Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The price of Republican priorities: Children going hungry

Republicans in Congress and the White House have prevented most of this year's spending bills from becoming law.

The federal budget is so huge and deals with numbers so large it takes a significant problem with it to make it small enough for the average person to care about. Such a situation is about to hit the very most vulnerable Kansans- those who rely on the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program (WIC) to purchase necessary foodstuffs. We aren't being dramatic when we say children could starve to death without WIC.

According to a story that ran in today's Topeka Capital-Journal, if President George W. Bush's budget is accepted, WIC in Kansas stands to suffer a $7 million shortfall, which would force 6,000 people off the rolls, and would require an additional 2,000 people be turned away in 2008.

Put a different way, if the President's budget is approved without any increases, an estimated 8,000 children in Kansas will go hungry.

This problem is the same problem we see across the board when it comes to domestic necessities, and Congresswoman Nancy Boyda hits the nail on the head:

"This isn't just about WIC. This is about Head Start, veteran's funding, social security, everything.

"The bottom line is, the president has said he will veto any bill that increases spending. The Democrats have tried to compromise, compromise, compromise, and there have been no compromises with this White House."
First SCHIP, now WIC. The Republicans screamed and yelled the Democrats were using children during the SCHIP debate, saying they were trying to make the Republican Party look cruel and like it didn't care about the real hardship their policies were putting on people.

The obvious contempt the Republicans in Congress and the White House have for the poor is stunning. We don't need to use anything to make that point.

(Photo from, and more information available at kdheks.org)

12 comments:

jonesfiles said...

Just a basic question here: Is it the U.S. government's job to feed people? Where does the Constitution spell out this mandate?

Also, do you think the welfare system and its accompanying entitlements have elevated the human spirit and made our nation a better place?

Anonymous said...

WIC keeps kids alive, asshole.

Anonymous said...

What's all this talk about Steve and Nancy meeting on the internet? Anyone know about this?

Anonymous said...

no, because it's BS.

stillwaters said...

Is it not our government's responsibility to feed mothers and young children rather than let them starve?

My wife and children were on the WIC program when they were very young. My daughter is now at a very prestigious university. Did the WIC program help her make it there? In a way, I suppose it did.

The welfare system is intended to help those who need help. And that's what a responsible government does. Notice how those currently in power are not being responsible.

Anonymous said...

of course some people abuse the programs, but, of course, lots of people do not.

yes, it is the responsibility of the government to keep people, particularly children, safe and fed.

Anonymous said...

Since the question was asked...yes, it is the job of the US government to feed its people, just as it's the government's job to protect and defend its people.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "stillwaters" my daughter and I were on WIC in the early 1990's and the system served us very well. Presently, my daughter attends Princeton University and the WIC program certainly did it part to help her on her way there, by providing the nutrition a baby and her mother who was breastfeeding her needed. Social programs and those who need them are not the evil of a civilized society on the contrary it is the people who refuse to help that make our society evil and uncivilized.

Show Me the Evidence said...

An anonymous sweetheart said:
WIC keeps kids alive, asshole.

SJ:
So before WIC, we had dead children throughout the land? What's your evidence to support that assertion? What are the numbers to support your "dead kids" hypothesis? (Sorry to use bigger words than "asshole." You can look them up.)

Stillwaters said:
Is it not our government's responsibility to feed mothers and young children rather than let them starve?

SJ:
No. It's the U.S. government's job to protect our individual liberties. Charity is the work of private organizations, churches and synagogues. They do a better job than the government-run welfare state.

Anonymous said...

apparently some folks here have a difference in opinion when it comes to what the government should and should not be doing.

I lean with the folks that say the gov'ment should do what it can to keep people safe- which i certainly believe includes keeping them alive.

Governments ought be judged by how they treat their most helpless.

stillwaters said...

SJ: "They do a better job than the government-run welfare state."

Like you said, 'show me the evidence'. From my understanding, for national programs like WIC, the federal government can do a much better job, by reaching more people in need as well as doing it in the most efficient manner.

Let's see what Republicans rank as more important:

Iraq War: $478 trillion, 4000 US soldiers killed.

Whereas for the Democrats:

WIC: $5.2 billion, 7.9 million mothers and young children fed nutritional, supplemental food.

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