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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hunger has been eliminated!

Paging George Carlin. . .Mr.Carlin, your country needs you. . .

Claiming that the term "hungry" is "not a scientifically accurate term for the specific phenomenon being measured in their food security survey, and stating that "we don't have a measure of that condition", the US government has decided to drop the word "hunger" from its vocabulary. The condition formerly known as hunger shall henceforth be referred to as "very low food security". Statistically speaking, hunger will no longer exist in America.

The government report follows five straight years of increases in the number of Americans unable to afford the food they need. While the USDA may feel comfortable saying there is no hunger in America, simply because they can't find a precise scientific measure to describe it. It is not so difficult. In fact, it's so easy a child could do it. A young boy at a San Francisco food pantry knows exactly how to describe hunger. He says, "My stomach is touching my back."

If the government stops using the word "hunger," people may begin to believe that hunger has gone away. It hasn't. Just ask that little boy whose stomach is touching his back. However, by any name, the statistics are grim: 35 million people in America are living in "food-insecure" households. Seniors and children are especially at risk. Hunger is especially devastating for our most vulnerable citizens: children and seniors.

Yet for the past six years, the Bush administration has been cutting food-assistance programs, and in some cases, proposing to eliminate them. The continued unraveling of our nation's food safety net, will mean that more elderly Americans will go to bed hungry, more working poor parents will have to choose between paying the rent or putting food on the table, and more children will perform poorly in school and be unprepared for productive work lives.

The new Democratic-led Congress has an important opportunity to reverse these policies. They can take the lead in combatting hunger by restoring and increasing funding for the government food-assistance programs that provide vital nutrition to low-income Americans. And they should never be afraid to call hunger by its name.

Actual USDA data HERE.

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35 Comments:

Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

I am NOT sure where to start with this post...

The fact that the Feds want to stop using the word "hunger" helps to show how silly these large Government programs really are...

The rest of this post is quite possibly one of the least accurate posts I HAVE EVER SEEN on this blog.

John, I respectfully suggest you do some research on this topic! This is a Democratic talking point and it is an OUTRIGHT LIE.

The line item on the actual Federal Budget is "Food and Nutritional Assistance." Spending on this item has SKYROCKETED since 1962. All of my figures are taken directly from the US Budget and are rounded to the nearest million or billion dollars for simplicity.

1962. 275 Million dollar spent.
1970. 960 Million dollars spent.
1980. 13 Billion dollar spent.
1990. 21 Billion dollars spent.
2000. 28 Billion dollars spent.
2001. 29 Billion dollars spent.
2002. 33 Billion dollars spent.
2003. 37 Billion dollars spent.
2004. 41 Billion dollars spent.
2005. 48 Billion dollars spent.
2006. 51 Billion dollars spent.

The largest annual increase in the programs long history occured from 2004 to 2005; when Republicans were in control... The program grew by 17% that year...

The 2001 - 2006 Budgets are directly attributable to a Republican President, a Republican House, and a Republican Senate...

From 2001 - 2006 "Federal Food and Nutritional Assistance" grew by 76%!

How is this causing people to starve? We are spending more then ever before and The Republicans are growing the program faster then Bill Clinton did...

Please take a few minutes and go look at the actual buidget of The United States. It is easy to check my numbers...

Look at it this way:

About 13% of Americans live below The Federal poverty line. If HALF of them are on food assistance then this would be 19.5 million people. This would mean that last year The Federal government spent $2615 PER PERSON in 2006 to help feed them.

Note this does NOT count any Federal programs that give these same people income that can be spent on food nor does it include State programs nor does it include private charities nor does it include the Earned Income Tax Credit...

There are MANY different Federal food assistance programs. Each program has their own mission, administrators, staff, and agenda. It is one of the most inefficient setups you could imagine.

President Bush is proposing that we ELIMINATE the ones that do the least good and take the money that they would have received and give it to the food assistance programs that perform better. This would eliminate some of the waste, fraud, abuse, and unneeded overhead...

It is a GOOD idea.

I have ranted long enough...

I hope that everyone who read this learned something...

John Good, sorry for the rant. I imagine you just copied this from some left leaning sight without looking into it yourself!

I hate it when I see "talking points" that are this inaccurate.

Mike Sylvester

title="comment permalink">November 21, 2006 8:45 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

The line item on the actual Federal Budget is "Food and Nutritional Assistance." Spending on this item has SKYROCKETED since 1962. All of my figures are taken directly from the US Budget and are rounded to the nearest million or billion dollars for simplicity.

Mike - Do the above quoted figures and reports breakdown to WHOM this assistance was provided? Domestically or in foreign aid? I have to question how much of that total was spent at home. . .

title="comment permalink">November 21, 2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

From the USDA's own website:

How Many People Lived in Food-Insecure Households?

