GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

August 3, 2013

Letter: Poor choices on government food aid


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Earlier this month the U.S. House of Representatives, on a party-line vote, broke with tradition by stripping from the farm bill the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance, or federal food stamp program.

What’s left in the bill is billions of dollars of subsidies, mostly for farming conglomerates.

Over the past 18 years, our government has doled out an average of $7 billion per year of taxpayer funds to support the livestock and dairy industries. Instead, their products should be taxed to reimburse state and federal governments for the uncounted billions in increased medical costs and lost productivity associated with their consumption. Conversely, a sound national nutrition program based on vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits and nuts can save additional billions in reduced social costs.

I am all in favor of reducing our national deficit, government waste and medical costs. But that’s not gonna happen by taking nutritious food from the mouths of 47 million of our society’s least privileged members.

BOB CALDWELL

Amesbury