This Is What the GOP Thinks of Food Stamp Recipients

Greg Brannon, a Republican Senate candidate from North Carolina, recently created ripples in the political blogosphere when he concluded that food stamps should be eliminated by the government because they're essentially a form of "slavery." This, obviously, is misguided, inappropriate, and mostly just plain old confusing. But one thing it shouldn't be at this point is shocking.

See, Brannon isn't just a lone voice of obliviousness among the more understanding folks in the Republican party. (For instance: David Vitter, a Republican Senator from Louisiana, just recommended all SNAP recipients be forced to show photo IDs when using them.) Really, Brannon's just mimicking the standard company line when it comes to how the elephant-ier part of our political spectrum feels about SNAP recipients.

And you don't have to take my word for it.

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Here, then, without commentary -- because, frankly, it just isn't necessary -- is a potpourri of statements from Republican politicians and members of the media about people who are recipients of food stamps.

Sarah Palin, former Republican governor of Alaska:

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. The freebies that are given. The idea that of them being sold by the Obama administration because food stamps have increased so greatly since President Obama was elected. It's such a marketing tool, such a seductive lure into supporting a politician or a program if you think you're gonna get something free out of it.

Rush Limbaugh, Republican broadcaster:

[The] Democrat party has made everybody they can think they are victims, which makes them entitled, which makes them feel victimized, in most part by this "evil" country, and it's "evil" past, or whatever. Even the food stamp program... is now contributing, and I believe it by the way, to a rampant epidemic of obesity in the minority community. There's no question about it.

Steve Southerland (R-FL):

I believe that if you are going to eat, you should bring something to the table. I believe that being dependent makes you more vulnerable. I believe work is the greatest gift you will ever receive.

Eric Cantor, (R-VA):

If you're able-bodied, you should be willing to work.

Kevin Cramer (R-ND):

2 Thessalonians 3:10 English Standard Version 10. 'For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.'

Stephen Fincher (R-TN), also quoting the Bible, and apparently the Soviet Constitution as well:

The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

Charles Payne, Fox News contributor:

A lot of people are lazy and a lot of people are becoming lazier. And we're not doing people a favor, by the way, by letting their job skills erode.

Rich Karlgaard, Republican journalist:

If you're 25-55 and adult and you're able bodied, you should not get food stamps.

John Tamny, Republican columnist for Forbes magazine:

I like that this baker is refusing to not do business with [food stamp recipients]. For the economy, this is a good thing. Maybe she will shame some of those on the dole to get back in the working world and contribute something to the economy.

Ted Yoho, (R-FL):

I think there's 330 million people starving, at least three times a day, we call it breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not one person [cut from the program] would lose a calorie or crumb that deserves it.

Paul Ryan, (R-WI):

You cure poverty eye to eye, soul to soul. Spiritual redemption: That's what saves people.

Mary Franson (State R-MN):

Isn't it ironic that the food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever. Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to please not feed the animals, because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.

Bill O'Reilly, Republican broadcaster:

The problem I have... is that you're helping one group by hurting another group - and a bigger group. And so I don't know if Jesus is gonna be down with that.

Nope. Jesus wouldn't be down with helping the poor. Definitely not.

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About the Author

Rick Paulas has written plenty of things, some of them serious, many of them not, scattered over the vast expanses of the Internet. He lives in Los Angeles and is a White Sox fan.
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