Rep. Huelskamp, Whose Family Takes Government Farm Subsidies, Mocks Food Stamp Recipients

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), who bravely opposed federal aid to all those greedy Northeasterners affected by Hurricane Sandy, is now boasting about his support for a House GOP plan to kick four to six million people off the food stamp program.

As Jonathan Chait details, the GOP’s draconian food stamp cuts were coupled with a push to preserve excessive subsidies for farmers and agribusinesses, which the GOP refused to cut as much as the Obama administration proposed. And, surprise surprise, Huelskamp’s family has greatly benefited from such government aid:

Huelskamp has been able to see a need for federal relief closer to his home. His brother's farm received $1.6 million in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2011. The federal payouts included more than $30,000 for disaster subsidies.

Huelskamp's parents' farm has also received subsidies. Politico reported in 2011 that the farm took in $1.1 million in federal farms subsidies from 1995 to 2009.

While speaking to right-wing talk show host Steve Deace yesterday, Huelskamp had fun sticking it to all those whiney poors trying to receive food assistance for their families.

Huelskamp pointed to Jason Greenslate, a California surfer who has been all over Fox News, as the face of American food stamp recipients. Media Matters points out that “labeling Greenslate a representative of SNAP recipients flies in the face of readily available data, which shows that the fraud and waste rate in the SNAP program is less than 1 percent and that 41 percent of food stamp recipients live ‘in a household with earnings.’”

Huelskamp joked that his two kids always feel “starved” under his watch, but that with his vote to cut food assistance, he only “decided to starve a surfer by the name of Jason in California who has decided that he’s not going to get a job in life because he gets food stamps.” 

“Go pick up trash in a road ditch,” Huelskamp said, “you got to do something. There are 3.5-4 million American adults who are able-bodied, have no dependence and what do we require them to do to get a free check for food? Nothing.”

Huelskamp went on to call the food stamp program “out of control” because of its growth in size. Gee, it’s not like America has faced a recession or high unemployment rates or anything that might have driven up enrollment. Maybe all these working families struggling to put food on the table can just buy a big farm and get government welfare that way!

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