No Food For the Children? Let Them Eat Azaleas!

The Republicans have different priorities than the rest of America.  They made that clear when they held unemployment extensions hostage for tax breaks for the wealthy.  They continue to make it more clear as they  defund the country’s biggest birthcontrol distributor in the name of “ending abortion.”

Now, while they continue cutting food stamps and government aid to hungry women and children, they are making sure the flowers stay maintained.

Via Think Progress:

“This legislation reflects hard decisions to cut lower priority programs, reduce spending in programs that can be scaled back, and target funds where they are needed most so that our nation continues on the path to fiscal recovery,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY). Evidently, the House GOP finds nutrition assistance for low-income women and their children to be a “lower priority program,” as the bill cuts the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to such an extent that 325,000 to 475,000 currently eligible women and children will be denied help.

The bill also cuts funding for the CFTC, despite that agency’s new responsibilities to police derivatives and oil speculation under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. However, among the GOP priorities in the bill are ensuring that the National Arboretum maintains its azalea collection and calling for regulators to not apply the Animal Welfare Act on movie sets.

Azaleas?  That sounds pretty.  Too bad they don’t provide any sustenance, or poor women and children could eat them once WIC runs out of money.

The National Women’s Law Center calls the cuts to the food safety net “the new anti-obesity plan for children,” because you don’t have to worry about them getting too fat if they are slowly starving.

“Stop eating” is what Rep. Ryan and Rep. Kingston are saying to hundreds of thousands of kids who depend on WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, which provides healthy food and nutrition counseling to roughly 2 million low-income women and about 7 million infants and children each month. This smart investment not only prevents hunger but has lasting benefits for children’s health and school readiness.

Nevertheless, cuts to WIC of more than $650 million (compared to FY 2011 levels), based on Rep. Ryan’s budget proposal and Rep. Kingston’s House Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee bill, were approved by the full House Appropriations Committee on May 31. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that these funding cuts will force WIC to turn away between 200,000 and 350,000 eligible participants next year. If these cuts go through, this would be the first time in 15 years the program won’t be able to serve all eligible participants.

And what do we do once the children get hungry?  Well, the Republicans say “Let them eat Azaleas!”

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to tell the House of Representatives not to cut funding to fight hunger.


Photo from wikimedia commons


W. C
W. C5 months ago

Thanks for the information.

William C
William C5 months ago

Thank you for caring.

Tahni W5 years ago

Azaleas are poisonous...we may have to start eating republicans instead.

Rose Balcom
Rose Balcom6 years ago

Starving people are desperate people. Cut back on heavens forbid, some of the mulit-billions of bucks spent on the military every year and put it back into social programs like feeding babies and children!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

As it goes on and on, I shake my head in bewilderment and laugh, in a cackling kind of way. What new outrage will they think of next?

Juliet D.
judith sanders6 years ago

This outrage is completely misdirected. What other national treasures would you all like to liquidate or let die because nutrition programs need funding? How about the giant redwoods? Instead of maintaining the grass on the National Mall and feeding all those animals in the National Zoo, why not lease that space to corporations?

Have a look at what you want to destroy:
I'm very happy to report that the azaleas were saved by a private donor. Annual cost of the azaleas: $110,000 to maintain the exhibits. The in-bloom azaleas attract about 100,000 people every spring. Obviously, childhood nutrition programs cost millions more. Do you not see that this article was written by a Republican? This is what they always do- try to shock people with the cost of some small cultural outlay in the budget, while throwing billions down the rathole of war, and giving the extractive industries nearly free access to destroy our wilderness and pollute our water. It's those relatively insignificant contributions to the finer things in life, like giving funds to help restore world heritage sites overseas, that keeps the rest of the world from turning their backs on us as complete barbarians. Don't think that preventing some bit of art or nature from being funded will translate to more $$ in your pocket. The Republicans won't let that happen; they like you broke and ignorant.

Laurie G.
Laurie Greenberg6 years ago

As a teacher, I know that, without proper food (NOT azaleas!), children cannot learn. That is why free breakfast is offered at many schools. If you starve the body, you starve the brain as well. So, if our government were truly interested in No Child Left Behind, their first priority would be to make certain that no child goes hungry.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago

Let the Republicans eat azaleas!

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago


Daniel Bowman S.

i have to say - as a mother of a six month year old and considered "low income" i find the wic program nearly useless anyway - i eat organic on my "low income" and the wic list of "approved foods" states that most of what you can get with it is not organic, minus a tiny amount at the farmer's market. the "nutritional counseling" is often completely laughable. i think i know more about health than the nutritionist i had to waste time with and i wouldn't dare eat or feed my child most of the approved" foods in the wic program - and as i stated, i am considered low income and do get assistance, i am not speaking from high and mighty or anything.