In 2005, 35 million people lived in food-insecure households, including 12.4 million children.
Of these individuals, 7.6 million adults and 3.2 million children lived in households with very low food security.
Children’s food security is affected to some extent in most food-insecure households (see the ERS report, Food Assistance Research Brief—Importance of Children Nutrition Programs to Agriculture). However, children are usually protected from substantial reductions in food intake even in households with very low food security. In 2005, 606,000 children (0.8 percent of the Nation’s children) lived in households with very low food security among children.

title="comment permalink">November 21, 2006 9:12 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Mike - I have added the link to the above data at the end of my post. Read it and expand your knowledge. . .

title="comment permalink">November 21, 2006 9:15 PM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

John:

My number is soley from Domestic programs. My numbers do NOT count foreign aid...

I saw the FDA's numbers on "Food insecure households" as well. I am not sure what it means. Per MANY Federal agencies the Federal poverty rate is 13%...

I hope my numbers have convinced you that the Federal government is spending more and more money every year on hunger in the USA...

To point your finger at Republicans for this is just not intellectually honest...

Mike Sylvester

title="comment permalink">November 21, 2006 9:17 PM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

John Good:

Please look at the graph that shows food insecurity since 1998. It is almost exactly a straight line... Almost no variation...

This data, along with mine, 100% DESTROYS that entire post and Democratic "talking point."

Mike Sylvester

title="comment permalink">November 21, 2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Please look at the graph that shows food insecurity since 1998. It is almost exactly a straight line... Almost no variation...

Thank you for reinforcing my point that NOTHING has been done over the last 6 years to address hunger in America!!

title="comment permalink">November 21, 2006 10:05 PM  
Blogger msliberty said...

I don't know who Mike is, but he's wrong on so many points that I feel like I need to write myself an outline! In fact, I'm going to craft my own post on this issue. Until then, here's just one comment:

It makes sense that more money was spent during the RR administration because his policies put this gvt into a major RECESSION, which meant that there were MORE HUNGRY PEOPLE to feed.

The truth is that the government likes to change the names of things, or the ways things are calculated to soften their edges.

Just like "No Child Left Behind" is a nice name for an unfunded mandate that leaves millions of children behind, "food insecure" sounds nicer than "hungry."

The Council of Mayors report, http://www.mayors.org/uscm/hungersurvey/2005/HH2005FINAL.pdf, is an excellent place to start to understand what it means for REAL people to go to bed HUNGRY.

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 12:02 AM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Gee, Mike
You don't look like the kind of guy who could survive on $2615 annually for food.

THat's only 50 bucks a week.
You go food shopping lately? Or are you like GWB and too rich and complacient to do such menial tasks yourself?

A big boy like you probably goes thru 50 bucks worth of groceries a DAY.

Maybe you should try and live off of $50 a week worth of groceries before you go tooting GWB's pathetic little tin horn.

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 5:04 AM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

So what do you all want to do?

Let me guess, increase spending on a program that has NOT improved the problem but has taken over 50 BILLION dollars a year from one set of taxpayers and spent it on another?

Mike

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 9:45 AM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Not a Christian, huh Mike? From the book of Matthew, Chapter 25:

42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 10:23 AM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

Sewmouse:

"Not a Christian."

I believe that programs to help the poor should be run by private groups. I think the Government does a TERRIBLE job and that Churches and other organizations would do a far better job...

If that makes me "not a christian" in your mind, so be it...

Did you know that MANY Federal organizations admit that out of every dollar taken from the taxpayers, about 50 cents gets to the poor?

That is inefficient and should be stopped...

Mike Sylvester

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

And the vast majority of "churches and other charitable organizations" have at LEAST a 65% "front-load" of "administrative costs", so even LESS than 50 cents on your dollar goes to feed HUNGRY people.

I've worked for a "charitable organization". I know what I'm talking about, Big Boy.

Also, an awful lot of those "Churches and other charitable organizations" don't always use their money in the ways that it was donated - you know, the sanctuary needs new pews, the altar needs new vessels, the hymnals are looking tatty...

But then, who cares as long as YOUR TAXES aren't being used to feed HUNGRY people - instead they're being used to build bridges that go nowhere, and to give subsidies to Oil companies!!

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger Robert Enders said...

$50 a week is $7 a day. That is PLENTY! Fat jokes will get you nowhere, Sewmouse. Mike is losing weight and probably consumes less calories than I do.

I will address this issue on my own blog. My take on this issue requires a post of its own.

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

For some reason, as soon as I saw the title of this post, I KNEW Mike Sylvester would have something to say. Mike believes everyone is born with bootstraps attached.

