Skip to comments.Bush Calls for Eliminating Program for Needy Seniors (Drowns Bag of Kittens, Too!)
Posted on 02/10/2006 7:00:37 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush wants to eliminate a program that provides poor seniors with vegetables, peanut butter and other nutritious foods, proposing in his budget that recipients be moved to food stamps.
Critics argue that the change will leave the seniors worse off than they are now.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program, targeted for the chopping block, provides nutritionally balanced boxes of food to about a half-million poor people on a monthly basis, including 5,000 in Wisconsin. The majority of beneficiaries are elderly, although some women and children also participate.
The Department of Agriculture, which administers the CSFP program, proposes moving recipients to food stamps starting in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. But CSFP advocates say that many seniors are reluctant to sign up for food stamps, and that in any event, the program often provides a more generous package.
The proposal could face strong opposition on Capitol Hill.
Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations agriculture subcommittee, said he would oppose it.
"I call it misplaced priorities. How do you justify doing something like this, while at the same time giving people like Herb Kohl huge tax cuts?" said Kohl, a multimillionaire.
"It really does come under the category, in the most extreme way, of balancing the budget on the backs of those who are most needy. And in this case we're not even balancing the budget."
Congress funded about $111 million for the program in the current fiscal year, including a $4 million supplement for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The CSFP program, which dates back to 1968, operates in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Its lack of national reach is one reason the administration wants to eliminate it, according to USDA officials.
Kate Coler, the USDA's deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, said the department believes it can serve people more efficiently through food stamps and the Women, Infants and Children program, which are both nationwide.
"It's really a duplicative program," she said of CSFP.
Recipients of CSFP boxes receive powdered milk, vegetables, cereal, juice, meat, fruit, protein (peanut butter or beans), starch (such as dehydrated potatoes, rice or pasta) and cheese.
Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force, which administers the program in Milwaukee, estimated that the monthly box provides about five to seven meals.
"It helps stretch their food-buying budget," she said. "Sometimes seniors are choosing between utility bills and prescription drugs and whether they get to eat."
Tussler said that the program may be duplicative to food stamps, but that many seniors need both. The Bush administration proposes providing CSFP beneficiaries with transitional food stamp benefits of $20 a month for six months, or until they are determined eligible for food stamps, whichever comes first.
Sarah Mayek, 75, of Milwaukee, receives both the CSFP box and $10 a month for food stamps.
"You try to stretch your budget a little bit," Mayek said. Without CSFP, she said, "I would have to adjust. But I raised 11 children. I know how to cut corners."
Tim Robertson, president of the National CSFP Association, which represents state and local organizations that administer the program, challenged the USDA's premise that people will switch over to food stamps.
"Seniors have repeatedly said they don't want to be on that program," Robertson said, because of the perceived stigma of using food stamps and the paperwork hassles.
The USDA's own statistics show that just 28 percent of seniors eligible for food stamps participate in the program.
Jean Daniel, a spokeswoman for the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, said the organization is working to remove the perceived stigma. For example, she said, the agency is getting the word out that food stamp payments are now made by an electronic transfer card, not actual stamps.
"We try to make the point that this is not a welfare program, this is a nutritional assistance program," she said.
LOL! Does he think he's Bob Dole, speaking in the Third Person like that? I can't believe he could put together a coherent sentence, actually. My Senator. *SIGH*
Herb could pick up this program himself and provide veggies & cheese to Granny with the chump change he has in his pocket. But that would be considered a duplicative effort were it HIS money and not ours. *Rolleyes*
So, old people who never saved a dime in their lives don't want anyone to call them on it, or put them through the ordeal of admitting in writing that they are irresponsible losers?
Who's going to be Kohl's sacrifical lamb this year for the Senate race?
"made by an electronic transfer card, not actual stamps."
Hide the problem and it will go away, apparently.
I hate social programs as much as the next guy, but I suggest we stop giving billions away to foreign governments before we stop giving it to our own people.
"Who's going to be Kohl's sacrifical lamb this year for the Senate race?"
I haven't heard a peep. :(
Which is one of the most idiotic things the gubmint does - and that's saying something. Everyone throws this crap out or gives it away.
They didn't. Everybody died in the 1800's. Oh wait, how does that explain us being here?
Where are these people's FAMILIES???? Aren't they supposed to take care of them?
Drowns them, then eats them apparently.
Here's what you do, Herbie, if you don't think you're paying enough in taxes:
write the gummint a check for more!
Just get your theivin' hand out of MY pocket, cheesebreath!
"Herb Kohl is Mad as H#ll and He's Not Going to Take it Anymore!" Ping
Could our Senator be any more USELESS to us? Grrrrr!
I'd be happy if all gov't social programs were eliminated!
Probably a good starting point.
That is adorable! I never thought to eat a kitten like a rack of ribs or an ear of corn before, LOL! :)
Why are we trying to feed 500,000 individual people with one program. Why don't we just create 500,000 programs, and have each program service the individual needs of their sole recipient? /sarcasm
Me, too. Especially when I drive by the local low-income housing project and see all of the nice cars and the satellite dishes outside! Grrrr.
