Santorum: We Don’t Need Food Stamps Because Obesity Rates Are So High

 

Written by Igor Volsky

Speaking in Le Mars, Iowa on Monday, Rick Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nation’s increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary:

Santorum told the group he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.

Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.

If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.

The cost of the food stamp program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — has jumped because more Americans are out of work and wages are down, not because of obesity rates. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly “70 percent households that relied on food stamps last year had no earned income,” although many households did benefit from Social Security benefits and other government programs. But a whopping 20 percent of households had no cash income at all last year.

Food prices have also gone up, adding additional costs. In fact, the food stamp program has been critical for reducing poverty and pumping money into local economies during the down economy, so cutting it now would not only take food out of peoples’ mouths (regardless of whether they are obese or not) and could slow down the recovery.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgess.

 

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Photo from IowaPolitics.com via flickr creative commons

287 comments

LMj Sunshine

Ok, thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Ok, thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Ok, thank you.

Sondra O.
Sondra O.4 years ago

There is Nothing FATTER than a Politician's head! Why doesn't Santorum go visit these people on food stamps? Because then he'd have to look into the eyes of Hungry CHILDREN!!
Santorum = MFBS!!

Mit W.
Mit Wes4 years ago

And we had to endure this man in Pennsylvania.

Donald B.
Donald Burnison4 years ago

Maybe Santorum should be more concerned about the pay and wealth of elected politicians who do not represent our citizens and are also obese. Santorum acts cowardly about his prejudice toward the poor, but fails to call out governor Christie, or Newt Gingrich, and their kind fortheir blatant obesity.

Sherri G.
Sherri E.4 years ago

Santorum and all conservative right wing Republicans need to put their money where their mouth is. Let them do without or live on poverty wages. Until they quit living like the 1% do they can't know and likely don't care about anyone but themselves. Let them do without the health care our tax dollars buy them. It appears America is very close to similar circumstances that led to French to revolt if the 99% are ignored.

Michael C.
Michael C.4 years ago

Jim C. As to your statement, "Taking money only from the "1%", or from any other "rich" group, won't solve the problem."

My question is, have you ever seen the numbers, in terms of what the rich pay, the 1% and that College of Corporations, we refer to as AmeriCorps, do not pay enough, actually I like to think of it as an investment, to themselves and the Republic. In the case of many companies, they NOTHING and then receive a tax return. I know how they do it, since you possess a computer, time to get busy, it won't take long.

Support the Struggle, Support the 99%, in the end you will find you were one of us all along.

Lyn Miller
Lyn Miller4 years ago

Deanna J.

Absolutely correct. Thanks for pointing out how difficult it is for people with little money to find nutritious foods that haven't had everything but calories processed out of them. It'd be great to see how Santorum would do on even $100/month for food just for himself. What do you want to bet that he'd starve?

Deanna J.
Deanna J.4 years ago

...how did I miss THIS gem.

Again, as I always say on Santorum articles, Googling the word "santorum" is totally Not Safe for Work. But it gives you a good idea of how much those of us from Pennsylvania appreciate him.

Anyway, it's realy simple, Rick. The less money you have for food, the more fat/sugar laden that food is. So, in short, the poorer you are, the less healthy the food you have access to is. People on food stamps (or struggling along on their own anywhere near the poverty line) can become obese simply because they cannot afford whole-grains, fresh produce, or lean protein sources. If you had only $40 each month to feed yourself, you would be eating a whole lot of cheap food. Bleached-flour pastas, fatty meats, and other similar foods that are very high in saturated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and mostly devoid of vitamins/minerals as well as fiber. That's how you get fat, Rick...

I still can't believe a man like this, who obviously does as much research in a bid to become "leader of the free world" as I did before explaining how to cook a turkey for our class thanksgiving project when I was five. And I quote "turn the oven to 5 degrees of hot[...]when you smell burning it is done." And I could read, and at a much higher-grade level, so I really had no excuse. And neither does Rick