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The food-stamp saga

(article, Culinate staff)

Politicians love to take the food-stamp challenge: trying to live for a week on food stamps. Even celebrity chef Mario Batali struggled with the challenge last year, and just recently, the CEO of Panera Bread did the same, in honor of September being Hunger Action Month. 

And, in a one-percenter twist, Congressional Rep. Jackie Speier gave a speech last Thursday denouncing her colleagues for spending the equivalent of several years' worth of food stamps on federally funded foreign travel.

None of the crash dieting or rhetorical grandstanding prevented the House of Representatives from passing, late last week, a bill that slashed some $40 billion from the federal food-stamp program. And the states, noted USA Today, are following the feds' lead, cutting their own programs in turn.

On the New York Times website, Paul Krugman and Tyler Cowen weighed in, noting that while the food-stamp program is indeed huge, the massive cuts probably won't make much of a long-term dent — and the program itself serves a genuine need.

Up next: a presumed battle in the Senate and a probable veto from the White House.