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 5:56 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

So, Robert (Enders), you only spend $7 a day on food for yourself? Amazing. Actully, something tells me it's a little bit more than that, but like most conservative Libertarians, you probably think something like flavor is a luxury that we shouldn't waste on the under-privilidged

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 6:02 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Hell, *I* spent $7 a day on lunch alone!

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 6:38 PM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Dear Robert (enders)

So you have "close, PERSONAL" evidence that Mike is "losing weight?" And since Mike is losing weight, that means he spends less than $50/week on food?

Interesting, since in general, foods that are nutritious and healthy like fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat costs considerably more than the crap that makes you a porker like Mike.

You seem to have an issue with my mentioning that Mike looks like he can really pack away the groceries.

It's always amazing to me how the privileged refuse to actually check into the realities of being underprivileged before making their pontifical pronouncements about those less fortunate.

I sure do hope they don't ever outsource your job, and leave you unemployed, uninsured, homeless and without resources. I really do. Because people like you can't mentally handle that sort of thing.

Enjoy your blessing, Snookiedimples.

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 7:54 PM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

Wow, this is getting personal and you all should be ashamed of yourselves...

Sewmouse:

I do NOT disagree with you that there is waste in charities as well.

Robert Rouse:

Good of you to drop in and not read my statistics at all and take the liberal viewpoint...

I spend way too much on food each week and I am 20-25 pounds overweight...

I wonder how many of these poeple who are starving are overweight?

I bet a lot of these starving people are FAR LARGER then I am...

Mike Sylvester

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 8:21 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Mike, that is a ridiculous statement to make. If people are starving, they're not going to be overweight. I do not count overweight people as being hungry and it was crass of you to suggest that notion. Hell, I'm a lot more of a porker than you'll ever be - I do enjoy food. But I've known people who fall between the cracks of government assistance. Most of these people are rail thin. They attempt to get by on Romin Noodles, etc. The are a lot of elderly who actually eat cat food (that is not a stereotype, it really happens). In many cases, there are families who need to make a choice, gasoline to get to work or food on the table. High insurance premiums or food on the table. A decent lunch for their kids or a good dinner for Mom and Dad. We live in a country where choices like these shouldn't have to be made. A lot of moms have to accept welfare because if they work, the price of sitters or daycare can actually be more than the amount they would make at their low-paying job. There are not always the easy choices for people that you think. Not everyone can help themselves. Yes, in many cases it is their fault they are there to begin with, but should we punish their children for their mistakes. Should we say, "since your mom or dad used to be a drug addict, you can't eat tonight."

Sorry, Mike, I'm not that cold. I have real compassion. I do my part. I donate to the food bank and many other charities when it is financially possible for me to do so. My wife and I adopted a child with special needs after being told he was unadoptable. We even took in one of the hurricane dogs from New Orleans. We try to do our part, but even with all the charitiable organizations in this country today, there are still people who have no health insurance, no food, no help from anyone. We can do better. I believe you can only judge the wealth of a country by the number of people in need, not by the number of millionaires. In this respect, we are a poor country. It doesn't have to be that way, but as long as there are people who believe in the "do for yourself" attitude you exude, we will never grow. By the way, those are not liberal talking points, that was me talking from my heart - which, by the way, I'm proud that I have one!

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 10:11 PM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

Robert:

And I do not have a heart because I think we are spending enough on this program?

Interesting and typical...

Mike

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 11:46 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Mike - Profits before people. Yes, that DOES make you heartless on this one. Call it Libertarian, or call it Republican-Lite. Call it a cheese sandwich if you wish. . .but heartless it IS.

America is all about hope. And helping others. And leaving NO-ONE out. Too many people have forgotten that message. . .

title="comment permalink">November 22, 2006 11:52 PM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Why should we who CARE ABOUT OUR FELLOW-HUMANS be ashamed of ourselves, Mike?

It seems to me it is YOU who should be ashamed to be such a callous, self-centered, self-righteous, heartless individual.

title="comment permalink">November 23, 2006 6:14 AM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

Sewmouse:

Give me a break.

John Good:

We will just have to disagree on this one. We are spending far too much and it is far to ineffective.

Mike Sylvester

title="comment permalink">November 23, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Mike,

This is not the first time that I have seen you show a lack of heart. I do remember the post on Katrina that John did and he asked you to check out my info. You came outright and said that someone that was not even mentioned, meant nothing to you!

You used a name other than the one given to check out and just breezed past the subject. You are heartless, and I saw that first hand on that post. You denied that further bodies were found later on after Katrina, and John tried to point out to you that indeed there was more found.

He tried to point out a post I just put up about more remains being found. You came right out and dismissed it, even though it was headlines! I have seen nothing but a black heart mentality from you. Check yourself!!

title="comment permalink">November 23, 2006 11:57 AM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Mike said, "And I do not have a heart because I think we are spending enough on this program?"

