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Congressman Claims People Struggling To Survive On Food Stamps Are 'Intentionally Buying Overpriced Food'

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, corruption, dishonesty, economy, ethics, Govtfearmongering, lies, propaganda, politics, republicans )

- 1825 days ago -
"Folks aren't buying fast food instead of vegetables because of benefit limits, they're buying fast food because fast food tastes great and vegetables taste like vegetables."

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 2:18 pm
Photo Credit: Think Progress - Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)

Conservative firebrand Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) argued in a press release on Tuesday that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides cushy benefits to recipients and accused Democrats protesting proposed cuts of engaging in a “left-wing publicity stunt intended to make it appear proposed cuts to food stamps would leave families unable to feed themselves.”

On Friday, the Senate advanced a farm bill that would take $4 billion out of SNAP and the House is considering cutting the program by 2.5 percent and leaving some two million families without food assistance. In response, more than 26 members of Congress are taking the “SNAP Challenge,” living off a food stamp budget for a week to draw attention to the inadequacy of the average benefit of $4.50 per day. Forty-seven million Americans are currently enrolled in the program.

But an aide in Stockman’s office claims to have “debunked” their effort and is accusing Democrats of “intentionally buying overpriced food and shopping at high-priced chains to make it appear the cuts go too far”:

Donny Ferguson, who serves as Stockman’s communications director and agriculture policy advisor, was able to buy enough food to eat well for a week on just $27.58, almost four dollars less than the $31.50 “SNAP Challenge” figure.

“I wanted to personally experience the effects of the proposed cuts to food stamps. I didn’t plan ahead or buy strategically, I just saw the publicity stunt and made a snap decision to drive down the street and try it myself. I put my money where my mouth is, and the proposed food stamp cuts are still quite filling,” said Ferguson.

“We can cut the proposed benefits by an additional 12.4 percent and still be able to eat for a week,” said Ferguson. “Not only am I feeding myself for less than the SNAP Challenge, I will probably have food left over.” [...]

“I didn’t use coupons, I didn’t compare prices and was buying for one, instead of a family. I could have bought even more food per person if I were splitting $126 four ways, instead of budgeting $31.50 to eat for one” said Ferguson. “I could have bought cheaper vegetables instead of prepared red beans and rice, but I like red beans and rice. Folks aren’t buying fast food instead of vegetables because of benefit limits, they’re buying fast food because fast food tastes great and vegetables taste like vegetables.”

Stockman’s office appears to misunderstand the challenge. Rather than impulsively buying food, participants plan for nutritious meals, akin to actual families enrolled in the program. And with the average cost of food at home far exceeding the SNAP Challenge allotment, families often struggle to afford meals.

A study published earlier this year by the Institute of Medicine found that “low-income and minority populations are more likely than other groups to experience limited access to supermarkets and other large retail outlets” These families also lack the transportation to access quality food and don’t have “sufficient time to produce healthy meals from scratch.” Since food prices vary across the nation, “SNAP participants who live in locales with higher food prices find it difficult to meet their needs with the current benefit,” the IOM concluded.

Indeed, as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) — one of the members participating in the challenge — pointed out, “When I was a young, single mother, I was on public assistance. It was a bridge over troubled water, and without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” “I spent hours debating what to buy and what to skip, all the while keeping my sons in my mind,” she wrote.

The latest poverty data show that SNAP lifted 4.7 million households out of poverty in 2011.

By: Igor Volsky | Think Progress |

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 2:21 pm

Now go out and take the challenge. Can you live on $4.50 a day for food?

Sue H (7)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 2:56 pm
This coming out of the mouth of someone who looks like he's never missed a meal in his life. ??? SHAME.


JL A (281)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 3:25 pm
Thanks Kit for letting us see someone who knows how to skew data to support their preferred position and not acknowledge the factors that skewed (able to shop where cheaper with transportation and time to prepare from scratch since not working 17 hour days, etc.).