That one looks pretty furry. Bet 43 had to floss afterwards.
Journal Sentenial is just another DemoRAT, lib, fish-wrap.
Listen to Charlie Sykes. He's da man!
Charlie Sykes is a radio must-listen. Charlie sifts through the day's news, challenges conventional wisdom, gives the other side of the story, and stands up for what's right. The author of five books, including A Nation of Victims and Dumbing Down Our Kids, Charlie has worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine editor and has written for publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Raised in Milwaukee, he hosts his daily talk show on Newsradio 620 WTMJ (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - Noon), discusses the news on his weekly television show (Today's TMJ4 Sundays 10 am) writes a weekly column for CNI Newspapers and as an active blogger - Sykes Writes -- is the champion of the Wisconsin Blogosphere. Be sure to check out other features on the right side of this page.
Gotta love those bureaucrats!
I check out his page, regularily. I have Vicki McKenna here in my part of the state, and she's doing a bang-up job.
http://www.wiba.com (UpFront is her show.)
SSDD.. Drop the rate of growth by a penny and the left will claim Bush is starving seniors, school children and the poor.. all for his rich buddies..
Bingo! Mr. Inspectorette and I finally retired last year. We were mentally ready to retire at least five years before we were financially able. The last year we worked was the most difficult we had - we couldn't wait until our retirement date, but we hung in there because if we had retired sooner, our pensions, retiree medical benefits, 401K, etc., wouldn't have been enough for a comfortable retirement.
So it really chaps me to hear seniors whining about being poor because, in many cases (not all), they just didn't want to take the steps necessary to provide for themselves. Just let the government take care of you - ptui!
Talk about negative Democrat spin. Bush simply wants to consolifdate programs in order to avoid the extra cost from duplication, especially in administrative overhead. And how hypocritical is it of seniors to take this form of 'charity' but won't take food stamps. At least under this program, they won't starve like they did in the 1800's.
But, but, but, back then people didn't have cell phones, satellite TV and so on. Everyone today NEEDS these things. I mean, they're ENTITLED to them. /s
Not to mention the seniors clogging the roads in their 40-ft. motorhomes that they don't even know how to drive.
"I'm old. Gimme, gimme, gimme."
While we're on the subject, why do we have so many freaking welfare programs? Anyone have an idea how much money they must cost to just administrate? Wouldn't it be more efficient to roll them all up, including Social Security, into just one big welfare program and send a check to people who meet the criteria for qualificiation? We'd save a ton of money on administration alone.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. Beggars of a free lunch cannot be choosers.
And from what state does the "free cheese" come? Hmmmm? Does anyone else see this as self-serving politics?
I agree, stop both.
But certainly don't stop domestic while continuing international.
You mean like U.S. citizens actually getting THEIR money back? Wow, what an idea!
If seniors find it difficult to do the paperwork for stamps, a better plan is to assign regional or area people to help them file. It could be within so many programs for the elderly already in place.
I have no problem with making sure seniors have enough food and shelter, since our society has pretty much abandoned the principle of caring for their elderly.
It's the younger, work shirkers, I have a problem with.
While it's true many have not saved adequately for their retirement years, caring for our parents and grandparents is just simply, called responsibility.
In other words, there but for the grace of God.....
Exactly. I've seen what a lot of people on welfare have and they aren't poor. Instead of cutting benefits to our seniors, cut it to the illegals and welfare bums that are able bodied and leeching off the system, like a lot of the Katrina *refugees*.
I have an idea. Why don't her 11 children provide her with some food? I would (and do) gladly donate monthly to my church to provide some assistance to the poor - which is how those whose families are unable or unwilling to help could be helped if this program were eliminated.
Liberals want to be charitable with my $$$
Women and children affected worst.
If there's no more government cheese, what will we eat in our van down by the river?
Precisely because people have ceded that responsibility to the government. That's how it is in Europe, and that's why thousands of elderly die in heat waves in France.
Now, don't pick on Grandpa Simpson! When his girlfriend died and he inherited $106,000.00 from her (for a month-long romance, LOL!) he took that money and upgraded his Retirement Facility.
Plus, he's a WWII Veteran. And his radical ex-wife left him for The Weather Underground, and good riddance. :)
(I think I watch too many Simpson episodes if I know that much about a fictional character just off the top of my head, LOL!)
Then why don't you use your money to start a charity instead of making me use money I don't have to fund it? Dumbass.
"While we're on the subject, why do we have so many freaking welfare programs?"
Ask Lyndon Baines Johnson, father of "The Great Society." He introduced the expensive and inefficient social programs we're stuck with today in the mid-to-late 1960's.
"Anyone have an idea how much money they must cost to just administrate?"
Don't know the exact figures, but I've heard Rush say time and again that social spending constitutes SIXTY PERCENT of our national budget. Gawd!
Oh, cry me a river. Mr. Kohl, nobody's forcing you to take a tax cut that you don't want.
If you want more of your money to go to the federal government, it's easy to do. Just write out a check for that amount, make it payable to the "United States Treasury", and mail it to the IRS. You can do that any time you want, nobody will stop you, and the IRS will take it.