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The Farm Bill meets Animal Farm

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ProgramU.S. Congress

I find it both disturbing and ironic that Nov. 1 marked the latest example of Congress and the White House finding common ground. The Nov. 2 Baltimore Sun article "Cuts to food stamps will affect 47 million needy Americans" provided the lens for my perspective: "Though the cut was intended to come as the economy improved, the recovery has yet to lift many Americans on food stamps out of poverty."

It's disturbing because sequestration and budget deals have brought us to the point where we are now taking food off the already half empty plates of poor people. It's ironic because those same deals have preserved tax breaks for the wealthy so their plates continue to overflow.

Next up? A certain-to-be shameful debate on the Farm Bill. How much more can be cut from the food stamp program versus how much of the farm subsidies, the vast majority of which go to wealthy farm owners and agribusinesses, can be retained?

And for our elected officials, whether Democrat, Republican or other: I trust that at least in your heart of hearts you will be ashamed by this next debate. I expect and fear though, the agreement announced will be another bi-partisan victory for the American people!

George Orwell could not have predicted how sadly poignant his book's title "Animal Farm," and his message, would be today. The last and only surviving Commandment in the conclusion of the book is, "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." Nov. 1 again clearly trumpets this for all Americans.

Richard Doran, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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