Rose Becke (141)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 4:38 pm

Sherri G (128)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 2:13 am
This was an excellent speech on the concept of Whiteness. Poor white and black citizens of this country have been played off against each other for decades. The irony is the power elite holds both back pitting them against each other. Then many white poor vote against their own interest believing they are better than blacks. Power elite have been very successful. Drugs complicated their poverty more. Fact is the homeless and poor have so many cards stacked against them it is unlikely they can pull out of the nose dive. Thanks and Noted Kit

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 7:50 am
He needs to live like the people who depend on SNAP for one month. Then he needs to live like the people will live when SNAP is taken away. I wish we had the power to impose a mandate of this sort for congressmen and women. Thank you!

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 8:37 am
Stockman, and the other idiots that would like to have all safety nets be done away with, will find any excuse to slice the throats of people. I'm so tired of these lack luster politicians that want to go after the crumbs the children have to eat, chop away a few more dollars that the Elders try to live on as well as cut back fuel assistance to help them heat their homes.

It has been one thing or another that has people boxed in with ever less to live life on. Increased fees for the blind to obtain their cards that state that fact, wanting to lower their income, and at the same time cut back on the Food Stamps and Fuel Assistance.

This doesn't take into account that prices for just about everything is going up. It may not seem like much to the Fat Cats, a few dollars here and a few dollars there, but to those living on the edge each dollar is a lot to them and there is no place to tighten the belt anymore for many people.

I use to love it when they spoke about how some can't take vacations any more or send their children to dance school. Well I'm here to tell you that some people are having a hard time putting gas in their car to drive to the grocery and wonder where the money is coming from to buy shoes for their children let alone dance classes.

I can't stand their smug faces anymore.

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 8:41 am

Try this imagine you are a family of 4 : Your monthly income to qualify: $2,000.
Subtract your rent at a low average of $950. for a 2 bedroom apartment,
now subtract transportation or bus fees, gas, water and electric for your utility fees
with just one child in day care - but it is the summer and probably both are day care
add that cost - no less than 500.00 a month, and that is really cheap, and being honest, those are not the full schedule of bills for any family.

It's just astounding that the justification for these policies is once again - the bible.

Who are the takers? Those who daily take resources from this and other countries while avoiding taxes.
Those in Congress that pay themselves with farm subsidy money.

With a peanut for a brain these same old, worn arguments just do not hold water.


Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 8:49 am

The new distraction? No SNAP for rapists or pedophiles. That argument should be a non-starter, but some will buy it, or any excuse to join the hate campaign against those in need.

If you were convicted of one of these crimes, and have served your time, why is this even being discussed?
Are children of the convicted also condemned to a life of shame and now hunger? No SNAP no lunches at school.

Does this country, a country built on the foundation of second chances, now ready to use these broad terms just to save a few bucks for food?

Only a fool is deceived by this baked attempts to justify harm people most in need.

I am fully disgusted by the republicans in Congress.

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 8:50 am

***half baked ***

Angelika R (143)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 9:44 am
There you heard it, an expert told you even with SNAP cuts you're overfed, donate the rest to your local soup kitchen please! (sorry, but this only leaves room for bitter sarcasm)

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:06 am
Idiot. He needs to stop smoking that pipe of his...thx Kit

. (0)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:25 am
Noted & posted. Need I say more?

Ben O (154)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:26 am
Steve Stockman...yet another freaking moron!

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:31 am

Oh yeah, Ben we the people are having a yard sale, buy a Senator get two House Representative for free. Come on down! Sorry, no discounts on morons, I think you understand.

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:32 am

Michael, you can always say more.

Mike M (40)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:50 am
Well you only have to see a overstuffed whale boy a why he decided to say such a thing. Maybe he should eat some vegetables and only $4.50 a days worth and the markets now charge big prices for veggies because they are in fashion there would not be much. People of this nation especially children elderly and wounded veterans and their families should not go hungry. Take the money away from the fools who are elected to be representatives of the people. Let them eat S#@T

Jim Phillips (3257)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:59 am
I keep asking myself, "Where do these moronic idiots come from"?...
How are they "elected"...?
Who and What are these people that elect those moronic idiots into office?...


Ty, Kit.

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 12:02 pm
How about this, the "Poor" Governor of Virginia....

Gov. Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have used taxpayer money for a range of small personal items they should have paid for themselves under state policy, according to spending records.