If there are ten people who are starving and we only spent enough to feed nine of these people, are you saying we should just let the last person starve? That is heartless. Who are you to say we're spending too much? Since when did dollars become more important than human beings? Sometimes "enough" isn't really enough. The last time I checked, you were not in charge of the national treasury. We have just as much right to call for additional aid to the poor as you have to call for less funding. The only difference is, we're taking the moral high ground and you're taking the fiscal low road. Don't forget that you're against pulling out our troops in Iraq - and that fiasco is costing more per month than we spend on feeding the poor over years. You're right about one thing though, we're spending too much time on this debate. People like you will always favor saving money over saving people and no amount of debate will change your mind. The same goes for our desire to see the MORALLY RIGHT things done.

title="comment permalink">November 23, 2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger Tim Zank said...

"The only difference is, we're taking the moral high ground and your taking the low fiscal road." Now that is rich....

NOBODY is advocating letting people starve. For Gods sake, Mike is simply saying spend money on these programs properly. Pretty simple. Now please be carefull as you all come down off that peak of Moral Authority, you wouldn't want to slip, you might have to blame one of your own instead of us.

title="comment permalink">November 23, 2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

You're a fine one to talk, Tim. If people disagree with you they're wrong, period. That's the way you'll always be, so as far as I'm concerned anything you say rings hollow. Besides, if the money isn't being spent properly we only have to blame the people in power. Isn't that what the Republicans were saying in the early '90s? But I suppose when the Republicans are in power the rules change. And no, you're wong, Mike believes less money needs to be spent - at least when it comes to helping anyone in need. It's funny how Republicans don't seem to mind spending money to help pull corporations from the brink. They don't mind giving tax breaks to the wealthy. God knows those people can barely afford to gas up their fleets of gas guzzlers, pay the high insurance premiums an keep their wives in designer shoes and clothing. Lord help 'em if they ever had to get by on $7 a day in food.

title="comment permalink">November 23, 2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger Tim Zank said...

I know this is hopeless but here goes....those nasty corporations supply jobs to those who want to work. Oh and I love tax breaks for everyone, and even the rich deserve them...

and for some interesting reading that'll really honk you off, check this out: http://www.arthurbrooks.net/

title="comment permalink">November 23, 2006 11:21 PM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

Tim Zank:

You would think I would learn; but, I do not. I keeep thinking that if you point out waste, fraud, and corruption that our local liberals would understand that more government is NOT the answer...

John Good:

What you FAIL to realize is that I want to help people. I feel that the best way to help people is to downsize the government, lower taxes, and let people keep more of the money they earn...

You think the answer is more government programs...

Many government programs have failed and you will never admit it...

How about FEMA?

Robert Rouse:

I have read your blog and listened to the way you lead your life and I think you are a very caring and thoughtful person. It is obvious that you are more then willing to spend your time and money on various charitable causes and that you want to help people...

I think this behavior is to be commended and I think you and your wife are especially fine people for the adoption you undertook.

I do mean that.

Where we disagree is that I do not think it is governments job to do the things that you do. I think that each of us should do those things we want to help others.

If the government was smaller then you and your wife would HAVE MORE MONEY to donate to whatever causes you wish. That is where you and I disagree...

Donnie:

You are completely inaccurate about Katrina and there really is no point in trying to correct you.

The media massively overstated the problem in the beginning.

There are a lot of tragedies due to Katrina...

A lot of Americans have given a lot of money and time to help those effected by Katrina.

The City of New Orleans, Louisianna, and FEMA all fell down and did their job poorly.

There is a lot of blame in Katrina:
The residents themselves
City of New Orleans
State
FEMA
The blame should go in that order in my opinion...

This should demonstrate to you that big government does not work...

Everyone:

Why is it that certain people think I am "heartless" since I think the government should stay out of certain aspects of my life?

American is changing, and not for the better...



Mike Sylvester
"Heartless" freedom loving American

title="comment permalink">November 24, 2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger Tim Zank said...

Good job Mike.

title="comment permalink">November 24, 2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

title="comment permalink">November 24, 2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

American is changing, and not for the better...

I've been saying that for six years now. . .

title="comment permalink">November 24, 2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

John:

So what is your answer. You have just been attacking mine...

Look at the statistics. We grow this program by leaps and bounds EVERY year.

Do you think we need to spend MORe money on it? If so, how much?

Mike Sylvester

title="comment permalink">November 24, 2006 4:45 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

I think it needs seriously looked into. I am in no position to do that. These people ARE,and apparently are going to:

http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/nation/politics/16088888.htm

title="comment permalink">November 24, 2006 8:24 PM  

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