Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Conservatives Don't Care About Hunger

As we noted earlier, today is National Hunger Awareness Day. And a report entitled "The Economic Cost of Domestic Hunger", commissioned by the Sodexho Foundation, has found that hunger in America leads to $90 billion a year in societal costs, and that that boosting anti-hunger spending by an additional $10 billion to $12 billion a year is cost-effective and could even "virtually end hunger" in America.

Amazingly, in this same article, conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation claims that "there is no significant long-term hunger in this country." Read that again. These a-holes think that hunger is not a problem in America. Instead, they argue that obesity is a bigger problem for poor people.

This is classic conservative spin. Yes, we can all agree that obesity is a major health problem for all Americans, and that economically-disadvantaged people suffer worse from poor nutrition because they are forced to buy more unhealthy food to stretch their budgets. But what the Heritage Foundation is trying to do is act like hunger is not a problem simply because obesity is. Unfortunately, they are not mutually exclusive. And ironically, it's corporations like McDonalds and Coca-Cola, the same companies that peddle the unhealthy foods that are causing the obesity problem in this country, that are protected from government regulation by Heritage Foundation. If government ever tried to regulate those companies and attempt to correct this health epidemic, conservatives such as these would cry foul and say, "Let the free market work it out!"

When the leading conservative think tank comes out and says that hunger is not a problem in America, stricly to try and influence the government away from spending more money to actually fix the problem, it's yet another sign that conservatives (read, the GOP) do not give a crap about regular people.


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