Bush made Food Stamp program wide open

(Note, Feb. 16: a reader points out that Bush vetoed the bill that contained the loosening of rules for Food Stamps, and I reply.)

Did you know that President Bush in 2008 changed the Food Stamp program so that recipients no longer have to provide any verification of their finances? So Clinton, the Democrat, signed welfare reform, making it harder to get welfare, and Bush, the “conservative Republican,” made a key part of welfare more open than ever. My only consolation is that I never voted for him.

Unless Republicans explicitly renounce Bush-style Big Government they will not be able to offer a genuine alternative to the Democrats. This is not to take away from the great thing the Republicans have done over the past year, forming a stone wall against Obamacare. They deserve applause for that, and must continue doing it. But at a certain point, they are going to be in a position to put forth their own proposals, and if they have not truly renounced Bush type Big Government, they are going to end up just as despised and hated as they were before they were saved by the Obamacrats’ extremism.

- end of initial entry -

February 16

David B. writes:

Bush’s making the food stamp program wide open is indicative of something we see constantly. All Bush had to do to get conservative voters was to say that he was against abortion and after 9-11 would “fight the War on Terror.” After that, he spent most of his presidency moving left.

You will recall McCain grabbed the driver’s seat for the 2008 GOP nomination by easily winning the South Carolina primary. When polled after voting, the “conservative” South Carolina voters were shocked to learn of McCain’s support for illegal alien amnesty. All they knew about McCain was that he was a “war hero.”

You would hear all the time people say they liked GWB was because he was a “good Christian man,” in contrast to Clinton. All it took for McCain was to tout his time in the Hanoi Hilton.

As I wrote in 2008, a liberal Republican president will always fail. He alienates his own voters and the Democrats hate him because of his Republican label. Until Republicans learn this they will continue to fail even if they win the White House in 2012.

Stephen T. writes:

It’s easy to figure. How many American working class citizens are unable to verify their income or lack of it? I’ve been broke before and, boy, could I ever prove it! I couldn’t hide it! Illegal aliens from Mexico, however, unlawfully employed in an all-cash underground economy, paying no taxes and sending most of their money to Mexico anyway, generally can’t prove their income. The Bush policy of opening up food stamps to those unable to prove income was solely and entirely an effort to make food stamps available to Mexican nationals in this country illegally. It had nothing to do with helping unemployed working Americans—whom they have complete contempt for, anyhow (Remember: Americans working at low-paying manual labor jobs are “losers” while Mexicans doing so are morally-superior saints.) Look at the timing of that decision: right in the middle of the time when the Kennedy/McCain amnesty bill was going down in flames. This was simply George Bush’s consolation prize to illegals—and a jab at Americans who opposed it.

Rick U. writes:

If you just want to bash Bush, fine. But this post is just factually wrong. Bush vetoed the bill and the Congress overrode the veto.

LA replies:

Of course I don’t want to “just bash Bush.”

But are you sure you’re right? Bush hardly vetoed anything during his presidency.

LA continues:

Based on this Reuter’s story, the veto of the Farm Bill in May 2008 was not directed at the expansion of Food Stamps, but at other aspects of the bill.

Economic blogger Keith Hennessey quotes part of Bush’s veto message and summarizes the rest.

Here is the quote from Bush’s veto message:

For a year and a half, I have consistently asked that the Congress pass a good farm bill that I can sign. Regrettably, the Congress has failed to do so. At a time of high food prices and record farm income, this bill lacks program reform and fiscal discipline. It continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase. It is inconsistent with our objectives in international trade negotiations, which include securing greater market access for American farmers and ranchers. It would needlessly expand the size and scope of government. Americans sent us to Washington to achieve results and be good stewards of their hard-earned taxpayer dollars. This bill violates that fundamental commitment.

Here is Hennessey’s list of Bush’s objections to the bill:

* failed to improve the safety net for farmers and failed to move current programs toward more market-oriented policies;

* forced taxpayers to subsidize farmers who have adjusted gross incomes of up to $1.5 million, when net farm income is projected to increase by more than $28 billion in one year;

* eliminated the existing payment limit on marketing loan subsidies;

* created a new uncapped revenue guarantee (described in last Wednesday’s Washington Post);

* included earmarks, most notably:

o $175 million to address water issues for desert lakes;

o $250 million for a 400,000-acre land purchase from a private owner;

o funding and authority for the noncompetitive sale of National Forest land to a ski resort; and

o $382 million for a specific watershed;

* and restricted our ability to redirect food aid dollars for emergency use.

Bush thus objected to about ten features of the bill, but he did not object to the removal of financial tests for food stamps. My criticism of him, and of the Republicans who joined with the Democrats in voting for the bill and overriding his veto, stands.

Rick U. writes:

Fair enough. As I wrote earlier, I would prefer that conservatives focus more attention on Congress for these bills and the silly policies they include.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 15, 2010 06:28 PM | Send

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