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'Ryanomics' Assault Poor and Hungry Children

Marian Wright Edelman | 9/19/2012, 12:07 p.m.

To come up with a portion of the Ryan budget's savings requirements, the House Agriculture committee chose to cut more than $33 billion from food stamps but left subsidies to large profitable corporate farms intact. By reducing benefits and changing food stamp eligibility rules nearly 2 million children would lose benefits, about 22 million children would be in households with reduced benefits, and 280,000 low-income children would lose free breakfast and lunch at school. Ryanomics equals more hungry poor children.

Ryanomics is not only poor arithmetic, it is also poor morality and gross injustice that turns upside down the requirements of all great faiths to protect the poor and vulnerable. The U.S. Catholic Bishops in a letter to every member of Congress on May 8, 2012 said: "Deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility efforts must protect and not undermine the needs of poor and vulnerable people" and declared that the proposed cuts in the House budget "fail this basic moral test."

And Albert Camus, Nobel Laureate, speaking at a Dominican monastery in 1948 said: "Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children." And so must all of us including our political leaders of all parties.

Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.