Thursday, December 8, 2011
Newt Gingrich Calls Obama “The Best Food Stamp President in History”
by Dr. Boyce Watkins – Your Black World, Scholarship in Action
Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich has some interesting views on both President Obama and the food stamp program. First, Gingrich believes that President Obama is the “best food stamp president in history,” since, according to Newt, there are 47 million Americans on food stamps. Secondly, Gingrich seems to think that you can use food stamps to pay for a trip to Hawaii.
Gringrich spoke recently at a “slice the deficit” pizza party sponsored by a group called “Strong America Now” (maybe they were originally planning the party for Herman Cain, who has less cheater baggage than Gingrich himself). At the event, Gingrich said this:
"Remember, this is the best food stamp president in history. So more Americans today get food stamps than before. And we now give it away as cash -- you don't get food stamps. You get a credit card, and the credit card can be used for anything. We have people who take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii. They give food stamps now to millionaires because, after all, don't you want to be compassionate? You know, the Obama model: isn't there somebody you'd like to give money to this week. That's why we're now going to help bailout Italy because we haven't bailed out enough people this week, the president thought let's write another check. After all, we have so much extra money."
Here are a few areas where Gingrich is wrong about Obama and the food stamp program. First, President Obama is not the reason that so many Americans are on food stamps. As a Finance professor myself, I can say that it is entirely obvious that most of the recent economic downturn and existing financial gaps in the federal budget were created during the presidency of George W. Bush.
Secondly, the United States Department of Agriculture makes it very clear that you cannot use food stamps to pay for trips to Hawaii or anywhere else. The benefits can only be used to purchase groceries or plants for food. Sure there are people who engage in illegal trade of food stamps, but the food stamp program is a relatively small part of the budget compared to corporate welfare, defense and bailing out banks that have squandered trillions throughout the years.
Newt Gingrich is an interesting man. He is a relic from the 1990s who has somehow been able to remake himself in the eyes of the American public. It is only fitting that the man representing the party of “family values” be the one who served his wife divorce papers while she was lying in bed dying of cancer, stating that “She’s not pretty enough to be the presidents wife. Besides, she’s dying of cancer.”
In many ways, Newt Gingrich is the perfect Republican candidate: He lives in a world where its easier to be a hypocrite presenting a fantasy of perfection than it is to be an imperfect man who presents himself as a genuine and flawed human being. If America makes the mistake of electing a man like Gingrich, they will end up wishing they’d held onto Herman Cain.
What’s also interesting about Gringrich is that he is a candid reflection of what we’ve become as a country. We are a nation that has become so spoiled by wealth, power and insatiable gluttony that we’ve lost any desire to care for our fellow man. Children dying in poverty aren’t worth an extra 2 percent on our tax bill, and we take no responsibility for untold atrocities being committed by our government and corporations throughout the world.
According to most economic and educational data, the United States is in the middle of significant decline. Others might add that it is the corruption of our core societal values that are the cause of this decline. Any country that would consider a man like Newt Gingrich as its leader has to reconsider what it has become, and some might say that such a country doesn’t have the right to be the most powerful nation on earth.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.
Posted by Standard English at 11:10 AM