The McDonnells have billed the state for body wash, sunscreen, dog vitamins and a digestive system "detox cleanse," the records show. They also have used state employees to run personal errands for their adult children.

About six months into the governor's term, the official who oversees mansion spending told the McDonnells that they should not have charged taxpayers for a number of expenses, including deodorant, shoe repairs and dry-cleaning their children's clothing.

Virginians also paid for a $62 laminated banner to celebrate the twins' high school graduation, with a state employee picking up the sign at the print shop and paying for it with the mansion credit card.

The official asked the McDonnells to pay the state back more than $300, which they did, and also gave them a refresher on what the state will and won't provide for occupants of the governor's mansion.

But since that time, state records show that the McDonnells have continued to let taxpayers pick up the tab for numerous personal items, including vitamins, nasal spray and sleep-inducing elixirs.

Well there you go folks, I guess if one doesn't have to pay for their nasal spray, vitamins even for the dog, or use gas or time to do errands, perhaps the single Mother might be able to provide a few more items of food in her carriage. Perhaps the Elders might not have to give up Fido as they can't afford to feed him let alone purchase dog vitamins.

Is nice when one is paid extremely well and still get all these other items thrown in for free, have staff members run your errands for you as the wife of the Governor had someone pick up her hemmed slacks at the tailors. It is all adding up, but they will take the same $300 away from a Veteran in his Food Stamps or the Elderly from Fuel Assistance to keep from being cold.

Yes, let us keep these stories out there.

I suppose they think nothing of the nasal spray when they are the same family under investigation for the $15,000 catering tab at Cailin McDonnell's mansion wedding in June 2011 that was paid by a McDonnell campaign donor.

That same donor, Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie Williams Sr., also lent the governor his Ferrari, lakeside vacation home and private jet.

A Richmond prosecutor also is investigating whether the governor violated state gift disclosure laws.

This one Governor isn't the only one doing it, from Governors to Senators it just goes on and on and then THEY have the balls to tell the people who are on Social Security that they feel entitled to it. Darn right, at least they worked and paid into it.

It seems it is ok that some of the well to do can feel "entitled" but don't let some poor family, an Elder or a Veteran think that they might receive enough compassion from this Country that their Nation wouldn't let them starve to death.


Joanne Dixon (38)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 1:29 pm
Sue H. -- someone who's never missed a meal in his life -- or someone who has ballooned up on high fructose corn syrup and GMO beans and grains because they are cheap and thinks everyone should live like that -- or both ....

Sharon H (282)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 2:32 pm
I can't find any actual data but in January, the GOP run government of NC wanted to raise the tax on food from 2% to 8% to help make up the void that lowering corporate taxes would make. Here's the info on it...
I hope there's a special place in some kind of hell these evil monsters will go to in the afterlife.

David Menard (43)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 2:34 pm
I cannot find even the smallest degree of separation between the GOP and fascists

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 2:45 pm
I hear you Sharon. Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, cut the States funding for education by $1.3 billion, calling it not a “core function” of the state and other critical community services while giving millions in handouts to big corporations. So that NC should be doing this is par for the coarse with these Corrupted Thieves.

Claudia O (73)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 2:49 pm
What on earth would this man know about HUNGER!? His privileged life has made no allowance for empathy.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 2:49 pm
I would like to know what income this freak has. He should be ashamed.

Esther S (45)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 2:50 pm
I just came back home from one of the supermarkets near me and I didn't buy any vegetables because the prices of vegetables are so high!

Robert K (31)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 3:55 pm
You know, back in the days when I was a Republican I wasn't ashamed of it. As they went more and more insane as a party I became ashamed of it. Now I fear I've become a bit of an anti-Republican zealot, but it's things like this obviously lying sack of spit that made me this way. My state has one of the extremely few Republicans who sometimes do the right thing. If he were a Democrat he'd be known as a piss poor Senator, but as a Republican he's just about the only one who shouldn't be facing a firing squad. I refer to Mark Kirk.

Robert K (31)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 3:58 pm
I'm guessing he was using up the food in his freezer, pantry and fridge There's no way to eat for a week for $31 without harming your health unless you're growing some of your own food.

