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Hunger in the News: Budget Plan Cuts Food Assistance

Domestic

Republican Budget includes Plan to Overhaul Food Assistance Program. House Republicans resurrected a 1990s-era fight over food stamps in their recently approved budget, arguing that any serious attempt to cut spending must include an overhaul of government programs that help needy families pay for food. Congress already has started cutting some food programs, including reducing the Women, Infants and Children Program by $500 million as part of a deal on this year’s budget. [Ag Week]

Let’s Take a Hike. [Congressman Ryan’s] proposal begins by warning that “a major debt crisis is inevitable” unless we confront the deficit. It then calls not for tax increases, but for tax cuts, with taxes on the wealthy falling to their lowest level since 1931. [The New York Times]

Lessons from America's Last Brush with Default. The scenario [from 1995] is replaying now, as policymakers brace for the next installment of a partisan showdown over the size and scope of government. The feds are on track to reach their $14.29 trillion borrowing limit in mid-May, and the Obama administration says juggling accounts can only buy time until July 8. [Fortune Magazine]

Five Myths about Church and State in America. Liberals claim that the founding fathers separated church and state, while conservatives argue that the founders made faith a foundation of our government. Both sides argue that America once enjoyed a freedom to worship that they seek to preserve. Yet neither side gets it right. [The Washington Post]

Republicans in Congress Get Earful on Medicare. Some Republicans in Congress are getting an earful back home over their votes to dramatically revamp Medicare for seniors. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who proposed changing the federal entitlement into a voucher program, got booed at such a meeting in his district last week. [USA Today]

Economists Temper Forecast for Recovery. Nearly eight in 10 economists say they’re less optimistic about the nation's economic outlook this year than they were three months ago and most call high energy prices the biggest threat to the recovery, according to a USA TODAY survey. [USA Today]

Women Lead Fight against S.C. Immigration Bills. As the S.C. General Assembly has considered the bill during the past year, the opposition to it has been steady and strong. And it has been driven by women. The arguments against the bill have focused on religious values, human rights concerns and civil rights issues—all issues that women are more likely to be involved in, experts say. [Miami Herald]

International

Who Will Respond to Haiti's Cholera SOS? In January 2010 a 7.0 earthquake in Haiti killed 300,000 immediately, left 1.5 million homeless, and now threatens untold hundreds of thousands with a cholera epidemic that is certain to ramp up once the rainy season begins. … [T]he international community seems to be watching this disaster unfold with little more than puzzled glances and impotent responses ... [Huffington Post]

Should We Feed North Korea? North Korea has recently made a desperate international appeal for food aid. Reports from aid workers and international nongovernmental organizations warn of a major food shortage. As the United States deliberates whether to restart a food aid program in North Korea, it must consider the following questions: Is there a true humanitarian need, can we address the potential risk of food diversion and can a properly monitored program allow us to engage with the vulnerable citizens of one of the most isolated countries in the world? [Los Angeles Times]

 

 

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