stamps spending in order to fund a program proposed by Michelle Obama.

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. …

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.

Again, accounting gimmicks.

Not that I’m against cutting funding to food stamps. Enrollment in the food stamps program has been growing by leaps and bounds, and breaking records, but as I’ve pointed out before much of that growth is being driven by expanded eligibility for the program.

When you put more cops on the street you get more arrests. That doesn’t necessarily mean a spike in crime. Same is true with entitlement programs. When you expand them, you get more people dependent on them. And food stamps have less of a stigma now than ever. It used to be that people were ashamed to admit that they had to depend on the government to feed them, but these days colleges actively encourage students to go on food stamps.

Because they’re entitled.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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