Terrie Williams (798)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 4:05 pm
David...that is because there is none. They ARE Fascists.

Birgit.....Right at $169,000.00 +/- per year plus all the perks WE the people, pay for like their health insurance, their limos, their flight tickets on airplanes to and from their states to DC.....etc etc etc. Need I mention that the majority of Congressmen are wealthy and that 95% of Senators are MILLIONAIRES. What the hell would they know about hunger or no lights or water or going without medications or living out of a wrecked vehicle under a bridge somewhere? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I rest my case......

I am horribly embarrassed and mortified that this INSECT, Stockman, is the Congressman who unfortunately represents my district. Now you all see why I live in a constant state of despair and rage......he is not the only one produced from this area. This area is rampant with this mentality yet they thump their Bibles and call themselves good Christians. Turns my stomach. He is a Teabagger of the Redneck kind. How do people vote for these morons......because they are also morons of the same persuasion....that and Jerrymandering like a big dawg.

Diana Bair (7)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 4:09 pm

Vicky P (476)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 4:31 pm
wow, what a self-entitled asshole. Has he priced food? no of course not, he's rich so he doesn't give a f***

Freya H (357)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 5:36 pm
Any excuse to starve people - after forcing them to have kids they can't feed. Stockman needs to visit the Wizard of Oz, because he needs both a heart and a brain!

JL A (281)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 5:37 pm
At least some of his peers were more reasonable and joined today to defeat the House Farm Bill that had these cuts in it.

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 5:39 pm

Ding, dong the Farm bill is dead. For now anyway. Let's get ready to sign the next batch of petitions.

Where do people like this come from? Lawrdy me....she said in shame, this one is from my home state. A Texan, and I don't say that with pride.

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 5:50 pm

Those who are having a tough time buying fruits and vegetables, please check out Bountiful Baskets in your area, if there isn't one check in to being the first to begin one for your area. For $15.00 every two weeks you will have lots of fresh food. Buy it once every two weeks or once a month.

Michael M (5)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 6:04 pm
I heard things are bigger in Texas but damn, man! Get off the Big Macs and onto a treadmill!

Just because you eat more then your fair share of Right-Wing Bull-S***, does not mean you shouldn't have a LITTLE pride in yourself!

Jim Phillips (3257)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 7:06 pm
Birgit & Terrie: The g o p pukes voted to have a pay increase of $5,000.00 not too long ago.

They now have a base pay of $174,000.000 per year + "perks".

Facts you may or may not know:

Each time congress votes on overturning "Obamacare" costs the taxpayers over a million dollars. They have done this 37+ times. What a waste of time and money.

Petition: Congress Should Work a Five Day, 40 hours per week Petition:

News story:


Robert B (60)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 7:07 pm
Another overfed, overpaid, self-serving, sociopathic, "do as I say, not as I do" opportunistic hypocritical political hack.

Kit B (276)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 7:17 pm

Oh yeah, Robert! Say it loud.

Barbara V (51)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 8:20 pm
What a thing to to actually come out and say--this fat, well-fed Republican big mouth. What the hell does HE know about food stamps and hunger? He wouldn't know the meaning of any of it. Why don't pigs like him keep their big fat mouths shut?

Edith B (146)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 9:51 pm
He is an idiot!

Deb E (63)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 10:01 pm
Sadly, many "fat" people are actually malnourished so their body believes they must store fat while living off their own muscle and cellular proteins due to the lack of nutrients. And poor people are also taking in way too many carbs because carbs are cheap. So eating too much isn't always the reason why a person is overweight. That said, I doubt the reason the man in the photo is overweight is due to a lack of nutrition, but calling people names because of how they look misses the point and distracts from the fact that these scumbags are trying to take over our country. John Birch Society anyone? It is still very much alive and well.

Mariann Rannenberg (158)
Friday June 21, 2013, 12:44 am
Thank You, Kit. I eat on 2.50 a day. Bologna is my steak. I guess I am to go hungry even more. I weigh 97lbs so am I spending wrong?? To hell with him!! I challenge him to eat on my income.

paul m (93)
Friday June 21, 2013, 6:12 am

How would that over-paid fat pig know ??

