The Federal Dietary Wrecking Ball
by James Bovard
A vast array of activists gathered, waiting for Biden to mobilize Washington to open the floodgates to far more food handouts. But their fond hopes did not survive the opening moments of Biden's speech.
"Jackie, are you here? Where's Jackie? I thought she was going to be here," Biden pleaded from the podium. He was looking for Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican congresswoman from Indiana who died the previous month in a car wreck. The White House issued a condolence statement on her death at the time, but Biden forgot. Biden's blundering and cognitive challenges were the main media storyline on the summit.
Biden's bewilderment on Jackie epitomized his cluelessness on the issue of hunger and food aid. The president ended his speech by rambling about being able to "wave a wand" to solve problems. But neither Biden nor the summit attendees admitted the vast collateral damage from a 50+ year surge of federal food aid.
Nixon started it
In 1969, President Richard Nixon held a summit on hunger and received glowing press coverage for proclaiming, "The moment is at hand to put an end to hunger in America itself for all time." In 1969, three million Americans received food stamps, a burgeoning federal program that cost $228 million that year. In 2021, 41 million people received food stamps, and the program cost $114 billion. Thanks to an array of other subsidies, the federal government is now feeding more than 100 million people.