"The neediest Americans will be hurt by an $8.6 billion cut to food aid in the bill signed by the President on Feb. 7" quoted the Financial Times. I believe the paper then reverted to type to express concern over how this would affect the fortunes of grocery stores like Walmart and others on which cost-conscious shoppers rely. Nationwide, before these cuts, about 20 percent of Walmart shoppers used food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, 17 percent of Target shoppers and 13 percent of Costco customers. This latest cut follows an $11 billion cut in food stamps in November. Now, as a result of the horse trading for what I believe to be the pork-laden Farm Bill, we will spend even less to help the unfortunate in our own nation and communities. While some celebrate that this bill could reduce the deficit by $23 billion, others argue that it will eventually increase the deficit. I would welcome deficit reduction, but not on the backs of the poor.
How can we hold our heads high and lecture others on human rights when we deny our own and those across the world even basic subsistence support? As a nation we spend a small fraction of one percent of our federal budget on aid to others. As a member of Bread for the World and the ONE Campaign I urge our fellow citizens to demand that our nation use our resources in ways that match the values that we claim to hold.
Eugene G. Arthurs