Thursday, June 24, 2004

Oops -- forgot we weren't chatting on the back nine | Ag official criticizes people using food banks

Every now and again, an elected right winger forgets people are listening and blurts out the kind of stuff your typical unelected Republican talks about ad nauseam.

For example, Eric Bost, who works for Bush's Agriculture Department.

It's just another line from the neocon handbook that people are poor because they are lazy.

Eric Bost, the department's undersecretary for food and nutrition programs, was quoted in a June 6 story in The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch about the growing use of food banks as saying he was skeptical of claims that food needs among the poor were increasing.

"There's a bump, but how much of that is due to people taking the easy way out? I don't know," he said.

Certainly within hours Bost realized he hadn't meant to be so frank (i.e., forgot to suggest that another round of tax cuts could solve the food bank problem), so the PR lackey came out with my nominee for the most tortured spin of the week:

Jean Daniel, a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department, said the article included quotes that were "not quite right."

Bost was concerned that people who are eligible for food stamps or other federal food assistance programs are instead going to food banks because they don't know they're eligible or they think the application process is too cumbersome, she said.

"There is a perception that it is a simpler process -- not that people are taking the easy way out," she said. "We know that there are hungry people out there who need assistance and we want to make sure that they have access to all of the food safety programs that they are eligible for."

You'd never catch Cheney putting out stuff this weak. I imagine he'd say if the poor can't snag a subcontractor position at Halliburton, they don't deserve to eat.

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