Tim L (86)
Friday June 21, 2013, 6:14 am
Ya gotta love these self righteous conservatives. They can't stop hugging fetuses, but once that fetus is born they don't give a damn if he/she starves to death. " Let them eat cake."

Tim L (86)
Friday June 21, 2013, 6:29 am
An interesting fact about Stockman, who is a born again Christian: He voted against the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. This guy is just full of Christian love and charity...or something.

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Friday June 21, 2013, 7:11 am
A fact that may be of interest to All Of You.
This guy represents the area around the Johnson Space Center in Texas. He ranks as one of the least knowledgeable elected officials about NASA and science. Will a more knowledgeable republican or democrat run against him in 2014? I certainly hope so.

Kit B (276)
Friday June 21, 2013, 7:48 am

We have too many poorly informed, bloviating, self aggrandizing, bible thumping, so called Christians in Congress. Unfortunately, many of them also represent Texas.

Scott haakon (4)
Friday June 21, 2013, 8:08 am
This is part of What Reagan started. Some people are outraged when people pay for good items with their food stamps. Part is the misinformation the other is political. If the pol can get votes from then they will do it. It is a way to force the seniors on food stamps to more suffering. They want the poor and seniors to disappear.

Terrie Williams (798)
Friday June 21, 2013, 9:27 am
I wondered if that pay raise went through or not, thanks for letting me know, Phillip. Signed the petition a while back and shared it. Thanks!

Janis B (7)
Friday June 21, 2013, 9:33 am
This poor guy is obviously so malnourished himself due to squandering money on excess, he has no working brain. How can people think like this. As to his assistant given poor people cannot always afford to use their stoves, how are they expected to cook for children with raw ingredients. Perhaps they could use a brain transplant from the new Zombie movie.

Kit B (276)
Friday June 21, 2013, 9:52 am

I don't know what I spend each day for food. I tend to make amounts for more than one meal. I make squash casseroles, or breakfast muffins, spinach and broccoli many others that can be sorted into single servings and frozen.


Myriam Derome (1)
Friday June 21, 2013, 1:29 pm
Noted and thanked. Just... these people. Many of the people on food stamps can't reach stores selling real food for cheap, or have to sacrifice a whole day walking to do it and drag everything back. Heck, the bus tickets for a round trip are more than the cost for a whole day's food up here. Pretty close to two days, in fact - the system kind of sucks.

Kathleen R (138)
Friday June 21, 2013, 2:18 pm
read & noted. Kudos to all the great comments everyone has to say here. I would also love to see all the politicians live on the same amount of everything as one does at the poverty level, not just the food. I believe 6 months of living in the same abodes, etc. Perhaps some may develop some compassion, empathy and humanity. One can always dream.

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday June 21, 2013, 6:44 pm
I don't know if I just never noticed in previous years, or if we have the worst group of disgusting pieces of garbage who have overtaken the House that I can remember. As if their War on Women isn't bad enough, they've proclaimed war against hungry people. I notice that I still rarely see the word "inflation" in any online periodicals, but prices are high and rising on everything. The SNAP program is presently not enough, but they want to take money away from it?! This is cruel and inhuman. This bill isn't going away, and we have to continue to speak up against it.

Past Member (0)
Friday June 21, 2013, 10:30 pm
D**ck head

Elizabeth Fuller (134)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 8:41 am
Born an asshole that just grew bigger...I am so sick of these bigots of the poor, who were probably schoolyard bullies who picked on the poor kid with the funny in politics and doing it still....

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 9:04 am
Ya, like Mitt Romney shaving the hair off of a fellow gay student. Bullies with money and power and oh do they love to wield it.

Unionize, stand together, the ones who have made the most money off of the rigged economy don't want you to look towards them....they will pit the now in turmoil middle class against the poor as to the cause of their problems.

It's a tactic they have down to a science now.....don't fall for it.

Lynne Buckley (0)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 4:39 pm
What an idiot.i'd be ashamed to know him.

Debbie Crowe (87)
Monday August 19, 2013, 1:17 am
I want to know what grocery he went to, to get all that food for only $27.58!
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